Essential Oils for the Autumnal Equinox and the Fall Season

In the northern hemisphere, the 2019 autumnal equinox – one of two days each year when the length of day and night are roughly equal – fell on September 23rd. Regardless of the weather where you were (it was hot and sunny at my house!), this day represented the end of summer and official start of...

The Truth About Candles (and healthier options to use instead)

Who here LOVES candles???        Take a moment to think about what prompts you to bring a new one into your home.    Perhaps it's the fragrance that calls to you? Will it make your room feel cozy, comfortable, or relaxing? Or maybe it has a fresh, clean scent? Or a spicy aroma that’s perfect for the winter holidays? The scent of a candle can absolutely add to the ambiance of a space!    Or maybe you are compelled by a candle’s aesthetic appeal. Does the color or design fit perfectly with a particular room’s décor?  ...

How to Buy Low-Toxin Furniture

Hi, everyone! Until now, I've personally written all of the posts that have appeared on the Holistically Healthy Home website and haven't purposefully sought out any other contributors. That is, until I met Amanda Klecker of Healthy House on the Block , who knows many things about creating a healthier home that I still have yet to learn.   Amanda is a certified home inspector, who teaches homeowners how to keep their homes hazard-free and safe.  She's also a building biology practitioner helping find solutions to reduce toxins at home and improve the indoor air quality.  Like me, Amanda believes that the home is our second skin, which can either promote a healthy body or further burden it with toxins. While I am cer...

How to Make Beautiful, Non-Toxic Bath Bombs

Are you in on the bath bomb craze???    Bath bombs are an easy way for tired bodies and souls to wind down, relax, and indulge in a bit of pampering at the end of a long day. Depending on the combination of ingredients, they may help detoxify your body, moisturize your skin, soothe sore muscles, or reduce stress.    These colorful, fizzing orbs also make bath time considerably more fun for kids. Mention I have one and my 6-year old will run for the tub without complaining. Certainly better than the usual runaround!   Over the...

Why Soak Your Feet + How to Do it for Maximum Therapeutic Benefit

Feet… we rely on them to move us an untold number of steps in our lifetimes, but we rarely think of them (except when they hurt!) and do precious little to care for them. Seems to me they deserve more thanks than they are getting!  One way I’ve recently started taking better care of m...

How to Use Essential Oils for Focus & Concentration

There are times when we all need to increased focus to get something done, learn a new concept, or achieve a goal. Or when everything around us seems chaotic or out of control, leaving us feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, and ineffective. Essential oils are a great help to us in these situations, whether it’s to clear our minds, clarify our thoughts, provide grounding, increase retention of information, or offer a boost of energy. Here are some of my favorites to foster an additional measure of focus and concentration. This post may contain affiliate links . These links give me the opportunity to share products I truly use, love, and recommend. Affiliate links d...

Essential Oils for the Winter Solstice (and the Entire Season)

Today is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere.  Not familiar with this term? It’s the day each year when the sun travels on its lowest arc in the sky. This results in the shortest amount of daylight and longest period of darkness . It’s also the first official day of winter on American calendars. Yes, the sun is at its least today, with darkness prevailing for many more hours than the sun will be visible above the horizon. But rather than feeling bleak or oppressive, as some think of winter, it is instead the beginning of something… a day that shows us a gleam of light at the end of a long tunnel. Why?  Because tomorrow, we begin walking steadily and resolut...

Natural Weapons that Win the Battle Against Winter Illnesses

Searching for the best natural remedies to get you through the winter *ick*? Or to strengthen your immune system to the point that it can fight off just about anything? Then walk with me a bit...  I’m sharing some of my most effective tools!   My grandmother loved proverbs. You know, those pithy sayings that convey a deeper truth. They are not so much commonplace today, but she used them ALL THE TIME in regular conversation, especially when she was trying to teach me something valuable. I learned so many fro...

How to Use Essential Oils to Boost Your Immune System

I DON’T WANT TO GET SICK   (pleads everyone this time of year) !!!   This post (and  it's companion ) will show you the natural remedies you need to stay healthy until Spring! November is here! We are now well into Fall and hurtling quickly toward winter.  With the cooling weather has arrived various forms of seasonal “ick.” You know what I’m talking about… sniffling, sneezing, constantly...

8 Reasons You Should Drink Golden Milk

New to golden milk, a.k.a. the " turmeric latte "? You're missing out on a most delicious, nourishing treat!  Originating in India, golden milk is a centuries-old Ayurvedic drink that has recently been making inroads in other regions. This comforting beverage is traditionally made by simmering milk with turmeric and other spices, such as ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, or cardamom.  While some people find it soothing after dinner or before bed, others enjoy it right after waking, drinking it in place of caffeinated coffee or tea. I find myself reaching for it at all ends of the day! If golden milk's deliciousness isn't enough to draw you in, its key ingredients -- turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger -- possess sup...

