Friday, May 29, 2009

Migraine Headaches And Chronic Pain: Essential Oil Of Lavender, A Natural Remedy

If you suffer migraines or chronic headaches, you are not alone. In fact, you're in good company. A migraine is only one type of headache. In the United States alone, 24 million people suffer with migraines with 75% of them being women.

Another, powerful statistic: 1 out of 13 people over the age of 15 wake up with a morning headache. Women are twice as likely to experience depression and/or anxiety disorders as men. If you experience depression or anxiety, you are twice as likely to wake up with a headache.

Depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. All of these statements point to the fact that millions of men and even more women in the United States endure headaches, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. It is simply distressing to read these facts. We are suffering both physically and emotionally with pain and moods that take away the joy of daily living.

As a woman with fibromyalgia, I have made it a personal project to learn about herbal therapies to help myself manage my own headaches and chronic pain. As a nurse, I feel compelled to share alternative therapies that can ease the pain of migraine and help us manage the stress of daily living that triggers migraine headaches, muscle aches and depression.

What choices do we have other than prescriptions and over the counter medication to treat migraine headaches and chronic pain?

Essential oils and aromatherapy offer a great deal of comfort for migraine sufferers.

The most familiar herbal fragrances of all, lavender, naturally soothes the mind and body.

If you wake up with headaches or suffer with migraines, the sweet aroma of lavender is a safe, natural way to relax muscle tension and ease migraine pain. Because depression is often associated with chronic pain and headaches, lavender's natural ability to lift mild depression makes this essential oil valuable to your mental as well as physical health.

Lavender as an alternative herbal remedy

Lavender can be used for headaches, migraines and sore muscle relief. Lavender eases joint stiffness and helps us cope with chronic pain. Interestingly enough, lavender has antiseptic qualities and even repels insects naturally.

Lavender is one of the only 2 essential oils that can be used directly on skin with no dilution!

Simply apply a few drops of essential lavender oil to your temples when you start to feel tension around your head, neck or shoulders. Migraine suffers may experience an aura that signals a migraine. Essential oil of lavender may not prevent the actual onset of the migraine but it can help you relax your muscles and emotional tension that could trigger the migraine pain.

Lavender and easing migraine pain

A lavender eye pillow is recommended for the relaxing, soothing aromatherapy qualities of the lavender. Lavender promotes relaxation and more restorative sleep. Studies in hospitals and nursing homes found that patients exposed to the scent of lavender fell asleep faster, deeper and longer.

Flax seed mixed with the lavender help the eye pillow to rest across the brow, eyes, cheekbones and temples with gentle weight that blocks out light while applying pressure to ease the headache pain. Flax seed reducing inflammation and helps reduce puffiness around the eyes.

A lavender eye pillow with flax seed can be warmed for tension headaches or chilled for migraine headache. Rather than fall asleep in the throes of a migraine, start to relax by laying in cool quiet darkness with a few drops of essential oil of lavender on your pillow case and an eye pillow in place. The cool pressure of the eye pillow mixed with relaxing properties of lavender could help bring on both migraine relief and restorative sleep.

Lavender and workplace stress

The use of lavender in the workplace may help you handle workplace stress, relax under pressure and focus better.

Lavender is one of the essential oils tested in studies which showed that the participants relaxed with lavender aromatherapy and were more focused to solve problems and although slower with math computations, fewer errors were noted.

A sprig of lavender, bowl of potpourri or essential oil drops of lavender applied near warmth will help you relax, focus and be more productive in the workplace. If you work in a hectic environment that doesn't give you an office then a lavender body mist or small vial of lavender's essential oil that you can keep in your pocket may just do the trick!

Lavender and depression

Lavender is not a cure or treatment for depression BUT we have discovered that pain, poor sleep, anxiety and chronic pain are associated with depression.

Lavender brings a natural relaxed state that helps us cope better with life's aggravations. Studies have shown that in healthy non-depressed individuals, the aroma of lavender does have the ability to gently elevate our moods.

Whether you are currently suffering with depression or simply feeling down, remember that your physician is the best person to discuss treatment medical for depression.

Taking herbal tea baths and burning lavender candles are a part of taking care of ourselves that does not require a prescription or cost a great deal of money. Lavender infused bath and body products provide a natural stress reducer that can lift mild depression and clear our minds so we can work through problems more effectively.

Lavender and insomnia

Restorative sleep is a must for everyone. Struggling with insomnia or frequent waking during the night does nothing but aggravate us the next day!

The scent of lavender promotes relaxation and helps you sleep better overall. Studies in hospitals and nursing homes found that patients exposed to the scent of lavender fell asleep faster, deeper and longer.

Poor sleep is one known cause of morning headaches and can trigger migraine headaches. Grinding your teeth, muscle tension especially around the face and neck are common causes of morning headaches. Keeping a small bowl of lavender in your bedroom and light misting of bed linens will help you relax before you fall asleep.

Lavender and anxiety

Generalized anxiety disorder is an increasing problem for millions of Americans. Anxiety and depression plagues us as we struggle to cope with life's challenges. It's commonly known that anxiety expresses itself with racing thoughts and a pounding heartbeat but one of the first signs of anxiety is the inability to think clearly. Mental stress that leads to anxiety will make our minds cloudy and solving life's problems becomes a mountain of anxiety.

Possible causes, triggers of headaches and chronic pain

poor sleep

muscle tension


inadequate hydration and nutrition

hormone imbalance

immune dysfunction

poor coping skills

At first glance of possible triggers for headaches, it's no wonder millions suffer with migraines, headaches, depression and chronic pain.

eat healthy

drink 8-10 glasses of water each day

explore natural ways to alleviate hormone imbalances

monitor your blood pressure to make sure your headaches aren't a symptom of high blood pressure

talk to your doctor about feelings of depression and anxiety
each day, find time to do something special for yourself

go for a fifteen minute walk

light a candle

write in a journal

spend time with friends

surround yourself with such relaxing scents as lavender to ward off headaches and chronic pain

The scent of lavender has tendency to slow down our minds and bodies. We relax. Our brain responds positively to lavender. We are soothed.

