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6 Dangers Of Antibiotic Use

6 Dangers Of Antibiotic Use

You’ve heard the rumors… we are facing an epidemic of antibiotic resistance.

Wouldn’t it be great if your doctor had other suggestions when you visited them for your child’s symptoms?

Think about this for a moment, if antibiotics don’t always work and they are causing other health problems, what are we to do?

It all boils down to this.

  • Was your child born via c-section?
  • Have they had 1+ round of antibiotics?
  • Are they struggling with their digestion?
  • Do they have Atopic conditions like allergies, eczema, and asthma?

If you answered yes to one of the questions above, you may want to be concerned.

Reality is, our children may need a round or two of antibiotics while they build their immunity; especially if they are in daycare or the public school system.

But, what if you knew how to use natural remedies to reduce the amount of exposure your child is receiving from antibiotic use?

What if you knew how to heal your child’s gut, so they wouldn’t have these symptoms and fear of antibiotics not working?

Here’s my promise to you.

By the end of this post, you’ll understand why we need to rethink antibiotics and consider integrating natural remedies to boost your child’s immunity for years to come.

95% of clinicians prescribe antibiotics even when they are not absolutely sure they are needed. – Dr. Aviva Romm

 

6 Dangers Of Antibiotic Use

1. Antibiotic Resistance

One of the biggest threats to our global health today is antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization suggests.

“Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant. These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.” ¹

Bacterial infections need antibiotics and if you overuse them, they may not work when you need them most. According to the CDC, “Each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection, and at least 23,000 people die.” Source

We have to consider reducing antibiotics and integrating natural remedies.

2. Food Intolerances (gluten/dairy)

If you haven’t heard the word microbiome yet, get ready to learn more. These communities of gut flora run from our mouth to our anus and affect our weight, mood, mental health, and even our immunity. One of the ways we damage this flora is through yup, you guessed it, antibiotics.

And, children born via c-section are already compromised due to the one dose of antibiotics mom gets before surgery.

If you’re planning a C-section, consider Vaginal seeding to protect your child’s gut flora.

When your child’s microbiome is affected, they may have difficulty digesting gluten and dairy – some of the top inflammatory foods we consume.

One way around this is to try Goat’s milk formula or for mom to take dairy out of her diet if breastfeeding. Also, mom may want to take a digestive enzyme to help her digest the milk.

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3. Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to “leak” through the intestinal wall causing headaches, food intolerances, allergies and joint pain in our child’s health.

Medications that lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome In Kids:

  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • NSAIDS
  • Acid reducing medication

If your child is taking these medications regularly, you may want to consider the 4R approach.  Read more about Leaky Gut Syndrom in kids Here.

4. Clostridium difficile

The leading cause of deaths in the hospital, Clostridium difficile or C. diff. is a bacterium that is normally present in the body in small numbers. When they are out of balance with the rest of your gut bacteria – due to antibiotic use or a compromised immune system, they may cause an infection and result in diarrhea.

This bacteria produces a toxin that causes inflammation of the colon and results in varying degrees of diarrhea, sometimes a bloody stool, and could potentially lead to death. Often, children with a compromised immune system have the greatest risk of getting C. Diff. If your child has bloody stool, please have it checked immediately for C. Diff.

C. diff can go hand in hand with Celiac disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease; please have your child checked if you suspect they have C. Diff.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may suggest an antibiotic or to take the probiotic Saccharomyces Boulardi daily to replenish your gut flora. Read more here.

5. Eczema

An inflammatory skin condition, Eczema, affects 1 in 5 children and is increasing each year.  Known as ‘the itch that rashes’ typically begins with the itch and ends with red, scaly skin.  You may also have rough bumps, thick patches or bumps that leak fluid and crust over.

Those with Atopic dermatitis typically have a food allergy to wheat, dairy, peanuts or nuts.

Why is this happening? 3 reasons.

  • Their microbiome is out of balance – possibly due to medications either from mom or baby
  • Child or Mom has an inflammatory diet or a food allergy
  • Environmental toxins

What can you do about Eczema?

