Search Term: " Aromatherapy "
Myrrh oil is worth more than gold when it comes to the healthbenefits it provides
May 17, 2019 04:24 PM
Essential oils are used for aromatherapy but that is just one of their myriad uses. They have been used by Chinese medicine and ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to their numerous health benefits. Now, science has backed many of the claims on health benefits. One of these oils is myrrh. Myrrh is produced from a steam distillation process by extracting the reddish brown sap from the Commiphora myrrha tree. The oil is amber in color and has an earthy aroma. It has a lot of healthy benefits. One of them is that it is used to eliminate harmful bacteria. Ancient Egyptians used this oil to embalm their dead and mummies because it slows down the process of decay. This is due to the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of myrrh oil. Another advantage of this oil is that it can eliminate some parasites. Myrrh oil has been reported to cure infections such as trichomoniasis and giardiasis. Myrrh oil can also support oral health. It has been used by researchers to treat mouth sores with complete relief for the patients. Other benefits of this wonderful oil are highlighted in the blog.
"In fact, myrrh essential oil, which is often used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, has many science-backed health benefits."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-17-myrrh-oil-is-worth-more-than-gold.html
Natural pain relief: Capsicum, lavender and peppermint essentialoils can help relieve fibromyalgia pain
May 15, 2019 02:04 PM
Because essential oils can relieve pain and increase cell energy production, researchers believe that these essential oils like lavender, capsicum, and peppermint, can be used to treat fibromyalgia. When one is afflicted with fibromyalgia, he will always have chronic pain, constant fatigue, and regular changes in mood. These symptoms have only few ways to treat them. It has been noted that some supplements, of which essential oils are among them, can be used to treat these symptoms of fibromyalgia. This is because they are already being used to relieve health problems that are similar to fibromyalgia. One example of these is lavender oil. This is used in aromatherapy as a relaxing compound. And it regulates mood responses and the central nervous systems, which symptoms are related to fibromyalgia. Another of these essential oils is peppermint oil. Because it alleviates the pain muscles face by chronic stress and increases stamina, it is a good remedy for fibromyalgia.
"Given these beneficial effects, researchers believe that the oils drawn from capsicum, lavender, and peppermint could be potential therapies for fibromyalgia."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-02-capsicum-lavender-and-peppermint-essential-oils-relieve-fibromyalgia-pain.html
9 Benefits Of Patchouli
June 07, 2017 09:14 AM
Patchouli smells nice and many wear it for that reason or burn it. It has more benefits, though. Nine of those are discussed here. It will make you think of patchouli differently. You won't just view it as a nice smell after this. You can use it to help you so it will prove more valuable. There are many herbs and oils which smell nice but which also help us. The use of these is becoming more popular.
"But beyond its appealing scent, patchouli also has some amazing health benefits that might just turn you into a patchouli fan for life."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/benefits-of-patchouli/
16 Best Oils To Diffuse And How To Do It Right
April 19, 2017 05:44 PM
With Aromatherapy becoming increasingly popular, it is easy to become confused on what to use, and when to use it. Knowing and understanding the various oil options is essential to maximizing their full potential for use. Research shows that oils can have a positive impact on stress reduction and overall health. Once you learn about the benefits of each, you can then begin experimenting with mixing the oils. Be sure to pick up a diffuser and follow the guidelines to achieve optimal benefit.
How Essential Oils Can Help Improve Your Life
March 16, 2017 08:59 AM
Essential oils are becoming a widespread trend. Many companies sell them. They are supposed to help with mood issues like anxiety and stress. Headache and other physical ailments can be helped by them as well. There are many different kinds of oils and each has its own property so it's good to research before buying them.
"Aromatherapy can be a beneficial adjunct to your overall health plan. It’s not a replacement for wise lifestyle choices like good nutrition and exercise, but it can certainly help enhance your physical and emotional health."
Use essential oils for bone aches and inflammation
January 29, 2017 02:59 PM
Many adults suffer from arthritis, and most of them do not know what to do to deal with it. There are many ways to limit the pain, but a natural cure may have been found. Essential oils and Aromatherapy may be able to lessen the pain that is associated with arthritis.
"One of the best essential oil treatments for arthritis is a full-body bath soak."
4 Best Ear Oil That Will Help Improve Hearing And Reduce Ringing.
March 12, 2014 08:03 PM
Ear ringing is a clinical problem that affects 1 out of 5 people. It is also known as tinnitus and it can be a symptom of condition such as ear injury, hearing loss and circulatory disorder. There are many causes of this condition which can aggravate to completely hear loss.
Causes of ear ringing
There are many causes of hear ringing, causes varies from one person to another. Some of the causes includes.
Inner cell damage, this causes ear drum to echo sound even after the sound has been sent to the brain. This irritates ear and causes ear ringing.
Other ear problems including ear diseases are among the major causes ear ringing.
Treatment of ear ringing
There are many possible treatment of this condition including drugs and allopathic treatments such as removing ear wax, finding any possible vascular disorders and treating them. You can also change medication you are on which may be the cause of Tinnitus. Though drugs themselves cannot cure Tinnitus, they may help reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Changing lifestyle can also treat ear ringing and improve earing and ease ringing, for example, stress can exacerbate ear ringing. Reducing alcohol is another effective method to beat tinnitus, alcohol dilates blood vessels causing forceful blood flow to the inner ear.
While those methods though effective, they cannot cure ear ringing, one of the method that has been proved to be efficient is use of essential oil.
The aroma of essential oil enters the nose and stimulates the olfactory nerves. This then sends signals to the Limbic system (the control mechanism in the brain for memory and emotions). This sets in series of neuro-chemical impulses and response mechanisms that generate a natural healing response.
Many essential oils contain healing properties. They assist in natural, are anti- inflammatory, pain relief, anxiety, reduce stress and assist the endocrine system in improving hearing and reducing ringing.
The best oil to arrest ear ringing are;
Benefits of Neroli Oil
February 27, 2014 11:48 AM
Neroli oil is an essential oil that has been used for Aromatherapy for a long time. It is produced from the bitter orange tree known as citrus aurantium. Neroli oil is believed to be a source of a variety of health benefits ranging from physical to mental health. It has a sweet smelling aroma with a floral fragrance that contains an element of citrus.
Neroli oil has a variety of health benefits some of which are outlined below;
Neroli oil is widely used for Aromatherapy. Due to the sweet smelling fragrance of Neroli, inhaling the aroma has an effect on the brain region responsible for emotions control. This brain region is referred to as the limbic system and has a direct connection to the nervous system. As a result, it has a direct effect on the heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and the immune function.
Several studies conducted in the past point to the fact that neroli oil can reduce anxiety levels on an individual. For instance, a research conducted in 2013 and later published in the Evidence-based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that the sweet fragrance in neroli oil when mixed with other sweet smelling essential oils including lavender and chamomile for use in Aromatherapy treatment significantly alleviated anxiety and greatly improved the quality of sleep among patients in an ICU.
High blood pressure
According to a study conducted in 2012, neroli oil plays an important role in the control of high blood pressure. The study involved 83 people who suffered from prehypertension. The patients were asked to inhale a range of essential oils including neroli, lavender, marjoram and ylang-ylang for a period of 24 hours. The results showed that the patients assigned to inhale neroli oil showed a significant decrease in the level of blood pressure as compared to other essential oils.
Other health benefits
Neroli oil can also be used to reduce headaches, colds, indigestion, and insomnia as well as boost the immune system.
Wintergreen Oil- Used For Pain, Arthritis, Headaches and More
February 26, 2014 09:06 AM
What is wintergreen
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) is in the heather family of organic plants and is local to North America. It is a little evergreen herb that develops just something like 6 inches high with thin crawling stems. It has hanging white blossoms which are accompanied via red berries. Local Americans used to bite the stems to build respiratory limit. Early American pilgrims had their youngsters bite the leaves for some weeks each one spring to avoid tooth rot and throughout the American Revolution, it was a substitute for Black Tea. They so reveled in the essence that it has proceeded right up 'til today as the character of root brewskie, mulling over gum and toothpaste. The oil hails from steam refining of the leaves and produces an in number, entering fragrance. The science of wintergreen is very nearly indistinguishable to that of birch .
Generally wintergreen has been utilized for respiratory conditions however the essential utilize as of late has been as a part of liniments and treatments for bulky issues, for example, lumbago, sciatica, neuralgia, myalgia, and so on it is known for its capability to diminish bone agony.
February 26, 2014 08:51 AM
What is thyme
Thyme is delicate herb with a highly penetrating fragrance. It has very many varied importance in culinary, medicinal and ornamental purposes. Thyme is an ancient herb that was used for medical purposes by Greeks and Egyptians. It has a sweet yet strong herbal smell and is reddish-brown to amber in color. Thyme essential oil is carefully extracted through distillation from Thymus Vulgaris that belongs to the Labiatae plant family. This oil is considered to have very many health benefits that range from curing some ailments to preventing as well as improving the general body health.
Benefits of thyme
To begin with, it is an excellent disinfectant that is highly regarded particularly in Aromatherapy for the protection against infectious diseases. Thyme oil is an antiseptic as well as an expectorant. When diffused into the atmosphere, it can be really beneficial in the treatment and as well as revealing the symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, coughs, cold and flu.
The components in this volatile oil have also been proven to expel antimicrobial activity against a host of different bacteria and fungi. For thousands of years, this essential oil has been used to preserve foods; protecting them from microbial contamination. In this way, using the oil helps people avoid various health issue associated with contaminated food.
Thyme oil is also crucial in stimulating the formation of white blood cells as well as aiding in the oxygenation of cellular tissues; which helps in the removal of toxic wastes during illness. Thyme oil generally boosts your lymphatic system and builds your self-esteem and confidence in your ability to make quick recovery during illness.
For a vitamin or supplement, thyme oil taken by mouth and can be very helpful in curing arthritis, stomach pain and a sore throat. It has also been used to treat skin disorders, movement disorders (dyspraxia) as well as parasitic worm infections. This oil can also be applied directly to the skin for swollen tonsils, hoarseness and sore mouth.
I would like to caution you. Please note that there are lots of cheap, synthetic copies of essential oils. You, therefore, need to be careful when purchasing thyme oil and ensure that you get it from a trusted supplier to avoid getting a counterfeit product that may not give you the expected results.
Myrrh oil health benefits
February 21, 2014 05:04 PM
Know what Myrrh essential oil is
As you have probably read somewhere else, Myrrh oil is an aromatic resin that comes from trees belonging to the genus commiphora. It has a unique sweet and smoky aroma. Myrrha, hirabol myrrh and bola are other alternative names that people use frequently when referring to myrrh oil. Known to contain cadinene, cuminaldehyde, a-pinene, acetic acid, m-cresol, eugenol and formic acid, this pale yellow oil has been the source of debate due to its many benefits which go back to the time of ancient Egyptians.
Why take myrrh oil?
Modern scientific research has found evidence suggesting that myrrh has a wide range of uses that are beneficial to boost the health condition of an individual. Myrrh is an amazing extract that can be used in Aromatherapy to effectively treat colds, coughs, insomnia and sore throat. In the digestive system, the oil is widely used for indigestion and ulcers treatment. Women and young girls find it necessary to increase their menstrual flow using normal remedies but have failed. However, this sap-like oil does not only increase the menstrual flow but it also relieve painful periods and ease difficult labor in childbirth.
