Author Archives: KeithR
Author Archives: KeithR
So what have essential oils got to do with astrology? And why do we even read horoscopes - aren't they based on pure superstition? We're going to answer these questions for you and indicate methods you can harness to generate inner peace and good health.
A horoscope is an analysis of your current situation and a prediction of your future based on the alignment of the stars and planets at the moment of your birth. Although there is little scientific evidence for the validity of astrology, there is a wealth of empirical evidence. However, the valid evidence is buried in mountains of superstitious claptrap produced by con-men (and women) for the gullible. A true horoscope is an extremely complex undertaking and cannot be compared to the drivel produced by 99% of today's practitioners.
To produce a valid horoscope requires a deep understanding of:-
Each of the signs contains aspects of the four basic aspects of nature - Fire, Air, Water and Earth. This is the basis of alchemy which is not superstition but a metaphorical way of describing metaphysical properties. For example, we say that Capricorn is an Earth sign, meaning that we expect stability and strength and also fecundity, producing those things that the world needs to survive.
Every sign may be attributed a complex set of symbols from alchemy and qabalah which define its basic properties. These properties include certain affinities with the natural products of the world we live in, and plants and animals are an important part of these properties.
Aquarius is an AIR sign, not a water sign despite the symbology. In the Tarot, Aquarius is The Water Bearer and in Qabalah is referred to the Hebrew letter Hé and the 15th path on the Tree of Life. The Tarot card referred to for the sign is The Star. What does all this mean?
These attributions give us the basic tools of analysis; they tell us of all the cosmic influences brought to bear on individuals born under the sign. Briefly, these factors reveal confidence in nature and in life, high creativity and trust. However, in its darker aspect Aquarius can also indicate a mind plagued by delusion and which seeks destruction.
The plants used to derive essential oil each has its alchemical and astrological properties and so each astrological sign benefits from some specific oils more than others. When we choose the 'right' oils by happenstance, we usually simply notice the greater benefits we enjoy from them than other oils and they quickly become our favorites.
That's all on Aquarius for now, although we might expand a little on this in the coming days, so do check back for updates. Next, we're going to tackle Pisces. To improve on this we need your feedback so PLEASE write to us, leave comments and SHARE and LIKE our article.
There's a LOT more to this subject - what would YOU like to know? Start the discussion!
What is meditation? After mastering a few of the basic aspects, every student or master will probably give you different answers with a few common elements. Here are the key elements of meditation as I see them:-
1) Mastering the body so that the mind is not distracted by itching, aches and pains.
2) 1st level mastery of the mind – the capacity to freeze conscious thought processes and suppress the incessant babble that makes our consciousness a maelstrom of inane and insane disconnected chatter. This I call peace.
3) 1st level control of the now quiet and empty space in your head. This means being able to create and hold a simple image in the timeless dark of your mind – which is now under total control. For some people this may be a simple Cross of Christ or a Circle; it is almost always a simple glyph that has deep meaning for the practitioner.
4) Becoming one with the image in your mind.
These steps are as simple as they sound – but like all things worth mastering, each one can be devilishly difficult. I have no intention of writing an an extensive instruction on meditation here – but if you need some advice by all means contact me. What I will do though, is to provide a very, very elementary introduction to the simplest position and practise.
Choose a quiet space with dim light where you won’t be disturbed. Remember to switch off ALL electronic equipment that may disturb you. Sit in a chair – head up, back straight, knees together, hands on knees, eyes closed. DON’T SLOUCH! As with all meditation positions it’s important to remain semi-rigid and alert to the tendency to ‘relax’ – which you really must not do. With practise you will be able to ignore any distracting signals that your body sends you. One great teacher called this position “The God”.
Breathing practise has very well understood functions in meditation. These are the key ones:-
Most of us are never going to be advance adepts of meditation and so we do not need to practise difficult advance techniques to derive a great deal of benefit from simple and fairly easily mastered practises. So here’s what you do:-
Breath slowly, steadily and calmly in and out through your nose. If you struggle at first (most people do), allow yourself to breathe a little faster, but still steadily. if you still struggle, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, slowly and steadily and when you are comfortable gradually shift back to breathing only through the nose.
Now for the tricky bit! You should be able to hold your physical position for at least 30 minutes without moving before you move to this phase. Old-world practitioners used to test their abilities by having a saucer brim-full of water placed on their heads – if they spilled one drop then they were not yet competent.
Once you are happy with your capacity to remain absolutely still you basically forget about your body because it will no longer trouble you or deflect you from your purpose. You are sitting quietly and steadily and you need to think about – NOTHING. So you try to think about NOTHING; and that’s where the fun begins, because your brain just won’t stop producing images, memories, friends, people places and heaven knows what else. Your mission – should you choose to accept is – is to SILENCE this rabble of thoughts. This is one area where essential oils can help.
Essential oils act on the mind through the limbic system, and so they have a powerful effect on our moods and state of mind. Over thousands of years, the best oils for spiritual and meditation practises have been selected and tested, but I’m going to start you off not with the best oils in a general sense, but the most powerful oils to help you control your mind. They do this by basically overwhelming your mental sense and displacing the meaningless stream of thoughts that so troubles. We’ll call these active thought suppressants.
The best active thought suppressants in my opinion are:-
1) Ylang Ylang
This is not a hard and fast rule; these are not the best oils for deep meditation, they are merely effective as a mental distraction because of their powerful (and beautiful) odors. However, as with so many things, you need good quality 100% pure oils as any unpleasant ‘undertones’ will unsettle your mind and drive your mind away from the condition you seek.
Simply get a good diffuser – and some good quality oils (you do NOT to spend huge amount of money – less than $20 for a good selection of oils and less than $30 for a very nice diffuser. Before you begin your session, let the diffuser fill your meditation space with the odor of your selected oil and keep it running (it MUST be silent). Make sure you can switch off any lights on the diffuser – you don’t need the distraction, although with a little more tuition, a rotating light pattern could be useful as a further aid.
Once you have assumed your position (it is crucial that you really can remain still – do not deceive yourself if you are having difficulty, just keep practising) and you are ready to empty your mind do as follows:-
Imagine yourself pushing down and drowning every thought that tries to rise; imaging yourself pushing it down and drowning it in darkness – cut off every word, every thought every image and let your mind concentrate only on the smell of the oil as you breath slow and steady. You will struggle at first, but by focusing on the oils odor you will find that eventually, your mind will surrender and become silent on your command. You may then dispense with the oil, although I prefer to move to a more sophisticated oil like frankincense which has deep spiritual roots and is of great importance in more advanced techniques.
You are now sitting silent and easy, your mind a blank in a sea of darkness. No words or sounds or itches or any thought disturbs you. Now for the hardest part!
Let a simple shape appear in front of you – if you are a Christian, then a cross might be best; if you are an atheist or of any other denomination, use any shape that has meaning for you – but keep it simple. Do NOT let words and associations rush into your silent space – keep suppressing them. The image in front of you will twist and and rotate and do all manner of strange things because your mind is fighting back against your control. HOLD FAST! Time will move at a radically adjusted rate in this mode and your adventure is just beginning.
It may take weeks to master this practice but you will be truly astonished at the result. Whatever your faith or philosophy you will gain one of the deepest insights into the universe it is possible for any human to acquire. On this I will say no more, for the road is yours to tread and yours alone.
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Before we discuss the possible role of essential oils in treating varicose veins, we must first discuss what varicose veins are and what the medical profession says about how serious they are and what we can or should do about them in conventional medicine.
Varicose veins appear as bulging, bluish cords just beneath the surface of the skin. Their primary appearance is in the the legs and the feet. When inflamed, varicose veins become tender to touch and can hinder circulation, sometimes causing swollen ankles and itchy skin. Varicose veins are common condition that have a hereditary component that don’t affect the sexes equally – women are at least twice as likely as men to develop them. Overall, they affect just under a quarter of Americans.
Veins are the vessels which carry oxygen depleted blood around your body and back to the heart (arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the body). To push blood back to the heart, veins rely mainly on surrounding muscles and a network of one-way valves. As blood flows through a vein, the cup-like valves alternately open to allow blood through, then close to prevent backflow.
