Sunday, June 19, 2016

Natrual Homestead Pest Repellent: A Safe Farm Spray!

  Natural pest repellent are very easy to make. They are also very effective *if* you use the right ingredients. I started developing them for our household years ago with my children in mind and haven't repented yet. We now sell them all over the country and I write articles about how to make them for magazines, teach classes and blog here about them. I would like to share a few VERY easy safe and all natural pest repellents here with you.

  Here is my recipe for a our Natural Homestead Pest Repellent! I call it Safe Farm Spray. It is my main go to for all outside dwelling plants and animals, best of all, it works! I use it on everything. It's totally animal, people, and planet friendly...though I keep for outdoor use because the smell of Neem is unpleasant but is very effective. I haven't seen a pest yet that will not be effected. The Neem also helps to control fungus on plants. An added bonus. It is so safe, you can let your children use it, and mine do! They love to help and this is a great way they can.
  *Natrual Homestead Pest Repellent:  A Safe Farm Spray
  Fill sprayer with one to two gallons of warm water (not hot), depending on strength you are looking for, you can adjust here... a little by increasing or decreasing the water amount.
Add 1/4 Cup of natural or organic liquid dish soap (I upped this amount a bit)
.25 oz Lavender 40/42 (more cost effective)
.50 oz Citronella
2oz Neem Oil
*You can spray all plants, the house, the yard and animals (dogs, cats, chickens, cows, goats, horses, ect...). You can use in the chicken coop or in a barn as well. This makes 1 to 2 gallons. Pour into quart size sprayer if needed in smaller amounts. It is totally safe enough to let kids use as well. They love to help and this is totally safe for them to use so they can work with you with no worries! You may need to shake as you go, if you see the oils rising to the top. Usually that is not a big deal.

For all creepy crawlies, including ants, water bugs, roaches, or spiders. Also works on rodents such as mice, rats, snakes, and the like. This is an awesome all natural moth balls alternative! 
 * Indoor Safe Pest Repellent:
Place a few drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil on a cotton ball. Remember how people used Cedar chests to keep pests off of clothing? It works very well. So simply place these cotton balls wherever the pests come in your house or wherever you see them most. Viola, done!
You can also place a few drops of Cedarwood  and Peppermint into a quart sprayer and spray around the house. This is not only a great disinfectant, but will keep pests OUT! Use in water if you do not have witch hazel around, just shake as you go to keep oils incorporated. I have a video to show you how easy these are. Click here to see the video on how to make this all  natural pest repellent using cotton balls and an antibacterial house spray as well.
  To make an all natural pest repellent for people, simply combine any herbal essential oils you like. I like Citronella and Lavender. I say 'herbal' because they are the ones that repel the best. I also say combine because they seem to work better synergistically. When more than one is used, it is more potent. Simply put into a carrier oil such as coconut or safflower and rub on.
  You can find affordable, 100% pure essential oils and a pest repellent for your family (made for my own children) that is all natural, organic, safe for people and planet, from our family web store at You can also find our Bug Bar pest repellent at

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Essential Oil Survival Kit - The best oils for a worst case scenario!

  I am going to lay out the very best oils in my opinion to have on hand in a 'worst case' scenario or emergency situation. I am an essential oil business owner, and began using them in the cosmetic industry years before they were popular, when only hippies used them. I have personally and professionally worked with essential oils for over 17 yrs now. The wisdom, knowledge and research I share with you now are from almost 2 decades of use and experience. They are apart of my life everyday. Although there is no replacement for a well trained medical professional, I realize sometimes life puts us all into situations where what we need isn't always accessible. So here are my top choices for that time of need that a doctor or vet are not in reach. I will also give why and how you can use. I have put together a kit so as to give a more affordable option to people who do want to have these oils on hand. You may already have these oils, and if so great. If not you can check out the oils I recommend below or the kit to compare for yourself. It is Essential 7, The Essential Oil Survival Kit