For all medical dental infections, the oil is included when mixing a mouthwash. On the skin, it has great success when wiping out bedsores, boils, cracked skin, skin ulcers, athlete's foot and eczema. As a matter of fact, it is sometimes used as an ingredient in many skincare products, creams and lotions.
Myrrh is also purported to treat certain cancers and tumors. The extract from Commiphora trees is highly effective against the gynecologic cancer cells. When used as an anti-oxidant, amazing results are achieved in protecting against lead induced hepatotoxicity.
When can you start taking myrrh resin?
It is recommended to take myrrh essential oil three times in a day or as needed. Pregnant and nursing women should start using it after consulting a qualified practitioner. It can be used as a dietary supplement for children when they reach the age of six years.
What Is Marjoram Oil?
February 21, 2014 04:52 PM
What is marjoram
Marjoram oil is extracted from the marjoram plant. The plants’ flowering leaves are distilled (using steam) to obtain the yellow marjoram essential oil. The plant is cultivated primarily for its leaves. Though the name marjoram is derived from French, the plant is indigenous to the Southern regions of present-day Turkey and Cyprus.
Historically, marjoram oil has been used by traditional healers thousands of years back. It is mentioned in old medical texts as an essential oil with healing properties for many illnesses. Up to date, the plant’s oil is renowned for its great medicinal value. The essential oil has a woody and spicy aroma when dilute and pungent-smelling when concentrated. Some of marjoram oil’s health benefits are discussed below.
Benefits of marjoram
Marjoram oil has therapeutic properties. Rich in antioxidants, it is used to calm nerves and relieve headaches when massaged on the temple. The essential oil is also used to soothe and relieve muscles of pain. A body massage with the oil helps ease stiff joints. Inhaling the marjoram oil’s aroma helps clear mucous from the breathing system as well as easing a congested nasal tract. It helps stem severe coughing.
Marjoram oil is best known for improving digestion and easing digestive tract disorders. It is a common essential oil used in Aromatherapy as well. Adding a few drops of marjoram oil to bathing water or using it for massage helps relax the mind, bringing calmness. This can be used to pacify people who are stressed because it is a great sedative.
As an antiseptic, marjoram oil can be applied on wounds to help prevent these sores from becoming septic. For ladies who have to endure painful menstruation, this essential oil can be used to relieve menstrual cramps. Studies have also shown that this oil has the ability to lower blood pressure, slightly. Marjoram oil has quite a number of medicinal uses making it a versatile essential oil.
Benefits Eucalyptus Oil-Discover Its Amazing Power In Healing Different Health Problems
February 17, 2014 06:32 AM
What is eucalptus
Eucalyptus oil originates from the Eucalyptus tree, which develops characteristically in Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia and parts of the Philippines. With more than 700 types of Eucalyptus, numerous sorts are developed everywhere throughout the world. Eucalyptus oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the tree, and is utilized as a part of various sorts of items for numerous diverse purposes. It has a mint-like quality that makes it well known for sweet, throat drops, toothpaste, and some hack medications, particularly those for ache alleviation. Notwithstanding that, it has bug repellent lands that make it an extraordinary characteristic alternative for open air utilization
The Eucalyptus globulus -the most usually discovered key oil, has an empowering however extremely solid aroma. It is useful for respiratory issues, lessening bodily fluid film swelling and irritation, and for calming sore muscles, rheumatism, migraines and anxious depletion. It is broadly utilized as a part of business cool cures and arrangements for mitigating throbbing muscles.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Clove Oil?
February 16, 2014 02:15 AM
What is cloves
Cloves plant come from the maluku Islands in Indonesia, they grow as flower buds. The flower buds are used mostly as spice. When cloves turn red, they are ready for collection. They are harvested primarily in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, and Pakistan.
Historically it has been used for dental pain. Because the cloves are imparted by the chemical eugenolcloves are used in Indian ayurvedic medicine, chinese medicine, and western herbalism.
Types of oil's: bud oil, leaf oil, ttem oil in Australia, after major flooding in Queensland, clove oil was mix in the water to use as a spray to kill mold, due it hasan anti septic effect.
Ear ache: a mixture of warm clove oil and sesame oil is a good cure for ear aches.
Respiratory problems: clove oil has a cooling and anti inflammatory effect.
Headache: clove oil, when mixed with salt and applied on the forehead, gives a cooling effect and helps in getting relief.
Infections: because it has a anti inflammatory effect.clove oil: can also helps for insect bites and stings.
Indigestion: clove oil has traditionally been effective for the treatment of stomach problems, like: flatulence, hiccups, indigestion, motion sickness.nausea: clove oil helps for reducing nausea and vomiting its often used for pregnancy-related morning problem and discomfort. using it occasionally in Aromatherapy will bring good effect. its't believed that clove oil is useful for cholera sick person's, and it will make your skin lock younger, it also help's for scar's, insect repellent: a few drops of clove oil at your bed, will keep bugs away soap, because to its strong aroma, soothing effect and anti-bacterial effect, clove oil is often used when making soap and can often be found as an active ingredient risks. One should be careful using clove oil, due it's very strong.
Bergamot Oil: Uses and Health Benefits
February 13, 2014 05:55 AM
What is bergamot
Bergamot citrus or the bergamot orange is the fruit from which bergamot oil is derived. Taken from the peel of the fruit, the oil is pressed out of the rind through cold compression. The citrus originally came from tropical Asia but is now grown in Europe, mainly the southern part of Italy, but also in Morocco and the Ivory Coast. It takes name from an Italian city in Lombardy called Bergamot.
This oil has a long history of use as a food flavoring and perfume fragrance, but it also has several other less commonly known uses due to its therapeutic properties. The oil has been utilized as an analgesic, a stimulant, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibiotic, disinfectant, and as a circulatory and digestive aid.
By stimulating the production of hormones, bergamot oil deadens the nerves to pain. It is very effective for headaches, muscle pain and other pain ailments. Use of the oil can lower the need for over-the-counter (OTC) medications, therefore reducing a person's chance of liver damage or gastric upset caused by many OTC pain relievers. The oil also known to lower the body temperature, making it an excellent anti-febrile agent.
Produce both soothing and stimulating effects in the body, bergamot oil has been used as an anti-depressant and a metabolic stimulant. Components of the oil calm the nerves by increasing blood flow thereby creating pleasant feelings. By inducing secretion of certain hormones, bergamot oil helps the body to maintain a proper metabolic rate. It is also used in Aromatherapy, specifically to calm anxiety during radiation treatments.
A natural antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, bergamot oil has long been used in the treatment of infections, including certain skin conditions such as acne and mycosis fungoides, a fungal infection that causes tumors on the skin. It has also been used to treat unitary tract, colon, respiratory and kidney infections as well as vaginal yeast infections cause by Candida albicans. Its antibiotic and disinfectant properties make this oil a perfect antiseptic for treating wounds, rashes and other topical conditions which could result in a nasty infection.
Using the oil will assist in the secretion of digestive enzymes and acid, therefore aiding in digestion and reducing gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, gas and bloating
By inhibiting the enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, bergamot oil helps reduce the amount of "bad" cholesterol, LDL in the body and also dilates the blood vessels which assists in lowering blood pressure.
What Is Atlas Cedar Oil And What Are The Health Benefits?
February 09, 2014 09:18 AM
What is atlas cedar oil
Atlas cedar oil is one of the oldest embalming oils. The oil was initially extracted in Egypt and used by spiritualists as an embalming component. In the contemporary world, this oil has been widely acknowledged and accepted as an Aromatherapy product. This oil is processed through steam chemical distillation from pieces of cedar wood.
Health benefits of atlas cedar oil
Medically, the oil has an antiseptic capacity. It has been widely used as a form of antiseptic for wounds to prevent infection of the wounds and prevent them from becoming septic. It helps keep tetanus germs at bay.
Atlas cedar oil has been globally used in the treatment of arthritis particularly among the old. This oil has an anti inflammatory benefit and has been used largely on patients living with the arthritis condition.
It is also a antispasmodic. This oil is used in massaging the legs and the hands and has a known effect of reducing the profound effects of arthritis. Similarly, this oil has been widely applied to control dandruff and combat acne. It has proven very helpful in relieving spasms which occur in the body such as the intestines and the nerves.
Further, this oil is used as an astringent. It has been clinically adopted for dental use to firm the gums and prevents falling of teeth. It is also used as cure for toothaches.
Lastly, this oil can be used as an expectorant. Patients suffering from severe coughs can use this oil to combat irritate coughs. This cough gets rid of phlegm from the lungs and the air pipe and controls the cough.
This oil has been accepted as to have the effects of calming negative emotions and control anger. It comes in handy when one is faced with stressful situations and helps in calming the nerves especially during mediation time.Further, the atlas cedar oil is the attractive aroma it produces. With this effect it has been used in the preparation of perfumes and other scented beauty products. Due to this strong aroma this oil has been globally used as a aphrodisiac.
Discover the Wonders of Essential Oils
November 15, 2013 11:38 PM
What are the Source of Essential Oil
Essential oils obtained from plants are important in helping you stay healthy and in good mood. These oils are extracted from various parts of plants that include flowers, leaves, stem and roots. Water and steam distillation is the popular method of oil extraction employed to deduce the essence of natural plants.
What are the Benefits of Essential Oil
Natural plants are the main source of these volatile essential oils. Hence, the extracts are safe to your health with high therapeutic effects for Aromatherapy. For maximum benefits, they are combined with smooth carrier oils such as grape seed oil to provide physical, emotional and psychological therapy essential for the body. Their ability to purify the air makes them a favorite diffuse when vaporized and diffused in the air. Most of volatile oils have antiviral and antibacterial properties. As a result, they inhibit pathogens and microbes when they come into contact with them, completely neutralizing them leaving the air off disease causing microorganisms.
What Essential Oil to use When Relaxing
Essential oils set the mood and promote relaxation. We all respond emotionally to scents. Most of these Aromatherapy oils tend to be stimulating or promote relaxation. For example, citrusy smell is likely to stimulate while lavender relaxes. We also commonly associate jasmine with romance and the fragrance of roses with love. Oils from chamomile, patchouli, lavender, and clary sage are essential Aromatherapy oils best known for reducing depression and stress.
When Having Nasal Problem
Oils clear nasal passages and ease symptoms. Rosemary, peppermint and eucalyptus are popular essential oils best for alleviating respiratory congestion. They also reduce inflammation in your nasal passage when inhaled therefore relieving symptoms. Although they may not completely resolve your health problem, they can be used as palliatives during spells of illness and disease.
How to Improve Skin Health
Essential oils improve your skin health. They are readily absorbed by the human skin making them ideal for body massage. Studies show that, after just 20 minutes of a full-body massage with 2 percent dilution of lavender oil, its relaxing chemical constituents can be detected in the blood thus providing instant relief. With just few drops of essential oils, you too will soon be knocking on heavens doors.
