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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Heart of the Week: Athleisure

In an age of influencers, it’s so much harder to find brands you can trust and separate the truth from the sell. I’m bold and true in everything I do; if I don’t truly believe in something then I’m done with it. That said, here are a few of my all time favorite athleisure brands. They’re mostly smaller, fair trade companies that give back and empower you to be your best self. 

 

Athleta

Support fair trade businesses! Especially ones as amazing as Athleta. Everything about this brand is perfection, from their unique colors to the way their fabrics sculpt your body. You deserve to feel beautiful even when you’re lounging around eating yummy Philosophie superfood smoothie bowls.


Year of Ours

I love this brand because it’s one that I can trust. Not only are their clothes comfy and stylish, they’re all made in America by a group of boss women. They sell everything from sports bras to velour sweats, giving you a variety of chic activewear style options for any occasion. My favorite thing about Year of Ours is the way they’ve designed their clothes to fit any body type, including one that gets rounder every week!


Electric and Rose

I’m in LOVE with this athletic gear. I found them a few years ago and can confidently say at least half my wardrobe is Electric and Rose. They’ve got it all: bras, leggings, hoodies, tanks, pants, shirts and dresses. I adore their vibrant patterns and designs that bring out my energy and encourage my body to move. The co-founders are an adorable couple from Venice with a simple story and big manifestations. Small businesses are able to capture a signature look and voice that truly inspires authenticity.


Varley

As a mom-preneur myself, seeking brands with the same kind of foundermade as my own is so important to my everyday life. I go out of my way to seek brands that fit so nicely into my own beliefs and values as a social impactor. Varley was created by a young, London-based mom who fell in love with Santa Monica and wanted to blend the two worlds. She’s a mom who put so much love into her brand that Varley is now carried by retailers worldwide. She’s an inspiration and her clothes are supportive for a mama to be.


Outdoor Voices

This one is simple. They have a section for dog walking! Need I say more? They’re all about getting your body moving in any way possible no matter how small the activity is and I support any brand with that mission statement.


Here are some honorable mentions that don’t shine like the ones above, but still offer a good deal.

Lululemon

ALO

Show Me Your MuMu

Spiritual Gangster


At the end of the day, finding your athleisure brand requires listening to your body’s needs. Follow your intuition before you throw money and energy at a brand that doesn’t support you back.


What are your favorite athletic brands? Share with me on Twitter using #MyPhilosophie or #PhilosophieLove

Toast 4 Ways Recipe

I’m feeling extra rejuvenated after the long weekend spent away with my family. Escaping with Adi and the boys allows us to relax and take things slow all the while making memories together in pure bliss. I always leave these trips ready to tackle the week ahead with newfound energy and ambition. Of course, I take this energy to the kitchen. There’s really no other better food base to experiment on than a warm toast. It’s the perfect canvas, especially when you still need to go grocery shopping and have to use whatever is still lying around.

A good toast is a perfect snack after a long weekend and you can make a wide variety (as I did here) for your whole family. For these toast variations we used all different spreads and toppings for whatever mood you or your family + friends are in! You can break this out after a sleepover or a workout class with the girls and everyone can mix & match! All of these toasts use Philosophie Superfoods in some form for an extra superfood + nutrient boost.


Gather This:

4 slices of toast (we love Canyon Bakehouse GF or BarelyBread)


1 tbsp Almond Butter

1 sliced banana

1 tbsp Cacao Bee Honey


2 tbsp Beet Hummus (RECIPE)

1 tbsp Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning 

A sprinkling of bean sprouts

Sprinkling of Berry Bliss Superfood + Protein Blend


1 tbsp Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese

½ avocado sliced

Green Dream pesto (RECIPE)

A handful of sprouts


2 tbsp Hummus

2 roasted carrots, sliced

A handful of sprouts

1 tsp Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend


Do This:

Toast all bread.

Slather almond butter, sliced banana and a drizzle of Cacao Bee Honey on one piece of bread. Spread beet hummus, bean sprouts seasoning, and Berry Bliss Superfood + Protein Blend on the second. Add cream cheese to the third piece, a sliced avocado, a dollop of pesto, and a sprinkling of both Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend and sprouts. Lastly, spread hummus, slice the roasted carrots, and a sprinkle of sprouts and Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend.

ENJOY

How are you feeling after long weekend? Celebrating this magical #ToastTuesday the Philosophie way? Share all your toast creations on Instagram using #PhilosophieSuperfoods or #MakeEverySuperfoodASuperfood.