  1. Address any gut imbalances in mom or child’s diet.
  2. Consider healing you or your child’s gut with the 4R approach.  Read more about the 4R approach.
  3. Cover the skin with a botanical cream like Calendula.

6. MRSA

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections generally begin as skin infections. The bacterium invades the skin through an open sore, cut, or scrape. For children, the most common source of infection is a simple cut or abrasion.

MRSA is different from other staph bacteria because it has built up a resistance to most of the antibiotics doctors usually use to treat staph infections.

What can you do about it antibiotic resistance?

  1. Encourage your children to wash their hands with just soap and water, NOT antibacterial soap.
  2. Eat grass-fed, antibiotic-free meat, and dairy to reduce exposure to antibiotics.
  3. Consider eating less meat throughout the week
  4. Use the Get Smart website to know when you need antibiotics
  5. Learn how to use botanicals and homeopathy to reduce antibiotics.
  6. Consider having a doula at your next birth to reduce your rate of a C-section
  7. If you have a C-section planned, consider Vaginal Seeding or adding an infant probiotic when breastfeeding.
  8. Express your want to avoid antibiotics
  9. Learn how to heal your child’s gut with the 4R approach if they are presenting with Leaky Gut symptoms

**Ready to learn more? Get on the Home Remedies For Children Waitlist.  Click here. 


References:

¹ https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antibiotic-resistance

6 Ways to Avoid Unnecessary Antibiotics & Why You Should


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Don’t trust botanicals, here are 7 companies to love

Don’t trust botanicals, here are 7 companies to love

Do you want to trust and believe herbs will work for you, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking “is this going to harm me?”

Do you feel like your practitioner is selling you snake oil? That cure-all elixir with false claims.

Or do you have bottles of supplements, you’ve never used for fear of what is in them?

It’s hard to believe some supplements may work for you when you’re not sure what to look for.

One concern is the increase in lead or mercury in our herbal products.

A study published in the August 27, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), demonstrated that one-fifth of U.S.-manufactured and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic products bought on the Internet contained detectable lead, mercury, or arsenic.¹

Purchasing online from a reputable company is important to your health. You want to know exactly what is in the ingredients you are ingesting and if you can trust the company from which you are purchasing.

How to trust your herbal products

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) was created in 1982 and is the voice for the herbal product industry.

When purchasing herbal products look for products that have full labeling. Look for the following on the label:

  • The company notes the full name of botanical on the product.
  • They have an expiration date. Keep in mind, herbal tinctures or tonics that have alcohol can be preserved for years beyond their expiration date. If your product smells bad or you have a gut feeling it is not good, throw it away.
  • The company offers dosing suggestions on the bottle. Herb Pharm has a whole line of products dedicated to children’s health and has the dosing on the bottle.
  • Watch for any ‘red flags’, companies claiming for weight loss or extreme health declarations that seem impossible.
  • Even if they have perfect labeling, you want to look for these additional concerns when consuming botanicals.

Children are not just small adults. Dosing and herbal remedies should be specific to your child's age and weight. Click To Tweet

Concerns when using herbal medicine

The company you purchase from:

  • Ensures quality control in each product
  • Three companies I love: Herb Pharm, Herbalist & Alchemist and Moutain Rose Herbs offer this information online to their consumers.
  • They use certified organic or pesticide-free plant products that are sustainably harvested.
  • The plant is vibrant, tasty, potent, and consistent
  • The product is proven safe through laboratory analysis.
  • Tests each product to ensure there are no molds or contamination
  • Does not practice product substitution – using another botanical as a substitution
  • Is considerate of temperature control, freshness, and monitor’s quality.
  • Can provide you with an organic certificate, kosher certificate, certificates of analysis, pesticide residue tests, GCMS printouts, and MSDS forms documents to ensure your safety.