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Welcome back to the third and final part of my series on healthy travel! You’ve planned wisely, packed smartly, and journeyed using strategies to best to avoid illness and counteract the stress that travel puts on your body. Now that you’ve reached your destination, how do you best support...

Healthy Tips for Planning, Packing, and Traveling to Your Destination (Healthy Travel Part 2)

My family rarely traveled when I was a child. As in only a handful of times in my first 18 years and only once outside of New York State. Seem strange? Blame it on the cows. Dairy cows that need to be milked twice a day, 365 days a year. That and the constant struggle to turn a profit keeps many dairy farmers, especially those who own small family farms, close to home. Both the time and the money to travel simply did not exist. Somehow, I went from knowing little beyond the rural town where I grew up to literally crossing the globe many times over. In 17 years of working for both government and international NGOs, I’ve touched down in at least 70 countries, many of them multiple times. Those trips have run the gamut, from h...

Ultimate List of Healthy Travel Snacks

My five-year old, Gabby, and I are hitting the road in a couple days for our annual trip north to my hometown. As a self-admitted "muncher," I have always been one of those who packs the car or carry-on luggage with plenty of snacks. However, after we were both diagnosed with food allergies several years ago (wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, and yeast, among others), stocking up before trips became an imperative....

How to Clean Your Home Without Toxic Chemicals (+ Recipes for Natural Cleaning that Actually Work)

Hi, again!  Welcome back for part 2 of my green cleaning series. As I discussed in  this blog post , many of the cleaning products on store shelves have been linked by peer reviewed studies to both acute and chronic health issues. Definitely not something to mess around with! Is it possible to clean your home (office, car, or any other type of facility) without all the harsh, health-compromising chemicals?  Absolutely! You can easily achieve this goal by making your own! This way, you have complete control over each and every ingredient. They are supe...

Are Your Cleaning Products Harming Your Health?

ARE YOUR CLEANING PRODUCTS SAFE FOR A CHILD TO CONSUME? If not (or if you’re not sure), this post is for you! THERE ARE HOW MANY CHEMICALS? There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today, the majority of which have never been tested and publicly assessed for safety. How can this be? First, there is an absence of federal regulations requiring that safety tests be conducted on chemicals. Second, the...

Essential Oils for Immune Support (and how to use them!)

Winter is upon us and many are already feeling under the weather.  My husband laid low for much of the weekend feeling less than stellar.   In addition, even healthy practices can put us at greater risk of weakened immune systems .  For example, prolonged periods of exercise and heavy training regimens are associated with suppression of  immune system  function, which can increase your risk of picking up opportunistic infections. Check out ...

Best Essential Oils to Improve Your Workouts & Athletic Performance

Are you struggling to maximize your workouts/training program or to achieve your performance goals because you're tired, stressed, frequently under the weather, or nursing an injury?  I’ve been there and know how frustrating it can be!  The difference between achieving and not meeting your goals is more than just your performance in the moment. It’s actually the "stuff" that happens between the competitions: stress, too little sleep, illness, missed training sessions, not fueling properly, or not using the right products to perform optimally.   Every decision you make, food you eat, and product put in or on your body will ...

Simple Guidelines for Diluting Essential Oils

I almost always dilute my essential oils before applying them to my skin.  Why? DOWNLOAD FREE DILUTION GUIDE Except in certain cases where applying oils "neat" or directly to your skin without a carrier oil may be appropriate (e.g., to stop active bleeding or immediately after burns, bug bites, or stings), dilution of oils is important before applying them to your skin.  Essential oils are VERY powerful and should be used with c...

Simple Homemade Body Butter for Pain and Inflammation

Most of us experience muscle or joint pain or discomfort from time to time. Whether we sustain an injury, overdo exercise or yard work, or have a chronic condition, we are looking for ways to experience relief. There are so many natural methods to consider, from massage to acupuncture to infrared sauna to yoga to heat and electric stimulation (electromyostimula...

14 Simple Ways to Aromatically Benefit from Essential Oils

We don't often think about the role that the scents we inhale play within our bodies. We may be vaguely or even acutely conscious of certain aromas, which can span the range from fresh, clean, light, flowery, spicy, earthy, or sweet to loamy, stale, musty, repulsive, putrid, nauseating, or just plain rotten. But does their effect go beyond the mere enjoyment or dislike of a particular scent?   Most definitely!  Your sense of smell elicits powerful physiologic, mental, and emotional responses. This means that the aromatic molecules that your nose takes in can impact your mood, mental proces...