After falling in love with lemongrass essential oil, we recently added it to one of our most popular formulas. In addition to classic Tickshield—our extra strength personal insecticide and repellent—we now carry an all new Tickshield with refreshing lemongrass! We sell pure lemongrass essential oil now, too! But why do we like it so much and why is lemongrass essential oil so great? We’re glad you asked 😉
Here are 6 reasons we love Lemongrass Essential Oil.
A Note on Essential Oils: Cedarcide has not verified the following claims. We suggest consulting a doctor before using essential oils.
It Smells Amaaaaaaaaaazing
Its refreshing, clean and complex aroma is a big reason lemongrass is one of our favorite essential oils! Citral, also known as lemonal, is what gives Lemongrass its sweet, delightfully citrus scent. There’s just something about its unique earthy smell that’s both relaxing and also kind of a pick-me-up.
It’s Super Great for Aromatherapy
Lemongrass’ awesome scent does more than make the air smell fresh, it has several real world benefits too! When used in a diffuser for aromatherapy, lemongrass essential oil is said to boost mood and relieve feelings of nervousness and anxiety. In addition to these uplifting and relaxing qualities, some users find diffusing lemongrass essential oil helps with headaches, body aches, and mental exhaustion as well.
It’s a Natural Bug Repellent
Lemongrass essential oil contains organic compounds called aldehydes which are a natural bug deterrent. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and many other biting insects are repelled by Lemongrass’ natural repellency. Whether applying to your skin, clothing, your dog’s bandana, or diffusing on the porch to keep mosquitoes at bay, Lemongrass is an effective alternative to chemical-based pest control products.
It’s Said to Provide Topical Pain Relief
Lemongrass essential oil is prized for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent and muscle relaxing qualities. When mixed with a carrier oil or massaged directly into the skin, lemongrass essential oil is said to provide topical relief for everything from minor skin irritations to muscle pain and fatigue. Pretty cool, huh?
It’s an Awesome Additive in Natural DIY Solutions
Natural air fresheners, all-purpose cleaners, scalp & skin care—lemongrass is an excellent additive for countless DIY essential oil mixtures and solutions. Consult an essential oil book or online resource for tips and recipes on incorporating lemongrass essential oil into your natural lifestyle.
It Has Soooo Many Other Uses
Lemongrass has played an important role in the daily lives of people both ancient and modern. This tropical grass has historical uses in everything from cooking and health care to cleaning and mental stimulation. The following are all ways in which lemongrass has been traditionally used throughout the world.
- Headache relief
- Digestive issues
- Immune system health
- Infection fighter
- Fever reducer
- Muscle relaxer
- Insomnia relief
Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!
Trimming our dog’s nails is sort of like oil changes—it’s super important, and yet most of us don’t do it often enough. But it’s not that big of a deal, right? Well, no, it kind of is—regular nail trimmings are crucial to the health and well being of your canine. In fact, if you fail to keep your pup’s nails clipped, you can really cause them a lot of pain. Long toenails lead to joint pain which, if left untreated, can cause lifelong arthritic complications. So whether you do it or a professionals does it, you really need to trim your dog’s nails at least once a month (at least!). But don’t sweat it, with the following tips and some patience, you’ll be successfully clipping your dog’s nails in no time.
First thing’s first, figure out what you’re doing. The worst thing you can do is wing it: you could end up injuring your pup, traumatizing them to nail-trimming forever. The best way is to ask your vet for a quick tutorial, but at the very least watch an online instructional video or read a how-to guide (kind of like the one you’re reading right now 😉). Take your time, be patient, and you’ll master this nail-trimming thing in no time.
Start Early, Start Slow
The earlier you acclimate your canine to getting their nails trimmed, the less likely both you and your dog will dread it. Before clipping any nails, start slow and get your pup used to being around the clippers and having their feet and toes touched. Introduce the clippers daily for a few days leading up to their first clipping session. Use plenty of praise and treats in the process.
Get the Right Tools
OK, so you’ve got a plan, now it’s time to get the right tools for the job:
- Nail clippers. There are three main types: guillotine-style, scissors-style and pliers-style. Unless your dog is abnormally large, it’s best to go with a relatively small pair of clippers—they’re simply easier to control, and therefore safer for your dog. We suggest using one with a guide to help prevent accidentally cutting into the quick (the sensitive inner part of the nail which contains blood vessels and nerve endings).
- Treats. Rewarding your pup throughout the nail clipping experience will make your life significantly easier. The better the experience is for your dog, the better the experience will be for you. In general, reward after trimming each nail.
- Clotting powder. Styptic powder, or a natural alternative like baking soda or organic corn starch, will help clot your dog’s blood in the event you slip up and snag the quick. If you exercise caution, hopefully you’ll never encounter this issue, but just in case an accident occurs, it’s best to have some handy.
