Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Aromatherapy in Labor and Delivery

The time has come. After nine months of anticipation you are standing at the door, suitcase at the ready, stopwatch in hand. You’ve timed the contractions at every two to five minutes on the dot, and as the drama of birth opens its curtains before your very eyes, you wonder if all your preparations will have been enough.

Childbirth is definitely one of, if not the most difficult labors a woman faces in her lifetime. Today, much is written about gentle, natural birthing options, which are healthier for mother and child. By providing a proper state of mind and natural analgesic, aromatherapy can be used to create a memorable, magical birthing atmosphere. This article will explain some of the best ways to prepare for childbirth using essential oils.

One of women’s greatest fears when approaching childbirth is that of damaging the delicate perineal tissue. Doctors and midwives ask whether you would prefer to have an episiotomy or risk a tear. Why not prepare the perineum beforehand with soothing massage? Studies have shown that women who perform daily perineal massages in preparation for childbirth are 30% more likely to deliver over an intact perineum. Besides making the tissue soft and supple, the massage can mentally prepare the woman to relax these muscles and open outward in response to pressure, a skill that will no doubt come in handy when the baby is making his way into the world.

Ideally, you should begin daily 5-10 minute massages at six to eight weeks prior to term. First, empty your bladder. Soaking for 5-15 minutes in warm water and lavender oil can relax the vaginal wall, making the perineal massage more comfortable. If you are doing the massage yourself, place one foot on the seat of a chair or the side of the bathtub; otherwise, a partner can perform the massage while you sit back comfortably with your back resting against pillows.

Mix 1 ounce wheat germ oil with 3 drops lavender and 1 drop geranium. (Sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and cold-pressed olive oil are good substitutes for wheat germ oil. You can also use a blend of the oils.) After dipping into the massage oil, insert your thumb or middle fingers into the vagina just enough to stretch the perineal tissue, approximately two to three inches. Press the vaginal wall back toward the rectum, massaging in a U-shaped motion. Gently stretch the vagina open for 20-60 seconds, or until you feel a tingling or slight burning sensation. Stretch both the inner portions as well as the outer rim of the perineum. Make sure to wash hands thoroughly before and after perineal massage, and discard any unused oil.

Wherever you are planning to give birth, aromatherapy can be utilized. For use during labor and delivery, add to your suitcase your favorite essential oils and oil blends, an aromatic diffuser (electric models are the best for use in birthing centers and hospitals), flannels and bowls for compresses, and a plastic tub for sitz baths. Make sure to practice with your partner so that he or she is ready to serve you in your hour of need. Discussing your wishes with your health care provider is also a good idea, so that you don’t end up in a battle of wills just at the time you planned to create your ideal birth environment.

The following essential oils are ideal for labor and delivery. Due to the heightened sensitivity to smell during labor, it is best to use only a couple oils at a time.

Neroli, bergamot, rose, or frankincense help relieve fear and anxiety, and promote relaxation between contractions. These are good oils to use in your diffuser.

Lavender is good for aches, and helps in balancing and calming the laboring woman. After your cervix has dilated to at least 2 cm, you may consider taking a 30 minute lavender bath. Studies show that this can improve progress in labor and significantly reduces the need for drugs.

Between contractions, a foot or lower back massage can soothe and stimulate pain relief. Add 20 drops lavender and 8 drops clary sage in 4 ounces of olive oil.

Jasmine, lavender, or clary sage compresses can stimulate or strengthen contractions, and cool compresses to the forehead keep you feeling refreshed. To prepare a compress simply add 3-4 drops essential oil to a bowl of warm or cool water. Drape a flannel over the surface of the water to absorb the film of the oil. Ring out cloth and apply to area.

1 drop peppermint oil offered on a handkerchief can ward off nausea, or can be used as a pick-me-up during the transitional phase, when fatigue may settle in.

If tension is preventing you from opening the cervix during contractions, an abdominal massage or a compress of 8 drops Spikenard, 7 drops Jasmine, and 3 drops lemon verbena in 4 ounces olive oil can help. Evening primrose oil massaged directly on the cervix can also assist in relaxing the tissues.

Whatever turn your birthing takes, allow the effects of aromatherapy to penetrate your mind and relax your body.

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Aromatherapy Skin Care: Creating Personalized Products

When looking into aromatherapy skin care, it is important to discover the basic oils that are used and their properties. Learning about the benefits of each oil, can determine which should be used in creating an aromatherapy skin care line that will enhance and improve your own skin. If acne is an issue, lavender, tea tree and cajeput are essential oils that can be used to help with this condition. Add a few drops to rosewater and create your own toner. Purchase a fragrance and lanolin free cream and then add a few drops of the essential oil. This makes a lotion that can be massaged into the skin; if the skin is inflamed however, do not massage.

An aromatherapy skin care line can also use frankincense, neroli and rose oil to help with aging skin. If you're attempting to get rid of blackheads try these oils eucalyptus and lavender in a facial steam. Bruising is a common problem that can be helped with lavender. This extremely versatile oil can be used to help bruising by adding it to a bath; or, putting the lavender on a cotton ball and dabbing the bruised area. Aromatherapy has long been known to help aid in healing, regenerating skin cells or even relaxing the body. Creating your own personal aromatherapy skin care, can be a healthy alternative to many products on the market today. In addition, it is designed specifically for your body.

What Oils Can Be Used In Aromatherapy Skin Care

When creating an aromatherapy skin care line, consider how often dry skin can be a problem. Rose, sandalwood and of course, lavender are oils that will reduce the affects of dry skin. Again, the best way to use these oils is by placing them in a lotion that is lanolin and fragrance free, and then massage it into the dry skin. This will help rejuvenate your skin, making it softer. For many women varicose veins are a problem. Use cyprus or myrrh oil in a bath, soak for about 15 minutes. These can also be used in lotion form; they work best on spider type varicose veins.

There are many other oils that can be used in an aromatherapy skin care line. Many, like lavender, are used for multiple conditions with very good results. Some can be used in conjunction to form a relaxing bath that can help with insomnia or nervousness. Aromatherapy gifts are a wonderful personal gift for friends and family too. Aromatherapy is a proven method to assist the body in a natural way.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Natural Skin Health: Essential Oil Recipes for After Sun Skin Care

It's summertime again, and time to break out the sunscreen to help protect our skin and keep it happy and healthy. And although we apply the liberally, there may be spots we miss on ourselves or on our children; and its likely we won't remember to reapply each time we get out of the ocean or pool. Here's the perfect opportunity to nourish yourself and you skin with the fantastic skin care effects of essential oils. Much of the unpleasant effects from sun over exposure are due to the generation of free radicals in our dermal layers. Inflammation occurs on a cellular level, and long term sun damage can result if this occurs frequently. Luckily, we can apply antioxidant and anti-inflammatory formulas topically to keep our skin happy and healthy after sun exposure.

Natural essential oils are highly effective antioxidants. Clove essential oil is one of the strongest natural antioxidants known, with and ORAC value of over 100,000 -- though it might be a little spicy to use on your face. There are a great many other essential oils with strong antioxidant action packed are known healers to the skin from which to choose. For example, a study just released by French scientists note that Myrrh essential oil has a profound oxygen quenching effect on free radicals produced by the interaction of UV rays and the skin's sebum. All essential oils used in skin care have the ability to absorb oxidative radicals, and they each have specific healing properties for the skin.

It's simple to compound your own formula: Choose from a few readily available oils commonly used in skin care, add them to one or more nourishing carrier oils and voil?-- your own personally-tailored recipe. The obvious first choice is lavender. Lavender reduces inflammation and has natural constituents which stimulate healthy skin cell regeneration. Lavender in fact began the modern aromatherapy revolution with its quick healing of burns. Really, when we come in from sun over-exposure, even without a sunburn, we do have a mild burn on a cellular level. Lavender can be used undiluted on burned his skin, and will be an effective addition to any recipe.

