Posted on

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.

Posted on

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