Archives for category: Essential oils

Berries

I recently found out that Bob Nielsen, a dear professor from my undergraduate years, and part of the reason I started this blog, passed away. He had struggled with prostate cancer for years, as well as diabetes. I remember watching as he checked his sugar during our independent study session that followed the lunch hour. One of the things he mentioned that his wife allowed him to eat for a snack or dessert was “graham crackers and cream cheese; oh boy”, he would say as he tried to drum up some enthusiasm. Prostate cancer is an inflammatory disease. A study done by Sfanos and DeMarzo (2012) provides some evidence that inflammation is to blame. “There are multiple different lines of evidence suggesting that inflammation is very common within the adult prostate” (para 4). One can imagine that inflammation has its hand in other diseases too, including diabetes. We have all had injuries when inflammation took over and helped us heal. Chronic inflammation moves in when the body’s immune system overloads because it cannot rid the cause of the initial swelling. Sometimes stress is a major factor in the inability to overcome inflammation. Known as the fight or flight response from our parasympathetic nervous system, our bodies gear up to escape from that bear or lion. These days, the bear or lion is replaced by sitting in the hot-seat of an office desk with loads of work, though it is not an immediate threat. If the perceived threat has no relief, the body has trouble eliminating the adrenaline and translates it into stress. That stress creates inflammation in the body.

Chronic stress is a terrible condition because when there is no outlet for the build-up, the body cannot help but create inflammation as its response to stress, whether real or imagined. The body only understands feelings. It cannot determine if the pressure is real or something we see on television as we sit in a theater watching gory or horror films. However, some adrenaline is good. We need it to get out of the way in traffic, for instance. But everyday stress from a job is detrimental to health.

Let’s look at some of the ways we can help our bodies cope with stress overload. Sometimes the help of a medical professional is needed; but you may want to try some of these remedies first.

Anti-inflammatory Foods:
Harvard studies indicate that certain foods will help fight inflammation. Certain foods should also be avoided. And if you have been paying attention to good health, that food list will not come as a surprise. Think about what your grandmother and grandmother’s mother would have eaten and follow those rules.

Foods that fight for you are:

* Green leafy vegetables
* Some fruits – berries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
* Nuts and seeds
* Fatty fish
* Olive oil
* Tomatoes

While Harvard lists tomatoes as anti-inflammatory, it’s one of those foods considered a night shade – think eggplant, potatoes, peppers – which may cause inflammation in some people. I react differently when eating them; I notice right away when my knee begins to ache. I feel better both in my joints and in my mood when I stick to these types of foods. Another thing that Harvard has left out is the importance of fermented foods. Improving the health of the gut can combat chronic inflammatory diseases with proven results. Gut health enables the body to eliminate toxins like pesticides common in commercially produced food today.

Herbs and Spices:
One of my favorite public figures, Dr. Mercola, has a terrific website with great deal of information regarding health. He lists clove, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric (curcumin) as the best herbs to use. Starting out slowly with these as a daily regime is a good way to start.

I take turmeric supplement for my aching knee. It has been one of the most beneficial herbs for me. It’s actually a root, similar to the ginger family. Check out your local grocer. You might find it there in its original form now that it has become popular. Funny how that happens.

Spices to use include:

* Cinnamon (ceylon)
* Jamaican Allspice
* Apple pie spice mixture
* Oregano
* Pumpkin pie spice mixture
* Marjoram
* Sage
* Thyme
* Gourmet Italian spice

Dr. Mercola lists these specifically to help us boost our resistance to inflammation by adding these to our own recipes. When it’s easy to do, people will do it. Start with one or two today.

Essential Oils:
Essential oils are also recognized to help combat inflammation. In a study of lab rats, rosemary, eucalyptus, and ginger essential oils reduced episodes of edema; the latter two reduced effects from the ingestion of carrageenan, a common ingredient in commercial yogurts and ice cream. You might want to scout out this ingredient and remove it from your diet. I found too many tests in my search that aim to fight its inflammatory side effects.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine comments that essential oils are used as therapies because the nose first detects the scents. The sensors recognize the chemical compounds of the oil, then work on the limbic system as effectively as a drug (PDQ, 2014). Certain combinations from fragrant plants demonstrate relief from stress and improve the quality of life. Two of my favorites are Stress Away and lavender from Young Living essential oils. Lavender is one of the most popular scents, often found in baby products since its affect is almost immediate. You can create your own uplifting scents like the combination of cinnamon bark, peppermint, and cedarwood that I use when I need to stay calm yet alert while driving in heavy traffic. You can breathe away the stress in your life too.

