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                            At MOTHER EARTH LIVING and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-456-6018 or by email. Stay safe!

                            Natural Health
                            Better living through nature

                            Myrrh Essential Oil: A Divinely Rich Essence

                            Myrrh—an aromatic, rich, precious resin—was widely used in ancient times throughout the Middle East, but especially in Egypt, for incense, perfumery, medicine, and as a preservation ingredient in the embalming process.  It was particularly prized as a remedial aid for infections of the respiratory tract, mouth, and skin and as a digestive stimulant.  Myrrh was also one of the three gifts said to have been brought by the three wise men to the baby Jesus to support a state of grace and preserve divine essence.  The name "myrrh" derives from the Arabic "murr," meaning "bitter." 

                            Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) essential oil is valued for many of the same uses as the resin. Known for its rejuvenating and revitalizing effects on the skin, it is often used in natural antiaging products to delay wrinkling and improve the skin’s texture and tone. I swear by myrrh essential oil’s “youthifying” effects and often add a few drops to my facial oils and creams. A little goes a long way. It also successfully promotes the healing of all manner of minor wounds, inflamed skin conditions (such as weeping eczema and psoriasis, hemorrhoids, and acne), and environmentally damaged, dry, chapped, cracked skin.

                            Myrrh essential oil has a superb reputation as a remedy for inflammatory and infectious conditions of the mouth and throat (bleeding gums, gingivitis, ulcers, bad breath, pyorrhea, receding gums, thrush, general sore throat, laryngitis, and tonsillitis). It also serves as a most useful respiratory antiseptic with drying and purifying properties that help alleviate infection and loosen and expectorate mucus during cases of bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, coughs, and colds.

                            myrrh resin and cobalt bottle

                            From Herb To Oil

                            The scrubby, thorny myrrh tree has knotted branches, small three-part leaves, and white flowers. When pierced or incised, the trunk and larger limbs yield a pale-yellow liquid that hardens into the reddish-brown drops known as myrrh or myrrh gum resin. These are dried to be distilled into essential or used as incense. The tree is native to the Middle East, northeast Africa, and southwest Asia, though its growing range has been extended by cultivation. The essential oil is primarily distilled in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan. 

                            Myrrh essential oil is produced by steam distillation of the crude gum oleoresin. A lovely, sweeter CO2 is also produced in lesser quantity, as is a resinoid and resin absolute. It is an oily, pale yellow-to-amber, viscous liquid with a rather unique odor: warm, sweet-balsamic, slightly spicy-medicinal-astringent, smoky-musty.

                            Important note: The myrrh tree belongs to the same plant family (Burseraceae) as frankincense (Boswellia carteri, B. sacra, B. frereana, and multiple other Boswellia species). Both species grow slowly in arid climates, and due to the popularity of their resins, the wild trees cannot sustainably produce enough to fill the global demand. They are both considered vulnerable and near-threatened. I ask that you use the beloved myrrh and frankincense products judiciously and sparingly. Frankincense and myrrh are now being cultivated to help satisfy demand, but as I said, their growth is very slow.

                            Psychological Benefits: The centering, grounding scent of myrrh is beneficial i n cases of apathy, emotional coldness, weakness, and lack of motivation. It cools heated emotions and calms states of fear, panic, and hysteria. It also fortifies and revitalizes the spirit, building confidence in those who are afraid to speak up about their feelings. It promotes spiritual awareness and is recommended for meditation and prayer; it can also be used to ease the anguish of grief.

                            Essential Properties In A Nutshell: Tones and tightens skin tissue: highly antibacterial; astringent; anti-inflammatory; best remedy for mouth, gum, and throat irritations and infections; powerful respiratory antiseptic and expectorant; stimulating; warming; strengthens and fortifies the emotions; grounding and centering to the mind.

                            Safety Data & Usage Information

                             Generally nonirritating and nonsensitizing. Avoid during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and use with children under 2 years of age.

                            Always dilute essential oils properly – according to age, health, medication intake, and skin condition – prior to application.  My book, Stephanie Tourles’s Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide (Storey Publishing, c2018), is a good reference, complete with safety guidelines and dilution charts.

                            The following recipe highlights the therapeutic nature of myrrh essential oil with regard to its benefits for oral health. Combined with peppermint essential oil, it works like a charm!