Blue Tansy is a somewhat more rare essential oil with profound anti-inflammatory action. Blue Tansy can be used in very dilute amounts; it is often called for in recipes at only a one or 2% concentration. Blue tansy's wonderful aroma will have you bathing in your lotion just for its sweet berry-like scent. Blue tansy is especially effective for sensitive skin that may be prone to irritation. It is included in many eczema and allergy blends for its naturally-calming action. So if your skin is gentle, and the Sun treats it a little harshly, a little blue tansy can really help.

Everlasting essential oil, better known as Helichrysum Italicum, is a wonderful and profoundly healing oil called for when the most potent anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects are needed. If you're looking for one of the secret ingredients in natural skincare, Helichrysum is it. While expensive, just a small amount will have important healing effects. Helichrysum is used in wound healing and scar removal blends, and will do just as well for daily facial care. For folks with an eye toward really preventing any damage from the sun's rays, Helichrysum is a must. Like lavender Helichrysum can be used neat in emergencies, and at about 3% for a regular use skin recipes.

And for be perhaps most profound protective effects, choose Sea Buckthorn. This essential oil has been studied by Russian scientists as a protective agent for cosmonauts in outer space. It's deep red color indicates a high concentration of vitamin A like compounds, highly regarded for their skin healing properties. Steam distilled from the berries found across Europe, it too has a sweet fruity aroma loved by many. Sea Buckthorn is useful in virtually any skincare application, and most certainly for an after-sun formula. Add at one to 3% in your carrier base.

Other additions to your formula include myrrh, as it's antioxidant effects for the skin have recently been elucidated (use at 1-3%); natural vitamin E (use at 10-20 drops per ounce) -- also an excellent antioxidant for the skin; or a form of vit. C added to many skin care preparations these days, known as ascorbyl palimate (include .5 to 1 gram per each ounce ~ you may find this in capsules, along with vitamin E at health food stores or online). All these oils will go into a base of carrier oils. Carrier oils are natural cold-pressed oils from seeds, nuts, and fruit. Good choices for your after-sun formula are Avocado, Apricot Kernel, Jojoba, Tamanu and Rosehip seed. Avocado is very hydrating, with a plethora of nutrients. Apricot Kernel is quickly becoming more popular in aromatherapy skin care for its anti-inflammatory action. Jojoba is also hydrating and healing. Tamanu and Rosehip seed are the ultimate exotic skin care base oils. Tamanu is described in the aromatherapy literature for wound healing and scar reduction; Rosehip seed has been the subject of many University studies, and has been shown to reduce the appearance of sun damage.

The recipes are really flexible; you can easily tailor them to your own needs, or to those of your children and other loved ones. These are a some excellent, effective recipes to give you a few ideas: make a base of one third Apricot Kernel, one third Tamanu, and one-third Rosehip seed. For each ounce of base, add 15 drops each of Lavender, Blue Tansy and Sea Buckhorn -- include 15 drops of vitamin E and 1/8 teaspoon of ascorbyl palimate for that extra nutraceutical enhancement. You might also try a base of Jojoba, Avocado, and Tamanu; to this add 15 drops each of myrrh, helichrysum, and Sea Buckthorn. While simple, these formulas are highly effective. They will reduce inflammation and quench oxidative radical activity in your skin on a cellular level. All of these oils are gentle enough for family members of all ages, though for the very young ones use only a quarter as much essential oil in the recipe. These oils are gentle enough for frequent application, and frequent application is encouraged for the long-term health and vibrancy of your skin.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Make Your Own Perfume - Easy Methods For You

Making your own perfume is really very easy. Not only does it save you money on expensive shop bought perfumes but it is a very satisfying activity. You can get hours of pleasure out of blending your own perfumes at home. Home made perfumes make ideal presents. Your friends and family will be delighted to have a truely unique perfume that you have made with love and care.

The equipment you need is very simple. You will need some glass bowls that you can cover, some clean jars with lids and some bottles for the finished perfume. The reason you use glass is that it will not react with the essential oils. Plastics tend to react with these oils. This can contaminate the perfume. Each batch of perfume needs a completely clean container.

A funnel for filling bottles is useful. Some muslin or coffee filter paper for straining infusions that you have made from plants will come in handy. You may also like to get a small pipette. This is a glass tube with an air bulb on the end. It is used for taking small quantities of liquid such as essential oils to add to your perfume mixture.

The best kind of containers to store home made perfume in are dark glass bottles. It is important to protect the essential oils from light which causes them to detriorate. You can use clear glass bottles if you keep them out of the light. Put the bottle in a box or stick on a label that covers the glass. Decorating and presenting the perfume that you have made at home is all part of the fun.

Recycle old perfume bottles, Most of the cost of the perfume you buy goes into the packaging so it is a shame to waste it. Or buy some pretty antique bottles with glass stoppers when you want to give the perfume you have made at home as a present.

The vital ingredients you will need to make perfume at home are essential oils which can be bought at health food shops and specialist retailers. There are many suppliers on line if you do not have a local source.

Essential oils can also be extracted at home by soaking plant material such as flowers, twigs, leaves, seeds and berries in alcohol. Vodka is the best source of alcohol for perfume making because it is guaranteed to be safe for human consumption. Industrial alcohol is not a good idea.

Carrier oils are useful for making perfumed oils. Any vegetable oil will do, but some are too sticky to make good body oil. Olive oil is fine if you have time to let it soak in but almond is perhaps the best because it is light and easily absorbed.

Lavender always make a good base for a blend of perfume. You can buy ready made essential lavender oil or make your own by soaking lavender in vodka. If you grow your own lavender it can become the distinctive appeal of your own perfume. It is something that you have made from start to finish. The perfume you have made at home can be another way of enjoying gardening. When you give that perfume you have made with your own lavender you are giving your friends a real gift of love.

Add other essential oils to the lavender to create different effects. You will find many recipes in books and on the internet for blending perfumes or you can follow your own nose. It's all a matter of your own prefernces when you make perfume at home.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Woman's Beauty Naturally - The Grace Of Essential Oils In Skin Care

Using natural botanical skin care is a wonderful experience. With uplifting aromatic essential oils and other natural carrier ingredients, it is easy to nourish the skin in a very special way. While dramatic effects can sometimes be had using synthetically created products, natural botanical blends can bring about a lasting healthy glow free from the possibility of side-effects.

Simple-to-make essential oil mixtures will use some formula of aromatic oils from plants and flowers, based in a carrier oil, usually cold pressed from seeds or nuts. Balanced aromatherapy blends offer the therapeutic healing effects of essential oils and the nutritive essential fatty acids of the carriers. Creating your own mixtures is a fun, rewarding and money-saving endeavor; you need only a bottle or two for the mixing, and an eye-dropper to dispense the essential oils.

Several essential oils and carriers are held in high-esteem for their regenerative and nutritive properties. With only a small collection of oils, you can make highly-effective recipes applicable to particular skin conditions such as premature aging, UV and other damage, acne-prone skin and more.

