Friday
Mar202015

Is peppermint oil safe for babies and children?

When it comes to essential oils, one can get lost in a sea of opinions.

To be able to give accurate information to those who ask about the essential oils in a few of MadeOn's products, I consulted with Robert Tisserand, author of the huge and hefty (700+ page) book, Essential Oil Safety. Read about his review of our Bug Block here.

Let's dig into peppermint oil safety, the ingredient in our Peppermint Lip Balm.

Here's a quote from Mr. Tisserand's book:

Peppermint oil is a low-risk skin allergen, and no use restriction for skin reactivity is needed. It is clear from both acute and sub-chronic data that peppermint oil is neurotoxic in high doses.

Let me interject that his reference refers to high inhalation doses, oil taken internally, peppermint oil applied directly to the skin or situations where a patient already suffering from essential oil sensitivities  reacted to a 5% dilution.

Peppermint oil has GRAS status. GRAS stands for "Generally Recognized as Safe" according to the FDA. Because peppermint oil content can vary based on where it was harvested, I checked to make sure my supplier's peppermint oil falls within ISO standards (International Organization for Standardization). As long as one purchases from a reputable source, this shouldn't be a problem, but it's easy to go the extra mile to check percentages of pulegone and menthone content of the peppermint oil used in a product. I checked, and we're well within the guidelines recommended within ISO standards (it would take a lot more peppermint oil to be taken internally before the body would show any signs of neurotoxicity.)

So as long as we're not drinking peppermint oil, we're safe. But what are the guidelines for the oil added to skin care products?

Here are the guidelines recommended by The Commission E. Monograph (a German advisory board):

  • 5-20% in oily and semisolid preparations [in my (Renee's) opinion, this would mean lotion bars and lip balms]
  • 5-10% in aqueous-alcoholic preparations
  • 1-5% in nasal ointments
  • 6-12 drops as an average daily oral dose [Renee: okay, so maybe a bit in a drink is okay]

Our peppermint lip balm is within the safety guidelines above.

There is one warning for children, however:

If peppermint oil is instilled into the noses of young children, a neurotoxic dose could be attained. (Robert Tisserand)

Even though I personally read the above statements, and all of Mr. Tisserand's extensive research, to mean that peppermint oil used in a lip balm is safe for people of all ages, you will have to evaluate your own comfort level and interpretation when using it. You will find varied opinions on the internet, but from what I've read, it stems from situations where a child has direct access to pure, undiluted peppermint oil. 

The bottom line: when used in cosmetic formulations within a particular guideline for dosage, peppermint oil is safe for people of all ages. MadeOn follows the guidelines for both peppermint oil to lip balm formulation ratio, and safety amounts of pulegone (that comes from the soil the plant is grown in) and menthofuran that constitutes the oil. But it's your call, and your comfort level.

(Final safety note: if you suffer from cardiac fibrillation, or have a G6PD deficiency, you should avoid it all together.)

Tuesday
Mar172015

How safe are the mosquito-repelling essential oils in this all natural bug block?

All-Natural Bug Block.

How safe are the essential oils in it?

Over the past few years, everyone has been touting the benefits and remedies of essential oils. Now there seems to be some questioning going on about the potential toxicity and dangers of them.

Last year a well-respected blogger wrote to tell me that she didn't feel comfortable telling her audience about our Bug Block because the percentage of essential oil to the rest of the recipe was too high. It wasn't safe, she said.

Ingredient list: beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and essential oils of cedarwood, lavender and citronella.

Where did I go for answers? To avoid getting lost in the online sea of opinions, I skipped the second hand sources and went straight to the single most respected authority on essential oils, Robert Tisserand.

Here is his review of my Bug Block ratios in direct response to my questions:

Response from Robert Tisserand (RT):

Based on the recipe you gave me, your essential oils total about 7.5%. With the 3 essential oils in equal proportion, that's 2.5% of each.

