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Stomach virus got you down? Alternative ideas to help inside.

I don’t know about you, but the norovirus is prevalent in the Northeast right now. Every couple of days, someone else was sick. No matter how much we washed our hands, didn’t touch our face…we still spread it around.
Now that I am feeling better, let’s see what I can do to help anyone else out there.


The diet was B.R.A.T: Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.


The beverage of choice was ginger ale; at first the store-bought, then homemade ginger syrup with the SodaStream.

Ginger Syrup
Ingredients:
2 Cups chopped ginger root ( I don’t bother peeling)
2 cups sugar
6 cups water
Directions:
Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced to 2 cups liquid, approximately 1 ½ hours.
Strain. Cool. Freeze in small containers of ¼ – ½ cup per container.
To use: mix ¼ cup syrup to 1 qt carbonated water.

To prepare ahead, make a ginger tincture which modulates bloating and stomach pain.
The folk method is as follows:
Grate ginger and place in mason jar to ½ full.
Cover with 80-100 proof vodka.
Let sit 4-6 weeks, shake daily.
Strain, bottle and label.
Dose: 20-40 drops diluted in water 3 x a day.


I also have an herbal tea blend that I used, or any brand Ginger-lemon tea works well. Chamomile is great at soothing what ails you.

Ginger-lemon herbal tea
Tea blend to make ahead:
2 Tbsp. lemon verbena
1 Tbsp. lemon grass
1 Tbsp. lemon balm
To make:
1 tsp. ginger, grated
2 cups water (almost boil)
Steep 4-10 minutes depending on the amount of ginger and your taste.
Gut healing blend tea
Equal parts Calendula, chamomile.
¼ part plantain, ½ part meadowsweet.
Steep 2 Tbsp. per quart of water for 30 minutes.
Drink throughout the day until symptoms disappear.


Stop the diarrhea tea
1 Tbsp. red raspberry leaves dried, and crushed
8 oz. hot water
Steep 20 minutes. Drink 1-3 cups per day.


Hopefully, some of these herbal remedies help anyone out there battling the norovirus.

Crystal.

He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 62:6
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Herbs of the Bible

Image by Eszter Miller from Pixabay

The previous post was about bitter herbs of the Bible. This is post is about Herbs of the Bible. They include dill, marjoram, and mint among others. I wanted to take the time during Lent to learn where these herbs are referenced in Scripture.

Dill


According to Duke’s Medicinal Herbs of the Bible, dill is named shiveth or in Arabic sabth and was grown by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Today we use dill liberally in pickles whether they are fermented or in vinegar.
Dill was a tithing herb used by ancients for flavoring and in medicine.
References to dill in Scripture—
Mt 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you Hypocrites? You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin.”
Lk 11:42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs,”

Coriander

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) Zohary did not believe that the coriander we use today was the coriander spoken of in the Bible, because the plant does not grow in the desert.
References to coriander in Scripture—
Nu 11:7 The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin.
Ex 16:31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made of honey.

Fennel/caraway

The plant translated “caraway” in the NIV, “fitches” in the KJV and “dill” in JND is actually a plant known as black cummin, Nigella sativa, and no relation to the well known herb, cummin. In some notes, cumin is listed as a tithing herb. It is native to the Mediterranean region since the days of Isaiah.

Fennel is not listed in Duke’s Medicinal Herbs of the Bible 3rd version. In the NIV version of the American Woman’s Bible, the section on herbs of the bible has fennel listed. I am thinking that the fennel was supposed to be caraway. From that text, “The aromatic hot-tasking herbal seeds were an Eastern substitute for black pepper. The spicy oil from the seeds increased the appetite and saliva flow.” Caraway and fennel are of the same family, can sort of be used interchangeably but not always. Caraway is more earthy, and when heated to bring out the flavor, spicier.

References in Scripture—

Isa 28:25-27  “When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin? 

Marjoram/hyssop

While researching for this blog, I read that Marjoram known to the Israelites as sheep’s sorrel. That is not true. Sheep’s sorrel is (Rumex acetosella). It is accepted that this species (Organum syriacum) is indeed the hyssop mentioned in the Bible. Hyssop was used to purify the Alter in the Temple, to purify lepers, etc.

Our forefathers were familiar with it as an herb and as food, as a ritual plant and as a medicinal plant. Besides being the most common herb, Marjoram (hyssop) was also used during antiquity as a disinfectant: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean” (Psalms 51: 7). It was used for disinfecting the Alter, as well as anyone who touched a leper. The expression “from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall” (1 Kings 5: 13) caused many to erroneously think that the hyssop is the smallest of plants, and mosses were called hyssop in the past. However, this is actually a reference to the name of the smallest tree, and hyssop is considered a tree for this purpose, since its stems from previous seasons are indeed lignified. The Torah mentions different aspects of uses for hyssop: on Passover in Egypt (Exodus 12: 22), in purifying the leper (Leviticus 14: 4), in the burning of the red heifer (Numbers 19: 6), and for sprinkling on a dead person (Numbers 19: 18).1

References in Scripture—
Ex 12:21-22 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin.
Nu 19:6,18 The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer.
Then a man who is ceremonially clean is to take some hyssop, dip it in the water and sprinkle the tent, and all the furnishings and the people who were there.
1Ki 4:33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls.
Ps 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;

Mint

Probably horsemint, used for cooking, medicine and worship It was often strewn in synagogues to reduce bad odors.
Reference in Scripture—
Mt 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you Hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin.”
Lk 11:42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs,”

Aloes

While John 19 describes ancient burial practices, it is far more than that. Here we have two men who boldly identified themselves with what would be viewed as a failed leader. At one time they may have feared man, but not now. Their lives were inalterably changed by Jesus. As a final act of devotion, they boldly request the battered body of Jesus and tenderly prepare it for burial.
The plant called aloe here is unique in the Scripture. It is not the aloe mentioned in Psalm 45:8 and elsewhere in the Old Testament which is probably derived from an Asian tree. The New Testament aloe is Aloe barbadense, an interesting plant no longer known from nature. Aloe is a low growing perennial with thick, fleshy leaves filled with a gelatinous material that was used as an embalming fluid in Egypt. Today, the extract of aloe is used as a balm for burns and as a skin ointment.
The amount of aloes would be more than adequate for embalming. With no fragrance of its own, mixed with the myrrh aloe would enhance and retain fragrance. 2

Horseradish


Page 72 (Duke) “it seems to be the most important Passover herb and is mentioned in the Torah. Uses for the roots and young leaves, eaten as spice, pickle, potherb or salad ingredient. Sliced roots cooked and eaten like turnips.

Frankincense/Myrrh

Frankincense, a gum resin used in ceremonies, symbolizing holiness.

Reference in Scripture–
Ex 30:34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices-gum resin, onycha and galbanum-and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred.”
Mt 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Myrrh, a gum resin, and a symbol of Christ’s future suffering.

Reference in Scripture–

Mt 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Ps 45:8 All your robes are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia;

SS 3:6 Who is this coming up from the wilderness like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense, made from all the spices of the merchant?

SS 4:14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.

Crystal

  1. Lytton John Musselman, Old Dominion University Bible Plants Site, Hyssop, www.odu.edu/lmusselman/plant/bible.
  2. Lytton John Musselman, Old Dominion University Bible Plants Site, Aloe, www.odu.edu/lmusselman/plant/bible.
  3. James A. Duke, Peggy Ann K. Duke, Duke’s Handbook of Medicinal Plants of the Bible, CRC Press, 2008, pg. 27.

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Ash Wednesday

Image by Grzegorz Krupa from Pixabay

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted a by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Mt 1:4

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Bitter herbs of the Bible

“that same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs”

Ex 12:8

Image by Yerson Retamal from Pixabay

Throughout the Bible the term bitter herbs caught my eye…what kind of bitter herbs? I was curious to know more. Ancient Mesopotamia, which includes Iraq, eastern Syria and southeastern Turkey today and ancient Egypt have totally different species of plants. Researchers have tried to list the medicinal plants of the Bible, which has many discrepancies due to species, language and time.

Zochar Amar, professor in the Department of Land of Israel Studies has done extensive research on valid plant names, narrowing the list down to 75 medicinal plant names. His work is still ongoing due to the language barrier between Hebrew and Aramaic terminology of plants.

“This article cites problems of working with identification and misunderstandings in the original Hebrew version. The old translators of the Bible, e.g., King James version (1611) and others, were not familiar with the original Hebrew, nor with the flora of the Holy Land. So, sometimes they mentioned names from their local floras; this might have been done deliberately to make plants more familiar to their own readers.” (1)

Danfi, A. Bock, B. 2019. Medicinal plants of the Bible–revisited. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethomedicine.

From McClintock & Strong, “Biblical Cyclopedia”. “Bitter herb-occurs two places in scripture: Ex 12:8. For Moses commanded the Jews to eat the lamb of Passover with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The second Passover in the wilderness of Sinai Nu 9:11. It is far more probable that scripture denotes whatever bitter herbs were obtainable in the place where the Passover was eaten. The first directions were in Egypt and the second in Palestine which would have different “bitter herbs”.

“but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.”

Nu 9:11

5 types of bitter herbs

  • 1. Wild lettuce
  • 2. Endives
  • 3. Garden endive, some say horehound, others tansy, others tops of horseradish, others thistle.
  • 4. Nettle, but some say chamomile.
  • 5. Coriander, others say dandelion.

If we look at the list of 5 bitter herbs above: Wild lettuce, endive, garden endive, nettle and coriander, how were they eaten? We know fresh nettles sting, so it is highly doubtful that they were eaten fresh. Same is to be said for thistle, and chicory.

chicory, called the “liver’s friend” by the Egyptians and consumed in large amounts. It was thought to purify the blood and liver.

From the NKJV American Women’s Bible: the list of bitter herbs were Chicory, dandelion, endive, lettuce, sorrel, and watercress.

In the scripture all the bitter herbs listed with the exception of watercress, are referenced in Ex 12:8, Nu 9:11 as bitter herbs. Endive, a bitter tasting tall, leafy plant, is also referenced in Ge 2:5 as a plant. Endive is related to chicory and used as salad greens.

Dandelion leaves were used as a vegetable and the root was used for making medicine. Lettuce was a weedy, bitter-tasting plant with yellow flower heads. Sorrel, known to the Israelites as sheeps’ sorrel, has a sharp, bitter taste that combined well with other greens to improve their flavor.

Watercress was used for ‘salads’ and for medicinal purposes. It was high in vitamins and iron. Dt 32:2 as ‘new grass’.

“Let my teaching fall like rain

and my words descend like dew,

like showers on new grass,

like abundant rain on tender plants.

Dt 32:2

Image by 아름 김 from Pixabay

So, as you can see, there are many differences of opinion, points of view and just plain differences in types of information on bitter herbs, herbs, medicinal herbs and flowers of the Bible.

Next blog is on Herbs of the Bible, be sure to check it out.

Crystal.

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Using lavender with patients at the end of life.

The purpose of this blog is not to replace traditional allopathic care, but to complement care modulating pain or easing anxiety.


If people prefer alternative medicine can essential oils or herbal preparations give relief?

Lavender essential oil is easy to find and popular in the mainstream market. Inhaling lavender essential oil – a drop on a tissue or on an inhaler stick can relax, reducing agitation that may arise in the end of life.

Yes, using essential oils via inhalation can provide relief without using essential oil preparations on the skin.

The studies of using lavender essential oil in many ways in addition to other palliative care is proven through studies listed below:
The International Journal of Caring Sciences published an article in the January-April 2020 issue going into depth on using essential oils at the end of life. The studies mentioned used lavender in a variety of ways, inhalation, massage etc., in pediatric and colorectal cancer patients.

Reference the article below:
Usage of Aromatherapy in Symptom Management in Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review
Baykal Dilek, PhD Assistant Professor, Halic University, School of Nursing. Istanbul, Turkey.
Comlekci Necmiye, Research Assistant, Bartin University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing. Bartin, Turkey
Correspondence: Baykal Dilek, Assistant Professor. Halic University, School of Nursing. Istanbul, Turkey.

Linalool and linalyl acetate are the chemical components that are responsible for the therapeutic actions on the CNS (Central Nervous System). Among the many therapeutic actions attributed to linalool: analgesic, antianxiety, antinociceptive, antispasmodic, cognition enhancement and sedative are useful for the end of life patient.

Using lavender with a patient

Making an inhaler with 15 drops of lavender essential oil and keeping it by the bed allows the patient to use the inhaler when they want to. If the patient is not able, keep the inhaler at bedside, so the caregiver to assist.

Use lavender in a diffuser, 30 minutes on and then 30 minutes off. This can be calming to everyone in the room.

A lavender sachet can be placed near the bedside.

A simple rice sock (an old sock filled with rice; add 3-4 drops of lavender) can be heated 20-30 seconds in the microwave for comfort.

A lavender wand can refresh in the room and is pretty to look at.

