The Healing Powers of Plant Essential Oils

Photo Courtesy of Mike Dierken

 

From over-the-counter to across the meadow: One woman’s experiences with self-education and plant-medication

By Sarah Elizabeth Colburn

The good, the bad, and the temporary fix

I grew up taking Advil and Tylenol for my constant headaches, vicks and Sudafed when I had a cold, tums for a tummy ache, and antibiotics when whatever I had caught turned into something more long lasting. My family did the best they could to take care of me the way they knew how to take care of themselves, and I’m truly grateful to them for that. I survived a few bad cases of infection, viruses, and anxiety attacks/fainting spells.

But did I thrive? No, I wouldn’t say that I thrived healthwise as a child, teenager or young adult. In fact, I was always sleeping off or riding out little bugs I would catch or bouts of anxiety or depression that would inevitably crop up. Headaches and stomachaches are two symptoms of disease that were a pretty consistent experience for me since I was very young, and I always seemed to get the same kinds of sicknesses over and over. Knowing what we as a culture know now about the negative effects and harmful ingredients in many over-the-counter and antibiotic drugs (not to mention the fact that they only mask symptoms temporarily and completely rob your gut of its natural probiotic flora), how could I perpetuate this practice? When I began to take responsibility for my own health as an adult, I had to make a change.


New mama steps up

I give you this background of how I grew up and what I experienced to preface my absolute passion and fervent curiosity of plant medicine. In my mid-twenties, I began researching more natural, alternative, and holistic methods of health care and treatment for different things—namely anxiety, digestive issues, acne, and general UNwellness. When I got pregnant, I knew that it was my chance for a new beginning in how I cared for myself and how I would care for the human I was bringing into this world. I visualized a perfectly developed and thriving child who would reach his full health and wellness potential and maintain it throughout his early years and into adulthood. When he was still in my belly, I saw my son as a physically strong, emotionally stable, mentally expansive bundle of joy. This was my dream as a mama-to-be and I knew it was up to me to make it happen.

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Elizabeth Colburn 

 

Miscellaneous but necessary changes

After some gradual lifestyle and dietary transitions, I started researching herbs and vitamins and alkaline water. I took reishi mushroom supplements during pregnancy to strengthen my fetus’s immune system. I began to only drink and shower in non-fluoridated water. I began reading the labels on EVERY package of food or bottle of household cleaner I bought, and I realized how many neurotoxins I was introducing into my environment unknowingly on a daily basis. I doubled our grocery bill because I insisted on only feeding our 6-month-old new eater (and us for that matter) organic produce and responsibly-raised meat.


The oils

While all of these changes have made a tremendous impact on my health and the health of my now two-and-a-half-year-old, nothing has empowered me more than starting to use therapeutic grade essential oils as our plant medicine. Essential oils can be used for everything from treating ringworm to beating a cold to calming a hyper child to cleaning the house.


What is an essential oil?

Essential oils are volatile compounds with hundreds of tiny chemical constituents that make up an extremely concentrated liquid. The oils are extracted from the berries, roots, bark, leaves, stems of trees and plants and rinds of fruits. The plants that produce the essential oil need to be grown in a specific region of the world, in a specific climate, and harvested at just the right time to get their optimum therapeutic value. It is also beneficial for the plant, the world, and your family if the plants are ethically and responsibly-grown and made by a company who has the farmers, the oils, and the oil users’ best interests in mind. 

Photo Courtesy of Nina Nelson 

 

How do I use them?

Essential oils can be used in three different ways: aromatically, topically, and internally. When you inhale an essential oil aromatically, your pineal and pituitary gland are stimulated, sending messages of healing, relaxing and calming to every cell in your body. Using oils aromatically is the best way to get the emotional and spiritual benefits of the oils.

Topically, the oils soak into your pores (just like every lotion, soap, makeup or other substance you put on your skin). The difference between essential oils and other cosmetic products is that the chemical constituents of the oils are so small that they soak into your bloodstream quickly and effectively, and there are no synthetic fillers, additives or dangerous chemicals in a certified pure therapeutic grade (CPTG) essential oil (sidenote: not all essential oils are created equally).