In varicose veins, the valves do not work properly — allowing blood to pool in the vein and making it difficult for the muscles to push the blood “uphill.” Instead of flowing from one valve to the next, the blood continues to pool in the vein, increasing venous pressure and the likelihood of congestion while causing the vein to bulge and twist. Because superficial veins have less muscle support than deep veins, they are more likely to become varicose.
Any condition that puts excessive pressure on the legs or abdomen can lead to varicose veins. The most common pressure inducers are pregnancy, obesity, and standing for long periods. Being sedentary also may contribute to varicosity, because muscles that are out of condition offer poor blood-pumping action.
The likelihood of developing varicose veins also increases as veins weaken as we get older . Genetics also plays a role, so if other members of your family have this problem, there is an elevated possibility that you will also develop the problem.
When blood pools in a vein, it can clot.This can cause phlebitis, a superficial clot that can be painful, but usually not life threatening. Varicose veins are also sometimes the first stage of a more serious condition – what starts as varicose veins may progress to swelling in the legs. Over time, the veins can also cause hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, usually by the ankle. Ultimately, in such cases, a patient can develop painful, sometimes debilitating venous leg ulcers, so we really should take varicose veins seriously!
Spider veins are less pronounced than varicose veins, mainly because they are much smaller. They are caused by the same mechanisms that cause varicose veins – faulty valves in the veins causing blood to back up and the veins to swell.
Spider veins can cause ulcers, which form when the vein doesn’t drain, depriving your skin of oxygen. These can be difficult to treat. They can also cause phlebitis (as noted above) and even thrombosis in some cases. One key difference with varicose veins is that spider veins often appear in the face as well as the legs.
My first statement here MUST be – ALWAYS TALK TO A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL – that’s the only way you’re safe and with guaranteed standards of medical care. Having said that, – Unless you are experiencing pain or other adverse symptoms, spider and varicose veins don’t usually require treatment. If you have symptoms or would like the veins removed for aesthetic reasons, treatment options are available. Here are a few options:-
What we are looking for here are essential oils that act as powerful astringents (An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues), and which improve blood circulation. The oils below have been selected for these properties:-
This anti-inflammatory essential oil is great for not only calming down inflamed tissue, but for promoting blood circulation as well. Since varicose veins are an indication of poor circulation, this essential oil helps to alleviate the problem thus helping to reduce existing varicose veins and preventing the development of new ones.
Chamomile promotes circulation and acts as an astringent, helping to contract blood vessels. German chamomile is the preferred variety because it contains azulene – a compound that gives the oil its deep blue color and acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. The oils causes perspiration and therefore helps to cool and detoxify the body.
Cypress oil is another powerful anti-inflammatory agent that assists with improving blood flow. The oil also has astringent properties which leads to the contraction of blood vessels, which stimulates the flow of blood and promotes the contraction of skin, muscles, hair follicles and gums.
Lemongrass is another excellent astringent and is also useful in fighting cellulite and fungal infections. Lemongrass essential oil encourages blood circulation, inhibiting blood from pooling and becoming stagnant. This healing essential oil also keeps veins healthy and strong by keeping the blood vessels dilated, providing smooth transportation of blood.
Clary Sage oil has astringent properties. It does not only strengthen your gums, but also strengthens and tones the skin, muscles and hair follicles, preventing hair loss and making you look and feel younger. It functions as an antioxidant in this way by tightening up the skin that might be sagging due to the activity of free radicals present in the body. And that’s why it helps with varicose veins!
I love the smell of this essential oil above almost all others! Apart from being a powerful astringent, It’s also a powerful cicatrisant, so it helps the scars and other spots on the skin to fade and vanish. It facilitates blood circulation just below the surface of skin and also helps promote a uniform distribution of melanin. This is a really great oil for the skin.
The health benefits of lemon oil can be attributed to its stimulating, calming, carminative, anti-infection, astringent, detoxifying, antiseptic, disinfectant, sleep inducing, and antifungal properties. Of course, it’s astringent properties are ideal for helping with varicose veins.
One of the very best methods is to massage the oils into your legs, which will greatly improve blood-flow and allow the oils to penetrate your skin easily.
• Use a couple drops of an essential oil with a carrier oil and massage the affected area upward towards the torso.
• Do this twice a day, every day (it feels like a luxury, not a chore and so you’ll look forward to it. Get your husband or wife to help and it’ll be even better!).
Another method is to use a compress. To make a compress, soak a clean cloth or towel in either warm or cool water and wring out the excess water. Alternate warm and cool compresses to reduce the appearance and pain associated with varicose veins.
• Apply five drops of essential oil and apply the compress directly to the area affected by varicose veins.
• Elevate your legs for ten to fifteen minutes, using a bed or a stool
• Do this twice a day every day,
And that’s it! If you’ve enjoyed this article, please like and share. And don’t forget to check out our Peaceful Home essential Oil Pack. It costs $17.77 and contains 100% pure oils including Frankincense and lemon for your varicose veins! It’s available only on Amazon – where your peace of mind is guaranteed!
I’ve always been a healthy person with some very unhealthy habits! From an early age I was very active physically, cycling long distances (up to 160 km or 100 miles per day), hill-walking in Wales and later South Africa, running five to ten miles in the morning and so on. A year ago I took up cycling again in my new home, Australia. And then I contracted an autoimmune disease.
There were gaps in my physical training of course, particularly during my months at sea, and most especially in my mid forties when I stopped most activities for almost ten years. But the one consistent aspect of my behavior though was drinking vast quantities of beer and often wine; hard liquor I gave up as a very young man of twenty for the simple reason I realized how destructive it was – and how easy it became to drink a whole bottle of whisky or rum in a night! But I was always healthy!
Then in my mid fifties, I was struck by ulcerative colitis (UC), which in general is a young person’s disease. This is a particularly unpleasant condition defined as:-
The upshot of this is that I must be extremely careful what and when I eat and drink. The condition can be painful and has potentially serious consequences (see the link above to the Mayo Clinic). UC is an autoimmune disease and as such it cannot be treated except by attempts to moderate the impact of the body’s malfunctioning immune system; it cannot be cured.
There are several essential oils which have proven useful in combatting inflammation in human tissues. However, different sources point to different oils which is a strong indication of the fact that there is no central point of control for the claims made about essential oils, but also that these oils have several overlapping properties, There are some good information sources out there which publish real information rather than marketing sound-bites: This is from the very reputable Dr Axe;
The incidence of autoimmune disorders is increasing in the western world, but why is this? An Autoimmune Disease is the body’s abnormal response to substances and tissue that is naturally present in the body, but what triggers this? There are many indicators that our bodies are simply not coping with the synthetic substances in our environment and that our immune systems are simply overwhelmed by a multitude of confusing signals. And so we end up with such diseases as thyroid disorders, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, ulcerative colitis and more. Here is some useful information from another site The Essential Life (full accreditation and link below):-
PRECAUTIONS WHEN TREATING AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
You need to avoid any Essential Oil that might boost the immune system. For this reason, it is a good idea to avoid Essential Oils such as Palmarosa, Rosalina, and Thyme. Any oil that is an immunostimulant should be used in low doses.
WHAT ESSENTIAL OIL SHOULD YOU USE TO TREAT AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS?
Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil: Cinnamon’s pain relieving properties have been used to treat inflammation, tooth aches and can be used as a mild local anesthetic. Cinnamon Essential Oil can be an extremely potent oil and needs to be diluted in the right concentration. Try blending Cinnamon and Clove Bud Essential Oil, then dilute to .6% in any Carrier Oil, and use your finished product as a warming and effective massage oil. It can also be diffused in an Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser to combat sickness.
Clary Sage Essential Oil: Clary Sage has a long history of being used to treat symptoms of PMS and Menopause. It has an extremely balancing effect on our hormones and can be used to treated cramps. Clary Sage is also effective for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Mix Clary Sage into your favourite Carrier Oil and use it daily as an all-natural moisturizer. It can also be diffused into the air for its mood-enhancing properties.