I am trying to educate, not push a product. I want everyone reading this info to understand that: 1- I am not a doctor and am not advocating that you should not visit the doctor for medical advice, or a vet if it involves your pet; and 2- I am not trying to sell you anything. My information, time, research and willingness to share with you is all free. I am an essential oil business owner, but also an herbalist, wild crafter and most importantly a Mom. I understand everyone has different budgets and different preferences when purchasing essential oils. I am giving you my first hand knowledge along with my time and research because I believe God wants us to share what we know with others freely. So here are my picks for the essential oils for survival and why I chose them. I give links or works cited under a few oils, but most info you can easily research yourself with the internet.
  *To make an essential oil go farther and to use topically or when ingesting, you should always dilute. To do this, use a carrier oil such as hemp, safflower, jojoba, or the like. In  a pinch any liquid cooking oil will do. Also note that if anyone gets the essential oils into the eye or on skin undiluted or is experiencing a severe burning sensation, DO NOT WASH WITH WATER. Simply rub a liquid oil onto the effected area, and this will 'pull out' the essential oil instantly. They are attracted to fatty acids like a magnet so this is the best way to remove quickly. You will see burning gone in seconds. *If you used for wound care and it is diluted but still burns, I would not flush with more oil to remove, because they need to be present in order to be effective. Removing then would also remove their antibacterial numbing and other properties.

  1- First is Clove. This oil is not only highly antiviral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antibacterial, and pretty much 'anti-everything'; it is a total favorite of the dental and medical community including pharmaceutical companies. It has been the starting component of all the 'caines' such as benzocaine, novacaine, lidocaine, and others in the same family. It is synthesized now into a very powerful pain killer and antiseptic for use in wounds because it has the ability to numb as well as kill germs, including viruses. In a worst case scenario where there could be an out break of flu, Ebola, Avian Flu, or something else on that scale...this is the one essential oil I would reach for. If it is 100% Pure (Food Grade) it should be diluted by placing a few drops into a carrier oil or honey so it can be ingested when symptoms arise. Once diluted, it can be rubbed directly into lymph nodes and on wrists. It is very strong, so dilute well or it will burn. You want to get it into the blood stream so it can be internally effective so that is why I say rub into lymph nodes. It is a stimulating oil and rubbed onto chest or lymph nodes, it can help to 'move' chest congestion and lymph as well as kill bacteria, virus, or fungus that is causing sickness. If someone is having a problem with clogged glands, I would combine with Peppermint (both very productive stimulants) and rub into glands twice a day. It is all I used for my children when teething. I put a few drops into a tablespoon of liquid cooking oil and rubbed directly into gums to numb pain. This would also be my 'go to' oil for wound care. In a worst case scenario where an antibiotic or antiseptic product isn't available, this can be diluted and poured right into a wound. It is the only oil known to be so highly effective at both numbing and fighting germs. It may sting for a second, but will numb pain quickly. This is truly the 1st place winner and many dentists today still use this on oral infections and tooth abscesses for fighting germs and numbing power. It is GOLD.
Most of my info on clove and it's essential oil comes from the book, "Back To Eden" by Jethro Kloss.
  2- Bergamot. An Italian Citrus, this oil has been studied and shown effective at lowering blood sugar, cholesterol, and highly effective on anxiety. I would NOT rely on Lavender as my 'mood calmer' for those who are anxious in an emergency. Lavender is good, but the studies (and my personal experiences) point to the fact that Bergamot is multitalented on the body and mind. In a worst case scenario, many of us could be surrounded with friends and family members who have medical needs for things that need control. These most likely will include anxiety, nervousness, ADHD, diabetes, high blood sugar, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Not only have these studies shown the Bergamot oil to be highly effective at calming nerves and adding balance to a hyper, nervous or upset person, but it is shown to be effective and medically useful at lowering high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.. One study from the University of Taiwan shows that Bergamot is highly effective at calming the mood and helping to reduce stress of elementary school teachers. I read another that cited it useful at lowering blood pressure. This oil should be diluted and then rubbed into temples, wrists, chest and neck of anyone who is stressed. A few drops into a diffuser will help to disperse the oils effectiveness into an entire room and aid everyone in the area with it's aromatherapy. If there is someone around who needs treatment for high blood pressure, diabetes high blood sugar, or high cholesterol in your care, it would be helpful to research this more as to exact usage that would benefit them. I personally would have them consume it in a natural smoothie, mixed into peanut butter, or placed under the tongue. Only starting with a few drops diluted into the carrier oil to make sure that there aren't any adverse reactions. Use only 100% Pure (Food Grade) when ingesting any essential oils. In a worst case scenario, this oil will be an invaluable oil. In my opinion it has shown to be much more effective at calming nerves than Lavender and with an ability to add balance to the entire body's system I would not forget this oil when making my home emergency and first aid kit.
  3- Peppermint. This oil is tops at reducing fever and calming upset stomach. Although Ginger is really good at tummy trouble, this one is much more appetizing and therefore easier to get down. I not only have personally used it to reduce fever, I have also used it to open the airways of an asthmatic (ME!). I have had some bouts with pneumonia and even pleurisy in the past. This oil will certainly open up the airways and has been shown to aid in circulation. If in a time of need someone cannot breathe, isn't getting enough oxygen or isn't responsive I would reach for this to hold under the nose; when diluted it can be rubbed on chest. If breathing is troubled, I would dilute and drop onto back of the tongue or put an undiluted drop into hands and cup over nose and mouth to breathe in. For fever reduction, place a few drops (diluted just a bit) onto spine, temples, soles of feet, and lymph nodes and rubbed in. For upset stomach I would place a few drops into honey to ingest or a drop into warm tea, add honey if you please. Honey will also help calm the stomach upset. Again, combine Peppermint with Clove diluted, for a way to simulate the circulatory system, move lymph and loosen chest congestion. Peppermint alone, or combined with Clove, could possibly aid an elderly person, a diabetic, or someone suffering from hypothermia with circulation. Simply rub diluted mixture right into skin with a good massage. Also these two combined are a powerhouse on someone with the croup or flu with coughing. Diluted you can rub on chest and into lymph nodes to help the cough be more productive and help with fighting the infection from the glands.

