Just recently a good friend of mine came down with shingles. Aww man, I feel so bad for her. It must be horrible, and I wish there was more I could do for her to ease her suffering, so it prompted me to look it up in my article list. Sure enough, I found it was one of my orphaned articles from the old Yahoo Contributor Network / Associated Content library. I’m going to pass is on to her and hopefully have enough ingredients to make her my relief spray. She’s at the doc’s now, and hopefully they’ll give her something to alleviate the horrible symptoms.
Anyway, here’s the article from 2009 in it’s entirety:
There are so many natural and holistic remedies for all types of maladies these days that it is difficult to weed through all the bad or mis-information strewn across the web. This series of articles, “Natural Holistic Remedies” will address only the tried and true remedies and natural therapies, either through personal experience or gathered from trusted sources. I’ve been studying these types of holistic cures and aids for over over 20 years and have discovered many new concepts as well as debunking some older (and some newer ones too).
General Shingles Information
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection of the nerve roots. Shingles affects the nerve endings in the skin and results in pain and a rash. Shingles affects 750,000 Americans annually. It can strike at any age but is most common in people older than 40.
Possible Causes of Shingles
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox When a person has chicken pox, it lives dormant in the body. If it becomes active, it results in a case of the shingles, not another bout of the chicken pox. Approximately 90 percent of people who have chicken pox are at risk of developing shingles. Stress, cancer, use of anti-cancer drugs, spinal cord injuries, the common cold and immune system problems can trigger shingles. People who have never contracted chicken pox have very little chance of developing shingles.
Possible Symptoms of Shingles
The first signs of shingles appear as three or four days of chills, fever, body aches and sometimes pain in the affected area. Then tiny blisters with red rims appear, along with extreme pain and sensitivity at the site. Other symptoms of shingles include fatigue, numbness, depression, tingling, shooting pains, swollen lymph nodes, headache and fever. This phase usually lasts one week to 10 days, when the blisters dry up and fall off. In most cases, shingles lasts a few weeks, but some people can experience pain for months.
Possible Lifestyle Changes for Shingles
There is no way to prevent shingles, but people can avoid getting chicken pox by being immunized with the vermicelli vaccine. People who have never had chicken pox should avoid contact with anyone who has the disease. Avoid contact with anyone with shingles because the fluid from the blisters is extremely contagious. Pregnant women, infants, children and anyone with immune deficiencies should not be in contact with anyone with chicken pox or shingles. Also, things like meditation, Yoga, Pilates, or any naturally calming practices will help keep shingles to a minimum as stress makes shingles worse. Try to keep stress and anxiety to a minimum, whatever works for you!
Personal Experience: Shingles “Natural Remedy” Skeptics
If you’ve ever had shingles before, you know the pain that can be associated with it. Both a cousin and a friend of mine came down with shingles and were both in serious enough pain to ask me for help. While one was very skeptic of “natural cures”, the other was right away willing to try my natural remedy. Needless to say, after making them my “Shingles Relief Spray” and advising them of some dietary adjustments, they are both believers and ask me for all kinds of natural cures and advice now.
Beneficial Dietary & Herbal Aids
L-Lysine is important for healing and for fighting the virus that causes shingles.
Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids aids in fighting the shingles virus.
Vitamin B Complex is needed for nerve health and to counteract deficiencies.
Zinc enhances immunity and protects against infection.
Calcium and Magnesium for nerve function and healing.
Garlic is excellent for building the immune system.
SAMe aids in reducing pain and inflammation.
Cayenne relieves pain and aids healing.
Lemon Balm – This lemon scented herb helps the body fight viruses.
Licorice – The licorice has virus-fighting ingredients that can inhibit the herpes simplex virus. It appears to interfere with the growth of the virus. It also fights inflammation and can be used instead of products containing cortisone without the side effects. Taken internally, it can be used as a tea and is often blended with other herbs for taste. Do not take for longer than 6 weeks at a time, and do not take licorice if you have high blood pressure or a history of heart disease.
Alfalfa and Dandelion promotes healing.
Baikal Skullcap – This is an herb that has been used since ancient times in China. It fights bacteria and infections, so it is helpful in treating shingles as well as many other conditions. Used topically, you can make a paste using the ground root mixed with water. Apply the paste to the affected areas as needed.
Astragalus Root and Echinacea boosts immune function.
Bi phaya yaw (Clinacanthus nutans)- an herb used in traditional Thai medicine, has been shown in clinical studies to shorten the time it takes to recover from shingles in some cases. It is applied in cream form.
Olive leaf extract aids in fighting the virus of shingles. Eat plenty of foods that contain vitamin B6, including bananas, nuts, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
A combination of oat straw, St. John’s wort, and skullcap helps to reduce stress and itching. Mix equal amounts of oat straw, St. John’s wort, and skullcap tinctures together, and take one teaspoon of this mixture four times daily.
Ingredients: Aloe vera, Jojoba Oil and Sunflower oil, Ravensara Ravensara aromatica, Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia, Lavender Lavandula augustifolia, Bergamot Citrus bergamia, Thyme Thymus vulgaris ct linalol, German Chamomile Matricaria recutita, Clary Sage Salvia sclarea, Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus, Oregano Origanum vulgare, and other natural essential oils.
For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes. If condition worsens or persists for more than seven days, discontinue use and consult a physician. May cause an allergic reaction in some individuals with sensitive skin; test on small area before use. If severe irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately and consult a physician. Do not apply to wounds or broken skin. Do not bandage tightly. Keep this and all drugs out of the reach of children. In case of accidental ingestion contact a Poison Control Center or physician immediately. Do not get on clothing. As with any drug, if you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advice of a health professional before using this product.
If you are looking to connect with Archangel Michael, or just need the protection or help of this powerful angel, look to your heart, and ask Michael specifically for what you need.
Thankfulness and Gratitude are two sure-fire ways to open the communication pathways between humans and angels, and it doesn’t hurt to have the scents and energies they like around while asking. Creating your own all natural essential oil blend to aid the process.
This is the original Yellowstar Essentials Archangel Michael Blend made with undiluted essential oils only.
Carriers (as in carrier oils such as; Sweet Almond, Grapeseed, Cocoanut, etc.) are added after your blend has a little time to meld together. This anointing blend will connect you to the energy of Archangel Michael. Diluted in fractionated coconut oil or other carriers, it will be safe for use on the skin.
Archangel Michael Blend
TOP NOTES (drops)
Lemon Blossom 7
MIDDLE NOTES (drops)
Jasmine 3 full drops
Rose 2 full drops
Neroli 3 full drops
BASE NOTES (drops)
Sacred Frankincense 3
Myrrh 2 full drops
Galbanum 2 full drops
Atlas Cedarwood 7
Star Anise 1
If you want to use this blend for an anointing oil, perfume oil, or the like, add beeswax and carrier oils to the consistency you like. (wax must be melted and stirred into warm carriers, then cooled to see the thickness and consistency of your final product… it can always be remelted and more wax added).
ARCHANGEL MICHAEL (Beshter, Mikail, Sabbathiel, Saint Michael)
Archangel Michael’s name means ‘he who is like God’.
Archangel Michael’s functions are to oversee Lightworker’s life purpose and to rid all toxins associated with fear. He also assists with bravery and heroic deeds.
Archangel Michael guides and directs people who feel unsure of their life purpose or soul mission, and provides guidance in regards to which positive steps to take.