Cut at a 45 Degree Angle, a Little at a Time
There’s no rush, so cut just a little at a time. A few tricks to remember:
- Trim nails in a well lit room.
- Hold the paw firmly but gently, separate the toes using your fingers, but don’t squeeze them—that can be painful.
- Cut at a 45 degree angle.
- Avoid cutting the quick by stopping as soon as you see the white inner portion of the nail. If you’re clipping the nail and it begins to feel soft or spongy, stop! You’re cutting into the quick.
- Don’t forget to trim the dewclaws, too, if your pup has them. If you don’t clip them regularly, they can start to grow back towards your dog’s leg and pierce the skin—ouch!
Don’t Slack—Keep Up the Good Work
Trimming your own dog’s nails is no small feat—pat yourself on the back! Now that you’ve got the process down, get ready to do it all over again in 2-4 weeks. Regularly maintaining your dog’s nails is a matter of quality of life, so don’t let it slip.
Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!
When it comes to weed control, the world’s on edge. Monsanto—producer of the most financially successful weed-killer on the planet, Roundup—is currently locked in a mess of legal battles. Rumor and science have it that Roundup’s active ingredient, Glyphosate, causes cancer. As the most widely used herbicide on the planet—on average, a pound of Roundup is used on every acre of cropland in the U.S., half a pound on every acre of cropland worldwide—these findings should alarm all of us.
This is yet another reminder why it’s important to seek out non-toxic alternatives to chemical-based herbicides and pesticides. The truth is when it comes to weeds, you can go natural and still get the results you’re looking for. Whereas traditional weed-killers endanger our soil, our water, family and pets, the following chemical-free alternatives threaten only one organism: Weeds!
Sodium makes soil less hospitable to dandelions and other common weeds. To prevent weeds and other unwanted grasses from growing, use baking soda. Apply the baking soda at roughly 1 teaspoon per individual weed plant, being sure to cover the entire plant—including stem, leaves and flowers. Baking soda can also be applied by sweeping it into sidewalk cracks and other common problem areas. Tip: be careful and precise when using baking soda to eliminate weeds, as the sodium can also kill surrounding plant life.
Salt works the same way baking soda does: sodium helps kill and prevent weed growth. Mix a solution of 1 cup salt to 2 cups water, and apply it to any undesirable plant growth using a spray bottle. This solution can also be boiled and then applied for added weed-killing power. Caution: never use more salt than necessary, as considerable salting of soil can render it unhealthy.
Have some extra vodka lying around? If so, you also have a free DIY weed-eliminator. Mix 1 oz. of vodka with 2 cups of water and a few drops of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture in the heat of the day, thoroughly coating the weeds’ leaves. This solution works by breaking down the weeds’ natural waxy coat, making them vulnerable to sun damage and dehydration. Note: this method does not work for weeds growing in shade.
The obvious tried-and-true method of pulling weeds by hand is still one of the best. This approach is easiest when the soil is soft and wet, like just after a light rainfall. For detailed instructions on how to properly pull weeds, click here.
Vinegar is a fast and highly effective natural weed-killer. Using a spray bottle, thoroughly soak both the foliage and lower stem of each weed plant. Apply with caution, as vinegar kills most types of plant life, not just weeds. If it rains shortly after application, you may need to reapply once the soil has dried out again.
Corn Gluten Meal
While corn gluten meal—a finely ground byproduct of the corn milling process—won’t kill existing weeds, it’s a miracle solution for preventing weed growth. In effect, corn gluten meal works by preventing weed seeds from germinating, and ultimately sprouting. Best of all, corn gluten meal doubles as a nutrient-rich plant food.
When boiled, basic household tap water transforms into a weed-destroying formula. Simply pour the boiling water anywhere you’re experiencing weed troubles (careful—boiling water can also kill surrounding plant life if not applied directly to the weeds alone). Please exercise extreme caution when using this approach.
As with other plants, weeds cannot grow without sunlight. Kill weeds by denying them of this essential element. Using biodegradable newspapers (most are), completely cover the weeds and then thoroughly coat the newspaper-covered weeds with a two-inch-thick bed of mulch. Note: any grass or plants similarly covered will likely die as well, so apply carefully.
Toxic, unnatural oils like motor oil are a big no-no, but new or used vegetable oil is both eco-safe and effective at killing weeds. Entirely coat unwanted weeds by carefully pouring vegetable oil on both foliage and stem. The weeds will be gone in no time.
Like all living organisms, weeds have to compete for limited resources to survive (sunlight, soil, water, etc). Researchers at Cornell University found that certain ground-covering plants are especially good at robbing weeds of these necessary resources. Install the following plants to help keep weeds out of your garden:
- Emerald blue moss phlox
- Thriller lady’s mantle
- Walker’s low catmint
- Golden fleece dwarf goldenrod
- Albiflorus creeping thyme
- Herman’s pride false lamium
- Majestic Lilyturf
Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!
