Safely soften your laundry -- avoiding toxins and their associated hazards -- and lower your skyhigh stress levels, so common in the nursing profession, at the same time. Rather than using conventional, chemical-laden fabric softener, you can easily make your own aromatherapy version.
The best part? You'll be breathing in the delicious scent of lavender from your clothing, whenever you move throughout the day.
Aromatherapy advocates use 130+ varieties of essential oils to relieve all sorts of ailments, from the ordinary stess and aches of nursing to more serious conditions such as insomnia, depression, and agitation.
One of the most popular stress-busting essential oils is lavender, which most of us are familiar with as a fragrance in soaps, hand creams, or clothing sachets. In ancient times it was used for purification -- in fact, the name comes from the Latin lavare, meaning "to wash."
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, research confirms that lavender, when inhaled, can indeed sligthly calm, sooth, and sedate us.
There are many ways to enjoy the relaxing effects of lavender, but this simple recipe is especially nice because it reminds us of the herb's ancient purpose of washing away the cares of body, mind, and soul.
DIY Lavender Fabric Softener
1/2 cup vinegar
2 TB baking soda
1/2 tsp lavender essential oil (available at natural foods stores)
Add vinegar to baking soda and dissolve. Stir in lavender. Add to washer during rinse cycle.
Enjoy the fresh, clean scent of lavender. It's relaxing and purifying!
Jebra Turner is a health writer living in Portland, OR, but you can visit her online at www.jebra.com.