Neem Health Properties
December 19, 2012 02:53 PM
Neem is a large tree of the mahogany family Meliaceae and is native to both semi-tropical and tropical regions of Asia. The tree is tall and evergreen with a height ranging from 15 to 20 m. It is effective for treating various ailments to an extent of being referred to as Muarubaini within East Africa, meaning ‘a tree of the forty'; due to its capability of treating 40 diseases. Every part of the neem tree is endowed with a capacity to fight infections.
Here are some health benefits of neem.
It has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties which make it a first choice in several households, medicinal, cosmetic and agricultural products.
Bitter Orange Extract
November 22, 2012 10:46 AM
Indigenous to the Meditteranean region today, but brought to their shores by Arab tradesmen in 1200 , bitter orange or citrus aurantium was highly popular among herbalists all over the southern parts of Europe is mainly France, Greece, Spain and Italy. A botanical species commonly termed as seville orange and bigarade orange, this bitter citrus fruit is known for its oil extract, flavoring and use in the perfume industry.
However , the ancient Chinese used it for treating dyspepsia , abdominal distention and diarrhea. These uses also drew from its roots in ancient Greek experiments in Aromatherapy, phyto-therapy and cosmetology. Its arrival in America can be credited to the Spaniards and the Portuguese who for very long had been using the fruit for its medical component. Bitter orange trees grew in abundance in the states of Florida, Louisiana and California way back in the middle of the nineteenth century.There have been numerous pharmacological indicators in the study of C aurantium actions and it has been termed as an anti spasmodic, anti fungal , anti bacterial, anti-inflammatory, sedative, tranquilizer and also a vascular stimulant.
Recent studies about its effect on cancer cells is underway. A Closer Look At Its Health Benefits Bitter orange peel, flower and seed are known to have varying effects on the human body and its studies date back centuries. Quite simply it has the ability to squeeze blood vessels, affect the heart rate and also change the level of metabolism. A closer look at its components would help focus on their particular impact on health.
It results in faster metabolism, increase in heart rate by affecting the adrenaline system, and in turn aid in weight loss. What needs to be seen is whether this metabolism booster is in any way a retardant with any other medication that you may be taking.
Many have reverted to bitter orange extracts to tackle their weight problem after the ban on ephedra by the US drug administration . what is needed is prudence as most consider bitter orange as a health supplement forgetting its rather potent effect on the body .
Anise Seed Is Anti-Fungal Herb And Much More!
February 23, 2011 01:44 PM
Anise Seed And Your Health
Anise seed, or simply aniseed, refers to the seed pods of the herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia. It is famed for its moderate flavor, which is similar to fennel, licorice, and tarragon. The plant species, Pimpinella anisum, has been part of many cuisines on both the West and the East, incorporated in aromatic, sweet-tasting dishes. There is a wide array of uses for anise in the food industry, especially in recent years because of its health benefits. For centuries, it has been utilized to treat digestive problems, and the recent discovery of its high phytochemical levels has been reported to show antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The first undisputed mention of anise seed was in Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder, which recorded its widespread use as a breath freshener, a therapeutic remedy for insomnia, and a cure for insomnia. Some translations of biblical accounts also recorded the use of the seeds in ancient Israel and surrounding areas. By the time of Roman antiquity, it had become a popular spice added to seafood dishes, valued for of its sweet fragrance. In the Indian subcontinent and nearby regions, anise has up to now been used as a digestive, taken after meals to avoid indigestion, especially after feasts.
The English herbalist John Gerard noted in his encyclopedia Generall Historie of Plantes the carminative effects of anise seed, which means it decreases pressure in the lower esophagus, thereby removing related digestive ailments such as excessive flatulence. It has become quite commonplace in Europe, not only due to its presence in traditional medicine, but also its increasing visibility in the food and beverage industry. It is used in soups and stews, in confectionery, adding a very strong sweet flavor. Anethole, an organic compound extracted from aniseed is added to liquor to produce a cloudy appearance.
Phytochemical Content or Anise Seed
Anise seed is known to contain many different phytochemicals that are polyphenolic and phytoestrogenic. It has high levels of phenylpropenes, a class of polyphenols that are present in essential oils, the reason why aniseed is one of the most common ingredients used in Aromatherapy. These organic compounds have shown to lower the body temperature, act on the nervous system to relieve pain, and have a positive effect on epileptic seizures. In addition, it creates strong phytoestrogen-like activities in the human body, relieving cramps during menstrual period.
Anethole is widely believed to be responsible for the antimicrobial activities of anise seed, acting against bacteria, yeast, and other types of fungi. It is a bacteriostatic antibiotic and a bactericide, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria by interfering with bacterial cellular metabolism responsible for their replication and, at the same time, actively kill them. This explains why anise seed is effective as a breath freshener in the old days, and removes digestive ailments related to bacteria. Interestingly, aniseed is also anthelmintic; it expels parasitic worms from the body.
That being said, keep in mind that the benefits of anise seed are largely therapeutic.
Anise Seed is one of those herbs you want to keep in the medicine cabinet for quick use when needed.
Gentain Herb Can Sooth The Digestive Tract
December 17, 2009 04:23 PM
The gentian plant is an herbaceous perennial with fleshy root and fat hollow stems. The leaves of the plant are ovate and pleated, while the flowers are yellow. The root of the plant often smells aromatic and tastes sweet at first and then bitter.
Gentian was used as a stomach tonic and aid in digestion in Ancient Rome. This herb is native to Europe and western Asia. Generally, gentian was consumed as a tea or alcoholic beverage. Gentian was an official drug in the Untied States Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1955 and was used as a gastric stimulant. At one point in time, this herb was used and acclaimed by medical science as being very beneficial for mankind.
Gentian was used to reduce fevers by cooling the system. It contains a bitter principle, which is known as amarogentin, which stimulates the glands, and includes the adrenals and thyroid. This herb helps in the production of bile, which can have a positive effect on the liver and gallbladder. Gentian is also used to clean the bowels, stimulate the pancreas, stimulate circulation, aid in the digestive process, and help with female problems. This herb has historically been used to treat wounds and been taken internally for inflammation from arthritis, jaundice, and a sore throat. Gentian is considered to be a great herb for strengthening the entire body and for use as tonic when it is combined with other herbs.
German scientists have performed studies which confirm that this herb is useful as a digestive aid. Herbal bitters, including gentian, are recommended for the treatment of indigestion. The bitter taste receptors located in the tongue are known for their ability to stimulate the digestive processes by increasing the flow of gastric juices and bile. The alkaloid found in gentian, gentianine, has been shown to contain anti-inflammatory activity in animal studies.
Internally, gentian is used as a liver tonic, to treat loss of appetite, digestive problems, flatulence, and insufficient production of gastric juices and saliva. This herb is responsible for stimulating the taste buds and promoting the flow of saliva, gastric juices, and bile. Because of this, gentian can be used in cases of anorexia, and in homeopathic medicine as well. There are no external uses or Aromatherapy and essential oil uses for gentian. It should be noted that gentian should not be used by those with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
The root of the gentian plant is used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hepatic, sialagogue, stimulant, stomachic, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients provided by gentian include inositol, iron, manganese, niacin, silicon, sulfur, vitamins F and B-complex, and zinc. Primarily, gentian is extremely beneficial in treating loss of appetite, poor circulation, gastric disorders, indigestion, jaundice, and liver disorders. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with anemia, blood impurities, colds, constipation, stomach cramps, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, gas, gout, heart burn, absence of menstruation, nausea, spleen ailments, urinary problems, worms, wounds, and yeast infections. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by gentian, please contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 29, 2009 12:56 PM
The pennyroyal herb is a member of the mint genus. It is an essential oil that is extracted and used in Aromatherapy. Crushed pennyroyal leaves and foliage give off a very strong spearmint fragrance. Traditionally, pennyroyal is used as culinary herb, folk medicine, and abortifacient. This herb was commonly used by the Greeks and Romans as a cooking herb. The Greeks often flavored their wine with pennyroyal. Additionally, a large number of the recipes in the Roman cookbook of Apicius use pennyroyal along with herbs such as lovage, oregano, and coriander. Although it was still commonly used for cooking in the Middle Ages, it slowly fell out of use as a culinary herb. Today, it is seldom used. However, the essential oil of pennyroyal is extremely high in pulegone, which is toxic volatile organic compound, and is therefore poisonous to the liver and can stimulate uterine activity.
Pennyroyal was brought by European settlers to the New World. There, they found that Native Americans were using the American variety of pennyroyal for repelling insects, skin irritations, and many of the same illnesses that they were using their own variety for. Additionally, this herb was used to soothe the stomach and relieve cold symptoms. The pennyroyal that is found in America has similar properties to the herb that is found in Europe. However, the European variety is thought to be much more potent.
This herb possesses a volatile oil that works to remove gas from the stomach. It can be consumed as a tea of used as a footbath. If it is taken a few days before menstruation is due, it can help increase a suppressed flow. The pennyroyal tea is beneficial in relieving cold symptoms and also promoting perspiration. This herb has a strong, minty odor. It is used externally to repel insects like fleas, flies, and mosquitoes.
The oil of the pennyroyal plant is extremely concentrated and is often linked to toxic results. The oil is often associated with abortions and convulsions that result in death. It is believed that the oil irritates the uterus, which causes uterine contractions. The action is not predictable and is potentially dangerous. It is recommended that the oil be used only externally as a natural insect repellant. This herb is suggested for use as a decongestant for coughs and colds. Tea that is made from the pennyroyal herb is not associated with toxicity. In fact, it helps to relax the digestive tract and soothe the stomach.
In short, the entire pennyroyal plant is used to provide alterative, antispasmodic, antivenomous, aromatic, carminative, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, oxytocic, parasiticide, sedative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, pennyroyal is extremely beneficial in treating bronchitis, childbirth pain, colds, colic, uterine cramps, fevers, gas, lung infections, and absent menstruation. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with convulsions, coughs, abdominal cramps, delirium, earache, flu, gout, headaches, leprosy, measles, migraines, mucus, nausea, phlegm, pleurisy, pneumonia, smallpox, sunstroke, toothaches, tuberculosis, ulcers, uterine problems, and vertigo.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pennyroyal, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Essential Oil FAQ's - What are essential oils?
January 13, 2006 05:13 PM
Essential Oil FAQ'sWhat are essential oils?
Essential Oils are the naturally occurring volatile oils obtained by distillation or expression having the characteristic aroma of the plant part from which it was derived. These 100% pure oils are neat, meaning they have not been processed or manipulated in any way with solvents or other additives. Though a particular species of plant harvested and distilled for its essential oil during a particular growing season in a specific region may produce a fragrance that differs from the same species grown that season in a different region, many of the main chemical markers and physical specifications may be similar.
Do essential oils have a grading system to tell me which is better?
There are many companies selling Essential Oils today spinning many tall tales regarding the quality or grade of their products. To my knowledge there exists NO official grading system in any of the more respected sources of essential oil literature. Neither The Federal Register and Code of Regulations, FEMA nor AFNOR has to date adopted a system that grades these oils as an A, B or C grade. A product is either 100% pure essential oil or it’s not. All of our 100% pure essential Oils are labeled as such. We also sell oil blends that are formulated with essential oils or absolute extracts and pure grapeseed oil and are clearly labeled. Are NOW essential oils pure or do they have anything added to them?
Again all of our 100% pure essential Oils are labeled as such. We also sell oil blends that are formulated with essential oils or absolute extracts and pure grapeseed oil and are clearly labeled.
