Category Archives: Goods

Stressed? Yeah me too… 

Stress, stress, stress. Can I just move to an island and grow my own food and let my kids run wild… and not watch them fight over the ipad, or who wore the other ones socks, of whether or not I remembered to pay the rates bill, or fix the doorbell, or clean the potty OR spray stain remover on the kids’ clothes? Every morning, we go from the breakfast table/floor/kitchen counter to the slog of dressing (when noooo ooooone wants to remove pj’s), to nappies to noise to lunch boxes and school bags and lost water bottles, trying to remember to pack swimming togs and food for extra play and whether or today is a Fit Kids t-shirt wearing day and and aaaaaaaaand.

Once I have lost almost every ounce of patience, self control, and brain space, I make a mad dash into work, realize I left my lunch at home, forgot to give my kid a ‘show and tell’ item, and then see that there is dried oats on my pants.

Not stressed at all.

Enter – stress relieving essential oils. Ahhhhh. Essential oils. If you aren’t quite clued in, essential oils are the highly concentrated fragrant essences found in plants. The leaves, flowers, fruits or roots of the plants are usually steam distilled or cold pressed to extract this aromatic liquid.

I love SOiL Essential Oils because they are organic and Ecocert certified. This means that the herbs, shrubs and other plants that provide the oils are grown on land that is not exposed to herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Winning all round.

I feel like essential oils are a bit like the ocean. Strange comparison – but stick with me here. When I look at the ocean (from, say, the top of Chapman’s Peak), I see this beautiful vast gorgeous sheet of water, but only when I have a chance to stop and think, can I begin to imagine the intricate ecosystem below, its vast depth; from the tiniest fish and piece of coral to the hugest and most majestic blue whale.

Essential oils are the same (kinda). They look cute in their neat little bottles and smell nice when opened, but once you dig deeper, those powerful little drops of oil can greatly contribution to ones life, health, healing, and restoration.

Here are the top 6 essential oils for stress relief:

Frankincense 

Frankincense, also known as Olibanum, is obtained from steam distillation of the gum resin. It has been used for 1000’s of years as incense in religious ceremonies. I know of Frankincense from the birth of Jesus :). Its centering aroma slows the nervous system and promotes a feeling of calm and introspection (Mary probably needed it), and a few drops in an essential oil burner can aid concentration and meditation. R100.00 (5ml)

Safety Information: Do not use during pregnancy.

*Frankincense smells similar to eucalyptus to me. I love the ancient heritage and how it can contribute to effective mindfulness.* 

Rose Geranium

Geraniums originate from South Africa and were introduced into Europe in the 17thC. The essential oil is distilled from the leaves and branches of the plant. Geranium is known to lift the spirit and relieve anxiety. It is useful in treating PMS and menopausal problems. R115.00 (10ml)

Safety Information: May cause skin irritation in some individuals

Lavender

Lavender is the most popular and versatile oil in aromatherapy. It’s a must for the first aid box – a great oil for skin conditions where there is inflammation, burns, scarring etc. Lavender is also well known for its relaxing, antidepressant and calming properties, and for treating headaches and insomnia as well as benefiting throat infections, colds and flu. R70.00 (10ml)

*I love Lavender – it is SO versatile! I literally keep a bottle in my bag and give it a sniff when I need to chill out. This is my go-to in my home diffuser.*

Ylang Ylang

Originating from South-East Asia, Cananga odorata is a fast-growing, tall evergreen tree, which produces large yellow-green, strongly scented flowers. Ylang Ylang has an intoxicating floral aroma. It is calming and soothes mentally, physically and emotionally. Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. R80.00 (10ml)

Safety Information: Excessive use may cause nausea or headache are must be taken to always keep the oil away from children.

Melissa

Melissa oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and flowering tops of the plant. It is sometimes referred to as the bee balm. It has anti-depressant properties and is indicated for insomnia, hysteria and irritability. It is also an anti-spasmodic and is reputed to regulate the digestive system, relieving stomach cramps and nausea.  R220.00 (2.5ml)

Contraindications: A possible sensitizer and dermal irritant

Vetiver

Vetiver is a tall grass, native to India. It is sometimes used to prevent soil erosion due to its network of roots. It is these fibrous roots which are cleaned, dried and distilled to produce the sweet earthy smelling oil. Vetiver is often used in perfumery and is a valuable oil for relieving anxiety and depression due to its grounding nature. It is suggested as a good oil to strengthen the skin as well as being beneficial to the musculo-skeletal system due to its ability to promote blood flow. R150.00 (10ml)

*Vetiver caught me off guard with its potent peppery/earthy scent*.

Book a massage, grab your oils, take some time out, diffuse, sniff and relax.

*If you are not sure about certain oils or have not used them before, please contact your health practitioner before use. Please be smart and educate yourselves on the dangers of essential oils before using them. Using essential oils in conjunction with carrier oils is encouraged.

*Essentail oils are not recommended for pregnant or nursing mums, or on sensitive skins such as babies’ skin. All preggos must be very careful when using essential oils. 

*If you are not keen on using an undiluted essential oil directly on your skin (which many aren’t), you can dilute it with a carrier oil – such as almond, apricot kernel, grape seed, rose hip etc. 