Adding 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil (Lavendula angustifolia) to an unscented lotion or cream is a 1% dilution. A lotion of this dilution is generally safe for elderly or compromised patients. Always check with the doctor to be sure.

Linalool is present in over 200 essential oils. In lavender oil, according to Tisserand, (2nd edition Essential oil safety, pg. 585) there is 25 – 45% linalool.

There are other oils that have more linalool than lavender.

Have these been studied?

Could Ho Wood at 95% or another oil be used instead of lavender?…..that is for another blog.

Happy Blending,

Crystal

A faithful person will be richly blessed.

Proverbs 28:20

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Using herbs and essential oils at the end of life

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Using essential oils and herbs at the end of life.
What does the end of life look like to you?
How do you want to spend the last moments of life?

This is the first part in a series of essential oils and herbs to use in the end of life.

I personally want to be comforted, soothed by the essential oils and herbs that I love and cherish.
There is chamomile tea for agitation and slight nausea, also to help me sleep if it is steeped longer.
There are ginger inhalers or a tincture that is in my cabinet, use that tincture in juice if it seems too strong. It is great for nausea.

Frankincense is great, burn some resin in the burner. Not the charcoal burner, but the brass one with a tealight underneath. Just put a little frankincense on the top. Not the sweet smelling one…it does nauseate me.
I like opopanax and myrrh too, so the mixture is fine.

The lavender vanilla candle is a change and citruses are a favorite…just like the tangerine Yankee candle.
Just remember to only burn something for 30 minutes max, so that it isn’t too overpowering.

After I have sipped my tea and read a passage from the Bible app, let me nap a little.
We can talk later.

Crystal.

The Lord is gracious to the humble.

Proverbs 3:34
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Alternative modalities for itchy skin.

Pruritus is the term for itchy skin.
What causes itch?

Itchy skin not caused by a bug bite such as a mosquito can be aggravating physically and psychologically.

Scientifically there are nerve cells in the body that are called C-fibers.

These fibers send an alarm signal to the brain causing the fingernails to scratch the itch, which is the
science behind calming the itch.

Unfortunately, after approximately 100 years of study, there is not one single treatment for itch. Calamine and hydrocortisone creams and lotions, antihistamines, aspirin and ultraviolet light treatment are conventional therapies for the treatment of itch.

How to calm the itch with essential oils, herbs, alternative methods.


In the alternative medicine world, there are herbal and plant essential oils that can help modulate the itch, working much in the same way as calamine and hydrocortisone creams and lotions.

It comes down to what do you want to put on your skin.

Recipes, remedies and hacks

When I was little, my grandma used ACV (apple cider vinegar) on poison ivy rashes. It worked then and occasionally I still do this.

Hydrosols or washes made with Lavender, chamomile or calendula are great for large rash areas.


A chickweed salve is wonderful for a rash.

Picking the right carrier oil for your DIY remedy:

Apricot oil (Prunus armeniaca) is good for inflamed skin with a moderately low comedogenic index, fast absorption, light viscosity, and milk aroma.
Almond oil (Prunus amygladlus var dulcus) has a sweet, light aroma, a moderately low comedogenic index even though it has a thick viscosity and is absorbed quickly.

A few essential oil options to try:


Hives: in a 2 oz. (59 ml or 60 gram) carrier

Add 12 drops lavender, 5 drops roman chamomile, and 3 drops patchouli.

Eczema: in 30 gr lotion;

add 5 drops myrrh, 4 drops patchouli, 2 drops vetiver.

For itchy skin; although I personally did not like this blend; in 14 grams lotion;

4 drops sweet marjoram, 2 drops lavender.


I hope these ideas calm the itch you may have.

Happy Blending,

Crystal.

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Alternative medicine and diabetes

Can alternative medicine work along side conventional medicine in modulating the effects of diabetes?

The last blog was concerning the amount of sugar in beverages.
Diabetes mellitus is caused by a lack of insulin which is made in the pancreas. Insulin is responsible for the absorption of glucose into the liver. Type 2 diabetes most of the time occurs over the age of 40 with those that are overweight. The orthodox treatment of type 2 diabetes can usually be controlled with weight loss, diet modifications and oral medications.

Naturopathic doctors utilize dietary modifications, adding magnesium and chromium supplements.  Sometimes naturopathy is used in conjunction with orthodox treatments.

Herbal:  An NIH study reported that a man developed pancreatitis in using fenugeek, turmeric and gymnema in addition to using the orthodox treatment, Metformin. Precautions should always be used when taking supplements as they are considered dietary and not regulated by the FDA.

(Mowafy, A., Younes, I., Omran, A., Elkattawy, S., & Yuridullah, R. (2021). A Rare Case Report of Herbal Medication Induced Pancreatitis. Cureus, 13(2), e13558. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.13558)

Nutritional therapy: Focuses on whole foods, vegan diet. Checking for vitamin and mineral deficiencies: zinc, chromium, magnesium, B and E vitamins.

The amount of sugar found in one soda can inhibit your immune system for a minimum of 5 hours. It depletes vitamins and minerals that are needed for immune function such as vitamin C.

Macrobiotic therapy: using barley, rice malt, raisins, and seeds as sweeteners.

Aromatherapy:  Black pepper

A research article on antioxidative properties and inhibition of key enzymes relevant to Type-2 diabetes and hypertension by essential oils from black pepper found the following:


The antioxidant properties and effect of essential oil of black pepper (Piper guineense) seeds on ..-amylase, ..-glucosidase (key enzymes linked to type-2 diabetes), and angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) (key enzyme linked to hypertension) were assessed.
Diabetes has been associated with an increased generation of free radicals and defective antioxidant defense
systems [10, 11). Therefore, antioxidant-rich foods have a good dietary intervention in the management of type-
2 diabetes. ..-Amylase and ..-glucosidaseare two key enzymes that are therapeutic targets in the management of diabetes [14]. These two enzymes are involved in the breakdown of starch to glucose, thereby increasing the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. The antioxidant activity of essential oil from black pepper as well as its inhibition of ..-amylase, ..-glucosidase, and angiotensin-1 converting enzyme activities could be part of the mechanism by which the oil manages and/or prevents type-2 diabetes and hypertension.

(JOUR Lokhandwala, Mustafa F., Oboh, Ganiyu, Ademosun, Ayokunle O.,
Odubanjo, Oluwatoyin V., Akinbola, Ifeoluwa A. 2013. 2013/11/21. Antioxidative Properties and Inhibition of Key Enzymes Relevant to Type-2 Diabetes and Hypertension by Essential Oils from Black Pepper, 926047, 2013. 2633-4682, https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/926047, DO – 10.1155/2013/926047, Advances in Pharmacological Sciences, Hindawi Publishing Corporation.)

Limonene is also an outstanding monoterpene, which can be easily perceived by its citrusy smell. This compound can be used to prevent many human disorders due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties [25]. Another common monoterpene is sabinene, which has been acknowledged as having antimicrobial, antioxidant, angiostatic, and anti-angiogenic effects [26].

(Quan NV, Anh LH, Lam VQ, Takami A, Teschke R, Khanh TD, Xuan TD. Anti-Diabetes, Anti-Gout, and Anti-Leukemia Properties of Essential Oils from Natural Spices Clausena indica, Zanthoxylum rhetsa, and Michelia tonkinensis. Molecules. 2022; 27(3):774. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27030774)

Another study was designed to evaluate and compare the interactions of essential oils from orange (Citrus sinensis [L.] Osbeck) and lemon (Citrus limon) peels on enzymes linked to type-2 diabetes (α-amylase and α-glucosidase)
and hypertension (angiotensin-I-converting enzyme [ACE]).
The observed inhibitory effects of the essential oils give credence to the fact that both essential oils could be promising antidiabetic agents. However, our findings suggest that lemon peel essential oil is more potent than orange peel oil. The observed higher inhibitory capacity of essential oil from lemon is not fully understood; however, our findings suggest that the antidiabetic activities of both essential oils could be due to the synergistic effects of monoterpenes and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons which were identified in the oils.
This study revealed that essential oils from orange and lemon peels show in vitro inhibitory effects on enzymes linked to type-2 diabetes (a-amylase and a-glucosidase) and hypertension (ACE). Moreover, lemon peel essential oil exhibited higher antidiabetic and antihypertensive activities compared to orange peels. Our findings suggest that these essential oils are potential antidiabetic and antihypertensive agents.

There are an increasing number of studies investigating the effect of essential oils on α-amylase activity. Different commercially available lemon balm essential oils (Melissa officinalis, from the mint family) were found to increase glycose consumption and exhibit an antidiabetic effect.
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry profiles suggested that mixtures of citrals and some other minor compounds from essential oils may be responsible for this effect (Yen et al., 2015)

Other studies below.
Berraaouan, A.; Abid, S.; Bnouham, M. Antidiabetic oils. Curr. Diabetes Rev. 2013, 9, 499–505. [CrossRef] 7. Ping, H.; Zhang, G.; Ren, G. Antidiabetic effects of cinnamon oil in diabetic KK-Ay mice. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2010, 48, 2344–2349. [CrossRef] 8. Bakirel, T.; Bakirel, U.; Kele¸s, O.U.; Ulgen, S.G.; Yardibi, H. In vivo assessment of antidiabetic and antioxidant activities of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) in alloxan-diabetic rabbits. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2008, 116, 64–73. [CrossRef] 9. El-Soud, N.A.; El-Laithy, N.; El-Saeed, G.; Wahby, M.S.; Khalil, M.; Morsy, F.; Shaffie, N. Antidiabetic activities of Foeniculum vulgare Mill. essential oil in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Maced. J. Med. Sci. 2011, 4, 139–146. 10. Verspohl, E.J.; Bauer, K.; Neddermann, E. Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum In vivo and in vitro. Phytother. Res. 2005, 19, 203–206. [CrossRef] 11. National Diabetes Statistics Report | Data & Statistics|Diabetes|CDC. Available online: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/

Maybe adding aromatherapy protocols to your lifestyle changes may help, inhaling sweet orange essential oil is in the very least uplifting and an antidepressant.

In closing, choosing which lifestyle to embrace depends on you. The simple truth is that diet and exercise is the foundation of health. We need to know that there is no magic inhaler, no magic pill and just simple instruction to be healthy.

Be safe,

Crystal

“The Lord blesses His people with peace.”

PS 29:11
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sugar in our diet–and what we drink.

Choosing what we drink is sometimes an afterthought in the American diet.

Have we really thought of the number of empty calories and the sugar content that we consume?

4 grams of sugar is 1 teaspoon.

The American Heart Association recommends adult women have no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of sugar and men no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams). The list below shows the amount of sugar in grams then teaspoons and the amount of calories in a 12 oz. serving of a few popular sodas. Keep in mind that in the fast food world, a medium size drink is 21 oz and a large is 30! So in essence, double and triple the numbers below!!! ouch.

How much sugar is in that Soda?

Mt. Dew comes in at 65 grams of sugar equal to 17 teaspoons.

Pepsi is 58 grams at 15 teaspoons, and Orange is 49 grams at 12 teaspoons.

Coke, 7 Up and Gingerale are 39, 38 and 32 grams respectively at 10 and 8 teaspoons.

  1. Energy drink  38 grams             10 teaspoons         
  2. Gatorade*        34 grams              9 teaspoons           *20 oz. bottle
  3. Sports drink   20 grams              5 teaspoons            
  4. Fruit drink        42 grams             11 teaspoons   

Hey–what about zero sugar or sugar free beverages?

They must be better….well…A 2015 study in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found that diet soda has a direct effect on abdominal obesity in adults over 65.1
(2015, Fowler,Sharon P.G., Williams, Ken MS, Hazuda, Helen P, Phd, Journal of American Geriatrics Society.)

Homemade kombucha has even less sugar with a longer ferment.

Image by Melanie Rodriguez from Pixabay

So, I’ll have a vitamin water, or kombucha.

The sugar content of these drinks is still pretty high. See the list below.

Vitamin water (20 oz)            32 grams            8 teaspoons

Kombucha (homemade)  18 grams             5 teaspoons

KeVita ginger                 16 grams              4 teaspoons

KeVita lime, mint, coconut 4 grams 1 teaspoon

Humm Hopped grapefruit 13 grams 3 teaspoons

Humm Ginger juniper 5 grams 1 teaspoon

What are the effects of sugar on the body?

The amount of sugar found in one soda can inhibit your immune system for a minimum of 5 hours. It depletes vitamins and minerals that are needed for immune function such as vitamin C.

Too much sugar leads to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, a shorter lifespan, and early puberty in girls.

Diabetes mellitus is caused by a lack of insulin which is made in the pancreas.  Insulin is responsible for the absorption of glucose into the liver.  Type 2 diabetes most of the time occurs over the age of 40 with those that are overweight.

What can we do to curb sugar consumption?

Choose water over soda, by swapping out one soda for water or another sparkly zero-calorie drink, can lower sugar consumption by 25% a day.

Natural sugars from fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose) are still sugar, but healthier than added sugars.  Remember that honey and agave are still sugar.