Some of the more important aromatherapy oils used in beauty and skin formulas for both men and women include: Helichrysum italicum - a potent skin metabolism stimulator and strong anti-inflammate (inflammation at a cellular level is associated with nearly all skin damage and premature aging). Rosemary essential oil of the Verbenone chemotype - this serves a similar function to the oil of the Helichrysum flowers, increasing skin metabolism and enhancing the removal of cellular waste material. True Lavender, or Lavendula angustifolia, is also a strong anti-inflammate and skin regenerator with a lovely relaxing aroma - it lowers tension in addition to directly treating the skin cells, furthering natural beauty. The oil distilled from the Wild Carrot seed (also known as Queen Anne's Lace) is very regenerating, bringing life to tired, lifeless skin resulting from high-stress and toxic environments. Palmarosa is considered a 'wonder oil' because of it's brilliant aroma and strong yet gentle antiseptic properties; Niaouli is another essential oil commonly recommended for the same reasons, in addition to it's ability to tighten and firm the skin.

This is only a few of the many essential oils included in skin formulas, though these are considered among the most important for their broad range of effects. Almost any essential oil can be added to a blend in balanced quantities. In many cases, oils are added as much for their lovely aroma as their direct therapeutic benefits to skin tissue. Many aromatherapists, and natural health professionals for that matter, consider the overall mental and emotional condition to be of primary importance in creating an appearance of fitness and beauty. Many citrus and floral oils are used for this reason - Neroli, distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, is an often used example. Others are Jasmine, Sandalwood (very popular in Men's skin care), Geranium and Ylang Ylang.

Essential oils, be they for direct effects on skin metabolism, or for the overall state of wellness of the user, will be diluted in a carrier oil, sometimes known as a base oil. It is important to note that diluting the oils will often actually enhance their effects; essential oils are often too strong to be used directly, and many studies have shown increased efficacy in dilutions down to 1% or less of the total formula. The carrier oils serve several other functions as well; they "carry" the essential oils into the skin, increasing their total absorption. They also nourish the middle and lower layers of the skin with essential fatty acids or EFA's - compounds now considered critical to the health of all living tissues. Further, some carrier oils have vitamin analogs which assist in skin regeneration and repair.

Some of the carrier oils often found in skin formulations include Hazelnut, Rosehip seed, and Evening Primrose. Hazelnut is a very gentle oil with little aroma of it's own, and being suitable for virtually all skin types, it use used in a vast number of blends as the primary carrier. To this, Rosehip seed oil is added for it's concentration of triple-unsaturated fatty acids, and it's natural trans-retinoic acid; a vitamin-A compound similar in effects to Retin-A without drying side effects. Evening Primrose is often also included in lower concentrations for it's high levels of GLA or gamma-linolenic acid, and is considered important in cases of eczema and skin showing signs of premature aging.

Making your own blends with these ingredients is truly a fun and rewarding experience - you only need a bottle to mix them in, and some means of counting out drops of essential oil. An eye dropper works wonderfully, and graduated plastic pipettes are readily available. A basic blend to begin with, which is designed for overall health of the skin, is made thusly: to one ounce of Hazelnut Oil, add fifteen drops Thyme Linalool, fifteen drops Rosemary Verbenone, fifteen drops Neroli (or a high-quality Petitgrain if you prefer - it is much less expensive with many of the same properties), and fifteen drops Spike Lavender (a Lavender with strong antiseptic qualities - a little more 'medicinal' than the sweeter True lavender). This blend was originally formulated to clear up oily skin, but is now used to support normal skin in daily application.

If your skin has been chemically damaged, is overly-sensitive, or otherwise 'weakened' with broken capillaries, try this mixture, applying frequently: For each ounce of base oil, use three parts Hazelnut, one part Rosehip Seed, and one part Evening Primrose. Add the following essential oils: fifteen drops Moroccan Chamomile, fifteen drops Helichrysum, fifteen drops true Lavender, and fifteen drops Roman Chamomile. The Helichrysum, Lavender and Rosehip seed will enhance the skin's own natural metabolism, and the addition of the Chamomiles will greatly reduce inflammation that is found with almost all damage and/or aging.

If your skin is prone to acne, or has over-active sebaceous glands, the following blend can be of great assistance. It contains regenerative, antiseptic, and cleansing oils. Simply use Hazelnut as the base, and to each ounce include fifteen drops of Green Myrtle or Inula graveolens, fifteen drops Eucalyptus dives (because of the ketones in this oil, it should not be used if pregnant - or under 10 years of age - but is otherwise considered safe), fifteen drops Spike Lavender, and fifteen drops Rosemary verbenone.

If your skin doesn't have particular damage to it, but appears lifeless due to exhaustion and/or exposure to significant amounts of pollution or environmental toxins, this is the blend for you. Use one part Rosehip Seed and 4 parts Hazelnut as the base. To each ounce, include fifteen drops Carrot Seed (also known as Wild Carrot or Queen Anne's Lace - a well known skin restorative), fifteen drops Lemon verbena (which enhances the removal of toxins from skin tissues), fifteen drops Niaouli (an all-around brilliant antiseptic oil with firming effects), and fifteen drops Rosemary verbenone (again, for it's regenerative and stimulating effects). If you are wishing to strengthen, tighten, and firm your skin, try this dilute mixture (the concentration of essential oils is relatively low here for use near the eyes) five ounces of Hazelnut oil and one ounce of Rosehip seed oil, fifteen drops of Green Myrtle, fifteen drops of Rock Rose (a plant grown in very sun-drenched areas, excellent for gently tightening the skin). If you like, add fifteen drops of Rosemary verbenone for it's regenerative properties, but omit if this causes sensitivity used near the eyes.

These are only a few aromatherapy skin care recipes for a woman's natural beauty medicine chest. There are many texts available to help you create more complex blends, or one's with your favorite aromatics. Blending your own facial and skin formulas is easy, rewarding, and in the long run, cost-effective. Using natural botanicals in a consistent, mindful manner can lead to long-lasting, noticeable natural health of your skin. Just remember with aromatherapy, essential oil concentrations should be kept low for best results - pay attention to how your own body reacts and you're sure to find the ingredients and measures most effective for you!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Scalp Infections. Symptoms, Causes, Natural Options for Fast Relief and Treatment

There are many definitions and symptoms commonly described as “scalp infections”. There are in fact quite a few quite different reasons why your scalp may be sore, itchy, inflamed burning red or infected. If you are like many people with chronic scalp issues – it may be driving you completely up the wall and not knowing what it is or how to treat the problem effectively after many unsuccessful attempts to eliminate it can make it seem far worse - like you are never going to get to the bottom of the problem. Well that need no longer be so! It can be simple to diagnose and treat it now and for good.

So if you are dealing with any of these symptoms lets first identify the problem and then some of the underlying causes.

Firstly, if you want to get to the root of your problems, so to speak, you need to be able to identify what your problem actually is. Of course, many scalp infections & conditions look alike, so here is a brief description of some of the most common scalp conditions:

Red Burning Itchy Scalp
Dry Scalp
Scalp Dermatitis
Eczema of the Scalp
Scalp Psoriasis
Stress Related Itching
Red burning itchy scalp can be characterized as any tingling, burning, prickly, and sensitive to the touch or a fiery hot sensation. Often associated with an allergy, sunburn, chemical burn (sensitization of the scalp), or fungal infection.

Dandruff as most of us know is the process of continual shedding of skin cells on our scalps. Often the cause of dandruff is simply the result of toxins, pollutants and products that have built up on the scalp particularly products like silicone – a cheap commonly used artificial shine enhancer in conditioners sold in supermarkets.

When the natural balance of our scalps is disturbed, this creates the perfect environment for the yeast fungus Melassezia Globbosa to move in and thrive. This is when the natural process of shedding our cells gets a little out of hand resulting in an unsightly condition known as “Seborrhoeic Dermatitis” (fancy name for dandruff) and we see the highly visible tell-tale signs of flaking and crusting.

