This week’s topic is: Essential Oils for Immunity and Calmness with Charlynn Avery
I am so excited to have a very special guest, Charlynn Avery, who is an aromatherapist and national educator and expert in the field of Essential Oils. Listen in as Charlynn shares how you can start using essential oils for immunity and calmness as well as tips and tricks surrounding evening practices, disinfecting foods/other surfaces and your skin and complexion!
- Charlynn and I discuss our favorite bath ritual practices…
- Essential oil combos that are great for your evening routine…
- Tips to improve our home environment and lift your spirits…
- If you can overdose on oils, whether on your skin or in the air…
- The right ratios when it comes to using essential oils…
- DIY: Homemade diaper rash cream…
- Disinfecting foods or other surfaces with essential oils…
- Essential oils that can help support our skin and complexion…
About Charlynn Avery
Charlynn Avery is an Aromatherapist and Educator for Aura Cacia, a brand of Frontier Co-op. In her work, she travels around the U.S. teaching about safe and effective essential oil use and is passionate about those powerful oils. Her life’s mission is to empower each individual to be in charge of their own health and healing.
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Kimberly: Hey Beauties. Welcome back for our Monday interview podcast. We have our very popular reoccurring guest, Charlynn Avery, who we all love. She is an aromatherapist and national educator, and expert in the field of essential oils. She works with our Aura Cacia, a brand of Frontier co-op, and we have her on pretty seasonally. We have endless questions about this really wonderful form of self care and just all these practices she brings. She is a wealth of information. I love our conversations Charlynn.
Fan Of The Week
Kimberly: Before I pick your brain though, I want to give a quick shout out to our Fan of the Week. Her name is JessicaPegram. She writes, “My entire life I’ve been obsessed with food and exercise, but starting started having health issues with acne and poor digestion. Kimberly helped me so much with going plant based and also looking at my emotional and spiritual health, which has had a huge impact on health that is rarely discussed. She spreads so much love and good vibes. I love the podcasts and leave them feeling energized and refueled. Thank you for your wealth of knowledge and all you do for this amazing community. You have really been a key aspect of changing my life and its overall direction.” Jessica, thank you so much for being our fan of the week. I am so grateful for our connection. I am so happy that we are connected and that this is really supporting you. We’re all in this journey together and I send you a big huge virtual hug right into your heart. I am so grateful.
Share The Podcast & Write A Review on Itunes
Kimberly: Beauties for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week, please just take a moment out of your day and leave us a review on iTunes, which is free and easy and just a great, wonderful energetic way to support the show, and to hopefully help other beauties just like you find this information that could really impact them, and hopefully really benefit their lives. While you’re at it, please be sure to subscribe to our show. That way you don’t miss out on any of these Monday interview podcasts or our Thursday Q and A podcasts, which are based on questions right from our community. So they’re very relatable and very useful I think. So that way you have this source of positivity coming in every week, which we all need.
Interview with Charlynn Avery
Kimberly: All right, so all that being said, I’m looking at the lovely Charlynn. This is our first video podcast. Beauties, check out Instagram. We’re going to put some of these clips on our IG Stories and also IG TV. It’s so nice to see Charlynn.
Charlynn : Oh, it’s lovely to see you. I’m so excited to be here.
Kimberly: Charlynn are you, you’re in Colorado, right?
Charlynn : I’m in Washington. [crosstalk 00:02:52]-
Kimberly: Washington is neat. Wow, so right before we started recording we were talking. We were having a real mama moment. I have Bobby. I have my son who is a toddler. I know you have a toddler and a six year old.
Charlynn : [crosstalk 00:03:06] yes, two girls.
Kimberly: It’s been … I will say for me, the biggest impact of this quarantine has been the no school thing. It’s been quite a lot, especially now that I’m just within my few weeks of giving birth again-
Charlynn : Oh my goodness.
Kimberly: … and I’m sure having two has been a ton. Tell us Charlynn, how has your life, how are you feeling right now?