Mix ½ sweetened drink with ½ unsweetened.

Sip a smoothie in the afternoon instead of that afternoon latte.

Herbs such as lemon balm, any mint such as peppermint, or spearmint is a wonderful refreshing beverage in the summer.

Fruit and herbs are a natural vitamin water.


The next few blogs I will talk more about diabetes and sugar, and alternatives.

Be safe,

Crystal

“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.”

Proverbs 25:21
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mint

One of my earliest memories of herbs is the mint tea that my Grandma Katie made.
The mint was picked, brought to a boil then steeped in a pot overnight.
The type of mint, I have not ever found classified; it’s not a true peppermint, spearmint,
catmint, or mountain mint. I almost lost my whole patch to a mint beetle a few years ago, and I am slowly nursing a new patch back to life. Early in the spring, I am always glad to see the peppermint outside my front door.

Growing mint

Mint belongs to the Lamaciacea family. The family consists of Henbit, hyssop, lavender (Lavendula officinalis), catnip (Nepeta cataria), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), oregano, rosemary, peppermint (Mentha piperita), and horehound to name a few. It is the peppermint that I am drawn to and grows well in my zone 6 location. I let my mint grow wherever it runs, but you may want to contain it because mint will want to take over.

Uses of mint

I’ve referenced in the herbs of the bible blog that mint was used in the time of Jesus. https://www.justessentialstoday.com/herbs-of-the-bible-part-1/

The uses for this herb are varied, in food of course; as an infusion for nausea, as a compress (infusion again), to ease inflamed joints, as an aromatherapy inhalation for nasal congestion, an energy boost or headache; mixed into salves or balms, infused in a bath, or infused in a mouthwash.

green leaf plant
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

Recipes for mint

Meadow tea

The recipe I use for ‘meadow’ tea is so simple:

Cut a handful of various mints: spearmint, peppermint, lemon balm, orange mint-whatever you have.

Rinse it off and cover with water to within 1 to 2 inches of the top of a 5 quart pot.

Bring to almost a boil and turn off and let steep overnight.

Strain, compost the marc, and sweeten if desired.


Peppermint foot spray

This cooling foot spray is great to use after a long day.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon (15 ml) aloe vera (not the gel) I get mine from Aromatics International

1 Tablespoon (15 ml) witch hazel extract

9 drops Peppermint (Mentha x peperita) essential oil

3 drops Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil

Directions:

Combine aloe vera and witch hazel in a spray bottle, add essential oils.

Shake to combine. Store in refrigerator, and use within 6 months.

This blend is a 2% blend of essential oils.


Experiment with mints in a variety of ways, and remember

Happy blending,

Crystal.

“The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials.”

2 Peter 2:9
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END OF LIFE DOULA CASE STUDY

The following is a case study from the end of life doula certification course.

INTRODUCTION

Joe is a 54-year-old male that has recently been discharged form LGH/Penn Medicine in Lancaster. Recently he had an ICU stay, where he learned that he has Stage 4 liver and pancreatic cancers. The social worker has put Sandra, Joe’s girlfriend in touch with Hospice Care of Lancaster County. She has also given Sandra contact information for Compass to see if Joe can receive emergency SSI. The hospital has agreed to do paracentesis 2 x a week and Hospice will provide transportation through Red Rose Transportation. This gives Joe and Sandy some relief knowing that Joe can still get treatment. I was contacted by Jamie at Hospice because she sees that Sandra is overwhelmed trying to do everything herself.

Initial phone call : October 2, 2022

I reached out to Sandra via phone, to set up a meeting the next day with them both.

Initial meeting: October 3, 2022

I went over the meet Joe and Sandra face to face. Sandra prefers to be called Sandy.
We went over the medical information, the hospice team, doctors, medications, and medical history. We discussed the disease process and what could happen quickly in the next month, the treatments that the hospital will be providing, and the urgency of time.
I learn that Joe’s parents and sister live close by and are not involved with care.
In fact, they are in denial that their Joe has terminal cancer. I ask Joe if he thinks that they would speak to me about his condition. He agrees and wants his parents and sister involved in what time is remaining.
Although Joe has no money, I go over the contract with them. (Because Joe has no insurance, I decide to help Sandra as much as possible giving her the resources that she needs, knowing that the patient probably cannot pay.)

Before the Care plan meeting: October 4, 2022

After our initial meeting yesterday, I reached out to the Grace Brethren Church to see if they could help with a volunteer for spiritual comfort for Joe and Sandy. This is in addition to the Hospice volunteer that has been set up. The Hospice volunteer helps Sandy be able to run errands such as grocery shopping etc.

Care plan meeting : October 6, 2022

Decide to help them with Advanced Care, and some paperwork for Funeral care such as obituary, delegating Companion doula responsibilities to volunteers. Discuss the fact that Joe is low on cash, and how this affects my time and participation.
Have HIPPA, Liaison forms to be signed.
Leave copy of Five Wishes for advanced care directive for Joe and Sandy to discuss.
Explain the form to them. After this visit, go to see Joe’s parents and sister.
Plan to return the next day for completed FW form and talk about contract.
Phone call to parents: October 6, 2022
Reach out to Joe’s parents and sister, they agreed to a meeting the next day.

Visit to parents: October 7, 2022

I explained to them how important it was to Joe that they are in his life during his last days.  I talked about having a positive death experience and gave them Barbara Karnes book: a time to live. Netflix “Extremis” to watch together. I left them with no answer on how they were going to proceed.

Phone call : October 7, 2022

Talk to Joe and Sandy via phone about how the meeting with the parents and sister went.
Sandy said that Joe was tired, and could I come back in 2 days for the finished paperwork? I agreed to that and said that I would drop off some literature: Barbara Karnes: By Your Side. Email Sandy contact information for Buch Funeral home.

2nd visit: October 9, 2022

Pick up the paperwork from Sandy. Joe is a little under the weather from his procedure.
Sit down with her and go over the Daily Care plan so that she can communicate with the Hospice team in a consistent manner. She is grateful for all the help. She said that they have not heard from Joe’s family. The church has sent a volunteer, Dan. He has been sitting with Joe talking about fishing. The Hospice volunteer comes twice a week, after Joe’s procedure to help her get him settled. She uses the inhaler for nausea as I instructed and said that it seems to be working.
She said she would call me in a day or two.

Phone call: October 10, 2022

Sandy called me. She went to Buch funeral home. While there she set up the arrangements for cremation. Joe does have a small life insurance policy that can be used to pay for this expense. She asked me about an urn, that they were very expensive at the funeral home. I told her that I could show her the options that I knew of.

3rd Visit: October 12, 2022

Joe has finalized the Five Wishes form.
Sandy is following the guidelines and filling out the Daily Care plan to share with Hospice. She said Joe likes the aromatherapy inhaler and is there something that she can use to get him to relax? I bring in a small diffuser from the car, and my aromatherapy bag. Most men don’t like the floral aroma of lavender, so I use a few drops of frankincense to diffuse. Joe said that he liked the smell, laughing that he didn’t have to smell flowers all day. He said that if there was any money leftover from the cremation, he would like to pay me for my time.

Phone call: October 24, 2022

Sandy called; Joe has drastically gone downhill. She is very upset that Joe’s family still has not come to see him. I told her that I would reach out to them.

Phone call to Joe’s family: October 24, 2022

Talk to Joe’s mother. I told her about Joe’s declining condition and urged her to convince Mike to visit. Relay the information to Sandy. Sandy said that Joe is at peace with the fact that his family might not see him before he dies. Dan has been helping him spiritually and he seems to be in a good place.

4th visit: October 31, 2022

Visit with Joe and Sandy was heartbreaking to say the least. Physically Joe is sleeping most of the time, Sandy says. He did during my time there on this visit. Sandy said that he barely eats. Hospice has decided that Joe’s condition is at the end stage and is no longer taking him for paracentesis treatments.
While I was there, Dan arrived to sit with Joe.
Sandy and I go in another room, where I prepare her for the time ahead by going over the Barbara Karnes book, Gone from my Sight. We talk about how nice it would have been for his parents to see him to say their final goodbyes.
We have the funeral arrangements made, the obituary and urn picked out.
Sandy went with a direct cremation providing her own wooden box from Perfect Memorials. It had a picture of fishing on it with a nice saying. Sandy said that she didn’t have it engraved because she was keeping it and knew who was in it. We got a chuckle out of that and embraced as I said goodbye. I tell her to keep in touch and said I would check in next week.

Phone call: November 2, 2022

Sandy called me this morning, quite upset. She asked if I could come over today instead of waiting until Thursday. Even though it is earlier than I had planned, I make time to visit for an hour late this morning.

5th visit: November 2, 2022

When I arrive, Sandy has been crying. She said that she hasn’t had much sleep and Joe sleeps all the time. She said that he doesn’t eat at all, barely drinks, or goes to the bathroom. Should she try to feed him? She still has a million questions, and she is distraught.
Janice, the nurse from Hospice arrives while I am there. We all have a conversation about the daily care plan. Because Dan is from the Grace church, Pastor Willard has been coming out to see both Sandy and Joe. Pastor Willard hadn’t really been able to talk to Joe, but Dan kept him informed from his previous visits. I took this opportunity to leave. I told Sandy that I would call her tomorrow.
The Pastor and Sandy went into Joe’s room as I was leaving.

Phone call: November 3, 2022

I called Sandy and she said that yesterday was draining. She thanked me for staying with her and apologized for being a pest. I told her that she wasn’t and the fear that she was feeling was normal.

Phone call: November 8, 2022

Janice from Hospice called me. Joe passed away in his sleep at 2 am. Sandy wanted her to call me, as she was talking to the funeral director. I told her that I would contact Dan and let him know. I thanked her for calling me.

Conclusion

It has been 6 weeks since Joe Garmin passed away. Sandy has been in contact with me, saying that she would like to mail me a check for my services. I told her to keep the money, to keep in touch and donate it to Joe’s favorite charity. She said that he didn’t really have one, but because he like to fish so much, she would donate it to the local hatchery that provides the fish for the Lititz Lions.


Joe’s parents and sister never came to visit during his last days.


My notes:

Since this case study, I have been studying Christian counseling and have incorporated this and aromatherapy into my end of life doula work.

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Integrity in your work, and your life.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


If you say something: mean it. If you promise to call: do it.

If you are avoiding answering someone, it’s probably not the right thing to do.


“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Mt 7:13-14

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor,

for we are all members of one body.”

Ephesians 4:25

Be honorable in your work and your life.

Faithfully,

Crystal.

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not everything you read on the internet is safe…

I was going through my pins on Pinterest today. Some of the pins I kept were erroneous to say the least.

One pin made a rollerball (10 ml.) adding 80 drops of essential oils in it! That’s a 40% dilution if my math is correct.

Another pin had a homemade vapor rub for children with 20 drops of eucalyptus and 10 drops of peppermint oil! Not safe for children!

One had “better than weed”–45 drops of essential oils in what amount of carrier the post did not say.

Dilution

of essential oils is the most important thing to learn in aromatherapy. It is aromatherapy 101 that teaches dilution. Most of the time, that is an easy equation to figure out: 5-6 drops per 30 ml of carrier. Dilution of essential oils is sometimes tricky, what size bottle, jar or tin are we using? Did we double or halve the recipe? What about the oils that we must use in low dilution? Say a .07%? How do we figure that out?

I do not want to make 30 ml of anything, just a 10 ml rollerball…. how much essential oil is that? Or a 5 ml bottle—I use those a lot. Uses for essential oils are in the chart below, note the dilution rate for specific issues.


Dilution Used for

  • 1%    30 ml 5-6 drops      Face, children, pregnant women, immune compromised
  • 2% 30 ml 10-12 drops Daily use, massage oils, larger area of body
  • 3% 30 ml 15-18 drops Specific injury of muscle, tendon or bone
  • 4% 30 ml 20-24 drops Local area such as chest congestion
  • 5% or above 30 ml   25-30 drops Severe pain, muscle cramps, bruising

So, as you can see, the dilution is minimal….and in training, we were taught to always start with the lowest dilution.


Check out my ebook on getting started with essential oils by clicking the link below.

Getting started with essential oils-the basics – Just Essentials Today


Or, any questions you may have, leave in the form below and I will get back to you.

There are many good aromatherapists out there, be sure to do your research.

Happy blending and be safe,

Crystal.

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life.”

Ps 138:7
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Thinking of Spring!

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

For me, dandelion brings to mind a nice spring tonic, a yeasty mellow wine, and a pesto made with the leaves…..and Spring! In Lancaster County Pennsylvania, the groundhog’s forecast of winter has come. The temperatures have been up and down.

I use dandelion root tea, along with burdock root tea for cleansing. It’s not the best tasting–I add some kind of mint to everything I steep. just my preference. Oh, and I don’t dig my own roots…of the dandelion or burdock-I should dig the burdock because they are just prolific in my garden and yard!