Cypress Essential Oil: Cypress Essential Oil is useful for treating the inflammation of muscles and joints as well as symptoms of rheumatism and the pain associated with varicose veins. To help with breathing difficulties, diffuse Cypress Essential Oil into the air using and Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser. For pain relief, blend equal parts Cypress, Sandalwood and Lavender Essential oils and then add this blend to your favourite Carrier Oil for use as a massage oil.
Ginger Essential Oil: This oil is especially useful for its warming properties. When diluted and applied to the skin, Ginger Essential Oil induces a warm and soothing tingling feeling that helps with pain relief and will reduce swelling and inflammation. Ginger Essential Oil is also useful for aiding in digestion and it alleviates nausea. If Colitis or Crohn’s Disease has left you feeling a little queasy, try blending 2 drops of Ginger Essential Oils with Cypress and Coriander Essential Oils and adding the blend to 1/2 cup Epsom Salt for use as bath salts.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil: Chamomile’s most popular use is to treat insomnia. In addition to this oil’s calming and soothing properties, it can also be used to treat the aches associated with chronic pain that results from a number of autoimmune disease and disorders. To relieve stress and tension headaches, diffuse Roman Chamomile into the air using an Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser. For arthritis pain, add 1-3 drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil and 1 drop of Peppermint Essential Oil to your bath water.
When it comes to treating Autoimmune Diseases, it is always best to do your research, and consult your physician regarding your treatment plans. A certified Aromatherapist can help you develop a Natural Wellness regime to alleviate your symptoms and help you live a pain-free life.
There are over 60 known disorders thought to be related to autoimmunity. Below is a summarized list of conditions related to autoimmune disorders :
Alopecia Areata – An autoimmune disorder that is characterized by hair loss. It is found commonly in men and women and can occur at any age, including childhood.
Recommended Essential Oils
This condition has shown a great response to treatment with thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood) in a mixture of carrier oils (jojoba and grapeseed) applied/massaged into the scalp daily. In one controlled experiment mediated by two dermatologists, 44%) of patients in the active group showed improvement. The experimenters concluded that the results show aromatherapy to be a safe and effective treatment for alopecia areata. Treatment with these essential oils was significantly more effective than treatment with the carrier oil alone.
Alzheimer’s Disease – Characterized as a progressive brain disorder, which involves a decline in social and intellectual abilities. Alzheimer’s Disease is thought to be associated with free radical damage in the brain and inorganic aluminum.
Recommended Essential Oils
More trials have investigated the effectiveness of aromatherapy in dementia than in any other condition. Here is one example described in a series of steps.
a) Lemon balm and lavender aroma were introduced to six patients and compared with sunflower oil for six others as controls for one week. The treatment increased functional abilities and communication, and decreased difficult behaviour.
b) Lavender aroma and massage with 21 patients were compared with aroma or massage alone for one week. Aromatherapy with massage significantly reduced frequency of agitation.
c) Lavender aroma was given to 15 patients as oil and placebo (water) on alternative days for 10 days. The aromatherapy significantly reduced agitated behaviour (as assessed using the Pittsburgh Agitation scale) versus placebo.
d) Lemon balm (Melissa) lotion was applied to the face and arms of 36 patients while another 36 patients had sunflower oil applied. Melissa was associated with highly significant reductions in measures of agitation (on the Cohen Mansfield Agitation Inventory) and social withdrawal, together with an increase in constructive activities (as measured by dementia care mapping).
e) Lavender, marjoram, patchouli and velvert were applied as a cream to body and limbs of 36 patients and compared with plain oil. The essential oil combination significantly increased scores on the Mini Mental State Exam, but also increased resistance to care (considered to be due to increase in alertness), compared with the plain oil.
The above results are quoted from: Alzheimer’s Society UK
Celiac Disease – A chronic inflammation of the colon that creates an intestinal breakdown due to an allergic reaction to gluten. Gluten is a protein that is found in grains such as wheat, barley, oat and rye.
Recommended Essential Oils
I have not found any credible research material covering the use of essential oils to help with celiac disease. All of the articles I have read tend to cover the general benefits of improved immune system response, mental condition and so on. I will continue looking and report back if I find something credible.
Crohn’s Disease – A chronic inflammatory bowel disease, which is characterized by severe inflammation of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. This disorder is typically seen in persons between the ages of 15 and 35, but can also be found in young children and the elderly as well.
Recommended Essential Oils
I have a strong interest in this as a sufferer of Ulcerative Colitis. I tracked down one particular experience of a person with Crohn’s Disease who experimented with Essential Oils. Here’s what she said:-
“I obtained some new essential oils (Copaiba and Di-Gize) and began taking them immediately. The first day I was taking them (internally and externally) I had the first normal BM (bowel movement) in weeks, if not months! I almost didn’t remember what it was like to not have diarrhea at that point. My husband was SHOCKED. Little did HE know, when we said our vows 7 years ago that he would be hearing about my daily stool habits. Since then, normal stools have continued unless I eat too much dairy (hard cheeses) in my GAPS style diet-which I have been on for 2 months.” You can read the full story here.
Fibromyalgia– This disorder is characterized by aches and pains in the muscles along with chronic fatigue and insomnia. It is estimated between 3 to 6 million people in the US suffer with Fibromyalgia. Ninety percent of them being women.
Recommended Essential Oils
The reputable and credible Dr. Axe says:
Helichrysum oil has been shown to decrease muscle pain, improve circulation and support healing of nerve tissue which makes it an effective natural treatment for fibromyalgia.
Lavender oil is also excellent to reduce the emotional stress associated with fibromyalgia and making a homemade muscle rub can help reduce pain.
Graves Disease – A disorder affecting the thyroid gland. In this disease auto-antibodies bind to the thyroid gland, which increases the production of thyroid hormone, which plays a major role in metabolism. Symptoms include nervousness, diarrhea, insomnia, sweating, and weight loss with increased appetite. More serious symptoms include irregular heart beat, tachycardia (increased heart rate), swelling of eyes and legs. In rare cases, cardiovascular collapse, shock or coma could occur.
Recommended Essential Oils
I will again use the personal testimony of a suffer of this disease to illustrate the potential of Essential Oils;-
“Last October, I stopped my medications, cold turkey (not recommended but I was desperate) and started using Peppermint, Lemongrass and a blend called Endoflex. I layered them topically on my thyroid (base of throat area) and adrenals (mid-back) 3x/day. Within a week I felt better and was able to workout again. I kept up this regimen until December and was even able to lose some weight and get some energy back. In December, I added Frankincense to the mix, but decreased my usage to 2x/daily. This decrease happened mostly because of lifestyle changes more than by intention. However, I did not have any issues come up with the decrease in frequency. I added Frankincense because although I was feeling better, my thyroid antibodies were still at approximately 6,000 (goal is 40 or under depending on what type of physician you work with). Needless to say, I was on a mission to get those antibodies down!”
There is more of this testimony on the site
Last October, I stopped my medications, cold turkey (not recommended but I was desperate) and started using Peppermint, Lemongrass and a blend called Endoflex. I layered them topically on my thyroid (base of throat area) and adrenals (mid-back) 3x/day. Within a week I felt better and was able to workout again. I kept up this regimen until December and was even able to lose some weight and get some energy back. In December, I added Frankincense to the mix, but decreased my usage to 2x/daily. This decrease happened mostly because of lifestyle changes more than by intention. However, I did not have any issues come up with the decrease in frequency. I added Frankincense because although I was feeling better, my thyroid antibodies were still at approximately 6,000 (goal is 40 or under depending on what type of physician you work with). Needless to say, I was on a mission to get those antibodies down!.
Lupus – A disorder which instead of the body’s immune system functioning properly as protection from harmful invaders, it forms antibodies that attack healthy tissues and organs. Symptoms include aching joints, inflammation, swelling, fatigue, fevers and rashes. Lupus is a mild disease affecting only a few organs, but for some people it may cause serious, even life-threatening problems.