According to Mr. Tisserand, for most users, this is completely within the safe zone. Let's dig in a bit deeper:

Are these safe levels for each of these three oils (citronella, lavender and cedarwood)? RT: Yes they are. Just know that very occasional allergic reactions are possible with almost anything, though I don't think you need to have a warning on your label.

Are they safe for all ages of people? RT: Well, there are no clear guidelines for a product like this, but 7.5% EO would be high for an infant (up to two years) and might even be high up to 5 years. In the end, your call.

Would changing the individual oil ratio make any difference to safety? RT: No, they are all very safe oils in terms of adverse skin reactions, and also general toxicity.

Does essential oil added to a melted product that would solidify to a solid state make the essential oil less effective? - no, this will not make it less effective, the worst that can happen is that you get slight evaporation and EO loss due to the heat.

The bottom line: this expert feels the amounts and types of ingredients used in our all-natural Bug Block are completely within the safe zone for essential oil usage (with the exception of babies and toddlers, and possibly those under the age of five).

Based on Mr. Tisserand's review, I have updated my product information to cite a caution of babies and children under five using the product. I'm very grateful to Robert Tisserand for sharing his expertise with me. Mr. Tisserand is the author of Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals-, 2e (aff link).  His book is a hefty 700+ pages and pricey, although a bargain for the amount of information he shares in it.

Renee Harris, owner
MadeOn Skin Care

P.S. Now you know the essential oils in this bug block are safe. But do you know why mosquitoes can't stand them? (It might surprise you). Find out in my next message.

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Thursday
Feb262015

Act on your Craft ebook is now for sale on Amazon

After writing four short ebooks of skin care recipes, I finally put together something that has interested many of my readers for quite some time, based on the questions I get about selling products.

The experiences of selling at craft fairs and farmers markets are really what drove me to figure out a way to explain my products online, through a website, where traffic would come to learn and buy. But first, I had to learn how to do that in person.

Farmers markets were the way to go, especially when explaining something unique like hard lotion.

In this ebook, I compile not only my own experiences, but also the ideas, trials, and successes of many other female business owners who have figured it out.

Buy the pdf version of the ebook on my website, or click here to get it on your Kindle device through Amazon.  For a limited time, the Amazon version is only 99 cents.

Monday
Nov032014

Living among Coconut Trees in Ivory Coast

Photo Credit: click photo

In the last post, you read about Lisa's experience of growing and harvesting cacao (cocoa) in her own backyard.

She and her family also planted coconut trees. Here's her story:

The coconut trees produce in about six years. We just plop a coconut that has sprouted in the soil and off it goes. Our trees were over a story tall, maybe two, and the boys would shimmy up them with no problem.  Then they would grab the fronds and pull themselves up in the crown to stand there. They were a part of the huge rattle top that swayed in the wind. We would harvest them when they were green because that is when you can get the sweet milk from them. There were coconut trees in the village but someone said they were hexed and the cause of the village's problems (I don't know why) so they cut them down. That was a pity.

Monday
Nov032014

Growing Up Among Cacao (Cocoa) Trees

Photo Credit: click photo (Wikimedia)

Last month I was privileged to meet Lisa, a mom of three who, with her husband, raised their children on the west side of Ivory Coast. The stories she shared about the cacao (cocoa) trees were fascinating.

Here's her story:

In the region where we lived were many cacao growers. They plant the trees and manage them. The cacao trees produce in around four years.  Cacao is the French derivation for cocoa. Ivory Coast is a French country where French is the business language. They harvest the beans then they are fermented I think for about 7 days under banana leaves.  Then they are turned and covered again for another 7, or so, before laying them out in the sun to dry. The people then sell the harvested beans to the Lebanese, who are the middle men.  Then they are sold to the large companies like Hersheys who will extract the cocoa butter from it and process it.