Charlynn : I think like probably every other parent in the US who’s got kids at home, and trying to navigate work and life and school, and keeping them engaged and excited. So we have a lot. Certainly I have a lot in my tool kit to keep the kiddos and myself a little bit more closer to balance in this crazy time. Yeah, I think self care is the phrase, especially for parents to just keep us going.
Charlynn and I discuss our favorite bath ritual practices
Kimberly: So let’s get into some of that Charlynn. I have to say that a new practice for me, which may be a lot of our listeners already do, is actually taking warm baths with Epsom salt. There’s some skeletal issues that happen when you’re pregnant. But I just feel Epsom salt is really great for your muscles. I was never a bath person. I was always a shower girl, but we moved into this new house and there’s a really great bath. I give my son a bath in there and then I take my own bath with Epsom salts. I was thinking, “Huh, can I add essential oils right into Epsom salt or do I put them into the bath? How can I elevate this bath experience?” Which feels very grounding to me. It’s the hot water. It’s the salt. Epsom salts are also so inexpensive that … Tell us what you think about the whole bath ritual practice, how we can elevate it Charlynn.
Charlynn : Yes, absolutely. Essential oils go really well in the bath, but they have to have a little bit of a fat component even with Epsom salts. So I usually say if you have, you can make a big batch because they are a really inexpensive, but you can add just a little bit of almond oil or olive oil even. Then add your essential oils to that so that they have something to stick to in the salt. Then when you’re in the water that helps with just the balance of the fat and keeping that essential oil away from the skin so that it gets absorbed a little bit more slowly, and doesn’t lead to irritation, which can happen sometimes in the bath. So-
Kimberly: Do you want to put it in the salt before you put the salt in the bath?
Charlynn : Yes.
Charlynn : Yeah, and I always say add it if you can toward the end, anything that’s aromatic, because you want to really step into that intense aroma as soon as you get into the bath. So fill the tub a little bit, and then add the salts and the essential oils in toward the end.
Kimberly: How much fat would we put? Could you use coconut oil if you don’t have those other oils?
Charlynn : [crosstalk 00:06:14] Sesame oil, oh so many-
Kimberly: Oh, awesome.
Charlynn : … whatever we have at home. The important part is really just that there is a fat component with the salt in the water especially. So about I would do, if I’m going to make a cup of bath salt for example, I would put about a teaspoon of the fatty oil. So not, it doesn’t take a whole lot, and add the essential oils directly to that. Then shake it up or mix it up and drop it in the tub.
Kimberly: Oh wow. That’s great, because I’ve been using … I’ve been doing it so much, I get these eight pound bags off of Amazon. Then the ones that have the essential oils in them are tiny. They’re a fraction and they’re five times more expensive [inaudible 00:07:01] we can make our own scents.
Charlynn : You can make their own, absolutely. I’m just a big champion for that, because we don’t have to pay for somebody else to customize something that we would really benefit ourselves to make our own aromas and, or combinations of aromas. Some people absolutely love lavender for example, but there are so many folks that say, “I like lavender plus sweet orange, or lavender and other things, or I like to mix it up.” So it gives us the ability to make it very specific to what we want and what we need in that moment.
Kimberly: So let’s say Charlynn, talking about this moment, let’s say we are … Now I’m this bath convert girl, right?
Charlynn : Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Essential oil combos that are great for evening practices
Kimberly: It’s part of our evening practice. There’s a lot going on in the world. It’s a challenging time. It’s unsettling. Everybody’s sort of anxious about the future, so we want to feel grounded. We want to feel relaxed in the evening. We want to prepare for good sleep. A bath feels nice. What are some good essential oil combos that you suggest?
Charlynn : I love, especially with kids, so if you want to do something that the kids can really enjoy the aroma of, any chamomile and lavender and sweet orange. Those are really good combos for kids, because the sweet orange puts the happy effect into the mix. Those florals, camomile especially, very good for the skin, very good for soothing us in the evening, and helping kiddos especially go to sleep. For parents I really, for those of us who really like something a little earthier, vetiver is wonderful in the bath. Wonderful for deep relaxation, especially for helping feeling grounded right now, which so many people don’t feel that way. It can help with that, just emotional calming and that sense of feeling connected and grounded, which is important.