Natural Essential Oils by their very definition will vary from season to season. We are committed to allowing nature take its course without adding isolated compounds to the oil in an effort to improve on the naturally occurring nuance. We take both the organoleptic (sight, smell and taste) and chemical properties into account when evaluating our essential oils. What are NOW’s criteria for testing essential oils? Our Quality Assurance and Control departments adhere to specifications used by the Essential Oils and Flavor Industry and published in The Essential Oils by Guenther, as well as Fenaroli’s Handbook of Flavor Ingredients.
These texts, as well as other sources of scientific information, detail specific physical and chemical properties that compose a fingerprint defining the peculiarities of a particular oil. A partial list of the components that we analyze for would include Specific Gravity, Refractive Index, Optical Rotation, Flash Point, Infrared Absorption (as published in FCC), Solubility, Taste/Odor, Color/Appearance, Heavy Metals and Predominant Active Chemical Components. Our in-house laboratory employs state-of-the-art analytical equipment that allows us to perform highly specialized analyses, such as Gas Chromatography and Infrared Spectrometry. We use our own analysis results to confirm specification sheet results and certificates of analyses received from 3rd party outside laboratories and vendors. As always, when it comes to Essential Oils, individual practitioners and lay people will decide for themselves which variety of a flower or leaf produces the essential oil that best suits their particular need. The nose, eyes, ears, hands and heart of a man or woman, used with humility and wisdom, are still the best tools given us by God to discern what is necessary and good. NOW Foods is committed to offering the purest and most potent natural Essential Oils available. All of our 100% Pure Essential Oils are FCC or food grade and derived through natural distillation or cold pressing methods with no chemicals or solvents. NR 9/03
My family and I have been using Cassia essential oil topically on our feet. Is this OK since your bottle says “Not for Topical use”?
Skin irritation is possible with many oils, including the powerful Quassia or Cinnamon essential oils. Though many people do use our oils in a variety of ways, due to the powerful nature of steam distilled pure essential oils, we label these products with cautions and suggest that you consult an aromatherapist or health professional for proper use. These 100% pure oils are of the highest quality, undiluted and unadulterated. They are appropriate for any use where these concentrated oils are indicated, either as Aromatherapy or with significant dilution.
Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Anise Seed (Pimpinella Anisum)
January 10, 2006 11:40 AM
Anise Seed (Pimpinella anisum)Fun fact: In 1619, it was decreed by law from the Virginia Assembly that each family plant at least six anise seeds a year.
From the sublime to the fantastic, Anise Seed has experienced a multitude of uses during the course of history. It was used to perfume the clothing of King Edward IV, as a food flavoring during the Middle Ages, and to fund repairs on the London Bridge, for which a special tax was added to the sale of anise seed. Pliny the Elder, author of the first encyclopedia, claimed its seeds had the power to prevent bad dreams if placed beneath the sleeper's pillow. Anise seed (or aniseed) is a member of the parsley family, and its flavor resembles licorice. Used medicinally since prehistoric times, anise seed remains a staple in Aromatherapy. Mixes well with: Cedarwood, clary sage, lavender, orange, rosewood, sandalwood, and tangerine.
Parts used: Seeds.
Extraction method: Steam distillation.
Safety Information: Not recommended for use if pregnant. May cause stomach irritation and dizziness, so do not exceed recommended dosage. Do not use if diagnosed with endometriosis or estrogen-dependent cancers.
HERBAL EXTRACTS FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT
December 23, 2005 12:27 PM
For years, Nature’s Apothecary’s reputation for producing high quality natural products, specifically multi-herb and single herb extracts and Aromatherapy products, has been unparalleled. This family-owned, environmentally-conscious herbal extract company has laid deep roots on the front range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, and in the natural products industry as well. NOW® is proud to continue their tradition of excellence in providing only the highest quality natural herbal extracts with the purchase of this premier liquid herbal extract supplier. We’re committed to using the same processes and procedures that have made the Nature’s Apothecary line one of quality and longevity.
Nature’s Apothecary herbal extracts are created with pure herbs grown on small organic farms, or herbs that have been ethically hand-harvested with respect for the earth, just as herbalists have done for thousands of years. While the various herbs used in these formulations offer a broad range of health benefits, two of the most important are immune system enhancement and detoxification. Herbs have a long history of usefulness in these categories. There is evidence of the use of herbs by Stone Age humans, who either cultivated or gathered hundreds of herbs and plants for a variety of uses. The histories of various cultures are filled with references to the use of herbs. Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Europeans, and American Indians – all used herbs to heal and to nourish. Herbs that support the immune system and provide detoxification benefits were, and still are, very popular. Two of the most effective are Astragalus and Shiitake Mushroom.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is a member of the legume family and is considered an adaptogenic herb in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has been safely used for centuries. Native to central and western Asia, specifically China, Korea and Taiwan, Astragalus offers a unique benefit found in very few herbs - it seems to selectively support immune system function by stimulating certain immune functions and depressing others. One reason is that Astragalus has a high selenium content, a trace element with documented immune system benefits. It also contains polysaccharides and flavonoids, which support healthy immune system function as well as minimizing the effects of free radicals on various membranes. The mechanisms of action through which Astragalus supports immune system function are varied. It has shown promise as a means to stimulate “resting” immune system cells, increasing their activity. Research shows that Astragalus supports the body’s production of immunoglobulins, macrophages, T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, the grunts of the immune system’s army. Astragalus has been shown to support healthy cardiovascular function by protecting membranes from oxidative stress as a result of free radical damage.
Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) is a culinary delight with some serious health benefits. The name Shiitake is from a combination of shiia, the Japanese word for a variety of chestnut tree, and take, the Japanese name for mushrooms.
Shiitake is also referred to as the Forest Mushroom and the Black Forest Mushroom. Indigenous to Eastern Asia, primarily Japan and China, Shiitake is Japan’s leading agricultural export, accounting for about eighty percent of the world’s Shiitake production. While it’s culinary reputation is well-known, Shiitake is also a medicinal herb with a long history of use. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Shiitake is well-regarded and has been used to treat a variety of ailments. Modern research has shown that Shiitake supports healthy immune system function and cardiovascular health, primarily due to the naturally-occurring nutrients found in Shiitake. It contains an excellent B vitamin profile, as well as amino acids, protein, iron, and beta glucan, a major structural component in the cell walls of most fungi, including Shiitake. Beta glucan has been shown to support healthy immune system function by stimulating the activity of phagocytes, white blood cells and NK (natural killer) cells, vital components of the body’s immune system defenses. Astragalus and Shiitake Mushroom are just a few of the immune supporting herbal extracts to be found in the Nature’s Apothecary line. With over 250 SKU’s, Nature’s Apothecary is your best source for high-quality, effective herbal extracts.
Quality that you and your customer can trust!
October 20, 2005 10:10 AM
Quality that you and your customer can trust!
“How do NOW products compare to other brands in terms of selection?”
Our 1,700+ SKU product line widely recognized as one of the most complete in the natural products industry. In addition to our extensive selection of dietary supplements, we also affer a full line of herbs, natural foods, Aromatherapy, essential oils, herbal teas, herbal extracts, stevia products, natural cosmetics, books, and much more.
Scents of Balance
June 14, 2005 11:54 AM
Scents of Balance by Rosemary Sage Energy Times, January 5, 2005
Life can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, with the high-stress jitters following the low-mood blues. But Aromatherapy-the healing power of scent-can restore equilibrium.
The use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being dates back thousands of years. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used infused oils and herbal preparations for medicinal, fragrant, cosmetic, even spiritual reasons.
During the late 20th century, people started to relearn the benefits of Aromatherapy and these days, Aromatherapy's reputation as a soothing, healing art continues to grow. Once you've experienced the odiferous power of Aromatherapy's essential oils, you'll keep coming back for more: These gently wafting odors have the power to stimulate or calm, invigorate or relax.
When you enter this scented world, "there you will find nature in one of its most powerful forms-aromatic liquid substances known as 'essential oils,'" says Valerie Ann Worwood in The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (Thorsons). Essential oils form what Worwood refers to as the "fragrant pharmacy," a collection of concentrated substances used in pharmaceuticals, foods and cosmetics.
When you sniff the aromas of essential oils, "they enter and leave the body with great efficiency, leaving no toxins behind," Worwood points out. "The most effective way to use essential oils is...by external application or inhalation. The methods used include body oils, compresses, cosmetic lotions, baths-including sitz, hand and foot baths-hair rinses...perfumes...and a whole range of room [scenting] methods."
As Worwood explains, essential oils are produced in various parts of different plants. As a result, it takes a great deal of specialized work to extract essential oils. About 60,000 rose blossoms are consumed in the production of an ounce (!) of rose oil.
Just as the antioxidant phytonutrients we eat in vegetarian foods link our bodies to the health-promoting chemistry of plants, the penetrating nature of essential oils are thought to connect our souls to the essences of flora. "From inside comes the voice and from inside comes the scent," observed the 19th century German doctor Gustav Fechner, quoted by Robert Tisserand in The Art of Aromatherapy (Healing Arts Press). "Just as one can tell human beings in the dark from the tone of voice, so, in the dark, every flower can be recognized by its scent. Each carries the soul of its progenitor."
Fechner believed that the power of essential oils to stir our deepest emotions derives from their function as a vital means of communication in the plant world. As Tisserand asks, can't we imagine that flowers "communicate with each other by the very perfumes they exude, becoming aware of each other's presence?"
The Science Behind the Scent
While alternative medical practitioners have acknowledged the effectiveness of Aromatherapy for thousands of years, only recently have conventional medical researchers begun seriously looking into how this technique works.
For instance, a study of estragole, a chemical found in basil, fennel and tarragon, determined that it could potentially ease back pain by inhibiting inflammation of the sciatic nerve. (The sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body, runs from the back down the leg.) The researchers discovered that estragole is "active on nerves," a conclusion that Aromatherapy practitioners, who employ the scent of these oils to soothe pain, already knew. Science is verifying another piece of information long known to practitioners-that while certain essential oils can calm you down, others prod your alertness. In a study performed at the University of Northumbria in England, scientists found that sniffing the scent of lavender lulls the human brain into a comfortable, rather stupefied state, while rosemary, in contrast, can sharpen recall.
As the English researchers noted, lavender "produced a significant decrement in performance of working memory, and impaired reaction times for both memory and attention-based tasks." That's probably why the odor of lavender is noted for enhancing sleep. On the other hand, the scientists found that rosemary "produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors." However, they did point out that under the influence of both of these oils, performance slowed when tackling a battery of memory tests. Apparently, the oils mellowed people so that they had little motivation to rush through the paperwork.
As Frazesca Watson notes in Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies (Thorsons): "The aroma of the oils directly affects our moods and emotions and sometimes our short- and long-term memory. Together with a wide range of physiological benefits, the aroma can help with emotional upsets such as depression, anxiety, nervous tension, anger, apathy, confusion, indecision, fear, grief, hypersensitivity, impatience, irritability, panic and hysteria."
Essential oils are especially helpful at defusing stress. Watson notes, "Treatments with essential oils are therefore very helpful for all sorts of stress-related problems, so common in our modern life."