We also put in some cacao trees and our kids harvested them and did the above.  We then made chocolate cake with it. It was lumpy and we didn't process it so it was rich. The kids also liked to suck on the cocoa beans when they first came out of the pod. They have a sweet/sour white pulp on them.

We had a dinner once where we invited around ten men and twenty showed up. (The men and women don't eat together so we invited the men.)  For dessert we served chocolate cake. They were astounded at it and said it was so sweet. We told them that it came from their cocoa beans. They exclaimed in delight, "Ah, so that is what they do with it."

Lisa also lived among coconut trees.... read that post here.

 

 

Monday
Sep152014

Why I Purchased Several Bundles for Friends


I just bought a bunch of bundles for my friends...

It's Renee from MadeOn here and I want to tell you why I did that. I've participated in bundle sales before, both as an e-book author, and as a company contributing gifts to those who buy the bundle, but this year's Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is the first bundle that got me so excited that I purchased some for friends. Here's why:
  • Every friend I offered this to has some degree of interest in healthy living, so I knew they'd be excited about the content.
  • My friend Sara already bought the bundle before I had a chance to offer it to her, and she urged the others to accept my offer. She's an expert on allergies and really helped me work through a 6 month allergy issue I had with my 11 year old, to figure out what his symptoms were coming from.
  • Elizabeth and Marla both were already quite familiar with essential oils (Elizabeth bought me one of my favorite EO books a few years ago and Marla now sells EO's), so I figured they'd enjoy the BONUS essential oils course that comes with the bundle purchase (it's one of the free e-courses, valued at $95).
  • Angie lives a few miles away and we sometimes compare notes about local doctors, chiropractors and massage therapists, so I know she'll be interested in the books, especially the health-related ones.
  • Stacey recently researched natural alternatives to a skin condition she was dealing with this past summer, so I know she'll be excited to have a wealth of resources from not just the e-books in the bundle, but the many blogs, which are the starting point to researching healthy alternatives.
  • Janet is someone who understands science and biology well, and she likes to research, so I think she's going to dig the opportunity to get into sourdough baking and fermenting, especially with the sourdough starter bonus she can take advantage of.
  • My friend Doina hasn't answered my offer yet, but she's put me on to so many fabulous food blogs over the years that I'm not surprised if she already bought it. (Doina? Are you reading this? Read your FB message!)  Kate and Katy also haven't responded yet but both just had babies in the past two months, so if they let me purchase the bundle for them, they'll want to get the freebies from The Joyful Giraffe and Sweet Bottoms. Kate is a Master Gardener and the bundle includes six gardening/homesteading e-books. If Elaine, whose infant son suffers from extreme eczema, can get any relief or answers from even one of these resources (there's an e-book on that, too!), the bundle will be completely worth it for her.
Do YOU have a friend who might be interested in the bundle before it's gone? You only have until Monday at midnight to take advantage of it, and then it's gone. Tell a friend!


Thank you, friends: it's because so many of you have already purchased the bundle through my recommendation and affiliate links, and also took advantage of MadeOn's free gift offer, that I can now buy bundles for some of my close friends. If you've purchased, I'd love to hear what your favorite part of the bundle has been. Reply and let me know!
Thursday
Sep112014

About the free essential oils e-course


Essential Oil Confusion?

…the e-course that comes with the bundle.


In a previous email, I told you about MadeOn's part as a sponsor in the Healthy Living Bundle happening right now.  Because you've shown interest in DIY or specials, I want to make sure you knew about this other company's e-course that comes with the bundle. 

In addition to the gift you receive from MadeOn for purchasing the bundle (for $29.97), you'll also have access to a $95 e-course from Vintage Remedies, Inc. 

I took the first class and I'm impressed. The first few videos explained the various forms of aromatherapy and why there's confusion between the approaches and philosophies. If you're trying to make sense of what you read online and in books, this course will help you sort through all the information to make the best decisions for your family.