I have a recipe for dandelion candy, syrup, bitters and dandelion lip balm. The NerdyFarmWife has a whole ebook on Dandelion, Check it out…there is salve, tinctures, and lots of cool dandelion ideas.

Here’s the recipe I use for Dandelion Pesto: it’s the one I use for basil too.

Dandelion Pesto

1 1/2 cups dandelion leaves

2-3 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp. pine nuts

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor.

Yummy.

Waiting to pick dandelions!

Crystal

“The earth laughs in flowers.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Thieves blend

I wanted to write a blog post a few weeks ago about Thieves blend, because everyone started getting sick with Covid and the flu and whatever else was in the air. Seemed like a good idea…. then I got busy and even I didn’t feel all that great. Time goes by and there are tons of posts everywhere…from Pappas on Facebook etc., about the blend. So, I am thinking, why bother. He’s the expert, and I will defer to him. The only problem with that is the fact that it is so technical…. just takes the joy out of it. He said “This drop may weigh more than that drop”….I personally can’t be that challenged.

A word about the blend though…I hate the aroma of clove. To me, it overpowers everything else. Cinnamon, I love, and the other oils, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary, in the blend are ok…. but this is not my favorite blend.

Let’s look at the oils

Clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata)

Dating back to the third century, cloves were one of the first spices noted in history. The evergreen tree, in the Myrtaceae family, that produces the flower buds is the Syzygium aromaticum. In the oil of clove, the main constituent, eugenol is 73-97% depending on if the bud or leaf essential oil is used. Rubbing a whole clove on the gum near an infected tooth or for a toothache will numb the area–that is the analgesic effect of the spice.

Robert Tisserand’s 2nd edition on Essential Oil Safety has 3-4 pages written on the safety of Eugenol.  In clove bud @ 74-97% and clove leaf @ 77-88%, it is important to know how to safely use clove essential oils.

Lemon, (Citrus limon) used a lot in aromatherapy for cleaning surfaces. I wrote an extensive piece on lemon in my ezine for summer. Check it out in the products page.


Cinnamon which I love but again is overpowering like clove oil. Cinnamon bark oil can be “hot” so it is very important to dilute it properly. Start low and slow.


Eucalyptus and rosemary have the active ingredient 1,8-cineole which is why I don’t use thieves so much….the constituent is not safe for asthmatics.

According to review in Frontiers in Plant Science, Pandemics and Traditional Plant-Based Remedies. A Historical-Botanical Review in the Era of COVID19–
“A remedy named “the four thieves vinegar” was very popular: it consisted in several herbs, such as angelica (Angelica archangelica), camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), cloves (Syzygium aromaticum), garlic (Allium sativum), marjoram (Origanum majorana), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), and sage (Salvia officinalis), brewed in vinegar (Gattefosse, 1937). Before going out, people should apply it on hands and face for avoiding to contract the plague.”

In 2009, oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) a drug derived from the species Ilicium verum (star anise, from family Schisandraceae) was also crucial to treat most severe cases, although the production of this compound is limited by the low productivity of the tree, and synthetic derivatives are being developed (Macip, 2020).

One historical reference has people eating more onions for cold and flu, look up an oxymel: apple cider vinegar, honey and garlic.

Remember to wash your hands!

Happy blending,

Crystal.

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Martin Luther King Day

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings

Be safe and be well,

Crystal

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Something new is coming

monochrome photo of an old man
Photo by Vlad Chețan on Pexels.com

Sometimes what we think is a passion fades, replaced by a calling to do more.

It has been a trying year, and to make matters worse, what I thought was possibly

legitimate, twice, did not pan out.

I am getting ahead of myself.

For the last year, I have had a calling that I ignored. I wanted to write, I said.

I had what I thought was an aromatherapy job with hospice patients–right up my alley.

It turned out to be a scam because the email was bogus. Shame on them.

Then, I thought I had an opportunity to copywrite for an essential oil distributor, but when I told them what I was asking as far as pay…well….

…crickets.

So–shame on me.

To say I wasn’t depressed or disappointed was not true, but I talked to myself, prayed and talked to Jesus or at Jesus…to guide my way. I had more than one occasion where the way was brought forth and I ignored it.

Again, shame on me.

Christian End of Life Guide (Doula) is what I have been called to do.

Stay tuned, I am looking to be certified by the end of the year and to incorporate my aromatherapy knowledge into my practice. Who knows, maybe I can retire sooner than I had planned.

That is why we can say without a doubt or fear; “The Lord is my Helper, and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me.”

He 13:6

Happy Blending,

Crystal

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My back hurts! Is there an oil for that?

How many people in the United States go to the doctor for back pain?

A 2012 NIH study shows that 11% of Americans had pain every day with 17% reporting severe levels of pain. Forward to 2016, where a CDC published article shows that 20% of adults in the United States has chronic pain.

Can essential oils with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-blocking therapeutic properties help my back pain?

How is pain usually treated by a physician?

The American College of Physicians guidelines for back pain generally recommend over-the-counter pain medication or an NSAID such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. NSAIDS relieve pain by preventing COX enzymes from working. COX-2 inhibitors like celecoxib or Celebrex block COX-2 enzymes. Some doctors prescribe prescription pain relievers.
Many people do not see a doctor for acute back pain unless it is injury specific, treating with rest and ice.

How can I use essential oils to alleviate pain?

Can essential oils with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-blocking therapeutic properties help my back pain?

If you study the data sheets of essential oils look for analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive properties. These data sheets are available from sellers of essential oils. There is a long list of essential oils that have pain modulating properties and numerous chemical components.

Oils that are high in the chemical components a-pinene, linalool (linalool) and menthol have analgesic properties. Also oils that are high in camphene, b-myrcene, and b-pinene have anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties. There are many other oils that have these therapeutic properties, but I am just listing a few here.

What are some of the therapeutic components and how can they help?

Let’s look at menthol and menthone which bring us to peppermint essential oil.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Peppermint (Mentha x peperita) is known for its cooling and pain-relieving properties because of these components. It is in many over-the-counter remedies such as Icy hot, most BenGay products and Biofreeze. Like these products, your own DIY products are for localized areas and for short term use. Robert Tisserand states that a maximum dermal use of up to 5% is safe. (2nd Edition Essential Oil Safety, Tisserand Young, 2014).

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has the chemical components of linalool @ 27% and linalyl acetate @ 46%. Research shows that an eight-session manual acupressure with lavender oil (3% lavender oil; used as the massage lubricant) over a three-week period in patients with nonspecific subacute neck pain (32 patients) or low back pain (61 patients) significantly alleviated the neck and back pain and improved movements of the cervical and lumbar spine.

Koulivand, P. H., Khaleghi Ghadiri, M., & Gorji, A. (2013). Lavender and the nervous system. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM, 2013, 681304. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/681304

In a 2017 study, Lavender angustifolia showed a reduction in pain of patient’s post-surgery for colorectal cancer. Using an inhalation of 1% lavender or 1% linalyl acetate, the study showed significant reduction to pain versus the control group.
So Hyun Yu, Geun Hee Seol, “Lavandula angustifolia Mill. Oil and Its Active Constituent Linalyl Acetate Alleviate Pain and Urinary Residual Sense after Colorectal Cancer Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial”, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2017, Article ID 3954181, 7 pages, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3954181

And finally, the other chemical component that has analgesic properties is a-pinene.

A-pinene of significant percentage, let’s say above 30% is found in pines @ around 40% for most, cypress @ 51%, juniper berry @ 36%; frankincense @ 45%. Again, it is important to check the GC/MS reports for your individual oils.

Studies of mice and frankincense oil (Boswellia carteri) revealed higher anti-inflammatory and anti-analgesic effects, compared to mice administered with water extracts. Relatively more clinical studies have been found in scientific literature considering α- and β-pinene-containing plants than essential oils.

To date, most of the investigations have not studied the bioavailability of α-pinene and β-pinene in the human body, though these terpenes have antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic properties. Although several in vivo, and more recently, few clinical studies have assessed the pinenes biological effects, further efforts are needed to deepen knowledge in this field.

Salehi, B., Upadhyay, S., Erdogan Orhan, I., Kumar Jugran, A., L D Jayaweera, S., A Dias, D., Sharopov, F., Taheri, Y., Martins, N., Baghalpour, N., Cho, W. C., & Sharifi-Rad, J. (2019). Therapeutic Potential of α- and β-Pinene: A Miracle Gift of Nature. Biomolecules, 9(11), 738. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110738

If alleviating pain the natural way is for you, look into a consultation that offers you the personal attention you require! I provide custom-made blends that work harmoniously with your body to enhance your well-being.

Happy blending,

Crystal

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:3

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Essential oils and dementia

Can there be an aromatherapy plan to help ease the symptoms for dementia patients? What does the research say?

Aromatherapy with essential oils of chamomile, lavender, marjoram and rosemary can significantly reduce agitated behavior in AD patients (Ayaz et al., 2017).

In the case of essential oils, the highest α-amylase inhibitory activities were produced by oregano leaf and lemon myrtle. The highest AChE inhibitory activity was produced by sage and was significantly higher from the rest of the essential oils. Lemon myrtle and rosemary exhibited moderate AChE activity, significantly higher than lavender, peppermint and oregano.

The nutraceutical potential(s) of fresh herbs that are commonly used in the Mediterranean diet (basil, lavender, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme) were compared by assessing their antioxidant, antidiabetic and neuroprotective activities. The highest antioxidant activity was found in extract from fresh oregano leaves, while the highest α-amylase and AChE inhibition were found in lavender leaves extract, followed by the lavender flowers extract and sage extract. α-Amylase inhibitory activities were correlated to AChE inhibition.

The consumption of fresh or powdered herbs from the mint family in culinary doses can help boost memory. This effect is enhanced if combined with the use of essential oils, topically as aromatherapy, by inhalation, and/or by ingestion.
Agatonovic-Kustrin, Snezana MSc Pharm, PhD1, *; Kustrin, Ella2; Morton, David W.3. Essential oils and functional herbs for healthy aging. Neural Regeneration Research: March 2019 – Volume 14 – Issue 3 – p 441-445 doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.245467

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/issues/327686/

Therapeutic properties of herbs and oils

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) The energetic qualities of chamomile are grounding and calming. The oil can increase the actions of antidepressants. Even topically it can have an interaction with codeine and tamoxifen. (See tisserand young 2nd edition Essential oil safety, pg. 243).
As a tea, chamomile can be used as a mild relaxant; brewing under 4 minutes to avoid bitterness. Note that if allergic to ragweed, there might be an allergic reaction to chamomile. Also, Chamomile contains coumarin which is a natural blood thinner; avoid or check with medical authorities if taking a blood thinner.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is classic for anxiety, sleep, and mood modulation due to the chemical components linalol and linalyl acetate. The uses of lavender essential oil are well known and documented. A study at the University of Florida in 2017 found that the use of lavender had the biggest effect on the frequency of agitation episodes for which a statistically significant decrease was observed, especially in the 70 – 85 age group.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. 1,8-cineole) Long known for memory enhancement, rosemary also can increase the ability to be alert. Safety data: The use of rosemary with the 1,8-cineole component at 42% should be used with caution in those with asthma.

Rosemary has been used as a memory enhancer.

Marjoram (Organium marjorana) Not the first essential oil that you would think could be used for calming the agitative state, but this oil has CNS properties that sedate and calm the mind. Marjoram and lavender blend well together when diffused.

Oregano (Origanium vulgare) Although the essential oil oregano is listed in a study for dementia patients, I have read that oregano could increase agitation due to the hot nature of the oil. I would not Use, as there are other oils which are better served for this use. The chemical component in oregano is carvacrol, which should not be used with people who are diabetics, those taking blood thinners or any blood disorders, before or after major surgery, or those with a history of peptic ulcers. Oregano oil is not recommended to diffuse or with an inhaler.

In closing

Being mindful of the studies and safety concerns with patients having dementia, the use of lavender, rosemary and marjoram essential oils and the herb chamomile can be utilized.
The use of oregano essential oil should be used with extreme caution because of the safety issues with medications and disorders.

To get started with using essential oils, check out 6 Easy to use essential oils – Just Essentials Today by going to: http://www.justessentialstoday.com/product/6-easy-to-use-essential-oils/

Happy Blending,

Crystal.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”

Col 3:23
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Essential oils for fall allergies.

There are many causes of fall allergies.

Ragweed, mold and dust mites top the list.

Ragweed (Ambrosia L.) commonly confused with Goldenrod (Solidago L.). The plant has green to pale yellow flowers on branched stems. Ragweed pollen can be carried by the wind for miles. Many people have ragweed allergies.

Mold and mildew also cause problems in the Fall. For an in depth look at mold, check out https://moldhelpforyou.com. It grossed me out, so if you want to learn more, go there. All I can say is clean it.
Dust mites is another sort of thing that grosses me out, I change my sheets regularly and spray with a lavender linen spray. Ew. Bugs. Again, people are allergic.

What is an allergy?

Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nose, which is what we are trying to help ease with essential oils. While allergies cannot be cured, medication can alleviate symptoms. If you would like to modulate those symptoms with essential oils, read on.