  4- Cedarwood (Organic-Atlas) This is a very useful but tricky oil that I would not recommend any pregnant women use. It can be ingested but needs to be an Atlas variety only. Others are toxic, and cannot be ingested, so know your oils! This one is also an amazing calmer and is much more powerful, in my own experience, at soothing bug bites and stings than Lavender. If you have ever owned a Cedar chest, you know how amazingly effective it is at repelling bugs. It is also not an oil that will give away your presence if needing to hunt. Cedarwood will blend right into the surroundings of nature and not alert anyone to your presence. It is what we use indoors for repelling bugs and IT WORKS. It can also be used for allergies. I combine it with Frankincense and other oils to reduce swelling and calm histamines when we have an allergy flair up, which happens often because I am allergic to a lot of things. For bug bites you can rub right onto skin, but if there is an open wound dilute it a bit. It is highly anti-septic and will also work to clean a wound if needed. If you were hunting and needed an all purpose oil, this would be it. Calms stings, pests, wounds or bites without a heavy scent. To get rid of lice and/or skin mites, simply dilute into carrier oil and rub into skin or hair. For repelling bugs rub (diluted) into skin, on clothes, or put onto a cotton ball and place it where ever you want pests and rodents to stay away. It works on mice and snakes as well. It is my indoor version of moth balls.