                            soothing myrrh mouthwash and gargle

                            Soothing Myrrh-Mint Mouthwash & Gargle Recipe

                            With a combination of warm, resinous notes and stimulating, sharp mint, this bracing, mouth-tingling blend offers antibacterial, astringent, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties that help tone and tighten gum tissue, neutralize bad breath, soothe a sore throat, relieve laryngitis, and aid in alleviating mouth ulcers and inflamed gums. It is tasty and effective! Note:  This recipe is safe for folks 12 years of age and older.

                            Essential Oils:

                            • 1 drop myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) essential oil
                            • 1 drop peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil


                            • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
                            • 1/4 cup purified water, hot or tepid (hot water is more soothing for sore throats and laryngitis)

                            To Make The Mouthwash:  Combine the sea salt with the drops of myrrh and peppermint essential oils in a small mug. Pour in the water and stir to blend. Use immediately.

                            To Use:  First, rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water, then gargle and swish with half of the mouthwash for up to 30 seconds (or for as long as you can tolerate). Spit it out in the sink (do not swallow). Repeat with remaining mouthwash., If you are suffering from a sore throat or laryngitis, mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, or pyorrhea, repeat several times per day until the condition improves, making a new batch each time.

                            Yield:  Single use

                            Photos by Mars Vilaubi

                            stephanie tourles's essential oils a beginner's guideRecipe excerpted from Stephanie Tourles’s Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide, (c2018 by Stephanie Tourles). Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

                            How to Keep Your Hands Healthy and Hydrated

                            The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) breaks down the science of hand washing and why it works for preventing the spread of illness.

                            Throughout your average day there are several times you should be washing your hands:

                            • Before, during, and after preparing food
                            • Before eating
                            • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
                            • After using the restroom, changing a diaper, or handling pet waste
                            • After handling pets or their food
                            • After touching garbage

                            During times of a pandemic, like COVID-19, you should also be sure to cleanse hands after being in public spaces and touching surfaces that may have been touched by others, such as gas pumps, door handles, or shopping carts.

                            woman washing hands with soap over white sink bowl

                            With so much hand washing going on in recent months, you may have notice that you skin has become dry and cracked. Use these tips from a board-certified dermatologist to keep your hands soft and healthy!

                            How to prevent hands from cracking and staying hydrated:

                            • Moisturize one to two times a day with a cream such as Cerave Cream or Aveeno Eczema Cream
                              Choosing a fragrance-free formula is also a good idea.
                            • It is generally best to opt for cleansers that only have gentle ingredients.
                            • Neutrogena Hydroboost Gel prevents dryness without clogging pores and absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving any residue and is perfect for year-round use.
                            • Avoid antibacterial soap, which can be drying.  Unless you're instructed to use antibacterial soap for medical reasons, then just use the regular stuff instead.
                            • I don’t think you can use too many products as they will all be absorbed into your skin.
                            • Other products can be added to target specific concerns, like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid for acne, or hyaluronic acid for irritation or dryness.

                            Advice for strengthening your nails:

                            • Wear gloves when hand washing dishes or cleaning.
                            • Do not use antibacterial soap. 
                            • Moisturize cuticles with Aquaphor, Vaseline or CND Solar Oil.
                            • DermaNail Conditioner – use twice a day; Helps dry, brittle nails.
                            • Biotin – a vitamin which accelerates nail growth (My favorite is vitafusion Gummies for Hair, Skin, and Nails because it contains a good amount of Biotin and is also a multivitamin.)
                            • Keep nails short; file nails gently; avoid nail trauma (such as using them to open packages or remove lids from cans).
                            • For soft nails – use Nailtiques 2 Plus Lacquer or Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails Strengthener
                            • Use nail polish remover that does not contain acetone.

                            Visit the CDC for more tips on proper hand washing techniques.

                            Image by Martin Slavoljubovski from Pixabay

                            How to Make the Outdoors Your Gym

                            Outdoor Gym
                            Adobe Stock/Dudarev Mikhail

                            Even the most basic gym should have all the equipment needed for a complete workout, so why does it often feel so lacking? We drag our feet through the front door, push out a couple sets of bench press, bore ourselves on the treadmill for 15 minutes and then leave. Only the most dedicated gym rats can make it through those places without going crazy. There has to be a better way.