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Consumer concerns when using herbal medicine:

  • Watch for potential allergic or idiosyncratic reactions, this is an abnormal sensitivity to a drug which may result in:
    • severe skin reactions – look for skin rashes, itching, or hives
    • anaphylaxis – along with skin rashes, the throat will feel like it is closing up and you have trouble breathing. Take a deep breath, this rarely happens.
    • blood dyscrasias – a disease or disorder of the blood.
    • hepatotoxicity – liver damage.
    • fever or joint pain

Who is at risk for idiosyncratic reactions?

  • Women who are 50 or older
  • Those who are currently using medications
  • If you have:
    • hepatic disease
    • renal ideas
    • If you are malnourished and/or decreased weight
    • If you consume alcohol regularly
    • If you have possible enzyme deficiencies

The most prevalent source of adverse effects is with clients who are currently taking medication. If you are taking the following medication, please check with your doctor and community herbalist before ingesting a new herbal product.

Are you taking these medications?

  • anticoagulants
  • barbiturates
  • insulin
  • cardiac medications
  • NSAIDs
  • oral contraceptives
  • anti-depressants

Please check with your doctor before consuming a new herbal product.

Idiosyncratic reactions occur very infrequently and are independent of dose, and are highly unpredictable. Herb/drug interactions present a higher risk than allergic reactions.  But, if you or your child’s partner has an allergy to the Asteraceae family, it would be important for you to keep this plant away from your child until they are older.

Other concerns when using botanicals:

  • Watch for the timing of use – stop taking botanicals two weeks before surgery for fear of too much bleeding or a bad reaction.
  • Dosage – always check for correct dosing when using any medication.
  • Duration of use

Herbs to avoid with your children (and ages)

  • Basil herb <2
  • Coffee seeds <12
  • Coltsfoot leaves <2
  • Comfrey leaves and roots (externally)<2
  • Eucalyptus <2
  • Jamaica dogwood
  • Lobelia plant
  • Mate leaves <2
  • Oregano leaf <2
  • Peppermint leaves & E.O. <2
  • Senna leaves <12 {ok for kids 2+ for 1x use}
  • Tea leaves <6
  • Uva ursi <12
  • Valerian root <3

For a complete list see: Herbal Contradictions and drug interaction

Who are the 7 herbal companies you can know and trust?

To search for a company you love, head over to the American Herbal Products Association directory of members.

Who is your favorite company to use? Let us know in the comments below.


References:

¹ https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm050798.htm

Additional resources:

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4 Steps To Stop A Sinus Infection Naturally

4 Steps To Stop A Sinus Infection Naturally

Be honest.  You’re sick of using antibiotics for your sinus infection.

What if you could stop this inflammation naturally.

You’ve tried natural remedies before but they haven’t work for you.

I get it.

For years, I would call up the doctor and request medications for my sinus pressure.  I knew I needed drugs to get rid of the pain. Little did I know overusing antibiotics would bite me in the butt years later.

I struggled with acne, digestive problems and then food sensitivities to gluten and dairy all due to using antibiotics frequently.

The truth?

When you learn how to reduce medications, heal your gut, and integrate natural remedies, you won’t have to worry about sinus infections anymore.

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But don’t forget.  Your diet is always first.  The first food I would remove would be dairy if you struggle with consistent sinus infections.

What are the symptoms of a sinus infection?

  •  A headache or heavy feeling in the head (sometimes with difficulty concentrating)
  •  Nasal congestion or nasal discharge
  •  Post-nasal drip (mucus dripping down back of the throat)
  •  A sore throat (mucus dripping down can cause chronic irritation)
  •  A cough – wet or dry and usually all-day
  •  Fatigue
  •  Bad breath
  •  Moderate to high fever

So what’s the answer?

In this post, I’ll share the 4 steps I use to stop a sinus infection in its tracts!