Recommended Essential Oils
Dr Axe recommends as follows:-
Frankincense essential oil is effective at reducing inflammation and immune reactions associated with lupus. You can take 3 drops 3x daily in water, in honey or in capsule form.
Helichrysum oil supports the nervous system and can help reverse autoimmune reactions. Helichrysum can be taken internally or applied to neck area.
For skin inflammation lavender and geranium oils work well add 3 drops to skin and for digestive issues associated with lupus take 3 drops of ginger oil internally 2-3x daily.
Multiple Sclerosis – A chronic inflammatory condition which involves the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and spinal cord. This chronic inflammation causes severe damage to the myelin sheath (covering of the nerves). Symptoms include blurred vision, numbness and paralysis. Mercury toxicity may be a causal factor.
Recommended Essential Oils
The US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health (NCBI) says as follows:- “Aromatherapy in MS patients could be effective for some symptomatic relief, such as helping in sleep, relaxation, mobility of joints and muscle, and improvement in the feeling of well-being.”
Psoriasis – A common chronic skin condition which is characterized by symptoms similar to eczema. It involves the hyperactivity of the immune system which creates a form of inflammation. This inflammatory reaction causes skin cells to multiply seven to twelve times faster than normal. The skin is often dry and itchy as well as being cracked or blistered.
Recommended Essential Oils
Dr Axe recommends as follows:-
Essential oils like lavender, frankincense, geranium and tea tree oil can bring relief to inflamed skin and support the healing process. Mix 3 drops of lavender oil and 3 drop of frankincense oil with 1 tsp of coconut oil and rub onto affected area.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – This disorder can affect many joints, but most commonly the small joints of the hands. An autoimmune attack on the tissues causes inflammation along with pain and swelling. If uncontrolled it could lead to destruction of the bones, deformity and eventually disability. It is thought that a factor of rheumatoid arthritis is holding onto bitterness.
Recommended Essential Oils
The most credible evidence I found on this disease and essential oils was the highly reputable WebMD
Boswellia. It’s also known as Indian frankincense, and it appears to have similar anti-inflammatory properties as NSAIDs without the stomach problems.
Like turmeric, boswellia is used in a form of holistic medicine from India. While study findings are mixed, it remains one of the most researched and promising supplements for RA.
Ginger and green tea extract also are said to have anti-inflammatory effects, but they need to be studied more.
I’m going to start my treatment with a two day fast to clear all the junk out of my body. Two days without beer!! Gulp! I will be taking a glass of Slippery Elm powder in water three times a day during this time. After this I’m going to start using Ginger Essential oil topically as I start eating again. I’ll also be diffusing this oil in my office during the day. After a week, I’ll review and report back on my findings. Off we go!!!
The data on essential oils for use in cases of autoimmune disease above was garnered from The Essential Life blog.
When reading articles about the benefits of essential oils, I often think ‘where’s the proof?’ The proof is there in people’s experiences but this is often corrupted by insane (and inane) claims from essential oils distributors and especially by the big suppliers. Take some of these claims for example, which I read very recently from a major supplier:-
These claims are simply not tenable – (I howled laughing at the radiation claim in particular), and I will cover them in another article very soon. So when I wanted to examine claims for essential oils in the domain of dementia, I made very sure that I looked for academic papers to support the claims.
The key study used in this article is “ Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease” by Daiki JIMBO, Yuki KIMURA, Miyako TANIGUCHI, Masashi INOUE, Katsuya URAKAMI and it \was published in 2010 by the Japanese Psychogeriatric Society. In this article I shall be presenting the key points of the research and its findings.
In this present study, we examined the curative effects of aromatherapy in dementia in 28 elderly people, 17 of whom had Alzheimer’s disease.
Japan, having the highest life expectancy in the world, has seen a remarkable increase in senile dementia in recent years. This has become a big social problem, with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounting for approximately half the number of cases of dementia. Thus, preventive medicine for dementia has become an increasingly important health goal. Recently, complementary alternative medicine, which, in addition to using medications, also makes use of various ‘non-pharmacological’ approaches, has become an attractive alternative in the treatment of senile dementia after the introduction of elderly care insurance. Aromatherapy is one of the therapies used in complementary alternative medicine.
The mechanism(s) of action of the underlying the effects of aromatherapy are not known for certain. In healthy people, essential oils of rosemary and lavender are commonly used and there is at least one report showing that these oils influence feelings about a person’s surroundings. Moreover, lavender oil has been reported to diminish the intensity of sleep disorders.
Although there are few reports on aromatherapy in senile dementia, it has been suggested that aromatherapy may bring about some feeling of relief . However, there are no reports of the effects of aromatherapy on cognitive functional disorder, often seen in cases of dementia and the central feature of senile dementia. Disorders of cognitive function pose considerable problems for both AD patients and care workers.
The action of aromatherapy begins from a smell molecule combined with an acceptor peculiar to each specific odor. The smell molecule passes along the nasal cavity and adheres to the olfactory epithelium. The stimulus is transmitted to the hippocampus or cerebral limbic system and amygdaloid body through the olfactory nerve system currently concentrated on the olfactory epithelium. Although this process is deeply related to cognitive function, the odor is recognized and the stimulus sends information to the hypothalamus on which it was projected by the cerebral limbic system, which then adjusts the autonomic nervous system and the internal secretory system, guiding a series of vital reactions in the hippocampus or amygdaloid body, such as the discharge of neurotransmitters. In brief, aromatherapy is the result of the vital reaction that occurs through the smell molecule.
Although some reports have proposed that the sense of smell is decreased in AD patients, nerve rebirth through smell is possible. We also suspected that patients’ cognitive function could be improved by stimulation through the sense of smell.
The aromatherapy treatment used in the present study is physically safer and easier to apply than mainstream treatments, such as massage and baths, so the operator feels no limitation because he or she can work through purely aromatic means.
Initially, the level of cognitive function was assessed using the Gottfries, Brane, Steen (GBSS-J) and Touch-panel type Dementia Assessment Scale (TDAS). Aromatherapy was applied to AD patients using a combination of a lavender oil–orange oil solution, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, with a rosemary oil–lemon oil solution used to relieve depression and heighten concentration.
After a control period of 28 days, aromatherapy was performed over the following 28 days, with a wash out period of another 28 days. Aromatherapy consisted of the use of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening. To determine the effects of aromatherapy, patients were evaluated using the Japanese version of the Gottfries, Brane, Steen scale (GBSS-J), Functional Assessment Staging of Alzheimer’s disease (FAST), a revised version of Hasegawa’s Dementia Scale (HDS-R), and the Touch Panel-type Dementia Assessment Scale (TDAS) four times: before the control period, after the control period, after aromatherapy, and after the washout period.
All patients showed significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function on both the GBSS-J and TDAS after therapy. In particular, patients with AD showed significant improvement in total TDAS scores. Result of routine laboratory tests showed no significant changes, suggesting that there were no side-effects associated with the use of aromatherapy. Results from Zarit’s score showed no significant changes, suggesting that caregivers had no effect on the improved patient scores seen in the other tests.
In conclusion, we found aromatherapy an efficacious non-pharmacological therapy for dementia. Aromatherapy may have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in AD patients.
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I do not write this article lightly; bringing false hope to people with serious and often terminal disease is despicable and unforgivable. So that is not my objective. This article is about presenting credible, confirmed medical findings for and against essential oils in fighting cancer. It is based on investigation of information from verifiable and authoritative medical sources.
We will begin by giving social context to the claims for and against essential oils and their possible role in fighting cancer. This is important because in the last twenty years or so, some science has been hijacked by politicians and corporations, and many natural healing products and regimes have been just as badly hijacked by self -serving marketers who should have no credibility at all.
What this often means is that we are much more skeptical about both science and natural cures BUT that we have become less rational – we tend to believe the things that fit in with our prejudices, and disregard those things that don’t. Thus, good scientific evidence is denied by many people whose faith in science has been shaken; equally, very good empirical evidence for natural cures is often rejected by those who treat science as their new religion. Let’s begin with a broad look at attitudes.