Kimberly: So the sweet orange doesn’t overstimulate in the evening. It’s happy, but it’s not stimulating?
Charlynn : Yeah. One of the things about sweet orange, it gets listed as energizing because of the emotional boost. But we can actually use it throughout the day. I think sometimes people think, “Well, it’s just great for morning or daytime,” but when you pair it with something that’s calming for kids especially, it just gives them that added extra element of happy, which we definitely want them to have as they’re going to sleep, if they’re like my kids anyway.
Tips to improve our home environment and lift your spirits
Kimberly: So speaking of happy, say parent or not, this is a time where I have friends, I’m sure you do Charlynn as well, know people that are having a very difficult time being home so much. I actually, again, the school thing is a big thing for me, but I love, I mean I’m home a lot anyway because I do work from home. Thankfully we have a lot of nature around. But I imagine, I think about my old apartment in New York City, it would have been so hard to be in that small space. So a lot of people are going through a lot, being in a confined space, working from home, not seeing other people. So in these situations, how can we boost our mood. What are [inaudible 00:10:31] but practices to make it more enjoyable to be at home, to help our keep our spirits lifted, to help us feeling positive, in accessible ways at home these days?
Charlynn : Yeah, I have been really encouraging a lot of, first with interaction with oils. Diffusion, having them in our airspace, doing two to fusions in the day. One that’s specific more for morning, so something happy and energizing and something in the evening that’s more relaxing, because it just helps round out the emotions throughout the day. I also think that right now, not everyone has a diffuser or maybe access to diffusers. There are a lot of ways that we can get oils in our airspace. So if you’re in an area where the weather’s getting nicer, putting essential oils on a window sill with the fan, just dropping them on cotton balls, it’s a quite a bit more subtle interaction. But that can help as well if you don’t have a diffuser.
Charlynn : One thing that I did with my kiddos as we’re getting ready for May Day, because all of our neighbors, we’re all staying home and we just want to boost people’s spirits, so we started painting rocks with happy faces and flowers. We picked porous rocks, and so we’re going to give everyone bottle of an essential oil to go with their rock, and drop the oil onto the rock.
Kimberly: Oh my gosh, I wish I was in your neighborhood. You put them on the rock?
Charlynn : Yeah, so you drop the oil onto the rocks, and if it’s sitting in a sunny place, the heat really helps with the volatilization of the oils. So it acts as just this natural, very subtle type of diffuser. It’s been just a happy thing to do for someone else. So those are some things that … That’s one of the things that we’re doing is thinking of ways that we can take care of other people, because I think we get so caught up in the way we’re feeling right now that if we can think about what our neighbors are going through, that that can take that feel good experience so much further. So-
Kimberly: I love that.
Charlynn : Yeah.
If you can overdose on oils, whether on your skin or in the air
Kimberly: This is a, not to get off topic, but before this went down, I was recording something, doing a course. Someone on the crew, I saw her take essential oils out of her bag Charlynn and just kind of slather them on her hands. I remember our conversations about diluting and being safe about using it on your skin. I said, “Oh, I’m not sure you’re supposed to put so much on.” She said, “Oh that’s just for people with sensitivities.” Do you think that [inaudible 00:13:12] now, I mean it’s tempting as it may be just to put a couple drops on your wrist or whatever, that’s just a no, no.
Charlynn : I don’t, and I’ve been using oils now for 24 years. So I think the more I understand about really this intricate balance that we find within the essential oil in our skin and even the skin biome, I think we have to be … With knowledge comes responsibility, and so as much as I have learned, I use fewer oils directly on my skin. I actually understand that and know to be true that I am making more use when I dilute them.
Charlynn : In so many cases people will say, “Oh, I just slapped it on my hands and nothing’s ever happened to me.” I usually say that nothing has happened to you until something does. I’ve spoken with many folks who used a certain oil or combos of oils and then 10, 15 years into it develop sensitivities. So we can develop them even if we haven’t had them previously. So it’s beyond, it’s more about the strength of the oil than our own individual skin sensitivities or even allergies. It’s because of the potency that we want to dilute the essential oil.
