Natural Antibiotic Alternative – Essential Oils

It’s official, I will never be without oregano essential oil in my medicine cabinet.  My body is so messed up lately.  I feel like everything is upside-down.  I was pregnant in the end of October, felt terrible for three months, had a miscarriage and now I just feel weird.  It is times like these when I am so incredibly thankful to have a medicine cabinet full of homeopathy and essential oils.  Whatever I need, I have it on hand.

Let me back the truck up a second.  This story is mainly about my finger.  My pointer finger had been hurting for two weeks and was slowly becoming more and more swollen.  At first I thought I had injured it.  Something in our toilet is broken and the water runs non-stop unless we turn the water supply off on the back of it, which hurt my fingers after doing it 17 times a day.  But I stopped using my swollen finger and it was still getting worse.  This past weekend, the pain was so bad I could not sleep.  I started to wonder if I had an infection, even though there was no discoloration or anything gross looking.

I decided to start taking a supplement blend of essential oils to reinforce my body’s natural defenses.  I had several discussions with my husband about the possibility of my finger falling off, and who wants to deal with that.  Losing a finger, or hearing your spouse talk about losing their finger.  I started taking the oil blend supplement in the morning and at night.  After the second time, my finger was throbbing less.  After the third time, the swelling was retreating from my knuckle and pretty much only the tip was hurting.

Here is what was in the supplement I took:

  • Extra virgin coconut oil
  • Clove flower bud essential oil
  • Lemon rind essential oil
  • Eucalyptus radiata essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Cinnamon bark essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Thyme essential oil
  • Lemongrass essential oil

I will save you all the gross details, but it turns out it was infected.  I don’t know how or why it was infected, which is kind of scary.  And gross.  I accidentally managed to drain it (surprise!) on my third day taking the supplement.  Also gross.  I am so glad I was already flooding my body with oils which provide immune support.  I am going to keep taking it until my finger is back to normal.  Now that I found the source of the problem, I have done things like soaking it in hydrogen peroxide and alternating topical use of this homeopathic gel with Cinnamon, Clove, Lemon, Rosemary & Eucalyptus Oils diluted in coconut oil.  The supplement was what I took when I was unsure what I was dealing with and when I couldn’t get to the source of the infection, which was under my nail and skin.

Excuse the terrible editing, I had to remove the product/ brand name to be able to publish my testimonial.

Excuse the terrible editing, I had to remove the product/ brand name to be able to publish my testimonial.

If I would have gone to a doctor, they would have put me on some extra strength antibiotic which would have further damaged my sensitive digestive system.  This would in turn create more problems for my already wonky hormonal state because important feel-good hormones like serotonin are made in gut.  The gut is very important in all aspects of health.  Protect it at all costs by avoiding chemical drugs the best you can.

Having essential oils on hand is a must.  The supplement I took is designed to boost the immune system in times of stress.  These oils mentioned above are high in thymol, carvacrol and eugenol which have been proven in studies to be “capable of inhibiting or slowing the growth of bacteria, yeasts and moulds.”  (Source)

My finger was the second reason I needed to take this supplement in the last month.  The first was after my D&E procedure following my miscarriage.  Although I was prescribed chemical antibiotics, I again chose not to take them.  In addition to the reasons I explain above, I avoid antibiotics because I understand how much damage they cause to the beneficial bacteria in the human body.  Often times antibiotic use can allow destructive pathogens, such as candida, to overgrow creating additional health problems.  A healthy population of beneficial gut bacteria is crucial for so many aspects of health, including proper immune function, healthy digestion, brain health and even healthy skin.

If I didn’t already have this supplement in my cabinet, I would have had to take the antibiotics to avoid possible infection.  A big part of living toxin-free is preparation.  You need to have a stocked cabinet to be prepared for general illnesses or conditions.

**Please note that in order to protect my freedom to share my personal testimonials, I cannot affiliate with any brand of essential oils.