It’s part of the popular mood in the west that everything ‘natural’ is good, and synthetic, scientific medicine if not bad, is at least ‘not as good’. And yet, when people who have believed in natural medicine for a long time have their beliefs verified by science, they tend to be rather happy about it – they were right all along! So we need to be balanced in our viewpoints. So here’s a few ground rules I shall be using in the article:
Bearing these things in mind, we need to be particularly wary of all claims made for all medicines – natural and synthetic. Here’s a reminder of the ethics of Big Pharma:-
Bayer had to pay hefty fines for claiming that one of its vitamin ingredients, Selenium, prevented prostate cancer In fact, studies have shown that Selenium not only fails to prevent the cancer in healthy men but can increase the risk of diabetes.. Bayer had to pay $3.3 million in Oregon, California, and Illinois for corrective advertising. Business Insider Australia
Pharmaceutical anticancer substances are usually classified as being useful either in preventing or in treating cancer . Those that prevent cancer are tend also to slow progression of the disease although they are a separate category. These drugs are almost all cytotoxic – poisonous to living cells – and they kill cancer cells directly or indirectly. That’s why cancer treatment can be so traumatic – the medicine is attacking healthy and cancerous tissues.
More recently developed drugs are cytostatic – they block cell division and so retard the disease. Between them, these two drug classifications – cytotoxic and cytostatic cover cancer prevention and cancer therapy in those two clear categories.
Some essential oils are rich in the monoterpenes Limonene and Perillyl Alcohol. These two monoterpenes are known and recognized by both science and traditional healers. They are claimed to prevent cancer as well as treat cancer. They do this by blocking initiation – preventing cells from becoming cancerous. This seems to place them in the category of being cytostatic.
Both the above substances have been used in experiments and shown to suppress breast cancer activity in mammals both before they became cancerous and after i.e. they help to prevent and treat cancer. .
Advanced rat breast cancer treated with limonene or perillyl alcohol showed up to an 80% response rate most of which were complete regressions.
Of course, rats are not humans, but they are mammals and these results give a solid scientific basis to the claims made for essential oils in fighting cancer.
Researchers reported that they felt that that monoterpenes prevent cancer by altering very small masses of early stage cancer cells that cannot be detected.
Limonene was found to prevent both mammary and liver cancers at their inception and once they were in progress. Remarkable results showed that when rats were exposed to cancer agents in the liver, and then some of them were treated with perillyl alcohol, the rats which were treated had a 90% reduction in tumors compared to the untreated animals.
Overall, perillyl alcohol was found to be five times more potent than limonene, but it had similar excellent effects effects at higher dosage
Perillyl alcohol is a monoterpene isolated from the essential oils of lavendin, peppermint, spearmint, cherries, celery seeds, and several other plants. In animal studies it has been shown to regress pancreatic, mammary, and liver tumors, to exhibit possible application as a chemopreventative agent for colon, skin, and lung cancer, and as a chemotherapeutic agent for neuroblastoma, and prostate and colon cancer. Perillyl alcohol is active in inducing apoptosis in tumor cells without affecting normal cells and can revert tumor cells back to a differentiated state.
National Center for Biotechnology Information gov pubmed
Subsequent trials on humans with perillyl alcohol were disappointing. The substance was given in gelatin tablets to patients for several months; the large number of pills required caused intestinal problems that induced nausea, fatigue and vomiting. Many patients could not tolerate the effects and withdrew.
The trials did not proceed to the clinical phase, but we cannot help but think that the trials were fatally flawed and the results had nothing to do with the effects of perillyl alcohol – but rather with the very poor way they were administered.
In contrast, trials in Brazil allowed patients to ‘sniff’ the substance and results in patients with brain cancer were very promising at much lower doses than those used in the ‘pill’ trials and side effects were negligible – a HUGE boost for the claims of aromatherapy I think.
In a nutshell – yes! The papers I read for this article were not driven by big pharma or essential oils salesmen – they were written by genuine research scientists without pressure from commercial interests. Notice how the researchers used pills on humans and they were not effective, whereas aromatherapy was.
We know that the oils act directly on the limbic system of the brain and ‘sniffing’ is a far faster route to the brain. For breast cancer, research on humans seems to be well behind tests in the laboratory on cell cultures – which is a shame.
One can’t help but wonder if the medical establishment is horrified that the ‘old wives tales’ might be true after all and is reluctant to proceed. But there again maybe that’s just another dumb conspiracy theory! (we all have them one way or another). On balance though, science and traditional medicine seem to be in basic agreement that there’s something about essential oils that fights cancer – the scientists have simply gone on to find put what!
Science is essentially an affair of reduction – finding out which components in the oil are responsible for the anticancer effects tat are claimed. This is rational, but sometimes wrong. Many of us feel intuitively that in the same way that humans are not mere collections of chemicals with a computer-brain, so many natural substances are greater than the sum of their parts. It is gratifying that some scientists are also realizing this now and reconsidering their approach.
It is very difficult to attribute the biological activities of a total essential oil to one or a few active principles, because an essential oil always contains a mixture of different chemical compounds. In addition to the major compounds, also minor compounds may make a significant contribution to the oil’s activity. From the results above we could infer that the antibacterial and anticancer activities of Rosmarinus officinalis L. essential oil is the cooperative results of their components.” –
Molecules 2012 Antibacterial Activity and Anticancer Activity of Rosmarinus officinalis L. Essential Oil Compared to That of Its Main Components
In general, proponents of essential oils, when writing about the beneficial medical effects tend to quote from papers such as those I used to write this article, highlighting the good effects.
This is the main problem with claims made for essential oils – very few of the articles making these claims identify tests done on human beings, and when they do the results are not always as good as the results obtained in the laboratory on rats and cultured cells.
This may be due to the delivery method as in our example above or it may be that the isolated substances do not work well in the body for reasons yet unknown. BEWARE THE CLAIMS! THERE ARE SCIENTIFIC INDICATIONS THAT GIVE US HOPE BUT THERE IS NO CURE FOR CANCER YET.
There is no real case against the claims for Essential Oils in fighting cancer – the scientific evidence exists and is credible. However, it is incomplete and no one should regard essential oils as a miracle cure – they are most emphatically not. BUT…..
We have reached reasonable conclusions with respect to the potential of essential oils to prevent and fight cancer based on their physical properties, but so far we have not considered the effects of these oils on the mind.
The limbic system is the seat of the emotional center and is partly responsible for our fight or flight response, our emotional reaction to events, our hormonal secretions,our motivation, pain reflex and mood changes.
When we inhale essential oils, the small molecules travel through the nasal passage to receptor neuron that transport them to the limbic brain and the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates blood pressure, controls the heart rate and adjusts our feelings of hunger and thirst.
If you smell an essential oil that has a calming effect on the body, what happens is that the hypothalamus receives the input to relax from the oils, and then creates neurochemicals that are sent through the body and which make you relax.
I suggest that these well documented capabilities of oils to relax the human psyche have an additional placebo effect in some cases, which might be at least as powerful as the physical effects noted in the laboratory and which may induce remission in some cases.
Essential Oils show great promise in the laboratory, but there is insufficient evidence to confirm them as useful in treating cancer in humans. xxxx
It is difficult to get approval and funding for research on essential oils…Essential oils have been used on humans for thousands of years. As a result, they don’t fit into the conventional clinical science approach of testing a substance in the lab first, then on animals, and then on humans. As a result, if a researcher proposes to test an essential oil with humans first, they may be turned down. This is because research review boards tend to approve research studies that follow the more usual scientific research path.
University of MinnesotaTaking charge of your wellbeing
This should not discourage us from using essential oils to alleviate suffering, but we should be extremely cynical about the wilder claims made for remission on the basis of essential oils alone
. We suspect that Big Pharma will leap at the opportunity to start their own lines of essential oils based medicines during the next ten years, but we should treat any such products with the same skepticism as we do those from essential oils companies unless credible trials on human beings are used as the basis for any claims they may make.
We’ve written about tea-tree oil before, and listed ten of its key uses. That was a very popular article so we thought our readers would appreciate more information on this important essential oil. We did a lot of investigation and came up with some really interesting applications. Here’s some background on tea tree oil first though – if you are familiar with this already, you can just skip to here.