As scientific research into the effects of these oils continue, conventional medical practitioners are sure to embrace them in increasing numbers. But before there were scientists around to confirm the effects of these wonderful scents, the ancient medical practitioners in Egypt and Greece attributed the origins of Aromatherapy to the gods. For many people in today's overstressed world, the relaxing assurance of essential oils certainly seems heaven-s(c)ent.
SPA: Satisfying Personal Attention
June 14, 2005 10:32 AM
SPA: Satisfying Personal Attention by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, October 12, 2004
Feeling stressed out? Looking for some time to relax and cool off, but just too busy to get away? Give yourself a spa treatment at home.
Creating your own home spa experience is easy and the benefits are many. With some common household items and a few essential oils, you can luxuriate in your own special spa experience while recharging and renewing mind, body and spirit. Indulge with a few close friends for a unique, shared experience.
Using concentrated plant oils derived from flowers and plants, Aromatherapy offers an ancient healing art that has gained newfound respect in the modern world. Aroma chemicals transfer quickly into the body, and researchers are finding unique ways to employ this ancient technique, including medical applications.
Studies find that lemon balm or lavender oil reduces behavioral problems in older people with dementia (BMJ 2002; 325:1312-3). Rosemary has been found to improve memory and enhance mental functioning (Int J Neurosci 2003 Jan; 113(1):15-38).
Only a drop or two of an essential oil is needed to receive their unique healing benefits. (Always dilute essential oils; never use or apply them directly to your skin without watering them down.) Essential oils can help you relax, rejuvenate, improve your memory and increase your energy.
Some essential oils are reputed to reduce pain, kill bacteria, speed healing of injuries and help fight inflammation and infection (Natl Meeting, Amer Chem Soc, 8/02).
When you feel like you're ready to spa, take the phone off the hook, unplug the TV and set aside a special, unbothered time and day for your at-home spa experience. Next, turn your bathroom into your special place. Light fragrant candles, put on your favorite soft music and fill the tub.
When running the water you should select a water temperature that fits the effect you desire, according to Valerie Gennari Cooksley, RN, author of Healing Home Spa (Penguin). Water temperature that approximates your normal body temperature produces a sedative effect. On the other hand, hotter water-that which hovers around 100 degrees-induces sweating and helps cleanse and detoxify. In any case, limit your time in hot water to about 20 minutes. If you use cold water, only stay immersed for a few short minutes to rejuvenate and close the skin's pores.
Try adding about 10 drops of either lavender or ylang-ylang oil to a warm bath to aid in relaxation and to release tight muscles. Don't rush; soak for at least 20 minutes and let the fragrant water vaporize your cares. Dry off with a fluffy towel and wrap yourself in your favorite bathrobe.
Other bath enhancers you can add to your soak include oatmeal to soften the skin, seaweed for deep cleansing, Epsom salts to relieve aches, and baking soda to alkalize the body. Herbal sachets can be made by placing dried herbs in a muslin bag and dropping the bag into the water to release fragrances and healing chemicals.
The facial is a standard spa procedure. Hold your face over a steaming bowl of hot water that contains lemon juice or a few drops of lemon essential oil for about 15 minutes. Use a towel over your head to hold in the steam.
When your face is well moisturized, apply a facial mask. On dry skin, use either puréed, ripe avocado or a mask of honey and kelp. If your face is oily, apply either puréed, ripe bananas or a mask of peppermint oil and honey. If you are not sure of your skin type or have mixed skin, green clay can be used for a balanced facial. Green clay is rich in minerals while being antiseptic and healing, notes Valerie Ann Worwood, author of The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (New World Library). With the addition of warm water, it creates an instant facial mask. (You can also use prepared facial masks; ask about them at your health food store.)
To apply the mask, begin at the forehead using upward strokes. Go easy around the eyes. Afterwards, put cucumber slices over your eyes and relax. Keep the mask on for about 15 minutes. Wash your face with warm water and then apply a moisturizer. Your skin should feel supple and look radiant.
Worwood recommends a few drops of rosemary oil and one tablespoon of baking soda in a basin of warm water to soothe your feet. Soaking your feet for about ten minutes softens the skin and nourishes the nails. After drying off, combine one-half cup sea salt with one-half cup of cooking oil, preferably olive, canola or sesame. Gently massage into each foot to stimulate reflex points and remove dead skin. Rinse and pat dry. Finish with a pedicure.
This salt scrub can be used on any part of the body to eliminate toxins, increase circulation, improve lymphatic movement and cleanse the pores. A popular European treatment, it is especially helpful for parts of the body that store water, such as the tummy and thighs. Rinse completely after the scrub and apply moisturizer to dry areas.
Since hands can age quickly, Worwood suggests using oils of rose, sandalwood and geranium for dry or neglected hands. You can also mix one-half cup of sugar with one-half cup cooking oil and a few drops of one of the above essential oils. Massage into each hand to moisturize and pamper your overworked hands. Rinse and apply your favorite lotion to seal in moisture. A gentle manicure adds the finishing touch.
Your special spa day wouldn't be complete without pampering your hair. Noted dermatologist David Bank, MD, suggests looking for shampoos that contain such gentle cleansers as avocado, borage oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil and wheat germ oil. Your shampoo should also contain moisturizing substances, such as aloe vera, to help give your locks shine and bounce.
Check your hair's condition. Oily hair-that which feels greasy within a day of washing-responds best to frequent washing with minimal conditioning. A bad case of the frizzy tangles is a sign of dry hair, which needs a moisturizer-rich shampoo.
Revive From the Inside With Green Drinks
During your spa day, sip green drinks. Green drinks made from aquatic plants such as spirulina, seaweed and kelp contain needed minerals to nourish skin, hair and nails; these plants have been used for centuries to promote health and longevity. In addition to being high in minerals, they are also low in fat, high in fiber and rich in protein.
The marine vegetables found in green drinks help detoxify the body, support the lymphatic system, alkalize the blood and tissues, and support a healthy thyroid. Many natural food stores carry green drink powders that can be added to juice or water. Sipping on a green drink can enhance the cleansing action of your home spa treatment, balance blood sugar levels and maintain your energy level during the day.
Throughout your home spa experience, drinking spring water with a touch of lemon or lime can facilitate the elimination of toxins and keep you hydrated. Indulge in plenty of high-fiber fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed sugars and high-fat foods. Eating lightly allows your body to eliminate toxins from the inside out while you work on the outside.
As Valerie Cooksley says, "...sound health occurs when the mind, body and spirit are in perfect harmony and balance." A home spa experience takes you a step closer to that harmony.
Ocean Treasures - For centuries, people have flocked to the sea....
June 13, 2005 10:11 AM
Ocean Treasures by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, January 3, 2004
For centuries, people have flocked to the sea to take advantage of its healing and restorative powers.
"The ocean is alive with energy and abundant sea life," says Susie Galvez, owner of Face Works Day Spa in Richmond, Virginia and author of Hello Beautiful (MQ Publications). "It's an abundant source. Sea products are rich in minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, all of which are known for their deeply cleansing and antibiotic properties. When we think of the sea, we think of health, invigoration, the feeling of being alive and yet peacefully calm."
"To the ancient Greeks, the image of Aphrodite rising out of the sea was beautiful because of the nutrients that the sea plants had given her," says Linda Page, ND, in Healthy Healing (Healthy Healing Publications). Today, sea plants still provide beauty benefits. "They have a complete spectrum of chelated minerals, which makes them easier to absorb, that add lustre and shine to your hair and eyes and improve skin texture and tone."
Thalassotherapy (seawater treatment) includes using salts, mud, foliage, sand and water from the sea to stimulate, hydrate and nourish the skin, making it smoother, firmer and more resilient.
"Using sea products in treatments is both restorative and detoxifying," says Galvez. "Now with modern technology, you don't have to live anywhere near the sea to take advantage of the wonderful health and wellness benefits. Your sea retreat source can be as close as your health food store."
Seaweed's Beauty Benefits
"Pollution, stress, fatigue and bad eating habits all affect the body," says Anne Mok, LaC, a certified Chinese herbalist and co-owner of Cornerstone Healing in Brooklyn, New York. This leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can result in broken capillaries, loss of firmness, skin lesions, dry scaliness and more.
The good news, Mok says, is since seaweed is packed with easy-to-absorb proteins, vitamins, minerals and lipids, it can protect against environmental pollution and ward off aging by nourishing and moisturizing the skin. "The seawater in seaweed is similar to human plasma, so it's an ideal way to get the nutritive benefits from the sea, vitamins A, C and E, and the minerals zinc, selenium and magnesium we need through the process of osmosis. Seaweed cleanses, tones and soothes the skin and regenerates body tissues, offering a new vitality and helping to maintain a youthful appearance. It also improves circulation, which has a positive effect on local fatty overloads and helps maintain the tone of the tissue." No wonder seaweed is used to firm the skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite!
Seaweed captures all the richness from the sea. "There is no genetic manipulation, fertilizer or pesticides, just the sea, light and the tides," says Mok. "[S]eaweed is ten times richer in trace elements than land plants."
Beauty aids from the sea include:
* Kelp (laminaria), a large leafy brown algae, grows along cold climate coastlines and can bring a healthy glow to skin. "Kelp powder has exfoliating properties that make it a great addition to a facial mask," Galvez adds. "It increases blood circulation and stimulates lymph production to eliminate toxins. It's also a mineral-rich body scrub for removing surface impurities."
* Crushed algae is often used in seaweed masks.
* Carrageenan, a gel extracted from Irish sea moss, is commonly used as a cosmetic thickening agent. "It's a great moisturizer that holds nutrients and water in," says Mok.
* Bladderwrack (fucus), a brown seaweed, is often used in cellulite-reducing creams to eliminate excess fluid from the skin.
A Seaweed Beauty Routine
Incorporating the benefits of seaweed into your beauty routine is easy. You can "purchase dehydrated seaweed at a natural food store to make your bath a mini-ocean," says Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty at Home (Henry Holt & Co). "Fill the tub to the point that you're covered when you lie down," says Dr. Page. "The idea is to make your body sweat, to open your pores, release toxins and take in the sea nutrient benefits by osmosis. Boost the effect with a few drops of Aromatherapy bath oils like rosemary and lavender. It'll help hold the heat in and improve your cleansing program." Rinse off and "you'll feel your skin tighten, due to the high iodine content of the seaweed," says Cox. "Your skin should also feel softer and firmer."
Seaweed and algae body wraps are ideal ways to beautify the skin, rid your body of toxins and boost well-being and health. "It starts a program of detoxification very rapidly," says Dr. Page, who has also written Detoxification: All You Need to Know (Healthy Healing Publications). "It's amazing how it encourages weight loss and cellulite reduction." "Seaweed wraps are the most effective cellulite treatments," says Mok. "Seaweed and seaweed mud, especially, stimulate the cells to improve cellular activity and increase the efficiency of lymphatic fluid, which helps break down toxic deposits that can result in cellulite.
"It's excellent conditioning for the skin and leaves it soft and glowing," says Claudia Spagnolo, spa director for the DeFranco Spagnolo Salon and Day Spa in Great Neck, New York.
Revitalize With Sea Salts
Sea salts contain minerals-such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, iron, sulphur, phosphorus and chlorine-that have a delightfully rejuvenating and revitalizing effect on skin.
