Sunday, May 13, 2012

MPS-Sanfilippo Syndrome: Suzanne's Caregiver Story

     Suzanne lives here in Louisville, MS, where I do.  She was Corey's homeroom teacher in the 3rd grade for part of the year.  The rest of the year, she was on maternity leave after giving birth to a baby boy.  That's about all I knew about Suzanne until the past couple of years. That's when her life changed forever, and our community came to learn about MPS-Sanfilippo Syndrome.
     Quinn was that baby boy born 5 years ago.  Just 2 years ago, he was diagnosed with MPS, or Mucopolysaccharidosis. It is a very rare genetic disorder that I had never heard of.  Since then, Suzanne has been a warrior of an advocate for Quinn and all of the other children and families suffering with this disease. Through Facebook, I've been able to learn about Quinn's life, both the triumphs and struggles. MPS is such a different diagnosis, a life-threatening one, than what my daughter lives with.  And although I've extended an empathetic ear to Suzanne many times, I just couldn't relate to what her existence was like. That is, until now.  I'm so grateful to her for sharing her story with me. I know it will inspire and encourage others, just as it has me.
     I thought it would be best to begin this interview with a description of MPS Suzanne shared with me. It surely explains it all...

Understanding What MPS III-A
Does to a Child and the Family
by Lucas Hembree on Wednesday,
February 8, 2012 at 11:47pm

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS III-A). I’m also called Sanfilippo (pronounced San-fa-lee-po) Syndrome named after Dr. Sylvester Sanfilippo, who discovered me in 1963. I am an awful genetic disorder. I affect 1 in 70,000 little children. I cause the body not to produce a specific enzyme that helps to break down dead tissue in side the little one’s body. Since the waste can’t be broken down I cause the body to store the waste in places it’s not suppose to be. Like the brain, central nervous system, bones, joints, and vital organs. So now that this young child is at my mercy let me tell you what I’m going to put him and his family through for the next 10-15 years. That’s right, 10-15 years is about all I’m going to let this child live for.
 Then to make it worse they is no cure or treatment to get rid of me.

Let’s start out easy. Within the first 2 years of this child’s life I’m going to cause him to have several developmental delays. This includes learning to walk, feeding himself, and talking. After he does learn to walk he will be very unsteady on his feet. This is because I’m already starting to affect his joints. He will have several ear infections and will soon lose some of his hearing. Thanks to me he’ll never be able to enjoy hearing things like birds singing and crickets chirping. I’ll set back and laugh while the parents scurry around to all the different specialist trying to find out what is wrong. The parents schedule will soon fill up with appointments to specialist and physical therapy visits. I’ll let them enjoy their time of semi-normalcy for another 2-3 more years before I really start getting nasty.

Now by this time the parents usually know what is going on. They see him constantly chewing on things and having behavioral problems. That’s from where I’m storing the waste in his brain and I’m slowly making him mentally retarded. He will start to become more aggressive, hyper, and harder to control. He will have sleepless nights. His behavior will be similar to an Autistic child. It will be harder for him to walk without constantly falling down. He will become more resilient to pain and have thicker skin so you’ll have no idea of how bad he’s hurt when he falls because he won’t cry as a normal child would. I will start to change his outward appearance. I will cause his hair to become more course and his eyebrows thicker. I will widen his jaw and gap his teeth apart. All the complements on how cute and handsome he is will soon start to change to stares, gawks, or people looking away because they won’t know how to take his appearance.

Now to slow things down a little. Because of all the waste I’ve stored in the joints I’ll take his ability to walk from him. I’ll see that he’s confined to a wheelchair. I’ll cause him go into a vegetative state at this point. He’ll not be able to be potty trained or able to feed himself. Most of the children I affect will have to get a feeding tube put in. I’ll no longer let him communicate with anyone. You’ll look into his once vibrant beautiful blue eyes only to see a loving child trapped in his own body. I’m now going to really make it hard on the family. I’m also going to cause this child to have frequent and violent seizures. This will come along with the added complications to his heart and immune system.

Because I’m a rare genetic disorder the insurances company’s will be reluctant on covering his medical needs and equipment. As things become worse one of the parents will have to stop working in order to care for me full time. I will mental, physical, and financially drain this family. After all of this torment and anguish I will take the life of this child as I have so many in the past.