                            Believe it or not, there was a time when there were no gyms and humans were all in much better shape, but over the centuries our sedentary lifestyle has caught up to us and now there's nothing left but to do the bare minimum at the gym each week. But if you just stepped outside you would see a world just waiting to be your natural gym.

                            If you're ready to step out of the globo-gym and embrace the outdoors, here are some great places to get started.

                            Trail Running

                            Trail running grew from niche hobby to popular sport thanks to events like Ragnar, which give trail runners a place to socialize and compete (though must run for non-competitive fun) across some of the most scenic trails in the country. But if you don't live near the national parks of Utah or the redwood forests of Northern California, chances are there is still a trail waiting for the tread under your shoes.

                            Check with local parks to find good trails, and grab some of the few essentials for an exhilarating and challenging workout. A good pair of trail running shoes from Merrell, Salomon, or La Sportiva offer the support and traction needed for rugged terrain and a hydration pack from CamelBak or Osprey will provide plenty of water on the trail.

                            Stadium Climbs

                            We all don't have the luxury of climbing the steps at the Los Angeles Coliseum, but every town with a decent high school football program also has a stadium that can double as the perfect outdoor gym — and running up the stairs is just the beginning. There are a variation of different elevated push-ups you can do thanks to the different heights of the bleacher seats. And when it comes time to run the steps, add some variety to your stride by skipping a step, two-stepping (when both feat touch each step before moving on) or broad jumping steps. This provides a killer cardio session while also adding in great footwork.

                            Competitive Shooting

                            Target and sport shooting is a big part of outdoor life, but it doesn't do much for physical fitness outside of hand-eye coordination. But there is a new activity growing in popularity that tests accuracy and endurance.

                            The "3 Gun" competitions require you to quickly navigate a course and shoot targets with a shotgun, handgun and rifle. It's tons of fun for anyone who loves to shoot and requires more movement than traditional target shooting. If you need to purchase guns for sport shooting, check local and online retailers for their selection of firearms.

                            Park Workouts

                            If you think park workouts are a puny alternative to a real gym, think again. Monkey bars might be fun and games for kids, but they can deliver serious muscle building and toning for adults. The various bars and rings found in parks and playgrounds are perfect for pull-ups, dips, muscle ups and other body movements that will build grip strength, improve mobility and target muscles that you might neglect in a tradition free weight gym.

                            Jim Burch is a copywriter from Phoenix and avid admirer of alliteration. His goals are to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, see all 30 baseball stadiums, and eliminate the improper use of "literally," but he figuratively can't even.

                            Raw Juice Shots: Nature's Delicious Immunity Boosters!

                            In these uber-chaotic times, when stressors of economic uncertainty, food insecurity, social distancing, the expanding global pandemic, and media bombardment of incessant doom & gloom abound, our immune system is being challenged. Why?  When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and cancer cells is reduced.  Our immunity shields are lowered thus we’re more susceptible to serious illnesses.  We’re often in a steady state of fight or flight, adrenaline is pumping all too often, we’re deeply fatigued, and our body’s stores of stress-reducing nutrients such as vitamins B and C, and calming minerals such potassium, calcium, and magnesium are being consumed at an accelerated rate in order to help us cope.  Additionally, the stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system by lowering the number of lymphocytes—white blood cells that are part of our immune defense and act to recognize antigens, produce antibodies, and destroy cells that could cause damage.

                            To help shore up our immune system and strengthen its protective shields, we need to get ample, restful sleep, fresh air, regular exercise, sunshine (lots of vitamin D), laughter (it’s great medicine), lots of self-care (warm, fragrant baths, aromatherapy massage, foot rubs, meditation time, etc.), plus consume a diet that’s loaded with vital nutrients.  So, with this blog, I’m going to share a couple of recipes that I use to nutritionally boost my immune system . . . in a most delicious way!  Raw juice shots are small, uncomplicated, quick-to-make, nutrition-packed, energy elixirs, usually a half-cup of liquid or less per serving, that deliver a rapid shot of power and quickly digested vitamins, minerals, potent antioxidants, and other phytochemicals. They’re the perfect afternoon pick-me-up for both adults and children.