Archangel Michael inspires leaders, bolsters courage, gives direction, energy and vitality, offers protection and motivation, and increases self-worth and self-esteem.
The essential oils to use for protection, security, safety, empowerment, releasing fears and overcoming obstacles with Archangel Michael are:
Anise Star – Aniseed – Black Pepper – Cajeput – Carnation – Clary Sage – Clove – Cumin – Elemi – Frankincense – Galbanum – Geranium – Ginger – Hyssop – Juniper – Lavender – Lime – Melissa – Mimosa – Myrrh – Niaouli – Oak moss – Palmarosa – Pimento Berry – Pine – Rosemary – Sage – Sweet Fennel – Tea-tree – Thyme – Valerian – Violet – Yarrow
To banish negativity and dispel phobias, apprehension and anxiety with the help of Archangel Michael, use one of the following essential oils:
Women going through menopause, or the change of life suffer from so many discomforts. It’s no fun trying to handle menopause, let alone dealing with the everyday stresses that occur.
While creating a menopause blend for some dear friends I noticed a dragonfly sitting next to me.Sometimes, when I meditate, specific animals will make themselves noticed. It doesn’t seem a coincidence that she would show up.
The dragonfly perched so our eyes would meet. While I was meditating on which oils to ask for aid in relieving some of their menopausal symptoms, the dragonfly seemed to be trying to send me a message. Then it hit me…
Most commonly symbolized as change, dragonflies are a beauty and a wonder. Dragonflies signify positive renewal, and the sense of self that comes with maturity as well as the power of life in general knowing they must live life to the fullest, as a dragonfly’s life is short. This is a lesson all of us could take to heart.
Some Native Americans believe dragonflies are the souls of the dead. There are also many cultures that believe that the meaning of a dragonfly is happiness, courage and subconscious thoughts. It is also believed that if you see two dragonflies paired together that they represent love and maturity. In some cultures the dragonfly represents good luck, prosperity, swiftness, purity, harmony and strength, positive force, and connection with the earth.
It’s like that “a-ha” moment came to me all at once. And I knew instantly. Of course I thanked God and my angels for this wonderful sense of knowing that they’ve shared with me.
And as I have no idea what dragonflies like best, I could only thank the dragonfly for her open heart as she left.
Going back to my lab with a feeling of gratitude and love I started straight for whatever came to mind; first the pink lotus, then neroli, lavender and my Goddess Blend…one by one they all appeared in my mind’s eye. What a wonderful experience.
I’ve since learned that the dragonfly blend I added to an aloe cucumber lotion for my friend has helped her deal with sleeping better through the night and not getting as overheated which kept her so uncomfortable that she normally couldn’t sleep. She’s raved about dragonfly lotion and even came back to purchase a larger one. Yay! It worked!
Hopefully, those of you suffering with symptoms of aging, hormonal havoc, and menopause can find some comfort here…
Most people usually between the ages of 45-55 will suffer from Menopause, aka the “change of life”. The average age menopause starts is 50 and is caused from decreased hormone production, symptoms include; hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, depression and headaches, or loss of hair and/or sexual desires.
When it comes to aging, women speak freely about menopausal mood swings, thinning hair, hot flashes, exhaustion, weight gain, etc. But women aren’t the only ones who have to deal with hormonal changes as they age.
Actually, men experience menopause too, called andropause, but some of the symptoms are different, and most men won’t talk about it. Some of the male menopausal-like symptoms, include: weakened bones, decreased sex drive (from lowered testosterone production), and even hot flashes and irritability.
One of the best essential oil blends to use to help balance hormones and even help regulate prostate function (in men) is listed below.
Balance blend for men and women:
This blend of essential oils has been noted to balance hormones and regulate prostate function in men. It has also been used to successfully reduce or eliminate hot flashes for women:
5 drops Sage (Salvia officinalis), or Clary Sage (better for women)
5 drops Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare),
15 drops Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia),
10 drops Myrtle (Myrtus communis),
7 drops Blue Yarrow (Achillea millefolium),
8 drops Peppermint (Mentha piperita),
Mix these essential oils into 2 oz. of a carrier oil like jojoba or fractionated coconut oil, store in a dark colored glass bottle with a tight lid with name of blend and date.
Then add 0.5oz (15ml) of Balance blend into 4oz (120ml) either peppermint, lavender, myrtle, or blue yarrow hydrosol. Actually, to get this to fit into a 4 oz spray bottle, you’ll want to either get a little larger bottle or use a bit less of the oil blend, or– use up a little bit of the hydrosol on something else (like a facial toner mixed 1/2 + 1/2 with witch hazel) so it all fits into the bottle.
Shake bottle well, close your eyes and give yourself a nice spray on your face, neck, underarms, legs…wherever needed. Safe for entire body…but keep out of eyes, mouth and off genitals..lol.
Several essential oils that contain hormone-like substances related to estrogen are helpful during menopause.
These wonderful oils may be used in many ways, like: in a diffuser, in a massage oil, in the bath, or in salts, or just inhaled . These include:
and to a lesser degree, basil.
Such essential oils, will help relieve hot flashes, and many other issues related to menopause. Since essential oils go right through the skin, applying them to fatty areas of the body where hormones are manufactured and stored will create the most direct effect.
Of course, any massage is itself very therapeutic. A bath is also a wonderful way to receive the benefits of these oils.
All three are wonderful for helping to balance hormones and also help modify menopausal symptoms. They are most often added in many high end European face creams to reduce aging and wrinkles as well as for hormonal cremes.
As a rejuvenation cream, these oils not only perk up a dry complexion, they make a good cream to counter vaginal dryness. Add some vitamin E oil, which improves the strength and flexibility of the vaginal lining while quickly healing abrasions that can occur during intercourse when the lining is too dry. In addition to aromatherapy, try dietary and herbal treatments to alleviate some of menopause’s unpleasant symptoms.
Add no more than 10 drops of your chosen essential oil for a bath. Less is more!
Essential oils that affect estrogen and balance hormones:
Essential oils that ease hot flashes:
Essential oils for emotional ups and downs:
Aromatherapy Menopause Treatment
Add this body oil to your arsenal to help ward off the symptoms of menopause.
Menopause Body Oil
6 drops lemon oil
5 drops geranium oil
2 drops clary sage oil
1 drop angelica oil
1 drop jasmine oil
2 ounces coconut oil or body lotion
Combine the ingredients. Use at least once a day as a massage oil, in a lotion, or in a bath (add 2 teaspoons to the bathwater). If this formula is too oily for you, add the same essential oils to 2 ounces of a commercial body lotion instead. The best type to use is an unscented, basic lotion that contains ingredients that are as natural as possible.
Hot flashes are among the most uncomfortable symptoms that menopausal women complain about, reports Dr. Susan Lark. She goes on to say, “The most common medical treatment for this problem is estrogen replacement therapy” which may be effective in stopping the flashes, but is not curative.
Although the cause of the hot flash is unclear, hormonal changes involving elevation of the hormones FSH and LH during and after menopause are thought to be responsible. In an effort to elevate decreasing estrogen levels these pituitary hormones can be 1,300 percent greater during the menopausal years than before.