This is my interview with Suzanne:

Tell me about your son, and describe his disability.
Quinn is a 5 year old little boy that can light up the room with his smile. He can also destroy the room very quickly. Quinn was born in December 2006 very healthy and a happy baby. My second child, so I was calmer too. He was so very quiet, never cried, or made many sounds.  Ear infections started at 3 months of age, and finally at 9 months he got his first set of tubes.  The tubes didn't help, he continued to stay sick with green snot, fever, and yes, ear infections. Three ENT's later and our 3rd set of tubes, we learned that Quinn had moderate hearing loss in both hears. There is not a day that goes by, that I don't wish I had handled hearing loss better. Maybe I would not be typing this now.  Hearing loss and hearing aids were the end of the world to me at that time.  However, I finally accepted it, and I just wanted to hear Quinn say the word Momma!!  So we drove Quinn an hour and half to school at Magnolia Speech School in hopes of him learning to talk.  During this time I wanted to know why Quinn was losing his hearing.  He had passed his hearing test at birth. Tests after tests brought no results. Finally, in July 2009, we went to see a genetic doctor.  He walked in the room, took one look at Quinn, then said that he had something genetically wrong. Really, just by looking!!  At this time, Quinn had 12 tubes of blood drawn, urine sample, and EEG. We drove home to wait for the results. On August 12, I received a phone call saying they found something, and it would be 2 or 3 weeks before we could come back to hear the results. We could not except waiting that long. Brad called and found out that our precious baby boy had MPS.  The nurse told him not to look it up because there is no cure or treatment for some of the types, and we don't know which one Quinn has. Well forget that, we were on the computer all weekend. From the beginning, I prayed, please don't let it be type 3.  However, the more I studied, I knew that was the type Quinn had. Sadly he was one in 114,000 live births with this disorder. He has Sanfilippo Syndrome, Type A. This type of Sanfilippo affects the brain with no treatment and the shortest survival rate. Quinn is missing an enzyme that breaks down the waste in our body. Since he is missing this enzyme, the wastes build up in his central nervous system, bones, joints, and vital organs. Quinn's started in his ears with the hearing loss and is quickly moving throughout his little body.

What are his limitations?
Quinn requires full care 24/7.  He can't dress himself, feed himself, or follow simple directions. He watches a lot of television, because this makes him happy. He use to play with toys, now he just beats them. Every once in a while, he will push a truck the correct way. He is 5, but is mentally on an 11 month level. Sadly, this test was a year ago, so I am sure he may be more like 7 or 9 month level now. He will get to a vegetative state. Most of the time this happens by the age of 11, but since it affects the nervous system each child is affected differently.

On a daily basis, what is the most challenging part of caring for him?
He can't tell me what he wants. He gets frustrated, and so do I. He would love to just run and run and run. Thankfully and sadly, he falls a lot, therefore,  I am able to catch him.

What are the most difficult things you deal with in regards to his disability?
He is going to die. I pray daily he just doesn't suffer too much. No, really to answer the question, it's watching him slip away. Some days it's like he knows what he wants to say.  His little lips move and nothing comes out. Some days he is here more than other days. That is hard knowing all the things he was able to do at one time. 

Are there more good days, or more bad days?
Quinn doesn't sleep much. At night, it seems as if his brain can't settle down. However, any day he wakes up is a good day. So many children die in their sleep. Some days he is happy, and other days he cries alot.  Sadly, I never have any idea what the problem is.

Do you have a good support system?
Yes, I have a wonderful support system. My husband allowed me to stop teaching in order to care for Quinn.  Also, mentally, I couldn't handle teaching with all the stress of my son dying. My parents and in-laws help out. Quinn does better at home, therefore, we are sadly learning to leave him there more.

Has your situation affected other relationships in your life?
In some ways I would say yes.  Some people just don't know what to say. I will say that you find out who your true friends are for sure.

What do you do for enjoyment?
I am still working on that. Maybe Facebook because I can connect with other parents of children with this disease. I don't know of any children in Mississippi that have Sanfilippo.

What is your favorite attribute about your son?
Quinn has touched so many lives.
He is my little hero!!