Grounding:
While not commonly known as grounding, using the effects of the earth on our bodies is an amazing way to de-stress. Countless studies and feedback are addressed in the book Earthing. The subtitle says it all. Is Earthing really a new heath discovery? Hardly. People have walked barefoot on the earth for thousands of years. But lately we have disconnected, so to speak. Our high-rise buildings and the invention of the rubber sole shoe promote the separation between us and the earth. The text demonstrates the electrical effects and relationship between humans and the earth, provides a list of the benefits of getting our feet back on the earth, and provides compelling thermal imagery after grounding. Page 63 shows a list of diseases caused by inflammation. It’s not surprising that other chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, lupus, and MS are on this list. Pain is listed too.

We all have pain of some sort. Think of it… just coming in contact with the earth on a regular basis can help us. You see, lowering the EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) is imperative. We are surrounded by constant waves of energy; over time, people who do not ground with the earth are susceptible to “infection, stress, and degenerative diseases” (Ober, Sinatra, & Zucker, 2010, p. 79). Earthing helps to move that EMF off of us.

Think of the last time you were at the beach and played in the ocean or other body of water. Recall the feelings of peace, relaxation, and regeneration. What about the last time you walked in the yard to feel the grass under your feet? Doing so is completely free, but so few of us do it. At the very least, Ober has invented a way to gain similar effects from placing a ground in the earth. Your kitchen and bathroom electrical outlets have a ground to the earth. By using this part of the plug, Ober created grounding mats, mattresses, pillowcases, and the like to help you absorb the earth’s ground as you work and sleep. The grounding mat is great when the air becomes dry in the winter months. Static electricity can wreak havoc when doing laundry or just walking on a carpet. I am using a grounding mat as I type. The sweat from the bottoms of my bare feet help create the ground and move the EMF off of me when I work. Aside from the turmeric I use, grounding has helped when my knee was so inflamed I had trouble walking.

BeachBest

Being pain free is something we all desire. Consider these methods to reduce the stress and inflammation in your life. Tell a friend.

Joy,
Cheryl

References

Ober, C., Sinatra, S. T., & Zucker M. (2010). Earthing:The most important health discovery ever? Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.

PDQ® Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. (2014). PDQ Aromatherapy and Essential Oils. [PMID: 26389261]. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/aromatherapy-pdq.

Sfanos, K. S. & DeMarzo, A. M. (2012). Prostate cancer and inflammation: The evidence. Histopathology 60(1), 199-215. doi 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2011.04033.x

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Peppermint oilAh, peppermint. Where do I start?

You might have a love relationship with peppermint if you put it in some water to boost digestive health and relieve gas symptoms.

You might have a love relationship with peppermint if you rub it into your temples when you have a headache, or onto the back of the neck to boost athletic performance or to help relieve stress.

Do you diffuse it into the air to help with mental clarity? Or do you add it to your toothbrush for fresher breath?

Peppermint is so versatile.  I like to add it to homemade chocolate or chocolate brownies.

I like to add it to my natural homemade room spray. It pairs well with purification for a homemade bug repellent, another featured oil in this series.

My mother grew this plant in the yard while I was growing up.  I loved grazing on the leaves. Later, in my own yard, I was surprised to find out that it’s quite an invasive plant. Be careful to try to limit its root system to a contained space. It will take over. The oil, therefore, can be less expensive than the others. Aim to find the best quality available.

Peppermint tea has been around for years. Make your own by adding a drop of 100% pure therapeutic grade oil marked as a supplement to hot water for the best results.

Remember that in order for these oils to work in your favor, their use must be coupled with a healthy lifestyle.  Don’t expect to go out and eat fast food, then come home and try to remedy poor, unhealthy habits. You simply will not reap the benefits. And like many herbal supplements, oils must be used daily to enhance the great health you’re looking for.

Enjoy Earth Day.

Joy,

Cheryl

Digize resized and cropped

Oh, my stomach…..
What did you eat last night at that unfamiliar restaurant that caused you so much discomfort the whole night through? Not sure? I’ve been there too.  Traveling in new places and dining out can expose your system to unforgiving foods, or just ways those foods are prepared cause tummy issues.