                            If you enjoy these recipes, additional raw shot elixirs are available in my best-selling book, Raw Energy In A Glass: 126 Nutrition-Packed Smoothies, Green Drinks, and Other Satisfying Raw Beverages to Boost Your Well-Being.

                            Try more recipes from Stephanie's book: 

                            raw juice shots in glasses

                            Morning Power Shot Recipe

                            This recipe—a reader favorite—is my version of a spicy, ginger-flavored lemonade. Ginger root is a pungent, moderately hot herb that enhances energy by increasing circulation throughout the body.  Combined with a pinch of cayenne and vitamin C-rich lemon juice, this blend enlivens the senses; provides a rosy glow to the complexion; warms the body from head to toe; helps relieve indigestion, constipation, and motion sickness; clears sinus and respiratory congestion; eases the pain of arthritis; and even freshens breath.  I guarantee this tasty, powerful shot will give you a bigger energy boost than you’d get from a shot of espresso – sans the caffeine jitters!


                            - 1/2 cup purified water
                            - 2 teaspoons ginger root, peeled, very finely minced
                            - 2 teaspoons raw honey (more if you want it sweeter)
                            - Pinch of cayenne pepper powder

                            To Make The Power Shot:

                            1. Heat the water to just shy of a simmer in a very small saucepan. Remove from heat.
                            2. Put the lemon juice, ginger root, honey, and cayenne in a medium-size mug and then pour in the hot water. Stir to blend and allow the mixture to steep for a few minutes.  The longer it steeps, the stronger and more potent the ginger becomes.
                            3. Drink quickly, ginger bits and all, when the juice blend is comfortably warm. Feel the hot energy coursing through your veins!

                            A good source of: antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and natural sugars

                            Yield: 1 serving

                            Deep Purple Vibrations Shot Recipe

                            A feel-good, look-good drink if there ever was one!  Simply made using only dark purple, antioxidant-rich grapes blended with tart lime juice, it will quench your thirst, lift your energy, and, with abundant natural sugars, satisfy a raging sweet tooth.  Most kids love this drink, especially if you give it a goofy name, like Purple Monster Juice.  Beats a box of pasteurized juice any day!

                            Highly alkaline (stress makes your body acidic) and energetically cooling, grapes will help the body to eliminate excess heat and acid. Enjoyed on a regular basis, the anti-inflammatory action will help soothe achy joints, too.


                            - 1 cup dark purple, seedless grapes
                            - 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
                            - Pinch of sea salt (optional)

                            To Make The Power Shot:

                            1. Place the grapes, lime juice, and salt, if desired, in a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds.
                            2. Serve immediately, complete with all of the fiber, as I do, or strain through a mesh strainer to yield a more clarified beverage. Mix with a splash of carbonated water to make a natural, yummy sparkling soda!

                            A good source of: antioxidants galore, plus vitamin C, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, boron, natural sugars, and fiber (if you don’t strain it out)

                            Yield: 2 small servings

                            Recipes excerpted from, Raw Energy In A Glass: 126 Nutrition-Packed Smoothies, Green Drinks, and Other Satisfying Raw Beverages to Boost Your Well-Being, (c2014 by Stephanie Tourles). Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

                            Finding Peace in Nature During the COVID-19 Social Distancing

                            Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.               
                            -Ralph Waldo Emerson

                            vase of daffodils on rustic wood table

                            Inside of our homes, workplaces, schools and cars the air is thick with the moment to moment news of COVID-19. In this confinement, our minds become filled with scattered thoughts, our breaths become shallow and our bodies tense.

                            While we need to understand what is happening in and around the world and certainly within our communities, we also need to take care of ourselves and boost our immune systems in order to stay healthy and do our part to stop the spread of the virus.

                            During times of suffering, challenge or loss, when my insides have felt heavy and stagnant, and my mind smothered by thoughts or fears, I chose the elixir of life; the spacious and peaceful natural world. I gave myself this healing gift today. I returned home from a busy day only to hear the ping of texts and the noise of the television scattering the latest closures, containments and opinions. I walked out on the commotion and into the quiet balance of nature. I took in a deep, cleansing breath of  fresh air and I intentionally felt the warmth of the sunshine on my face. A lovely calm billowed throughout my body. An hour-long walk with my dog was a simple antidote that allowed my mind to clear and my body to settle.