Hot flashes are regarded by the medical profession as deficiency of estrogen and can be triggered by a variety of stimulants such as:
• Spicy food (cayenne, ginger, pepper)
• Acidic foods (pickles, citrus, tomatoes)
• Hot drinks
• Caffeine (coffee, black tea, cola, chocolate)
• Alcoholic drinks, including wine and beer
• White sugar
• Hydrogenated or saturated fats (meat, margarine)
• Hot weather
• Hot tubs and saunas
• Tobacco or marijuana
• Intense exercise, especially lovemaking
• Anger, especially if you can’t express it
During a hot flash, flushes of heat sweep the body (and often the face), reddening the skin and promoting free perspiration. The reddening may be blotchy or even and the perspiration slight or copious. A hot flash may last from a few seconds to four or five minutes, occasionally fifteen minutes, and rarely more than an hour.
If you begin to experience hot flashes, dizziness, heart palpitations, emotional uproar, sleep disturbances, night sweats, depression and/or headaches you may slip from feeling “in control” to the sense that things are beyond your control. The idea of controlling these unwelcome symptoms with drugs becomes very attractive, as we are conditioned to believe that menopausal changes are in some way considered an illness. It is possible to influence these changes more effectively with herbal alternatives that carry with them few, if any, side effects when considered carefully.
A hot flash at night is called a night sweat, which may be accompanied by feelings of anxiety or terror. A solution may be to keep a glass of water and a bottle of motherwort beside you at night, and take 10-15 drops and a swallow of water if a night sweat awakens you. Not everyone experiences hot flashes, and only some of those who do also experience night sweats. Many women, however, experience both.
Exercise directly decreases hot flashes by decreasing the amount of circulating LH and FSH, by nourishing and tonifying the hypothalamus, and by raising endorphin levels (which plummet with hot flashing). As little as 20 minutes three times a week may reduce flashes significantly.Other natural measures that address underlying reasons for hot flashes include diet, nutritional supplementation and plant-based medicines.
HOT FLASHES: HERBAL AIDS
Herbal remedies for women with hot flashes include
plants that cool the system, such as chickweed, elder and violet;
plants that nourish or increase oxygen utilization in the liver, such as dong quai, dandelion, Ho Shou Wu (polygonum multiflorum) and yellow dock; and
plants rich in phytosterols, such as black cohosh.
Herbs and supplements found helpful by Dr. Susan Lark in her medical practice include dong quai, black cohosh, blue cohosh, unicorn root, fennel, sarsaparilla, red clover, wild yam root, yam, bioflavonoids and vitamin E. Dr. Michael Murray finds the four most useful herbs for treatment of hot flashes to be dong quai, licorice root, chasteberry (vitex) and black cohosh.
Hot flashes deplete vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Frequent use of red clover or oatstraw infusions will help replace these needed nutrients, or these nutrients can also be found in food, or taken as supplements.
Dong quai is an emmenagogue that has been found very helpful for menopausal problems such as regulation of hot flashes, and it is reported to help relieve mental and emotional upset.
Dong quai has been shown to both contract and relax uterine muscles in anaesthetized dogs, cats and rabbits. The contractive (excitatory) ingredient is felt to be a water and alcohol soluble, non-volatile oil component, whereas the relaxing (inhibitory) component is considered to be a volatile oil with high boiling point. This, not an estrogenic effect, is felt to be the mechanism underlying the effectiveness of dong quai in dysmenorrhea.
The effectiveness of dong quai in treating hot flashes may be due to stabilization of blood vessels. However, if you feel hot much of the time dong quai may not be your ally.
Chaste berry(Vitex) has been found to affect pituitary function and has many uses, particularly in regulating hot flashes and dizziness. Beneficial effects in menopause may be due to its role in altering LH and FSH secretion. Vitex lowers estrogen levels and increases progesterone levels, thus keeping bones and vaginal walls strong. Daily use enhances progesterone and luteotropic hormone but inhibits others such as FSH and prolactin. It also increases production of the brain chemical dopamine. It contains flavonoids, glycosides and micronutrients, but lacks phytosterols, making it a slow-acting tonic. Results become evident after 2-3 months of use, and permanent improvement requires a 1-year commitment.
Black cohosh was widely used by the American Indians and later by American colonists for relief of menstrual cramps and menopause. Recent scientific investigation has upheld the effectiveness of black cohosh as a treatment for dysmenorrhea and menopause. Clinical studies have shown extracts of black cohosh to relieve not only hot flashes but also depression and vaginal atrophy. In addition to these vascular effects, black cohosh reduces LH levels; thus the plant has a significant estrogenic effect.bThe use of 10-15 drops once or twice a day for several months significantly reduces LH but not FSH. Black cohosh has also been found to aid digestion by increasing digestive juices; use 3- 5 drops with meals.
Contraindications: Do not use black cohosh if you have menstrual flooding or suspect you may be pregnant. The irritating effects (headache, dizziness, visual disturbance, nausea) of black cohosh and other members of the buttercup family are more common and more troublesome in preparations made from dried, powdered roots. Given its estrogenic component, pregnant and nursing women should probably avoid the herb. Some herbalists extend this warning to women with estrogen-dependent cancer and women who are taking birth control pills or estrogen supplements after menopause. The same precaution applies to individuals with certain types of heart disease or those taking sedatives or blood pressure medications.
Motherwort has been found to lessen the severity, frequency and duration of hot flashes, ease stressed nerves, relieve anxiety, and relieve insomnia. For best results with hot flashes, use this herb frequently for 3 months. A common dosage for hot flashes is 15-25 drops of tincture, 1-6 times a day. Do not use if you are experiencing menstrual flooding as motherwort can aggravate this.
Licorice root contains a saponin-like glycoside, glycyrrhizin (glycrrhizic acid) and has historically been used for a variety of female disorders and also as an expectorant and antitussive in treatment of respiratory tract infections and asthma. It is believed to reduce estrogen while increasing progesterone and is used for this reason by Dr. Michael Murray in his clinical practice. Licorice has a steroid component that can change to the estrogen precursors estradiol and estrone, and it can therefore provide mild estrogenic properties. Glycyrrhizin has a regulatory action over estrogen metabolism, i.e. when estrogen levels are too high it inhibits estrogen action, and when estrogen is too low, glycyrrhizin potentiates it. This is a useful factor for many female hormonal problems, including PMS.
Licorice is considered a powerful drug that is useful in treating a number of conditions, such as peptic ulcers, malaria, abdominal pain, insomnia and infection. This herb’s uses have been substantiated by modern research, and it is generally considered very safe in moderate doses.German health authorities consider maximum doses of up to 100 mg of glycyrrhizin (the major active component of licorice) a day acceptable and safe. However, it should not be taken for more than 4-6 weeks without medical advice.
CAUTION: *Regular use of licorice can cause high blood pressure and edema (water retention). Women predisposed to these conditions should drink no more than one cup (250 ml) per day or chew on a licorice stick only as needed.In large doses it can cause sodium retention and potassium depletion and is not recommended for those with heart or blood pressure problems.Certain individuals need to be particularly careful: pregnant and nursing women, those with high blood pressure, glaucoma, diabetes, kidney or liver disease; or those taking hormonal therapy (licorice may interfere with it). Anyone taking digitalis (sensitivity to it may be increased if your system suffers from potassium loss) or who has had a stroke or heart disease should only do so under the directions of a doctor. Persons with eating disorders who may already be predisposed to hypokalemia for other reasons may be at heightened risk for pseudoaldosteronism. Some sources recommend that anyone who has a cardiovascular-related disorder not consume licorice at all.
Essential oils basil or thyme may ease hot flashes when inhaled or used in a bath or foot rub or mixed with massage oil.