Do a Google search and see how many people have rhinitis, the answer could be 39 million, or 50 million, whatever the number, that is a lot of people. Hay fever has been around since the mid-1500’s, mostly attributed erroneously to roses.

Symptoms and research of rhinitis

The symptoms of rhinitis, sneezing, runny nose, and nasal obstruction can be a nuisance at best. A study in 2015 used sandalwood, geranium and Ravensara for allergy relief. The study found that usage of the essential oils helped with symptoms.

Would these work? Let’s look at the data sheets and see…

Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The essential oil contains over 30% citronellol and 15 % geraniol. It is interesting to note that those therapeutic components have been stated to kill dust mites.

Sandalwood (Santalum album) contains santalols which have analgesic properties.

So, I would personally say that neither of these oils would be my first choice in a home remedy to modulate the symptoms of rhinitis.

What other essential oils would help?

Anti-histaminic components of oils are those oils that help to relieve those runny nose and nasal symptoms. A few oils on that list are sweet marjoram, tea tree, german chamomile, lavender, and helichrysum.

Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) contains over 30% terpinene-4-ol and smells better than most tea tree oils which also contains terpinene-4-ol.

German chamomile (Matricaria recutitia) has been cited in studies having antiallergic and bronchoconstriction relief, as it contains a-farnesene and b-farnesene.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has many properties, cited by Kim and Cho 1999, and Tisserand, Young 2014 reference. The allergy modulation here is not rhinitis, but skin related.

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) is another oil cited for anti-histaminic properties, again, for skin, not nose.

Inhaler blends

I have 2 inhaler blends that I use for allergies.

The first one is:
7 drops Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
3 drops Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
3 drops Thyme ct. linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool)
2 drops Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus dives)

So, Why did I use these oils?

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) has anti-inflammatory properties, used to decongest. Not to be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) bornyl acetate and camphene chemical components make this oil good for allergies and sinus infections.

Thyme ct. linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool) Linalool has been found to reduce inflammation in the sinuses. There are times when lavender is not a wanted aroma.

Eucalyptus (dives) not globulus (Eucalyptus dives) I opt for less 1,8-cineole due to asthmatics in the family. Feel free to use other eucalyptus chemotypes here.

The second one I use for over 10-year-olds:
2 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)
2 drops Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
1 drop Pine-scotch (Pinus sylvestris)
1 drop Black spruce (Picea mariana)
2 drops Pinion Pine (Pinus edulis)

Orange (Citrus sinensis) d-limonene is anti-inflammatory and analgesic. I use orange here for that purpose and to tie all the oils together.

Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) used for respiratory issues, instead of eucalyptus.

Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris), Black spruce (Picea mariana), and Pinion pine (Pinus ponderosa) are all added for the anti-inflammatory effects and all symptoms sinus.

Enjoy the upcoming fall weather with a little help from your essential oils.

Happy blending,
Crystal.

So, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:6
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Bites, scrapes and rashes: healing with essential oils and herbs.

I’m one of those people that gets scrapes, scratches, bites from the time the first crocus appears in the Spring. Let’s look at natural healing with essential oils and herbs.

When thinking about bites, scrapes, and rashes, the first thing that comes to mind is cleaning the wound, followed by pain relief, and protecting the wound from infection.

What simple items can be used for bites, rashes and scrapes?


Aloe vera gel (Aloe barbadensis) Aromatics International has a great aloe vera gel product that is not a jelly. I love it for making blends. On the label it says that it is “organically grown and 99.75% aloe”. Aloe is a go-to for burns.

Bee stings, mosquito bites and the like can be treated with a dab of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) right out of the bottle or lavender hydrosol would work for larger rashes and brush burns. Lavender contains linalool and linalyl acetate which has many therapeutic benefits such as being anti-inflammatory, antifungal, analgesic, antibacterial, and skin healing.

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) can be used neat on wounds the same way as lavender.  The only exception is not to use them on puncture wounds. I have a recipe for an itch stick that has lavender, helichrysum, peppermint and german chamomile. Wonderful for those mosquito bites that I always get.

Image by Goran Horvat from Pixabay

German Chamomile (Chamomila recutita) helps to reduce inflammation due to the constituent b-farnesene. It also has antinociceptive properties which means it blocks the pain sensory neurons.

Scrapes and rashes benefit from a calendula or chamomile wash or hydrosol. Chamomile’s antihistamine properties make it wonderful for any kind of rash.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is used for wounds and rashes.  Calendula infused oil is also used in my antibiotic-like product. Works wonders for cuts, scratches, scrapes, and the like—just do not use it for puncture wounds because of the comfrey in it.

Calendula

Plantain (Plantain minor) (Plantain major) used crushed in the field for soothing bites and stings.  Chew it up into a poultice and apply.  Infused oil is also in my homemade first aid salve, which is used where you would use an antibiotic-like product. The plantain root is an antivenom for rattlesnake bites, the leaves can also be used.


In the Spring here is an easy salve to make with chickweed (Stellaria media) that may be growing in your yard.


Pick a handful of chickweed (Stellaria media). 

Chop it up, let wilt overnight. Measure out about 1 cup.

In a pot, add 1 cup of carrier oil, and the chickweed. 

Slowly infuse the chickweed and oil for several hours. Use very low heat, so not to burn. 

When infused, add 20-28 grams of beeswax.  Melt and pour into tins.  Keeps 1 yr.


“You must serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your food and water. I will take away all sickness from among you.”

Exodus 23:25

Happy Blending,

Crystal.

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What is that between your toes?!

Sweaty socks and hot shoes can lead to athlete’s foot.

What is athlete’s foot?

Dermatophytes cause athlete’s foot or tinea pedis. The major dermophyte is Trichophyton mentagrophytes.


How to prevent athlete’s foot?

Wash your feet daily with soap and water. Dry them and keep them dry, not wearing the same sweaty or wet socks for too long. Use a foot powder that has antifungal properties.


What chemical components are antifungal?

There are many oils that have antifungal properties. Oils such as tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), oregano (Organum vulgare), thyme ct. thymol (Thymus vulgarus ct. thymol) and lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) are familiar and readily available. Other oils that can be used are: lemongrass (Cybopogon flexuosus, melissa (Melissa officinalis), which are both high in the chemical component phenol. Clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) has a distinct aroma.


Tea tree oil with the chemical component terpinene-4-ol. It also has a tell-tale aroma that many find too medicinal. The easiest way to mask the smell is to synergize the blend with something that smells better; like lavender.


How to use essential oils to alleviate symptoms.

Peppermint foot mist
3 drops tea tree oil
9 drops peppermint oil
14 ml aloe vera – not gel.
14 ml witch hazel.
Mix in a 1 oz. spray bottle. Gently shake before using. Let dry.

Foot powder

5.5 grams arrowroot powder

3 drops tea tree oil

2 drops lavender oil

Mix well. Place in shaker bottle.


Happy blending,

Crystal

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.”

Ephesians 5:6

Disclaimer note:
Please note that I am not a medical doctor. The use of essential oils is to promote health and wellness. If you have medical issues, seek professional advice.

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Getting out in the sun with essential oils

A day in the kayak doesn’t have to end in sunburn. Safely use essential oils in the summer.

Most essential oils are safe in the sun,

but some are photo toxic.

Well–what does that mean?

It means that if you are in the house, and use a lotion that has certain oils in it, you have no worries. On the other hand, if you use that same type of lotion in the summer–let’s say after a shower. You decide to go out and weed the flower beds later—forgetting about the lotion. You could have a reaction to that lotion from being out in the sun.

What kind of reaction? How do I prevent it?

Redness, burns, itching, blisters, permanent skin discoloration are some of the reactions that you can have by not diluting the oils you use with enough carrier oil. Phototoxic oils have a maximum dermal level. If you use the product with levels over these amounts, it is best to avoid sun exposure for at least 12 to 18 hours after applying, unless you can cover your skin.

  • Bergamot (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia). Maximum dilution of .04% which equals 2 drops per 30 ml. of carrier oil.
  • Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi). Maximum dilution of 4% which equals 24 drops per 30 ml. of carrier oil.
  • Lemon (Citrus limon). Maximum dilution of 2% which equals 12 drops per 30 ml. of carrier oil.
  • Lime (Citrus aurantifolia). Maximum dilution of 0.7% which equals 4 drops per 30 ml. of carrier oil.
  • Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium). Maximum dilution of 1.25% which equals 7 drops per 30 ml. of carrier oil.
  • Laurel leaf (Laurus nobilis). Maximum dilution of 2% which equals 12 drops per 30 ml. of carrier oil.

The good news is not all citrus essential oils are phototoxic!
Those are: Bergamot (FCF), Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), cold pressed Lemon (Citrus limon), distilled Lime (Citrus aurantifolia).


There is no risk in using a product that has been washed off the skin such as shampoo, soap or body wash.

So enjoy and have fun in the sun!

Happy blending,

Crystal.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Mt 11:28
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Happy Father’s Day

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

To my Dad,

Who has always had the faith, the love and the patience with me as I sometimes took the crooked road–

Thank you for being there for me.

Crystal.

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Nauseated? Finding help with ginger.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Years ago, before I started using essential oils, I had Tums everywhere. I used them when I felt wonky, for heartburn or just an unsettled stomach. Like I stated in previous blogs, I haven’t purchased or used over-the-counter medications for these issues in years. It all started with a few simple inhalers. My favorite was ginger for nausea.

Let’s explore ginger.

Ginger is known for calming the stomach related to nausea. It is an antispasmodic which calms convulsions. It neutralizes stomach acid aiding in digestion.

Common name: African ginger, black ginger, race ginger.

Ayurvedic/TCM name: Fire & Wind; Hot, dry, light Yang.

Energy: Hot, dry

Parts used: Rhizome

Chemical components: Shogaol and zingerone. It protects oils and fats from rancidity.

Native to: Tropical Africa, Asia. Can grow in Hawaii, southwestern US, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.

Actions: Antispasmodic, stimulating and expectorant.

Taste: Pungent

Preparations: Herb–Tea, tincture, capsules, candied, culinary.

Essential oil– Use as a massage oil for joint and muscle pain.

Inhaler–15-20 drops in a large cotton wick for nausea, indigestion etc.

Uses: Tea for stress, tension and nausea. For nausea drink 3 cups of tea per day. for colds and flu, 1 cup every 2 hours.

Recipe: 5-6 slices (or 2 Tbsp. shredded, or 1/2 tsp. powdered)

1 cup boiling water.

Lemon if desired. Steep 15 minutes.

Fresh root decoction: for chills, and phlegm with a thick cough.

Dried root: Use 2 (500 mg.) capsules 30 minutes before travel; 1-2 more if symptoms persist.

Note: Better than Dramamine for motion sickness according to a Brigham Young University and Mount Union College study.

There are many recipes for candied ginger, which I have made and loved. I make a ginger syrup that I freeze and use in my soda stream. I also have used ginger in homemade kombucha. It’s all good!

Experiment and Happy Blending,

Crystal.

“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Mark 5:34

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Cool things that aren’t lavender

There are people that I have run across with talking about essential oils that do not like lavender. Let’s face it, lavender essential oil is everywhere and in everything. Today, I ‘d like to make some cool things without lavender. Inhalers, rollerballs, and diffusers are easy when using essential oils. Let’s make a set of inhalers to use every day.
You can buy inhalers on Amazon. I use the larger wick for adults, the smaller for kids.


The first blend is lemon, orange, and grapefruit.  All in the Rutaceae family, these monoterpenes contain the chemical compound d-limonene.  They are all wonderful as mood enhancers.  What a cheerful way to wake up!

wake me up blend
9 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)
5 drops grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
6 drops lemon (Citrus limon)


The second blend is for that head that needs attention. Spike lavender is a monoterpenol, like lavender, in the Lamiaceae family, but with camphor and 1,8-cineole components. These two components are used to modulate headache symptoms. One note, be careful with asthmatics and 1,8-cineole. Always test to see if they are triggered by these oils. Ravintsara is a monoterpene in the Lauraceae family with 1,8-cineole is good for this blend. Frankincense is a monoterpene in the Burseraceae family. This resin has anti-inflammatory and analgesic therapeutic properties. It is grounding and smells wonderful.

my head hurts blend

8 drops spike lavender (Lavendula latifolia)

5 drops ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphor ct. 1,8-cineole)

6 drops frankincense (Boswellia carterii)


When you need to focus on your work and need a boost, the following oils will get you there.