The accompanying itch and urge to scratch are often made worse by the multiplication of the fungal yeast pityrosporum-ovale (having one big party on your scalp). Another follow on effect of this is that the relentless scratching by the sufferer can cause small lesions which weep and ooze or become infected resulting in scalp infections.

Lumps bumps and sores are also common when the scalp is highly irritated or sensitivity has been aggravated. Candida can be an underlying cause of yeast infections of the scalp.

Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis) is a superficial fungal infection of the scalp. Scalp ringworm is caused by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. Ringworm infection occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies anywhere on your skin, scalp, or nails. It is far more common in children and symptoms include red, itchy patches on the scalp, leaving bald areas. The skin might itch and be red and peel or be scaly, have swollen blisters or a rash (that can spread) and looks like black dots. The rash is highly contagious. It is normally treated with over the counter products containing miconazole, clotrimazole, or similar. Sometimes prescription antifungal skin medications, such as ketoconazole are needed to clear it up. There are also products direct from nature’s factories that can aid the healing process and act as natural antibiotics, although it must be said that ringworm is an aggressive fungus which needs to be monitored closely and treated accordingly.

Dry scalp can feel “tight”, a sensation that is sometimes accompanied by flakiness. It is often the result of natural oils being stripped from our scalps by the frequent use of shampoos, hair dyes and or other hair products.

Dermatitis of the scalp (Seborrheic dermatitis) is an inflammatory disorder affecting areas of the head and body where sebaceous glands are most prominent. It can vary from mild dandruff to dense flakey and greasy scale. Once again it is often an accumulation of toxins and products built up on our scalps that our body is trying to rid itself of.

Eczema of the scalp similar in appearance to Seborrheic dermatitis but instead has the name Atopic dermatitis.

Scalp Psoriasis commonly occurs on the back of the head however multiple areas of the scalp or the whole scalp may be affected. Scalp psoriasis is characterized by thick silvery white scales on patches of very red skin and can extend slightly beyond the hairline. Scalp psoriasis, despite being partially hidden by the hair is often a source of social embarrassment due to flaking of the scale and severe 'dandruff'. Scalp psoriasis may be extremely itchy or on occasion have no itch symptoms. It can also cause temporary baldness on the affected areas. It is a common, chronic, inflammatory skin disease and is associated with increased risk of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.

Folliculitis of the scalp is a superficial bacterial infection of the hair follicles. It is characterized by pustules around the hair follicles and symptoms include painful brushing of hair and tenderness when rubbing your scalp around the hair follicle sites. Treating with antibiotics for the particular bacteria is the usual course of action but can eventually cause restistance to the antibiotic used. Options include applying Evoclin Foam which is topical. Folliculitis is commonly caused by staph bacteria which also reside inside the nose and sinus cavity. Natural oils such as tea tree and lavender have good antibacterial properties and can also be used to treat this condition.

If you have a bump or lump under the skin (commonly a lump behind the ears with no broken skin or rash developing, then this could be a cyst. Cysts are liquid filled pustules which can be painful when they become infected. If you have such symptoms I recommend seeing a doctor to be safe. Doctors can also treat cysts with antibiotics if they have become infected or incise them as a further but uncommon procedure if the antibiotics are not sufficient.

Stress Related Itching Stress can contribute to or worsen scalp itching as it plays havoc with our immune system and hormones which have an effect on production of sebum from your sebaceous glands. Although it can contribute to the problem it is still somewhat of a myth. It may appear that you have a “stress rash”, but it is more likely that the problem was already there in a less noticeable way, then aggravated by increased stress levels making it harder for your body to deal with the problem on its own and eliminate the problem. Many of the treatments below include stress relieving properties – like Lavender oil for example which calms the mind and soothes the body.

Solutions – what YOU can do about it

Going to your doctor may be the best way to get an accurate answer to diagnosing your problem, but I understand that many of you may have already done this, been prescribed some form of medication of cream (even “heavy duty” cortisone based ones where the cortisone potency may need to be increased after time).

Often the problem either doesn’t go away from the start – or seems to subside but comes back with full a vengeance later leaving you wondering with more unanswered questions and a VERY unhappy scalp! Well the good news is if you don’t like using these expensive and often impotent products – or even want to help them along you can use natural remedies and essential oils known to be super effective anti-bacterial busters such as tea tree oil for instance to inhibit or stop the growth of the infection and assist healing/rebalancing of the scalp.

Something that is also important to understand in curing scalp conditions and scalp infections – a factor that is missed by so many doctors, and something not disclosed by companies who sell hair products and treatments is the number of people who are allergic or sensitive to commonly used ingredients in shampoos, dandruff treatments and other hair products. In fact MOST hair products (as many as 90%) contain at least one ingredient that is used in engine degreasers, another is a common ingredient in antifreeze.

These ingredients are cheap to produce foaming agents that make shampoo foam up, and do a fantastic job of stripping dirt and oily build up from hair. Problem is that they sometimes do SUCH a good job that they remove all of the natural oils and sebum from the scalp thus removing the scalps natural defence against bacteria etc. Another little known fact is that the most common ingredient (Sodium laureth sulphate) is used to induce skin irritation in test patients by drug companies to test the effectiveness of their itch relief skin creams. When first produced and for year’s afterwards manufacturers did not know that skin was not a barrier but an absorber of ingredients & that they caused skin irritation in so many people.

So sometimes the beginning of a scalp condition can have originated from something as simple as an imbalance to the skins (scalps) sebum or an allergy to an ingredient that can easily be rectified.

Like your immune system, if your skin has an opportunity to rebalance itself and not be subjected to “incoming foreign matter” and the daily stripping of its natural oils that further aggravates the problem you can allow your body to rebalance and heal itself. Obviously buying products that do not strip your hair and scalp is an obvious step in the right direction.

Fortunately there are a lot of manufacturers such as Aveda and Akin (Purist Company) who know what consumers are suffering from these issues so have addressed this problem. They have applied this knowledge to produce some amazing products with all of the benefits of natural ingredients, with none of the side effects at a price we can afford (Akin especially). It need not be difficult, nor expensive to make these choices and a move to healthy hair and scalp long term.

So yes you can eliminate harsh shampoos containing sodium sulphates and go for natural Sulphate and paraben free shampoos that contain ingredients such as macadamia, wheatgerm or jojoba oils. These oils mimic our natural sebum to some extent to help to re moisturize and nourish our scalp.

Then there are lavender, rosemary and tea tree oils which contain antibacterial, healing properties. Neem oil great for its antifungal properties and stops itching. You can apply these topically to your skin for fast relief, to assist healing as well as looking out for shampoos with these natural ingredients in them.

Lavender calms the skin (as does chamomile tea cooled and used as hair rinse).
As well as buying quality shampoos containing these ingredients, you can
create your own combinations of remedy or remedies to soothe your scalp.
You can also help it along by using natural remedies to treat your scalp such as this scalp treatment containing natural oils to assist healing, detoxify and stimulate hair growth: (Add to
water (4 parts water 1 part oil) and spray onto scalp and you can add to your shampoo and conditioners also).
Oils To Relieve Itching: Lavender, German Chamomile and Eucalyptus Oils
(Mixed together and dabbed locally on effected areas has a soothing effect).

Neem oil is also a very good dandruff preventative which can be added to any of the formulas detailed below and is excellent for psoriasis and eczema & scalp infections.

Scalp massage with lavender oil (not scented – the real oil) is another
wonderful way to relieve the tension from a sore scalp as well as treat the
issue. It also helps to re grow hair and repair the damage done to your
follicles by chemicals in shampoos causing thinning hair. (Lavender is known to stimulate hair growth too).