                            During this time of uncertainty, try something new that brings you outside. Plant a pot with fresh flowers that you can see from inside your window. The colorful sight will bring you joy and having your hands in the dirt while planting will bring a sense of grounding. Local garden centers are now selling cole crops or cool weather vegetables, which means you can get outside and plant a small plot or even a pot of fresh, organic lettuces, kale, arugula and more! Having the ability to grow and harvest your own fresh vegetables, especially now, is so rewarding and nourishing! After you harvest your first delicious bowl of fresh greens, take note that lettuce, arugula and kale are the gifts that keep on giving! Once you cut and enjoy your first pick, these plants will continue to grow and bring another bowl of bountiful nutrients! I call these “cut and come again veggies!” If you simply don’t have the outdoor space to plant and grow your own vegetables or flowers, you can always pick up a daffodil plant at your local grocery store and keep it on your counter to bring you a dose of sunshine and color!

                            Remember that our children, young or adult, pick up on our stress and we all know that stress attacks our immune systems. This is another important reason to take it outside and enjoy each other’s company while soaking in some sun in the open air. Enjoying walks together, exploring that park that has been on your list to visit or having fun with a treasure hunt in nature are all ways to create memories and share some beneficial bonding time. Simply getting into the habit of walking every day and encouraging each other by walking together, we boost our immune systems. An act so simple yet so healing and renewing should not be taken for granted, take a walk and give yourself the gift of health and a quiet mind.

                            Step outside and allow the wonder and ease of nature to lift you out of the weight of the world. Catch your breath, slow it down, shift your thoughts into a place of healing harmony. Find your balance in the breeze or in the song of a bird. Let your calmness outwardly resonate so others around you feel the calm. Smile at people as you pass by, this small gesture of kindness can bring a needed sense of peace and comfort to others.

                            Be well in your body and your thoughts.

                            Julianne Haycox is the author of the new memoir Conversations with Grace (Koehler, March 2020), a book of inspiration and personal growth. For more, visit her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

                            Geranium Essential Oil: Your Rose-Scented Wellness Aid

                            This highly aromatic plant, long adored for the delicious complexity of its bouquet, has been much used by the perfume industry for hundreds of years.  Seventeenth-century Europeans loved it so much that they developed hundreds of hybrids.  Geranium leaves make a soothing rose-flavored tea and are prized for their use in making a fragrant body wash, hydrosol, natural deodorant, and effective insect repellent.  They can also be used to promote healing for a broad range of conditions, from dysentery and cholera to hemorrhoids and infections of the skin.

                            As a soothing astringent, geranium (Pelargonium graveolens; P. x asperum) essential oil tones and tightens the skin and astringes excess moisture, making it an excellent choice for weeping eczema, psoriasis, edema, hemorrhoids, and excessive perspiration of underarms and feet.  Considered a “beautifying oil,” it benefits the health of both the skin and scalp by balancing sebum (oil) production in all skin types.  With its parasiticidal properties, it is also useful in blends formulated to combat ringworm, lice, nail fungus, and athlete’s foot.

                            For those with impaired circulation or vascular disorders, such as Raynaud’s disease, couperose skin (skin exhibiting diffuse redness due to dilated capillaries), or varicose and spider veins, geranium essential oil, in addition to other oils such as cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) and ginger (Zingiber officinale), is a useful adjunct to assist with regulation of blood flow.

                            Sometimes called “the woman’s oil,” geranium essential oil is indeed a special gift for women because of its positive regulatory actions upon the hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex.  This makes it a valuable remedy for problems caused by fluctuating hormone levels, including PMS, engorged and/or painful breasts, and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

                            geranium flowers
                            Photo by Stephanie Tourles

                            Geranium Oil or Rose Oil?

                            Geranium essential oil is sometimes confused with rose (Rosa damascena) essential oil, due to its rose-like scent and the fact that it’s occasionally labeled “rose geranium.”  In fact, geranium oil is frequently used to adulterate and extend real rose oil, and it is the starting point in the manufacture of synthetic rose oil.