Spoiling Your Inner Valentine

Hallmark cards, candy hearts, rosebuds, chocolates - the list goes on and on for your hubby, mom, sister, kids, classmates, and friends, but what about your true #1? Loving yourself is not about being selfish or a narcissistic. It’s not about telling the world what you want and complaining when you don’t get it. Self-love is about looking at yourself through the eyes of a loving mama, a loving spirit. It’s looking at yourself from the outside and asking “how can I treat this soul with the most love and care it deserves?”

Self-love is simply about wielding your power to act from a place of kindness + respect toward your entire SELF.

So on a day all about love, how do you honor your true valentine? You spoil and treat yourself all day! Play your favorite song in the morning, wear your favorite outfit, take yourself out on a date, and above all else indulge in some sweets and self care rituals. Act as if you're having a love affair … with yourself.

Take your morning slow. Light some Palo Santo and journal a love note to yourself. Talk about your favorite physical attributes and what you’re proud of to show off. Write all of your dreams over the month + year and all the qualities you possess to accomplish these goals.

Bake something sweet and decadent. Here’s a round up of my favorite Philosophie sweets.

Cacao Magic Fiber Breakfast Cookies

Raw, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cake !! Chocolate Lovers Beware!

Cacao Magic Peanut Butter Cups

Paleo Thin Mints Recipe

Superfood Donut Recipe

At the end of the day, use your favorite bath + body products all over your skin. Drink your favorite warm tea and maybe soak in a bath. Pair it with this simple, 2-step DIY Philosophie face mask:

First: Take 1-2 tsp of Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend mixed with water in your hand and apply to your face for 15 min.

Second: Take 1-2 tbsp Berry Bee Honey and apply to clean face for no less than 30 min.

A true lover wants to take care of you in every way possible. So take care of yourself by putting yourself first. Life is meant to be good. Crazy, sexy, ridiculously good. When you take care of yourself, everything improves dramatically and the romantic partnership, body confidence, and dream career … all come naturally.

How are you celebrating yourself this Valentine's Day? Share your favorite self love sweets and rituals on Instagram using #PhilosophieLove or #MyPhilosophie.

 

 

National PIZZA Day!

 

Today is National Pizza day and you know we're all about BALANCE here at Philosophie Superfoods, so without a doubt we're celebrating this holiday hard! Our bellies did a serious happy dance once we started noshing on this yummy combination! PLUS this stunner is loaded with tons of health benefits thanks to the addition of Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend, arugula and cauliflower. 

 

Check out this majorly flavorful gluten-free/dairy free Superfood Pesto Pizza, and let us know what you think!

 

Gather This:
1 Cauliflower crust plain or with toppings on (extra credit for making your own!)
1 batch of roasted cauliflower florets
1 cup sauce of your choice (we love Rao's)
Shredded good quality cheese or a dairy free blend (Daiya makes a great vegan option)
a handful of arugula
Philosophie Green Dream Pesto: recipe
drizzle of Truffle oil (optional)
salt + pepper to taste

 

Do This:
Roast Cauliflower florets on 400 for 15 minutes, take out and set aside once cooked. Cook pizza crust according to directions. Spread on sauce, sprinkle of cheese and cook until melted. While thats in the oven, whip up our favorite Green Dream Pesto recipe found here: Take pizza out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Top with cooked Cauliflower, fresh Arugula, pesto, (optional truffle oil drizzle too for extra noms!) a sprinkling of Green Dream, S+P! enjoy!
How are you celebrating National Pizza Day the Philosophie Way? Comment below!

New Moon in Aquarius

We’re anxiously preparing ourselves for the New Moon in Aquarius on February 15th. What will happen?

The moon is born again preparing for her new cycle. It’s a time to set intentions for the next cycle. Each New Moon offers the space to tap into a new version of ourselves and depending on the sign it lies in you can experience different versions of yourself and reach into the dark corners of your soul to better bring them into the light.

I partnered with Jill Wintersteen of Spirit Daughter and created a beautiful yoga flow for her New Moon workbook. Jill took the time to breakdown the workbook and the magic behind this New Moon. 

For millions of years there has been a natural cycle of energy that flavors our atmosphere, the Lunar cycle. The Moon is as present in our world as the Sun and highly predictable once we learn her rhythm. Her energy is strong and pulls on our energetic body the way she pulls on the tides of our seas.

So why not align with the Moon’s energy and use it to help you build your dreams? We have the information to do just that. Starting and ending each cycle with the New Moon, we can create a map for our manifestations.