Simply surrounding our senses with lavender can help us cope with life's nagging problems.

Lavender helps us sleep better at night and relax under pressure in the work place. Relaxing before you fall asleep can prevent you from waking up with a morning headache. Essential oil of lavender and lying in a dark cool room with a chilled eye pillow can ease migraine pain.

Your boss getting you frazzled? Overwhelmed by the daily grind? Fighting chronic depression? Sense a migraine coming on? Got an ache in your shoulders and a stiff neck from sitting at a computer all day?

Stop thinking that suffering with migraines and headaches is simply a part of life.

Start taking care of yourself every day in ways that make you feel calm and prepared to ENJOY life! Fill your life with lavender and other essential oils that can create a sense of well-being not found in traditional medicine. Learn how to manage your migraines and chronic headaches before they start to control you.

Infuse lavender in your life to ease migraine headaches, depression, insomnia, anxiety and chronic pain naturally!

Tammy Ames, RN BSN is the owner of Home Spas by Tam offering handmade spa products for your own home spa with natural skin care products, body scrubs and essential oils for aromatherapy and organic comforts to ease the aches and pains of daily living.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Migraine Headaches Treatment, How To Treat Migraine

Most people who get migraine headaches claim that attacks are usually brought on by specific events. The number one cause of migraines for most people is the weather. Nearly 21%, or 4,200,000 of migraine sufferers say that changes in the weather bring on their headaches. This is one of the most prevalent reasons of what causes migraines.

Another home treatment for migraine is massage. Lie down on a quiet darkened room and have someone massage your head and scalp to relieve the pain. But you can also do it yourself; you can massage your scalp and forehead rotating your fingers.

Aromatherapy A combination of aromatic oils and massage is an excellent way to soothe head pain. An aromatherapist will prescribe your own personal combination of oils, or you can massage your own head and temples with lavender, basil, or camomile oils. An inhalation, or hot water bath, containing the essential oil of true melissa, rosemary, or sweet marjoram can provide soothing relief.

Nasya or medicated oil drops used for the treatment of migraine is of two types. The first is called “Shirovirechan”, in which strong, irritant medicines are instilled as nasal drops, which induce sneezing and watery discharge. The second is called as “Avapidak nasya’ in which a paste is prepared of a herb or several herbs, and the liquid is inserted in the nostrils. Usually, herbs like Vacha (Acorus calamus) and Pippali ( Piper longum) are used along with honey. Both procedures are aimed at removing the cause of the headache and the pain.

A number of patients receiving Botox injections for the treatment of deep wrinkles on the forehead stopped having migraine headaches or had significantly fewer migraine headaches since starting the injections. About half of them completely recovered from migraines and there was partial improvement in about a third. When this was discovered by doctors, research on the use of Botox for migraines was begun.

This is the final step in the process. Lavender oil is renowned for its medicinal properties and this is doubly so for migraine headaches. Lavender oil is cheap and completely safe to use. Only use pure Lavender oil for treating migraines - lavender scented fragrances or scented oils are useless. It must be the purest lavender oil you can find.

Avoid all harmful articles of diet. Herbal laxatives initially, to cleanse the colon, may be helpful in bilious headaches. Often the stomach is overloaded when the headache comes on. If this is the case use an emetic.

Natural migraine remedies can be used alone or in combination with other treatments. If you are on prescribed medications, discuss with your doctor before taking any herbal remedies. Chronic headaches may indicate an underlying health problem or illness. It is important to obtain a proper medical diagnosis from your doctor before proceeding with any remedies.

By: John Adison

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Endometriosis 238- Ednometriosis And Flower Remedies - Lavender

As we mentioned in previous articles, endometriosis growing somewhere else other than the endometrium also reacts to hormonal signals of the monthly menstrual cycle by building up tissue, breaking it, and eliminating it through the menstrual period. As we know, flower remedies play a very important role in some cultures in treating all kinds of diseases. In this article, we will discuss how lavender helps to treat endometriosis.

I. Definition
Lavender is a flower plant, belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae and native to the Mediterranean, South Africa and Southeast of India. It has been used in traditional medicine for balms, salves, perfumes, cosmetics, and topical application.

II. How lavender effects women with endometriosis

1. Immune system
Lavender is said to contain chemicals that helps to reduce the inflammation caused by physical impact or abnormal cell growing in the wrong part in the body, including endometrial cells, thereby, it helps to reduce the risk of endometriosis.

2. Nervous System
It also has a calming effect in the brain cell by improving the information transmitting between cells, thus it reduces the symptoms of endometriosis such as tiredness, physical and emotional stress and anxiety.

3. Insomnia
Lavender has been used in tradition medicine in relaxing the nervous tension at night resulting in lessening the risk of sleeplessness for women with endometriosis during memstrual cycle.

4. Hormone Inhibitor
As an extrogen hormone inhibitor, it helps to reduce the over production of estrogen' s level during menstrual cycle, resulting in reducing the risk of endometrial implants and adhesion as well as symptoms of endometriosis.

5. Cell division
Avender is also a mitotic that helps to regulate the cell division and cell growth resulting in lessening the risk of endometrial cell growing in other part of the body, excluding the endometrium.

By: Kyle Norton

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Aromatherapy and Kids

Essential oils have distinct composition determining the fragrance, colour, and effect on our body. Before you introduce your child to the aromatic world of fragrances, seek advice from your GP or qualified aroma therapist. If possible, carry out detailed research your self on the oil you plan to use on your infant or child.