We talked about frankincense and lemon; this blend also has cardamom.  Cardamom is a member of the Zingiberaceae family with mostly esters and oxides.  The 1,8-cineole content is around 30%.  Even though cardamom is thought of for digestion it is great for this focus blend because it has a calming and sedative quality.

focus on my work blend
10 drops frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
5 drops cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
4 drops lemon (Citrus limon)

Image by K Wol from Pixabay


The last blend is to help fall asleep without the aid of lavender.
Cedarwood is a member of the Cupressaceae family and is a sesquiterpenol. This oil has sedative and stress relieving properties. Sandalwood is also calming and sedative, a member of the Santalaceae family and is a sesquiterpenol. Patchouli, a member of the lamiaceae family is an anti-depressant. Another sesquiterpene, vetiver is a member of the poaceae family. It has CNS sedative properties.

let me fall asleep blend

6 drops cedarwood (Cedrus virginiana)

5 drops patchouli (Pogostremom cablin)

4 drops vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)

3 drops sandalwood (Santalum album)


Check out my latest project…a new 21-page pdf just in time for summer! See my products page.

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Enjoy the blends and inhalers-until next time.
Happy blending,
Crystal

“you of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

Mt 8:26

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first aid, using trauma oil.

Home remedies are great and I absolutely hate having to run to the store. Check out all about trauma oil.


The history of trauma oil

I absolutely love Bioron’s arnica cream, Bioron founded in 1932. I use it for swelling and bruising most of the time. The tube has a long shelf life, which is why it is still a go-to product for me. The homeopathic ingredient at work in this cream is Arnica montana. The second item that is great for swelling, bruising and inflammation is Trauma oil. The herbs used in trauma oil are: calendula, arnica, St. john’s wort. Each item has its own therapeutic properties all blended together to be excellent in your first aid kit or medicine cabinet.

What’s in trauma oil

Arnica (Arnica montana) Arnica is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic herb. It is used to relieve swelling, bruises and inflammation for strains and sprains etc.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) Calendula is an anti-inflammatory, and wound healing herb.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) What comes to mind is that this herb is popular for depression. Why is it in my trauma oil? St john’s wort can treat wounds, treat pain, and modulate inflammation. It has been noted to be antiviral and antimicrobial. Blend all these herb-infused oils together for trauma oil. There are many websites that sell trauma oil, or you can make your own. Personally, I buy mine.

Trauma oil can be used for boo-boos on young children with no essential oils added.
It has a slight aroma, is mildly oily and golden in color.


Using trauma oil with essential oil

In addition to all the essential oils that we use like tea tree and lavender, trauma oil with essential oils like black pepper, cypress and spike lavender are a powerhouse for helping alleviate inflammation and pain. Great for a medicine cabinet, backpack or travel kit!
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) essential oil has been studied for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory properties. The main components of this oil are d-limonene and B-caryophyllene. Using a 1% dilution in your blends will keep this spicy oil within safety guidelines.
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) essential oil—another great oil for inflammation due to a-pinene.
Spike lavender (Lavendula latifolia) doesn’t smell quite like lavender angustifolia, thanks to the camphor-like properties of this oil. The 1,8-cineole is the analgesic and anti-inflammatory component of this oil. Safety concerns with epileptics, pregnant women and children are to be noted here.


Keep trauma oil in mind when blending for all of the first aid needs of your family.

Happy blending,

Crystal.

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Rom 12:13
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Uplifting essential oils for a funky mood

Around 75%–90% of doctor visits in the United States are in some way related to stress.”
(According to the American Institute of Stress)

Image by Elf-Moondance from Pixabay

The statistic above is frightening, meaning that we are all stressed enough to visit the doctor about it. How we manage stress can be modulated with the use of essential oils. It’s one less reason to go to the doctor.

Like in the previous blog on sleep which can be read at www.justessentialstoday.com/sleep, oils for mood are similar but not exact. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is similar due to the relaxing qualities, but Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) is not because it is uplifting.

Let’s focus on some common oils

Most citrus oils are antidepressant in nature, who doesn’t love the smell of oranges?! Sweet orange is uplifting, calming and sedative. It is safe for children and adults alike. The only safety concerns are because of using an old oil that can produce skin sensitivity because of oxidation. Citrus oils only have a shelf life of 2 years, so check the dates of distillation. (That blog was covered back in August, check it out www.justessentialstoday.com/checking).

Grapefruit and lemon essential oils are phototoxic, so sweet orange is a great substitute when outside.

Other oils to use would be lavender and Rose (Rosa damascena). Lavender is in so many health and beauty and laundry products. It is classic for helping to relax before going to bed thanks to linalool and linalyl acetate. Rose is a wonderful floral oil and is great for stabilizing mood. An affordable substitute for Rose is Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens).

I love burning Frankincense resin (Boswellia cartierii). So, the oil is one of my go-to oils in my box. I like making a stock blend, then using it in an inhaler, diffuser or blending in a lotion.

Rose has a very strong floral aroma, so 1 drop in a blend is all that is needed.

Simple lotion

4 drops Sweet orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis)

1 drop Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena)

30 ml unscented cream or lotion

The lotion above is a 1% dilution, safe for children. I had my granddaughter help with this blend, and it met her approval.

Inhaler, diffuser or spray ideas:

Diffuse a couple of drops of lavender and orange essential oils 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off.

Orange and grapefruit are uplifting in diffuser or inhaler.

Lavender, orange and frankincense can be blended for anxiety.

Room spray

In 2 oz. (60 ml) distilled water

10 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)

5 drops ylang ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina)

2 drops frankincense (Boswellia cartierii)

To use: Shake and spray around the room.

I hope that using these oils uplifts the mood of you or those that you love,
Happy blending,
Crystal.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
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Essential oils and herbs-how to get to sleep.

The research says that young adults need approximately 8 hours of sleep.

Physiologically, adolescents and young adults tend to have a delayed circadian preference and are “night owls”. Existing evidence does suggest an association between sleep and GPA. Students who obtained more sleep (long sleepers, ≥9 hours) had higher GPAs than short sleepers (≤6 hours): GPAs were 3.24 vs 2.74 on average. More evidence exists to support an influence of sleep patterns rather than sleep duration on GPA. (1)

Using herbs and essential oils as a central nervous system sedative means that the herb or oil has the ability to help you relax and, in this case, fall asleep.

The lengthy list of central nervous system sedatives in essential oils include:
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides), German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Opopanax (Commiphora guidotti), and Patchouli (Pogostremom cablin). The components that are relaxing in Lavender are linalool and linalyl acetate. Vetiver, opopanax and patchouli are grounding and have an earthy aroma. Studies found that german chamomile has CNS relaxing qualities, the aroma is herbal and fruity.

Some ways to use essential oils for sleep.

I love diffusing lavender for 30 minutes before bedtime or using a linen spray to help nod off to sleep. Vetiver, patchouli, opopanax, frankincense, myrrh, and nutmeg oils are all grounding. Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) can also work in blends.

Sweet orange contains d-limonene that has a calming and anxiety relieving effect which makes it a great oil for a children’s blend. You don’t have to stick with Lavender as a sleep aid when using essential oils.

Change it up by trying a blend of lavender, ylang ylang and vetiver in a carrier oil. Or if patchouli is too strong, try blending with cedarwood and opoponax in a carrier oil. Any of these blends makes a good inhaler to keep by your nightstand.

Everyone has preferences to what essential oils they like and dislike, for instance, I would much rather drink a cup of chamomile tea than use German chamomile essential oil in a blend. To me the oil overpowers blends and is offensive, and that is the beauty of aromatherapy, there are so many different oils to choose from!

I love chamomile tea.

Chamomile tea, lavender, and patchouli sachets, along with valerian also work in the herb side. Valerian has that unique smell that some find offensive, so it is nice to blend with a better smelling herb. Skullcap and passionflower are nice additions to tea blends.

Happy blending,

Crystal.

1. Hershner, S. D., & Chervin, R. D. (2014). Causes and consequences of sleepiness among college students. Nature and science of sleep, 6, 73–84. https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S62907.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!”

PSALM 136:1
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It’s tea time!

Image by dungthuyvunguyen from Pixabay

I started this post after reading an article concerning the vitamins soluble in water. Did that make a difference in my tea? Should I be concerned? After hopefully trying to find studies on the subject, I found that there wasn’t much written about the subject. Americans have minimal issues concerning the lack of vitamins B and C in the diet. We aren’t deficient in these vitamins. While we know that cooking methods in vegetables matter, it barely effects our tea.

Water is the best solvent for herbs. Hot or cold? 1 minute or 20? What is the best way to brew, steep or make tea to get the most nutrients from the herbs that you are using?

White tea– steep 1 minute. Green tea–steep 2 minutes. Black tea– steep 4 minutes. Chamomile tea — steep no longer than 2 minutes or it is bitter. Do you look on the back of your tea box, bag, or can? The Lemon ginger tea that I am drinking says to steep 3-5 minutes at 190 to 210 degrees. It all seems confusing. Should it be so confusing?

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

I put peppermint or mint in everything I make. I don’t like the taste of many herbs, which is why I started studying aromatherapy. If I couldn’t stand a tea, how was I going to get my family to drink it? Heck, my grandkids won’t even taste honey!

So, when I brew something, if I don’t like the individual components or in this case, herbs. They don’t go in the blend.

Brewing tea ideas

Sore throat tea:

Sage (1 teaspoon dried) and ginger root (1/4 teaspoon dried).

Sweeten with a little honey if needed.
Bring water to a boil, simmer ginger for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add sage and steep for 15 minutes.

Strain and sweeten if desired.

Tummy tea:

Equal parts peppermint, lemon balm and chamomile.
For one serving, use 1 teaspoon each for 8 ounces of water.
Steep 3-4 minutes.

Sleepy time tea:

Equal parts chamomile, skullcap, lemon balm and burdock.
For one serving: use 2-3 teaspoons of tea per 8 ounces of water.
Cover with boiling water and steep for up to 15 minutes.

Everyday tonic tea:

Peppermint, chamomile, lemon balm, oat tops, dandelion root, schisandra berries, orange peel.
For one serving use 1 teaspoon of tea per 8 ounces of water.
Cover with boiling water and steep for up to 15 minutes.

Happy Blending,

Crystal.

“May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

PSALM 20:4
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Uses for eucalyptus besides colds…but that is nice too.

I read somewhere that there are over 700 species of eucalyptus in the Myrtaceae family.

Image by sandid from Pixabay


The chemotype Globulus (Common name- blue gum) is probably the best known and is a native of Australia.

Most species are in the Oxide chemical family with 1,8-cineole being the most prominent component. These oils are good for clearing the head when experiencing a sinus issue. The oil is a stimulant and works to perk one up when tired.
The species of globulus, smithii and radiata have the highest percentage of 1,8-cineole.

Species Percentage of 1,8-cineole
Eucalyptus globulus 65-84%
Eucalyptus smithii 77%
Eucalyptus radiata 60-64%
Eucalyptus macarthurii 28-29%
Eucalyptus dives 0.56%



The popular therapeutic benefits of these oils are for cold and flu relief: relief of congestion and as an expectorant.

Image by Jürgen Fälchle from Pixabay

Eucalyptus macarthurii (Common name-Wooly-butt gum) has 44% of the chemical component geranyl acetate. This component has analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal and choleretic modulating properties. What does that mean? This oil is good for blends other than for a cold. A muscle rub blend, foot cream, and as a digestion blend.

Other chemotypes of eucalyptus such as
Eucalyptus citriodora also called Lemon-scented gum, has no 1,8-cineole component. The citriodora chemotype has 66-86% of the chemical component citronellal. This oil is an aldehyde, used as a bug repellent, for its anti-inflammatory modulating affect, and to calm.
Eucalyptus dives (Common name-Blue peppermint gum) is great for moving mucus; use as a chest rub (diluted) or a steam. Other uses for Eucalyptus dives is to treat tired feet in a relaxing foot bath after a long day on your feet. The refreshing scent is also good for cleaning the house. Eucalyptus dives can help even and tone the skin, especially for those prone to blemishes.

Melbourne pharmacist, Joseph Bosisto established a distillery in 1854 to gather the oil of E. radiata. He exhibited his oil at seventeen exhibitions between 1854 and 1891. Pearson, Michael. “The Good Oil: Eucalyptus Oil Distilleries in Australia”, Australsian Historical Archaeology, 11, 1993.

Image by laomi lv from Pixabay

Eucalyptus is for more than just cold and flu season, and the lack of 1,8-cineole in the dives chemotype makes it great to use in households with younger children. Blend with lavender, cedarwood or orange for a blend to promote relaxation (lavender), clear breathing (cedarwood) or lift spirits (orange).

Use in an inhaler or diffuser following safety guidelines: Remember the eucalyptus chemotypes that are high in 1,8-cineole can suppress the Central Nervous System (CNS) and may impair breathing. Be safe in usage for children under 10 and those with asthma.


Download the FREE Introduction to Aromatherapy PDF with email sign up!

Happy blending,

Crystal

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Using essential oils in cold and flu season

It’s easy to use inhalers for a cold, read more to learn how.

Let’s start with making inhalers for healthy adults, using a total of 15-20 drops of essential oils.

For a cold, I love the conifers–pines, firs and spruces because most of them smell like a Christmas tree!

The therapeutic component of an essential oil is what makes it work. In conifers one of the components is a-pinene. A-pinene is antiviral and b-pinene is antibacterial, both are antispasmodic. Great for chest congestion when dealing with a cold or flu.

