Sunday, August 25, 2013

Series 1:Essential Oils: Koala Heaven: Eucalyptus

Besides being the favourite food of the adorable koala bear, eucalyptus has a multitude of uses. For instance, do you know that eucalyptus leaves actually contain a potent insecticide, cyanide? (Not to worry, however, the amounts are minute and not harmful to us. A little chemistry here: Adequate protein in the diet helps to detoxify hydrocyanic acid, or HCN by providing sulphur amino acids. Ingested in small amounts over prolonged periods of time, the HCN will be neutralized.)

The Belle believes in balance-Even the most deadly of plants, when used correctly, can help us. (Take the deadly nightshade plant, for instance.) Similarly, even the best medicines, when used incorrectly, can be deadly. (Your bottle of innocent looking cough syrup suddenly isn't so innocent after all-some actually abuse it and use it as a drug!) So, keep an open mind, and use with caution and some common sense research. Exercise extra caution when using with the very young or old, pregnant and nursing, as well as the very sensitive.

The list of uses are as follows:
-Anti Infectious

The Belle understands that the above can be quite difficult to digest, so here is a breakdown of the common ways that eucalyptus (essential oil) can be used at home.

1) Aromatherapy-Place a few drops in an aromatherapy oil burner or diffuser to help freshen the air, relieve coughs, jet lag, and clear blocked sinuses. Also helps with stress, mental exhaustion, as well as sluggishness.

2)Massage- For sore, aching muscles, rheumatism, as well as congestion-use diluted with a carrier oil (eg. sweet almond oil) and massage over affected areas. Can also be used for pain relief in shingles.

3) As an anti bacterial room spray-Mix 10 drops eucalyptus oil with 5 drops tea tree oil with about 150ml water (preferably distilled) in a spray bottle. Shake well, and spray to kill airborne bacteria. (I notice this also helps with pesky mosquitoes!)

4)Insect repellent- Place a few drops on a ribbon, and tie at a window where insects tend to enter. Drip drops on cotton balls, and place on shelves. Refresh weekly.

5)Lice-Place a few drops on comb, and comb through hair to help with itch and get rid of lice.

6)Itching skin/ inflammation/minor wounds- Mix 5 drops tea tree, 5 drops lavender, and 5 drops eucalyptus with 150ml water. Shake to mix thoroughly, and dab with soaked cotton pad on affected area, or spray directly and allow to dry.

7)Fever relief-Mix 5 drops eucalyptus and 5 drops peppermint oil with 100ml water, shake well, and apply by soaking a towel in the mixture. be careful not to get into the eyes!

This eucalyptus is mine, all mine!

This list, is, of course, not exhaustive, but lists the most convenient and common ways eucalyptus oil can bee used at home. Please feel free to share your recipes!

Series on essential oils, to be continued!

Pardon my tardiness with updates, a lot has been happening at home. But the Belle is trying to keep up with updates at least twice a week on this blog, so please do keep coming back!

*Image of koala bear from Google. Do let me know if you are the owner of this photo so that I can credit you!

The Belle is Giddy...

I have been back a couple of days, but am down with nausea and severe bouts of giddiness. I was in the middle of writing another post for my dear readers just now when I was struck by a sudden wave of nausea and giddiness.

I will try to update as soon as possible, when I get better, so please bear with me! Thank you for your patience!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Series1:Essential Oils:All Purpose Wonder:Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil has become a staple in our daily routine. We use it for almost everything at home- From a concoction for spraying smelly feet and shoes, to dabbing it on stubborn zits-you get the picture.

My trusty friend
Tea Tree oil is also obtained from the Melaleuca Alternifolia. It has a wide range of uses, so let me list the most common ones down for you.

1)Antifungal- For the treatment of foot fungus, especially toenail fungus. Just dab directly on the affected areas. (Helps to relieve associated itching too!)

2)Antispetic-For wounds, cuts and grazes: Mix about 8-10 drops in about 100ml of water, and spray on affected areas. (Never use undiluted on open skin, it can sting!)

3)Athelete's foot-Shake, and spray the above concoction in (2) on the foot, concentrating on the toe area. Spray on shoes to prevent and treat odour

4)Freshening Laundry- Add  a few drops to the final rinse cycle of your washing machine for freshly scented clothes. I find that it helps prevent the 'wet clothes' smell associated with drying indoors.

5)Acne-Dab with a moistened cotton bud onto affected areas.  You may also want to take a look at  DIY:Tea Tree Aloe Vera Treatment Gel.

6)The concoction in (2) can also be sprayed sparingly to freshen the bed linen/as a hand sanitizer/any other use you can think of. Just be careful and try not to use it undiluted.

