low toxin living Archives - Life Essence

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Some Basics

Lavender is one of the most trusted and utilized medicinal plants in the world. It’s sometimes referred to as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of essential oils due to its wide range of uses!

Interesting History

Some of its earliest uses include being used as an embalming agent for the ancient Egyptians, killing lice and fleas and being used as a flavoring agent to assist with calming the stomach. The Greeks, Persians, and Romans all added it to their bath water. It’s also recorded in many English herbal medicine recipes and folk remedies.

What Science Shows

There is strong scientific evidence that Lavender has beneficial properties for:

  • Anxiety
  • Menstrual pain
  • Caesarean pain
  • Agitated behavior (dementia)
  • Pain relief
  • Lice
  • Antidepressant

There is also emerging science that Lavender is beneficial in the following areas:

  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Memory/brain protection
  • Intestinal function
  • Canker sores
  • Respiratory function
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Oral health
  • Hair loss
  • Sleep aid
  • Headaches
  • Antibacterial.

5 ways I personally use Lavender in my home:

  1. I combine Tea Tree, Lavender and water in a mist bottle and use as a daily facial toner. I find this combination works well for breakouts and general redness.
  2. Every night I either diffuse Lavender in our bedroom or rub it onto my chest to help me fall asleep quickly and get a deep sleep.
  3. When I burn myself in the kitchen or with our log fire (which seems to be often) I’ll run the burn under cold water and then apply lavender essential oil to the burn.
  4. When I have a talking event I’ll wear lavender with lemon and wild orange to keep my anxiety at bay. This works wonders! And smells amazing too.
  5. I’ll run a hot bath, add Epsom salts and some lavender oil then light a few candles and as soon as I step into the hot water, I can feel the stress of the day melt away. So relaxing.

 

Keen to bring the best quality Lavender essential oil into your life? Click here to order.
Click here for more information on Essential Oils.

 

** Please note that due to the very large amount of individual scientific studies applicable to this post, I cannot provide individual links within the post. If you wish to be directed to the journal published studies I gathered my info from, comment below stating exactly which application you would like the links to.

 

 

June 3, 2017
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Tea Tree – also known as Melaleuca Alternifolia.

Some Basics

There are 236 species of Melaleuca and 230 of them are native to Australia. This is why doTERRA sources their Tea Tree from Australia because this is where the purest and potent oils are found.

Interesting History

Our ancestors used to crush the leaves of tea tree plants to release their essential oils and use them as antiseptic and antifungal poultices. To relieve a headache, the leaves were chewed. For insect bites, the oils were rubbed directly onto the bite and bathing in tea tree water was common practice to improve general wellbeing. During World War II, Australian Soldiers carried it, earning it the name ‘First aid kit in a bottle’.

What Science Shows

There is strong scientific evidence that Tea Tree essential oil shows the following therapeutic properties:

  • Antibacterial
  • Oral health
  • Skin conditions & infections
  • Head lice
  • Acne and blemishes

There is also good scientific evidence showing that Tea Tree is beneficial in the following areas:

  • Dandruff
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-fungal

There is emerging science linking the benefits of Tea Tree to:

  • Warts
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Anti-infectious
  • Hirsutism
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anticancer
  • Antiviral
  • Ocular itching
  • Antiseptic, wound healing

5 ways I personally use Tea Tree in my home:

  1. I combine Tea Tree, Lavender and water in a mist bottle and use as a daily facial toner. I find this combination works well for breakouts and general redness.
  2. I add Tea Tree to my shampoo to help combat my dandruff.
  3. I was traveling during the whole of May in a campervan and staying in caravan parks where I was using communal showers. After every shower, I rubbed Tea Tree diluted with fractionated coconut oil all over my feet and toes nails to ensure I didn’t pick up any funky feet issues from the showers.
  4. I carry tea tree diluted in a roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil and use it as an instant, toxin free hand sanitizer when I’m traveling.
  5. I use it in my homemade bathroom and toilet cleaning products.

Keen to bring the best quality Tea Tree essential oil into your life? Click here to order.
Click here for more information on Essential Oils.

