Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Many-Faceted Life of Lavender: Seasonal Allergies


A few Springs ago we made a trip to South Georgia to visit family. Now, being a resident of the Memphis, Tennessee area I am well acquainted with seasonal allergies; but nothing had prepared me for the sneezing, itchy eyes, and total discomfort of the allergy season I encountered there. Nothing at all!

As a reflexologist, I know the value of reflexology for helping to relieve allergy symptoms. Alas, I did not have one available to me. Young Living Essentials Oils, however, are also a big part of my life. Of course, I had a goody bag full of these with me. I had heard others say that lavender on the back of the neck just above the hairline often often provided them great relief. Guess what? I tried it! It worked!! And I used it ALOT!!!

Lavender is often nicknamed the "Swiss Army Knife" of essential oils, because of its many-faceted benefits. I had often used a drop or two on my pillow as a sleep aid. I knew its potential effectiveness for helping to heal burns and skin irritations (diluted please). The benefits list goes on and on.

With Spring a great time of renewal we expect the pollens in the air. A bottle of lavender in your medicine cabinet (or better yet, in your purse or backpack) may be a perfect natural choice for you. If you would like to learn more about lavender essential oil, please leave a message here on the blog. I would love to share more.

To learn more about Young Living Essential Oils, please visit this link.

Just as an afterword here, I've also planted some lavender in my herb garden. Looking forward to some lovely fragrant flowers later this summer.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What's Growing in Your Herb Garden?

April 15th -- a well marked day on most all calendars at least here in The U.S. Tax Day! In the Memphis, TN area it marks an important day for gardeners as well. It is usually considered the safe date for the last frost to be past. Veggies, flowers, and herbs may be safely planted.

New growth belongs to Footsteps In Eden Reflexology's Spring renewal focus in the month of April. My thoughts have turned to an herb garden in a small prepared bed in my backyard. I'm eager to begin and even spent a little time this weekend to clean out some of it and discover a few new sprouts from last year's endeavors. I've also spent a little time investigating cultivation of herbs and have found a couple articles to share with my readers.

The first gives some basic information for planting herbs. It is found at The Tasteful Garden. The second -- and this one may be quite helpful to many of us -- discusses 10 things not to do with an herb garden. I'm perfectly willing to learn from another's mistakes. I'm including it here for you, too. It is found at The Skinny Gourmet. She grows her herbs on a fire escape in Chicago.

Where will you grow your herbs and what will you plant? I'm considering several herbs, and also some edible flowers. For those in the Memphis, TN area, the Memphis Botanic Garden Spring Plant Sale is this coming weekend -- Friday and Saturday, April 19th and 20th. Check their link in this paragraph to learn more. I know there will be lots of choices and lots of folks with 'sage' advice (pun intended) for those who would like to learn more. See you there!

By the way, I have found those poles for my front yard garden and will be ordering them this week. They are actually willow poles made into a planting sort of "tee-pee." Looking forward to my little piece of the garden world this summer. 

Photo from Canstockphoto

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Water with Lemon -- Are there Benefits?

Footsteps in Eden Reflexology is spending the month of April focusing on cleansing. Some aspect of this topic will show up each week this month as we prepare our weekly email communication with our clients. A recent challenge faced by a family member has me looking at the various cleansing options of which I am aware. Water with lemon is a common one, and one I believe may have some definite benefits for improving digestion and encouraging bodies toward a more alkaline state.

Rather than rehash it all here, I'm suggesting this link: Energize Alkaline Diet Blog. This blog writer has covered the subject thoroughly. Venture over there and learn much about alkalinizing the body, which may result in increased health and wellness.

