Archive for the 'Aromatherapy' Category

Your Good Health is Important

Author: Dr. Larita
December 18, 2018

I read an article in a health magazine by Elizabeth Agnvall today and she confirmed something I’ve been saying all along. Agnvall’s article listed seven medical procedures you don’t need. I won’t go into all seven, but the third procedure on her list is the prescription of antibiotics for mild to moderate sinus infections. I know several people who run to the doctor at the slightest sign of a cold or the sniffles and demand a prescription for antibiotics. I told one friend that when she really got a bad sinus infection the antibiotics are not going to work for her because her body has gotten too accustomed to them.

Most sinus infections are caused by viruses and the drugs only work against bacterial infections. Using them too often will make you susceptible to more virulent types of drug resistant bacteria. My recommendation is to use natures’s own medicines, essential oils. The next time you have sinusitis, use essential oils in any of the following ways.

To really open your sinuses, use 3 drops of rosemary, 1 drop of thyme and 1 drop of peppermint in the steam inhalation method. If you have to go to work, make a blend of 2 drops rosemary, 1 drop of geranium and 1 drop of eucalyptus and put 1 drop of this blend on a tissue and inhale the aroma throughout the day. Lastly, blend together 5 drops of rosemary, 5 drops of geranium,  2 drops of eucalyptus and 3 drops of peppermint. Then use 5 drops of the blend per 1 teaspoon of sweet almond oil and massage around your neck, in front of and behind your ears, over the cheekbone, the nose and the forehead. I do this before going to bed and it makes for a very restful sleep.

 


Seasonal Affective Disorder

Author: Dr. Larita
December 17, 2018

The winter months often make us feel sad. Classic (winter based) seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder, affecting people with otherwise normal mental health. Symptoms include difficulty waking up in the morning, nausea, tendency to oversleep and overeat, cravings for carbohydrates, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating or completing tasks, withdrawal from friends, family and social activities and decreased sex drive. While sharing many symptoms with clinical depression, the main distinguishing factor of SAD is its seasonal character.

Studies on depression and the sense of smell show that clinical depression is associated with reduced olfactory sensitivity (Negoias et al 2010, Schablitzky and Pause 2014). However, this may not apply to SAD, where researchers find the opposite – an increased olfactory sensitivity, especially in the right nostril, which corresponds to the right side of the brain (Postolache et al 1999). This increased sensitivity suggests that people with SAD may be especially responsive to aromatherapy.

It has long been claimed by aromatherapists that essential oils can positively affect mood, and scientific studies are now providing significant evidence for such effects, as well as explanations of how they work. Inhalation is a very efficient mode of administration for affecting neurological function, as the smell receptor sites in our nasal cavity have a direct link to the brain, via the olfactory bulbs.

Many studies have found that vaporized citrus oils are particularly effective for mood enhancement. In one, a mixture of bergamot, orange and lemon (with lemon predominating) was slowly vaporized throughout the day over a two-week period, and depressed patients exposed to this fragrance were able to reduce their dose of antidepressants (Komori et al 1995).

Bergamot and lemon oils are among the most widely-researched for positive effects on mood. Rodent studies show that lemon oil is antidepressant (Komori et al 1995) and invigorating (Komori et al 2006). It also reduces anxiety and boosts both serotonin and dopamine (Komiya et al 2006), two neurochemicals that are often reduced in SAD. In addition to lemon oil, other essential oils that positively impact dopamine and/or serotonin, and are also antidepressant, include clary sage, Atlas cedarwood, eucalyptus globulus and orange (Costa et al 2013, Kako et al 2008, Martins et al 2015, Seol et al 2010).

The citrus oil that has been most widely researched for mood effects in humans is bergamot. Bergamot oil inhalation, from diffusion or water-based sprays, has shown significant effects in the following conditions:

*Reduction of work-related stress in a total of 83 elementary school teachers (Chang & Shen 2011, Liu et al 2013).

* Reduction of anxiety in 53 patients awaiting surgery, compared to 49 control patients (Ni et al 2013)

* Reduction of stress hormone cortisol, along with reduction in self-reported fatigue and anxiety in 41 healthy women, within 15 minutes (Watanabe et al 2015).

* Changes in heart rate variability that indicate relaxation in 25 healthy females compared to 22 controls, within 15 minutes (Peng et al 2009).