  5- Rosemary. This oil is one that many people can tolerate in their food and makes getting an antibacterial down the hatch a bit easier. It has been shown to be an anti-mutagen which could be very helpful to someone who is battling cancer. I would have them ingest this and Frankincense (also an anti-mutagen) if I ever knew anyone who was in that situation and there where no other viable options or they wanted to add a complimentary medicine to their regimen. It is highly antibacterial and should be considered when the common cold is going around or if having a bout of flu. You can add to foods such as spaghetti or soups for an extra bit of help with germ fighting. I ingest oils and have found that the best way to enjoy some of their benefits is to use them as you would an herb in food. So this one, being highly effective at killing germs and aiding in healthy cell reproduction, would be on my plate and in my first aid kit, if I were you. Highly antiviral and antifungal as well, it is a great one to reach for if dealing with an infected sore, toe nail fungus, ring worm, warts (not genital), or other skin infection or fungus. Reports have shown it effective at aiding with things like Alzheimer's, lung infections, hair loss and memory loss. In case of an internal infection since it can safely be ingested when diluted, it can be added right to honey (only like 2 drops) and swallowed.
  6- Litsea Cubeba. This is an oil most people have NEVER heard of. Also called May Chang in China, it is worth it's weight in gold as far as I am concerned. I have used it with my own lung problems and on my animals with MUCH success. One example is when my new chicks came to me with a bout of what certainly appeared to be bird flu, which isn't new to chicken keepers or hatcheries by the way. However, my baby chicks were dying and I had to stop it instantly, and I did with this oil! Avian Flu is viral and so I quickly reached for this oil. I placed a few drops into a quart of water with Vitamin B and gave them only this to drink. All my droopy looking chickens perked right up...and they stopped dying instantly. I also have a video on that, click here  Litsea is an Asian citrus pepper fruit that is used often in other countries as an antiviral. It's so powerful it is used in Asia to treat pneumonia, TB, COPD, Asthma, and Bronchitis and other bronchial issues. This is one oil I will never be without, Lord willin'. It is truly my favorite. I ingested and inhaled it with Peppermint when I was dealing with Pneumonia and nasal polyps. I believe firmly that it aided in the healing process. I blended it with the Peppermint in equal parts, and inhaled it in the cup of my hands. This was my inspiration to produce a blend called Be Open after my experience. These two oils combined could possibly help an Asthmatic in a situation where an inhaler or nebulizer isn't an option. I now use the blend daily in place of my rescue inhaler most of the time and have reduced those medical costs significantly. They can be added to a spoonful of honey (1drop of each), diluted and rubbed onto chest, and inhaled by the hands. I also put the blend onto the back of my tongue to get fast relief. It helped me so much that I was able to decrease my inhaler and nebulizer intake by 3/4 my regular intake. During the worst of it the Litsea/Peppermint combo was very helpful at killing the problem (infection or virus) that was causing my pneumonia. All flu and colds are also viral. We cannot overlook that more anti-viral medication should be available, so here is an option in an emergency or worst case scenario. Here are the other things it has been shown effective at aiding with; athlete's foot, skin tags, stress, eczema, psoriasis, skin infections, skin fungus such as ringworm, indigestion, inflammation, and warts. Easy to use on animals as well as humans for all the mentioned above. This is my 'go-to' oil for animals. From skin issues, infections fungus, virus and ringworm to any bronchial issues, this is THE animal oil for most of my natural animal husbandry needs. All my new birds get this in their water with honey and vitamin B daily instead of antibiotics. You must change daily if using honey or it could ferment the water and leave them with nothing. So only add honey to animals water if changing DAILY. I then slowly wean down to weekly use of the Litsea on all birds then to monthly. *At the first signs of Cocci I was able to do this and stop an infestation before it started and only the one sick bird was lost. Highly effective at stopping disease and particularly virus in humans or animals! A total MUST for your emergency/first aid kit.
  7- Frankincense. This oil of oils and worker of good things is my ultimate cream topping on the pie. Frankincense (Carterri) has been shown effective for many uses. I would use for any wounds, diluted and combined with Clove oil. The nick name of Frankincense is "Heal All" because of it's ability to help restore tissue growth and aid in good cell reproduction while also prohibiting tumor growth. Some known and reported uses are for growths, tumors, skin cancers, any topical or internal wounds, allergies, bacterial and viral issues, headaches, supports healthy blood pressure, immune response, warts, bruising, and tissue inflammation of any kind. So if I knew someone with cancer, combined with Rosemary this would be placed directly onto skin or added to honey (2drops each) to ingest. I have, when sick, added it to my fruit smoothies to gain the possible healing effects by getting it into the body. I have seen a difference when I used it and also noticed a bit more energy than before. Sickness time has seemed to be shortened as well. Frankincense is my 'go to' when allergies strike. It has been shown to be a calmer and help to block histamine when taken internally or breathed in. It can be dropped into a diffuser or diluted and rubbed onto nose, placed onto back of tongue, or breathed in from cupped hands. It is a main ingredient in my blend called Allergy Stop. It is one I would definitely keep around for any wound care in a first aid kit.
  Here is the kit I have put together: Essential 7, The Essential Oil Survival Kit
  *Remember no essential oils should be applied to an open wound without being diluted. Also some people are more sensitive to essential oils than others, so be careful and start out with a very small amount. I am not a trained physician and cannot give any medical advice. I am simply sharing what I would do, what has helped me or what I believe to be helpful to you in a 'worst case' emergency type situation and a doctor or vet isn't able to be reached. It is a good idea to have backup plans because you never know what might happen, but please do not deny someone the ability to see a doctor if it is needed and available. I cannot/will not be held liable for anything you try on your own based on this informative and educational blog post. I hope you found this information helpful.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