"Sea salts enhance the youthful healthy glow of the skin," says Spagnolo. "It creates a deep pore cleansing from shoulder to toe, removing rough, dry skin, helping to purify and slough off dead skin cells. It's great for an all-over exfoliation, and leaves the skin smooth and refreshed."
"Sea salt has wonderful drawing properties, promoting the removal of toxins from the skin," says Galvez, author of Ooh La La Effortless Beauty (MQ Publications). "It's high in mineral content and nourishes the body."
Sea salt also "guards against moisture loss, so it's ideal for dry skin and helps prevent aging," says Mok. In addition, it can be used to treat acne, eczema and psoriasis. Often done before a massage in spas, a "salt glow," which uses a vigorous scrub of coarse sea salts mixed with essential oils, rejuvenates and revitalizes the skin. Sea salt is also readily available at health food stores so you can do the same at home.
Mineral-rich Dead Sea salts pack a salinity of 32%. "When bathing with Dead Sea salt you don't even need to use soap because the minerals remove redundant fat and dirt," says Mok. Dead Sea minerals are often used in shampoos, conditioners and shower gels. "Galvez adds, "Dead Sea mud mineral and vitamin content is very close to that of humans, and therefore treatments using the mud penetrate deeply."
Ah! Home Spa
It's easy to turn your bathroom into an oasis of calm and create a private spa to call your own.
For a sea cure bath, mix together half a pound of sea salt and a pound of baking soda, add to a warm water bath and soak until the water has cooled, says Mok. "It's excellent for soothing itchy and dry skin and helps detoxify by pulling out toxic waste from the pores." Aromatherapy oils, like lavender, make your soak in the tub even more relaxing and luxurious. "It's a great way to de-stress after a long day at work."
A seaweed wrap can release water retention and leave legs looking their sleekest, notes Mok. "Just soak legs in a bath of warm water and Epsom salts for 5 minutes, then pat dry. Apply a seaweed mask and wrap legs with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Relax for 15 minutes. Remove towel and plastic wrap and rinse."
You can also try a sea salt rub by mixing two cups of kosher salt with one cup of olive oil until it forms a thick paste. (Be careful: the oil is slippery.) "While in the tub or shower, massage it into your skin using long strokes toward the heart, starting with your feet," says Galvez. Rinse off with warm water, use a soft washcloth to remove any residue, pat dry and apply moisturizer. "Your skin will be silky smooth and wonderfully hydrated." To create a spa environment at home, details make all the difference. "Think of your favorite beach get-a-way and go with an ocean theme," says Cox. "Include something for each of the senses." For example, put on a CD that has nature sounds. To capture the color of the water, use sea-colored towels. For scent, light candles that produce the scents of flowering plants (such as plumeria or citrus). Add "ocean" fragrance beads. When taking a bath, "use shells to scoop out sea salts or dehydrated sea weed and put them around the tub as decoration," says Cox. Smooth on a moisturizer with a sea-scented lotion when you finish your spa treatment.
When you make an at-home sea spa experience a regular part of your routine, you reap a bounty of beauty and health benefits. "In just 20 minutes you can have a mini-vacation," says Galvez. "It's cleansing and relaxing."
Then you will be ready to dive back into reality with renewed zest.
In the Clear - Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations
June 12, 2005 02:13 PM
In the Clear by Dianne Drucker Energy Times, August 3, 2003
Your skin needs protection even as it offers itself as your body's first line of defense against the outside world. Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations during its daily encounters with stray microorganisms, streams of ultraviolet light and a barrage of pollutants.
Tending to your skin, keeping a clear complexion while safeguarding your well-being, requires proper feeding, watering and tender, loving care.
Your skin not only has to protect you, it has to look good while doing it. Unfortunately, much can go wrong with skin. One of the most common skin irregularities is the acne that often arises when pores clog and inflammation creates unsightly blemishes.
While conventional medicine has long insisted that your chances of developing pimples are unrelated to what you feed your body and your skin, recent studies are calling that accepted wisdom into question.
Research in the Archives of Dermatology (12/02) argues that today's pimples are linked to what you ate yesterday. Skin scientists now suspect that the typical American diet, filled with refined foods, sugars and simple starches, causes the exaggerated release of insulin and related secretions that foment pimples and blemishes.
The evidence: When researchers spent two years combing through the rainforests of New Guinea and trekking to remote parts of Paraguay, they took a close look at indigenous people's faces and couldn't find a single pimple. The inhabitants of these isolated areas eat homegrown food and wild game. They've never eaten crackers or cookies from a box or slurped a milkshake through a straw. And they've never had to cope with embarrassing acne.
The researchers concluded that no refined foods meant no blemishes.
Refining the Pimple Process
According to this latest theory, pimples can start when your digestive tract quickly absorbs refined, starchy carbohydrates from white bread or potatoes or sugary soft drinks. These foods are ranked at or near the top of the so-called glycemic index. That means that these foodstuffs cause your blood sugar to climb rapidly, the process that the glycemic index measures.
That rise in blood sugar causes the release of insulin from your pancreas into your bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone-like substance, helps cells soak up the excess sugar circulating in your blood. However, along with insulin, another substance, is also released. These two chemicals boost the production of testosterone, the male hormone that, in turn, can cause the skin to overproduce sebum, an oily goo that plugs up pores and gives birth to acne. (Previous research has already established the causal relationship of testosterone to pimples.)
Lorain Cordain, PhD, a health professor at Colorado State University and lead researcher in this study, points out that more than 80% of the grains we eat are highly refined and cause significant blood sugar increases, a factor that makes skin break out. In addition, he says, teens are especially susceptible to pimples because they are growing rapidly and, as a result, tend to be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means it takes more insulin to persuade cells to take sugar out of the blood. This condition consequently results in even larger amounts of insulin being released and more skin blemishes being created.
According to Dr. Cordain, eating low-glycemic foods like whole grains, vegetables, fish and lean meat should lower your risk of acne. These foods don't bump up blood sugar as much, to be released and, as a result, are kinder to your skin.
Aside from improving your skin condition by improving the food you eat, taking supplements to help the bacteria in your lower digestive tract may also clear up your undesirable dermatological developments. Eczema, a discomforting and embarrassing skin inflammation, is now believed to depend on the interaction between intestinal bacteria and your immune system.
According to research in Finland (The Lancet 2001; 357:1076), eczema may appear on your skin when your immune system, influenced by the gut's bacteria, misbehaves, using unnecessary inflammation to defend against a non-existent infection that it mistakenly believes threatens the skin.
Atopic eczema, a variety of eczema that often runs in families, has long been known to be linked to allergies and immune overreactions.
In looking into the fact that more and more people have been suffering eczema, scientists came to the disturbing conclusion that this increase may be at least partly attributed to our obsession with cleanliness.
When we are young, our immune systems learn the proper ways to fight off germs by interacting with the bacteria and viruses they encounter. But during the past ten years, so many of us (and our parents) have kept our houses so neurotically spic-and-span, according to the latest theory, that our immune systems are failing to develop the proper responses. So, like a bored, inexperienced security guard who imagines a threat when there is none, our immune defenses are going slightly haywire, causing the defensive inflammation of eczema even in the absence of real bacteriological invasions. The possible solution: Probiotic supplements of harmless bacteria like Lactobacillus GG. This bacteria, similar to the friendly bacteria that live in our large intestines, seems to calm immunity so that it is less likely to panic and start an unnecessary inflammation.
These supplements are so safe, medical researchers are now giving them to pregnant women and newborn babies. In the research in Finland, giving these probiotics to mothers and newborns cut the rate of infant atopic eczema in half. (Similar, live bacteria are also found in yogurt, although yogurt should not be fed to newborns.)
The skin on these children is benefiting for long periods of time. "Our findings show that the preventive effect of Lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema in at-risk children extends to the age of 4 years," notes Marko Kalliomäki, MD, author of the study.
Tea Tree Help
Further natural skin help can be had from Australia in the form of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Long revered by the aborigines of this continent, tea tree oil was allegedly given its English name by British sea captain James Cook, who used the plant to make a tea that improved the flavor of beer.
But Australians have long used tea tree oil as an antiseptic. Its popularity increased during World War II, when, after it was used as a lubricant on heavy machinery, mechanics who got the oil on their hands noticed it fought skin infections. As pointed out in The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook (Three Rivers Press), "The essential oil of tea tree...contains a number of terpenes, of which terpinen-4-ol is believed to be responsible for its beneficial anti-infective activity." Terpenes are special, beneficial types of protein found in essential oils.
Tea tree is especially useful against skin outbreaks caused by fungus infections. Research in Australia shows that it can help quell athlete's foot (Austr Jrnl Derm 1992; 33:145) as effectively as some pharmaceutical preparations. Other research confirms that it can help quiet many different fungi that cause unsightly skin outbreaks (Skin Pharm 1996; 9:388). The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook recommends that "every household should keep some tea tree oil close at hand. It can be applied directly to skin irritations."
Revered by the pharaohs' healers in Egypt during the ancient age of the pyramids, and depended upon for centuries by the Greeks for a variety of medicinal purposes, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is still employed for a range of skin problems. This botanical helps ease abscesses, bruises or sunburn, and is included in many massage oils. (But never apply chamomile's undiluted essential oil to the skin.)
In addition, creams and sprays with chamomile are used to calm the nerves and nourish the skin. As an element in Aromatherapy, chamomile, whose odor has been compared to apples, is well-known for soothing and rejuvenating the spirit. Explaining exactly how chamomile heals and calms has not been easy for scientists. Essential oils like chamomile contain so many different natural chemicals that exploring their holistic effect on the human body requires detailed analysis. As an aromatherapeutic agent, researchers believe chamomile and other essential oils may interact with the brain, activating glands that stimulate healing systems within the body. But that has yet to be proven.
What has been proven is that herbs like chamomile and tea tree, and natural treatments like probiotics, can make a big difference in keeping your skin healthy and clear. With their help, you can present your best face to the world.
Home Spa Secrets
June 12, 2005 01:55 PM
Home Spa Secrets by Carol Perkins Energy Times, July 12, 2003
The luxurious feeling that comes over you in a pampering spa atmosphere can be yours at home without having to venture out to an exclusive resort. Lock the door, put on relaxing music and fill the air with luscious scents. Rejuvenation, regeneration and health-promoting sensations await!
If you decide to indulge in a home spa, cleansing, detoxifying and kicking back in an unstressed atmosphere, you can prepare yourself for your spa activities by sipping what Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, calls a "Living Beauty Elixir," a blend of eight ounces of unsweetened cranberry juice with two teaspoons of a green superfood mixture "rich in purifying chlorophyll and detoxifying antioxidants and nutrients."
This drink, as Dr. Gittleman points out in The Living Beauty Detox Program (Harper), "helps the liver... open up the detoxification pathways....It's a marvelous cleanser for the lymphatic system...removing wastes from the cells via the connective tissue." The green food mixture that Dr. Gittleman recommends includes nutritious items available from your local natural food store that contain chlorophyll-rich foods such as chlorella and spirulina.
