Story of a Housewife: Rachael Bratene

What Health Looks Like In our Family

"Holistic" and "Natural" were not common words in my vocabulary until I had my own children, and started deeply considering the things I was feeding them, putting on their skin, and allowing into our home environment.

By the time we had three children, we began to truly struggle with keeping everyone healthy. We found ourselves continuously in a vicious cycle of kids catching colds and viruses and then passing them through the whole family. It seemed like just about the time we would get everyone healthy from a bout of something, someone else would come down with something new and we would start the cycle all over again. It was miserable living that way and it was costing us a ton of money in my husband taking sick days off from work, co-pays, deductibles, antibiotics, and over the counter meds. We knew we had to find a solution. We knew that there had to be other big families out there facing this same struggle who had found ways to keep from getting sick so often. 

Our journey to discovering better health began with food. We began to learn about natural immunity and how keeping our bodies healthy through foods could protect us from getting sick as often. As we researched what foods we should be eating for healthier immune systems, we began to also learn about the toxic load each of us carries, not only from what has happened to the world food supply, but also from the many chemical laden things in our home care and body care. We started to reduce our use of plastics, look for healthier more natural alternatives to cleaning products, and search for simpler options in the things we put on our face, hair, and bodies. 

We were making progress little by little, step by step, day by day.

A few years into that journey toward better health, and after having added two more children to the mix making us a family of seven, I was introduced by a friend to essential oils. I'd been avoiding the topic for a long time thinking they were some far out “Hippie dippie baloney.” But on the very first night I attended a class about them, and learned what was possible with them, though I was still super skeptical, I was thrust immediately into making a decision about using them. 

My kids had been “slightly” sick for a few days with runny noses and congestion. When I got home from the essential oils class my 7 year old daughter was in the midst of full blown croup, and a panic attack that was leading to nausea, over worry she soon wouldn't be able to breathe at all. I knew now was my chance to try these oils. I was nervous. I was nervous about looking like a fool to my kids and my husband trying to solve big time health concerns with little bottles of oil. But I also knew now was the best time ever to find out for sure if essential oils were even worth bothering with. 

I had her smell peppermint out of the bottle and it eliminated her feelings of nausea in a couple minutes.

I put coconut oil, peppermint, frankincense, and eucalyptus on her chest.

I began massaging her feet with lavender to calm her anxiety.

Within 20 minutes her airways were open, she was calm, carrying on a conversation with me, and even laughing. All my other kids (except the baby) were lined up, wanting to experience the oils. I applied the same protocols to each of them and got all of them to bed. My husband and I hurried to bed ourselves, knowing we would probably be up all night with kids waking up uncomfortable with congestion. We were astonished when we woke up the next morning and all our runny nosed, congested kids had slept through the night. We knew immediately that essential oils would become another HUGE piece of the puzzle in how we would be keeping our large family healthy from here on out.

Over the past year we've learned to use essential oils for numerous health care situations for our entire family and they continue to amaze us with how quickly and effectively they work. They've been a tremendous financial solution for us as well, having greatly reduced how often we need to go the doctor or use antibiotics and pharmacy products. It was a bit of an investment to get our initial stock of oils, but they last for years and years and almost everything we do with them calls for a drop or two at a time, costing us only cents per application. Additionally we've learned to use them to make our own hand sanitizers, hand soap, laundry products, multipurpose cleaners, diaper spray, salves, and more, continuing to help reduce the chemicals in our home.

Since having had such powerful results with the proper use of therapeutic grade essential oils, I've developed a passion for helping others start that journey. I work with families and health care providers to educate and support their use of essential oils safely and effectively and I've begun to train other women to do the same thing and work from home. If you would like to begin an essential oil transformation for your family, please reach out to me and I'd be thrilled to help you get started. 

This week in honor of getting to share my story here at the Imperfect Housewife, I'd love to do a giveaway to get one of you started with a small introduction kit for free. This kit will include 5mL bottles each of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint along with an Audio CD that teaches about safe and effective Essential Oil use.

To enter the giveaway leave a comment below giving one example of what health looks like in your family.  For additional entries, visit Imperfect Housewife on Facebook or Instagram.  Giveaway is open from Tuesday, August 4th-Thursday, August 6th, 2015.  Winner will be announced on Friday.

Rachael is a passionate woman of faith, wife, and home school mother of five who blogs at After having researched all the essential oil options available to her, she now works from home with the world leader in essential oils used for therapeutic use. She mentors others in their journeys toward more holistic natural health, home school, faith, and family. You can follow her on her blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook by visiting her website and connecting from there to any of her social media pages. She'd love to hear from you!