So, with that in mind, try this Three pine inhaler for adults:

5 drops Norway pine (Pinus resinosa) a-pinene @ 44%; b-pinene @ 34%
5 drops Pinon pine (Pinus edulis) a-pinene @ 37%; b-pinene @ 9%
5 drops White pine (Pinus strobus) a-pinene @ 27%; b-pinene @ 40%

  • To make an inhaler: place the cotton wick in a bowl. For an adult add 15-20 drops of essential oil to the bowl. (for children, use 7-8 drops.
  • Move the wick around with a clean tweezers to soak up the oil. Place the wick in the tube of the inhaler-the part with the holes. Put on the cap, snapping it tightly and put the tube in the case, twisting closed. Label the inhaler.

For children over 6 years of age, use 7-8 drops:

  • 3 drops of Norway pine (Pinus resinosa)
  • 2 drops of Pinion pine (Pinus edulis)
  • 2 drops of White pine (Pinus strobus)

You can substitute Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) for Norway pine; Conifers such as Black Spruce (Picea mariana) or Siberian fir (Abies siberica) for pines.

An Antiviral inhaler for a spasmodic cough–For adults:

  • 7 drops Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) a-pinene @ 40%; b-pinene @ 32%; camphene @ 3%
  • 4 drops of Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) terpinen-4-ol @ 41%; a-terpinene @ 10%; y-terpinene @ 21%
  • 5 drops Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) a-pinene @ 54%; d-3-carene @ 23%
  • 2 drops Spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) 1-8-cineole @ 23%; linalol @ 45%

For kids over 5 years of age (using 7-8 drops):
3 drops Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) a-pinene @ 40%; b-pinene @ 32%; camphene @ 3%
2 drops Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) terpinen-4-ol @ 41%; a-terpinene @ 10%; y-terpinene @ 21%
2 drops Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) a-pinene @ 54%; d-3-carene @ 23%
1 drop Spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) 1-8-cineole @ 23%; linalol @ 45%

What is a-terpinene? and what is cineole?
Camphene breaks down mucus. Terpinene-4-ol is antiviral, antibacterial and antispasmodic. A-terpinene and y-terpinene are antiviral and antispasmodic. d-3-carene breaks down mucus, 1-8-cineole is an airborne antimicrobial, an antiviral, and breaks down mucus. Lastly, linalol is an airborne antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, and an immunostimulant.

To boost immunity for adults and children over 6:
5 drops Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) linalol @ 27%; linalyl acetate @ 45%
2 drops Spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) 1-8-cineole @ 23%; linalol @ 45%
5 drops Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) d-limonene @ 96%
3 drops Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) geraniol @ 15 %

The addition of geranium blends nicely with the lavender, the geraniol component is an airborne antimicrobial and antibacterial. Knowing the therapeutic components helps determine what essential oil to use.

Happy blending,

Crystal

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It’s all costing money.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The annual insurance benefit selection. Picking a plan. Paying more for coverage. Paying more for doctor visits. Paying more for prescriptions. Paying more.

How do we all take care of ourselves and our families without breaking the bank?

The answer could be natural health care: Aromatherapy, herbalism, or other natural alternative paths.

It’s late, your child has an infected cut, maybe it’s a splinter that you can’t see. As parents, grandparents, and caregivers, we want to take care of our families. What works here? Maybe it is a splinter, grab the ichthammol or drawing salve and cover with a bandage. Maybe it’s an infected cut, make sure the area is clean, add a drop of tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil is a wonderful antimicrobial. A 2017 study has shown that tea tree can help with MRSA. So, if tea tree is that powerful, it can help with a tiny cut that is infected.

More simple examples for using essential oils are;

A headache…bring out the lavender essential oil dab a bit on the temples. Lavender has been shown to relax. For ease on the go, keep an inhaler of lavender in your bag. I’ve used a blend of lavender, peppermint and rosemary in a carrier oil to ease the pain of gout. How about a blend of frankincense, lavender, sweet basil, roman chamomile in jojoba to massage on the back of your neck after a long day at work?

Sweet orange essential oil, grapefruit, lemon, lime, the citrus oils that smell of sunshine! They naturally make us smile when we take in the aroma that their cold-pressed peels produce.

Eucalyptus with its 1,8-cineole or menthol in peppermint are in many over the counter cough and cold preparations. Is there a way that we can utilize them? A natural way to make our families or ourselves feel better?

With safety in mind always, it is important to research the dilution charts that I have posted previously.

visit www.justessentialstoday.com/dilution-and-essential-oils

Maybe you don’t want to use essential oils, how about herbs? For thousands of years people have been using plants to support their health. Indigenous people, our elders, maybe even you already use herbs in cooking. Who of you hasn’t used ginger for nausea?

Food, if not allergic, can be just as important as the medicine we take. We all know that excess sugar is bad, excess salt is bad, excess fat is bad. So, I’m not going to focus on that, but let’s be real here. If you make a few lifestyle changes, like I did, you will feel better. You will start to lose weight. Things that were tasty, well, might not be a craving for you anymore. Eating well is a lifelong process.

Sleep is important. It is the way that your body heals. If you don’t get enough sleep…you know.

And exercise. Yeah, we should all do that.

All these things are important in an aromatherapy consultation. If you are ready to take that journey, read about what is involved. Let us start your natural wellness journey together.

Happy blending,

Crystal.

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The carrier oil series–coconut oil

Image by Lebensmittelfotos from Pixabay

You know when you open the jar—the aroma of the unrefined coconut oil is luscious.
It makes me want to put my hand in there and grab a piece…. smells delicious.

Where does coconut oil come from?

Coconut belongs to the family of the Cocos nucifera L. It is a tree that is cultivated for many uses cosmetic, nutritional and medicinal. There are many products that come from the coconut, and I am only concerned about the oil here today, which comes from the fruit of coconut and is cold-pressed.

Does coconut oil have therapeutic properties?

The oil has medicinal properties such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial. The oil is moisturizing sinking into the skin, reported to be good for eczema and psoriasis.

Shelf life: 2-4 years
Viscosity: Solid, melts at 76.
Comedogenic index of 4: high to clog pores.
Feel: Oily

Aroma: Coconut aroma in the unrefined oil.

What is fractionated coconut oil?

Fractionated coconut oil made from coconut oil. The coconut oil is heated to high temperature to remove the solid parts of the oil. The only thing is that fractionated coconut oil is odorless, tasteless, and never gets solid-even in the refrigerator.
Most butters and DIY blends have unrefined coconut oil. I have used it for lip balms, salves, and deodorants. The benefit is that the butter does not get grainy like unrefined shea butter does. Shea butter can start out being ok, then get grainy because it was not cooled down quickly enough.

One of my favorite carriers.

Happy blending,

Crystal.

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The carrier oil series–castor oil

Ricinus communis/

Palma christi

What is castor oil?

Castor oil comes from the Ricinus communis/Palma christi plant which is a treelet originally from Africa. The entire plant including the seeds are poisonous. It contains an irritant substance that poisons the blood. The oils is safe, because the poison remains in the seed.

Castor oil is cold pressed from castor beans, then heated to clarify. It has a thick viscosity with a greasy feel. The aroma is neutral, and the color is slightly yellow. The shelf life of castor oil is 5 years or less. I had some that looked moldy, and I know it wasn’t 5 years old. The oil had no off aroma or rancid smell, it just looked bad. Out in the trash it went.

What else is in castor oil?

Castor oil contains Ricinoleic (ris-uh-noh-lee-ik) acid 85-95% : linoleic acid 1-5%; Oleic acid: 2-6%, A-linolenic acid and undecylenic acids. The therapeutic properties of ricinoleic acid are: Antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Ricinoleic acid is used in pigment, printing ink, and textile finishing. It is sometimes added to Turkey red oil and dry-cleaning soaps.

Castor oil is used in over 80% of lip products.

Uses of castor oil…

I have used castor oil in blends that need to sit on the skin-say to use on a wart for example. The castor oil blend sitting on top of the skin allows the essential oils to do their thing. After all, this oil needs to be on the skin, not absorbed into the skin.

The comedogenic index rates how the oils used will clog pores. Castor oil is a heavy oil that will sit on the skin and not be absorbed quickly. Which is really weird because the comedogenic rating is 1–which means it is low on the list to clog pores. Other articles state that castor oil should be mixed with other carrier oils for use on the skin. Make sure that the carrier you buy is hexane free. The emollient properties make it an excellent carrier for psoriasis and eczema. Castor oil is great for lip gloss products. In a study I read stated that castor oil is used in 81% of lipsticks.

Next blog will focus on yet another carrier in the series, stay tuned.

Happy blending,

Crystal.



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The carrier oil series, looking at jojoba

Jojoba (Simmondsia californica)

Jojoba oil is not an oil, but a wax.

Where does jojoba come from?

Jojoba oil is cold-pressed from the seed of the mature shrub. The shrubs are found in southern Arizona, southern California and northwest Mexico. Jojoba seeds contain from 40 to 60% of oil which is chemically classified as liquid wax because unlike most vegetable seed oils that are composed of triglycerides, jojoba oil consists of esters. Jojoba contains 97% mono-esters of long-chain fatty acids and alcohols (wax ester), a small fraction of triglyceride esters and docosanol (the active ingredient in OTC cold sore cream). It contains vitamin B, E and fatty acids.

The oil is odorless. The refined oil is clear and the unrefined oil is golden in color. The fact that jojoba is a wax, is great because it doesn’t go rancid like most carriers do.

What is jojoba good for?

Jojoba is good for all skin types because it resembles the natural oils of the skin (the sebum). Sebum dissolves in jojoba. The comedogenic index is 2-meaning it is moderately low tendency to clog pores and allows skin to breathe. Other oils that have a comedogenic index of 2 or less are: grapeseed, sweet almond and olive oil.

The emollient ability to protect and cleanse makes jojoba a good oil for everything from preventing diaper rash and wrinkle formation to using as a make-up remover. The high absorption rate allows jojoba to be used in many cosmetic preparations.

Used on the hair, it makes it shiny and silky and can be used for dry hair, to protect the scalp, with an addition of essential oils for a variety of needs.

What are the benefits of using jojoba?

Therapeutically it is antifungal, pain relieving and anti-inflammatory. It is a benefit to keep in mind when creating blends for certain situations. I use jojoba as the carrier in my roller ball blends. Remember that your blend will last as long as your shortest expiration dated oil. This could mean that you have a roller ball blend that is good for 6 months or one that is as long as a few years!

I hope you learned something about jojoba. Come back next time for information on another carrier oil.

Happy blending,

Crystal

“He fills my life with good things.”

Psalm 103:5

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Read this — before you put essential oils in the tub!

It got me started on my aromatherapy journey, overhearing customers in pharmacies stating that they can just pour essential oils in the bathtub! Or rub it on their skin!

Below are products you cannot safely use with essential oils in the bath:

also from Robert Tisserand’s website–“Safety in the Bath.”

They are: Cornstarch, baking soda, epsom or regular salt, milk, witch hazel, aloe, glycerine, and alcohol.

Oil and water don’t mix.

If you want to use essential oils in the bath use Solubol.

For every 1 Tablespoon of product (jojoba, castile soap, shampoo or shower gel) mix in 5-20 drops of essential oils. Avoid any oil that is irritating to the skin, like peppermint, oregano or cinnamon to name a few. Do your research!

Robert Tisserand’s website has charts that are excellent on this subject. Also, the 2nd Edition of Essential Oil Safety is a must have for any aromatherapist.

Sign up for my FREE PDF an “Introduction to Aromatherapy”.

As always, Happy Blending,
Crystal.

God has made everything beautiful for its own time.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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Skin safety and essential oils

About that essential oil you just bought…
Can you rub it on your skin?

Today let’s discuss essential oil safety.

In last weeks blog on dilution, you can see the percentages suggested for various ages, issues, and other concerns. There are guides to make a 30 ml. stock blend that can be used to make smaller roller bottles.

Start with the weakest dilution, such as 1%. If that dilution is not working after 2 weeks, then make a blend that is a 2% product. A 3% dilution is for a specific injury, such as a sprain or strain. It is important to use this dilution for a short duration (10-14 days), then go back to a 2% dilution for daily use. Remember, always start with the lowest percentage of essential oils in a blend. A little goes a long way to help modulate any concerns.
Discontinue use if the product causes redness, rash, or burning. If discomfort or irritation occurs, stop using the essential oil blend. Apply a carrier oil to the affected area. Never use water to flush the oil off the skin, as this may increase discomfort.

There are a few oils that can be used neat, that means straight out of the bottle. Those oils are tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum).

Tea tree is an antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial oil. The scent is sharp and medicinal. Lavender blends well and tones down some of the sharp properties of tea tree.
A dab of tea tree oil can be used to clear up acne.
Lavender can be used neat applied to the temples for headache relief. Try adding a drop to a tissue, inhale to relieve anxiety. Lavender can also be used on the skin for blemishes.
Helichrysum has skin healing properties that are excellent for wound application, apply a drop on a cut.