For a portable hot flash remedy, place a few drops of an essential oil or cologne on a tissue, or cotton ball and place in plastic wrap. It may provide instant relief when you open and inhale any time a flash strikes.
HOT FLASHES: HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
Susun Weed writes that Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, a naturopathic physician, finds homeopathic remedies effective 80 percent of the time in relieving menopausal symptoms. One of her favorite remedies for hot flashes is Lachesis. She describes these remedies below:
Lachesis: If your flashes emanates from the top of your head, are worse just before sleep and immediately upon wakening and are accompanied by sweating, headaches, or easily irritated skin
Sepia: if your flashes make you feel weak, nauseated, exhausted, and depressed
Pulsatilla: if you flash less outdoors, but your flashes are often followed by intense chills and emotional uproar
Valeriana: if your face flushes strongly during the flash, and you have intense sweating and sleeplessness
Ferrum metallicum: if your flashes are sudden; your general health is good but ordinary activities bring exhaustion
Sulfuricum acidum: if your flashes include profuse sweating and trembling, are worse in evenings or with exercise
Sanguinaria: if your cheeks are red and burning, feet and hands hot
Belladonna: if the flash centers on your face, which burns and turns bright red; you are restless, agitated and have palpitations
MORE about HERBS for MENOPAUSE relief
Black cohosh ( cimicifuga racemosa)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: This is a good estrogenic herb that acts specifically on the uterus to reduce cramps and congestion. It is also good for relieving hot flashes. Black Cohosh contains two anti-rheumatic agents. It is an excellent herb for relieving muscular pain and cramping. It may also help to reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Dosage: Take 250 mg in tablet or capsule form, two to four times daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Chaste tree ( Vilex agnus- castus)
Part Used: Dried fruit
Actions and Uses: This herb is a hormone balancer that is used to alleviate depression at menopause.
Dosage: Take 300-600 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Damiana ( Turnera diffuse)
Part Used: Dried leaves
Actions and Uses: Damiana is a pituitary regulator and antidepressant. It is also an aphrodisiac and is of benefit for sexual difficulties. It should not be taken too frequently, however, or it may irritate the lining of the urinary tract.
Dosage: Take 100-150 mg in tablet or capsule form, for two or three days out of the week. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily, for two or three days out of the week.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Part Used: Leaves, roots, and tops
Actions and Uses: Dandelion is a wonderful herb for the liver. If your hormones are out of balance, then your liver is under extra stress, and dandelion root will be beneficial for this.
Dosage: Take 1,000-3,000 mg in tablet or capsule form, or 2-3 cups of tea, daily. Or take 1-2 teaspoons of dandelion tincture, three times daily.
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
Part Used: Roots
Actions and Uses: This herb is high in natural plant estrogens called phytosterols and helps to reduce the symptoms of estrogen deficiency.
Dosage: Take 500 mg in tablet or capsule form, twice daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
False unicorn root (Chamaelirium luteum)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: This plant is an estrogen regulator. It has a direct action on the uterus and ovaries and is considered to be a corrective herb for women. It is a specific for the herbal treatment of ovarian cysts.
Dosage: Take 500 mg in tablet or capsule form, or 1 teaspoon of tincture, daily.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Part Used: Leaves
Actions and Uses: This herb improves brain function, circulation, and oxygenation of all body cells. It is helpful for symptoms of fatigue, memory problems, and depression.
Dosage: Take 1,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take I teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Actions and Uses: Ginseng strengthens the adrenal glands, enhances immune function, increases energy, and normalizes blood pressure. It is useful for symptoms of both mental and physical fatigue. Avoid it if you have very high blood pressure (over 180/100). Siberian ginseng is more effective than the American variety.
Dosage: Take 1,000-4,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Ginseng is a safe energy-booster for most people.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: Licorice is a powerful adrenal stimulant and is a wonderful estrogenic herb. For this reason, it is a very useful herb during menopause. Care must be taken, however, not to take licorice too often, or it can deplete potassium and elevate blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, use it with caution or avoid it entirely. On the other hand, if you suffer from low blood pressure, this herb will be useful in correcting the problem. Licorice makes a pleasant-tasting tea. It can also be added in small amounts to other herbal teas to improve their flavor.
Dosage: For hot flashes, drink 1-2 cups of licorice tea or taking 500-1,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take 1/2-1 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Liferoot (Senecio Bursas)
Part Used: Dried plant
Actions and Uses: Liferoot is a uterine tonic that contains plant estrogens. It helps to reestablish emotional and vascular stability and eliminate hot flashes. It may also help to treat irregular, painful, or excessive menstrual bleeding.
Dosage: Take 500 mg daily in tablet or capsule form. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
Part Used: Fresh or dried leaves and fruit
Actions and Uses: Raspberry is an astringent and nutritive estrogenic herb. It has a direct action on the muscles of the uterus, helps to tone weakened uterine muscles, and relaxes uterine and intestinal spasms. It also assists in correcting prolapse of the uterus and/or vagina.
Dosage: Take 2,000 mg in tablet or capsule form, or drink 2-3 glasses of rasp- berry tea daily. Or take ‘/,-I teaspoon of rasp- berry tincture, up to three times daily.
Red clover ( Tritolium pretense)
Part Used: Dried flower heads; fresh plant
Actions and Uses: Red clover contains a plant estrogen called coumestrol that stimulates the ovaries. It is a good ‘alkalinizing’ herb that restores healthy body functions. Red clover is a specific for the herbal treatment of ovarian cysts.
Dosage: To relieve hot flashes, take 1,000-2,000 mg of red clover in tablet or capsule form or drink 3-4 cups of red clover tea daily. Or take 1/2-11/2 teaspoons of red clover tincture, up to three times daily.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Part Used: Fresh or dried leaves
Actions and Uses: This herb has many medicinal properties and is very useful during menopause for the treatment of hot flashes. Sage reduces excessive sweating and it contains plant estrogens. You will find sage particularly helpful in eliminating night sweats.
Dosage: Drink 3-4 cups of sage tea daily to relieve hot flashes, or take 1/2-1 teaspoon of tincture, three times a day. Sprinkle finely chopped fresh sage in soups and on salads and vegetables.
St. Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Part Used: Fresh or dried flowering plant
Actions and Uses: This herb is a mild sedative that is specific for anxiety states. It may also be useful for combating depression.
Dosage: Take 500 mg in tablet or capsule form, or 1/4-1 teaspoon of tincture, two or three times daily.
Sarsaparilla (smilax officinalis)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: Sarsaparilla is another alterative herb that stimulates the production of testosterone and therefore improves a flagging libido. It also helps to increase energy.
Dosage: Take 1,000-2,000 mg in tablet or capsule form or drink 2-3 glasses of sarsaparilla tea daily. Or take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of tincture, up to three times daily.
Saw palmetto (Serenoa serrulata)
Part Used: Dried fruit
Actions and Uses: This herb is an astringent diuretic that is beneficial for the treatment of urinary incontinence, fluid retention, and prolapse of the pelvic organs. Dryness and lack of tone in the tissues of the bladder often lead to irritation and weakness. This is reduced by saw palmetto. This herb can also be useful for combating chronic urinary tract infection.