Australian Aborigines have used the leaves of the indigenous Melaleuca Tree in their medications for centuries. They inhaled the oils from the crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds, sprinkled crushed leaves on their wounds, and used an infusion of soaked leaves to treat sore throats or skin ailments. This already tells us that tea-tree compounds contain natural antibiotics – those wise people of the earth just knew that a long time before we westerners did!
Use of the oil itself, as opposed to the raw plant material, did not become common practice until researcher Arthur Penfold published the first reports of its antimicrobial activity in a series of papers in the first half of the twentieth century. The name tea tree is actually used for several plants, mostly from Australia and New Zealand. The use of the name “Tea Tree” probably originates with Captain James Cook’s description of one of these shrubs that he used to make a hot drink in place of tea.
Nowadays, we have strong scientific proof of the efficacy of tea tree oil in treating infections:
80 uses of tea tree oil for survival
For thousands of years, the derivatives of the Melaleuca Tree have been effective in treating a wide variety of ailments. Here are 80 reasons why you should use it, too:
- Abrasions and minor cuts: After cleaning the area well, apply a few drops of the oil directly. If a bandage is needed, allow a few drops of the oil to penetrate a cotton ball, then lay it face down on the wound with a bandage on top.
- Acne: Add a drop to your normal cleansing routine or dab a very small amount on acne breakouts. You can also add 20 to 40 drops of the oil to your regular face wash.
- Air freshener: Keep a supply of cotton balls soaked in tea tree oil packed away in a plastic bag or tin. When confronted with foul smells from cooking, musty orders from dampness or even the medicinal smell in a sick room, take a few out to freshen the air and remove the nasty smell.
- Allergies: Use topically by massaging into the chest, abdomen or the reflex points of the feet.
- Arthritis: To help reduce pain associated with the swelling of arthritis, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of carrier oil. Massage into affected areas two to three times a day.
- Asthma: Add a few drops of oil to a pan of water and heat on stove. When cool, drape a towel over head and breathe in for a few minutes.
- Athlete’s foot: Clean feet thoroughly, especially between toes. Add oil directly to feet every two weeks, dusting with cornstarch after. Or add 10 drops oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and massage on feet and between toes daily.
- Baby care: Keep your diaper pail clean and fresh with a spray of tea tree oil mixed with water.
- Bacterial infections: Use topically, either massaging into the reflex points of the feet, adding several drops to a bath or cautiously applying over an infected site.
- Bad breath: Rinse mouth with 1 ounce water and one drop oil. Do not swallow!
- Bladder infection: In a shallow bath, add 10 to 15 drops of oil. Sit and wash area carefully.
- Blisters: Wash area carefully, then apply as for cuts and wounds.
- Boils: Apply a warm washcloth for a few minutes. Then apply a drop or two of oil to the area. The infection should rise to the surface and eventually be released.
- Bronchial congestion: Use as directed for asthma. Add five to 10 drops to 1 ounce of carrier oil, and massage into chest and throat two to three times daily.
- Bronchitis: Add one or two drops to a pan of hot water and breathe in the steam, or massage the oil over the chest.
- Bruises: After icing, apply oil as directed for arthritis.
- Bunions: Massage area with 5 drops oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
- Burns: Run icy cold water on area. After a few minutes, add a mix of 5 drops oil with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Repeat three to five times daily.
- Calluses and corns: Massage area with 5 drops oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Repeat 2 times daily. Once the corn or calluses have become soft, use tweezers to remove them. Then apply a few drops of tea tree oil and cover with bandage.
- Canker sores: Apply a drop or two of oil directly to infected area with a cotton swab, two times daily. Also, rinse as directed for bad breath.
- Carbuncles: Add a drop or two of oil to cotton swab and apply directly to carbuncle. Repeat twice daily.
- Chapped lips: Add one or two drops of oil to lip balm. Apply to lips as necessary.
- Chicken pox: Apply a drop of oil directly to blisters. Allow to dry, then dust with cornstarch. Repeat every few hours or until blisters disappear.
- Chigger bites: Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.
- Cold sores: Apply a drop or two of oil directly to the sore with a cotton swab. Reapply two to three times daily.
- Coughs: Use as directed for bronchial infections. For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on five to 10 minutes.
- Dandruff: Add 20 to 30 drops of oil to any shampoo. Apply a few drops to scalp and massage after washing.
- Dermatitis: Add 10 drops of oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat two to three times daily.
- Dry skin: Add 5 drops of oil to 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil. Massage into skin.
- Earache and infection: Add 2 to 3 drops of oil to 2 tablespoons warm olive oil. With a dropper, drop a small amount into aching ear, tilting head to one side for a moment. Use a cotton swab to absorb oil. Repeat two to three times daily.
- Eczema: Add 10 drops of oil to 1 tablespoon of coconut or other carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat two to three times daily. The oil also can be applied undiluted.
- Emphysema: Use as directed for bronchial infections. For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on five to 10 minutes.
- Flea bites: Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.
- Gout: Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil; massage into affected areas two to three times a day.
- Gum disease: Create a mouthwash with purified water, 1 drop of peppermint and 1 drop of tea tree oil.
- Head lice: Add 20 drops of oil to 2 tablespoons of shampoo. Massage into scalp and hair and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse. Repeat three to four times daily, until the eggs are gone.
- Hives: Add 10 drops of oil to 4 tablespoons of witch hazel. Apply with cotton ball. Or mix with coconut oil, which is naturally healing and soothing itself, and gently apply to the infected areas.
- Homemade mouthwash: Make a simple homemade mouthwash with purified water and tea tree oil.
- Household cleaning: Can be used aromatically or added to homemade cleaners to kill germs and prevent the spread of colds and flus. You can make a general tea tree cleaner by combining 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend and use for household cleaning tasks. This is especially good in the bathroom and in toilets.
- Immune system: To stimulate the immune system, diffuse through the air on a regular basis. Massage into the soles of the feet to increase your immune response.
- Infected wounds: Adding the oil to steaming water, hold the infected area over the steam. Or dilute 1 drop of tea tree with 1 cup of water and rinse the infected area one or two times a day, as needed.
- Inflammation: Massage over the inflamed areas, gently and always toward the heart; or diffuse and inhale the tea tree oil directly or indirectly.
- Ingrown hairs: Add one to two drops of oil directly to area. Repeat every two hours or until signs of infection disappear.
- Insect repellant: Add 15 drops to a quart of water and use as an effective insect repellent.
- Jock itch: Apply 10 to 15 drops of oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. Apply two times daily. Dust with cornstarch, to reduce chapping.
- Laryngitis: Add five to 10 drops of oil and pinch of sea salt to 1 cup of warm water, gargle two to three times a day. Do not swallow!
- Laundry helper: Add 1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil to your laundry for towels and other fabrics prone to getting moldy.
- Mildew and mold remover: Spray an all-purpose cleaner made with 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil and 2 cups of water on growing mold and mildew. Shake well before using and do not rinse.
- Mosquito bites: Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.
- Muscle aches and pains: Add 10 to 15 drops of oil to half a cup of Epsom salts and dissolve in the bath. Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. Massage well.
- Mumps: Massage over the body and into the feet and diffuse through the home.
- Nail fungus: Add one to two drops of oil directly to nail and the surrounding tissue. Allow to dry completely on hands before touching anything. Repeat morning and night for a week.
- Pest control: Household ants and other pests dislike tea tree oil, so a few drops put at the point of entry will deter them. Wipe cupboards out with an oil and water solution to keep ants away.
- Plantar warts: Apply oil undiluted to affected area two to three times daily.
- Psoriasis: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tablespoon carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat two to three times daily. The oil also can be applied undiluted.
- Rashes: Mix with coconut oil and massage over the affected areas.
- Rheumatism: To help reduce pain associated with rheumatism, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of carrier oil. Massage into affected are two to three times a day.
- Ringworm: Apply a drop or two of oil undiluted, repeat two times daily. You can also mix one drop of tea tree oil with one drop of lavender oil for added benefit.
