Archive for May, 2012

The Ancient Egyptians used a preparation containing thyme essential oil to preserve mummies. We now know that thyme kills bacteria and fungi so we can see why it was used for that purpose. Thyme has significant antiviral, antibiotic, antiseptic, and diuretic properties and must be used with a carrier oil – never directly on the skin and not on children unless under the care of a practitioner.

Thyme is in the essential oil basic care kit because of its potent antiviral qualities. During the flu season, thyme does a powerful job when used on an essential oil diffuser in the sick person’s room. Native Americans used poultices made of thyme for its antiseptic properties when treating skin infections and minor wounds. Thyme is used in the treatment of a number of conditions including whooping cough, rheumatism, neuralgia, fatigue, acne, and warts. It is also very useful in keeping parasites and insects out of your home.


Rosemary essential oil is a great one to use during your morning shower because it is a mental and physical stimulant and also during a relaxing bath after a long strenuous day because it is an excellent treatment for all muscular conditions. Rosemary has antiseptic properties and is often used to treat muscular sprains, rheumatism, arthritis, depression, fatigue, memory loss, migraine headaches, coughs, flu, and diabetes. It is also used in beauty treatments, hair care products, and acne preparations.

Several years ago, I went to a conference in Nashville and we stayed at the Opryland Hotel – that place is huge – and at the end of the day my feet were aching terribly. I massaged a mixture of rosemary and grapeseed oil on my feet after my shower and my roommate asked what the wonderful scent was. I’m not crazy about the scent although it is not unpleasant, but for my tired aching feet, rosemary essential oil is priceless!


Eucalyptus essential oil, from the eucalyptus tree originally native to Australia, has been used for centuries to treat chest and other respiratory problems. It is a very versatile oil that is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic, diuretic, analgesic, and deodorizing. Research has proven eucalyptus has antiviral properties as well.

You probably know about its effectiveness against coughs and colds because several over the counter cold medications list eucalyptus as an ingredient, including many cough drops. It is similarly effective in the treatment of cystitis and sunburn and can be used as an insect repellent for humans and pets.


 

There are several types of chamomile essential oils but chamomile Roman is especially good when used for the treatment of insomnia and nervous conditions. Chamomile is another essential oil that is antibacterial, antiseptic, and disinfectant but it is most useful for its internal and external anti-inflammatory properties.

Chamomile can be used when children have teething problems and can be added to the bath to ease nerves and tetchiness. It can also be used to treat burns, sunburn, psoriasis, eczema, asthma, hay fever, diarrhea, sprains and strains, nausea, fever, and nervous or depressed states. Chamomile’s analgesic, diuretic, sedative and calming properties make it absolutely essential to have in your basic care kit.


Tea tree oil is another oil for your basic essential oil kit. It comes from the Australian Melaleuca tree and the Aborigines there have used it in their medications for thousands of years. Although its antiseptic action is stronger than carbolic acid, it is non-poisonous to humans. Naturalists and others concerned with alternative health and alternative first aid use tea tree oil in the treatment of all kinds of infections; for ringworm, sunburn, acne, athlete’s foot, toothache, and many other things that require antiviral, antibacterial, or antifungal medication.

At work, a colleague and I were discussing the band aid on her finger one morning and she told me she had gone to the doctor because her finger was infected at the site of a hang-nail and he suggested she purchase some tea tree oil. We had discussed tea tree oil before because of its medicinal properties and I thought it could possibly take the place of some of the prescriptions she used so often.

Later in the day I smelled the strong camphoraceous scent of tea tree oil and I kept hearing the question, “What’s that smell?” My friend came into my office and we had a good laugh because she had spilled half the bottle of tea tree oil when she was changing her band aid but she didn’t want anyone to know that the strong smell was coming from her cubicle. She also said that her finger was feeling a lot better.


If you are new to the world of aromatherapy, you may be astonished to learn there are over 300 essential oils from which to choose. Wouldn’t that be mind-boggling to have to check through that many essential oils and their properties to find one to help your symptoms? Well, you won’t need to do that because I am giving you information on the top ten essential oils as compiled by NAHA or the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy as well as some ways to use them to good advantage.

Today’s basic essential care oil is lavender. Lavender is relaxing, and also useful in skin care and for treating wounds and burns. It helps to balance hormones in women and is good for balancing the skin. Lavender can be both relaxing and uplifting, as well as antidepressant. If you have only one essential oil in your home, this is the one I suggest you keep available.

 


Many people are now using essential oils in their home because they know that essential oils are the powerful medicines nature created to keep us healthy instead of the high priced chemically enhanced products we get from the drug store. If you want to start using natural essential oils in your home medicine cabinet as a natural alternative to chemicals, the ones I suggest for your basic essential care kit are lavender, tea tree, peppermint, chamomile, eucalyptus, geranium, rosemary, thyme, lemon, and clove. These essential oils are chosen for their medical properties first and second for their ability to take care of a broad range of health problems. For the next few days, I will discuss particular essential oils that everyone should have in their home’s essential care kit.