I only recommend the use of essential oils internally if you are using CPTG oils and you are aware of the list of oils that are generally recognized as safe to consume internally. When you take a drop of an essential oil under your tongue, in a glass of water or in a veggie capsule, the oil can quickly travel to where it needs to go in your body. Essential oils are living, bioavailable, and extremely effective and powerful.


Living proof

My two-and-a-half-year-old, River, has never been to a sick visit with his pediatrician—only well checks. He got ringworm when he was a year and a half and we treated it with melaleuca (tea tree) and lavender oil. The fungus was gone within three weeks. When he has had a fever, we put a drop of peppermint on the bottoms of his feet and three minutes later, I can literally feel his body temperature drop back to normal. When he has had a cough or congestions, we have diffused Breathe (a respiratory blend made of eucalyptus, peppermint, melaleuca, and other essential oils). When mama is going crazy, I use clary sage to balance my hormones, citrus oils to uplift my mood or lavender and ylang ylang to calm me down. I clean my counters, bathroom and floors with a mixture of lemon and a protective blend called OnGuard (cinnamon, rosemary, clove, wild orange, and eucalyptus). No chemical cleaners in our domain. I use the essential oils to compliment my own personal yoga practice and the yoga classes that I teach.

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Elizabeth Colburn 

 

Thriving

I would like to say that River and I are always “thriving” on a daily basis, but of course we have our ups and downs. Like every family, we get sick and we backtrack on our progress, and we recommit to our commitments and restart our resolutions—but we get back up quickly and are constantly learning and growing. Our immune systems are working for us, not against us, because we are feeding them with substances that promote vital health and longevity. We know that we can take our health into our own hands by making healthy choices as to what we put in our environment and in and on our bodies.

So how did I begin using essential oils? I began with buying a Family Physician Kit from a doTerra Wellness Advocate and diving into the vast plethora of research, stories, and information about essential oils that I could find at the library, the bookstore and online!

Visit my website at or email me for more information or a free personal wellness consultation.

Photo Courtesy of Nina Nelson  

 

What are your favorite ways to use essential oils? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and tag #myphilosophie!  

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Benefits of Reishi: A Magical Mushroom

 

It’s National Mushroom Day, loves! And let me tell you, we’re big fans of these nutritional fungi. While adding any kind of edible mushroom to your diet can produce awesome detoxifying benefits, there’s nothing more magical than the reishi mushroom.


This superfood that is included in our Philosophie Cacao Magic Superfood + Protein Powder has so many awesome health benefits including life-extending properties, anti-cancer properties, the ability to promote the regeneration of liver cells, and neuroprotective properties. Reishi mushrooms have also been found to help protect your immune system and provide a quick energy boost. A life saver for any busy mama.


Check out a couple of ways to use our Cacao Magic Superfood products for a healthy dose of reishi.

 

 

In smoothies - Our superfood products are an easy addition to any smoothie mixture. Take a look at our Classic Cacao Magic Smoothie recipe for a Cacao Magic smoothie favorite.


As a topping - Adding our honeys and butters on a piece of toast add a high vibe punch. Fruits like blueberries, or fresh figs covered with our Cacao Bee Honey + Cacao Magic Coconut Butter combine for an extra delicious snack.


Find more recipes using our Cacao Magic Superfoods on the blog and be sure to follow @PhilosophieMama for more tips and tricks to start your week healthy and balanced.

Simple Kale Salad

Apples! One of my favorite fall flavors. I love adding seasonal fruits to my dishes, including a simple salad. Why not try a salad with kale, the queen of greens? Not only does this salad set your taste buds on a fall flavor adventure, but it's packed with a ton of nutritional goodness. From kale to blueberries (adds a soft sweetness), almonds, spiralized veggies (a fun and light touch), apple (you can never go wrong with Granny Smith), and some nutritional yeast, lemon and bee pollen for a superfood punch. The crispness and crunch of this kale salad is worthy of any lunchtime treat.  

 

Gather This:

  • 1 bunch of Organic Kale
  • 1 handful of Organic Blueberries
  • ¼ cup slivered Almonds
  • Any spiralized veggies (we used spiralized Zucchini)
  • ½ sliced Apple
  • 1 rsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Sprinkle of Bee Pollen

 

Do This:

Chop Kale and set in a bowl, or serving platter. Sprinkle on Blueberries, sliced Apple, Nutritional Yeast, Bee Pollen, Slivered Almonds and spiralized Zucchini. Toss with lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO and dash of Nutritional Yeast!