 

** Please note that due to the very large amount of individual scientific studies applicable to this post, I cannot provide individual links within the post. If you wish to be directed to the journal published studies I gathered my info from, comment below stating exactly which application you would like the links to.

April 23, 2017
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Have you ever thought about how safe your cookware is and what it might be leaching into your food each time you heat it? Most of us use some form of cookware on a daily basis but don’t give the safety of it much thought. Well today I’m going to break it down for you: What to use, what to avoid and why.

 

The best cooking materials

 

Enamel coated

A wonderful choice. Doesn’t leach anything into your food, even when heated to very high temperatures. They’re easy to clean because you can give them a good scrub without ruining the surface. Even steel wool is OK to use! Enamel can go in the dishwasher, stovetop, oven and microwave (as long as the handles are also enamel). It is ideal for all purposes including frying, boiling, baking, searing etc.

Two Downsides: Good quality enamel cookware can be expensive and if you choose enamel coated ceramic and drop it, it’s very likely to shatter!

Cast iron

This traditional cookware material has been around for hundreds of years. It’s very durable so you don’t need to be as careful with it as ceramic and its usually a lot cheaper. I purchased my fry pans here.

A Note on Iron Absorption: If you are known to have iron overload, I don’t recommend you use cast iron for your cooking. Cast iron does release some iron into your food.  Particularly if you are cooking something acidic such as a dish with a tomato base. However, if you don’t have any issues with excess iron, the amount released into your food during cooking won’t be a problem and for some, can actually be a good source of iron!

Care and Maintenance: Your cast iron cookware does require a little extra love. It needs to be ‘seasoned’ every so often if you wish for it to maintain it’s non-stick qualities and of course to ensure it doesn’t rust. It’s also important to understand that you can’t use abrasive soaps when cleaning your cast iron as you don’t want to strip the seasoning. It might sound complicated at first, but once you get used to it, cast iron is a fantastic nonstick option – my personal favourite.

Glass

Handy for baking and serving hot dishes at dinner parties. Also a good option for freezing and reheating things in the microwave (never use plastic in the microwave). It doestn’ have great non-stick properties but it’s quite hardy when it comes to scrubbing clean. Low on the toxin scale so gets my tick of approval.

Stainless Steel

Another good option just be 100% sure it doesn’t contain any nonstick coatings! Good option for roasting dishes, mixing bowls and oven top pots. It’s widely available, budget friendly and very low maintenance. Stainless fry pans aren’t my favourite however, I personally find they stick and don’t cook evenly.

 

The worst cooking materials

 

Teflon – Non Stick

The one type of cooking material I will always avoid is Teflon non stick. Essentially it’s a plastic coating made with a chemical called PFOA which is an extremely persistent synthetic chemical – so it stays in your blood once you consume food that was cooked on/in it. This material has toxins that are released into your food during cooking as well as into the air. Animal studies have shown that PFOA causes damage to your immune system and your liver. Its linked to cancer, growth defects and death in lab rats and monkeys.

For me, the health and environmental dangers of teflon will never come close to the convenience of non stick and easy cleaning. Teflon just isn’t worth it.

Aluminium

Far from being as toxic as Teflon, aluminium still isn’t a good choice. During cooking, significant amounts of aluminium can be leached into your food. The science on aluminium in the body still needs further work but two important things I want you to be aware of:
Aluminium is shown to interact with estrogen receptors in the body. Estrogen plays a key role in the development of breast cancer.
Aluminium tends to accumulate in our brain tissue. Making it a hot topic of discussion in the science world with regards to Alzheimer’s disease.

Copper

Not a terrible choice but also not great due to the concerns of copper leaching into your food. When in the body, excess copper can cause a zinc imbalance which has a wide variety of very common symptoms including acne, despression, behaviour disorders, headaches and poor immune function. In my opinion its best avoided.

Hopefully this simple guide was helpful. Don’t panic if you are or have been using the cooking materials that I suggest you avoid, most of us have at some stage. The best thing you can do is to start putting measures in place to acquire safer cooking materials and as I always say, do the best you can with what you’ve got.

Happy cooking x