More Healing Wounds Naturally On The Homestead..

  The other day our pony, Bella, decided to tangle herself up in her rope and cut a pretty bad rope burn on her hock. When she is not in the pasture, she is our 'sustainable' zero turn, lawn mower. We let her graze in other places not fenced by keeping her on a 100ft rope, so she can get around as she pleases. Well, somehow she got tangled and had a pretty bad wound that needed attention. We've always been able to treat our animals wounds, so this wasn't new, but the main concern I had was infection. Also in light of the new Veterinary Feed Directive, I am thinking more about sharing our natural remedies for animals and people. I would like to share what we do to help you when antibiotics are not required or even accessible.
  Here, in the picture my daughter is pouring an herbal oil infused with Comfrey, Plantain, Ginger, Cloves, Tumeric, and Jewelweed. *It is very important to have the children involved and to teach them as you go, so they too will be qualified to handle any situation that could arise. They may need it one day. We applied this oil to the wound, after cleaning with peroxide and iodine. The open wound is healing after only two weeks because of this herbal infusion. Comfrey is the prime source for healing tissue, the others work at keeping it clean, drawing out impurities, and are highly antibacterial. I am now applying our Happy Hocks. An essential oils remedy I first created to help wounds and foundering in horses and ponies. You should NEVER put essential oils on an open wound, it will burn like h*ll. Your patient will also not be able to trust your skills after that. So wait until the skin or a scab has formed to create a buffer to the wound. It consists of Litsea Cubeba, Fir Needle, Bergamot, Lavender, and Tea Tree essential oils. Any time there is an issue with hooves, or hocks, this is our natural go-to remedy and has proven effective numerous times. I'll address each herb and why I choose it later in this article. I'll do another on essential oils for wounds care and emergency situations. *We use peroxide while the wound is still open or fresh, and then iodine to follow. I know a new school of thought has risen about using peroxide, but it is a must when cleaning homestead wounds. Also at pulling out any objects that are stuck in the body. My daughter cut her foot and got an infection, after treating it naturally we were seeing that it was very serious, and had to take her to the doctor. Who of course told us not to use peroxide. After the week of antibiotics, she still had an infection. This was a clear sign that something was IN the foot. My Mom, a nurse, said "You need to be using peroxide and that foot would have been healed by now. Something is in it and only peroxide will pull it out." So I did, and within 30 of applying it, the stick that was jammed up her heel, came oozing out! I grew up using it, and all the medical persons I know still use it, against the modern "Don't Use Peroxide" shouts of our days. So in light of that I am going to share with you a breakdown of what we normally use and why. I give a lectures around the southeast, and if you can, try to make one. I love explaining God's design for nature and how it was created to be useful to us. I spoke at the Memphis Botanical Gardens just a few weeks back on wild and domestic herbs and how to use them for health and happiness on the homestead. These herbs mentioned are a main stay on our farm, I enjoy teaching about how to use them, so if you are able to attend a speaking even I give, please comment below or find my facebook page, Homestead Moma and let me know if you tried my methods or suggestions and how they worked for you.