Dosage: Take 1,000-2,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Shepherd’s purse (CapseIla bursapastoris)
Part Used: Dried flowering plant; fresh plant
Actions and Uses: Shepherd’s purse is a pituitary regulator with androgenic properties. One of its primary attributes is its ability to normalize progesterone levels. It you are moving into menopause and have been experiencing excessive, irregular bleeding or spotting, this herb will help to regulate and increase the length of your menstrual cycles until the natural cessation of menses.
Dosage: Take 500 mg in tablet or capsule form daily, or take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of tincture, up to twice daily.
True unicorn root (Aletris farinosa)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: This estrogenic herb stimulates and strengthens the female genital organs. It is a bitter herb that is also useful for indigestion and has a mild sedative action.
Dosage: Take 500-1,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice a day.
Wild yam (Dioscarea villosa)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: Wild yam is a powerful estrogenic herb used by women around the world. It has a good anti- inflammatory action and gives relief from menopausal arthritis. It also has progestogenic properties, and may help to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.
Dosage: Take 1,000-4,000 mg of dried extract daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice a day.
If you like Young Living products:
EndoGize; EndoGize is especially formulated to support a healthy and balanced endocrine system in women.* see a .pdf of Young Living’s EndoGize (use dist. # 1064822 to receive discount). Young Living’s EndoGize Ingredients: Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxinnaia somenifera)e HCI), zinc (as z. aspartate), eurycoma longifolia root extract, ashwaganda (withanaia somenifera) root, muira puama (ptychopetalum olacoides) root, l-arginine, epimedium (epimedium grandiflorum) leaf, tribulus terrestris fruit, DHEA (3 beta-hydroxyandro-5-en-17-one), phosphatidycholine, lecithin (soy), black pepper (piper nigrum) fruit extract, amylase 5000 FCC, validase AFP protease, cellulase 4000, glucoamylase, Proprietary EndoGize™ Oil Blend: Ginger (zingiber offininale) root, Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) gum resin, Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) branchlet, Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) flowering top, Canadian Fleabane (Conyza canadensis) flowering top, gelatin & rice flour.
Welcome to my new WordPress.com blog. This blog will mostly deal with the art of Aromatherapy and my business: Yellowstar*Essentials; Custom Aromatherapy for Mind, Body, Spirit & Home. This blog will also deal with other Alternative Healing Therapies and living naturally with tips, recipes and other useful information on such. I’ve created this site for everyone interested in learning more about alternative therapies for improving all aspects of their lives. Enjoy!
Feel free to ask any questions, add comments, suggestions, or any feedback, it’s all much appreciated. I’d love to know what you think!
IN THE UNITED STATES, where using scents to heal has moved into the mainstream, the term aromatherapy is broadly applied. Scented candles with names such as “Meditation” and “Sensuality” can be found at the checkout stand of the local market, along with spray bottles of scents designed to set a mood with the pump of an atomizer. The aromatherapy category has also come to include bath salts, shampoos, lotions, potpourris, and much more. The multitude of products is nothing new, though; historically, essential oils have been used in a variety of forms, depending on the culture and new discoveries about aromatherapy.
While a large selection is nice, it may be confusing when you’re just beginning to use aromatherapy. To help you be a wise consumer, we offer a little basic background.
Aromatherapy is a relatively new term, although the practice of using scents to heal is centuries old and crosses many cultural lines. Ancient Egyptians used scents (incense burners have been found in ancient tombs), as did the early Chinese, who employed scents in civil and religious ceremonies. During times of plague, Europeans carried pomanders made of oranges and cloves to mask odors and fend off diseases.
It wasn’t until the twentieth century, however, that the term aromatherapy actually came about. It refers to a specific form of holistic healing that involves carefully inhaling or applying herbal essential oils, which are volatile, aromatic plant compounds. René Gatefossé, a French chemist working in the lab of his family’s perfume business during the 1930s, is credited with coining the term. Gatefossé began researching the healing properties of herbal essential oils when he saw his own hand—burned accidentally while working—heal quickly and without scarring after he plunged it into a bowl of diluted lavender oil. In 1937, he published Aromathérapie detailing his research. During World War II, another Frenchman, Jean Valnet, a medical doctor, used essential oils to treat wounded soldiers, and an Austrian biochemist, Marguerite Maury, introduced the use of essential oils with massage techniques.
Today in France, more than 1,500 doctors have been trained in aromatherapy and prescribe essential oils routinely; in England, aromatherapy is used in hospitals to help patients relax and sleep after surgery. Aromatherapy as profession
The aim of trained aromatherapists is to work with the body to promote health, not to provide a “silver bullet” cure. Generally speaking, an aromatherapist assesses both symptoms and an individual’s lifestyle—his or her diet, stresses, personal goals, and fears. From there, the aromatherapist determines which oil or blend of oils is appropriate.
Massage forms the major part of the treatment, and some aromatherapists consider the use of essential oils in therapeutic massage as the oils’ most effective purpose. Aromatherapists choose from among more than 400 essential oils as they work and, when preparing a massage oil, blend essential oils with a carrier oil (see the glossary,). As they massage, the oil penetrates the body.
In the United States, no licensing agency for aromatherapists exists, nor does a national standard for certification. If you are seeking an aromatherapist, remember that many holistic health-care practitioners, including herbalists and naturopaths, use essential oils as part of their practice, so they may be able to direct you to an aromatherapist in your area. . Some aromatherapy schools have created their own certification standards, including required coursework and certified hours of practice.
“Clinical aromatherapy” refers to the use of essential oils to heal specific conditions. The technique is used by many health-care practitioners, including herbalists and naturopaths. Although not yet wholeheartedly embraced by Western medicine, clinical aromatherapy is based on scientific evidence that, in turn, is grounded in basic anatomy.
When we breathe, odors—volatile molecules that float through the air—fill the nostrils and travel up two narrow chambers to the olfactory epithelium, a receiver that extends from the outside directly into the brain. Odor molecules bind to receptors there, and neurons send messages to the brain’s olfactory bulbs, where other neurons reduce the complexities of odors. Mitral neurons send messages to the limbic system, the source of emotion and memory. Scientists say that some smells cause the limbic system to activate the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to stimulate hormone production; these glands control sex, appetite, and other body functions. Although much research remains to be done to determine the effects of specific essential oils on both mind and body, strong evidence exists to show that they do
Another way of using scent is what some call “environmental aromatherapy.” It refers to diffusing essential oils into the air to enhance living space. The aim of this practice isn’t to mask foul smells but to cleanse the air. Diffusers are usually made of ceramic or glass, with a small container for water that is heated by a candle or electricity. Drops of essential oil are added to the water (the number of drops of essential oil is determined by the size of the room and the intensity of fragrance desired); heat releases volatile essential oil molecules into the atmosphere. Burning incense is a centuries-old method of diffusing essential oils into the air, as is the burning of scented candles. The pros and cons of doing it yourself
Aromatherapy can be practiced alone if you’re seeking relaxation or gentle invigoration. Diffusing scent into the air, adding herbal oils to your bath, or rubbing a few drops of diluted essential oil into your feet or hands are simple ways to do it yourself. And if you want to learn more, many books and other resources can provide you with good information on how to begin Because essential oils can be toxic if not used properly, consult the “Usage Warnings and Cautions” from my website.
However, for more serious health conditions, consult a trained professional. Asthma, for example, should never be self-treated, and people undergoing chemotherapy or treatment for serious illnesses such as AIDS shouldn’t try to heal symptoms associated with these conditions without a health-care provider’s guidance. Pregnant women should be especially cautious when trying to decide which essential oils they can use safely, and parents should always consult a health-care provider when considering using essential oils on children.
