Archive for March, 2016

The Australian Center for Complimentary Medicine and Research studied the effects of shea butter on arthritis and found that it really does work. I could have told them that. I’ve been using shea butter on my knees  for over 10 years and it has helped me tremendously.

Put a dab of shea butter on the effected joints and rub it in clockwise. The friction heats up the shea butter and it soaks into your skin. It seems to lubricate and actually put  some “juice” back in the joints. To make it work even better, add 1 drop of peppermint essential oil to the shea butter. The peppermint oil is anti-inflammatory and is often used to treat arthritis and rheumatism. This is how I treat my arthritis naturally. My knees still tell me when it’s going to rain but I would much rather use natural medicines than prescriptions that often have many side effects that you don’t know about until it’s too late.

What is Shea Butter?

Author: Ron

Nuts from the Shea-Karite tree

Everyone has heard many products claim to “contain shea butter” but few people know of its origins and uses. Shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree. The Shea Tree grows up to 60 feet and can live up to 300 years. It begins to bear fruit after about 15 years; and can take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of irremovable fatty acid. It is this irremovable fatty acid that gives shea butter its unique healing properties and makes it far superior to cocoa butter and other vegetable butters.

It nourishes the skin with Vitamins A, E and F which maintain the skin and keep it clear and healthy. Shea butter can provide relief for everything from dry skin to many minor dermatological diseases such as: sunburn, eczema, small skin wounds, softening tough skin on feet, stretch mark prevention during (& post-) pregnancy, and reducing blemishes and scarring. Shea butter is also anti-inflammatory, making it useful in relieving arthritic discomfort & sports injuries.

For men: Shea butter provides unparalleled relief from the discomfort of razor bumps and small scars.

For women: This is an all-purpose item for your hair and skin (including stretch mark and blemish relief!)

For babies: Shea butter helps relieve the discomfort of eczema and diaper rash.

I have had trouble with my feet since the 1990’s when I taught music in the basement of Randolph Elementary School. I never sat down during the day and we danced and marched around on a cement floor that had a thin carpet covering it. Now that I’m older, my feet and ankles swell at the drop of a hat. I recently took off a pair of new shoes while visiting but when it was time to go I couldn’t get my left shoe back on my foot and had to walk on the back of the shoe to get to my car!

The first thing I did when I got home was to sit down and put my feet up. My darling husband got out my foot bath (I got it years ago at Walgreen’s) and put 6 to 8 small marbles in the bottom with warm water. I rolled the soles of my feet over the pebbles very slowly for just a few minutes and then dried my feet.

While I drank a cold bottle of water, my husband added 15 drops of cypress and 15 drops of fennel essential oils to 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil and massaged my feet and ankles upwards towards my knees including behind the knees. It felt wonderful and my swollen feet and ankles looked normal by the time we went to bed.

If your feet and ankles swell during hot weather, you can still use the above procedure but before your massage put a piece of ice in a plastic bag and massage the back of your knees until they feel very cold. Then rub the ice in the center of the soles of your feet.

The health benefits of lavender essential oil are so numerous that I am continuing yesterday’s blog today. More uses for this important essential oil are:

  • Respiratory ailments-lavender oil is used for respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The best way to use the oil in this case is through the direct inhalation or aerial diffusion method.
  • Skin care-lavender essential oil, because of  its antiseptic and antifungal properties is used to treat skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It also heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns rapidly because it speeds the formation of scar tissue. A blend of lavender and chamomile essential oil is used to treat eczema.
  • Hair care-lavender essential oil is useful for the hair because it is very effective on lice, lice eggs, or nits.
  • Blood circulationlavender oil is also good for improving blood circulation, lowering blood pressure and treating hypertension.
  • Digestion-lavender oil is useful for digestion because it stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile thereby aiding in the treatment of indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Immunity-regular use of lavender essential oil through massage, inhalation therapy, or aerial diffusion provides resistance to diseases.
  • Insect repellent-lavender oil is an effective way to repel mosquitoes and moths.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women and diabetics should avoid using lavender  essential oil. People with sensitive skin may develop an allergic reaction.

Lavender essential oil is the most basic oil to have in your home because of its various health benefits. It is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, and detoxifier. Lavender oil promotes healing, prevents scarring, stimulates the immune system, and factors in the healing process by stimulating the cells of an injury to rejuvenate more quickly.