#1 Diet & Inflammation

  • Gluten, dairy, and sugar are common allergens that cause sinus infections.
  • Eliminate these foods from your diet if you experience frequent sinus infections. If I was to choose just one, I’d get rid of dairy ASAP.
  • Encourage lots of green vegetables & soups when you are under the weather.
  • Drink clear liquids and caffeine-free tea.
  • Consider adding a probiotic to your diet and healing your gut with The 4R approach. 
  • Put to action>>>Make garlic toast!
    • Toast some gluten-free bread and top with Organic Olive oil and sliced raw garlic.
    • Fresh garlic is known as an antimicrobial to aid with infections.
    • Eat daily until you are better.
    • Garlic is a great anti-microbial and can fight viral and bacterial infections.  Eat garlic raw if able, or mix with hot water and lemon for a garlic lemonade
Recurring sinus infections could be due to your gut health. Click To Tweet

#2 Tinctures For A Sinus Infection

  • Take Echinacea tincture For 7-10days. Take 30-40 drops 3-4x day in a little bit of water.
  • Echinacea acts as an anti-microbial.

#3 Essential Oils For A Sinus Infection

  • Add one drop of Thyme Essential Oil to a facecloth (for adults only), place in the shower and let the steam help open your sinuses.
  • Alternatively, try herbal steam.
    • Boil water and place one drop of Lavender or Thyme Essential oil in the bowl, cover your head and steam for 20 min.  You can also use lavender dried buds or dried Thyme for less potent steam.

 Apply Lavender Essential Oil topically

  • Dab diluted Lavender Essential oil on your cheeks and under ears.  Dilute when using with children.  ONLY 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tbs. of carrier oil. Don’t use with children under 2 years of age.

#4 Homeopathic Remedy For A Sinus Infection 

sinus infectionTake 30 C Kali Bichromicum if you have the following symptoms:

    • Pressure, fullness, and pain at the root of the nose.  Discharge is thick, ropy green-ish yellow, post-nasal drip, violent sneezing; mucus tastes sticky, aching and fullness in global, worse with cold, 2-3am, suppressed catarrh.
  • Take 2-3x day if symptoms are improving.
  • STOP taking homeopathy if your symptoms get worse, you should feel your symptoms improving with each dose of homeopathy.  For a sinus infection, you may have to take for 2 or 3 days, along with the tinctures and change of diet.  Be patient and rest.
Read how Dr. Aviva Romm, Dr. Axe, and Dr. Jocker’s stop sinus infections naturally.
Conclusion

Even if you’ve struggled with sinus infections your whole life, you can stop a sinus infection in its track with diet, herbs, and homeopathy.  I’m proof.  It’s been 10 years since I’ve needed antibiotics for a sinus infection.  A simple change in your diet, healing your gut, and integrating natural remedies can reduce the number of antibiotics you need due to sinus infections.

There may be a time you’ll need antibiotics, but overall if you strive to improve your diet, you can stop the use of antibiotics for sinus infections.

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Could this work for you? Comment below.

 

5 Home Remedies For The Flu

5 Home Remedies For The Flu

What if you could decrease your flu symptoms naturally? 

Influenza, otherwise known as the flu, can be debilitating and cause great suffering for you and your family.  Botanicals and homeopathic remedies can decrease your symptoms and ease the pain of the flu.

The first time I had the flu, I swore I had malaria.  I even drove myself to the ER, just for them to tell me it was the Flu. I called my mother at 5:00 am crying and begging her to help me.

Over the next three days, she helped me change the sheets four times and nursed me back to health.  I missed ten whole days of work and thought I was dying.

I took the medication that I knew at the time and slept the days away.  Little did I know there were an alternative way and natural remedies would ease my symptoms and decrease the pain the next time I had the flu.


In this post, you’ll discover the symptoms of the flu, when to call the doctor, the herbs, and homeopathy I use to shorten the duration of the flu and ease the achiness.

What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu

  • High fever of 102-104
  • Severe achiness-(in fact, it used to be called break-bone disease)
  • A sore throat
  • A cough
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lack of appetite

When to call the doctor for the flu

  • Signs of dehydration
  • High fever persisting (103.5 and over)
  • A severe headache
  • Stiff neck or pain in the back of the neck
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Fever for more than 4 days
  • Severe cough with chest pain and shortness of breath (could be pneumonia)

 

homeopathic medicine for baby & toddler

The achiness is usually what gives away the symptoms of the flu. If you feel like it may be something else, see a doctor right away.