                            From Herb To Oil:  A native of South Africa, this tender perennial fuzzy shrub has pointed leaves and clusters of small pink, violet, red, or white flowers.  The entire plant is aromatic.  The genus name Pelargonium derives from the Greek pelargos, “stork,” in reference to the herb’s long, bill-like seeds.  Over 250 varieties of scented geraniums are cultivated all over the world.  P. graveolens is the name most often found on commercial essential oil labels, though it is unlikely to be the true botanical source.

                            The leaves, green stems, and flowers are harvested at the start of the flowering period and steam-distilled to produce the clear, slightly greenish essential oil. As I mentioned earlier, the scent, though lovely, can be a bit heavy and likes to cling and linger, so follow any recipes to the letter and use a light hand if adding to your diffuser – perhaps starting with just 1 drop.

                            When purchasing geranium essential oil, you may have a choice between Egyptian, Chinese, and Bourbon varieties.  The Egyptian, which tends to be the least expensive, has a less-sweet, grassy-rose aroma.  The Chinese smells like typical geranium, being rosy-earthy-green.  The Bourbon is the cream of the crop, with an exquisitely clean and sweet scent, but it is also the most expensive.  They all work equally well in my recipes; it’s just a matter of taste and budget.

                            Psychological Benefits:  “Balancing” is the best way to describe this oil.  It seems to bestow upon you what you need.  It is gently refreshing, uplifting, calming, grounding, and centering, yet not sedating.  The aroma encourages feelings of peace and harmony, while uncluttering a chaotic mind.  It is useful for treating depression, nervous tension, anxiety, and restlessness, and it’s a wonderful choice for those moving through a stressful, symptomatic menopause. 

                            Essential Properties In A Nutshell:  Gentle astringent and diuretic, good for water retention/edema; antibacterial and antifungal; mild anti-inflammatory and moderate circulatory stimulant; deodorizing; promotes wound healing; cooling; emotionally and physically balancing; valuable insect repellent and parasiticide.

                            Safety Data & Usage Information:  Generally considered nontoxic, nonirritating, and nonsensitizing, but it may cause contact dermatitis in hypersensitive individuals.

                            Always dilute essential oils properly – according to age, health, medication intake, and skin condition – prior to application.  My book, Stephanie Tourles’s Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide (Storey Publishing, c2018), is a good reference, complete with safety guidelines and dilution charts.

                            The following recipe highlights the therapeutic nature of geranium essential oil with regard to its deodorizing properties. Works like a charm!

                            geranium essential oil and dropper on wooden cutting board
                            Photo by Mars Vilaubi courtesy Storey Publishing

                            Herbal Fresh Deodorant Spray Recipe

                            The most important action of any deodorant is to minimize the proliferation of odor-causing bacteria, and this formula, with its delightful aroma, does it amazingly well, sans synthetic fragrance and questionable ingredients.  Keep a small bottle with a few cotton pads handy for when you need to freshen up a bit.  It’s wonderful as a foot deodorizer, too! Note: This recipe is safe for folks 6 years of age and older.

                            Essential Oils:

                            • 16 drops geranium (Pelargonium graveolens; P. x asperum) essential oil
                            • 12 drops rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis chemotype verbenon) essential oil
                            • 12 drops tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil
                            • 8 drops lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil


                            • 1 cup unflavored vodka (80-proof) or commercially prepared witch hazel
                            • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
                            • 8-ounce plastic or dark glass spritzer bottle

                            To Make The Spray:  Pour the vodka (or witch hazel) into the bottle.  Add the glycerin, then the geranium, rosemary, tea tree, and lemon essential oils.  Screw the top on the bottle and shake vigorously to blend – expect essential oils to separate out and float to the top in about 5 minutes – that’s normal. Label the bottle and allow the spray to synergize for at least 1 hour.  Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year.

                            To Use:  Shake well and use immediately.  Spray onto clean, dry underarms and/or feet or apply with a cotton pad or cloth and rub in.  Let dry before getting dressed.  Follow with a natural deodorizing body powder, if desired.

                            Bonus Uses:  This formula doubles as an astringent and mild antiseptic liquid cleanser for your hands, face, or entire body, for that matter (avoid the eyes, nose, and mouth).  Use for impromptu cleansing when a bath or shower is not convenient.  It also makes a good mosquito repellent!