Kimberly: Do you think if we’re being safe Charlynn and we’re using diffusers and cotton balls and putting them around, is there such a thing as overdosing on the oil where you would start to be less sensitive to it? People are home, they want to boost their mood. They’re putting oils everywhere. What’s too much scent?
Charlynn : Too much is when we become fatigued. We don’t smell it anymore. We’re using it and it doesn’t seem to work. That’s … We have to remember that we are very adaptive just like the natural world is. Our bodies get used to things and it’s just like we don’t eat the same meals every single day over and over and over again. We need variety. So I usually say change it up. That’s why I do different diffusions throughout the day, different diffusions throughout the year, because I don’t ever want to get too done in and too conditioned or used to an oil aromatically. I also don’t want to be sensitized to something and develop a problem down the road, so I just try to change it up. I love citrus oils and I know a lot of folks love those, so even though I mentioned sweet orange, I use lemon. I use lime. I use grapefruit. I just change it from time to time, to keep myself engaged.
Kimberly: [inaudible 00:15:58] there’s another citrus that I really love. It’s lemon something. It’s kind of Asian. Do you know what I’m talking about? Lemon-
Charlynn : [crosstalk 00:16:09]-
Kimberly: Maybe, I’ll think about it.
Charlynn : … lemon balm, lemongrass.
Kimberly: Yeah, lemongrass.
Charlynn : Lemongrass. That’s amazing. I love that. I mean, I guess it reminds me of Thai food, right?
Charlynn : Because it’s in there, but that one, wow. That makes me feel … I mean really there’s a power to scent. We’ve talked about some of the science behind it, how it affects your limbic brain. But when you experience, and this is what I love, you talk about, “Oh, it smells so good in that spa. It’s [inaudible 00:16:42] when I’m in these places,” but you can actually create that at home and really shift your moods. I wish Charlynn I used my diffuser more. I do the cotton ball thing with you, but I’ve always had a hard time with diffusers and I don’t know why. I think [inaudible 00:17:02] telling me to clean them out more, but sometimes they just stop smelling. I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s like-
Kimberly: [crosstalk 00:17:07] you know?
Charlynn : Yeah.
Kimberly: I have the ones from-
Charlynn : [crosstalk 00:17:11]-
The right ratios when it comes to using essential oils
Kimberly: … and [Moogy 00:17:14], that Japanese store. I’ve tried different ones. It’s always seemed a little strange to me, water and essential oil mixing, that whole water oil combo. But I guess it’s about having the right ratio, right?
Charlynn : It is, and essential oils are hydrophobic so they want to move away from water. Part of when we’re diffusing in water, they’re quickly trying to move out of that space, so then they want to come into our airspace and it helps. Water can be helpful if there’s the right combination. It usually requires heat or a vibrational current or something to help push it out. But that’s part of why we do that. But I’ll tell you, as much as I love aroma therapy, I actually am not crazy about diffusers, because I think we can diffuse in a lot of ways. I think because I was a young struggling practitioner for so long and just kind of broke and figuring it out, diffusers weren’t a big deal. So I started to figure out other ways that I could smell the oils without having this notion of like a continuous diffusion. Just heat and water tend to be the things, so if I want a really powerful aroma in my house and no diffuser, I use boiling water on the stove.
Kimberly: I love that.
Charlynn : You’ll get very quick aroma, and you don’t have to worry about cleaning. You just dump the water out when you’re done. So I think-
Kimberly: How many drops to you put in the pot Charlynn? [crosstalk 00:18:45]-
Charlynn : Well it depends. I tend to do that with eucalyptus, especially when we’re congested and for clearing. So a little goes a long way with eucalyptus. You could do a whole lot of grapefruit or lemon grass even. You could do it quite a bit more than than eucalyptus. You want to maybe five to seven drops at the most.