What I like: It's an e-course… with a quiz… that won't let you continue until you've passed it. And, you have a timeline to complete the course. You can pace yourself, but it's not something to sign up for and forget about. 

What else I like: I took the course, and then used the recipe to make a very simple antimicrobial spray. My husband loved it - it reminded him of the hospitality practiced in Turkey with a lemon cologne offered to guests for their hands when they enter the home. I loved what the spray did for my hands. It was a very light oil that felt refreshing on the skin.

And this, too: They take a scientific, evidence-based approach to essential oils, combining thousands of clinical studies with timeless tradition of botanical medicine.

What this course is NOT: You won't have to worry about having essential oil sales offered to you. It's not an MLM. They don't sell oils. They sell courses, books and webinars. You can even earn a college degree through their connection with the Franklin Institute of Wellness. Advanced Phytochemistry, anyone?



So why am I promoting Vintage Remedies? Because I'm impressed with this company and I know that you, like me, get bombarded with essential oil messages daily. The founder is not only a mom, but she spent years as a childbirth professional, and then later studied both in the U.S. and London, to eventually becoming a professional teacher and conference speaker. Another course instructor is certified in culinary arts, and you can expect to learn which essential oils are safe to integrate into your baking. 

This is a fabulous opportunity because this $95 course comes FREE with the purchase of a Healthy Living Bundle.  But the bundle ends soon.

If you have any questions, feel free to reply to email me or go check out Vintage Remedies to see what they're all about: http://www.vintageremedies.com/default.asp


 

Disclosure: I am a sponsor (I offer free stuff) and an affiliate (I get a cut if you buy the bundle using my link). Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Wednesday
Sep102014

ebook review: The Super Simple Guide to Decluttering and Deep Cleaning

The Super Simple Guide to Decluttering and Deep Cleaning: One of the paperback books that changed the way I cleaned house over 10 years ago was Don Aslett's "Clutter's Last Stand."  Have you read it? That was when I decided I didn't need to hang onto my high school yearbooks, the boxes of curriculum from my high school teaching days, and a few wedding gifts still in boxes from people whose names I didn't recognize. This isn't one of Don's books, but it's right up there in value, because the author Sandy Kreps not only encourages the reader to toss what isn't being used, she gives bite size chunks of challenges that will make cleaning your home a cinch. 

What I like: "This ebook is a crash course in home simplifying and deep cleaning. With this ebook, you can do a complete once-over of your entire home in as little as one weekend."

How can you not want to read a book has this as the goal?!  Now there are steps that you'll need to accomplish in order to get to that point but those steps are broken down into manageable pieces. This book also includes information on "green" cleaning supplies and several DIY cleaning recipes. One thing I really loved was the section on missions. This essentially a maintenance plan of 15 minute tasks to help you stay on top of clutter and deep cleaning without devoting large chunks of time. This book is sure to be a help to all us busy moms!
 

The Super Simple Guide to Decluttering and Deep Cleaning is one of the many ebooks in the category "Green Cleaning" included in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. 

About the bundle: 

Disclosure: I am a sponsor (I offer free stuff) and an affiliate (I get a cut if you buy the bundle using my link). Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Wednesday
Sep102014

ebook review: diy face masks and scrubs

 

DIY Face Masks and Scrubs: Do you know what won me over when my brother brought over his girlfriend to meet our family? She made me a vanilla sugar scrub, packaged in a Mason jar, with a note. That, my friends, will connect neighbor to neighbor, mom to mom, sister-in-law to sister-in-law. I also liked that she was incredibly respectful to my brother(who she later married) and she learned the names of all my kids on the first visit. 