- Rubella: Dilute as needed and massage into the affected areas.
- Scabies: Apply one to two drops of oil directly to area in the morning and at night.
- Sciatica: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tablespoon carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat two to three times daily. The oil also can be applied undiluted.
- Seborrhea: For skin, add 10 drops of oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat two to three times daily. For scalp, add 10 drops of oil to 2 tablespoons of shampoo. Massage into scalp and hair and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse. Repeat three to four times daily. For a soothing bath, add 10 to 15 drops of oil to bathwater.
- Shingles: Add 10 to 15 drops of oil to half a cup of Epsom salts and dissolve in bath. Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil or coconut oil and massage well.
- Shock: Massage tea tree oil into the soles of the feet as needed.
- Sinusitis: Use as directed for bronchial infections. For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on for five to 10 minutes.
- Sore muscles. Fill your bathtub with warm water. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water to relax tight muscles.
- Sore throat: Add 2 drops of oil to 1 cup of warm water with pinch of sea salt and gargle two to three times a day. Do not swallow!
- Staph infection: Best used topically, rubbed into the soles of the feet to increase the immune response and fight infection.
- Stye: Add five drops of oil to a pan of steaming water. Drape towel overhead and steam five minutes. Apply warm compresses directly to the stye.
- Sunburn: Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 1 drop of tea tree and 1 drop of lavender and gently apply to sunburned areas.
- Tattoos: Apply after tattoos to avoid infection. Use undiluted, diluted with coconut oil or as a spray with purified water.
- Thrush: Gargle with sea salt, warm water and 1 drop of tea tree oil.
- Ticks: Apply a drop or two directly to the tick and the surrounding area.
- Toenail fungus: Rub the tea tree oil directly onto the affected toenail and underneath the tip of the nail. Apply one to two drops of tea tree oil. Apply the oil once a day, preferably at bedtime.
- Toothbrush cleaner: Apply oil directly to toothbrush one to two times a week to kill bacteria.
- Tonsillitis: Inhale from steaming water with tea tree oil, gargle, and massage into neck and soles of feet.
- Vaginal infection: Add several drops to the bathwater.
- Viral infections: Diffuse tea tree oil throughout the home or inhale from steaming water.
- Warts: Apply undiluted directly to wart. Use morning and night, until wart begins to disappear. Dilute if necessary for sensitive skin.
- Wounds: Soak wounded area in water with tea tree oil, or spritz from a bottle of water with several drops of oil. Depending on the wound and your own sensitivity, you may be able to apply directly.
The list above was extracted from the site personal liberty.
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There is always a place for faith in our lives, be it faith in our friends or in God or in ourselves. Faith is what carries us through tough times and bids us closer to those whom we love. But we need to leave our faith at the office door when we read about claims for products made by marketers. Today, we examine the claims made for essential oils shelf life.
It’s a sad fact that even with essentially excellent products such as pure essential oils, marketers still feel the need to exaggerate to the point of lying. I really cannot imagine why so many silly claims are made for essential oils, when you could fill a pile of books with the wonderful facts about these oils which are scientifically proven and really true!
We have gathered information on this subject from our own experience and from a particularly good article on the website of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (link and accreditation below the article).
The Myth of Essential Oils Shelf Life
A commonly believed myth is that pure and unadulterated essential oils don’t expire and can last for centuries(!). This belief can have damaging consequences and can be debunked with a deeper understanding of the properties of essential oils and their constituents. Let’s take a closer look.
This belief appears to be based on the articles about the composition of mummy embalming fluids (preservatives) published in the journal Nature in 2001 and 2004.
While these and follow-up studies revealed that fragrant plant materials were used in the embalming process, they do not remotely suggest that essential oils do not degrade or oxidize.
Resins of coniferous trees and myrrh, not pure essential oils, were used as embalming materials. A few diterpenoid acids (these compounds are present in resins and are not found in essential oils) and numerous products of their degradation were identified upon detailed chemical analysis of the materials. Additionally, simple chemistry can show us why and how essential oils degrade with time.
A little chemistry background
Essential oils are complex mixtures. Their medicinal benefits come from active constituents like monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, monoterpenoids, and sesquiterpenoids. These are compounds consisting of 10 (mono-) or 15 (sesqui-) carbon atoms that may also have an oxygen atom attached to them in the form of alcohol, aldehyde, acid, or ketone group (-oid). They also always contain a few carbon—carbon double bonds—unstable bonds that are characteristic for unsaturated fatty acids.
When monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids are exposed to air, they tend to undergo the following oxidation process: alcohol is transformed to aldehyde, aldehyde may turn into acid. Sound familiar? This is the same process responsible for spoiling wine and turning it to vinegar when it is accidentally exposed to air during storage.
Some monoterpenoids, such as geraniol (which is also an alcohol found in essential oils like geranium Pelargonium graveolens (L’Her.) and grapefruit Citrus paradisi (Macfad.)) are more prone to oxidation. Others, such as linalool (found in essential oils like immortelle Helichrysum italicum (Roth) and lavender Lavandula angustifolia (Mill.)), are more stable.
In addition, carbon-carbon double bonds can also open into single bonds and grab oxygen atoms forming oxides, epoxides, and peroxides.
Have you ever had a bottle of unsaturated vegetable oil go rancid in your cupboard? Did you notice the “off” odor of the oil? It’s the same chemical process. Since nearly all essential oil constituents are unsaturated compounds containing carbon, essential oils can undergo this same reaction and spoil or oxidize. While in the case of essential oils, this process does not usually produce the unpleasant odor (though oxidized citrus and other essential oils rich with limonene develop a rather unpleasant smell), and oxidized essential oils should be avoided.
With the rare exception of patchouli Pogostemon cablin (Blanco), sandalwood Santalum spp., and vetiver Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.), oxidation spoils essential oils and degrades their aromatic quality and therapeutic properties. In addition, it leads to the formation of skin irritants and potent allergens. Exposure to spoiled essential oils may cause skin rashes and more serious allergic reactions. Drastic change in the aroma and consistency (thickening or clouding) of essential oil are good indicators that your oil has oxidized and spoiled.
Degradation of essential oils is ususally triggered by one (or a combination of) the following:-
Oxygen that gets into your bottle and reacts with some of the constituents is called oxidation. This oxidation can affect the therapeutic properties of the essential oil, as well as render it more hazardous (source). The biggest hazard is increased risk for sensitization.
Heat causes the more volatile constituents to evaporate more quickly. CO2 extracts are more prone to damage from heat than steam-distilled essential oils (source).
Ultraviolet light promotes free radicals. Amber colored bottles are best at keeping UV light out. Cobalt (blue being the opposite color of brown) bottles do not do a very good job of keeping UV light out, and they allow the light to pass through the glass more readily, and therefore into the oil.
When properly stored, pure essential oils should last about two years minimum and up to five years. No essential oil has to be discarded though, even if you know it is past its therapeutic effective shelf life – you can still use them for cleaning, freshening and scenting.
The majority of carrier oils have a shelf life of around 2 years when stored in the refrigerator. They will start to go rancid even earlier if not kept in a cool place also. Some carrier oils such as Borage and Evening Primrose are extremely susceptible to oxidation and after 6-8 months will need to be discarded.
The above information was mainly extracted from an article on the website of American College of Healthcare Sciences and . We thank them for the valuable information and encourage you to visit them via the link provided.
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Many of the people who bought our Peaceful Home Essential Oils have expressed delight and surprise at the odor and effects of the bergamot oil we included in that collection; it seems that bergamot is not as well known as some of the other oils – lavender, sweet orange etc.
So we thought it would be worthwhile to hunt down a really good article on what bergamot can do for you. like many other essential oils, bergamot is renowned and proven to enhance your mood and to boost confidence. Whenever my wife uses it, I always (yes always!) mistake it for a very expensive and quite delightful perfume.
Apart from its psychological effects, bergamot also has several medical uses, for example killing bacteria, healing scars, and generally improving skin tone and condition.