Many other essential oils are said to be uplifting – some of these are more stimulating, and some are more calming (see below). However, note that a “relaxed alertness” is also described for some essential oils, as is as an antidepressant effect.

 

Thanks to:

 Essential Oils and Seasonal Affective Disorder – by Robert Tisserand


Do you crave sugar? Most of us do. Science has found that sugar addiction is just as serious as heroin and cocaine addiction. Some may not agree with that but sugar has been proven to cause some serious negative impacts such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome. You can kick the sugar habit by using natural peppermint essential oil.

Giving up sugar can take you through changes all the way from weakness to cravings or indigestion but as your body adjusts to a life without refined sugar, using peppermint essential oil can make you feel stronger and overall healthier. It has an effect on blood pressure, heart rate both of which can change when giving up refined sugar. Peppermint oil has also been found to treat indigestion and stomach pain in people with irritable bowel syndrome. Stomach issues often arise when getting off refined sugar, as your body goes through a detoxing period.

There are many sugar substitutes that you can use that don’t involve the use of nasty chemicals (like many synthetic sweeteners do). Instead reach for fresh, ripe fruit to help satisfy your innate and very crucial need for glucose, a sugary compound our brains depend on to properly function.

Reducing your dependency on refined sugary junk food can result in a smaller waistline. The benefits of eliminating or cutting down refined sugar intake are endless – and peppermint oil can help!

How To Use Peppermint Oil

1. Apply drops of peppermint oil to your temples and to the insides of your wrists.
2. Repeat the above every morning and evening.
3. Inhale the peppermint oil directly by using a nasal inhaler, diffuser or by putting 2-3 drops on a cotton ball or tissue and inhaling throughout the day.

 

 


Give Bath Crystals as Gifts

Author: Dr. Larita
December 13, 2018

Essential oils can be used in your bath four different ways. First, you can just add them neat to your bath water and swish it around. You will have a luscious aroma plus the therapeutic properties of whichever oil you use. The oils can also be used  to make homemade bubble baths, bath oils, and bath crystals.

If you like bath crystals, you will love the fact that you can make your own and not pay a lot of money for fancy packaging like you do when you buy them in the stores. To make your own you will need some attractive glass jars. You can save them over the year for next holiday season or for any occasion when gifts are given. If you don’t have any for this season, you can put the crystals in a small gift bag from a party store or simply put them in a plastic sandwich bag and add a ribbon.

All you need to make your bath crystals is washing soda crystals, a little food coloring, and the essential oils of your choice. Just crush the washing soda crystals, add a little food coloring (your choice of color) and the essential oil you want for that color. Use a corresponding color for the essential oil you choose like yellow for lemon or red for peppermint. To each 9 ounces of colored crystals add 20 drops of essential oils. Tie a ribbon around the jar or bag and voila, you’ve got your holiday gift.


Bergamot Magic Belly Rub

Author: Dr. Larita
December 12, 2018

Bergamot mint is great to use for late dinners and midnight snacks. It is also good for those nights when you’re out late and have dinner at a 24 hour restaurant.

Never worry about digestion, even on nights when you tumble into bed right after a big snack. Use bergamot mint to make this Magic Belly Balm to help  digest food easily. Here’s a recipe that makes enough Belly Balm for you and your whole family.

Bergamot Mint’s Magic Belly Balm

  • 1 oz (28 g) beeswax
  • 2 oz (60 ml) jojoba 
  • 3 oz (84 g) coconut oil
  • 1 oz (28 g) shea butter
  • 42 drops Bergamot Mint essential oil
  • 14 drops Cardamom essential oil 
  • 21 drops Peppermint essential oil 

Directions

  1. Create a “stovetop double boiler” by placing a Pyrex measuring cup into a soup pot that’s ¼ full of water. Bring the water to a gentle boil.
  2. Put the beeswax in the Pyrex and melt.
  3. Add the jojoba and coconut oil and remelt.
  4. Add the shea butter and melt, stirring gently with a glass stirring rod or the handle of a stainless steel spoon. As soon as the shea butter is melted, remove the blend from heat.
  5. Add the essential oils, stirring gently.
  6. Pour your blend into two 4 oz (120 ml) glass jars. Give it about 20 minutes to solidify.