There are many more powerful scalp remedies you can use to treat your scalp as well as many shampoos that are excellent value, contain no nasties to aggravate your scalp and hair follicles. It can be really simple to treat scalp problems by treating yourself to your own pampering session using natural oils to help heal your scalp infection. And then be kind to your hair and scalp by using only products that nourish your hair and scalp such as Aveda or Akin brand shampoos. You can assist the healing process and help restore balance back to your scalp and you hair will appreciate and reward you for it too by becoming less brittle, stronger and shinier.

As with all natural remedies please patch test first. It is not indended for this information to replace a doctors medical advice, so please see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The responsibility of obtaining doctors diagnosis and using remedies is yours.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Treat your dog for fleas naturally with the use of essential oils

An increasing number of people are turning away from treating their dogs for fleas by the traditional methods of administering spot on treatments, sprays and powders, and looking towards more gentle and natural methods of treating fleas.

In this article we are going to look at how you can use essential oils as an effective method of both treating a dog who has fleas and also using essential oils as a repellent for fleas.

Let us look first at using essential oils as a repellent for dog fleas. The best time to begin this process is around winter time, as the flea population is very low at this time of the year, although not completely non existent, as many homes these days have central heating, and the warm atmosphere can help maintain the flea breeding cycle throughout the year but, usually not to a degree to cause your dog too much of a problem.

To keep fleas to a minimum you will need to treat both your dog, his or her basket and bedding, plus your house. Wash your pets bedding and basket regularly; use 2 to 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a very hot wash, as you will eliminate both fleas and dust mites in your pets bedding at the same time.

To treat your home, vacuum regularly, especially areas that are dark, warm and harbor dust, as these are ideal breeding areas for fleas. Examples of such places are under furniture, beds and under carpets.

Use lavender scented detergent mixed with 4 to 8 drops of lavender essential oil to clean your floors. Pay special attention to where the floors meet the walls, as these crevices are another place where fleas can exist undetected and breed successfully.

It's now time to use your essential oils as a flea repellent on your dog. You can do this in a number of ways, but a simple and effective programme will consist of the following; bath your dog using a natural dog shampoo that has had 3 drops of lavender, 2 drops of lemon grass and 3 drops of citronella essential oil added to it. Bath your dog using this solution on a regular basis using this solution.

When bathing your dog remember to pay attention to areas like the base of his tail, the back of his ears and between his paws.

Take an old spray bottle filled with water and add 8 drops of lavender essential oil and spray your dogs fur, especially his back area, base of his tail and neck. Remember to cover your dogs eyes when spraying his neck area.

If you think your dog may already have fleas, check first to see if this is the case. Dogs scratch for all kinds of reasons; stress, allergic reactions to certain food, or a badly conditioned coat for example.

Carefully check your dogs fur, if you find small black flakes on his skin or in his fur, especially around the base of his tail, his back or around his neck, this is flea excrement and you will need to be treated.

Treat your dog in the way described above, but on a more frequent basis, for example, give your dog a lavender bath 2 times per week, and spray his coat with lavender spray once per day. you can treat flea bites with undiluted lavender essential oil, or tea tree essential oil, as both these oils are excellent antiseptics. If you are using tea tree oil, don't use it neat, mix 2 to 3 drops in a cup of water, and clean the infected area with cotton wool balls.

Keep checking your dogs fur, until there are no further signs of fleas. To keep your dog free from fleas in the future, keep his coat in good condition by bathing him regularly, and grooming his coat. When grooming your dog check his coat for fleas. Keeping your dog fit and healthy, through a good diet, exercise and regular grooming is the first defense to flea control, as fleas are much more likely to infest unhealthy animals rather than healthy ones.

Following these simple steps to natural flea treatment, will ensure you dog remain free from fleas all year round.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Aromatherapy Travel Insurance - Essential Oils For Your Journeys

Going on a trip is usually thought of as a wonderful experience, one that you and your family may have planned and looked forward to for some time. To have the most fun - to get the most out of the experience - it's important that you and your loved ones have the means to overcome those little ailments and discomforts that can make the experience range from mildly unpleasant to downright unbearable. How can we include a little 'Trip Insurance' to our already overstuffed carry-ons or mini-vans? Aromatherapy has an answer with some readily-available essential oils.

Motion sickness, bug bites, digestive difficulties, and general travel weariness - to name a few - are common discomforts experienced when venturing away from home. A small collection of inexpensive essential oils can provide great relief from these amusement-threatening ailments. 'Treatment' with these oils is simple - ranging from inhaling a little oil from a tissue, to adding to a bath, to drinking a drop with a warm cup of water. And, thankfully, relief often comes quickly because of the oils' powerful properties and compatibility with our own bodies.

Peppermint and Ginger Essential Oils - Tummy Troubles and Clearing the Head

We'll begin with 'getting there' - any trip starts with traveling. By car, boat, plane, or otherwise, motion sickness commonly effects many people, particularly children. This can easily make the 'traveling' portion of your experience absolutely no fun. Enter Peppermint essential oil.

Peppermint has long been used to calm uneasy stomachs, and is easily used. One drop (it is strong!) in a cup of warm water, sweetened if you like, can be sipped before and during the voyage. For the fussy ones, a drop can be added to a small amount of honey and taken from a spoon for the same effect.

Ginger essential oil is also known for it's calming of upset stomachs - a little inhaled from a tissue or diluted in a carrier oil and rubbed on the abdomen can bring relief. One can also add a drop of ginger to warm water and drink as a strong tea - this may be effective for some food-related stomach issues as well, particularly when combined with the abdomen massage method.

Peppermint can also be uplifting to the weary driver or passenger - a drop or two placed on tissues in the car or near your seat will release the aroma into your surroundings. Be careful with this oil however, as getting it on sensitive areas of the skin (directly under the nose, and certainly near the eyes) can cause irritation. Tissues with the oil on it should not touch these areas directly.

Lavender Oil - the Great Soother

Lavender has been called 'a medicine chest in a bottle' due to its wide range of effects. The aroma of Lavender is uplifting and relaxing, useful for stress in congested airports or crowded highways. Breathing this very safe essential oil is effective for adults and children alike - inhaling drops from a tissue directly, or from one's placed in your surroundings can help you and your companions be at ease.

Plus Thyme, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus - Cleansing and Keeping Bugs and Bites at Bay

Lavender essential oil is also an effective wound-healer because of it's anti-inflammatory, mild antibacterial, and skin-regenerative actions. It can be used directly in case of burns, mixed 50:50 with Tea Tree and put on band aids to prevent infection, or blended with Thyme Linalol and Eucalyptus (2:4:2) and added to a bowl of water for an effective disinfectant wash.

Lavender is very useful for treating bites and stings - just place a little 'neat' (undiluted) on the affected area. This versatile oil is also a component of an insect repellent blend comprised of equal parts of Lavender, Thyme Linalol, and Peppermint, and a double-dose of Lemongrass essential oil. A drop or more placed on tissue or cloth about your room can keep the insects out of your space; 3 drops of this blend per teaspoon of carrier oil can be regularly applied to the skin - or you may mix a similar amount into any lotion you may have.

Lavender can be used in combination with Geranium, Chamomile, Peppermint and Eucalyptus oils in relieving the effects of jet-lag. Getting out of this weary state as quickly as possible makes any trip more enjoyable. This requires getting yourself and companions in-synch with local time, having good rest at night and perhaps a gentle lift in the mornings and throughout the day.

To get yourself into the swing of local time, relax and be ready for bed with equal parts of Lavender and Geranium essential oils - Chamomile may also be used in place of the Geranium, and works especially well for soothing children (if they are irritable for ANY reason). Add a few drops to a bath or use in a massage oil. For a morning eye-opener, do the same using equal amounts of Peppermint and Eucalyptus. You will find these useful at other times when you need a little clarity and lightening-up.