High pH water is suggested. Last summer I discovered the BioCerra water system and invested in a filtering pitcher that enhances water with electrolytes and increased alkalinity. I have no vested interest in this product except to say that my family and clients have had the opportunity to benefit from the quality water it provides, and you and your family may as well. You will find this pitcher available at KHT Systems. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Enriching Home Cleaning with Essential Oils

Connie Scheel, a two time cancer survivor enjoying remission today, believes she has enhanced her life and her health by choosing many complementary and alternative approaches for herself and her family. I've invited her to share some of her story below along with recipes for simple, effective, and cost-effective recipes for green and healthy cleaning products created with Young Living essential oils. She would enjoy hearing your feedback. Please leave comments. You may learn more about Connie and the Young Living oils by visiting her on her Facebook page -- Catalysts to Connie's Wellness. 

Do you want it all when it comes to Spring cleaning? Perhaps quick, easy, inexpensive, pleasantly fresh smelling cleaning products that are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic and anti-fungal without any harsh chemicals? Therapeutic grade essential oils offer all of this along with a boost to the immune system and mood.
This may sound nerdy but I was really excited and relieved when I discovered 2 simple cleanser recipes that use essential oils.
I’m a two time gynecologic cancer Survivor enjoying 2 years and 4 months of Remission. Essential oils and I met shortly after my last chemo treatment. My body was suffering the side effects of chemo. My knees were extremely sore and my feet were numb. I was only 36, but struggled to walk, move and sleep. I was often exhausted yet fought insomnia and anxiety. My reflexologist friend suggested I try peppermint essential oil. I welcomed the suggestion since the medications my oncologist had prescribed to bring my relief only caused more side effects. Therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil delivered quick relief from my knee pain, brought feeling back to my feet, and nurtured my energy back. And I never have to worry about side effects as there aren’t any!
Then came therapeutic grade Lavender. Sweet, multi-talented Lavender. It lulled my body into blissful sleep and my anxiety faded. I became more intrigued with essential oils as my body and Soul healed from treatment, and so I began studying them. I was hungry to learn of more ways to use them to enrich my life.
Lavender comes from the Latin word lavare which means ‘to wash’. The Ancient Romans recognized lavender for it’s healing, antiseptic and cleansing properties. In 16th Century France it was regarded as an effective defense against infection. And it was used to dress wounds during WWI. Lavender is the most versatile essential oil, and is an adaptogen which means it literally aids in restoring overall balance to our bodies. It’s also well known for it’s relaxing properties. Lavender helps to restore emotional balance and soothes your nervous system. What an incredible combo!
My studies of essential oils also brought me lessons in the dangers of many of the cleaning and personal care products in my home. If you’re curious, check out this article from Organic Consumer Alert- How Toxic Are Your Household Cleaning Supplies? I was shocked, and had an urgent need to find an inexpensive, quick but very effective ways to clean my home.
So, cleaning with therapeutic grade essential oils became a life enriching experience for me. It’s allowed me to remove toxic and harmful chemicals from my life while make cleaning an immune system boosting adventure. I hope it will for you, too.
All Purpose Anti-Everything-Bad & Mood Boosting Cleaning Spray
12-16  oz spray bottle
1 cup white vinegar
Add water, fill almost of the top
Add 10 Drops of Young Living Lavender Essential Oil
For a stronger degreasing cleaner solution replace the 10 drops of Lavender essential oil with 5 drops of YL Lavender essential oil and 5 drops of Young Living’s Orange essential oil.
Gently shake to mix.
Kitchen and Bathroom Essential Oil Scrub
Fantastic for tubs, sinks, countertops
Empty clean, perhaps recycled, 12- 16 ounce glass jar with a tight lid
Fill the jar 3/4s full with baking soda (or Super Washing Soda for even more cleaning power)
Add 10 drops of Young Living’s Lavender essential oil
Gently shake to mix.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Front Yard Gardening... What We're Planning this Summer

(Photo from Front Yard Farmer website.)

Front yard gardening has created quite a buzz and a stir in recent years. Some neighborhoods and communities have tried to stop homeowners from cultivating well maintained vegetable plants and berry bushes in their front yards (and sometimes the back yard, too) while nearby grass yards sometimes left to go to weeds and neglect, were considered quite acceptable. Seems rather a silly argument in the day when we are all looking for healthier options for our families.