The best chance for a happy experience with aromatherapy is to choose good-quality products. With the increasing number of products out there, this may sound easier said than done. But a few simple rules of thumb should help.
Keep in mind that not all scents are natural essential oils. Some are synthesized in the laboratory. If an oil is labeled “fragrance,” it’s probably synthetic. A good essential oil will come from a named botanical species and, when appropriate, a named carrier oil. Its aroma will be vigorous and lively, rather than simply strong. Occasionally, essential oils are “extended” by adding alcohol or cheaper vegetable oils, rather than a preferred carrier oil such as jojoba or almond oil or similar. Look for both the botanical name and the carrier oil on the ingredients list of the essential oil bottle or accompanying information. Some essential oils, pure or already blended in carrier oil, come in tiny vials; these products should have ingredient information readily available in the packaging, with a clear description of how the product has been prepared and/or instructions on how to use it and whether you need to dilute the oil with a carrier oil.
Many commercial brands will also include instructions for use. One sampler of six essential oils in small vials, for example, includes specific instructions for using each, such as adding a couple of drops to bathwater or mixing them with an ounce of carrier oil.
Remember that essential oils come from plants, so the aroma of the best oils will vary from year to year because of changes in climate, rainfall, and soil conditions—all of which affect the herb from which the essential oil comes.
Store your oils in their bottles, preferably dark ones, in a cool, dry place. Be sure to keep your essential oils separate from medicines and from solutions that might be affected by the oils’ aromas. Keep caps tightly sealed to avoid evaporation.
It’s important that serious conditions be treated by a qualified health-care practitioner. Essential oils are most commonly used in preparations to relieve aches and pains, encourage relaxation, ease stress, and care for hair and skin. Some, such as the antifungal tea tree oil, can be used to fight minor injuries or irritations; others, such as essential oil of eucalyptus, can be added to a steam to help clear a stuffy head.
Finally, take the sniff test. If you’re a healthy individual who doesn’t have a history of sensitivity but wonder whether a particular essential oil is right for you, put a small drop of the oil onto a cotton ball and sniff to make sure that you find the scent appealing. Don’t inhale right from the bottle—essential oils possess strong aromas and can cause a reaction when sniffed in this way.
Carrier oils: As a general rule, herbal essential oils shouldn’t be applied to the skin directly because they are highly concentrated and can sting or otherwise irritate. Instead, essential oils are blended with “carrier oils” to dilute them. The best carrier oils are virgin cold-pressed oils such as almond, walnut, wheatgerm, apricot kernel, and hazelnut. Castor and jojoba oils are also acceptable carrier oils. Essential oils are volatile, so they evaporate quickly when exposed to air but are soluble in carrier oils.
Diffusers:Often made of ceramic or glass, diffusers are used to disperse essential oils into the air. They hold a small container for water, which is heated by a candle or electricity. Drops of essential oil are added to the water; the number of drops of essential oil is determined by the size of the room and the intensity of fragrance desired. Heat releases the volatile essential oil molecules into the atmosphere.
Essential oils: Highly fragrant, concentrated, and potent substances that come from plants and can be irritating to the skin if undiluted. The term can be traced to sixteenth-century alchemists searching for “quintessence,” or the secret of life. Until the early part of the twentieth century, many medicines and personal products such as soaps were made with essential oils.
Perfume: From the Latin per fumare, meaning “through smoke.” Oriental cultures found religious and spiritual connotations in the aromatic smoke of burning herbs; Native Americans burn aromatic herbs to create smoke for their healing ceremonies. Today’s perfumes are largely syntheti
To learn more
BOOKS, ARTICLES, AND OTHER RESOURCES
Gibbons, Boyd. “The Intimate Sense of Smell.” National Geographic 1986, 170(3):324–361.
Green, Mindy. Natural Perfumes: Simple, Sensual, Personal Aromatherapy Recipes. Loveland, Colorado: Interweave Press: In press; due in June 1999.
Kusmerik, Jan, ed. Aromatherapy for the Family: An Introductory Guide to the Use of Holistic Aromatherapy for Harmony and Well-being. London: Wigmore, 1997.
Obuchowski, Christa. “Aromatherapy.” In The Whole Mind: The Definitive Guide to Complementary Treatments for Mind, Mood, and Emotion, edited by Lynette Bassman. Novato, California: New World Library, 1998.
Rose, Jeanne, and Susan Earle, eds. The World of Aromatherapy. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1996.
The Aromatic Thymes, a quarterly publication. Subscription information: (847) 304-0975.
Tisserand, Robert, and Tony Balacs. Essential Oil Safety. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1995.
If you’re interested in real essential oils and products made with them, try Yellowstar*Essentials
Here’s a great list of Holistic Herbal Sources for Natural Nutrition
Herb Sources of Vitamins, Minerals and Trace Minerals Many herbs are excellent for getting the vitamins and minerals our bodies need because the body usually digests them easier through plants, much easier than from fish or animal sources.
Listed below are some herb sources of vitamins, minerals and trace minerals.
You could prepare them in a number of ways, here’s some examples;
How Do You Prepare Herbs?
Capsule: This is the most popular way most people take their herbs. Some of the reasons: it’s easy, convenient, avoids bitter taste, saves on preparation, and provides an exact regulated dosage to the body.
Decoction: To extract the deeper essences from harder or coarser herbs such as stems, barks, and roots. The herbs are usually simmered uncovered for 10 to 20 minutes until 1/3 of the water has decreased through evaporation, usually one part plant to twenty parts water. Note: for coarser herbs such as Valerian and Burdock, these must be gently simmered in a covered pot to bring out their medicinal properties. Strain before using.
Extracts: Extracts are a highly concentrated alcohol base in liquid form derived from pure herbs. Many people use herbal extracts who are unable to swallow the usual dose. Exact dosages are recommended on individual bottles. This is one of the more convenient ways to take herbs.
Fomentation: A fomentation is an external application of herbs, generally used to treat swellings, pains, cold and flu. To prepare a fomentation, soak a towel or cloth in the desired tea, and apply the towel over the affected area as hot as can be tolerated without burning. Cover the towel with a dry flannel cloth. Repeat as needed.
Infusion: The most common way of preparing herbs. The extraction of the active properties of a substance by steeping or soaking it, usually in water. The usual amount is a teaspoon of leaves, blossoms, or flowers to a cup of boiling water. The water is poured over the herbs, then steeped for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain before using. Honey may be added to taste.
Plaster: A plaster is much like a poultice, but the herbal materials are placed between two pieces of cloth and applied to the affected area. When there is an irritant to the skin, this method will serve to prevent the herb from coming in direct contact with the skin.
Poultice: A poultice is usually used as an antiseptic and to reduce swelling by applying a warm mass of powdered herbs directly to the skin. To prepare, add enough hot water to make a thick paste, then apply directly to the skin. Cover with a hot moist towel and leave on until it cools. Repeat as often as needed.
Salve: A healing or soothing ointment. Use 3 oz. powered herb, 7 oz. cocoa butter, l oz. beeswax, (depending on consistency desired, more beeswax may be needed). Blend all three ingredients together in a covered pot on low heat for 1 to 2 hours. When it is cold, it should be firm and ready to use.
I’m not suprised I found this article floating around the internet……… most people that don’t know anything about essential oils just assume everything they read is true.