Lemon Oil - the Purifier

Lemon also has some wonderfully diverse uses. It is effective as an antibacterial, but not so strong as to be an irritant. Adding several drops per quart to your drinking water will help purify it, and the water can act as a disinfectant to be used in washing your fruits and vegetables - the need for this certainly depends on your location, but it not a bad idea whenever bacterial contamination may be a possibility. Further, regularly drinking water with added lemon oil can gently stimulate the lymphatic and digestive systems, helping alleviate that sluggish feeling that often accompanies extended plane and car travel.

Eucalyptus Oil - For Keeping Cool and Cold Relief

Eucalyptus - the Narrow Leaf variety is a favorite - has a great range of uses as well. It can cool the body when too hot, and protect it when too cold. It is found in almost all formulas used to relieve congestion, can support circulation, and bring lightness to a travel-weary head.

Eucalyptus oil can be used like peppermint to uplift and invigorate during long intervals in an automobile. It can be added to a cool bath or used on a cold compress in cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke (accompanied by, of course, copious amounts of water and electrolytes!), and used in a similar manner to reduce fever.

Eucalyptus oil may be blended with Geranium as a massage oil (3 drops Eucalyptus and 2 drops Geranium per teaspoon of carrier oil) to relieve heat cramps. For congestion relief, to a drawn bath, add 1 drop Eucalyptus, 3 drops Lemon, 2 drops Thyme, and 2 drops Tea Tree - soak and breathe deeply - or simply add a few drops to a steaming bowl of water and inhale.

These are just a few examples of ways to make your travel experiences more enjoyable with aromatherapy. With a little effort, you can expand your knowledge of these oils, discovering further uses, and find other oils that work well for your particular needs.

These essential oils are readily available, and fairly inexpensive - though caution should be used when buying oils, as some can be adulterated, and others are mass-produced with techniques that may limit their therapeutic benefits. The more pleasant and 'well rounded' an oil's aroma, generally the higher the quality. Your nose will know! And as with any aromatherapy application, start slowly - essential oils deserve a healthy respect.

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Enjoying Organic Essential Oils

Organic essential oils taken from organically grown plants and are a pure, unadulterated, therapeutic grade oil that is also excellent for the environment because when farmers practice growing these oils the organic way it prohibit the use or chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides that leave damaging deposits in the soil, air and water supply. The organic essential oils are mainly used in aromatherapy, bath salts and similar products. Many organic essential oils are designed for "over-the-counter" sale in retail shops which you can purchase them at places like health-food stores, healing centers, spas, pharmacies and drug stores. Some of my favorite organic essential oils are lavender, rosewood, peppermint and lemon, which can be used through an inhalator, topically on your skin or put into baths for better relaxation on a stressful day.


Aromatherapy with essential oils can be very effective for both the mind and body. Many aromatherapy oils help you relax plus allow you to balance your emotions and helps you in creating a more positive atmosphere and attitude towards life. It can help in reducing the emotional issues that many people experience with weight gain and certain scents have been shown to help curb your appetite. Aromatherapy can help reduce stress, give you more energy, and help alleviate migraine headaches triggers, as well as improve your complexion and treat skin irritations. Rosewood essential oil has a unique place because the chemicals constituents up to 95 percent of just one ingredient , which is linalool and is considered very mild, soothing alcohol, with strong anti-microbial properties for skin bacteria issues.


Lavender essential oil is probably the most well known and most used oil. Lavender also has a profound affect on the mental and emotional state of people and with low doses acts as a sedative, but higher doses are very stimulating for some people. Lavender oil can help relieve insect stings or bites and stimulates white blood cell formation, which strengthens the body's natural immune system and makes it effective for preventing flu and colds. Bergamot is also very good, when blended with tea tree oil and lavender for suppressing the development of cold sores and shingles or chicken pox. It is also sometimes used for treating headaches mixed with other oils like lavender and peppermint.

Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

Several essential oils listed below are genuine therapeutic grade essential oils, grown on organic farms or ethically and sustainably gathered from wild plants. Therapeutic grade essential oils provide health enhancing benefits via inhalation and absorption into the skin. Some common uses of therapeutic quality, organic essential oils are: Diffuse into the air using an aroma lamp or diffuser, but if you don't have either of these things you can just use a bowl of warm water. Most of the essential oils in general are specifically used for flavoring foods and to help in the perfume industries, but be careful because these are not considered organic therapeutic oils. Some other therapeutic properties are basil which helps with calming an upset stomach and also has a mild anti-spasmodic for muscles, making it great for massages. Eucalyptus is considered by most aroma therapists to be the best choice for most therapeutic uses, as it is milder than most and even safe for children to use. Nutmeg essential oil is another one that is considered spice oils which grows in the tropics and has a strong spicy fragrance, and its therapeutic properties include a strong attraction with the digestive system, including a digestive stimulant for nausea, and to help with the assimilation of food. Rose essential oil is in my opinion the number one oil for balance, including emotional balance and also physical balance, but also helps the nervous system and the female reproductive system.

You should only use the finest organic essential oils like peppermint which is invigorating; lavender used for soothing and calming; lime and orange being citrus are stimulants for the senses. Pure, Organic Essential Oils are a remarkable, energizing and health promoting supplements, which provides better therapeutic healing.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

How Does Aromatherapy Work -- the Nose Knows!

How Does Aromatherapy Work? To answer this question, let's start by taking a look at Essential Oils, which are the heart and soul of Aromatherapy.

What Exactly Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are microscopic molecules of "oil" extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems and/or roots of plants such as trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers and herbs. Simply speaking, essential oils contain the distilled essence of the plant.

For example, if you were to simmer a big pot of lavender flowers on the stove for a while, you'd start to notice little blobs of oil forming on top of the water. This is the essential oil - the essence of the lavender flowers.

Note: This is not a good method of extraction because the essential oil quickly goes moldy due to the presence of water. Plus, it takes A LOT of lavender flowers to make even the tiniest amount of oil. It's just not worth it - there's so many other great things you can do with lavender flowers!

Essential oils have microscopically small molecules. There are approximately 40 million trillion molecules in one drop of essential oil. Their tiny size makes it very easy for our skin and our lungs to absorb them. That's why they're so powerful and so effective.

How Do Essential Oils Get Inside Us?

When essential oils oils are absorbed through the skin, such as with massage, they travel into the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system then circulates them into the blood stream.

Once the oils are circulating in the blood, they really get to work, reducing inflammation, fixing imbalances, fighting infection and so on.

Even when you simply inhale an essential oil, such as with a diffuser, the oil is absorbed through the mucous membranes of your respiratory tract and lungs. Then it's transferred into the blood stream to work its healing magic.

How Do Essential Oils Help our Bodies?

Essential oils contain hundreds of natural chemicals. Although each oil has its own unique chemical components, what makes all essential oils special is something called "terpenes".

Terpenes do a lot of work in our bodies.

  • They create an environment unfriendly to viruses, bacteria and fungi. This is why they're called 'antiseptic' (which basically means germ killing.) Some powerful antiseptic essential oils are Lemon, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Pine and Lavender. That's why you see them in home cleaning products!
  • They help reduce inflammation. Symptoms of inflammation include pain, redness and swelling. Some good anti-inflammatory essential oils are Chamomile, Lavender, Sandalwood and Benzoin.
  • They reprogram our cells so they function and replicate properly. For example, essential oils such as Basil, Pine and Rosemary restore function to the adrenal glands.
  • They are sedative. They relax our nervous system and our muscles, which helps ease pain, tension, cramps and muscle spasms. Sedative essential oils include Lavender, Clary Sage, Geranium, and Ylang Ylang.