Kimberly: Oh wow. Do they go bad? Because I collect these oils. Sometimes I forget about them. Sometimes, like you were saying, I rotate different scents [inaudible 00:19:18] so I must have some that are a couple years old. Is it safe to still use them?
Charlynn : Smell them, and if they still smell good, they’re generally good to go. The ones that … Most essential oils don’t really have a shelf life, because of their chemical structure. They just don’t expire the way other things do. They tend to just disappear. But citrus oils like your sweet orange and lemon, they will start to lose that sweet aroma after about two years. I always say if your citrus oil smells sour, they’re done. [crosstalk 00:19:57]-
Kimberly: Not good. Oh wow.
Charlynn : Yeah. The rest of them, they’ll get better with age. My favorite, patchouli, it just gets better. It gets you better with time.
Kimberly: I like patchouli with sweet orange. I actually like that combo. Speaking about your favorite, sweet orange too. It’s very earth mama, yummy. I don’t know. It feels warm. It feels like the sunshine to me.
Charlynn : It does. It was my, I put that combo in a diaper balm that I made years ago for my first baby. [inaudible 00:20:31] her hair. [inaudible 00:20:34] she always smells that. She’s our little hippy baby. She smelled like sunshine and earth to me, so I love that you described it that way.
DIY: Homemade diaper rash cream
Kimberly: What was the base? I’m thinking this new baby coming. Maybe I should try that. How did you make a diaper rash cream yourself?
Charlynn : I’m going to send you my recipe-
Charlynn : … but I used, I use bentonite clay as the powder base, because, well there were a couple of different factors. It was a combination of bentonite clay, cornstarch, coconut oil, and then my essential oils. I played around with the dry components, because she had some rashes that were more, she had a fungus at one time, and so it was just a matter of making sure I knew what it was. But once we figured it out, then it became the thing. We called it the magic balm, and then now it’s evolved into my booboo bomb for the girls.
If essential oils can help disinfect foods and other surfaces
Kimberly: That’s amazing. I love that. I love thinking about all of these ways. We’ll have to, we’ll do another podcast later, Charlynn, about ways to soothe babies. I’m sure when this little guy comes into the world. But another topic that’s on people’s minds is disinfecting right now. People are really being careful, rightfully so, about produce, about shopping, about surfaces. Wipes are still almost impossible to get. A lot of them have different chemicals and things, but it’s a time where people are really wanting things to be safe. So I know in the past we’ve talked a little bit about I believe grapefruit extract. Or can you tell us how to make … I mean, does this stuff really work with what’s going on Charlynn? Can we rely on essential oils to help us disinfect either food or surfaces, or not?
Charlynn : I would say it’s such a tough topic, because when we have a new virus, there isn’t research to support it. But I know what is tried and true with oils, and so I’m cleaning my home the same way I always have with tea tree and vinegar. I have added some elements for when I go outside of things that I wasn’t using before, like the high percentage alcohol and the hand sanitizer, because I’m exposed to other people. So I’m anxiously waiting for research with essential oils to come out. But I believe the research will support the usage. I say if you’ve been using them as part of your cleaning regimen, you can continue and know that they’re doing a good job of cleaning our surfaces. But it’s not a bad idea to also partake a little extra measure. I think folks that always try to be very proactive and natural, we’re the ones who could probably have the most benefit, because we haven’t already overdone it in our spaces with chemicals. So yeah-
Kimberly: That’s what I do. Even for cleaning my vegetables, I’ll do a soak with raw apple cider vinegar. I don’t use any sort of spray or anything personally. That’s what I’ve always done. So I am more careful. I am using wipes on services if we have to go to the gas station. Or later on today, pretty much the only place I go now is to my OB-GYN. But yeah, just high alcohol and … So tea tree is a good one, because for some reason I was thinking maybe grapefruit I was using in one of my house cleaners. But maybe that’s not as powerful as tea tree.