What I like: You might be familiar with the author's first book on scrubs, and if you liked that one, you'll love this updated ebook.  Stacey packs it with answers to every question you could have regarding masks and scrubs. Face masks and scrubs are a wonderful way to pamper yourself while doing something helpful for your skin. By making your own, you not only get the pampering and benefits but you also choose exactly which ingredients you are putting on your skin. You may also save money in the process. DIY Face Masks and Scrubs takes you through the variety of ingredients you can use (did you know dried beans can be part of your beauty routine?), where to purchase ingredients, and gives you many techniques and recipes.  A scrub that really caught my eye is the Lavender Cocoa Scrub ~ I can almost smell it now. :) Many of the recipes contain very few ingredients that are easy to find. You might even have most of them in your kitchen. 

DIY Face Masks and Scrubs is one of the many ebooks in the category "Natural Beauty and Skin Care" included in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

About the bundle: 

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59pm EST on Monday, September 15. The bundle includes a large selection of carefully selected ebooks, free products, ecourses (including a fitness challenge and an essential oils course!), and a guide to help you navigate through the thousands of hours of content.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 30,000 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone! 

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Disclosure: I am a sponsor (I offer free stuff) and an affiliate (I get a cut if you buy the bundle using my link). Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

 

Wednesday
Sep102014

Ebook review: Oh Lardy's Guide to Keeping Backyard Chickens

 

Oh Lardy's Guide to Keeping Backyard Chickens : I have eight kids and we homeschool, so naturally, the second most asked question I get is, "so do you raise chickens?"  (The first is the round-about "why" question, like are we Mormon or Catholic or somethin'?)  The answer to the chicken question: no, we don't have chickens, we don't milk our own goat, and I can't get a garden to grow to save my life. But still, I like to read about farm animals and agriculture from the experts. (And you want to know about my faith? Ask me and I'll tell ya :) )

What I like:Written with plenty of humor this book is not only educational but also entertaining. Whether you are ready to start your backyard flock or just dreaming about it this book is a great addition to your library. The authors' take you through the process from choosing the right chicks, to building housing, to feed and care of your flock. They also discuss practical matters like how many birds your family might need to keep supplied in eggs, collecting the eggs and just how much poop those little birds produce plus what to do with it. Oh, and they answer the important question of "Why did the chicken cross the road?" ;)

The Lardy's Guide to Keeping Backyard Chickens is one of the many ebooks in the category "Gardening and Homesteading" included in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

About the bundle: 

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59pm EST on Monday, September 15. The bundle includes a large selection of carefully selected ebooks, free products, ecourses (including a fitness challenge and an essential oils course!), and a guide to help you navigate through the thousands of hours of content.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 30,000 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone! 

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Disclosure: I am a sponsor (I offer free stuff) and an affiliate (I get a cut if you buy the bundle using my link). Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

 

Wednesday
Sep102014

eBook Review: DIY Natural Remedies by Nina Nelson

 

DIY Natural Remedies by Nina Nelson of Shalom Mama: Nina's expertise comes with this line, "Since I was five, my dad has been managing a company that grows herbs for retailers. Over the years, I saw him make countless plant-based remedies for colds, wounds and other ailments. He drew on what he learned while working there, but also from the herbal remedies his mother and grandmother taught him."  

What I like: Nina keeps it simple. She's been working recipes based on books she's read ever since she was a teenager! How I wish I would have started studying skin care at that age. Nina breaks down various ingredients and teaches the benefits of each and how to use them. The book includes recipes for aches and pains, allergies, colds and flu, the hair and skin, and more. 

DIY Natural Remedies is one of the many ebooks in the category "Alternative Health and Home Remedies" included in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. 

About the bundle: 

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59pm EST on Monday, September 15. The bundle includes a large selection of carefully selected ebooks, free products, ecourses (including a fitness challenge and an essential oils course!), and a guide to help you navigate through the thousands of hours of content.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 30,000 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone! 