How Do Essential Oils Affect our Emotions?

Inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory nerves (sense of smell), which send signals to the brain's limbic system (sometimes called the 'emotional brain'.)

The limbic system controls heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory and hormone production. When the limbic system receives signals from the olfactory nerves, it triggers an emotional, physiological and endocrine (hormone) response.

For example, when you smell Lavender essential oil, its microscopic chemicals immediately trigger your emotional brain to calm your nervous system and relax your muscles. These combined effects reduce your stress and help you sleep.

How Can I Use Aromatherapy to Feel Better?

Aromatherapy is especially well known for its stress-relieving powers. You can use it in a hundred different ways to calm your nerves, ease your anxiety and relax your muscles. You can also use essential oils to clear up troubled skin, revitalize your hair or relieve your aching back.

It's surprisingly easy (and a lot of fun) to make your own bath, body and massage oils, bath salts and body lotions. Even make your own aromatherapy candles! You simply need a little knowledge and a few basic ingredients.

Check out for some simple, effective aromatherapy recipes.

Try using aromatherapy today - you'll have fun, save money and smell fabulous!

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Aromatherapy in Pregnancy

Pregnancy and childbirth is the most wondrous experience of a woman’s life. To describe it, one must use a list of contradictions. What other event can be so universal, yet so personal? At what other time does a woman feel more in tune with her feminine side, while yet tapping into her strongest reserve of raw power? What other rite of passage takes her to the very doors of death, only to open them and find new life? There is no other time when a woman can feel so sick while being in perfectly good health. There is no other event quite like it.

After a century of highly medicalized prenatal care and childbirth, the trend in recent decades has swung back toward natural, gentle birthing techniques. Midwives and doulas, once frowned upon by the medical establishment, are now being welcomed into hospitals, oftentimes replacing doctors at the pregnant woman’s bedside. Much has been written about the benefits of water, hypnotism, and naturopathy in prenatal care and childbirth. This article will focus on the use of aromatherapy to ease the discomforts, relieve emotional stress, and maintain good health of mother and baby throughout pregnancy.

Each pregnancy comes with its own set of discomforts, arising from ordinary fluctuations in hormones and bodily changes. While diet and lifestyle changes are sometimes necessary for best results, many irritations, included those noted below, can be alleviated by the use of essential oils. When selecting oils, purchase only those of high-quality, which have been distilled for therapeutic use, and are free of additives. Due to the heightened sense of smell during pregnancy, limit blends to one or two oils at a time; you needn’t purchase every oil on this list. Try a couple and see which ones you like best. You will see that many oils have overlapping qualities.

Nausea, headache, and morning sickness, which are often the earliest complaints in pregnancy, can be treated by diffusing essential oils into your breathing space. Not only can doing this counteract diagreeable odors, but using oils with antiseptic properties, such as lavender or tea tree, will cleanse the environment of harmful airborne bacteria—protecting against colds and flu. To diffuse, simply mix 3 drops lavender with 1 drop peppermint and 1 drop eucalyptus in a bowl of water. Or if you prefer, specialized diffusers on the market heat and vaporize the oil molecules, which spreads the scent faster and farther into the room. If you are going out, keep a cotton handkerchief and a vial of lavender or peppermint with you. Place 1 drop of lavender or peppermint on the cloth and hold it over your nose, inhaling deeply, to prevent headache or nausea.

Cool or warm compresses can do wonders to restore a feeling of balance and wellness. Fill a bowl with warm or cool water (whichever appeals to you.) Add 3-4 drops of lavender, and drape a flannel across the top of the water to pick up the film of oil. Wring out the flannel and place it on the forehead or front of the ribcage. For warm compresses, cover the flannel with plastic and add a towel.

Citrus oils, such as orange, lemon, grapefruit, and bergamot, are safe to use in early pregnancy and have uplifting qualities. They are particularly effective in alleviating vomiting. Add 7 drops of any citrus oil to 1 ounce olive oil (or another carrier oil) and massage over the abdomen for best results.

Varicose veins respond well to cypress, geranium, lemon, and lavender oils. Use any mixture of these oils in a warm bath (total 6 drops), with alternating warm and cool compresses(total 4 drops) on the affected areas, or in a massage oil (total 7 drops essential oil per ounce olive oil). When massaging, use gentle strokes from the foot upward, being careful not to apply too strong of pressure where the varicosity begins or ends.

Women who complain of hemorrhoids and swollen anal tissue may find relief in taking a cool sitz bath with 6 drops lemon oil. To prepare the bath set a large plastic tub in the bathtub and fill with water. Add the oils and stir to spread. Keeping legs and feet outside the plastic tub, lower yourself into the water and soak for 20 minutes. Follow up with an aromatic massage of 7 drops cypress and 7 drops lemon oil in 2 ounces olive oil.

Another ailment common in pregnancy is edema, or water retention. Lavender, geranium and rosemary oils combat this condition by stimulating the lymphatic system to drain excess fluids from the body. Gently massage the feet and ankles, using upward strokes, with a combination of these oils in olive oil; or try a cool footbath with 3 drops geranium or lemon oil and 3 drops lavender.

Almost every woman earns at least a couple stretch marks by the end of her pregnancy. These can be prevented or reduced by topically applying a blend of 1 ounce each of wheat germ oil and hazelnut oil with 4 drops neroli, 2 drops carrot seed, and 2 drops geranium. Massaging the blend into thighs, hips, breasts and belly every night and morning will nourish the skin and help maintain elasticity.

Please note that there are some essential oils which should not be used during pregnancy as they are known abortifacients. These include basil, fennel, myrrh, parsley, sage, and thyme. Other oils which are emenogogues are listed in some texts as unsafe during pregnancy, while promoted in others. Cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, jasmine, juniper, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, rose, and rosemary should therefore be used with care.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