The Moon, like the planets, is flavored by the zodiac sign it’s traveling through. The New Moon is always in the same sign the Sun is currently in, making this unique energy extra potent during this period. We can align our thoughts and energy with the qualities of the zodiac to best utilize the energy and information available to us. This is what the New Moon Workbook guides you to do.

Each month the Workbook is written with the intention of aligning you with the most powerful phase of the the Lunar Cycle- the New Moon. It is themed by the sign of the Sun and the New Moon. This month the workbook’s theme is Aquarius. You can start using the workbook as soon as the Sun enters Aquarius (January 19th) and up to the New Moon in Aquarius February 15th. The workbook gives you information on what the Aquarius season means, and what types or yoga, meditation and crystals will serve you well during this season.

As we approach the New Moon, the workbook guides you on important astrology affecting the Moon and you. It helps you prepare your mind, body and spirit for this monthly astrological event. There is also a section called Moonscopes, which will tell you how your personal Moon will be affected by the Sun Season and the New Moon. This often is people’s favorite part of the book because it is personal advice to work with each month.

The heart of the Workbook is the questions and intention setting section. Each month we have the opportunity to work on ourselves through the New Moon and bring balance to certain qualities within us. Themed by the New Moon sign, the questions are designed to help you gain access to behavior patterns and beliefs held depth within and are subconsciously directing your behavior. It is suggested you start these questions on or around the New Moon.

After you’ve given yourself time to work with the questions, it is time to dream. Dreaming is the form of intention setting taught in this book. You are guided to explore your dreams and create visions of your future. It’s important to feel into your dreams and allow your intuition to guide you to your true desires. After you’ve created your dream, the workbook invites you to set powerful intentions to call in the energy needed to manifest your dreams. It’s all about holding the vision and allowing yourself to receive the energy from the universe to live your best life.

The mission of the New Moon Workbook is to give you a monthly check in, and a reminder that anything you want is possible. The Workbook’s intention is to hold space for the parts of you that need healing and light shone on them. When we can truly witness every part of us, we can love every part of us. With this love, anything is possible and you become the true designer of your destiny.

Set the space and pair this workbook with our Magic Moon Satchels. You can purchase the workbook at: bit.ly/newmoonsophie  

Photo by Spirit Daughter

What intentions do you plan to set for this New Moon? Share with me on Twitter using #PhilosophieLove or #MyPhilosophie

Body Bliss Collard Green Wraps Recipe

I’ve been all about self-care lately. Growing little baby girl inside me has offered the space to reflect and take time to care for my body deeply. I want to make the perfect little home for her and that starts with taking the best care of myself. Daily naps, exercising, beauty + skin treatments, and an endless supply of yummy nutritious food.

Philosophie Babe, Amrit-Sadhan from Body Bliss Life created this amazing green recipe, which not only satisfies you, but also includes ingredients that help keep your body moving and glowing on the outside.

Coupling collard wraps with peppers, carrots, tempeh and mint leaves is a perfect lunch when you’re starting to feel a mid-day crash. I love reaching for extra veggies during the day as I’m usually bouncing from place to place and need all that extra fuel. Drizzled on top is a peanut sauce made of organic peanut butter, Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend and Green Bee Honey. Philosophie Green Dream superfoods are made with chlorophyll, which is basically ingesting liquid gold; super good for your digestive system + body.


Gather This:

1 cup quinoa

1 bunch collard greens

1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper

2 carrots

2 handfuls fresh mint leaves

8 oz tempeh

2 T coconut amino acids


GREEN DREAM PEANUT SAUCE:

1/4 cup organic peanut butter

2 T toasted sesame oil

2 T rice wine vinegar

2 T coconut amino acids

1 tsp Green Bee Honey

1 tsp Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend

1 clove of garlic, grated

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated


Do This:

Preheat your oven to 350.. Slice the tempeh into 1/4 inch slices and lie on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with coconut amino acids and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden on the edges.

In a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the peanut sauce and set aside. If the peanut sauce is too thick for your liking, add a bit of filtered water.

Wash and dry the collard greens. Take a knife and carefully cut the stem off. Thinly slice the bell pepper and shred the carrots.

To assemble the rolls: lie the collard green out on a clean cutting board. Place a large spoonful of cooked quinoa, 2 sliced of tempeh, a few bell peppers, carrots and mint into the center of the leaf. Tuck both sides over the filling and roll

These can be made several days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you don’t like tempeh you could use tofu or leave it out completely.


How are you getting in your daily dose of green? Share your favorite Philosophie Green Dream recipes on Facebook using #PhilosophieSuperfoods or #MakeEveryFoodASuperfood



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