It’s essential to ask the server how your food is prepared; however, even the simplest item on the menu can cause indigestion. What do you do? When I was growing up, my mother gave me some disgustingly thick, pink fluid with a wintergreen flavor. I think that stuff made my stomach issue even worse. Eventually, that same company had to reformulate their product because some children grew extremely ill from taking it. It’s best not to run to the nearest drug store; here’s why:

This is a list of the natural items those commercial companies based their products on but chose to take the chemical route instead: Essential oils of tarragon, juniper, anise, ginger, fennel, patchouli, peppermint, and lemongrass make up Young Living’s DiGize, an all natural, non-toxic way to optimize your digestive system.

Most of you might know that ginger on its own is helpful, but often found in a sugary drink like ginger ale. Sometimes ginger tea is available.  Tarragon, fennel, juniper, and lemongrass are known for digestive and flatulence relief. Anise aids in irritable bowel syndrome. Historically, patchouli is a natural diuretic that enables the body to quickly move the problem out of the system. Peppermint helps to relieve the heartburn.

The combination in DiGize essential oil is unsurpassed by any over-the-counter drug you might find. Used regularly, one will find optimal, normal digestion. Use two drops in liquid in the evening after a meal, or in the morning. You may also add 1-2 drops to a vegetarian capsule and take with a meal. Use daily to prevent digestive mishaps at home or while traveling.

Joy,

Cheryl

As you have read through this series, I hope you’ve come to recognize the benefits of essential oils and how they can help you and your loved ones choose a healthier way.
To obtain your Premium Starter kit, and start to live a non-toxic lifestyle, go to http://www.youngliving.org/cheryl9059.

RC

Sometimes the air conditioning units in hotels just make my nose stuffy. That is when I reach for RC, Young Living essential oil. RC is a blend of oils known to help with allergies, sinus issues, and colds. Basically, RC stands for Respiratory Conditions. This blend of eucalyptus, myrtle, marjoram, and pine (among others) is the best oil to carry while traveling because it not only helps calm the muscles around the sinuses, it helps to open up the airways, a must for sleeping at night. I say it acts much like the commercial chest rubs without the petroleum oils that seep into our systems. The scent is much lighter too. Diffuse and apply to the chest and back for the best benefit. This oil can be applied to the bottoms of the feet of younger folks or added to a bowl of steaming water. Place a towel over the head and inhale for sinus relief.

 

Joy,

 

Cheryl

Panaway

Today’s post will also focus on an essential oil you should not be without, Young Living’s Panaway.

The main ingredients in Panaway are wintergreen,  helichrysum, clove, and peppermint.
If you enjoy sports or outdoor activities,  don’t leave home without this essential oil blend. Its aspirin-like properties work well for muscle and joint pain.

My mother told me that when she was a kid, she had a lot of knee pain, so my grandmother would rub wintergeen oil into the affected area to soothe the pain. It works because wintergeen contains a powerful natural substance called Methyl Salicylate. Commercial products will use a synthetic form of methyl salicylate in its products. They are based on the natural remedy; but the natural oils are lost, or the product contains very low amounts of the active ingredient.

Panaway contains Helichrysum oil, a natural anti-inflammatory, along with Clove oil known for relieving the pain of arthritis. Anti-inflammatory agents help remove excess fluid away from the site so the body can begin to heal.

Peppermint oil is another anti-inflammatory oil. It, too, acts to remove fluids. But rather than add chemicals or capsaicin, a chili pepper ingredient that adversely affects some users, Young Living uses the menthol of peppermint to provide the warming and cooling effects in this essential oil blend. The combination allows for direct application without a carrier oil. It will not burn the skin.

The next time you find you have over-done your routine and need the aid of a quality essential oil blend, grab the panaway from your Premium Starter kit.  Its powerful ingredients will keep you invigorated instead of sitting on the sidelines.

Joy,

Cheryl

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Traveling without the benefits of Copaiba essential oil would be a great mistake. Its smell is light and balsamic, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not a powerful oil. Though this is a lesser known oil, copaiba is in the YL Premium Starter kit as an everyday oil because of its versatility.

After a long hike, I use it to soothe my muscles. This oil is a bit more oily than others, so it takes a bit more time to rub it into the areas where it is needed most. 

It also helped to calm down the itchy skin on my arm. I couldn’t be sure why I was itchy, but the copaiba worked well. No need to use a carrier oil with this oil.

Some people experience a lift in mood using this oil. I like the warm fragrance it provides; I find myself using the oil several times a day for weeks on end just for the aroma.

Copaiba can also be consumed for sore throats. One drop of oil added to a tsp of honey is one way to supplement about 4 oz of warm beverage, though not recommended for kids age six and under.