Listed below are few commonly used essential oils that are used for kids.

- Lavender oil is excellent home remedy for headaches, earaches and even insect bites.
- Geranium and rose oils act as a good skin softener, toner and natural astringent.
- Chamomile and peppermint oils prevent hair loss.
- Lavender, lemon and curry leaf oils provide relief from dandruff.
- For any bruises and burns, use tea tree and lavender oils.
- Black pepper oil is good for constipation.
- Cedar wood, eucalyptus and tea tree oils alleviate coughs.
- Ginger, lavender and thyme oil works wonders on sore throats.
- Lavender and roman chamomile oil blend allows for restful sleep at night.
- Lemon and grapefruit oils added to a tub of warm water for a bath refreshes the kid.

A word of caution for any parents planning on using aromatherapy oils on their children. Please exercise caution while using essential oils. Its best to stick to mild oils and less is best. Since essential oils are highly concentrated, make sure that they are properly diluted with water or carrier oils. Improper dilution can result in skin irritation for your little ones. Don't let your children be alone while using essential oils.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Herbs for Skin Care - Learn to Care your Skin

The latest craze in skin care is also the oldest: herbal products. Once considered merely the eco-friendly choice of hippies, these plant derivatives are now found everywhere. The most highly reputed manufacturers have recently added herbs to their skin care lines, from cleansers to moisturizers and everything in between. Still, those who have not tried them may be concerned about their effectiveness. After all, "must have" products come and go, from infomercial fads to weight loss gimmicks. For those who are skeptical, here are the facts about herbal skin care's benefits.

Using Herbs in Skin Care

How does what you put on your skin affect you? What herbs should be used externally and when and for what reasons? These questions are important and asked often. We will make an attempt to help sort this out and explain why we use a particular herb

After the bath, apply diluted evening primrose oil or aloe vera cream. Do not use very hot water when bathing or showering. Calendula and comfrey have skin-softening properties. They can be used in a facial sauna or to make herbal or floral waters. Used in skin preparations for its astringent and detoxifying properties. A natural diuretic which does not deplete potassium. Tea tree oil has been known to penetrate into the skin's cellular level.

Add 1 drop of oil to your favorite day or night cream to help moisturize and smooth skin. Blondes can use the tea as a hair rinse also to add shining highlights to the hair. Use in Ointments, Creams, Compresses and Toners for wounds, skin regeneration, skin infections, and inflammatory skin conditions. Used as a Compress, in Lotions and Creams for oily skin, it is supposed to be cleansing, clarifying and emollient and soothes sensitive skins with surface blood capillaries. Borage, fennel, coltsfoot or calendula tea also helps improve the skin. Add 1 tsp. of herbs to 1 cup of boiling water and drink daily. A weekly facial sauna using the herbs chamomile, lavender, and peppermint is good for dry skin. Do not drink soft drinks or eat sugar, chocolate, potato chips, or other junk foods.

Splash the skin alternately with cold and warm water. Used for Oily, spotty skin and for wrinkled, sagging complexions. (Facial Toners, Lotions, Creams); Cleanses, stimulates blood circulation, closes pores and restores elasticity. Yarrow is used for its astringent, healing and soothing effects on the skin and hair. Strengthens skin tone. Melt the lanolin in a small bowl over a pan of hot water. Add the sunflower and almond oils and beat together. Remove from the heat and continue beating as the mixture thickens then stir in the oil of lavender.

A Rich Moisturizing Night Cream For Dry Skin

This cream is soothing and fragrant. Both almond and sunflower oil have a moisturizing, softening action on the skin. Almond oil also has a reputation as a cleanser. The lavender oil is soothing.

3 tablespoons lanolin
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 tablespoon almond oil
1 teaspoon oil of lavender

Melt the lanolin in a small bowl over a pan of hot water. Add the sunflower and almond oils and beat together. Remove from the heat and continue beating as the mixture thickens then stir in the oil of lavender. Pour into a sterile pot and screw on the lid when the cream is cold.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Aromatherapy Treatment: Natural Medicine to Heal

Sometimes in the medical treatment, traditional sources of medicine work better than the chemical compounds. And, there are many who prefer to go for herbal treatment rather than going for the allopathic ones not because merely that they are without side effects, but because they have the natural healing process which delights you as well. After all, they are taken from the nature. Aromatherapy treatment is just like that. Here the aromatic ingredients are taken from deep down the nature for the mental and bodily well being.

Aromatherapy treatment is sure to give relief from a large number of problems. There are essential oils, the distilled liquid extracted from herbs plants, barks, roots which have the fragrance therapy as well as other medications to heal your physical and physiological wounds, at times to relax you.

Aromatherapy can be used for the treatment of a number of ailments. A range of aromatherapy essential oils are used for treatment of specific conditions. The following is a list of essential oils that are used as different medication purposes. Just look at the tremendous impact they can have on our mind and body:

Essential oils reducing pain: Bergamot; Chamomile; Lavender; Marjoram; Rosemary.

Anti inflammatory oils: Bergamot; Calendula chamomile; Lavender

Preventing and combating local bacterial infection: Bergamot; Eucalyptus; Juniper; Lavender; Rosemary; Tea-Tree.

Sleep inducing: Chamomile; Lavender; Marjoram

Immune system stimulant essential oils: Garlic; Lavender; Tea Tree.

Sometimes, they are hepatic also, which strengthen the liver: Cypress; Lemon; Peppermint; Rosemary; Thyme.

Well, not only for the bodily well being, aromatherapy treatment is used for the mental pleasure too. You can use the aromatherapy candles to have a relaxing aura around you. They are the best to calm down the tension through their sweet fragrance spread over the aura around you. Again, there are aromatherapy massages where essential oils are used for relaxation purposes. You will have a soft human touch mixed with the pleasure of having the benefit of natural products harping throughout your body. The fragrance also takes you to a new height. There are aromatherapy bath salts and the soaps that exfoliate your skin and keeping it smooth in addition to providing an unmatched relaxation.