What is it about your life as a caregiver that you want others to know?
It's not an easy job, or one I picked for sure. I always say, this is the life that chose me. I also know that my future will be much harder.

How has being a caregiver changed you?
It has made me a stronger person. This is not the life, job, or anything I wanted. I will never be happy with this life journey, but I am learning daily to accept it.

Have you learned anything about yourself?
I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I have cried more tears than I thought possible. But I am out of bed today, so I am proud. I am learning to enjoy this life. I will never like it, but I am learning to be happy.

What advice can you offer others who are in your situation, whether suffering with MPS or other life-threatening illnesses?
The first year I prayed for this not to be true and for a miracle.  I never prayed for a cure with Quinn because a cure means death. The second year I have prayed just to let the tears and sadness go away, so that I will be able to enjoy Quinn. Also, to learn how to stop wishing for what will never be. Oh how hard that is!!!  Quinn's disease is rare.  People do not understand it. That will always be hard. Quinn looks healthy, but his brain is not because of all the buildup of waste the body can't break down.  We don't have hospital stays; there is no treatment, or anything that can be done. Doctors have no idea what to do.  Some days I would love a time line of how long we have, but this disease affects each child so differently we have no idea.  Quinn never developed cognitively or physically as much as other children have, so does that mean a wheelchair sooner or later?  I wish I could tell you.  All I know for certain is, Quinn is my blessing. I hope and pray one day there will be a treatment for kids like Quinn.  A cure would be even better.  But right now I am just living the best way I know how. There are no rule books with MPS.  I do know that it's a long hard road, but God picked my family to walk it.  We are traveling this journey the best we know how.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Making Felted Wool Dryer Balls: Homestead Challenge #3

     Since I mastered the process of making my own laundry detergent, I decided to find a way to replace the dryer sheets. It didn't take long to learn that homesteaders like to use felted wool dryer balls. You can buy them already made from several sellers on Etsy. I discovered they were very easy to make myself, so I followed the tutorial from The Good
     How do they work, you ask?  The wool balls absorb moisture from the clothes in the dryer. This helps maintain a humidity level during the cycle that keeps static from developing. The tossing action separates the clothes, making them dry quicker and saving on energy costs. Plus it helps make the clothes wrinkle free. Sounds great to me!

     The first thing I did was find some wool.  YOU MUST USE 100% WOOL! The typical acrylic stuff you find will not work.  If you have an old wool sweater or scarf, you could recycle that. I didn't, and couldn't find any wool locally. So I ordered this Martha Stewart roving wool online. The 3 skeins I received were not as big as I was expecting them to be, but were enough to make 6 large dryer balls.
     You must decide what size you are going to make them. Different tutorials suggest different sizes. I decided on a larger size; that was just my personal preference. So I began by winding the wool into balls to form the core. There is no magic method to this, just begin winding! You are forming the core of the ball here, not the finished size. I wound mine until they were 6 inches around; in hindsight, I would have made them a little smaller, about 4 inches around.

     Once the core is wound, the balls are ready for the first of two felting processes.  The instructions say to place the balls into a length of pantyhose, and tie them off with string.  I found a knee-high hose to use, and used some acrylic yarn scraps for the ties. You DO NOT want to use the wool yarn for the ties. Once all of the balls are tied up, I threw the whole thing in the washing machine with a load of laundry. I chose a load of white clothes so I could use hot water.  The hotter the water, the quicker the felting process takes place. Once the cycle was finished, I put them in the dryer with the same load of laundry, and dried them on high heat. After they were dry, I cut the ties and removed the balls from the hose. They are then ready to be wound to their finished size and felted again. The finished size of my dryer balls was about 8 inches around.

Dryer balls after first winding (the core).

The cores after the first felting.

Finished size after second felting.

     The felted wool balls are now ready for use in your dryer. They will continue to felt and become harder each time you use them. If you would like to scent them, apply 3-5 drops of an essential oil to them. Reapply essential oil when the scent fades away. Lemongrass oil is a natural deodorizer, and would be a good one to use. Properly made dryer balls should last about 5 years.
     Cost analysis time! I spent less than $20 on the wool (plus shipping) to make these. And they last for 5 years. Compare that to what you spend over 5-years time on dryer sheets! Plus, these are all-natural with no chemical products added to your clothes or skin. Yep, I'm pretty excited about this project.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Kitty Who Wasn't (Almost)

     A friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook yesterday of a kitten she was going to pick up for her family. It was a cute little Himalayan kitten, which I have always wanted. So when she asked if I wanted one, I went out on a limb (and without the hubby's permission) and said yes. And within 4 hours, we had a new addition to our family.
     She was a tiny kitten, probably only 5 weeks old, and seemed to like a place where she could hide and curl up. So we put a towel inside of a small box for her in the master bathroom, something she could crawl in and out of, and would be out of harm's way. I soaked some cat food in a little water until it was mashable, and she ate it up. I left a nightlight on and closed the door to the bathroom, and she was quite content there all night long.
     This morning, I opened the door so she could explore some while we got the kids ready for school. Kirby went in and sat in the floor watching her, even placing the food dish within her reach. As I continued with our morning routine, I heard the toilet flush in the bathroom. I hollered to Kirby, "What are you doing in there?" Todd, who was in the kitchen with me, joked, "Nothing Mom, I'm just flushing the kitty down the toilet." But as he went to investigate, it quickly became more than a joke.

     From the kitchen, I heard Todd asking Kirby, "Did you flush the kitty down the toilet?"
     Kirby repied, "Yes!"

     I rushed into the bathroom. Todd asked again, "Did you flush the kitty down the toilet?"
"Yes," Kirby said again. I searched the bathroom for anywhere the kitty could have been hiding.  No kitty--anywhere. Todd put his ear up to the side of the toilet, listening for any sounds.  Nothing.  We stood and looked at each other in disbelief, mouths gaping open. My heart was racing, my legs turned rubbery, a warm, sick feeling came over me. I couldn't believe this! We asked Kirby several more times if he had put the kitty in the toilet and flushed him down. Each time, his answer was "Yes". 
     The next 20 minutes or so are a blur to me. We load the kids up for school. Kirby is talking, but I'm not hearing anything he's saying. All I can think about is the poor kitten being flushed down the toilet. How horrible! Todd, Corey, and I are just sitting in the van stunned at what had just happened. Nobody is saying a word.  Having just gotten the kitten last night, we hadn't become attached enough to shed tears over her. But I had the most sickening feeling in my whole body.  I couldn't escape the image of this poor kitten being flushed down the toilet. I felt very near a full-blown panic attack.
     After all the kids had been dropped off, we return to the house. We both walk in, and go straight to the bathroom. Why, I don't know. Returning to the crime scene? Maybe. We quietly stand over the toilet. I hear a faint "meow". I ask Todd, "Did you hear that? I heard a meow!" Then we both hear another one, very faintly. "Oh my gosh! I hear it!" I said. Todd reaches back to turn off the water to the toilet.  He guesses it's probably stuck in the S-shaped part in the base. He runs off to get some tools to take the toilet apart, while I began quickly moving things out of the way. Then, we hear another meow, but it's a little louder this time. Todd follows the sound to the rocking chair, just outside of the bathroom door. He looks behind the chair. "Mama", he said, as he pulls the kitten up from her hiding place.

     She was dry as a bone, and perfectly fine.
     What more can I say?
     I guess Kirby has a wild (sick) imagination.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let There Be...Shade: Homestead Challenge #2

I must confess--we did this project a few weeks ago. But it definitely qualifies for the Homestead Challenge.

Our house is surrounded by old trees that bring some pretty awesome shade. That is, except for the west side of the house. It takes in a lot of heat in the afternoons, especially in the summer. That side of the house is where the master bedroom, bathroom, and my workroom are. It was added on many years ago, and was cooled by an ancient, unreliable air conditioner that we replaced with a window unit. Even at that, it takes a lot to keep this west-facing side cool.

So we've planted a few trees to help us out. We chose 5 red maples that were under $30 each.  They were great looking, tall and leafy. We bought them from a co-op about 25 miles from home one afternoon when we were on the way to watch our son play baseball. Turns out that wasn't such a great plan on our part. What we didn't consider was the ballgame was about 30 miles past that co-op, on the highway, with that same distance to travel back home. It goes without saying that trees don't like to travel at 70 miles an hour in the back of a truck. We watched anxiously as the poor things were wind-whipped they whole entire trip. The leaves that were down in the truck bed were fine. But the ones up higher and hanging off the back were badly dried up and/or withered. This picture is a bit blurry, but it shows how the leaves looked once we got home.

Fortunately, all of the trees survived, and we spaced them out on the west side of the house. They are thriving, putting out new growth everywhere. Boy, are we lucky! We hope in the years to come, they will provide great shade and keep us cooler in the summer. And as a bonus, I'll get to see some fantastic red leaves in the fall (love me some fall foliage!).  It seems like a good investment, considering what they should save us in electricity eventually.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Save the Bananas!: Homestead Challenge #1

Ok, so it's the first day of my Homestead Challenge. I'm looking around, trying to decide where to start. After all, there are so many things I want to try. But wait--hang on a minute--what is this sitting on the counter?

Now, I know you've seen this before...
You probably have some rotting bananas sitting on your counter right now, don't you? 

Here's a homesteading "a-ha" moment. Normally, these would go straight to the trash. But this time, I'm not going to waste them. And who doesn't love Banana Bread? (Well, some people don't, I'm sure. But I do!)

Homemade Banana Bread
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (3 or 4)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts (if you like)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Grease loaf pan with shortening.
  2. Mix sugar, bananas, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pan.
  3. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of the bread comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes.
  4. Let cook 10 minutes, then loosen sides from pan and remove loaf. Let cool completely before slicing.

It was fast and easy to make, and so yummy too.  And it felt good to rescue those poor-looking bananas from their certain demise! Challenge #1 is a success!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Take the Homestead Challenge

I've been giving a lot of thought and consideration to homesteading recently (in case you didn't notice--I'm quite obsessed!). In my reading, I've come to learn that there is a great movement out there to natural living.  People are returning to their roots in many different ways. The definition of homesteading is as broad as the population. It can be anything from using cloth napkins over paper, to living off-grid and having a well.

The primary reason I began looking into natural living was to find ways to save money. Let's face it, prices are going up on everything, with no end in site. I get a sinking feeling when I go to Walmart and drop $100 on just a few bags worth of items. On top of that, the items I often buy are filled with who-knows-what in terms of additives and preservatives. I want better than that for my family, and I bet you do too! Here are some reasons people are joining the homestead movement:
  • To save money
  • To live closer to the land
  • To embrace homemaking
  • To return to the basics
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Community building
  • Teaching children the value of hard work
  • Preparedness
  • Conservation
  • Environmentalism

But where do we start? As I mentioned, homesteading can be defined in many ways. I've learned that living a more self-sustaining lifestyle includes any/all of the following:
  • Don't waste anything! Use/reuse/recycle everything.
  • Choose reusable items over disposable ones wherever possible
  • Make your own household cleaners
  • Make your own personal care products
  • Explore natural remedies
  • Learn to sew
  • Line-dry your laundry when possible
  • Conserve electricity
  • Be prepared for emergencies
  • Buy in bulk when the price is right
  • Plant a garden
  • Plant fruit and nut trees
  • Preserve your harvest
  • Use captured rainwater for your garden
  • Choose local farmers for your produce, dairy, and/or meat
  • Stock your freezer with meat when you find a good sale
  • Raise chickens for eggs and/or meat
  • Raise cows or goats for milk
And the list goes on...

It's a long list, and might include some things you are already doing. There might be other steps you might be ready to start right away--go for it!  But some of these things might seem totally unattainable to you.  Perhaps you live in an apartment or rental with no prospects for a traditional garden. Think outside the box! Could you grow in containers? I know you've seen those tomato plants that hang upside down-could you try that? If all else fails, support your local farmers by buying from them what you can't grow yourself. If you truly want to incorporate these steps into your life, find ways around what seem like roadblocks.
This list also contains ideas that can't be accomplished overnight. Perhaps you are like me, and you have lots of room for animals and gardens. It doesn't have to be done all at one time. Life is a journey, right? Start small, and don't get overwhelmed. Plan your course of action, and work to move in that direction.

Does this natural lifestyle appeal to you? Are you ready to be as self-sufficient as possible? I am, so why don't we get started...

