Here’s the truth: essential oils are plant magic.
If you’re brand new here, you may have never thought of them that way. But it’s a fact.
My personal, restorative journey of trading digestive discomfort and fatigue for freedom is proof of that.
But essential oils are only one part of the holistic health story.
Over the years, as I began to experience the many (many!) benefits of essential oils in my life, I knew I had to supplement those benefits with other modalities.
Like… supplements (haha!).
Progressive relaxation hacks.
Together, these things are how I manage my wellness.
Why is this important?
Because there’s a huge difference between wellness and just “focusing on health”.
A wellness routine is about taking charge of your physical, mental and emotional health.
In other words, it’s about the complete picture of health. And one amazing way you can get started with that is by focusing on something called your microbiome.
What in the world is a microbiome?
A microbiome is a collection of microbes somewhere on your body. Our bodies have tons of these.
Fun fact: scientists estimate we have 10xs the number of non-human cells on our body as human ones.
Which means we’re covered in microbes. Did I gross you out?
Here’s why this matters: yeah, there are “microbiomes” all over our bodies.
But there’s one in particular you can focus on to help target your overall wellness (that complete picture of wellness I mentioned earlier).
It’s the one in your gut.
Think of your gut “microbiome” like a carefully balanced collection of bacteria, viruses, fungus and other microbes that work to keep you healthy.
Inside your gut, it’s a constant back-and-forth of the good and bad bacteria trying to stay in balance with one another.
And these good and bad bacteria influence things like:
You get the idea. So let’s talk about 3 hacks you can try to help your gut be balanced for total wellness.
Gut Health Balance Hack 1: Get Some Probiotics
Eating probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements are an amazing way to balance your gut.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you - especially your digestive system.
Their job is to prevent harmful bacteria from settling in your gut and making a home there.
They’re naturally found in foods like:
But you can also take a probiotic supplement to get the most benefit. The one I take daily is called PB Assist. I use PB Assist because it contains all the necessary probiotics needed each day. Which means anything else I get from my diet is like a bonus.
Gut Health Balance Hack 2: Get Outside
Yep. And I don’t just mean sitting on a lounger on your deck.
I mean running around - preferably barefoot! - outside. Because there are strains of probiotics in the soil that have been clinically proven to support your mood.
One example is M. vaccae. It exists in the dirt. So if you decide to plant a garden and are exposed to this probiotic, guess what can happen?
It helps production of serotonin (impacts your mood) and neurons related to your immune response.
Even if you aren’t really into gardening, if you have a pet who goes outside regularly, you can get exposure to these soil-based probiotics.
Beyond dirt (should that be a hashtag), Vitamin D is another benefit or reason to getting outside and is directly linked to gut health.
Didya know not having enough Vitamin D can create an imbalance in your gut?
Studies have recently shown this. Which means being outside, in the sun, is good for your overall health.
Gut Health Balance Hack 3: Eat Plant-Based
I switched to eating a plant-based diet because I just felt better eating that way. As I researched my choices, I realized a plant-based diet has one major thing going for it: prebiotic fiber.
Prebiotic fiber is a special plant fiber.
This is different from probiotic. Maybe you’ve even read you’re supposed to get prebiotics and probiotics? Well a plant-based diet is the perfect way to do that.
Prebiotics give some nourishment to the healthy bacteria in your gut. Think of them like supplements for your probiotics.
We don’t digest prebiotic fibers, which means they pass through the upper GI tract. On their way, they help the good bacteria thrive in that area.
And that’s why they’re so key to providing balance in the gut.
These foods that are full of prebiotics:
Whole grain quinoa
Whole grain oats
Whole grain brown rice
Raw apple cider vinegar
Pro-Tip: Combo this hack with the 2nd by planting your own veggie garden. Between the veggies and their prebiotic fibers and the probiotics in the dirt, your gut will be thanking you.
Okay, that wraps it up. These three hacks will help round out your essential oil wellness routine, and ensure your microbiome is well-balanced and diverse.