Aromatherapy treatment is natural and is beneficial both for the mental and bodily well being. Also aromatherapy is easily accessible through online means. Aromatherapy is a complete treatment source but don’t forget to make sure you are not allergic to any product before using it.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Healing With Essential Oils

Pain: Essential oils are especially effective when treating pain. Massaging oils and lotions are some of the very best ways to apply it to the body. Some oils to consider include, clove bun, chamomile, lemongrass and lavender. These are all great for numbing and subsequently reducing pain. To decrease the swelling often associated with pain, it is best to use chamomile, juniper, lavender and rose. These oils help to reduce both pain and swelling. Other essential oils work to reduce pain by blocking the brain’s pain signals. These oils include lemongrass, frankincense and ginger.

Sleep Trouble: Essential oils which are good for inducing sleep, include mandarin, orange blossom, frankincense, tangerine, clary sage, chamomile and sandalwood. These work well when used in bath water or directly on the skin using massage oils or lotions

Headaches: Lavender, peppermint, lemongrass and basil are just a few of the essential oils that work well in alleviating various types of headaches.

Stress: The essential oils bergamot, lavender, marjoram, rose and chamomile, amongst others, help to alleviate feelings of stress.

Depression: Essential oils such as bergamot, cardamom, clove, clary sage, orange and lemon Melissa have antidepressant properties. They work well to help remedy mild levels of depression and the blahs.

Stimulation: If you are having trouble staying alert, you may want to grab these essential oils; basil, cinnamon, black pepper, clove, peppermint, ginger, rosemary or angelica. They help to stimulate the mind and the body.

High Blood Pressure: Most people aren’t aware that essential oils have medicinal qualities. Neroli, tangerine, orange, ylang ylang, Melissa and geranium are known to help lower blood pressure. Of course, this does not mean that one is to ditch their high blood pressure medicine, but these oils are great to take in concert with medication that is already being prescribed.

Bacterial Infections: Some essential oils have very strong antibacterial properties. Some good ones to consider include cinnamon, garlic, savory, clove bud, bay laurel, thyme, bay rum, pine rose, tea tree, myrtle, lemongrass and lavender. The above oils can help treat bladder, gum, skin, sinus, throat and bowel infections. They can either be ingested through the skin or inhaled. The right essential oils can also aid in helping to treat urinary tract infections. Sitzbaths and massages using oils with niaouli or sandlewood rubbed on the belly and around the kidney portion of the lower back can be very effective.

Viral Infections: Many essential oils have strong antiviral elements. Bay, black pepper, garlic, cinnamon bark myrrh, melissa, oregano and rose are some of the standouts. You will also find, if you look closely, that some cough drops and cold medications have some of these same oils.

Essential oils not only smell great, but they also have very strong healing properties. Their use can curtail many common ailments of the skin and the mind. They work well to lift the spirits. If one is interested in using alternative methods to heal sickness or to lift their mood, essential oils and aromatherapy are a fantastic place to begin.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

How to Use Aromatherapy Oils in Home Remedies?

Aromatherapy is one of the popular alternative therapies used in treating number of health problems. Aromatherapy oils are natural plant oils and because of their gentle way of healing, they can be used in many different ways. You can choose to use them in your bath, for massage or in preparing a number of home remedies. Below are few home remedies for common health problems.

Aromatherapy oils in various home remedies –

1. For cellulite – Make a blend a four drops of juniper, four drops of fennel and four drops of lemon oils in 4 fl oz (100 ml) of a carrier oil. Massage this into the cellulite affected areas daily after your bath, when the skin is warm and receptive.

2. For sunstroke – Add four drops of juniper, four drops of fennel and four drops of peppermint oil to a cool bath. Soak for 15 minutes. Then, rub a little neat lavender oil into your temples at regular intervals. The bath will help to reduce your temperature and the lavender oil helps your headache.

3. Dry or cracked lips – Make up a carrier oil of 2 fl oz (50 ml) apricot kernel oil and 2 fl oz (50 ml) of avocado oil. Add six drops of sandalwood and six drops of rose oil. Rub this to the lips, repeating the application regularly.

4. For sunburn – f the sunburned area is small, apply the lavender oil and repeat as necessary. If the area is large, add twenty drops of lavender oil to a cool bath and soak for 10-20 minutes. You can make a soothing spray by adding 10 drops of lavender oil to 1 pint (300 ml) of cool, clean water.

5. Small cuts – Apply lavender or tea tree oil to the cut. These are both antiseptic and don’t sting.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

About the Author

Read more about aromatherapy, ayurveda, yoga and massage therapy at Natural cures website – a health guide to make you and your family live better, fit and healthy. Also read the benefits of anti-aging herb Shilajit and stress relieving herb Ashwagandha.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009


All the various methods of using essential oils discussed through the book- baths, inhalations, massage oils, compresses and creams- can be used for children as well as adults, with a few safety provisos.

Do not use any oil undiluted on a child, except for Lavender oil on small burns or bruises.

Dilute essential oils in a base oil before adding them to a bath for a child; they tend to enjoy splashing around in the bath more than adults and could get the oils in their eyes otherwise. Reduce dosage too, to a maximum of 4 drops per bath. For young infants, perhaps simply make a tea, of Lavender flowers for example, and add that to the bath.

In massage, use lower dilutions of essential oils: a maximum of 1 percent for ages 12-16; ½ per cent for ages 8-12; and ¼ percent for ages 4-8. Under 4-year-olds will need just a drop or two in 100 ml(4 fl oz/½ cup) of base oil.

Never leave a young child alone with bottles of essential oils, and always supervise their use .

Use steam inhalations only briefly, and not at all if breathing is affected. Sometimes it is better to put a drop or two into a wash-basin of steaming water and sit with the young child next to it, rather than bending over a bowl.

A good way to help to fight infection, suitable for all ages, is to use a few drops in a plant spray, typically 600 ml(1 pt/ 2½ cups) capacity, fill with water, shake and spray the room at regular intervals. Use oils such as Lavender, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree.

Probably the two most suitable essential oils for use in childhood ailments are Chamomile and Lavender. They are both soothing, relaxing and anti-inflammatory, and help to calm the child as well as help to fight the illness. For instance, in a condition such as chickenpox, 2 drops of Lavender oil in 5 ml(1 tsp) of water can be dabbed on to the emerging spots to soothe the irritation and heal them at a much faster rate; Chamomile cream is very versatile, soothing many inflamed skin disorders. Additionally, the aroma of these oils helps to calm the child and give them a more restful sleep.

For colds and such like you may consider Benzoin, Frankincense and perhaps tiny amounts of Eucalyptus or Peppermint.

Although aromatherapy oils may appear harmless, they are very strong and should always he kept out of the reach of children.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Twelve Great Ways to Use Lavender Oil

Lavender is not just another pretty flower. The oil of this fragrant and much-loved plant is amazingly useful, as I learned when I co-authored a book about a lavender farm in Hawaii. From the farmhouses of old Europe to the palace of the Hawaiian monarchy, lavender has found a place in homes of every description.

Like other essential oils made from various herbs and flowers, lavender oil carries the essence of its parent plant, distilled into liquid form. But, unlike other essential oils (which must be mixed with a carrier oil, such as almond, olive or canola), lavender oil may be used "neat," straight from the bottle.

Aromatherapy texts contain many suggestions for how to use this oil, and research has shown that a lot of the lavender-based folk remedies passed down through the generations have a basis in science. Lavender is antibiotic, antispasmodic, analgesic, antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal, which means that it can protect and promote health in many ways.

Before the days of antibiotics, sweet-scented commercial soaps and lotions and all the other modern preparations that keep our bodies healthy and our homes clean and smelling fresh, lavender was a housewife's best friend. For centuries, lavender has disinfected sickrooms, healed wounds and burns and sweetened the air in castles where the nobility's pets were as much at home as their owners!

Great for home first-aid kits, lavender oil will maintain its therapeutic powers for about two years. After that, use it for its fragrance, perhaps as part of your housecleaning routine.

Here are a dozen simple suggestions for using lavender essential oil.

-Add a few drops to any body lotion to make a fragrant moisturizing cream. Smooth it on before bedtime to take advantage of lavender's famous relaxing properties.
-Soak a cotton ball with witch hazel, add a drop of lavender oil and rub over an acne breakout.
-Put a drop of essential oil on an open blister to prevent infection. Be prepared: It will sting!
-Rub a few drops of oil over sunburned areas. You'll be amazed at how quickly that sunburn feels better.
-Sprinkle a few drops on your pillow to help you sleep at night.
-Fill a spray bottle with warm water and a few drops of lavender oil, shake well and use it as you would any room freshener. (Be sure not to spray it on wood.) -Lightly mist your bedclothes for a soothing scent at bedtime.
-Put a drop of essential oil on a cold light bulb, where it will radiate fragrance as the bulb heats up. The oil is flammable, so don't drop it onto a hot bulb.
-Make your own defuser: Buy wooden shish kabob sticks and cut them in half. Put lavender oil into a pretty little bottle and stand the sticks in the oil for a long-lasting fragrance.
-Scent your kitchen: Add drops of oil to the final rinse water when you clean kitchen counters or floors, or add a few drops to a bottle of dish-washing liquid.
-Sweeten your clothes: Put a little oil on a small square of cloth and toss it into the dryer.
-Put some onto small cotton wool balls and tuck them into drawers. Your clothes will be fragrant, and the lavender will discourage moths.
-Add a few drops of oil to your hand-soap dispenser next time you refill it.

About the Author

Learn more from award-winning Hawaii author Jill Engledow about the history of Hawaii and about lavender in Hawaii at her website,

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Essential Oils For Your Emotions

Holistic healing products means taking an holistic approach when seeking treatment for imbalances and choosing to live a more balanced lifestyle. What primarily distinguishes holistic healing apart from alternative medicine, complementary medicine, and integrative medicine is that physical health is not necessarily the main focus.

Even so, it is often the experience of physical discomfort that will first prompt a person's pursuit of holistic healing products. Inner wellness and piece is the main goal.

Carrier oils and lotions are all 100% natural aromatherapy products and are organic for many holistic healing needs. Carrier Oils dilute the essential oils to allow them to be used topically. The ratio of carrier oils to essential oils will be determined by how the product will be used.

For example, our synergies contain 90% essential oils and only 10% carrier oil. A synergy is applied to the skin sparingly. On the other hand, massage oils contain about 5% essential oils and 95% carrier oils. The massage oil can be applied in larger amounts if need be.

An Ion Cleanse draws waste from the body though a unit placed in water with a positive and negative electric current. Your feet are immersed in warm water along with the ionizer for 30 minutes. During this time, you will see the water change color - from dark brown, orange or foamy - depending on the toxins released.

Because of poor diet and high stress, we tend to accumulate and store excessive quantities of waste products. During this 30-minute session, the ions enter your body and begin to neutralize these tissue acid wastes. The process is called reverse osmosis.

The aromatherapy facial is a facial steam and then gentle herbal cleansing, followed by a glacial clay mask, balancing toner, skin serum, carrot eye lift gel, then Rosee moisturizer. Your face, shoulders, neck and upper arms will be massaged, pressure points accessed. A great way to rejuvenate tired skin and have a healthy glow. All products used should be 100 % natural.