It’s been noted, too, that this oil will boost the vitality of other oils. So, start combining this one with another one you are using for added effect. That’s the cool thing about essential oils; they do well with a layering method.

Joy,

Cheryl

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Lavender is one of those oils one cannot live without. Its scent is floral, sweet, herbaceous, balsamic and woody, and packs so much punch it has been used since the medieval times. The French suggest that lavender is an equalizer in which its properties are used by the body wherever needed the most. This essential oil’s uses are also universal.

Use it on cuts, diaper rash, burns, hives, stretch marks, even sprains. I use it when I want to relax or to enhance sleep. Add a few drops along with Epsom salts to bath water and soak to detox and give the body time to absorb its properties.  It’s one of the most commonly used scents in baby products for good reason.

Lavender is not just used on the skin, it can ease a migraine headache, help with depression, and provide relief from nervous tension. Diffuse this oil in your sleeping area for added benefits.

Lavender can also be ingested.  I’ve made tea or added a small drop of the oil to vanilla ice cream for an exotic flavor when I serve my guests an after dinner or evening treat.

Be sure to use Young Living Essential oils to ensure the quality necessary for ingestion; most oils found in stores are questionable.

Enjoy the quality and benefits of this essential oil. It’s one of the oils included in the Premium Starter kit. (See my deals page for more information on how to obtain your own kit.)

Joy,
Cheryl

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If you’re susceptible to Mosquito bites, the first thing you might grab is some commercial product. Please don’t. Each claims it does not contain harmful chemicals, such as Deet, and is just as effective against pests, but it feels oily or sticky. Now, of course, you could wear long pants with socks and longer sleeved shirts to help deter those pesky Mosquitoes or gnats or enter any other bug that makes you its dinner. However, if you live in a warmer climate, it becomes cumbersome to wear all that extra clothing while enjoying the outdoors.

This is where Young Living Essential oils brand Purification comes to our aid. Purification is an oil blend that contains the ever-effective citronella and lemongrass combination along with some other oils like rosemary and tea tree. Since this blend is rather strong, I like to use a carrier oil like coconut or a lotion with which to rub into my skin. I place a couple of drops in my palm with the oil and mix it with my hands. I rub this where my skin is exposed. It smell fabulous and leaves no greasy feel. The best thing about this is that I never need to wash off after playing outdoors or walking in the woods like the commercial brands.

All natural is the way to go. I’ve always had issues with bugs. They just love me. But when I was posting my blog about Thieves oil last night, the bugs started to come out. I reached into my Premium Starter kit and found my bottle of Purification.  In moments, those no-seeums left me alone. I could finally get my work done without slapping my skin or shoeing the bugs away. They didn’t even try landing on me. What a relief,  and I didn’t load my skin with toxic chemicals.

I also like to use this oil in the event that I am bit before applying my oils. The combination works wonders to alleviate the pain and itching caused by Mosquitoes or other pesky critters. Give it a whirl. You will not be disappointed.

Joy,
Cheryl

145781812975449720916Hello all, I decided to start a new series of ‘how to’ blogs based on essential oils and their everyday uses. Today I want to share how to make good use of the oils in the Premium Starter kit by Young Living. This kit comes with ten oils, plus a bonus oil and roller ball top.

This weekend starts spring break for many of us. I was packing the usual items yesterday in excitement of having some mental sanity for the next few days where I might actually forget what the calendar says. I like living without a watch or calendar. I knew this week would go as planned.

Last night, I discovered that I had forgotten my Young Living Thieves Aroma Brite toothpaste. Geez.

Rather than panic and run to the nearest drug store for a fluoride toothpaste off the shelf, I reached into my kit and pulled out the saving bottle of Thieves.

Two drops on my toothbrush was all I needed for clean teeth and fresh breath after driving for 4 hours to reach my destination. Thieves contains a combination of a few oils that benefit the immune system.  Lemon, rosemary, and cinnamon are a few. Used daily on the skin or internally, one might stave off illnesses.  When I begin to feel under the weather, I either put a drop or two in a capsule and ingest it, or rub it into my feet for relief.

I have often used Orange oil from YL on my teeth and added to my toothpaste.  The flavor is amazing; and I have often said that working with orange oil is like the commercial product ‘GooGone’ – Orange oil takes off the sticky gooey stuff of old stickers or crayons on walls. YL orange oil contains only the oil from the peel. It works wonders on my teeth too. It’s a natural,  non-toxic accompaniment to any healthy regime.

Joy,

Cheryl