"Tennessee Home & Farm" (a publication for members of the TN Farm Bureau)  Spring 2013 issue featured front yard garden ideas. You too may visit the featured farmer's website/business. This really captured my attention. I believe you will be seeing a bit of this incorporated in our yard this year. While my herbs thrived quite well in the partial shade of our backyard, veggies didn't fare so well. 

We were offered the option of a stake in a community garden, but we believe we are a bit short in the equipment and time categories to keep that going. From my adventures around websites featuring front yard gardening, a couple ideas have stood out to me as a starting point for our home. So, on to our front yard garden adventure. I've included several links below. As you browse through them, I hope you discover some great options for yourself as well. 

Be looking for some bamboo tepees in our front flower bed.  (Does anyone know where we can find these bamboo poles (8-10 ft) in Memphis?) Well assembled, I believe they will be nice architectural features in the garden. They will offer support for tomato vines and beans. (I see them in the winter featuring Christmas lights and trims lending festivity to the landscape.) I've also discovered some elevated rolling veggie beds -- practical and aesthetically quite appealling. (These are pictured in the photo above.) However, they may have to wait until next year's expansion plans. You'll find more great projects like this at The Front Yard Farmer's website

I would love to add some beautiful blueberry bushes, too; but, be assured, for the most part our yard will remain green (and brown) and inedible. I'm praying for a bumper crop on the small portion we devote to food. 

So, you're not into gardening, but you would like to serve your family fresh fruits and veggies, support local farmers, and find sustainably grown varieties -- organic when possible. I would like to finish this article, then by sharing with you the options for local farmers' markets and food co-ops. We are so thankful their excellence in delivering fresh locally grown selections -- some of them organic, as well. Our little front yard garden adventure will certainly not provide all the fresh produce we would like, and we will be taking advantage of the offerings from these as well. Many of the markets will begin to open in early April. The co-ops are ongoing. And while we are speaking garden here, please know that you will also find some excellent choices in meat and seafood at some of these locations. You may know of others in Memphis to add to this list. Please do so in the comments!

Memphis Ag Center Farmers' Market
Westwind Farms

Here are some great Front Yard Gardening Sites. ENJOY!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Green Facts -- Celebrating St. Patrick

This month of March at Footsteps in Eden Reflexology we have our focus on green -- green living, green celebrating, green facts, just plain green! It just seems appropriate for the month that celebrates St. Patrick. This blog post will share a few of the fun facts we've discovered about St. Patty, the Irish, and Clover. Our sole purpose for you to just ENJOY!!

So as we celebrate green, the first interesting fact we're choosing to share:
The actual color of St. Patrick is BLUE. GREEN became associated with St. Patrick's Day during the 19th century. Green, in Irish legends, was worn by fairies and immortals, and also by people to encourage their crops to grow. (Sounds a bit -- or maybe even a whole lot superstitious to me -- but a fun fact none-the-less.)

In Chicago the Chicago River is dyed green for St. Patrick's Day (with green vegetable dye).

Lucky Charms, a favorite cereal brand among many, young and old, was created in 1963, with its popular mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun. Its jig is a memorable tune for many, including the young at heart.
Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes
Clovers and Blue moons
Pots of gold and rainbows,
And the red balloon

That's the luck of me lucky charms! 
Their magically delicious!

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest number of leaves found on a clover is 14.

The harp is the symbol of Ireland. The color green is also commonly associated with Ireland, also known as "The Emerald Isle."

On a more serious note:

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice -- which he believed to be God's -- spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland. To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. (Anyone else agree this many seriously could have used some reflexology?)

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each or us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.

We learned these facts by visiting the websites below. Be sure to check them out for yourself to learn more about this man's fascinating life and the land where he lived.  (check under holidays and St. Patrick)

Photo credit: