Mariko Michasiw aka ‘Naturally North Van’ is all about healthy livin! She’s a Mama of 2, and an essential oils guru! Her jam is wellness, and she’s an incredible educator when it comes down to it. After going to an essential oil workshop and hearing about all of the benefits of oils from Mariko, it completely opened my mind to essential oils, so I had to interview her to share the goodness with all of you…along with her Cardamom Apple Breakfast Muffin recipe with essential oils (what!)
Side note: I have no affiliation with dōTERRA, but find that all of the benefits of essential oils is so fascinating.
Hooked On Plants: Mariko, how were you introduced to essential oils and how long have you been using them for?
Mariko Michasiw: I have actually been using the most common essential oils for years! I used Tea Tree for face spot treatments in high school and then Lavender for relaxation in adulthood. The thing is, at that time, I had no clue what the oils could do beyond those two things. It was actually my husband that got me interested in oils because he bought a diffuser (to make my house smell better) and then bought a few pre-made roller bottles for various things like digestion and immune support.
When I was invited to my first essential oils class, I was intrigued but it took me about 6 months of pondering it before I ended up attending one. I am so thankful that I did because the knowledge that was shared blew my mind! I couldn’t believe that you could use oils for so many things! As a natural mama, I embraced the idea of using plant medicine to support my family as a first defence. Don’t get me wrong, I was totally skeptical, but then I kept having AHA! moments with these oils. From pain relief, to immune support, to stress relief, I kept having positive experiences. I had used so many other brands prior to dōTERRA and honestly didn’t think that any of them worked. These were special. The purity and potency was beyond anything I’d experienced before. I’m about a year and a half into using these oils and they have completely changed my life! I rarely use pharmaceuticals now and my home no longer needs harsh toxic chemicals for cleaning.
HOP: What are all of the ways can you use essential oils?
MM: There are typically 3 ways to use essential oils! Aromatically, topically and internally.
Using essential oils aromatically is as simple as opening a bottle and smelling it, but could also be using a diffuser, or putting a drop on your clothes or pillow. My favourite pick me up in the middle of the day is taking a drop of peppermint and rubbing it in my hands and cupping them in front of my face so I can deeply breathe in the aroma. Aromatic use is actually the fastest way to use oils for emotional support. By smelling the oils, we have a direct link to our limbic system which is responsible for our emotions, behaviour and memory. This means that we can use essential oils to quickly calm us or brighten our spirits. Pretty cool right?
For topical use, I always recommend diluting essential oils (especially spicy ones like oregano or cinnamon) with a carrier oil like coconut, almond or jojoba. This not only makes our oils go further but also holds it in the tissues rather than flashing off into the air. The molecules in essential oils are so small that they can easily penetrate the skin. The best places to apply oils are on pulse points, the bottoms of feet, or directly on the area you are trying to treat. Be sure to avoid your eyes, ears and nose though!
When I speak of internal use of oils, I am only talking about dōTERRA because they are pure and go through many levels of testing, but not every oil is ok to consume. I do not know the quality of other oil brands so be sure to check the label to see if it is approved for consumption. I use a citrus oil like Lemon daily in my water (one drop is plenty) for it’s alkalizing effects on the body. I also love using citrus oils in my salad dressings as a replacement for zest. When I don’t have a specific herb or spice at home, sometimes I’ll just substitute a drop of essential oil in a recipe.
HOP: Can you let us know the top 5 general benefits of diffusing essential oils in your home?
1) Air purification – remove odours and airborne pathogens.
2) Emotional support – diffusing certain oils can promote relaxation or reduce anxiety, others can uplift and energize.
3) Improved immunity – anti-inflammtory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties in many essential oils can boost our immunity and fight pathogens.
4) Better sleep – fall asleep faster and sleep deeper by diffusing oils like lavender or roman chamomile in your bedroom.
5) Amazing aroma without the chemicals – ditch the candles for this cleaner alternative.
HOP: Who can benefit from essential oils?
MM: Anyone and everyone! The beauty of having 100% pure essential oils is that you can moderate the quantity that each person receives by diluting them with carrier oil (ie. coconut, jojoba, sweet almond). While diffusing essential oils is often enough for tiny babies, we also have the option of heavily diluting oils for them if they need digestive support or pain relief, for example. Essential oils are effective for supporting emotions, especially for children who are very responsive to oils. I love using dōTERRA Balance and Wild Orange to help my children feel calmer. My kids have stopped napping so this combo is now my “quiet time” blend.
They’re amazing for adults to calm stress and anxiety (my favourites are dōTERRA Serenity and Vetiver)! They boost our immune systems (On Guard), and help with sleep. They are also a great alternative for seniors who are often put on many medications to deal with their symptoms without ever knowing the root cause of their issue. The nice thing about essential oils is that there are very few side effects to using them, however it is important to remember that they are both powerful and potent. It’s always a good idea to do your own research on what is safe based on other medication that you may be taking.
Pregnant women can also find a lot of relief by using essential oils. I wish I had been educated on essential oils during my pregnancies to help with the nausea, cold and flus, and other discomforts that I was feeling.
Infants, toddlers, pregnant women and the elderly are more sensitive and should dilute more than adults when using essential oils.
The last group, pets! While not all oils are safe for pets (do your research before using them), there are many that are very supportive for them. Treat them like the previous group and dilute because they are more sensitive as well (especially their sense of smell).
HOP: The ways to use essential oils are endless! But, what’s your personal favourite way to use them? Do you have a favourite oil?
MM: It’s so hard for me to say a favourite way, but I have a ton of custom rollers floating around my house, purse, and car. Rollers are perfect for on the go application, and I love convenience!
My favourite oil can change minute to minute, but I have a special place in my heart for Balance! It was the first oil I ordered beyond the intro kit because it was described as the Grounding blend and who doesn’t need more Balance in their lives?! As a mom of 2 tiny kids, it sounded perfect to me. It has a ton of wood oils along with Frankincense and I feel connected to the earth when I use it (versus the previous head spinning I was experiencing). It kind of smells like a walk in the woods and blends really well with a few of my other faves: Serenity, Citrus Bliss, or Wild Orange.
HOP: You can make recipes with oils! So amazing. Can you give us your favourite recipe with essential oils and let us know what benefits do you get from it?
MM: These muffins have so many benefits that you can eat them for breakfast! Super nutritious, and delicious! Another awesome benefit is that Cardamom oil is supportive for the digestive system and it’s an aphrodisiac… Not all oils are ok to ingest…doTERRA is approved for ingestion by Health Canada. Enjoy these babies anytime of the day!
You can find all things Naturally North Van at:
Order dōTerra oils through her here!
Mariko is passionate about educating people about the benefits of essential oils and helping them along their wellness journey. She teach classes in people’s homes and does lifestyle overviews (in person or over the phone) to help integrate these beautiful oils into your homes. She has a ton of education resources and groups that people can follow along to learn more. Connect with her and she’ll hook you up!
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup of non-dairy milk
- ½ cup agave or maple syrup
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water, let sit 5 minutes)
- 1-3 drops of doTERRA cardamom oil*
- 1½ cup chopped apples
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1½ cups of rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 cup flour (I used amaranth)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ a cup of dried fruit/nuts
- ½ cup grated carrot
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F
- Combine the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
- Spoon into silicone covered muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes
*When cooking with essential oils, start small. Add one drop and then more if necessary to keep the oil from overpowering the recipe.
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