Peppermint has been used by different cultures (Egyptians, Chinese, and American Indians) for thousands of years because of its healthful properties. It is a superb digestive, it helps the respiratory system and promotes circulation, it is an anti-inflammatory and it is an antiseptic. These qualities make peppermint oil an excellent choice to use in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence, bad breath, headaches and migraines, skin irritations, toothache, and fatigue. Peppermint oil is very strong so if you’re going to rub it on your skin, always use a carrier oil and do not ingest it.

I have put one drop of peppermint oil in my green tea when I didn’t have any peppermint tea bags and I liked it just as well as the tea bag but it might be something you have to work up to. I’ve used it many times for upset stomach too but I never take it neat, always mixed in water or tea. Lastly, if you put 5 drops of peppermint oil on a cottonball and put it in strategic places in your home, it can help to keep pests like mice, fleas, and ants away. Talk about a versatile essential oil!


What is Aromatherapy

Author: Dr. Larita
May 14, 2012

Aromatherapy is the use of natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance mental and physical well-being. Many believe that inhaling essential oils stimulates brain function and that when they are absorbed through the skin and travel through the bloodstream, they promote physical healing.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine and it is used in a variety of ways, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function.
There are a over 300 essential oils available, each with its own healing properties but it would be expensive to start off with that many. If you want to start your own aromatherapy pharmacy, I suggest the following oils because of their medicinal properties and their ability to deal with a wide number of ailments.
  • Lavender – burns, cuts, eczema, headaches, infections, arthritis
  • Tea Tree – fungal infections, viral and bacterial infections, colds, flu, warts, acne
  • Peppermint – inflammation, nausea, indigestion, fevers, flatulence, headaches, arthritis
  • Chamomile – nerves, migraine, acne, inflammation, insomnia, menstrual problems
  • Eucalyptus – sore throat, coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis, skin infections, aches and pains
  • Geranium – depression, menstrual problems, diarrhea, diabetes, sores, neuralgia, sore throats
  • Rosemary – gout, headaches, fatigue, muscular aches and pains, skin infections, dandruff, sprains
  • Thyme – bacterial infections, urinary infections, rheumatism, viral infections, lethargy, sores
  • Lemon – sore throat, nervous conditions, blood pressure, digestive problems, antiseptic
  • Clove – nausea, flatulence, bronchitis, arthritis, toothache, diarrhea, infections, antiseptic


Natural Clay Masks 2

Author: Dr. Larita
May 11, 2012

If you read the last blog post and are ready to start your natural skin care regimen by making your own facial mask, this recipe is for a purifying, toning, soothing and rejuvenating mask. The basic mask recipe calls for 2 ounces of green clay and 3 teaspoons of cornflour. Mix the clay and cornflour together in a jar and keep it ready for combining into one of the mask formulas below. Or you can use 1 tablespoon of this basic formula with enough of one of the liquid ingredients below to form a paste and then add your chosen essential oils when you are ready. You will blend the ingredients together to form a smooth paste and leave it on your skin for fifteen minutes. Rinse it off with warm water and apply a facial treatment oil such as grapeseed or almond oil. Dab the face with a tissue after applying the oil.

Mask Formulas:

Normal skin

  • 1 tablespoon basic mask
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water
    Combine and use 1 drop
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 drop of rosewood essential oil

Dry skin

  • 1 tablespoon basic mask
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon almond or evening primrose oil
  • 2 drops carrot oil
  • 2 teaspoons water
    Combine and use 1 drop
  • 1 drop chamomile
  • 1 drop rose

Oily Skin

  • 1 tablespoon basic mask
  • 1 tablespoon Brewer’s yeast
  • 1 tablespoon water
    Combine and use 1 drop
  • 1 drop rosemary
  • 1 drop lavender

Revitalizing Mask for Dehydrated Skin

  • 1 tablespoon basic mask
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Brewer’s yeast
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
    Combine and use 1 drop
  • 1 drop chamomile
  • 2 drops carrot

Acne

  • 1 tablespoon basic mask
  • 1 teaspoon water
    Combine and use 1 drop
  • 1 drop chamomile
  • 1 drop lavender
  • 1 drop juniper
  • 1 drop patchouli


Sebaceous glands are microscopic glands in the skin that secrete an oily or waxy matter, called sebum, which lubricates the skin and hair of mammals. Sebaceous glands in humans are found mainly on the face and scalp but  you will also find them in other areas of the body as well,  except for the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet.

When sebum gets blocked in a duct that has no surface opening, a hard white lump (milia) appears. Milia, commonly called whiteheads, are usually found on dry skin but they can also appear after some type of damage has been done to the skin. If you have had whiteheads for some time, they will need to be removed by a beautician or a dermatologist. However, you can break up recently formed milia by massage.

Use the following essential oils:

  • Bergamot– 5 drops
  • Thyme – 5 drops
  • Almond oil or jojoba oil  – 1 tablespoon

Use a very small amount of the above essential oil mixture to massage the whiteheads twice a day, in the morning and at night. This will help the milia to be reabsorbed by the body.


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