Labs have done testing on essential oils……but what KIND of essential oils and were they therapeutic grade? or Medicinal Grade???……….no, I think not………
read on for more interesting info:
I just read an article at MSNBC about aromatherapy on lemon, and lavender essential oils. The article reads… “Here’s some unsettling news for anyone who ever sniffed a scented candle, essential oil or pricey pillow spray, hoping for healing or another kind of physical boost… It doesn’t work.”
I’m not at all surprised!
The study used “perfume grade” essential oils – which could be anything from chemical made scents to essential oils whose molecules are fractured – rendering them completely useless from a wellness stand point.
They also reported that the “smelling” of lavender didn’t help with pain – hmmm, I’ve never known any grade of lavender to work on any type of pain (other than some types of itchiness), nor have I known smelling lavender to relieve pain.
Here’s what they said: “One of the most comprehensive investigations done to date on aromatherapy failed to show any improvement in either immune status, wound healing or pain control among people exposed to two often-touted scents.” [they’re referring to lavender and lemon essential oils being inhaled.] Read more if you like…
This report confirms three things:
1.) the quality of the essential oil DOES make a huge difference (they simply proved the novelty aromatherapy products do NOT work)
2.) they were testing for affects that neither lavender or lemon essential oils are known to have
3.) “smelling” an essential oil won’t boost your immune system or ease pain
Other things I’ve come across…
A couple years ago a friend was doing some research looking for studies on essential oils. He came across one scientific study that was trying to prove if essential oils did in fact work at all. Interestingly, the study also included their distillation method – they took “dried herbs” (God only knows how old they were) and distilled them with solvents for their scientific study on essential oil efficacy (I have to give them credit for adding that tid-bit of very important information!)
Low and behold, they proved that essential oils did “not” work – imagine that!
The study proved that essential oils distilled from dried herbs have no healing properties.
Buyer beware, there are essential oils on the market distilled the same way, yup and they are dirt cheap!
a dried herb literally loses 90 – 95% of its essential oil during the drying process. You know when you harvest some fresh herbs and hang them to dry, how the room smells really good???
Well, what you’re smelling is 90 – 95% of the essential oil going into the air! Essential oils are volatile, meaning they evaporate. A dried plant has lost most of its essential oil, the beneficial/healing part – the “green” part is not the part that has the benefits, it’s the essential oil part.
This is also the reason “why” herbal remedies take so long to work, you need to keep taking them until your body gets enough of the essential oil, that is left in the dried herb, before it makes much difference.
I began using herbal remedies when I was young, and herbal preparations have been a huge part of my life for well over 20 years. I love herbs, plants and essential oils, and still use them… but not when I need relief! When I need relief I always turn to my medicinal-grade or therapeutic-grade essential oils. . In this day and age, there aren’t many of those to be had, besides, Young Living Oils, Bella Mira, Mountain Rose, and a few others in my list of suppliers.
……….Anyway, those in the lab doing their study should have been here last summer when I got stung by a White-face Hornet on the side of my ring finger! My finger swelled up so fast, the pain was so bad, and within 2 minutes I couldn’t even bend my finger – the joints froze!
I came inside and put some of my Young Living lavender essential oil directly on the sting. It kept getting worse = lavender doesn’t work well for hornet stings! It got so much worse, I couldn’t even bend the finger with my other hand – it was as if it were frozen solid! That was scary!
I’ve been using essential oils for 20 years, and Young Living oils for 8 years – I know that if I do not see relief within minutes that it’s not the right oil.
So, I stood there looking into my case of 100 or more oils, wondering which one I should try next. I couldn’t make up my mind and finally said, “ugh, I’ll just use this one, my finger is killing meee!!!”
I picked up my bottle of Thieves essential oil and poured some drops onto the area of the sting and within 10 seconds I felt relief, the pain was gone, within 30 seconds the swelling went completely away and back to normal, and within 60 seconds I could bend my finger like normal!
Hmmm, placebo effect? My mind-power has never been known before to be that powerful, so… I don’t think so!
That same bottle of Thieves essential oil keeps my home mold-free, germ-free, and I’ve even used Thieves essential oil when I got 4 deep puncture wounds when a Husky bit me two years ago (no bleeding, no puss, no infection, and no trip to the emergency room either).
They can keep their inferior oil studies, drugs, and sugar pills… I’m sticking with my Young Living essential oils!
I’m laughing as I type this post, thinking… “well, if some want to believe that therapeutic-grade essential oils don’t work… that’s their loss, not mine!”
I’m sure if I simply “smelled” my Thieves essential oil, rather than directly apply it to the stung area, or apply it to the four puncture wounds, I wouldn’t have seen any relief whatsoever! Duh!
This study, and others like it, are so ridiculous… I can hardly believe I’m even writing about it.
What’s scary, someone actually paid these people to do this “comprehensive” study! No offense intended, but you’ve gotta admit, it is quite ridiculous.
I guess the only point I’m trying to make is this… people who don’t have a background in essential oils, would read something like that article and study, and chose not to use essential oils. Or worse yet, think that it doesn’t matter which brand of essential oils they buy because all they do is smell nice, they don’t actually provide any benefits. How unfortunate.
I truly hope you find the time to study the amazing uses of the hundreds of therapeutic grade essential oils and all their wonderful uses……they are truly a gift from GOD……
Sounds silly, but the nose knows. Your sniffer can distinguish between 10,000 scents that waft their way to your limbic system. The what system? The limbic system — the part of your brain that controls your moods, emotions, memory and learning. So it makes sense that aromatherapy, or treatment using scents, can have powerful applications for your state of mind and well-being.
The basics of how the nose detects smells have been known for some time. Odorants waft up through the two nasal cavities until they strike a region that contains approximately 50 million olfactory neurons, the cells that bear odorant receptors. These sensory cells extend long fibers, known as axons, from the nose to the olfactory bulb, the brain region that first processes olfactory information and then sends signals to other areas of the brain (SN: 8/15/98, p. 106). _________________________________________ From Nobel Prize winning researchers to factories in Tokyo, aromatherapy has come of Age.
Aromatherapy scents have been used for centuries, but the science behind aromatherapy and scent therapy has in recent years gained much recognition.
For example, the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to smell researchers, Drs. Linda Buck and Richard Axel for their discoveries that clarify how the sense of smell works.
Buck and Axel discovered a large gene family, comprised of some 1,000 different genes. The gene’s receptors are located on the olfactory receptor cells, which occupy a small area in the upper nasal cavity and detect inhaled odorant molecules.
With each of our olfactory-receptor cells producing a single odorant receptor gene, they determined that there are as many types of olfactory-receptor cells as there are odorant receptors.
Since most odors results from a combination of odorant molecules, a pattern is formed; thus, the human sense of smell can recognize approximately 10,000 different odors.
And, of most significance to most, each of these odors can evoke a memory. In fact, unlike the other senses, the brain triggers an emotional response to an odor before a conscious identification.
In other words, if you associate the scent of apple pie with a cozy feeling evoked by memories of baking with your mother, than you will feel this warm feeling even before your brain says, “Mmm apple pie!”
Now that we are beginning to understand the mystery of the human sense of smell, how are we applying this knowledge?
From the Egyptian pyramids to our homes
Even the ancient Egyptians used aromatherapy scents in the form of candles and oils as natural mood enhancers. Humans are naturally drawn to things that smell good and make us feel good. Naturally, scents that evoke good feelings are the ones we want to have in our homes.