DIY: Replacement Reed Diffuser Oil

I love a house that smells good. Who doesn’t?! I love burning candles in the fall and winter, and I love using reed diffusers in my bathroom year round. What I do not love, however, are the toxic chemicals that get dispersed into my home and the air we breathe when using conventional candles or reed diffusing oil.  With asthma, allergies and eczema not an issue for us lately (finally!) I continue to be really careful about what toxins we are exposed to.

I have this really awesome reed diffuser I bought from one of those candle party companies a few years ago.  It sits on my bathroom counter empty because I ran out of oil a long time ago and never thought I could make my own.  The other day I was on one of those fanatic cleaning/ organizing sprees – am I the only one who does that?  While I was on my cleaning spree, I thought, “Hey, I have all these great smelling essential oils.  I bet I can make a homemade reed diffusing oil with ingredients I have here!”  15 seconds later, Google supplied me with about 15 trillion websites with different kinds of recipes for reed diffusing oils.  You are now reading post 15 trillion and one.  People use all kinds of ingredients like olive oil or sesame oil in combination with essential oils.  I’m sure this wouldn’t happen, but I imagined the oil sitting on my counter collecting dust and growing mold… I don’t want any part of that, even if it is Halloween!

The recipe I made is a loose combination of the ten websites I checked out, minus any food based oils.  My bathroom smells fresh and lovely.  I read on the Yankee Candle website that you are supposed to change your reeds frequently, like every time you change the oil, to keep the scent dispersing properly.  My reeds are about three years old and I have never changed them, so I have ordered these ones and cannot wait to see if it increases the scent in the room.

All you need is the following:

1/3 cup distilled water

2 teaspoons rubbing alcohol

20 drops of essential oils of your choice

Simply mix the ingredients together in a glass jar with a narrow opening and put in your reeds.  Do not fear, the smell of the rubbing alcohol will not fill your room.  After a few hours it was gone from the mixture completely.  All that I could smell was the essential oil.  (Thank god!  I hate the smell of rubbing alcohol.)

I flip my reeds over a few times a day to keep the scent going strong.  What an easy and inexpensive way to keep a home smelling fresh and chemical free!

If you are interesting in purchasing essential oils, click here to learn more!

DIY: Simple Diaper Rash Salve

My toddler’s favorite food is fruit.  Any fruit.  He can eat berries by the pint, no problem.  This is all great and fine – until it comes out the other end!  Did you know that blueberries have seeds?  Lots and lots of seeds….

Change subject!  Sort of.

Without getting into any serious detail, I will say he has had his fair share of diaper rash.  It’s been so bad that his booty-butt has blistered.  Every time it happens, I need to take extra precautions like using warm water on cotton squares instead of baby wipes, using a ridiculous amount of moisture barrier ointment, etc.  Not to mention he fights me every step of the way because it HURTS.  It’s literally a pain in the butt for both of us!

A few days ago, he blistered again.  I used a moisture barrier cream until the irritation had gone down, and then I tried some essential oils on that baby butt.  It seems it helped wonderfully at healing up the blisters, once the need for a moisture barrier had passed.

This recipe is simple!  Here is what I used for a toddler sized child:

  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
  • 4 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Coconut oil is something I always have in the house.  Studies like this one conducted by The International Society of Dermatology verify that coconut oil is extremely effective at keeping skin moisturized.  I often use this on my toddler post bath as well, in place of a commercial lotion.

Lavender Essential Oil has been shown in studies such as this to aid in healing wounds.  Lavender is often recommended as *the* go-to oil, as it is so effective at so many things.  In addition to wounds, lavender is effective at treating burns and may minimize scarring.

If your child is an infant, I would proceed with caution using essential oils.  Dilute heavily with coconut oil.  An infant’s skin is thinner than older children and thus extremely sensitive.

This recipe is for children and so it is extra important that you use a pure, therapeutic grade essential oil.  The skin absorbs everything put on it and small children cannot filter toxins as well as adults can.

Join the discussion!  What remedies do you have in place for diaper rash?  Share with me in the comments below!