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Disclosure: I am a sponsor (I offer free stuff) and an affiliate (I get a cut if you buy the bundle using my link). Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

 

Wednesday
Sep102014

Ebook Review: The 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge

 

The 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge by Jadah Sellner & Jen Hansard : I met these two ladies at a conference over the summer and two minutes of listening to each speak had me hooked. They went after something they wanted to change in their lives, which was to introduce more greens into their diets. I had a new Ninja blender on my countertop and they had the book that would help me put it to use.  And have you seen them on Instagram? They have over 300,000 followers!! 

What I like:This book had me at "... there are no rules!" Nice. :) For the purpose of the challenge they do ask that you consume one green smoothie each day for the 30 days of the challenge. The goal isn't a diet, but to make green smoothies a part of your lifestyle. The book takes you through the details of how to make this lifestyle change work for you. Not only do you get many delicious recipes but there are shopping lists and little tips along the way. If you are looking for inspiration on your road to good health and clean eating this book just might do the trick.

The 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge is one of the ten ebooks in the category "Real Food Recipes" included in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

About the bundle: 

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59pm EST on Monday, September 15. The bundle includes a large selection of carefully selected ebooks, free products, ecourses (including a fitness challenge and an essential oils course!), and a guide to help you navigate through the thousands of hours of content.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 30,000 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone! 

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Disclosure: I am a sponsor (I offer free stuff) and an affiliate (I get a cut if you buy the bundle using my link). Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

 

Saturday
Sep062014

The Habits of Bees

   The Habits of Bees
I have a book about bees that I like to pull off the shelf every now and then for some night-time reading. It’s called The Wisdom of Bees: What the Hive Can Teach Business About Leadership, Efficiency, and Growth, by Michael O’Malley.  I realized that the behavior of bees teaches us not only about business circles, but about daily routines, habits, relationships and more. Take a peek into the beehive and see what lessons you can apply to your own life:
  1. Everything the bee does is in anticipation for the future. They don’t simply buzz over to the most lucrative nectar location. They make sure there’s enough of a long-term supply.
  2. The information that bees exchange with each other is always relevant. They only signal important information to the hive. For example, rather than spend time pointing out all the patches to stay away from, they use their wiggle dances to express enthusiasm for the new location of quality nectar.
  3. When bees are in trouble, they ask for help. If they need to be “cleaned” of dust, they perform their grooming dance, and their friends fly over to help.

(post contains affiliate link)

Tuesday
Sep022014

Join us for the upcoming Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

If you're interested in getting in on the upcoming bundle of carefully selected ebooks, free products, and courses put together by a special group of people, all you have to do is TELL A FRIEND (or two or ten). They don't have to actually buy a bundle; you just think of people in your life who you think might be interested, and then let them know about the bundle. If they sign up to get more information, you get discounts on your bundle (until it's absolutely free). For more information, click here: http://healthylivingbundle.com/?ref=6d09963380


MadeOn is an active participant in this bundle and we look forward to hosting and sponsoring some of the many upcoming events.

Tuesday
Sep022014

Lessons from the Hive: Zeitgebers

Zeitgebers refer to "time cues" that connect you to your environment to help you get things done. Bees have them. They have this innate ability to anticipate times and places in which they are most likely to find success in gathering pollen, and they mobilize during those periods.
       For humans, it's the sun that rises to awake us, it's the melatonin released to coordinate the sleep-wake cycle. Externally, it's the alarm clock we set… the schedule we keep.
       Because the next four months are MadeOn's "harvest season", I'm putting zeitgebers in place to make it a smooth season, and I'd love your help.

If you're interested in getting in on the upcoming bundle of carefully selected ebooks, free products, and courses put together by a special group of people, all you have to do is TELL A FRIEND (or two or ten). They don't have to actually buy a bundle; you just think of people in your life who you think might be interested, and then let them know about the bundle. If they sign up to get more information, you get discounts on your bundle (until it's absolutely free). For more information, click here: http://healthylivingbundle.com/?ref=6d09963380


MadeOn is an active participant in this bundle and we look forward to hosting and sponsoring some of the many upcoming events.


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