 

What type of flavor combinations would you add to this kale salad? Show us your kale salad combinations on Instagram using #myphilosophie!

A DIY Philosophie Facial for Glowing Skin

As we've spent the summer playing in the sun and are now entering the cold air of fall + winter, it's time to give our skin some much-needed love + care. This week, carve out half an hour for a healing, detoxifying at-home facial that includes a Green Dream Mask, a Berry Bee Mask, and a nourishing Chrysalis Mist + Facial Oil. While you're letting the superfoods work their magic on your skin, relax in a Chrysalis Detox Bath to get the full-on spa experience. Afterwards, we promise you'll look + feel like a radiant goddess ♥ 
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Step 1: Draw a Chrysalis Detox Bath
In contrast to what you see at your local health food store, the Chrysalis Soak is not your mother's bath salts. This combo of sea salt, baking soda, grapeseed oil, and essential oils work together to open your skin and draw sluggish toxins out of your system, all while you're relaxing in a fragrant, skin-softening bath. 
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Step 2: Create a Green Dream Face Mask
Mix our Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend with water to create a thin paste and apply gently to your face so it can beautify your skin for 10-15 minutes. Spirulina, the star ingredient in Green Dream, brightens skin, combats free radicals, and helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles! 
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Step 3: Apply a Berry Bee Face Mask
This one's super simple! Just scoop out a spoonful of our healing, superfood-infused honey, apply it to your face, and let sit for another 10 minutes before rinsing off. We absolutely love honey for its healing, antibacterial properties. This golden liquid contains an abundance of minerals, vitamins, natural enzymes, and antioxidants that'll make your skin oh-so-healthy + beautiful. 
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Step 4: Mist Your Face with Our Chrysalis Water
A high concentration of acid-balancing witch hazel in our Chrysalis Water makes it a moisturizing miracle for skin, while the energetic flower essences renew the mind + spirit!
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Step 5: Apply a Chrysalis Face Oil

This healing oil acts as moisture balancer, problem skin solution, and anti-aging miracle.  It conditions and softens the skin while clearing up irritation, dissolving sebum in clogged pores, reducing wrinkles, AND firming the skin by boosting collagen production. 

In case you're wondering, I'm wearing a Beach Riot Bathing Suit – you can save 20% off yours with promo code, "sophie20"!  

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We'd love to see pics of your Philosophie Spa treatments! Share them with us on Instagram with #PhilosophieSuperfoods + #MyPhilosophie! 

Superfood Cookiewich Recipe

These supercharged ice cream sammies are a snap to make + are likely THE healthiest cookiewiches you'll get your hands on. Baked with coconut oil, almond flour, Cacao Bee Honey, chocolate chips, and our superfood blends, they're full of protein, vitamins, and minerals! When you tuck a spoonful of your favorite dairy-free ice cream in between two warm superfood cookies, you'll have a decadent, yet wholesome treat – and hopefully some leftover Berry Bliss, Cacao Magic, and Green Dream Cookies to crunch on later! 

 

Gather This:


    Do This:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add wet ingredients into one bowl and dry ingredients in the other bowl. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and then add the chocolate chips. Separate the dough into 3 bowls, and in each separate bowl, add one of the three superfood powders. Roll into one-inch, golf-sized balls, and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake each flavor for 10 minutes or so (depending on your oven)! Enjoy as is, or get a little extra indulgent like we did! Sandwich ½ cup of your favorite dairy-free ice cream in between two superfood cookies!

    What's your favorite superfood treat to bake up? Share it with us on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!

    Cacao Magic + Chameleon Cold-Brew Smoothie Recipe

    Happy National Coffee Day!

    Are you head over heels for cold brew AND nourishing superfood smoothies? I partnered with Chameleon Cold-Brew for National Cold Brew Day to bring you this special sponsored post featuring a super energizing, utterly divine Cacao Magic meets Chameleon Cold-Brew Smoothie!