Bergamot is a citrus plant that goes by the scientific name Citrus Bergamia. The plant is a hybrid of defined sour orange and lemon. The oil is taken from the peel of the fruit by means of cold compression, which is different than the steam distillation used to produce many other essential oils.
Bergamot is thought to originate in Southeast Asia, but is also widely cultivated in southern Italy, Ivory Coast, Argentina, Turkey, Brazil and Morocco.
In traditional Chinese medicine, bergamot is used to help with the flow of vital energy to aid the digestive system. It’s also used to soothe indigestion and give relief from excessive intestinal gas.
Bergamot essential oil is one of the main ingredients in expensive perfumes due to it’s ability to harmonize a whole range of perfume essences. It’s also used by the pharmaceutical industry to eliminate the unpleasant smells of medicinal products and for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
The Following information has been extracted from the Dr Axe website (credit and links below).
Bergamot Oil Benefits the Whole Body
There are a number of a surprising health benefits from using bergamot essential oil as a natural remedy. Bergamot oil is antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It’s uplifting, improves your digestion and keeps your system working properly. Some of the most common benefits of bergamot essential oil include:
- releases emotional pain and stress
- works as a powerful antidepressant
- relieves joint and muscle pain
- aids digestive system
- soothes skin irritations and cleanses oily skin
- works as a sedative
- kills germs and bacteria
- reduces cough
Bergamot Oil Uses
- Antidepressant — Depression can manifest with a variety of different symptoms, including fatigue, sad mood, low sex drive, lack of appetite, feelings of helplessness and disinterest in common activities. Antidepressant medications have serious side effects, including suicidal thoughts, weight gain and personality changes. The good news is there are all-natural remedies for depression that are effective and get to the root cause of the problem.
- Stimulates hormonal secretions — Bergamot oil helps maintain proper metabolic rates by stimulating hormonal secretions, digestive juices, bile and insulin. This aids the digestive system and enables proper absorption of nutrients.
- Cures infections — Bergamot oil is used in skin soaps because it inhibits the growth of germs, fungi and virus. When you apply the oil to your skin or hair, you reduce the risk of infection. Bergamot oil also cures infections of the intestines, kidneys, colon and urinary tract.
- Relieves stress — Bergamot oil is a relaxant — it reduces nervous tension and feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Reduces pain — Because bergamot essential oil increases hormone secretions, it lessens the sensitively of nerves that create pain. For this reason, bergamot oil is a great way to reduce the symptoms of sprains, muscle aches and headaches.
- Heals skin — Bergamot essential oil is used to minimize the look of scars and other marks on the skin; it tones the skin by making the supply of melanin even. These scars can be the result of acne or skin infections or irritations.
- Helps digestive system — Not only does bergamot oil stimulate the production of digestive juices, making the breakdown of foods in the digestive tract easier, it also stimulates muscle contractions in the intestines — quickening the digestive process by moving your waste through your intestines as your body absorbs nutrients.
- Reduces fever — Bergamot essential oil fights infections caused by harmful bacteria. It also reduces body temperature by alleviating stress and stimulating hormone secretions. The feeling of warmth that happens when your hormone levels are elevated leads to sweat, and this helps in reducing a fever.
- Cavity protection — Bergamot oil helps infected teeth. It removes germs from your teeth when used as a mouthwash, and it protects your teeth from developing cavities. This is because of its germ-fighting properties, which make it extremely useful when fighting cavities. Rub 2–3 drops of bergamot oil on your teeth, or add it to your toothpaste.
- Kills intestinal worms — Because bergamot essential oil kills germs, it’s used to treat intestinal worms. Intestinal worms result in malnourishment and can cause anemia, which develops when you don’t have enough robust, healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body.
- congestion — Bergamot oil is an anticongestive, which means it relieves congestion and respiratory problems. This oil can be useful when battling a cold or cough. It loosens phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tract and helps the body to eliminate this undesired buildup by sneezing and coughing.
Bergamot Oil Side Effects
Bergamot essential oil is safe for most people when added to food or applied topically in small amounts. Although the oil has been used extensively for many years, there are only been a few reports of phototoxic reactions to bergamot aromatherapy oil.
It may make the skin sensitive to the sun and more vulnerable to skin cancer — people who work with bergamot can develop skin problems, including blisters, scabs, pigment spots, rashes, sensitivity to the sun and cancerous changes. There have been serious side effects in children who have taken large amounts of bergamot oil, and it shouldn’t be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding.
Bergamot oil may lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. This could affect blood sugar control and cause blood sugar levels to go too low. If you use bergamot oil and have diabetes, make sure to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. If you are scheduled to have surgery, stop using bergamot oil at least two weeks beforehand — it may interfere with blood sugar control during the procedure.
Where noted above, information has been taken from the Dr. Axe website whom we acknowledge – it’s also a very good site.
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In the first of our ‘myth-busting’ series we take a hard look at the marketing term ‘therapeutic grade’. It may be disappointing to learn the truth about this term, but there is some great news – oils that are 100% pure and of good quality can be a lot cheaper and just as good (or sometimes better) than very expensive oils sold as ‘therapeutic grade.’
Sadly, marketers are very, very good at fooling us and getting us to buy into myths and we end up ‘believing’ them to an extraordinary degree – even to the point that we become offended when someone contradicts them, because we have bought into their ‘false religion’. We need to fight this tendency and get real value for our hard earned cash – not myths like the flying spaghetti monster!!!
The term “therapeutic grade” sounds technical, official and impressive, and pretends to be an industry-recognized certification reserved only for the highest-quality essential oils. The problem is that “therapeutic grade” and another marketing term commonly used term “CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade,” are only marketing terms – not in any way evidence of quality or official standards, These misleading terms were essentially invented by essential oil companies to help sell their own products by differentiating them from other products with a false badge of official approval.
That’s not to say that companies selling ‘therapeutic grade’ oils are selling bad products – in general, they are not – but they are charging as premium of two to five times the price over other oils that are just as pure, just as good.
We all know that differentiating one product from another is in many ways the essence of marketing, and when products cannot be differentiated on technical performance, companies simply make things up – and charge a hell of a premium to consumers for the ‘difference’. This was the tactic used in 2007 when the term “therapeutic grade” was invented.
Prior to 2007, the term “therapeutic grade” did not exist in the essential oil market. This term is not an independent or third party endorsement of purity and quality, but a trademarked marketing term created by a company selling essential oils. This 2007 creation spurred a greater fallacy, the term “CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.” Again, this term sounds technical, implying the product has been “certified” to be pure and of therapeutic grade. But, like its predecessor, it is nothing more than a made up, trademarked phrase.
These fabricated terms are defined by the companies who create them. As other companies take up the terms, we find a whole variety of definitions coming into being into justify them – often a new definition for every company that climbs onto the bandwagon!
Let’s be clear about one thing – there is no governing body that certifies essential oil quality and production, or designates a standardized grading system for essential oils. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil is a MYTH – and it’s BUSTED!!!
Until there is a government agency or other official body that certifies or “grades” essential oils, the best and easiest way to determine the purity of any oil is to look at the label on the bottle. The best measure of quality we have found is PURITY. An Essential Oil declared to be 100% pure must be just that or the supplier will have to answer to the authorities as soon as someone detects that the product does not comply with the statement. The oils must also be from the plant declared on the bottle or box and not blended with anything else. In general, suppliers are honest about this – although no doubt some slip under the radar!
Therapeutic Grade means nothing. PURE Essential Oils are rigorously tested to meet stringent quality specifications. They undergo some key quality tests to ensure they are always the highest quality available:
Therefore, when you choose essential oils, by all means choose pure oils, but avoid paying a large premium for oils carrying claims of ‘therapeutic grade’ and which are no better than any 100% pure essential oil. 100% PURE ESSENTIAL OILS DO NOT HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE.
Essential Oils add to the quality of our lives and simply make life better – ENJOY!!! And please leave a comment below if you like this article – or share using the buttons on the left. THANK YOU!!!
See the Peaceful Home essential Oils Set on Amazon for an Amazing $17.77 – Peppermint – Lavender – Bergamot – Frankincense – Ylang Ylang – Sweet Orange