Essential oils can provide holistic healing for the emotions.

Bergamot, Jasmin, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Vetiver,
Ylang Ylang

Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin, Neroli, Patchouli,
Roman Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Bay, Bergamot, Cypress, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Orange, Rosemary

Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Helichrysum, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon,
Mandarin, Neroli, Orange, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang

Fatigue, Exhaustion and Burnout:
Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Cypress, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Helichrysum,
Jasmine, Lemon, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Neroli, Orange,
Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Cypress, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Neroli, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Happiness and Peace:
Bergamot, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lemon, Neroli, Orange, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang

Bergamot, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Lavender, Mandarin, Neroli, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood

Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Roman Chamomile, Rose

Memory and Concentration:
Basil, Black Pepper, Cypress, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary

Panic and Panic Attacks:
Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender, Neroli, Rose

Benzoin, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Mandarin,
Neroli, Patchouli, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang

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Aromatherapy During Labor for Natural Pain Relief

Aromatherapy is one of the most popular natural therapies not only for relaxing mind and body but also for treating many health issues. It is very helpful in relieving pain. Aromatherapy massage during labor helps you to relax and cope with the contractions and it can also reduce the tension and fear you will naturally feel because of its calming effect on your nervous system. You may find that early on in labor you like the feeling of quite firm pressure but as your contractions become more intense gentle strokes may be all you can bear.

Aromatherapy massage for natural pain relief -

If you have already experienced aromatherapy massage earlier in your pregnancy your partner will have an idea of the kind of touch that is most helpful to you.

Tummy massage

This is helpful in the earlier stages of labor and the movements are soothing when the contractions feel like period pains. Use three drops of camomile or lavender oil in 4 fl oz (100 ml) of light carrier oil.

• Using relaxed hands make figure of eight movement across the tummy and under the bump. This movement should be fairly light, especially if the tummy is tender.
• Gently stroke around the bump using your fingertips in a circular movement.

Repeat these movements as necessary.

Back soother

Again use three drops of camomile or lavender oil in 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil.

• With the heel of your hand apply pressure to the small of the back. Gently move your hand in an anticlockwise circular movement while keeping firm contact with the skin.
• Place one hand on top of the other in the small of the back and allow heat to build up under your hands.

These movements are helpful for concentrations felt in the lower back.

If you are feeling too sensitive to be massaged or even touched on your body, try the following aromatherapy relaxers.

Face soother

Add a few drops of lavender or rose oil to some chilled rosewater. Dip a small face sponge into this mixture then smooth it over your forehead down your face and neck, gently and rhythmically. Alternatively your partner can do this for you. The flowery aroma is very comforting and helps to take your mind away from the labor pains.

Hand soother

When the contractions become difficult this simple touch is very reassuring and helps to create a feeling of safety. Ask your partner to rub a little lavender oil (in carrier oil) into the solar plexus area on your hand.

Now he or she can gently stroke and soothe your hand, keeping a reassuring contact with you. Concentrate on relaxing into the touch.

Scented water soother

Kneeling in a deep, warm bath can be soothing in the earlier stages of labor and the addition of relaxing aromatherapy oils intensifies this experience. Choose from chamomile, lavender, ylang-ylang or geranium.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

Read useful articles on Hair loss remedy to control your hair fall. Know how Herbal remedies are helpful in promoting good health. Also read about Natural weight loss to shed your extra body fat.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Top Herbs for Insomnia Relief

Insomnia is a wide-spread problem in our society. With our increasingly hectic schedules and a disappearing divide between work and home, it is often difficult for our bodies to know when to wind down. Stress and anxiety from a hectic day can often keep a person from getting the rest needed to face another day.

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, you might consider trying some herbs for insomnia relief. Herbal sleep aids have been around for centuries and do not have the side effects often associated with over-the-counter sleep aids.

  • Lavender: You might notice that lavender is a very popular addition to baby bath soap. That’s because lavender has calming qualities. It helps to ease the mind and induce a sense of calm. If you’re suffering from insomnia due to stress and anxiety, lavender may work to calm your mind at night. It comes in many forms. You can buy a sachet (small packet) and place it under your pillow. You can spray lavender essential oil in the room as part of a insomnia preventative bedtime routine. It’s also available in bath oils, linen sprays and fabric softeners.

  • Valerian: This is actually the root of a perennial flower valerian. It is used by herbalists because it is said to work well with other herbs to induce sleep such as passion flower.

  • The Passion Flower was used by the ancient Aztecs to induce sleep. It helps relax the mind and body. It can be ingested in pill form or in tea.

  • Chamomile: This is an age old remedy for sleeping problems. Chamomile can be most commonly found in tea. Having a cup of chamomile tea before bed is something that may calm your mind. It is widely available at local supermarkets.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Natural Cures For Insomnia - Herbs That Promote Healthy Sleep

Herbs have been used as natural insomnia cures for centuries and many are very effective and safe. The following are tried and tested herbs that can have a real effect on your insomnia.

Lavender has been used for centuries to calm the nerves and lavender essential oil can be added to the bath water for a soothing, calming effect. Lavender can also be used as a massage oil or lavender sachets placed on the pillow to inhale as you fall asleep.

Passion Flower is often recommended by herbalists as an important herb in the treatment of insomnia especially when it is caused by stress or nervous exhaustion. It can be used by both children and adults and is an excellent sedative that has no known side effects.

Chamomile is a safe herb that can be used by children and adults. In the form of chamomile tea it can soothe restlessness and irritability, especially in children. Have a relaxing bath with chamomile oil added to the water before bed. It can also be used as a massage oil.

California Poppy is found in many herbal natural insomnia cures and helps to promote sleep by easing anxiety and helping you to relax. It is mild and can be used by both children and adults. Clinical studies have shown the effectiveness of California poppy in promoting sleep and helping to reduce anxiety.