Dim the Lights, Light the Candles
Setting a relaxed, soothing atmosphere is a vital part of the total home spa experience. For the right kind of luxurious ambiance, Aloha Bay's Bright Bouquets candle offers three fragrances in one vase for a selection of tantalizing aromas. Improving the experience, these 100% pure natural wax blends offer about 100 hours of clean burning for an seemingly endless at-home spa getaway (1-800-994-3267, www.alohabay.com). Once you have your candles lit and your bathtub running, you can boost your bathing experience with botanicals from the sea.
According to Linda Page, ND, PhD, author of Healthy Healing (Healthy Healing Publications), "Beauty treatments from the sea are one of nature's most ancient beauty therapies. In Greece, Aphrodite's beautiful skin, hair and sparkling eyes were attributed to plants from the sea. The collagen in sea plants is great for relieving wrinkles and brown spots."
Dr. Page suggests making a seaweed mask by mixing 1/2 tablespoon of ground kelp flakes with a tablespoon of aloe vera gel, leaving this mixture on your face and neck for 10 minutes. "This can help heal scars from facial surgery and is also good for the thyroid. Over 15 million people may have a low thyroid."
Another great mask can be made from derma e's deliciously soothing Papaya and Soy Milk Clarifying Facial Mask. Designed especially for sensitive skin, this soothing mask helps exfoliate dead skin cells and clean pores of pollution and debris while conditioning and nourishing for silky skin (1-800-521-3342, www.dermae.net).
Dr. Page also recommends filling your tub with seaweed, which will turn the water a refreshing green. She says that "packaged seaweed soaks can be put right into the tub, or they can be used in a muslin bag which is placed in the water. That makes for an easier clean-up.
"Fill the tub about two-thirds full with very hot water, put in the seaweed (dried or fresh), which will make the water look like a green sea garden. Keep the water filling the tub slowly to maintain a warm temperature and stay in it for about 20 to 25 minutes. It's great for detoxification, and you can enhance the experience with a few drops of lavender and chamomile."
The gel from the seaweed will coat your skin. When the gel comes off, the bath is over and you have received the full regenerative effects of the plants. When you use this bath as part of your home spa, Dr. Page says that about 45 minutes should be longest you stay in the tub, and if you're using stimulating botanicals like cayenne or ginger, take these after the bath, not before.
After you climb out of the bath, you can give yourself a complete manicure with Baywood's all-in-one hand and nail formula made of dead sea salts, herbs and essential oils. Appropriately named, Baywood's Complete Manicure cream exfoliates and replenishes your skin with nutrients making it feel soft and silky in minutes (1-800-481-7169, www.bywd.com). Then you can apply soothing, nourishing creams to your hands with DreamTime's Hand Cozys that soothe away aches and arthritic pain, and comfort overworked hands. Designed like large oven mitts, these fashionable gloves make a perfect at-home spa treatment when used with your favorite nourishing hand lotion. The warmth of the Hand Cozys help your skin absorb lotion more readily, making your hands soft and supple (1-877-464-6702, www.Dreamtimeinc.com).
Relax to the Max
You should further enhance your spa experience with soothers like Intensive Care Capsules from Annemarie Borlind. These Intensive Care Caps are a weekly replenishment treatment designed to repair damage from sun and wind, offering significant relief from dry skin. Each capsule contains a high concentration of borage seed oil and natural ceramide to deliver new moisture, vitality and elasticity, while being gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin (1-800-447-7024: request a free beauty newsletter; www.borlind.com).
And you can reward your skin with Zia's Body Butter. This dream cream combines mango and shea butters to actually heal the skin while moisturizing it (1-800-334-7546, www.zianatural.com).
An indulgent highlight of your home spa experience can be treating your feet to relaxing rubs and Aromatherapy.
As Frazesca Watson points out in Aromatherapy Blends & Therapies (Thorsons), a drop or two of lavender and chamomile added "to a bowl of warm water and soak(ing) the feet for approximately 10 minutes... (can) help colds, varicose veins, athlete's foot, sore and painful feet, and swollen ankles."
The most important element of your foot soak, like everything in your home spa treatment, is the calming and relaxing effect. Healing and soothing, these treatments can keep you on an even temperament in a hectic world.
So shut the light, close the shades, light the candles and get ready to spa.
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness.
June 10, 2005 10:06 PM
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness. by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, December 6, 1999
Most folks wouldn't seek the distressing distinction of suffering chronic fatigue syndrome. Aside from a dizzying array of discomforts associated with the malady, the lack of a definitive cause, and few remedies offered by the medical establishment, scornful skeptics lob accusations of laziness or boredom or just plain moodiness. "Snap out of it!" they say, with little sympathy or understanding. "Just get moving!"
But if you're one of more than 3 million Americans affected by chronic fatigue, you know your problem is not all in your head. Your symptoms are real and they extend far beyond mere tiredness. In addition to a debilitating sense of fatigue that can make everyday existence feel like an overwhelming struggle, you may suffer from impaired concentration and memory, recurrent sore throats, nagging headaches, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and fitful sleep. The persistence of any one of these effects alone could be debilitating, but the overall diminished capabilities of the chronic fatigue sufferer can become the most discouraging aspect of the disease.
But before you give up hope on kicking this energy-sucking ailment, look to natural ways to boost your immune system and regain your stamina for a more healthy and productive life. New research points to powerful, energy enhancing supplements which, combined with a nutritious diet and stress reducing techniques, can help you reclaim your body from a swamp of sluggishness.
Part of the public's misconceptions about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may stem from vague definitions of exactly what it is and its causes.
In the '80s, CFS was often mentioned in the same breath as the Epstein-Barr virus, which garnered much notoriety as the "yuppie flu": a state of chronic exhaustion that often plagued young, overworked professionals, as the media trumpeted. CFS was initially thought to be the result of the Epstein-Barr virus, and the two were often considered to be the same thing. Since the Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, the term "chronic mono" was also thrown around to refer to long-lasting states of fatigue.
Today, CFS is defined as a separate disorder from the Epstein-Barr syndrome. Researchers have found that CFS is not caused exclusively by the Epstein-Barr virus or any other single infectious disease agent. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, CFS may have multiple causes, in which viruses or other infectious agents might have a contributory role. Some of these additional possible culprits include herpes simplex viruses, candida albicans (yeast organisms), or parasites.
According to the CDC, a person can be definitively diagnosed with CFS when she or he experiences severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer that is not caused by other medical conditions, and must have four or more of the following problems recurrently for six consecutive months: tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat, headaches, unrefreshing sleep and postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours.
Even if you are not diagnosed with CFS, you could still probably use some help in fending off fatigue. You may suffer from another poorly understood condition like fibromyalgia, which causes similar symptoms of exhaustion and pain with additional stomach discomfort. You may cope with another ailment like hypoglycemia or low thyroid function that zaps your energy. Or you could be like almost every stressed-out American adult trying to do it all at the expense of your well-being. Though researchers still search for a definitive cause for CFS, one thing is certain: Constant stress and poor nutritional habits weaken the immune system's ability to ward off a host of debilitating viruses and organisms. So before you run yourself down and succumb to a chronic condition, learn how you can build up your defenses now.
Some of the most exciting new research in CFS treatments focuses on NADH or Coenzyme 1, an energy-enhancing nutritional supplement. This naturally-occurring substance is present in all living cells including food, although cooking destroys most of it. Coenzymes help enzymes convert food and water into energy and NADH helps provide cellular fuel for energy production. It also plays a key role in cell regulation and DNA repair, acts as a potent antioxidant, and can reportedly improve mental focus and concentration by stimulating cellular production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin.
A recent study conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and reported in the February 1999 issue of The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, showed that chronic fatigue sufferers improved their condition significantly by taking Enada, the stabilized, absorbable, oral form of NADH. The researchers found that 31% of those who took the supplement achieved significant improvement in relief of their symptoms, and a follow up study showed that 72% achieved positive results over a longer period of time.
Coenzyme-A and Coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q10) are related coenzymes also necessary for energy production.
According to Erika Schwartz, M.D., and Carol Colman, authors of Natural Energy: From Tired to Terrific in 10 Days (G.P. Putnam's Sons) CoQ10 in combination with the nutrient carnitine enhances cellular energy production, thereby boosting energy levels. Coenzyme-A is required to initiate the chemical reactions that involve the utilization of CoQ10 and NADH for the production of energy at the cellular level.
Another important energy-enhancing nutrient is D-ribose, a simple sugar that is crucial to many processes in your body. D-ribose stimulates the body's production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, an energy-rich chemical compound that provides the fuel for all body functions. D-ribose is essential to the manufacture of ATP and maintaining high levels of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles.
In addition to these new nutrients, a host of more familiar vitamins and minerals can help banish fatigue. According to Susan M. Lark, M.D., author of the Chronic Fatigue Self Help Book (Celestial Arts) nutritional supplements help stimulate your immune system, glands and digestive tract, promote proper circulation of blood and oxygen, and provide a calming effect. Some of Lark's recommended nutrients for building and regaining strength include:
Vitamin A: Helps protect the body against invasion by viruses that could trigger CFS, as well as bacteria, fungi and allergies. Supports the production and maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membranes, the body's first line of defense against invaders. Also supports the immune system by boosting T-cell activity and contributing to the health of the thymus, the immune-regulating gland.
Vitamin B Complex: Depression and fatigue can result from the body's depletion of B vitamins, which can occur from stress or drinking too many caffeinated beverages. Studies have provided preliminary evidence that CFS patients have reduced functional B vitamin status (J R Soc Med 92 , Apr. 1999: 183-5). The 11 factors of B complex are crucial to glucose metabolism, stabilization of brain chemistry and inactivation of estrogen, which regulate the body's levels of energy and vitality. n Vitamin C: Helps prevent fatigue linked to infections by stimulating the production of interferon, a chemical that can limit the spread of viruses. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections by maintaining healthy antibody production and white blood cells. Also necessary for production of adrenal gland hormones which help prevent exhaustion in those under stress.
Bioflavonoids: Help guard against fatigue caused by allergic reactions; their anti-inflammatory properties prevent the production of histamine and leukotrienes that promote inflammation. Bioflavonoids like quercetin are powerfully antiviral.
Vitamin E: Has a significant immune stimulation effect and, at high levels, can enhance immune antibody response.
Zinc: Immune stimulant; improves muscle strength and endurance. Constituent of many enzymes involved in metabolism and digestion. n Magnesium and Malic Acid: Important for the production of ATP, the body's energy source. Magnesium is also important for women who may develop a deficiency from chronic yeast infections.
Potassium: Enhances energy and vitality; deficiency leads to fatigue and muscle weakness.
Calcium: Combats stress, nervous tension and anxiety.
Iodine: Necessary to prevent fatigue caused by low thyroid function, as it is crucial for the production of the thyroid hormone thyroxin.
In addition to nutrients to bolster your immunity, herbal remedies can also help suppress viral and candida infections. Garlic is a powerful, natural antibiotic, while echinacea and goldenseal have strong anti-infective abilities. Other botanicals help combat tiredness and depression: stimulating herbs such as ginger, ginkgo biloba, licorice root and Siberian ginseng can improve vitality and energy. For anxiety, moodiness and insomnia try passionflower or valerian root, which both have a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Eating For Energy
Supplements can only do their best if you eat a nutritious diet. Start by cutting out large quantities of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, red meat and fat.