                            Yield:  8-ounces (240 ml)

                            stephanie tourles beginners essential oils book coverRecipe excerpted from Stephanie Tourles’s Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide, (c2018 by Stephanie Tourles). Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

                            How Yoga Builds Self-Confidence to Achieve Your Goals

                            Let alone self-confidence, yoga can mend your soul and make it vibrate at such a level that all the negative energies coming your way can deflect automatically. Isn’t that all we want? To make our lives filled with positive people, energies, and minds? Yoga helps you reach that state of abundance where all you are left with is, a blissful mind.

                            It is often discussed that a man without a goal is like a train without an engine. It is going somewhere, but certainly not towards its destination. Similarly, a man who is witnessing the desired change in his/her career is a result of passion and ambition. Only a person who has set the aims by making priorities and walks step by step to achieve these goals can end up victoriously. To achieve these goals, there is one thing that decides whether you are capable of taking this step or you are just following other sheep. It is self-confidence! It's simple, if you are good at your craft, you will eventually be confident about it. Maybe not in the beginning, but in due-course after exposing your talent. Now, this confidence shapes whether you are going the right way or the wrong way. If you are confident about your work, your talent, your goals; you will do anything possible to overcome any hindrances and obstacles to reach that higher destination.

                            Yoga can gift you that confidence which you may lack in your daily life. You must understand that the quality of confidence is not just needed in your professional life, but it is also a key factor in building good relationships. So, make your personal life as precious as your professional one. Below are some of the steps which show how yoga can build confidence in achieving your goals.


                            Set Goals

                            Yoga can be a guardian angel; it protects you from discomforts or any internal harm. So don’t be hesitant to take a step ahead and make that decision because it’s your time to finally set your goals. Gain clarity and confidence with yoga by filtering out any doubts or opposing perceptions that are stopping you from going forward.

                            Be Disciplined and Follow a Routine

                            If you have even a tiny bit understanding of yoga, then you must be aware of the fact that yoga demands discipline, hard work, and consistency to provide maximum results. Attend any of the teacher training programs in India or anywhere in the world to know the importance of discipline in yoga for your personal as well as professional life. Practice yoga asana consistently and sincerely to be on this path of achievement. Let success follow you!

                            Improve Focus and Concentration

                            Yoga techniques and methods like meditation, balancing the yoga postures, helps in improving focus and concentration. This removes the fog in your head and pushes you further towards your goals. If you are sitting in an idle position, becoming self-aware about yourself and your surroundings, then you know how to be consciously accountable. Keep focusing on your goals, even if the attention gets diverted, be patient because the kid in you knows that only a tortoise wins the race.

                            Handle Stress

                            Learn how to be smart with time-management. Pranayama exercises channelize the blocked energies in you. For example, if you are working and planning to start your own business soon, or just waiting for your promotion; it may become stressful every day to balance out everything- your family, friends, job, personal and leisure time. To help you eliminate the feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, you can adopt these yogic techniques which can release the pressure on thy self.

                            Stay Mentally Calm and Physically Active

                            To excel in any field, it is rather complimenting to stay calm and relaxed in every situation. This may sound easy, but it is a little difficult to maintain this feeling especially if you are working like a robot every single day. To make your emotions tranquil, it is a higher known fact that yoga lets you open the doors of rejuvenation and mystical composure. Physical activity is the ‘wise advice’ given to every individual to keep their mental health in place and harmonization with the body.

                            Internal Motivation

                            Yoga makes you internally motivated when you experience that the inspiration which you were seeking outside has always been hiding within. It sparks the inner-Buddha in you as you gain peace, inner-balance, and positivity with a refreshing new attitude. These are all the qualities you need, to get a step closer to your dream ambition. People mostly get enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training in India to learn all the basic to advanced knowledge of yoga that will help to get motivated every time in all situations and conditions.

                            Spiritual Intelligence to Shape Your Perspective

                            Building a new perspective is highly encouraged, especially if you are stuck in the same black hole. Yoga makes you aligned with the universal energy which means that the spirit in you finds a way out and helps you gain a third perspective to look at things or situations. While driving towards your goals, a spiritually intelligent person can make much better decisions in life than a single perspective mind.

                            Let yoga become your success mantra!

                            Bipin Baloni is a yoga teacher from India and his core specialization is in Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. He organizes 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. Bipin Baloni conducts Yoga Teacher Training in India in different cities. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and health.

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