50 Ways to Use Essential Oils for a Cleaner, Sweet-smelling Life

1. For Scent-Sational wash, place a few drops of your favorite EO onto a small piece of terry cloth and toss into the clothes dryer while drying. Alternatively, add 5 drops of EO to 1/4-cup fabric softener or water and place in the center cup of the wash
2. Revive potpourri by adding a few drops of EO.
3. Freshen air by adding a few drops of EO to water in a spray bottle and spray.
4. Add a few drops of EO to a pan of water and simmer on a stove or in a potpourri pot.
5. For a scented candle, place a drop or two of EO into the hot wax as the candle burns.
6. Eliminate household cooking odors, add a few drops of Clove oil to a simmering pan of water.
7. For tired, aching muscles or arthritis, mix 1-drop Cajuput, Sage, and Basil oil to 30 drops vegetable oil and use as a massage oil.
8. Ease headache pain by rubbing a drop of Rosemary/ Lavender oil onto the back of your neck.
9. Blend your own massage oil by adding 3 drops of your favorite EO to 1 oz. Jojoba or other skin-nourishing vegetable oil.
10. For fresher smelling carpets, add 10 drops of EO to a box of cornstarch or baking soda, mix well, let set for a day or two and then sprinkle over the carpets in your home. Let set for an hour or more, than vacuum.
11. To make a natural flea collar, saturate a short piece of cord or soft rope with Pennyroyal or Tea Tree oil, roll up in a handkerchief and tie loosely around the animal’s neck.
12. Smelly feet or shoes can be remedied by either dropping a few drops of Geranium EO directly into the shoes or by placing a cotton ball dabbed with a few drops of Lemon oil into the shoes. Athlete’s foot? Tea tree oil is great.
13. Household odors? Put a few drops of your favorite EO on a cotton ball and place in your vacuum cleaner bag. Lemon and Pine are nice; Rose Geranium helps with doggy odor.
14. To fragrance your kitchen cabinets and drawers, place a food scent EO dabbed on a cotton ball in an inconspicuous corner.
15. Are mice a problem? Place several drops of Peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them in problem locations.
16. Scent the bathroom by placing oil-scented cotton balls in inconspicuous places or sprinkle oils directly onto silk or dried flower arrangements or wreaths.
17. To promote healing, apply 1 or 2 drops true Lavender oil and Tea Tree oil directly to cuts, scrapes or scratches.
18. Homemade soaps are pleasant and offer therapeutic effects when scented with EOs. Use Spirit Soaps that contain pure aromatics.
19. Home-made sachets are more fragrant when EOs is blended with the flowers and herbs.
20. Scent an entire room, set a calming or uplifting mood. Use a drop of EO on a radiator, scent ring, or light bulb. Do not put EO in the socket.
21. For “scentual” hand washables, use a few drops of your favorite EO or blend in the final rinse water.
22. Anise oil has been used by anglers for years to cover up the human scent that scares the fish away. Use a drop or two on the fingertips and hands before baiting up.
23. Create your own personal essence! EOs and blends make wonderful perfumes. Add 25 drops to 1 oz. perfume alcohol. Let age two weeks before using.
24. To dispel mosquitoes and other picnic or Bar-B-Q pests, drop a few drops of Citronella OR Eucalyptus citriodora oil in the melted wax of a candle or place a few drops on the Bar-B-Q’s hot coals.
25. Eliminate a troublesome wart by directly applying 1 drop of Lemon or Moroccan Blue Artemis EO to it. Apply daily until the wart is gone.
26. Rosemary and Basil promote alertness and stimulate memory. Inhale occasionally during long car trips and while reading or studying.
27. Selling your home? Fragrance sells! Fill the kitchen with the aroma of spices, such as Clove, Cinnamon and Vanilla by simmering a few drops of Cinnamon or Nutmeg EO. Create a warm, cheerful, inviting mood by sprinkling Geranium oil throughout your home. Add Cinnamon or Lemon oil to furniture polish and wipe down the wood.
28. Create a lovely, aromatic art piece by adding EOs to papier-mâché.
29. Infuse bookmarks and stationary with EOs. Use a few drops on paper, place in a sealed plastic bag & leave overnight to infuse the aroma. Send only good news on the perfumed letter.
30. To make gifts such as neck pillows or padded and decorative hangers more memorable put a couple of drops of EO on them before giving them as gifts.
31. Overindulge last night? EOs of Juniper, Fennel, Cedarwood, Grapefruit, Lavender, Rosemary and Lemon help soften the effects of a hangover. Make your own blend of these oils and use a total of 6-8 drops in a bath.
32. For a wonderfully scented wood fire, use EOs of Vetivert, Cypress, Atlas Cedarwood, Frankincense and Myrrh. Drop approximately 2-3 drops of oil or blend of your choice on a dried log and allow time for the oil to soak in before putting the log on the fire.
33. Flies and moths dislike Lavandin oil. Sprinkle in on the outside of your window frames.
34. For restful sleep, place 1 or 2 drops of sleep enhancing oils, such as Chamomile, Lavender, Neroli, Marjoram or Hops on your pillow before retiring.
35. When moving to a new home, first use a water spray containing your favorite EO and change the odorous environment to your own. Do this for several days until it begins to feel like your own space.
36. Ideal scents for the bedroom are Roman Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender or Lemon.
37. Make your own copper polish. Add 1 drop of Lemon EO to a soft cloth and gently buff.
38. When washing out the fridge, freezer or oven, add 1 drop of Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Mandarin or Orange EO to the final rinse water.
39. For burns or scalds, drop Tea Tree oil directly onto the affected area.
40. To aid digestion and relieve an upset stomach - place 1 drop of Peppermint oil in 1/2 glass of water and
slowly sip.
41. To relieve teething pain in children, use 1-drop Chamomile oil on a washcloth wrapped ice cube.
42. To cool the body in summer and protect it in the winter, add 6-8 drops of Eucalyptus oil in the bath
43. To bring out a radiant glow in your skin, add 1 drop Geranium oil to your facial moisturizer.
44. For thicker hair, or to promote growth, place 1 or 2 drops of Rosemary on your hair brush before brushing.
45. When flu is going around add a few drops of Thyme to your diffuser or simmer in a pan on the stove.
46. To bring fever down, sponge the body with cool water to which 1 drop each Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Lavender oils have been added.
47. Create a better work environment. Lavender creates a calm, tranquil atmosphere while Grapefruit stimulates the senses and clears up stale air.
48. Alleviate anxiety and depression. Blend Geranium, Lavender & Bergamot, and use in a diffuser or add 6-8 drops of this blend to the bath.
49. A wonderful massage blend for babies is one drop Roman Chamomile, 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Geranium diluted in 2 Tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil.
50. Headaches? Rub the back of the neck with 1-drop Peppermint oil diluted in 1-teaspoon vegetable oil.
51. Perfume! Make a blend of 20 drops Neroli + 10 drops Lemon + 5 drops of Patchouli. Umm, yum. Age for 2 weeks; add an equal amount of high-proof alcohol. Age again and use.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Aromatherapy while traveling

Whether you are on business trip, a romantic holiday, a family trip or simply want to experience outdoor life, aromatherapy essential oils come useful along the way. Take along carrier oils for diluting the essential oils.

Are you going away on business trip? Whether you have to meet clients, give presentations, hold seminars, business meetings, etc, one can surely feel stressed out. Take along with you lavender, peppermint, marjoram and Neroli essential oils. - Massage your body with 1 drop of marjoram and lavender oil each mixed with sweet almond or calendula oil after a warm bath to lessen the jet lag effect. - Are you jittery before a big presentation or a meeting? Inhale few drops of Neroli oil to settle all the butterflies and ease all the nervousness. - For headaches or migraines, concoct 1 drop of peppermint & lavender oil each with 1 tsp of sweet almond oil and massage it on your forehead, temples, sides and base of your neck. It will ease the headache away and let you stay alert. Few drops of lavender oil on your pillow will allow for peaceful night of sleep. - Eating out and upset stomach go hand in hand. Massage 1 drop of peppermint & lavender oil each with 1 tsp of sweet almond oil on your stomach to help you with indigestion. Or you can try a peppermint tea.

Holidaying with your sweetheart or going for your honeymoon? Make sure you smell desirable all the time. Rose & jasmine oil are considered romantic oils. - 1 drop of rose and jasmine oil each in 100 ml of jojoba oil makes a nice personal perfume for your holiday. - A single drop of Ylang Ylang with its oriental scent is heady potent seduction perfume. - For a romantic bath, add little of your personal perfume to the bath gel or water. You can use the perfume as massage oil on your partner.

Out with the kids. Calendula oil, lavender oil, chamomile essential oil and tea tree oil are some of children's oil that comes handy. - Inhale a drop of lavender or peppermint oil from kerchief or tissue to ease the nausea and travel sickness. - Got a tired kid on hand. Get your child to relax and inhale lavender oil. - For small babies, apply lavender oil on your neck and shoulders so when you carry your little one around, the fragrance stays with baby. - Stomach upset or colic trouble - 1 drop of chamomile mixed with 1 tsp of sweet almond oil rubbed clockwise on tummy will ease the stomachache. - Lavender oil rubbed on the body helps to keep insects away. - Few drops of calendula, lavender & chamomile oil is good for cuts and bruises. - Aloe Vera gel or lavender oil applied to sun burn will soothe the pain.

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