Take the Homestead Challenge

I am going to try something new every day for the next 14 days that will give me a good start on this new way of living. I may find it's not for me (though I doubt it). I may discover it's what I should have been doing all along. I'm taking tiny steps, making small changes that I hope will eventually lead me to my goal of saving money. I will post my challenges to show you what I'm doing, and evaluate the benefits. My hope is that what I share will educate and inspire us all, and that you might give some of these challenges a try too. Be sure to let me know what you're doing; I want to learn something too! So off we go---happy homesteading!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

My first homesteading projects include making some all-natural household products.  In the research I've done so far, I've found that some of these homemade products actually work better than their store-bought counterparts. And who would have thought that the main ingredients are things that are probably in your home right now? The basic items for many of these recipes include baking soda, cornstarch, and vinegar. All of these are natural and cheap!

One of the other main ingredients in almost all of these homemade items are essential oils. I've never used these aromatic oils before, but they add all-natural scent to everything from household cleaners to toothpaste. I found a good source at, and have ordered several of the most commonly used oils to add to my products.

What I hadn't considered about the essential oils is that they are also used for aromatherapy.  Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being. This is an added benefit! My daughter has a lot of trouble with congestion, so I researched which oils would combat that.  I'm anxious to receive my order, and give these a try.

I thought I would share which essential oils I ordered, and what healing properties they carry. Most of these suggest adding a few drops to your favorite lotion, massage oil, or aromatherapy diffuser.

  • a very potent fresh, minty aroma that produces a cooling and refreshing sensation. 
  • used for inflammation, nausea, indigestion, fevers, flatulence, headaches, migraine, liver problems, arthritis
  • vitalizing, refreshing, clears negative energy, increases alertness, stimulating, and cooling
Tea Tree
  • can be used by the drop directly on the skin which helps cleanse and purify
  • used for immune support as well as relief from colds, flu, skin infections, cold sores, warts, acne, burns, athletes foot, thrush candida, fungal infections, viral infections, bacterial infections, inflammation, shock, hysteria, and glandular fever

  • used to relax, soothe, restore and balance the body and mind
  • may also be beneficial for skin conditions such as burns, rashes and psoriasis; headaches and fevers; insomnia, PMS, stress, scarring, inflammation, and infection
  • cleanses, purifies, and renews the spirit and mind
  • used for acne, asthma, colds, dull skin, flu, varicose veins


  • a familiar component of bug-repelling sprays
  • astringent and cleansing citronella is also useful for oily, blemished skin and large pores. It can be irritating, so be sure to dilute properly.
  • works as an insecticide, deodorant, tonic, stimulant, diuretic, emmenagogue, antiseptic, and reduces fever
  • uplifting, energizing, refreshing
  • used for sore throat, nervous conditions, blood pressure, digestive problems, gallstones, debility, fever, anxiety, as a tonic, astringent, and antiseptic
  • useful as a laxative, for diarrhea, tones the liver, used for asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, throat infections, hypertension, tones the heart, lowers blood sugar, helps arthritis, acne, broken capillaries, varicose veins, clears the head and helps combat depression and combats fever
  • maintains a wholesome, positively charged atmosphere
  • used for depression, anxiety, constipation, nervous conditions, muscular spasm, as a tonic, sedative, antiseptic, diuretic, for palpitations, bronchitis, flu, improves immunity, promotes the production of collagen and increases the circulation of lymphatic fluids.

  • purifies the atmosphere and clears negative energy
  • helps sore throats, coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis, skin infections, ulcers, sores, rheumatism, aches, pains, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, cystitis, nephritis, cleanses the blood, lowers sugar levels, improves circulation, respiratory problems, reduces fever and relieves headaches.

  • is an antibacterial, antifungal, disinfectant, insecticide, and deodorant
  • used for nasal and chest congestion, muscle pain, cramps, spasms, joint pain, gout, circulatory system disorders
  • must be diluted before use.  Also, you must take care that you do not inhale its vapors directly as it can be toxic and fatal in some extreme cases.

And to think I was buying these just for the scent! I'm definitely going to research more of these essential oils to find more that might benefit us. And I'll be sure to share what I learn.

Sources:, ,,,