Valerian is used by many herbalists for as a natural cure for insomnia. It is a good sedative for those suffering from restlessness and nervousness that is causing difficulty in sleeping. It helps to reduce waking during the night and helps you to fall asleep more quickly. It has no side effects and is often used in combination with other herbs such as passion flower or California poppy.

St. John's Wort has been used for many years for insomnia and anxiety and is now used by many herbalists to help with mild depression and insomnia. It is not an instant sure and may take a few weeks before you being to feel any benefit. It can cause sensitivity to sunlight to increase so take care to avoid exposing the skin to bright sunlight or wear a sunscreen whenever you are out of doors.

Wild lettuce has been used as a mild sedative for many years and contains an opium related chemical plus small amounts of hyoscyarnin which is an anti cramping agent. It is found in formulas for both chronic and acute insomnia.

Promote Healthy Sleep

Ensure healthy sleep by having a calming bath before bed to which you have added some fragrant lavender essential oil. Sleep pillows containing a mixture of aromatic herbs can also be helpful in promoting sleep. Eat a small meal containing carbohydrate with small amounts of protein before retiring. This combination makes tryptophan more available to the brain. This promotes the production of melatonin and serotonin which are important chemicals that regulate sleep patterns. Meals that contain the appropriate combinations include cereal with low fat milk, yogurt with granola, peanut butter and crackers and an apple with cheese.

Avoid eating foods that are stimulating late at night. This includes spicy foods that may induce heartburn, caffeine and alcohol. Foods that are high in protein contain tyrosine, an amino acid that is a brain stimulant. Also foods containing monosodium glutamate and foods high in refined sugar which can lead to a sharp increase in blood sugar levels that can disturb the sleep by causing a burst in energy.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Menopause Help With Aromatherapy

Many women who experience perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms are finding relief through aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is an alternative treatment, which offers menopause help and is very pleasurable to the senses. It can induce positive side effects that help us cope with both psychological and physical ailments. Studies have found that essential oils have chemical components (IE. Esters, alcohols, aldehydes, terpenes, etc) that can produce specific effects on both the body and mind.

Aromatherapy uses essential oils to stimulate the power of our sense of smell. Certain aromas affect our moods and emotions and can have a significant impact on the way we feel. Many believe that smell is detected when it enters through the fine hairs that line the nose, known as the cilia, and travels to the limbic system. The limbic system is the area of the brain that has control over our emotions, mood, memory and learning.

How can aromatherapy specifically help menopausal symptoms? Aromatherapy has been known to provide relief for a number of menopause hormone-related symptoms including mood swings, hot flashes, headaches and disruptive sleep. The following is a list of menopausal symptoms and some of the essential oils that are considered beneficial for treating each:

• Overall hormone balance: sage; roman chamomile; geranium; fennel
• Hot Flashes: peppermint
Massage oil: lemon; sage; clary sage; geranium.
• Headaches: lavender; marjoram
• Mood Swings: lavender; linden; cypress; patchouli
• Vaginal dryness and irritation: tea tree; geranium
• Insomnia: lavender; linden blossom; violet; dill; sandalwood; chamomile; oregano; neroli; mandarin; valerian
• Fatigue: lavender; violet; white thyme; Spanish sage; rose; pimento; oregano; ginger; nutmeg; pine
• Depression: bergamot; nutmeg; clove; red thyme; ylang ylang; rose; Spanish sage
• Muscle spasms: carrot seed; lavender; jasmine; cinnamon; petitgrain
• Stress: carrot; Roman chamomile; lemongrass, neroli
• Anxiety: geranium; lavender; Spanish sage; German chamomile; coriander; vetivert; ylang ylang; rosewood; oregano; geranium; marjoram; frankincense
• Osteoporosis: Bath oil: chamomile; fennel; thyme; hyssop; lemon; ginger
Massage oil for joints: nutmeg; carrot; Roman chamomile; ginger
• Loss of libido: rosewood; rose; myrtle; sandalwood; jasmine; celery; cumin

How to use aromatherapy - Aromatherapy is a safe alternative medicine. You can burn it and have its scent fill the room, bathe in it, massage it into your skin, or wear it as a perfume. You can enjoy the scents individually or combine them. Best off all; you can use it whenever you want, as often as you want.

However, make sure you follow these few rules before using aromatherapy treatment:

1. Read all instructions before using any product
2. Never apply essential oils directly to the skin unless the instructions explicitly say it is safe to do so.
3. Never ingest essential oils

Due to the fact that essential oils are powerful they can cause irritation. Therefore, the safest method is to dilute the essential oil in a bath, in an oil burner, or purchase it as massage oil.

What to consider when purchasing oils - Studies have found that the quality of the essential oils matter if they are being used for therapeutic purposes. You should only purchase oils that state "pure essential oil" on the product. Although this means you may have to pay more, it's worth it. You can find oils and burners at a variety of online stores and in local health stores.

Personalized aromatherapy - One of the great aspects about using aromatherapy to treat menopausal symptoms is you can create your own special scented treatment. Purchase a journal and experiment with a variety of scents and aromatherapy methods to find out which ones you like the most and provide you with the best relief. Write down how you respond to each scent to determine what the best aromatherapy treatment is for you.

Finally, remember that if you are experiencing painful or chronic symptoms that are disrupting your life, seek medical attention for more menopause help.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Aromatherapy Grows: Not Just For The Girls Anymore

Aromatherapy, like many other natural treatments, is growing more powerful in Dallas, Houston and throughout Texas. Once thought of as just so many pretty scents, the populace is becoming more aware of how powerful this therapy can be in changing mood, relaxing muscles, even relieving migraines.