Spring time means spring cleaning. Unfortunately, spring cleaning usually entails toxic products, artificial perfumes and corrosive chemicals. From skin irritation and asthma to birth defects and cancer, commercial cleaning agents are among the most dangerous products we keep in our homes. To make matters worse, the harsh chemicals in over-the-counter cleaners can linger in your house for days after use, increasing the likelihood they’ll adversely affect not only your home’s air quality but also the environment and our water systems. If you’re looking for safer, more natural and eco-friendly ways to spring clean your home, we got you covered. Here are some of our favorite natural spring cleaning tips.
Because of their natural acidity, lemons are a versatile disinfectant, stain-remover and air-freshener. From deep cleaning bathrooms and kitchens to restoring table tops, laundry and furniture, lemons are an essential natural alternative to harsh cleaning agents. Quick tip: Use lemon juice to remove tough stains from cutting boards and countertops. For more tips on cleaning with lemons, click here.
It might not smell great but distilled white vinegar is among the most useful natural cleaners in existence. It’s a handy stain remover, deodorizer, and degreaser. Quick tip: In a reusable spray bottle, mix a 1-to-1 ratio of water and vinegar to create an effective all-purpose cleaner for use on countertops, toilets, ovens, microwaves, sinks, and more. The possible uses are virtually endless. In fact, here are 95 additional ways to use the cleaning power of vinegar throughout your home.
Avoid using vinegar on granite or marble—vinegar is known to cause damage to these surfaces.
Nothing deodorizes quite like baking soda. But did you know it’s also an incredibly effective natural cleaner? From cleaning mattresses, rugs, and cloth furniture, to restoring grills, ovens, flatware and even silverware, baking soda is as versatile as any cleaner in your kitchen. Quick tip: To clean your kitchen oven naturally, create a paste from a 3-to-1 ratio of baking soda and water; spread the paste on all dirty areas within the oven, and let it sit for at least 5 hours (dirtier ovens may require an overnight soak). Return, wipe the paste from the oven, and the grime disappears. For especially dirty ovens, you might need to repeat this process.
Freshen Your Air Naturally
Did you know store-bought air fresheners are one the biggest sources of air pollution in the home? (Worse yet, they contain chemicals called VOCs, which have been linked to cancer in both humans and animals). Opening the windows for just 10-15 minutes a day can do far more to improve your home’s air quality than any artificial air freshener ever could. Quick tip: For a natural alternative to air fresheners, puncture a lemon or orange with a fork and then slowly bring it to a boil in an uncovered pot—the citrus scent will quickly and naturally refresh your home.
For a ready-to-use, pet-safe deodorizer and air freshener alternative, check out our new Pet + Bedding spray, handcrafted from essential oils and other plant-based ingredients! Perfect for pets, people, fabrics, and for refreshing indoor spaces, Pet + Bedding eliminates pet and household odors without artificial colors or fragrances.
Another one of our favorite ways to naturally freshen our homes is through air-purifying plants. Check out the infographic below to choose one for yourself:
Ditch the Clutter
Obviously, the easiest way to spring clean your home is to keep it clean all year round. While that’s not exactly realistic, one way to ensure the mess never gets too far out of control is to keep clutter to a minimum. Every unnecessary trinket or knick-knack is just another way for your home to collect dust. As you spring clean this season, keep a basket or bag within reach; anything you haven’t used within the last year, seriously consider getting rid of—but recycle or donate, don’t just toss it in the garbage!
Choose a Naturally Sourced, All-Purpose Cleaner
If we’re being honest, few of us have the time to make and mix our own DIY cleaners at home. Plus, even the best of these solutions have shortcomings, sometimes failing to remove stubborn set-in stains and grime.
Finding an over-the-counter, non-toxic all-purpose cleaner is important for when DIY cleaners just won’t cut it. Which is why we developed the The Cedarcide All-Purpose Cleaner, a gentle yet powerful alternative to chemical-based household cleaners. Handcrafted with essential oils, naturally sourced ingredients, and other non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients, our cleaner is safe for people, pets and the environment. We also developed the Cedarcide Glass + Bath Cleaner, specifically for mirrors, glass, showers and bath!
Make the Switch To Microfiber Cloths
Switching from dangerous artificial cleaners to natural alternatives is a big step in the right direction. But reducing waste is crucial, too. It’s easy to exhaust roll after roll of paper towels when cleaning an entire home. Clearly, that’s a lot of wasted paper. Switching to a reusable microfiber cloth will greatly reduce this waste, and can potentially save your family hundreds of dollars each year. Microfiber cloths last much longer than traditional cleaning rags, and are significantly better at removing dirt, grime and dust, too. In fact, microfiber cloths are so efficient, they often require only water to be effective at removing even the toughest of messes.
Print the handy infographic below for a visual reminder of these Natural Spring Cleaning Tips (It looks great on the fridge!)