Massage your Bergamot Mint Belly Balm into your belly and low back when you feel overly full or have an upset stomach.

This recipe makes 7 oz (210 ml) . . . and that’s a lot of Belly Balm! You can use seven 1 oz (30 ml) jars and give some away as gifts!

If you’d rather use a belly oil than a rich balm, here’s a recipe from The Aromahead Blog for Belly Spasm Oil. It’s just as effective, but has a different texture.

Thanks to Andrea Butje, Aromahead Institute for today’s information.


Bergamot Essential Oil

Author: Dr. Larita
December 11, 2018

Bergamot essential oil comes from the oils in the skin of oranges and it has a floral and also fruity aroma. It was originally used simply as a perfume because of its refreshing scent, however, its healing powers were soon discovered.  Today, we’ll discuss a few ways to use bergamot’s natural healing powers in your home.

  • put a few drops of bergamot into a diffuser for a fresh, citrusy and slightly floral scent that will ease stress, anxiety and depression
  • mix 2 to 4 drops of bergamot into a teaspoon of almond or jojoba oil and massage sore muscles to relieve tension and inflammation
  • mix 1 part bergamot to 5 parts of aloe vera oil or aloe vera gel and apply twice a day to treat skin problems such as acne, eczema, athlete’s foot and other fungal infections
  • add 5 drops of bergamot to your bath and relax for at least 15 minutes to relieve mental and physical tension and treat larger areas of skin problems
  • blend bergamot with chamomile, lavender or geranium to make your own natural perfume

Bergamot is another essential oil to use in your home for healthier, natural living. Not only is it naturally antiseptic and anti fungal, it also smells wonderful.


Aromatherapy for Inspiration

Author: Dr. Larita
December 7, 2018

Welcome to the turning of the year!

by Andrea Butje Guest Author

InspirationAromatherapy for inspiration and quiet times.

I love to spend time reflecting on the year, and dreaming and planning for the future. It’s so important to give ourselves space for this—to take a few steps back and slow down, especially if we’re usually “going, going, going,” as so many people’s busy schedules ask them to do.

So I want to share a few ways we can give ourselves this quiet time, open ourselves to peace and inspiration, and feel uplifted.

Journaling and meditating are great practices. I like to schedule my journaling for the morning, so I’m sure to have this time for myself before the day’s events pick up. I wake up, light some incense, and settle in for fifteen minutes of reflective journaling. It’s a great way to use Aromatherapy for inspiration.

If you prefer to diffuse essential oils rather than light incense, here’s a diffuser blend that can help you get into the right state of mind:

Dream and Plan Diffuser Blend

  • 4 drops Clary Sage (Salvia sclerea)
  • 3 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • 3 drops Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica)

A lot of people schedule reflection time at the end of the day, too—it’s a good way to come down and relax. I like to use different oils at the end of the day than at the beginning. Resin oils and florals are just right! You can diffuse them, or use them in a bath salt blend (like the one below). Warm baths can really encourage your mind and body to let go. (This is enough for one bath. If you want to make more to have on hand, I recommend making a fresh batch every few weeks.)

Reflect and Relax Bath Salts

  • 2 oz (56 gm) Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 1 drop Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
  • 2 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 3 drops Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

If you want to get a little creative and use Aromatherapy for inspiration…

I’ve listed some oils you can use in your own recipes and blends (just to get your creative juices flowing!):

  • Geranium (Pelargonium roseum x asperum)
  • Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
  • Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
  • Siberian Fir (Abies Siberica)
  • Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

Closing out one year always means preparing for the next, so these blends are just right for endings, beginnings, and transformation. Have fun with them!


Osteoarthritis Alternative

Author: Dr. Larita
December 6, 2018

Osteoarthritis is diagnosed when the cartilage of the joints wears away and the bones form rough deposits. You basically have bone rubbing against bone which can be very painful. This form usually occurs in older people but it can also be genetic and occur at younger ages especially when other diseases or injuries are present.

Nutritional factors are very important in the treatment of osteoarthritis. So again take the following nutritional steps:

  • Limit or cut out completely dairy and wheat products, red meat, salt, sugar, acidic fruits, and soft drinks.
  • Eat vegetarian foods, white fish and poultry, plus lots of salads with raw vegetables and any form of cooked or uncooked cabbage.
  • Drink lots of water and add carrot juice to your diet.
  • Increase your vitamin and mineral supplements; especially take calcium, zinc, and vitamins C, B, and D.