The health benefits of lavender essential oil include:

  • Nervous system-its calming scent is a tonic for the nerves making it a great remedy for migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. Its clean aroma removes  exhaustion and restlessness and increases mental activity.
  • Sleep-it induces sleep making it an inexpensive natural cure for insomnia.
  • Pain relief-it is a great natural remedy for pains caused by tense or sore muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, and backache. A regular massage with lavender oil provides relief from pain in the joints.
  • Urine flow-it is good for urinary disorders because it stimulates urine production,  helps restore hormonal balance, reduces cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder, and reduces associated cramps.

Lavender has so many healthful benefits that I will continue this blog tomorrow.

There are many essential oils that you can use alone or in blends of two or three to fight wrinkles and the aging process. My favorite oils for this purpose are lavender, thyme, patchouli, clary-sage, fennel, chamomile, frankincense, myrrh, lemon, rosemary, and orange. There are others that are also good for treating wrinkles so please comment on this post if you’d like the whole list of anti-aging essential oils.

You can use the above oils as a face oil (add a carrier oil), in a bath, and also as a body oil because you should be pampering all of your skin, not just your face. Skin regenerates at a different rate for all of us so allow at least thirty days before expecting to see an improvement. It is also important to treat your inside as well as the outside so don’t overload your system with toxins like alcohol, red meat, caffeine, and sugar because they clog your skin cells as well as your digestive system.

acne-questions-answered-vI had a really hard time when I was in school for a number of different reasons, but in particular because of my appearance. When I was in middle school and high school, I had to deal with some seriously terrible acne issues. It was really embarrassing and it made my youth very difficult because it really damaged my self-esteem for a long time.

After high school, I started to turn towards a particular set of healthy skin care products that finally started to do the trick. Perhaps it was the combination of my hormones settling down and these products, but regardless of what was the cause, my acne began to clear up quite a bit. I lucked out by not having any acne scars, and my skin looks better than ever now.

psoriasisIf you have psoriasis, you really will want to read today’s blog. It’s a hard disease to get rid of as my son can tell you. I have written blogs about psoriasis before but I just read one that I would like to share with you. It’s by Rehne Burge, a Certified Aromatherapist who has blended an ointment for relief from psoriasis.

Psoriasis Ointment

by Rehne Burge, Certified Aromatherapist

1/2 ounce beeswax
2 ounces organic neem cream
2  ounces jojoba oil
10 drops patchouli or sandalwood
8 drops tea tree
8 drops lavender
6 drops myrrh
2 drops ravintsara
6 drops carrot seed
4 drops bergamot
In a double boiler (or a glass measuring cup in pan) or in a small crockpot, melt the beeswax.  Once the beeswax is melted, add your neem cream and let it melt.
Add jojoba oil next.
I use a glass graduated cylinder but use a glass container that you have and blend all your EO’s together.
Then add your EO blend to your mixture.  Immediately pour into 1 ounce glass jars and seal.  Anytime you are using essential oils, you want to add at the end of your recipe and because essential  oils are so volatile (evaporate quickly), you want to seal your containers immediately.

Blocked sebum become blackheads (medically known as a comedo or comedones) when the surface cells develop sulphides which, in turn contact  oxygen, causing  the cells to turn black. Blackheads are unsightly and can easily become infected. When you remove them and the opening just fills up again with more sebum; this condition is related to seborrhea, overproduction of the sebaceous glands. Even people with dry skin can develop blackheads, especially on the nose or chin but blackheads can develop practically anywhere on the body, as well as on the face. Wherever they develop, the treatment for blackheads is the same, they need to be removed.

To remove blackheads, get a bowl of steaming hot water, put 1 drop of lavender essential oil on the water and cover your head with a towel, being sure to close off the sides too and steam your face for 10 minutes. Rinse the face with 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar mixed in a bowl of hot (but not boiling) water. If the blackheads are loose, squeeze gently taking care not to damage the skin. Then splash the face with a mixture of 2 ounces of mineral water, 2 teaspoons cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon witch hazel, 2 drops each of bergamot and cypress essential oils.

After patting the skin dry, massage the following oils into the skin. This will help to prevent blackheads from coming back and also loosen the ones that are already there:

  • Lemongrass – 8 drops
  • Lavender – 5 drops
  • Clary-sage – 2 drops
  • Thyme – 5 drops
  • Jojoba oil – 5 drops

Use this massage mixture morning and night. When you wash your face, take care to use a pure natural soap. You can use eye makeup if you like but avoid face makeup and powder.

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March 2016