In the United States, the flu usually hits between December and February. Adults 65 and older and children under 5 are at the greatest risk of developing flu-related illnesses.  {read more here}

I realize the Flu is not to be taken lightly.  If you are generally a healthy adult these remedies may be right for you.

Home Remedies For The Flu

  • Tinctures for the flu: A tincture is a concentrated liquid herbal extract taken 2-3x day in a 1/4 cup of water. 
  • Choose these tinctures as a single or blend.

#1 Boneset Tincture/Extract {Eupatorium perfoliatum L.}-(herb pharm, moutainroseherbs.com)

    • The #1 recommended remedy for the flu. I’ve used both the tincture and homeopathy.  I prefer the homeopathic dose for quicker results. flu remedies

#2 Crampbark {Viburnum opulus}

    • Great for body aches, PMS cramps, and aches associated with the flu. Crampbark is used for cramps and aches in the body. 
    • I like this one.

#3 Jamaican dogwood {Piscidia piscipula}

    • As an analgesic, Jamaican dogwood can reduce pains in the body for cold and flu season and also works great for PMS.
    • Use with caution with kids.  I use a blended formula and reduce the dosing amount with children.
    • I like this one

#4 Elderberry Syrup

 In one study, Elderberry Syrup was used to treat 60 patients suffering from influenza.  “Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and the use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.”

 

Homeopathy For The Flu

Homeopathy is my preferred way to shorten the duration of the flu.  Keep in mind, your symptoms may increase for a moment and then they should improve within 20 minutes. Homeopathy can be tricky to use: read my post Everything You Need To Know About Homeopathy Here. 

Homeopathy is based on the person’s symptoms.  It is best to seek out a homeopath for the best results.

# 5 Boneset 30C (Eupatorium perfoliatum)- Best Remedy For The Flu

{click here for a quick link to Amazon}

  • How do you know if boneset is right for you?  Your symptoms would include:
    • The patient experiences a deep aching in the bones and even the eyeballs are sore.
    • May feel totally wiped out and unable to exert the least effort.
    • Is usually thirsty, especially as the chill begins to come on.
  • How do you take it?
    • Take Boneset 30c, wait 20 minutes take again and wait.. you should feel an improvement.
    • You can use herbal remedies with homeopathy. 
    • Other homeopathic remedies are available as well if these symptoms do not match.

Teas For The Flu

Tea can be nourishing and hydrating when you are suffering from the flu.  The following herbs can help reduce a fever and fill the body with vitamins and minerals during the cold and flu season.

Try these teas as a single cup or blend daily.  Enjoy 3-4 cups if you’re able to sip on it.

  • Lemon Balm
  • Yarrow
  • Linden Flower
  • Elderflower
  • Catnip
  • Peppermint.

Conclusion

I agree the flu is not to be taken lightly.  If your symptoms do not improve in 4 days or you feel uneasy, please contact your doctor. To be prepared, purchase Boneset 30c in preparation for when the flu hits your home this winter.

Learn how to stop the Flu fast with my online course: Home Remedies For Children

Have you tried Eupatorium before for the flu? Let me know below.

7 Natural Remedies For Everyday Stress & Anxiety

7 Natural Remedies For Everyday Stress & Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety at different points in life—stress, and worry are natural parts of being human.

Even though it’s not unusual (anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. today), anxiety can be isolating and hard to confront when it gets out of hand.

Most days we’re able to bounce back from stressful events, but for those who struggle with anxious feelings, daily life can feel like an uphill battle.

Raising twins and running a Pilates studio taught me the true meaning of anxiety and burnout a few years back. After months of sleep-deprivation, I began studying to become a women’s herbal educator, hoping to get to the root of my struggle with anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

I quickly learned that nourishing my body with botanicals—specifically adaptogens and nervines— is key to keeping anxiety and burnout at bay.

Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us “adapt around stress.” Their anti-fatigue effects make them particularly potent when you’re up against mental exhaustion, frequent illness, or chronic stress.

If you’re burning the candle at both ends, treating yourself with any of these seven herbs will help you feel relaxed, balanced, and healthy again:

1. Ashwagandha (withania somnifera)

This is the first adaptogen I turned to when I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, and it’s still a personal favorite.  Ashwagandha is “known to give you the strength and stamina of a stallion”, but still gentle enough for anyone coping with anxiety. When taken regularly, it can ease shot nerves and improve sleep.

My favorite Ashwagandha product is Adrena Soothe by Dr. Aviva Romm. Try 2 dropperfuls in¼ cup of water two times per day, to reduce your stress.

2. Reishi (ganoderma lucidum)

Do you find you get sick when you finally go on vacation? The relationship between stress and illness is complex.

One study shows that chronic stress can raise the risk of viral infections,  eventually manifesting in full-blown illness. Try reishi if you’re under the weather frequently, or just feel stressed out and run down.

Taken regularly, reishi can reduce the likelihood that your stress will literally make you sick– so you can enjoy your vacations, rather than spending them out of commission.

Reishi has an earthy taste. I prefer Reishi Extract by Host Defense. Follow the directions on the label for dosing.  

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3. Milky Oat Tops (avena sativa)

Filled with vitamins and minerals, milky oat tops are a great herbal remedy that nourishes your nervous tissue and promotes relaxation.

Pairing milky oat tops with stinging nettles is a perfect combination to boost your daily energy without spiking stress or anxiety.

Due to cross-contamination, you may want to avoid milky oats if you have celiac disease.

👉My favorite way to enjoy milky oats is in a cup of blended tea. Combine equal parts of dried milky oat tops and stinging nettles.

Add 1 tablespoon of the blended herbs to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep the herbs for 20 minutes for a medicinal infusion, then strain and add a little raw honey for flavor.

4. Chamomile (matricaria recutita)

Just one cup per day of this well-loved tea can reduce menstrual cramps, shift your mood, and ease digestion. Safe for children, our family enjoys a cup of chamomile tea most nights to reduce our collective stress.

My favorite recipe for the whole family: Blend dried chamomile, lemon balm and milky oat tops together.

Then add 1 tablespoon of the mixed dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water.  Steep for 10 minutes. Add honey for flavor and double-check the tea has cooled before serving to children.

5. Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis)

If you’re prone to ragweed allergies, skip chamomile and enjoy a cup of lemon balm tea. This delightful citrus-flavored tea is known as the “gladdening herb”.  

As a nervine and mild anti-depressant, lemon balm promotes relaxation and reduces nervous energy.

To enjoy: Add 1 tablespoon of the dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. Add milk and honey for flavor.

6. Motherwort (leonurus cardiaca)

From motherhood to menopause, Motherwort is a true gift for women. It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy but should be your first go-to-herb after birth.

Motherwort’s calming qualities can help with everything from heart palpitations to extreme anxiety. Taking motherwort throughout the day can release tension and reduce panic attacks, and it’s a great solution for falling back to sleep if you wake up frequently during the night.

Motherwort has a bitter taste, so I find it’s best taken as a tincture.  Follow the directions on the label for your dosing.

7. Lavender (lavandula officinalis)

My favorite way to use lavender is as an essential oil.

Tap diluted lavender essential oil on your wrists or spray it in the air to soothe stress immediately. Lavender is known to help induce sleep, which makes it a perfect remedy for unwinding before bed.

To enjoy: Dilute lavender essential oil with water and add to your body products, spray on your pillow, or tap on your wrists as an organic, soothing perfume.  

Have you used botanical remedies before? Which ones work for you? Share in the comments section!


This article was featured in the Icon in March 2019. women's health

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Obsessed with natural remedies, Tara Gregorio is a Certified Women’s Herbal Educator located in Cold Spring, NY. She loves helping women reduce their medications with botanicals. Her favorite herbal recipes can be found on Pinterest and Instagram.
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