To detoxify your body  before using aromatherapy and essential oil therapy for osteoporosis, the cabbage treatment has proven to be very effective. Iron the cabbage leaf to release its active properties and wrap it, still warm, around the sore joint. Rest for at least 15 minutes but longer is better (up to an hour.) Then soak in a warm bath to which you have added 4 drops of essential oils from the following list and 1 cup Epsom salts. You can use any one or a mix of these oils: ginger, eucalyptus, thyme, coriander, marjoram, lemon, or basil. After the bath, have a massage with the following oils mixed in 2 tablespoons of almond oil: 10 drops of ginger, 5 drops of basil, and 10 drops of marjoram.


I usually wait until too close to the season before I start writing blogs about Christmas, but not this year. I’m going to give you some essential oil ideas for the holiday season. These are simple to do, inexpensive and you can make it a project so your family can help. You can choose from spicy oils like cinnamon, clove and bay; tree scents like pine and cedarwood; resins like frankincense and myrrh; or citrus oils like mandarin, orange or tangerine.

Christmas House Spray

In a plant spray bottle, dilute 4 drops of pine, 2 drops of mandarin, and 1 drop of cinnamon in 1 1/4 cups of water. Shake before using. You can make your own Christmas blend by choosing from the scents listed above.

Christmas Candle Blend

Having a holiday party? Use 4 drops of mandarin, 1 drop of geranium and 1 drop of cinnamon essential oil on an unscented candle. Light the candle first and let the wax melt around the flame then carefully add the essential oils. Essential oils are flammable so be very careful. If you are fast, you can blow the candle out, add the oils and then relight the candle quickly.

Pine Cone Decorations

Gather some pine cones or buy them from a craft store – they will be dry but we’re going to fix that. Drop 4 – 5 pine cones into a large plastic bag with a cotton ball to which you’ve added 2-4 drops of pine essential oil and seal it tight. In the morning the pine cones will smell wonderfully fresh and you can decorate them with Christmas ribbons that have been steeped in a Christmas essential oil and then dried. To scent the ribbons, swish them around in a cup of water with 6 drops of one of the Christmas oil blends and then let them dry before decorating the pine cones. I have a few more ideas for you but I’m going to wait until Monday! Have a great weekend and go ahead and get started on your Christmas decorations with essential oils.

 

 


Festive Holiday Essential Oils

Author: Dr. Larita
November 29, 2018

The sense of smell is one of the quickest ways to reach the brain and affect the mood of your friends and family. The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year but you can ease the stress by using aromatherapy essential oils. Essential oils will make your house smell wonderful and the scented atmosphere will brighten the mood of all those invited into your home. Choose seasonal essential oils to heighten the holiday spirit. Some of the most popular scents to use at this time of the year are frankincense, myrrh, pine, cinnamon, orange and sandalwood.

  • Frankincense and myrrh are popular holiday scents because they were brought by the three wise men to honor the birth of Jesus. Both of these scents are also used for their medicinal properties. Frankincense is often used in meditation because of its ability to calm, relax, and slow down breathing.
  • Pine often brings up memories of Christmas trees but it is also an essential oil that has many healing properties. It is often used to relieve sinuses, asthma, fatigue, allergies, and inflammation.
  • Cinnamon essential oil is a warm and spicy scent that is often associated with Christmas probably because of the Christmas cookies left for Santa. Cinnamon has the healing properties of antiseptic, anti-infectious, and anti-bacterial.
  • Orange essential oil is associated with Christmas because of the Christmas tradition of giving children an orange in their Christmas stocking. Orange essential oil relieves stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. It is a light and uplifting scent, as are most of the citrus essential oils.
  • Sandalwood is mentioned in the Christian Bible and was used by the Egyptians to embalm bodies. This essential oil has sedative, anti-depressant, decongestant, antiseptic, anti-infectious and aphrodisiac properties.

Aromatherapy can be used in several ways during the holidays. Give gifts of aromatherapy essential oils, aromatherapy baskets, and aromatherapy diffusers. You can also give the gift of “well-being” when you scent your home with these delicious fragrances.


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