    Whip up this dreamy, dairy-free smoothie as a nutrient-dense breakfast or midday snack when you want to boost your energy levels, sans any jitters. Plus, the low acid levels ensure no tummy troubles whatsoever. This high-vibrational cold brew seriously helps me make the most of my day and HUSTLE to share Philosophie love with the world.

    I especially love that Chameleon Cold-Brew steeps their organic, consciously-sourced beans for 16 HOURS. It definitely shows in the high quality flavor profile. The ultra smooth taste is why this is hands down my favorite cold brew, which makes perfect sense since they’re from Austin, Texas – a leader in all thing things hip + amazing.

    For this protein-packed cacao cinnamon smoothie, I poured in a couple ounces of the Chameleon Cold-Brew Vanilla Concentrate, which actually features ZERO SUGAR. I love this because I can control the sweetness of my smoothie (or iced cold brew drink) and add a touch of our Cacao Bee Honey, if my sweet tooth calls for it.

    If you happen to prefer a warm, soothing drink over an iced cold brew or frosty smoothie though, you can also heat up their cold brew and make a magical tonic or elixir!

    Gather This:

    .

    Do This:

    Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blitz. Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy!

    I’d love to see your superfood shakes, iced lattes, and tonics featuring Chameleon Cold-Brew! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest + tag us in your pics with #PhilosophieSuperfoods and #ChameleonColdBrew!

     

    Philosophie Tribe Discounts

    Welcome, Philosophie Tribe!

    I love spreading the word about the beautiful things that help me and my family stay healthy and happy and am thrilled to share the ❤ with you, my incredible community! In the list below, I share my favorites – everything from yummy snacks to fun wellness events – AND also provide promo codes so you can save big :)

    I recommend bookmarking this page since we update it often with new faves, as well as checking out my latest Heart of the Week every Friday!

    xx,

    Sophie  


    Food + Nutrition

    Square Bar

    These are a perfect smoothie topper for when you want a really filling and chocolate-y smoothie bowl. It’s definitely more of a dessert bar, but it has tons of protein so it balances out the sugar. They have a mint+chocolate flavor that is to die for, but every flavor I’ve tried so far is amazing.

    Save 20% off with promo code “PhilosophieMama”!

    Sun Potion

    I love adding Sun Potion’s tocos to my superfood smoothies! This magical ingredient not only gives smoothies their creamy texture, but is also exceptional for your skin and connective tissue!

    Save 20% off with promo code “SophieLove”!

    Ritual

    While I feel like there aren't a lot of vitamins or supplements that I can get behind, I've been a big fan of Ritual Vitamins for a really long time. Within HALF AN HOUR, I can feel a boost of energy from the vitamin B12. I love that I can feel the effects of Ritual so soon after!

    Use this link to buy your Ritual supplements: http://ritu.al/SJ

    Personal Care

    Osea Malibu

    As a super busy mom, I am a BIG fan of using all-in-one products. They are like little miracles that save me energy, money, and much needed time! I love OSEA Malibu’s deep cleanser, which is an exfoliating face wash, an amazing anti-razor burn shaving gel, and an awesome solution for acne spot treatment - all in one bottle.

    Get free shipping with promo code “PHILOSOPHIE”!

    Apparel + Accessories

    Beach Riot

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    Save 20% off with promo code “sophie20”!

    Neshama Project Jewelry

    My soul sister, Rachelle Tratt, makes these beyond beautiful jewelry pieces with stones from Israel. I love that 10% of each purchase goes towards supporting Innovation Africa.

    Save 15% off with promo code “Soulsister"!

    Diff Eyewear

    Not only are these sunglasses super cute, DIFF Eyewear also donates a pair of reading glasses for every pair of sunglasses sold. How amazing is that?

    Save 25% off with promo code “SOPHIEJ”!

    Events

    Good Festival LA (February 2018)

    Join me at this all-day event created to ignite your passion for wellness and inspire you to achieve your GOOD life! I’ll be speaking and can’t wait to drink green juice, meditate, and powwow with you.

    Save $10 off with promo code “PHILOSOPHIE 10”!

    For the Kiddies

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    BlackiBoys

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    Save $20 off with promo code "sophie+mamas"!

    What special things spark joy for YOU? Tell us on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!