Oh Sweet Serenity

I tend to purchase single-oil essential oils so I can mix my own blends and rollerballs.  There are some exceptions to this rule.  In fact, there are a couple of blends that I won’t do without.  One of these is an essential oil I was given as a gift, after my sweet 19-year old niece was killed in a car accident, and we were visiting family and attending her funeral services.  I was still fairly new to oils, but I found this oil to be soothing and calming, and in my opinion, it lived up to it’s name:  doTerra Serenity.

DISCLAIMER:  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  I am  NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.  I cannot give you medical advice or tell you that anything will cure or heal any condition or disease.  What I am is a woman who loves to use naturally-derived products in my home and for my family, and this post is full of my opinion.  Please consult with your physician before using anything for any medical condition or disease.

I was given a couple of sample vials of the oil by my friend, Shelly, who said it could be inhaled or applied to pulse points as needed. According to the doTerra website, Serenity is a blend of Lavender Flower, Cedarwood, Ho Wood Leaf, Ylang Ylang Flower, Marjoram Leaf, Roman Chamomile Flower, Vetiver Root, Vanilla Bean Absolut, and Hawaiian Sandalwood Wood.  Some of these oils, like Lavender and Roman Chamomile, have been used for centuries to soothe and calm and bring relaxation and rest.

Because it has such a pleasant scent (in my opinion of course), I found myself wearing it as a sort of perfume – as we were greeting family members and trying to support and comfort my brother and his family.  I would dab it on my neck and wrists and onto my hands – and I found myself feeling very relaxed and peaceful.  When I smell it now, I find it to be comforting and soothing.

As I have researched more and more, I learned that diluting the oil retains the overall scent, and provides a safer use than using it undiluted.  Because we don’t know the exact proportions of each oil within the blend itself, I treat it as a sort of Master Blend, and dilute it according to the recommendation of Lea Harris, my favorite certified aromatherapist (after you click the link, you can scroll down to see her comments about this NEW Serenity Blend).

This is my own personal experience – but I use it as a perfume especially in the car when kids are getting cranky and it really does seem to have a beneficial effect.  I will put it on and hug my kids when they are having a rough time before I even diffuse it.  (I wonder if it’s because pheromones with moms & kids are strong, and somehow there is a little bit of that going on with oils I apply to myself…)

There are ALWAYS exceptions to using essential oils.  Someone might be allergic to one of the oils used in the blend; Someone else might not like the scent at all; and some may find that the blend does nothing for them but smell nice.  But what I have found to be consistently true for this particular blend is that I tend to feel much better when I use it and it seems to have a beneficial effect on my children as well.  It is something my oldest daughter requests to use when she is feeling “stressed out” and she loves the scent as well.  If you would like to try to get a sample of this oil, please feel free to email me and request one.  Email me at FindingGraceandGlory at gmail dot com.

Essential Oils For When You Can’t Sleep

One of my biggest problems since having kids is regulating my sleep.  Between my all-night sleeper, my never-at-night-sleeper, and the-child-who-won’t-leave-our-bed sleeper – I have not had very many good nights of rest for many years.

As our kids have grown, their sleep patterns have almost flipped.  One of our kids is on medication to help her sleep.  Otherwise, she will be up all night, waking me up because she is bored. Or scared. Or hungry.

We have sleep walkers and sleep talkers.  We have bed wetters and middle of the night eaters.  And there are the occasional night terrors.

Yep – it has been exhausting.

When I discovered that lavender essential oil has a calming and sedative effect, I was happy.  I did notice that it helped calm me down when I used it for my nasty bout of poison ivy.  I also noticed it had a calming effect on my kids.

Lavender sachets – filled with dried lavender buds and leaves – have been used for centuries.  So the idea that the essential oil might be used for the same benefits was not completely out of the realm of the imagination..

Indeed, lavender is often recommended to help calm and settle people, especially at bedtime.  But I have read many comments by people who have said it has the OPPOSITE effect on them.  So, yeah – that is also not out of the realm of possibility.

I noticed after using lavender over a period of months that it did not seem to have the same effect of helping my kids or I fall asleep faster, so I started looking for some other options and found a few oils that were new to me.  (I was also looking for oils to help with ADHD symptoms in my kids, and funnily enough, these were the same oils to help settle for bedtime)

So here are a few oils I have found to be beneficial for helping settle me (or my little rascals) to sleep:

  • Cedarwood – because of it’s woody scent, this is a great oil to mix with other scents to make it more kid-friendly.  It blends especially well with sweet orange and lavender diluted in a rollerball!
  • Vetiver – research suggests this oil particularly works for ADHD, and is especially good for “racing thoughts” so if anxiety is playing a part in keeping you awake, this might be an oil for you.  I add this to every one of my sleep blends.
  • Ylang ylang – this smells just like I imagine a tropical flower to smell!  It can easily overpower the scents of other oils, so be sure to sniff gently and remember that less is more!

You can read more about essential oils for sleep at the following links:

8 Essential Oils for Sleep – by The Prairie Homestead

Essential Oils for Sleep – by Lea at Using EOs Safely

Sleep Tips – by Mommypotamus (not just about EOs)

One of the important things to remember about essential oils is that The Nose Knows!  There are some scents that may be so offensive to your nose that you cannot use them, regardless of their reported benefits.  If you apply an oil to help you sleep and then cannot sleep because it is an odor you can’t stand – you might need to make some adjustments to using it.  Vetiver was an oil I really had to get used to, and I found that blending it with other oils really made it more tolerable, and then I could reap the benefits without gagging over the smell…

Above all – if you don’t have a rollerball and aren’t sure about applying any essential oils to your body, get yourself a cotton ball – a good one, not one of those fakey synthetic cosmetic balls – and apply 1-2 drops of your chosen oils to the cotton ball.  Allow it to dry for a little bit and then seal it inside a plastic baggie. You can use it as a mini-inhaler for several days and refresh it every couple of weeks.

NOTE: some essential oils can melt plastic, so allow the oil to dry somewhat on the cotton ball before sealing it in a plastic bag…

Would you consider using essential oils to help you sleep?  Have you ever tried any essential oils for sleep?  Which oils worked for you?