But what are the best foods when trying to restore energy or recover from illness? "High nutrient content foods with a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates," answers Jennifer Brett, ND, interim clinic director and chair of botanical medicine at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.
"You want foods with high nutritional value-that's where vegetables end up looking better than fruit."
Brett enthusiastically pushes that "universal food," as she calls it: chicken soup.
"In China," she says, laughing, "they do make chicken soup, and they do think of it as healing, because they add astragalus and shiitake mushrooms. Vegetable soups with chicken or fish have high nutritional value and are easy to digest."
The same principle applies to juices, Brett says. Juices are a good way to tastefully get more phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables into your diet. Toss in protein powder, and you can make a complete meal in your blender.
"You get more energy from juicing," she explains, "more accessible nutrients and carbohydrates that are not bound up in fiber." Brett's additional recommendation: oatmeal.
"It's got protein and carbohydrates combined with a lot of minerals, which you may not get from a sugary cereal," she says. "Sure, they spray some vitamins on them, but if you don't drink the milk in the bottom of the bowl, you'll miss out on them. You might as well take a multivitamin."
Look to fiber for superior energy enhancement. Natural Energy author Schwartz calls it downright "miraculous": "In terms of conserving precious energy, fiber-rich foods are your cells' best friends," she writes. "It takes smaller quantities of them to give you a full, satisfied feeling. They release all their benefits slowly, which allows the cells to extract nutrients with much less effort. Then these fiber-rich foods graciously leave the body with ease and efficiency." Among these "slow burn" foods that Schwartz says raise blood sugar slowly and steadily and maintain energy evenly:
Alfalfa sprouts-high in fiber and low in cholesterol.
Apples-one medium unpeeled provides 10% of the recommended daily fiber dose; unlike sweeter fruits, which are rich in healthful fiber, they help regulate blood sugar.
Broccoli-along with such greens as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens and broccoli rabe, it's packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals n Brown rice, wild rice, other whole grains-fiber treasure troves, including barley, quinoa, millet and buckwheat.
Corn-excellent fiber source.
Lentils and other legumes-high in fiber, delicious beans are rich in culinary possibilities.
Oat bran and wheat bran-mix into yogurt or add to cereal for the best available access to fiber.
Popcorn-an excellent snack.
Citrus for More Energy
If constant colds and infections are draining your energy, healthy helpings of citrus fruit may be the pickup you need. According to Robert Heinerman, in Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices (Parker), citrus fruit have been used for more than a thousand years as natural remedies for a wide variety of ailments:
Kumquat juice is supposed to help clear up bronchitis. Lemon juice with a pinch of table salt eases a sore throat. Lime juice in warm water soothes aches and cramps from the flu. Tangerine juice can break up mucous congestion in the lungs. Along with citrus' vitamin C, these fruits also supply carotenoids, antioxidants that provide disease-preventing benefits. Citrus also often contain calcium, potassium, folate (a B vitamin that fights against heart disease), iron and fiber.
Fruits are loaded with phytochemicals, naturally occurring chemicals that give fruit their vibrant colors. Yellow, red and orange fruits are also high in flavonoids, like quercetin, a substance which fights cancer. Quercetin also aids in prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration, according to author Stephanie Beling, MD, in her book Power Foods (Harper Collins).
Even the US Department of Agriculture agrees on this flavonoid's benefits, noting in its phytochemical database that quercetin is an "antitumor promoter, antiasthmatic, anticarcinogenic, antiplaque, cancer-preventive, capillariprotective." (Quercetin is also available as a supplement.)
Don't Avoid Avocados
For a vitamin rich food, few items beat the avocado which holds vitamins E and C as well as some B vitamins (B6, niacin, riboflavin). A significant source of beta carotene, though not nearly as much as carrots or sweet potatoes, avocados also contain high amounts of the minerals potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
Just 15 grams of avocado delivers about 81 international units of vitamin A as beta carotene. Beta carotene, a carotenoid in fruits and vegetables, is converted to vitamin A in the body. This vitamin, aside from providing antioxidant protection from damaging free radicals, is necessary for good eyesight, healthy skin and healing.
In addition, the avocado, like all of these healthy foods, tastes great. Which means that you can pep up and not have to sacrifice taste for zest.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
Remember that the path to wellness begins in your mind. Stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation and massage and Aromatherapy can have a great rejuvenating effect on your body. If you can learn to handle stress effectively instead of letting it control you-and strengthen your system with the right nutrients and diet-you'll find that fatigue can be a sporadic visitor rather than a chronic companion.
June 10, 2005 05:38 PM
Aromessentials by Joanne Gallo , February 3, 2002
Aromessentials By Joanne Gallo
But Aromatherapy is more than just a '90s-style novelty. The practice of using aromatic essential oils for psychological and physical well-being dates back more than 4,000 years to medicinal practices in Egypt and India.
The term "Aromatherapy" was coined in 1937 by French cosmetic chemist R.M. Gattefosse, who discovered the benefits of essential oil after burning his hand in a laboratory accident. Gattefosse immersed his hand into the nearest available cool liquid: a vat of lavender oil. The near miraculous soothing of his pain and rapid healing spurred him to dedicate his life to the study of aromatic plants and their therapeutic effects.
How it Works
For those who turn their noses up at this most seemingly-subtle of senses, keep in mind that the perception of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than the sense of taste. "The sense of smell is the sense of the imagination," noted French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau; this emotional connection lies at the heart of Aromatherapy.
Aromas are transmitted rapidly from olfactory cells in the nose to the limbic system in the brain which perceives and responds to emotion, pleasure and memory. Scents trigger the limbic system to release neurochemicals which influence mood. Well-known neurochemicals like endorphins and serotonin help create a sense of well-being.
When you inhale essential oils, some of the molecules travel to the lungs, where they proceed to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
Oils applied to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream as well. Because they are oil/fat soluble, essential oils are highly absorbed by the body, where they circulate for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours and are eventually eliminated through sweat and other bodily secretions.
Essential oils are extremely potent and volatile: approximately 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.
Most essential oils are steam distilled from herbs, flowers and plants. Others are cold expressed from the rind of the fruit, which produces the purest essential oils because no heat or chemical treatment is involved.
The components of various oils are beneficial for a wide variety of beauty and hygiene conditions. Some of the more indispensable essential oils include:
Chamomile (anthemis nobilis): soothing properties for sensitive and inflamed skin; calming, balancing and relaxing.
Clary Sage (salvia sclarea): warming, female balancing herb used for PMS; calms anxiety, tension and stress; also used as a muscle relaxant for aches and pains.
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus): antibacterial; fresh, herbal menthol aroma; widely used as an inhalant for colds, coughs and congestion; excellent for massaging tired or sore muscles.
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens): one of the best all-around tonic oils for mind and body; soothes nervous tension and mood swings; balances female hormones and PMS; gently astringent and antiseptic, it improves general tone and texture of skin.
Jasmine (jasminum grandiflorum): a warm, rich, sensual floral scent used historically as an aphrodisiac; moisturizing for dry/mature skin.
Lemon (citrus limonum): refreshing and invigorating; eases tension and depression; useful for oily skin and treatment of acne.
Peppermint (mentha piperita): cool, menthol, invigorating stimulant; cleans and purifies the skin.
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis): stimulating and uplifting; purifying and cleansing for all skin types; warm and penetrating for massage to ease muscular aches and pains.
Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia): an antiseptic from the leaves of the Australian tea tree; antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral; excellent for skin irritations like cold sores, insect bites and acne.
Ylang Ylang (cananga odorata): enticing and sensual; helps alleviate anger, stress, insomnia and hypertension; helps balance the skin's sebaceous secretions.
Essential oils can be utilized in a variety of ways: in electric or candle-based diffusers, to spread the aroma through a room; in sachets and air fresheners; added to shampoos and lotions; or diluted and applied to pulse points like the temples, on neck or on wrists. Undiluted essential oils should never be applied to the skin. First mix them with carrier oils: pure vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil and apricot kernel oil. Use a general guideline of six to 18 drops of essential oil per one ounce of vegetable oil. Blended, diluted oils are also available which can be used directly on your skin.
Pond's Aromatherapy Capsules come in four scents: Happy, which is fruity and floral; Romantic,with musk and vanilla; Relaxing, a floral and woodsy aroma; and Energizing, with fresh citrus and bright floral scents.
Sarah Michaels offers four essential oil blends: Sensual Jasmine, Soothing Lavender, Refreshing Citrus and Invigorating Peppermint.
The San Francisco Soap Company's Simply Be Well Line features an essential oil light ring set, a diffuser that uses the heat of a light bulb to spread an aroma through your room.
One of the most popular and luxurious ways to enjoy Aromatherapy is in a steaming hot bath. Numerous bath products formulated with plant essences can turn your tub time into a rejuvenating experience. Body & Earth features Body Wash, Foam Bath and Soap in five essences: Vanilla Serenity, Lavender Whisper, Playful Peach, Raspberry Rapture and Pear Essence.
The Healing Garden offers a full line of Aromatherapy products; try their Tangerinetherapy Wake Up Call Body Cleanser, Gingerlily Therapy Upbeat Bath & Shower Gel; or Minttherapy Fresh Start Bath & Shower Gel.
Simply Be Well products take traditional Aromatherapy one step further by combining essential oils with herbal extracts and natural nutrients.
The line includes Shower Gel and Bath Salts in four fragrances: Explore contains ginkgo, eucalyptus, lemon and vitamin B6; Share features dong quai, passionflower, ylang ylang and zinc; Unwind includes kava kava, geranium, lavender and vitamin E; and Celebrate contains ginseng, wild mint, hemp and vitamin C.
Yardley London Bar Soaps, formulated with botanicals and moisturizers, are available in five fragrances: soothing English Lavender, exfoliating Oatmeal and Almond, Aloe Vera for natural healing, skin-softening Chamomile Essence, and astringent Evening Primrose.
"Aromatherapy and the cosmetic use of essential oils have made a tremendous contribution to skin care," asserts Joni Loughran, author of Natural Skin Care: Alternative & Traditional Techniques (Frog, Ltd.). "Every type of skin (such as oily, dry, and normal) can benefit." Some of the natural products that can help balance your skin include these:
Kiss My Face Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal/Oily skin features citrus oils which act as antiseptics, marigold for healing, licorice root for toning, lavender to normalize oil production, plus the antioxidant green tea.
Kiss My Face's Gentle Face Cleaner for Normal/Dry skin includes essential oils plus organic, detoxifying herbs goldenseal and red clover, echinacea and rose hips with natural vitamin C.
Naturistics Almond Facial Moisture Cream contains almond, allantoin and calendula to smooth dry skin; Wild Chamomile Facial Lotion with rose hips and honeysuckle soothes and conditions rough skin.
Simply Be Well products, which use essential oils combined with herbal extracts like ginkgo and dong quai, are available in Body Lotion and Body Mist.
Wicks and Sticks
Perhaps the easiest way to get your Aromatherapy fix is to light a candle and just sit back, relax and breathe.
The Healing Garden offers a wide variety of aromatic candles to suit your every mood; try their Green Teatherapy Meditation Candle; Jasminetherapy Embrace the Light Love Candle; or Lavendertherapy Peace & Tranquility Candle.