Pain relief, decrease in stress, improvement in medical conditions, and better sleep have all been reported, and all show a positive affect on immunity. With better health, you may even get a better deal on that individual health insurance premium. That's right, boys, chamomile isn't just for the girls anymore.

While working in a perfumery, the great, early twentieth century French chemist, Renee Maurice Gattefossee, badly burned his hand. Searching for any available cold liquid, he found a quantity of lavender oil, and in plunged his digits. Astonishingly, the burn healed very quickly, with little or no scarring, and inspired his further research.

Essential oils naturally occurring, powerfully scented plant substances are at the heart of aromatherapy. Each plant part often produces unique oils with different properties. For example, orange peel generates what is known as orange oil, while the leaves produce petitgrain, and the blossoms make neroli.

What is even more fascinating is that no one is sure what essential oils are exactly. While certain constituents have been chemically identified, all that is really known is they are volatile, extremely concentrated, oily plant substances with healing properties. They're not an "oil" in the traditional sense, nor are they anything else we've identified in a plant. Ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Persians integrated them into important rituals, Native Americans throughout what is now Texas and the Southwest were quite familiar with use of concentrated scents, and massage therapists depend on them as a critical part of treatments.

Extracting the essences often require at least several pounds of plant material for every gram obtained. Price of the finished product depends on the amount of labor and raw product required. Eucalyptus oil, for instance, is fairly inexpensive, while rose oil (considered an absolute) is a luxury. Approximately one ton of rose petals are required to manufacture a single ounce of essential oil!

But many species used to produce therapeutic oils are common. Even residents of dry climates like Texas can grow their own bay, eucalyptus, sage, ginger, marjoram, or rosemary plants. For most, buying essential oils is more practical, but those in the congestion of Houston and Dallas can still benefit by growing box gardens in their windows. The herbs, then, can be used for cooking, making small quantities of home products, cleansing the air, and scenting the home.

Very basic knowledge is all that's needed to start applying the power of essential oils. A few drops on a cotton ball, dropped into a vacuum collection chamber, will fragrance the home while cleaning. A sprinkle on a handkerchief, or in bathwater, can provide much needed stress or sinus relief. Cold and hot compresses are just as easy to make, a multiplicity of home products are only a few minutes away, and, if all else fails, inhaling the aroma from the bottle is a great form of therapy. Finally, something all Americans can do to keep healthy and without needing individual health insurance to cover it!

Because essential oils are so powerful, direct application to the skin should only be done with certain oils and, of course, pregnant or nursing women, or those who suffer from any chronic conditions (including allergies), should consult a knowledgeable practitioner first. Never ingest them, and use only oils labeled "pure essential oil" from a quality company. Perfume oils and lower-quality products just won't do the trick.

(1) Stress Relief. Between work, kids, and any glimmer of a credible social life, the "everyday" takes its toll. To relax and relieve tension, use lavender, neroli, chamomile, and vetiver. A back massage with geranium oil is a wonderful remedy for mood swings, and frankincense can restore normal breathing patterns during sensations of panic. Chamomile and marjoram oils are proven remedies for tension headaches, and even some migraines will respond to a few drops of lavender rubbed into the temples and forehead. Rose and lavender oils will send most to dreamland, even with Austin's traffic in the background. Two or three drops on the pillowcase will do the trick, as will a sachet under the pillow...Of course, the ultimate evening is a warm, essential oil bath and relaxing massage before falling into a rose-scented bed. Ahhh.

(2) Aches and Pains. Most of us experience muscle aches and pains from time to time, and, for those with particularly physically-strenuous jobs, it's more often. Eucalyptus is easy to grow throughout Texas. Chamomile, cypress, and rosemary oils are the top choices for complaining muscles. Ten drops in a warm bath, or used with a therapeutic massage, can be excellent remedies. Clary sage, pine, and jasmine oils are also good choices, and a few drops of ginger oil will improve circulation to the area.

(3) Cuts, Scrapes, and Bites. Even minor cuts, scrapes, rashes, and insect bites can be treated with essential oils, common problems in warm, Southwestern climates like Texas. Tea tree is an excellent anti-fungal, anti-viral and antiseptic topical treatment, great for everything from cuts and scrapes to bee stings. Violet oil soothes rashes and sore, irritated skin, while patchouli and chamomile act as effective anti-inflammatory and antiseptic treatments. Peppermint oil is traditional for insect bites, and lavender shows up, yet again, as a great skin healer.

(4) The Dreaded Flu. We all dread it, we all fight it, but at some point, it always happens: the flu. Not to worry. Heat eucalyptus in a vaporizer, to ease breathing and disinfect the air. A few drops of eucalyptus or cedarwood on the pillow at night will help congestion, as will applying a chest rub, so long as it is properly diluted with a carrier oil, such as almond or jojoba. Myrrh is a great expectorant when used with steam inhalation, and pine oil is an age-old remedy for bronchitis, colds, and congested nasal passages. Apply a few drops of ginger, lavender, or peppermint oil on a cloth and inhale for nausea.

With all the media surrounding the health care crisis, it can be easy to forget how everyday, simple measures can really improve our health. But most of us don't need a comprehensive health insurance plan in order to soak in a hot bath, decongest our sinuses, or prevent minor cuts from turning into infections. Relax! You'll ease stress, sleep better, and increase immunity. Take care of that sore back with a therapeutic massage, and don't neglect, of course, to stop and smell the roses.

Instructions for Use:
- For massage, mix 3 drops of oil in 1 1/2 tablespoons of almond or jojoba oil.

- To enjoy a therapeutic bath, sprinkle 6 to 10 drops of oil into warm bath water and soak for at least 15 minutes.

- For steam inhalation treatments, pour boiling water into a large basin and add several drops of essential oil. Cover your head with a towel, lean over, and inhale.

How you treat your body when you're young will certainly affect your health when you get older. Eventually, it will also affect your wallet.

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