  To make your herbal infused oil (I make a lot and keep it on hand), you will need all the herbs mentioned above. Gather them WITHOUT washing because you do not want to introduce water. It will cause mold and bacteria growth in the oil mixture. Tear and bruise into pieces and cram your jar full. Then cover to the rim with Organic Olive Oil. Set into the crock pot of water, to keep on very low about 48-72 hours. Only let the water be half way up the jar, so it doesn't get into the jar of oil.
  After 48 to 72 hrs. your oil has been infused with all those herbal properties you need. Just remove jar, wipe clean and strain through a sheet, pillow case or cheese clothe.
  Now you're ready to deal with any wound that arises, be it animal or people. This is especially designed for open wounds so do not add any essential oils to this. Here is the list of herbs and oils I use and why I choose them.
Comfrey: It is stiches in bottle. Proven to regrow skin cells and add in repairing damage to skin, this is something I grow LOTS of. Keep on hand and you'll not regret it. Even a wound that has been stitched up or glued back together can benefit. It will aid in the quick regrowth of tissue of any kind and even promote hair regrowth and lessens scaring. (I know personally)
Plantain: It is nature's drawer. Like magic, it will help to draw out infection, poison, stinging, pain, and objects. Not quite as potent as peroxide for initial cleaning, but very effective to keep on wound.
Tumeric: The best inflammation reducer on earth, as far as I know of anyway. :)
Ginger: The ultimate in pain reduction. If you can, keep this in the house or grow it to have at a moments notice. Highly anti-bacterial, anti-septic, and anti-viral. This herb/spice is not only effective at helping stomach upset, it is the best pain reducer I have EVER used. (Used after birthing)
Cloves: The highest ORAC carrying food on earth. ORAC is the ability to fight damaging free radicals. These free radicals are what damages tissue and causes aging. It is the highest in anti-septic, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties of an known herb. It has the greatest ability to numb pain of any herb. It is also why the benzocaine/novacaine family of medications was made originally from this herb. Highly used still today for tooth and mouth infections. Greatest germ killer around!
Jewelweed: Another good one for soothing pain, irritation, sting, and burn. This is an awesome remedy for bug bites, stings, and poison ivy. It is often found in the same area as poison ivy. *Again proof of doctrine of signatures. I'll touch on that later.
  Healing wounds in a situation where antibiotics are unavailable, or you cannot reach a doctor is a must for basic survival skills. In summary, our pony never had to cost us a huge vet bill, because we were able to (had the knowledge and skills) remedy the situation ourselves. In our society we have become too dependent on others for our basic needs and if we do not try to learn and pass the knowledge other generations have had, we will regret it. Other cultures, other generations, and other countries still hold natural healing in high esteem, because it works! Americans disregard for knowledge and skills may prove costly. I hope we never have to be faced with a day that we cannot access modern medicine, but the truth is I have many times been able to keep our family out of an ER, or keep down the costs of healthcare for us and our animals, just because of having 1- knowledge and 2- skills. If that day does ever happen to you...are you capable of caring for yourself or those you love? I hope you find my articles helpful and encouraging. Don't forget to like our facebook page as well. This is where I post a lot of helpful tips for the homestead as well.
Much love and blessings, Melisa