Next week, I’ll discuss safety in the bath with essential oils.

As always, sign up for my email list for a FREE INTRODUCTION TO AROMATHERAPY PDF.

Happy Blending,

Crystal

He fills my life with good things.

Psalm 103:5
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Dilution and essential oils.

Dilution of essential oils is the most important thing to learn in aromatherapy.

It is aromatherapy 101 that teaches dilution.  Most of the time, that is an easy equation to figure out:

5-6 drops per 30 ml of carrier. That should be the end of my blog…but it is not.

When I started working with essential oils, I had a ton of questions….What about the oils that we must use in low dilution? Say a .07%? How do we figure that out?

Dilution of essential oils is sometimes tricky, what size bottle, jar or tin are we using? Did we double or halve the recipe?

I do not want to make 30 ml of anything, just a 10 ml rollerball…. how much essential oil is that?
Or a 5 ml bottle—I use those a lot.

Uses for essential oils are in the chart below, note the dilution rate for specific issues.

Easy to use dilution tables for various sizes of bottles.

DilutionUsed for
1%Face, children, pregnant women, immune compromised
2%



3%
Daily use, massage oils, larger area of body



Specific injury of muscle, tendon or bone
4%Local area such as chest congestion
5% or above Severe pain, muscle cramps, bruising
DilutionBottle sizeDrops of stock blend
1%5 ml1 drop
2%5 ml2 drops
3%5 ml3 drops
4%5 ml4 drops
5%5 ml5 drops
10%5 ml10 drops
Best to use a stock blend then add to a carrier oil

30 ml= approximately 2 Tablespoons (29.57 ml)

DilutionBottle SizeDrops of essential oil
.50%10 ml1 drop
1%10 ml2 drops
2%10 ml4 drops
3%10 ml6 drops
4%10 ml8 drops
5%10 ml10 drops
10%10 ml20 drops
DilutionBottle SizeDrops of essential oil
1%30 ml5-6 drops
2%30 ml10-12 drops
3%30 ml15-18 drops
4%30 ml20-24 drops
5%30 ml25-30 drops
30 ml= approximately 2 Tablespoons (29.57 ml)

Do your research on oils that have dermal restrictions, such as Phenols or Aldehydes.

Using these dilutions is important in helping to modulate various issues that may arise.
Whether it is a pulled muscle that needs a massage oil or a cough that just won’t go away. The dilution that you use will help get the results that you are looking for, all with safety in mind.

Happy blending,
Crystal

We fight too many battles that don’t matter. If a battle is not between you and your destiny, it’s a distraction. It’s the enemy trying to lure you off course when a new level is waiting for you. You have to learn to let things go.

Luke 6:29
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Olfaction made simple-using inhalers and diffusers in aromatherapy

How does the inhalation of essential oils work in the body?

What is the science behind how and why it works?

Aromatherapy is about our sense of smell or olfaction.  Human behavior is influenced by smell.  The smell of baking bread or rotisserie chicken in a grocery store.  The floral scents of roses and lavender, the citrus of oranges, lemons and limes, the smell of conifers and pines.

We breathe in the essential oils (which are molecules), our nose has cilia which transports these molecules up to our sensory nerves called the olfactory nerve. This olfactory nerve enters the skull, connects to the limbic system and the olfactory cortex.

Well, that’s great but I just want to use my diffuser!

Let’s talk about diffusers and inhalers.

The easiest way to start with aromatherapy and essential oils is to use an inhaler.

Purchasing inhalers is easy; your favorite essential oil supplier or Amazon sell them.  They are cheap, and you can reuse them for your own personal use. In the beginning of my aromatherapy journey, I started with these 3 inhalers: one with ginger, one with lavender, and one with peppermint.   I used antacids or acid reducing medications…you know that purple pill.  My use of OTC medications has all but ceased except on a rare occasion, then I will use a chewable antacid.  Peppermint is great for keeping alert while driving. One time I sprayed peppermint oil in my eye, but that story is for another day! The point is–we all start somewhere…and safety is important. 

Inhalers have 4 parts, the wick, the tube, the cover and the cap.

To make an inhaler:  place the cotton wick in a bowl.  For an adult add 10-15 drops of essential oil to the bowl. (for children, use 7-8 drops of kid safe oils: lavender, sweet orange, cedarwood, etc).  Move the wick around with a clean tweezers to soak up the oil.  Place the wick in the tube of the inhaler-the part with the holes. Put on the cap, snapping it tightly and put the tube in the case, twisting closed. Label the inhaler: For example: Ginger for my belly, Peppermint to keep me awake; Lavender for relaxing and many more.

Like I said, I reuse my inhalers by disinfecting the inhaler parts, and use a new wick every so often.  I keep them in an essential oil bag in my purse when I travel. Yay TSA!

I just made an inhaler for a nagging headache of almost equal drops (total 12) of frankincense, sweet basil and spike lavender. Surely helped ease that!

What about a diffuser?

Using the diffuser is just as easy!  Read the manufacturer directions on how many drops to use in the diffuser as they come in all different sizes.

The Aromahead Institute ACP course, taught to diffuse 30 minutes with the diffuser on, then 30 minutes off for safety reasons.  For infants, it is recommended to diffuse and hour before having the child in the space, such as putting them to bed.  Always have an escape route for your pets, remember that they might not like or be sensitive to the smells you are diffusing!

Happy Blending,

Crystal.

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:3
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Checking the distillation dates of essential oils.

Why is it so important to check the distillation date from the manufacturer?

Is that date even listed?

Well, lesson learned. I recently was going through all my essential oils.

I have accumulated a lot from the aromatherapy certification program I had enrolled in. There was a supply list of all the oils to buy for the course, so I did!

After all, who does not want to get involved in the course and use the oils, smell the oils, make the blends, inhalers, and lotions?

All this brings me to the dating of the batches and the distillation date.

When you buy the oil, that is not the date when it expires. When it expires is the distillation date.


Some of my oils were 2 years old when I bought them!

One oil, fennel, was 3 years old!

No offense, but I have expired sweet marjoram, fennel, laurel leaf and only 4 months to use the orange oil. The orange oil is a favorite, but cleaning with fennel? Laurel leaf? Don’t think so…. ☹

Let’s look at a few examples:

  • Anise (Pimpinella anisum) With a batch number as: ANS 102. This was distilled in 9/2017. I bought it on 10/13/2019. The shelf life is 5 yrs, which means it expires in 2022.
  • Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamonum seylanicum) With a batch number as: CIL 105. This was distilled in 3/2018. I bought it in 4/2020. The shelf life is 4 yrs, which means it expires in 2022.
  • Fennel sweet (Foeniculum vulgare) With a batch number as: FEN 105. This was distilled in 7/2016. I bought it in 10/12/2019. The shelf life is 4 yrs, this oil expired in 2020.
  • Laurel leaf (Laurus nobilis) With a batch number as: LLF 111. This was distilled in 9/2017. I bought it in 7/14/2019. The shelf life is 3 yrs, this oil expired in 2020.
  • Marjoram sweet (Origanum margorana) With a batch number as: SWM 113. This was distilled in 7/2017. I bought it in 7/19/2019. The shelf life is 4 yrs, this oil has expired in July 2021.

So if you look at the chart, you will see that the distilled date is 2 to 3 years before the date I bought the oil. The total life span for my use could only be 1 year! and when you are buying oils for a course, that’s a lot of money and waste.

Image by OpenIcons from Pixabay


What if I don’t know when my oils expire? How do I tell how long they are good?

I did find out from the seller of my oils that most oils are distilled once a year–some even less. I guess that is the case and point with Anise or the fennel oil.

The list below helps judge, but beware that your distilled date could be years earlier.

1-2 years Most citrus oils; orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit.

3-4 years Conifer oils; pines, firs, spruces. Bergamot, black pepper, Citronella, cypress, eucalyptus, laurel leaf, juniper berry, geranium.

5-8 years Lavender, rose, carrot seed, helichrysum, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood.

I hope my mistakes help someone else. I listened to a NAHA webinar from Penny Price a while back.  she said: “Your box should have no more than 30 oils, learn to use them!”

Before clicking the BUY NOW button, check the DISTILLATION DATE!

It will save you aggravation.

What I am going to do with an outdated fennel and laurel leaf oil are beyond me. I thought that I had 2 years left on these oils. In fact, I thought I had 2 or three years left to use all these oils.

I am posting this as a precaution. It is so important that we safely and sustainably use essential oils. I feel that I have wasted precious product. This year my sweet marjoram and nutmeg expired in July. The orange oil will expire in September, with only 4 months of dating.

I think the company ought to put a disclaimer on the page that has short, dated oils.

Happy Blending,

Crystal

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What oils can I use to prepare for back to school?

Is there any way essential oils can protect from germs when going back to school? Is it hype? Or fact?

What is safe for children?

Hydrosols are a safe way to go, and trauma oil with no essential oils added are great for the little ones—infants and children under 5.  If you are unsure, these are also a great starting point for school-aged children.  Hydrosols are easy to find and great for topical skin use.

This post is going to focus on oils that can help keep us safer. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Siberian Fir (Abies siberica) and how they are airborne antimicrobials. I use roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) frequently in blends for adults and children.

Roman chamomile has an apple-like scent, not in an overpowering way. I like the oil for its antispasmodic and digestive therapeutic properties. I have a blend that I use for diarrhea. Roman chamomile has analgesic actions too.

Atlas cedarwood is an oil that I substitute in place of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) a lot. It is great for the cough and cold season. I have a couple of diffuser blends with cedarwood, for when they are sick, as an inhaler for allergies, or on a shower tab for congestion relief.

Orange (Citrus sinensis) – I love orange!  Who doesn’t? Kids love it.  Orange essential oils is not phototoxic, it is safe for use with children in blends.  Orange and lemon are in the Monoterpene chemical family.

Orange oil does not have the research to back the antiviral properties as much as the major component that is in the oil does.  That is d-limonene which is at a percentage of 96% in orange oil.  D-limonene activates white blood cells which are important for protecting against illness and disease. 

White blood cells are also called leukocytes. Think of white blood cells as your immunity cells, always at war flowing through your bloodstream to fight viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders that threaten your health.

Lemon (Citrus limon)  Is another citrus that most people recognize.  The difference between orange and lemon is that lemon essential oils is photo toxic.  Which means that using the oil then going outside in the sun is going to be a problem.  Keep the dilution under 2 % dilution to be safe. 

The chemical components in lemon oil are also d-limonene at 65%, y-terpinene at 10%, and b-pinene at 11%.  As with orange, lemon has the antiviral properties due to the d-limonene.  The b-pinene also has analgesic actions and the y-terpinene.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Not in the citrus family, but the Lamiaceae family. Love the mints!  Peppermint is a monoterpenol, which is high in menthol and menthone.

Studies have shown that peppermint has antibacterial actions because of these chemical components.  Peppermint is said to also have an antiviral potential, helping to stimulate immune function.

Remember– to follow good hygiene  practices first to keep everyone healthy.

Many of you probably have favorite products with lavender.  From room sprays and diffuser blends to lotions and butters, lavender can cover a range of issues.  Lavender has so many uses and because it can be used neat or diluted it is great to carry in your bag.  From headaches and muscle aches to sore throats–dab lavender neat on a blemish, on the temple for a headache;  use a few drops of lavender in a carrier oil for a bedtime massage;  or use in a lotion base for a sore muscle blend.

Recipes for simple inhalers

An inhaler is a great way to use essential oils without any mess for grade school children.

My granddaughter loves and asks to make her own inhalers.

For boosting immunity (ages 6-12):     3 drops lavender, 3 drops sweet orange, 2 drops lemon in an inhaler.

For congestion in an inhaler:       3 drops cedarwood, 3 drops lavender, 2 drops tea tree.

For getting rid of germs:     3 drops cedarwood, 2 drops orange, 2 drops lemon and 1 drop lavender in an inhaler.

Making stock blends for any of these combinations is a timesaving way to have oils ready to use when needed.  All you have to do then is add a few drops to a diffuser when your family is sick.

Research and a few common oils can help protect everyone when returning to the classroom.

Be ready for the start of school.

Happy Blending, Crystal.

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Welcome to the new “Just essentials today” blog

“An elementary treatise” is dictionary.com’s definition of introduction; “an essay, commentary, review, composition or discussion” among many related words.

I have revamped my blog to talk about all things essential oils and herbs and incense, and so on….it is a journey.

Some of the topics I’ve covered in the past are:

     Summer and essential oils-how to stay safe in the sun.

     An introduction to carrier oils-it’s not just jojoba.

     Diabetes medication and essential oil use.

     Trauma oil and first aid.

Unfortunately, my website went away…everything. All posts, pages etc. So I get to start over. So maybe there will be a blog that you see again, I’ll get everything back sooner or later.

In the meantime, sign up for my email list to receive a newsletter about all things essential oils, herbal and what not.

Happy blending,

Crystal