Charlynn : Tea tree is known for being kind of a heavy hitter when it comes to surface microbes especially. So tea tree, clove bud, cinnamon leaf, oregano, the ones that are really powerful and always make us step back, they’re the ones that we want to have cleaning our surfaces especially. So what grapefruit does is, it can help with odors and cleaning the appearance of the surface, so like giving it that polish and shine, and taking off any sort of residues. So it’s always good to combine it with tea tree or with clove bud, because you want to have dual effect when you’re cleaning. You want to improve the appearance and then also make sure you’re really cleaning the surface.
Essential oils that can help support your skin and complexion
Kimberly: Oh yeah. Wow. Okay, and what do you think about tea tree as a toner? That’s what I usually think of it as. Do you think that’s just for certain acne prone skin types or more general?
Charlynn : Well it’s been a little bit … Well it does work on most skin types for toning. But I think if you don’t have oily prone skin or acne prone skin, if your skin is not naturally producing a lot of oil, it can be a little bit too much because it’s very drying to oil. So in that sense, people that have more balance with oil production in their skin, one thing I encourage them to use instead of the oil itself is the hydrosol, so floral hydrosols, rosewater, neroli hydrosol.
Kimberly: I love rosewater.
Charlynn : Yes. So full of moisture and so supportive of our skin and our complexions. Those can be a nice changeover from a toner if we don’t have too much oil or acne on the skin.
Kimberly: Rosewater Charlynn is such a big part of [inaudible 00:26:11] skincare, and taking down the, heat and cooling the skin. Plus it smells amazing, so that is one thing I always have in my bathroom is lots of rosewater.
Charlynn : Yes, I think everybody … That’s one oil that I would say if rose or rosewater, if you have access to it, if you can get some, because right now going through everything that we’re going through, there’s a lot of grief. There’s a lot of … People are feeling like their normal life is foreign to them, this new normal that everyone keeps talking about. So for grieving hearts, rose is one of the best. I think anyone who is feeling really low, especially feeling their life as they knew it, rose is-
Kimberly: Falling away-
Charlynn : It’s falling away, so rose is one way that we can help feel better emotionally. Give us that lift, and also just kind of manage this time right now.
Kimberly: It’s a time where things are falling away. Of course there’s a lot of challenges for many people we say with compassion, financially, health wise. But I also feel this healing too individually if we can find what doesn’t serve us anymore. I was saying to my husband, all this stuff, we would run around so much, and all this stuff we realize we don’t need as much. So there’s this simplifying. There’s real grounding in with the family. It’s an interesting time. Of course, again with compassion.
Kimberly: I know a lot of people are struggling, but I’m feeling this spiritual growth time personally for me, just feeling very grateful, feeling very simple.
Charlynn : Yes. Yeah, I agree. I think-
Kimberly: In the craziness with [crosstalk 00:28:05]-
Charlynn : Yeah, there is a balance to it all. It is. I think we hear these terrible statistics, and then we hear positive statistics about the healing of the planet, or carbon emissions and things that we have been doing. We were going too fast, too much I thin, so yeah, I think even out of the worst times, a lot of beauty and balance and restoration can emerge.
Kimberly: Well Charlynn, thank you again so much for being with us. You have endless knowledge. I love, I throw any question at you, and second to process or sift through the bank of all this knowledge and it comes right out. So I really appreciate you beauty. I love you.
Charlynn : Thank you.
Kimberly: You have shared so much healing and health with me and with our community. We are so grateful for you.
Charlynn : Oh, I’m so grateful to you and everything that you’re sharing and doing, and for just letting me come back and share my joy around oils. So thank you so much.
Kimberly: I love seeing your beautiful face by the way. This is so fun doing a video podcast.
Charlynn : Likewise. Yes it is.
Kimberly: Well Beauties be sure to check out our show notes. We will link to some of Charlynn’s other podcasts, also the website AuraCacia.com. Charlynn, you designed, you created a lot of different formulas for them, like the chakra oils, which I personally use and love, and different products. So be sure to check that out. Thank you so much for tuning in. We will be back here Thursday for our next Q and A podcast. Until then, be sure to check out the site. Catch us on Instagram @_KimberlySnyder. Sending you lots and lots of love, and we will see you here soon.