Scented candles, infusers, diffusers, simmer pots, bath oils, and Scent Therapy [http://www.scenttherapy.com/] patches are among the various ways we use aromatherapy scents to enrich our family and personal lives.
Through the gentle, yet powerful, stimulation of the limbic system, aromatherapy scents can be used as safe and effective mood enhancers, as well as stimulants for our thinking processes. They can even help us change behaviors. For example the scented weight loss patch, Diet Scents [http://www.scenttherapy.com/products-diet.asp] can help curb your cravings.
Aromatherapy, in the classic sense, calls for the use of pure essential oils. Synthetic oils, like anything with an odor, can evoke a feeling or memory; however, they do not contain the therapeutic properties of quality essential oils. This is because the brain’s ‘feel good’ endorphins are released through certain aromatic scents.
A new market entry is the Scent Therapy [http://www.scenttherapy.com/scent-therapy-technology.asp] products that use essential oils in a special blend of formulas developed by Dr. George Dodd, one of the world’s leading aroma scientists. Scent Therapy uses a transparent patch the size of a thumbnail that is infused with a mood transforming scent. Simply smelling the patch throughout the day brings the benefits of aromas directly to the nose of the user.
Aromatherapy Scents in the Corporate World
Kajima Construction Company, located in Tokyo, uses aromatherapy scents [http://www.scenttherapy.com/scent-therapy-technology.asp] to improve productivity at their plant and in their offices. In the morning, the invigorating scent of lemon flows from the air conditioning/heating vents. At mid-day, the scent of roses reduces stress, and in the afternoon when workers are tiring, the scent of cypress provides a pick-me-up.
At the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the scent of peppermint wafts through the ducts and out the vents to perk up associates.
Smart executives at companies like these have found an efficient and cost effective way to increase productivity and quality of work, as well as a sense of well-being.
According to professional journals, psychologists agree that concentration; aromatherapy can improve efficiency and mental stamina.
Author’s Bio Luke Vorstermans is the founder of The Sense of Smell Lab, a world leader in the development of innovative products that use our sense of smell to influence behavior, trigger memories, manage cravings, enhance moods and improve sexual health. Learn more about enhancing your emotional health at: http://www.scenttherapy.com
Additional Resources on Aromatherapy can be found at:
Website Directory for Aromatherapy Articles on Aromatherapy Products for Aromatherapy Discussion Board Luke Vorstermans, The Official Guide to Aromatherapy
Gentle in action, esters are generally found in the mildest essential oils and are mostly free of toxicity and irritants. They tend to be the most relaxing, soothing, and balancing of all the essential oil constituents. Esters exert a normalizing effect on imbalances in emotional and physical conditions. They often exude a fruity aroma. The names of esters usually end in -yl, -ate, or -ester.
Names of Common Esters:
linalyl acetate geranyl acetate methyl salicylate
Some are antispasmodic and calming to the nervous system. Others tend to be antifungal. When applied topically, some esters exhibit comforting properties to skin and are soothing for inflamed tissue.
lavender, clary sage, bergamot, Roman chamomile (85%), fir, and wintergreen. _________________________
Key ingredient to the scent of a plant, aldehydes exert powerful aromas. Aldehydes are often calming to the emotions. Essential oils with high aldehyde content must be used correctly when applied to the skin as they can cause irritation. The names of aldehydes usually end in -al, or -aldehyde.
Names of Common Aldehydes:
geranial citral neral
Calming, antiseptic, antimicrobial; some are antifungal, and some act as vasodilators.
Many ketones are good for the skin and scars. They are often found in skin care products. Particular ketones encourage normal cell growth. The pest-deterring action of marigolds is due to the ketone, “tagetone.” Since various ketones are resistant to digestion, excessive usage may cause a buildup in the liver when taken orally. When used in the context of a natural, whole essential oil, however, ketones may be utilized safely. The names of ketones normally end in -one, but other components found in essential oils may have the same last three letters, such as asarone, which is a phenolic ether, not a ketone.
Names of Common Ketones:
d-pulegone jasmone fenchone isomethone
Some ketones are soothing to cuts, abrasions, and irritated tissue; others have lipolytic (breaks down fat) actions; several ketones are mucolytic (thins the mucous); while others are sedative. A number of ketones are analgesic (for pain). One major action of certain ketones is that they act as expectorants. Note that while some ketones are sedative, others are stimulating.
Neroli, Idaho tansy, Eucalyptus dives, spearmint, hyssop, Western red cedar, and sage. __________________________
Sesquiterpenes (as well as a few other constituents) increase blood flow to the capillaries throughout the body. They pass the blood brain barrier, having a positive effect on blood flow to the brain. They exert a helpful effect on the endocrine system. Like aldehydes, sesquiterpenes possess a strong aroma. Though from the same family of terpenes, sesquiterpenes are larger molecules than monoterpenes. The names of sesquiterpenes generally end in -ene.
Names of Common Sesquiterpenes:
b-caryophyllene germacrene D aromadendrene chamazulene
Antiseptic, antimicrobial, soothing to irritated skin and tissue, calming; some are analgesic.
patchouli, ginger, helichrysum, sandalwood, cedarwood, and German chamomile. _____________________________________
Oxides are found in a number of essential oils, mainly those that have a camphor-like nature. The most common oxide in aromatherapy is l,8-cineole-a strong expectorant. For example, the smell of fresh-baked bread is due to an oxide. The names of oxides generally end in -oxide.
Eucalyptus globulus, rosemary, ravensara, and German chamomile. _______________________
Monoterpenes make up the largest single class of compounds found in essential oils (see chart). They generally possess antibacterial agents. Monoterpenes in general have a stimulating effect.
Terpenes are light molecules that normally evaporate quickly. A terpene is insoluble in water and is often removed from perfume since it causes cloudiness. The names of all terpenes end in -ene.
Names of Common Terpenes:
d-limonene myrcene p-cymene
Antiseptic; soothing to irritated tissue; limonene is believed to be antitumerol; some monoterpenes are analgesic.
Lemon, grapefruit, frankincense, orange, thyme, and balsam fir. _____________________________
Not to be confused with grain alcohols, this plant constituent is somewhat stimulating and helps to increase blood circulation. Some alcohols decrease blood thickness without being over-thinning. Alcohols are very resistant to oxidation and have a very low toxicity. Non-phenolic alcohols are mild and possess pleasant floral odors. Phenolic alcohols, on the other hand, are very strong and aggressive and can be irritating to the skin. The names of alcohols usually end in –ol.
Names of Common Alcohols:
borneol terpineol geraniol
Strongly antimicrobial; some are uplifting, while others are sedative; used in animal studies to revert cells to normal function and activity.
rosewood, coriander, geranium, rose, and lavender. ______________________________
Phenols are a type of alcohol. Phenols are highly subject to oxidation and darken or redden with age. Only four common phenols are found in essential oils: thymol, carvacrol, eugenol, and chavicol. They are typically considered medicinal in character. Phenols often smell pungent and spicy. They are helpful for poor moods and for healing.
Many are irritating to the skin when used incorrectly.
The names of most phenols end in -ol, which may be confusing since alcohols also end in –ol.
Names of Common Phenols:
thymol eugenol chavicol
Antiseptic, powerful anti-microbial; stimulating to the nervous and the immune systems; uplifting; many are irritating to the skin, but some have an opposite effect.
wintergreen, clove, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, and peppermint.
Hope this helps in finding you answers to your essential oil questions 🙂