All Posts by lavender-admin

Organic Gardening Tips

Water is wasted and chemicals are poured into the environment by large agricultural producers and small home gardeners every year. Incorporating organic gardening methods is not as hard or expensive at it may seem.

Here are some tips that you can use to help your own garden, and the planet by avoiding the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

Native plants. Not all plants are appropriate for where you live so be sure to research and plan accordingly. Growing plants that are native to your area might help you to avoid using fertilizers and save on water as well.  Hardy plants are more resistant and healthy.

Weeds. We’re all looking for a quick and easy way to safely get rid of weeds without chemicals, but the good old fashioned way is still very effective, pull them.

If you make time for gardening every day to pull the weeds you find it will only take a few minutes. Depending on what time of the day it is you can make this a time to begin your day with positive thoughts and feelings  or reflect on your blessings at the end of the day.

Being in nature has the ability to improve our thoughts and emotions.

Using mulch is another option for weed control and plant protection, but be sure to read more about mulch types to be sure you aren't causing issues by using one that has seeds like hay or creating an acidic environment with pine needles.

Crop rotation. Farmers use crop rotation to naturally fertilize plants. Plants use different nutrients and put other nutrients back into the soil. If you rotate crops that replace the nutrients the other plants use, you will have to fertilize the soil less. 

You can use this same concept in your garden by planting different plants every year, or just rotating where you put specific plants in the garden. You might be surprised to see an abundance in your veggie harvest by making one small change

Natural repelling plants. You don’t need to rely on poisons to keep away garden ruining insects and pests. Many plants produce chemicals that repel pests naturally and some even bring more flavor to certain vegetables. By putting repelling plants in or around you garden, you can keep your garden safe with little effort and no chemicals. I love to see gardens bordered by flowers with purpose and beauty.

Lavender, basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, catnip, citronella and marigolds are some common pest repelling plants to place near or in your garden.

BONUS- you can pick parts of these plants and use them to make products to keep insects away from the garden and away from yourself while working in the garden!

To create a bug repellant spray for your garden, soak leaves or plant parts in a bucket of water overnight then strain and place in a large spray bottle. Or, dilute essential oils with water and make a spray.

Here is one of the essential oil blends I use to repel bugs, but there are so many to choose from depending on which type of  insects or bugs you need to repel.

Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Citronella are inexpensive and I usually have all three of these on hand.

Always use be sure you
- use oils that are skin safe and properly diluted if you plan on spraying your body.  
-research child safe essential oils before using on kids under 12
-refrain from using certain citrus oils on the skin with sun exposure to prevent a phototoxicity burn

No matter how small your garden is you can make a difference by making changes towards organic gardening practices. Teach your kids and tell your neighbors! Every little bit helps make it a better, safer, healthier world.

Stress and Your Skin

Stress runs deeper than your emotions.

You have heard it over and over how stress can kill you right? It's true, but let's not get so morbid in this article. Stress related conditions can range from headaches to heart disease and it is a serious matter that needs your attention. 

Good news though - you can always work towards lowering your stress level and health risks:)

Let's talk about acne breakouts since stress is the primary trigger in adult acne.

When your body stays in a constant, high level of stress, it over works the adrenal glands which can increase sebum production contributing to the development of acne.

When the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, the excess oil holds onto dead skin cells that are meant to be shed. The dead skin and oil clog the pores, preventing oxygen from entering and setting up a perfect environment for bacteria to grow, in turn causing the inflammation that is visible as redness and swelling.

Too much stress can be hard on the immune system, causing slower skin healing and potential for infection.  In psoriasis, new cells are produced rapidly leading to thick and scaly skin.

Stress also ages skin. Studies show that free radicals and shortened telomeres cause skin aging.

-A free radical is an atom with an unpaired electron. There are many things in our daily lives that cause free radicals, stress is just one of them.  Oxidation is free radical damage and causes cell and tissue damage.  

-A telomere is the  protective cap at the end of a DNA strand. Chronic stress has been linked to shorter telomeres.

Here are 5 Quick ways to de-stress

1. Sip Tea  L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. 

2. Take a quick walk. Just changing the scenery and moving your body in a stressful time will help clear your head and boost endorphins.

3. Eat Chocolate.  Studies show dark chocolate reduces the stress hormone cortisol, as well as being rich in antioxidants

4. Sniff Essential Oils.  Use an aromatherapy inhaler or just place a drop of essential oil into the palm of your hands, cup your hands and breathe in. This type of aromatherapy is the most simple and quickest way to get to the brain. Citrus or lavender are great for calming.

5. Massage your Ears. Start at the lobe and work up to the top of ear, it is very relaxing.

Make an effort to find more ways to calm your stress for the sake of your health.