This post was most recently updated on May 18th, 2015

Okay, I don’t have much interest in the occult. But I am totally into home remedies and essential oils. Especially the ones that work. They could very well be the only reason I’m still alive to write this post today. Really.

The past couple weeks have been a little rough around the Keep. One child got sick, then the hubby got sick and it has just slowly overtaken each of the remaining members of the family, one by one. Allergies and sinus issues have plagued each of us to varying degrees, primarily because it is, literally, dry as a popcorn fart where we live. Knowing that what has us all in misery won’t be helped by an expensive trip to the doctor, we’re all just looking for something to get us the heck over this crap. Enter the home remedy and essential oils …

I first became a fan of essential oils several years ago when a friend of my mother introduced me. I studied them, took classes – even became certified in Aromatherapy. (Yes, it’s a real thing.) I love using oils because of their effectiveness and the fact that they are safe to use on my little ones, too – a huge bonus, since most medications, both OTC & prescription, carried risks and warnings about awful side-effects.

I purchased this handy little doo-dad …


It’s an ultrasonic diffuser. This particular diffuser allows me to add several drops of essential oil (or oils) to water and it disperses moisture and oil molecules into the air. We love it. There are several types of diffusers for personal use – this one happened to fit my needs and my budget. And the past couple weeks, the poor thing has been working almost nonstop. I’ve been using a combination of oils:


Breathe Ease©, Immune Strength©, and Lavender have been my mainstays, but I also add a few drops of Flu-Time© or Purify© occasionally to change things up. We apply the oils directly to the bottoms of our feet and/or chests and back, too, for added benefit. All these oils & blends are designed to promote a healthy immune system and alleviate respiratory issues and cold or allergy symptoms.

Now there’s an entire science to essential oils that involves their various chemical makeup, electrical frequency and properties. And even though I’ve been studying them for years, I’m not even going to try to give you all the information you need to know here. But I will give you the basics of what to look for and where to begin your essential oil education … First, make sure that whatever brand of oils you buy are Grade A Pure Therapeutic quality essential oils. That’s crucial. Also, make sure the company you purchase from uses steam distillation and/or cold pressing techniques to collect the oils. It’s important to note that not all oils are safe for everyone to use so keep safety in mind and don’t use any oil before thoroughly investigating its properties. And even then, exercise caution until you know how it will affect you.

There are a ton of companies out there selling essential oils but the two I trust most for my oils are Young Living Essential Oils and Rocky Mountain Essential Oils. I have used both of these companies for a long time and their websites are a great place to start your own research.


The other thing that has helped us all get over our icky icky sinus sicky is what I like to call: That Honey Cinnamon Stuff. (Yes, that’s really what I call it, even though it contains more than just honey and cinnamon.) I found a homemade cold and sinus remedy a few years ago online. I made it, tweaked it, tweaked it some more and finally settled on the recipe I’ve been using ever since. I mix it up in double (or even triple) sized batches and keep it in my refrigerator year round. My family has determined it works for allergy symptoms caused by hay fever, ragweed or cedar trees as well as colds, sinusitis and the occasional sneezing fit caused by mowing the lawn in mid summer.


The basic recipe:*

2 Tablespoons local Raw Honey

2 Tablespoons organic Apple Cider Vinegar WITH the Mother

1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger (fresh or powdered)

¼ teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper

2 Tablespoons Water

(If I happen to have a fresh lemon on hand, I add the juice of one half. If I don’t have lemon, I just leave it out altogether.)

Mix your ingredients in a lidded jar – shake that baby! – until everything is completely incorporated.

Dosage: Adults – 2 to 4 teaspoons, 3 to 4 times daily. Children – ½ to 2 teaspoons, 3 to 4 times daily.

* This recipe makes one batch. I generally make double batches, which means I double every ingredient amount. However, you can adjust the amount of cayenne pepper and/or ginger if you find it to be too spicy. You can also adjust the amount of honey vs. ACV if you need to – this isn’t made to taste like something you want to sip like a cocktail, but if y’all just can’t take the taste …

Store this in your refrigerator – it will last quite a long while – and take it at the first hint of a hot, itchy nose, watery eyes or scratchy throat. If you have a sensitive tummy (like me), take it with food to prevent discomfort.

Disclaimer: If you have allergies to any of these ingredients, do not use this remedy. And make sure you seek out a doctor’s care if your symptoms get worse or don’t go away. These are natural ways to help alleviate symptoms – not a promise of a cure, y’all!

Please mail me any questions you might have about essential oils – I’d be happy to share my experience and knowledge or help you begin your own learning journey!


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