What are your favourite uses for tea tree oil? Do share!

As with all essential oils, exercise caution when using with the pregnant, young and elderly.(or the very sensitive)

(NB:The Belle is on a short trip, so this is a scheduled post. Please email me or leave me a comment should you need to get to me, and I will get back to you ASAP!)

Series on essential oils, to be continued!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Series 1:Essential Oils:Purple Maiden: Lavender

"And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender'd. "

John Keats

I seem to have lost the source for this picture, please let me know if you are the owner so that I can do the proper crediting!

Many a time, we have used lavender at home to spritz and freshen linen. Other than being pretty to look at, lavender has a multitude of uses. At the risk of boring you, here is the list.

1)Antidepressant- Lavender is known to be soothing to the emotions  and has widely been used as such in aromatherapy for relieving anxiety, depression and stress

2)Antispetic- Good for cuts, wounds. Apply neat with a cotton bud.

3)Analgesic-Pain relief, especially in the case of burns including sunburns. Bathe in cool water, and the apply neat with a cotton bud.

4)Cicatrizant-Promotes healing of sores, and helps in scar free healing.  Helps with repair of skin tissues. Swipe undiluted over cleansed wound every day.

5)Vulnerary- Helps in the treatment of wounds

6)Nervine-Calms overly jumpy nerves.  Diffuse with reeds or in an aromatherapy oil burner.

7)Expectorant-When inhaled, mixed with a bowl if hot water., helps to clear clogged sinuses

8)Other uses-As an insect repellant, and to sooth insect bites. Treatment of shingles, as well as a soothing massage oil when diluted with other carrier oils. Helps in eczema, acne giddiness, headaches, insomnia, and jet lag.

The above list is not exhaustive. The Belle also likes lavender oil mixed into a spritzer  as a pillow spray. My family prefers to use tea tree oil for the sheets. More about that later. (DIY Recipes coming up!)

A word of warning though: As with all essential oils, use with caution when pregnant, in young children and the elderly. Best to avoid completely if you have a tendency towards being extremely sensitive.

Stay tuned for The Belle's family favourite: Tea Tree oil. Coming up next! See you soon!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Coming Soon!

Finally, the mini-renovations are over. The renovation was a nightmare of dust, as well as tempers flying.

No more drilling at 8 am in the morning, and no more hands coming away blackened from dust when I mistakenly touch a dirty surface by mistake.

Coming up next, will be a write up on essential oils and their uses, as well as some product reviews, so keep a lookout for those!

Cleaning up in progress at the Belle's residence. Updates soon!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Five More Days...

Good afternoon everyone, I trust you have all been well? The renovation works have stopped for the Hari Raya/ National Day holidays (and so my respiratory system has been given some respite), and so here I am!

I have gotten myself a (budget, of course) air purifier/air revitalizor, and will likely review it after use. Hopefully, it makes a difference! Now, on the lookout for quality essential oils to scent my room. Will share my findings here!

Five more days till the renovation is over, so I'll see everyone soon!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Note to Everyone, From The Belle

You may have noticed that I am moderating all comments, and you now have to key in a verification code to post your comments. This is because I have been getting a lot of spam in my comments section.Please do bear with me.

If anyone has any ideas other than moderating all the comments, please do let me know.

As my place is undergoing some renovation works now (Major noise,as well as dust), updates may not be as often for this couple of weeks. But The Belle will still try to blog as often as possible.

Meanwhile, The Belle is looking for an economical (read:cheap) air purifier(s) for her dusty, tiny, cramped living quarters. The dust and germs are getting on my nerves (and to my family's respiratory system) Suggestions (maybe, even, hopefully sponsors?) are welcome!

The Belle will be back soon with useful reads. See you again soon, my beauties!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: Mentholatham Whitening Hand Veil

Finally this review is out, after a long wait. Pardon my tardiness!

Mentholatham Whitening Hand Veil SPF 15

I took awhile to review this as I wanted to give it a fair chance to work on my poor, neglected hands. So did it deliver? Let's see!

-Hands remained the same colour even after sun exposure. No new sun spots.
-Hands were left well moisturized

-A little oily, and took awhile to absorb. Left an oily feel if I applied too much.
-No visible whitening effect after about 2 weeks of use. (Hmm, maybe I wasn't using it regularly enough?)
-Overly strong scent

A fairly good basic handcream. Just don't expect whitening miracles from the product. As The Belle has some tiny spots on her hand, she will have to find an alternative product when this product is finished. Recommendations, or suggestions anyone? Please do let me know.(Or I will have to resort to more extreme measures...*cue evil laugh*....muhahahha......Kidding....)

See you back here soon, my beauties!