Feaured image: www.aromasense.co.nz

My Honest Ecoegg Review

As a nerd of all things green, I was super excited to see the launch of Ecoegg South Africa. Chocolate, wine, natural toothpaste, menstrual cups & laundry eggs – these kinds of things make me giddy.

If the above quote is true, we need to rethink how we wash our clothes. Laundry detergent has always been a tricky one for me. I’ve bought numerous kinds of eco-natural detergents, and have even made my own. So as soon as I got my hands on the Ecoegg, I threw it in the wash to see it work its magic. “How can this gorgeous-smelling, super-cute-looking, baby pink egg wash all my clothes clean?”, I wondered with innocent, eager and sparkling eyes. And the result… well it’s been a tricky one.

Firstly, WHAT IS IT:

Coined as the ‘natural detergent breakthrough’, the Ecoegg is an award winning laundry egg that acts as a complete replacement for washing detergent. Just pop it in the drum of your washing machine – no powder, liquid, tablets or gels required.

The two types of mineral pellets inside the egg get to work, producing powerful – but natural – cleaning foam which powers through the fibers lifting off the dirt and grime.

The EcoEgg has been independently proven (in a lab) to perform just as well as regular detergent, and is a real alternative to harsh chemicals – giving great results, naturally. Supported by Allergy UK and the National Eczema Society, the Laundry Egg is dermatologically tested and perfect for even the most sensitive skin.

So, that’s all good and well, but did it work? 

It seems like a completely bizarre concept to bypass the usual laundry detergent and throw this ‘plastic looking ball’ into the drum with my clothes. It is a bit of a mind bender.

After alllll of my washing and testing and thinking, here is my honest opinion: I REALLY like this egg – I love the concept, the fact that it is in partnership with the National Eczema Society (my little one has eczema), a natural alternative, it is kind to the environment, saves you money, is easy-to-use and in general, is a very forward thinking product.

I did, however, initially struggle with it. Not the product itself – just the how and what and why and so on. As with most things, when you move from ‘conventional’ towards ‘green’, you need a MINDSET change. Come on Debbie, you should know this by now.

Listen, my circumstances were not ideal. Since our new (God-sent) nanny does 99% of our washing, I wasn’t really there to keep a close eye on things. Between house renovations, and school holidays, meetings and general life with 3 kids (which is HARD-CORE let me tell you), my ability to completely obsess and scrutinise over how clean my clothes were, was well, a non-event.

So when my clothes came out the wash, looking…well… clean… like they usually do (and not brand-spanking-new looking – a tall order from the get-go) I was left wondering what this egg was doing, if anything. I mean, I knew it was doing something, but was it what I imagined? So back and forth and back and forth I chatted with Marcelle, the lovely South African distributor of the Ecoegg.

Some things looked impressively clean, some things were still a little grubby (mainly our 11 month old’s clothes – which should surprise no one). My nanny commented on how nice the clothes smelled – it’s a very subtle fragrance, one I really need a good sniff at to smell. Because maybe I was pinning all my hopes on the egg changing my life, I was a tad confused. The white sleeves which were covered in mud and avo – would ANY detergent have been able to get that out? My suspicion is no. Our washing machine is also not particularly new, nor fancy, so the 30min eco-cycle that I always use, was that enough? Or maybe I was just expecting miracles no detergent would’ve been able to perform…

I’ve come to the conclusion, that this egg WORKS, and it works as well as (if not better than) my current eco-laundry powder does (you can also ask the 800+ people who reviewed the egg on Amazon.uk). Also, there is also no detergent residue left on your clothes. WIN! And so, considering all the benefits above (good for the enviro/no harsh chemicals/ease/price), in my mind it wins the trophy spot on my laundry room shelf. Also, because I think it’s beautiful.

Take a look for yourself: (there are no edits or filters on any of these pics – promise!)

Also, there is no risk in giving it a try – Ecoegg (UK) and SA have a “Love it or return it” guarantee: If you don’t love your purchase, for whatever reason, just return it within 30 days for a full refund – no questions asked.

My recommendations:

    • Detox your machine first with an Ecoegg detox tablet.
    • Clean out your washing machine filter regularly
    • Use a cold 30min cycle (let’s be water and enviro conscious here folks)
    • Use stain remover where necessary (this should’ve been a no brainer for me). Ecoegg have a stain remover. I need to get me some.

How much does it cost (and other related products)?

The Laundry Eggs come in either:

  • 210 washes (1 year for an average family of 4) for R275.00, or
  • 720 washes (3 years for an average family of 4) for R425.00. (Cheap huh!)

They also come in three ‘fragrances’ – Spring Blossom (pink), Fresh Linen (blue) and Fragrance Free (yellow). These are lightly fragranced with essential oils.

They also stock a stain remover at R80 a tube and detox tablets for your machine (for 3 years) for R95.00 – these clear out the junk and build up of detergents.

You want one don’t you? Imagine never buying laundry detergent ever again. Go on, contact Ecoegg:

Facebook, Instagram and email: hello@ecoegg.co.za
Physical Address: 1 Rodgers Ave, Constantia Hills, Constantia.
Web: www.ecoegg.co.za