Essential oils that support your brain

The hippocampus regulates the function of memory.

The hippocampus regulates the function of memory.

So much of our daily lives and quality of life relies on the health of our mental faculties. And yet we are plagued on one end by mental fatigue, poor concentration and burn-out and on the other with long-term degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and Dementia. Good news is that we can do something about it. Scientific research suggests there are a number of essential oils that can benefit our cognitive abilities and help us to maintain healthy brains. One lecturer in early childhood and special education studies, Professor Barbara Wilmes, has even gone as far as to suggest that educators should be using essential oils to boost learning in our classrooms. [1]

Thyme essential oil (Thymus vulgaris)

One of the primary structural components of the brain is a fat known as DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). DHA belongs to the Omega 3 group of fatty acids and is largely derived from fish oils. So yes, keep using the fish oil. Of the Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA are the most important to our brain and overall health. Did you know that Thyme essential oil has been shown in research to dramatically slow down the degeneration of DHA in the brain?

In a study carried out in 2000, laboratory rats were fed a daily dose of thyme oil (42.5 mg/K of body weight over the course of their lifetime (around 28 months). When the data was analyzed it was found that DHA levels in the 28 month old rat brains was the same as that of 7 month old rats. Putting this in human terms, it would be the equivalent of an 80 year old having the brain chemistry of a 20 year old. [2]

Read more…

Sorry folks, it’s been a long time between articles. 🙂

Anthony

I recently came across a study which showed that people who take aspirin and tylenol to deal with colds and flus actually suppress their body’s ability to produce antibodies, and so actually prolong their colds and lead to secondary infections. [1] Then you have antibiotics, which actually do a lot of harm to the body’s gut flora. Hence, the title of this post. Essential oils don’t supplant your immune system, they assist and support it. Here are some things to consider as we enter the cold and flu season.

Use Eucalyptus oil or any of the Citrus oils in a diffuser daily. This will help clear the airborne environment of any pathogens. Oils such as orange and grapefruit are also beneficial in keeping people’s moods up-beat. As there is evidence that stress is a contributing factor to colds and flus, this something you definitely want to keep in mind.[2]

In addition here are some other oils you might want to consider, either in your diffuser or to use internally (note the safety precautions for each oil):

Read more…

Essential oils for the Hair.

Last week we looked at how many of the products we use for our day to day grooming – shampoos, soaps, moisturisers, etc – are in fact harmful to our bodies and our environment. This is actually nothing new. Most people you talk to will agree that we are putting way too many chemicals into ourselves. But when it comes to doing something about it at the supermarket shelves, we tend to forget about all that.

So we ended last week’s post by stressing the need to do our research before spending those hard-earned dollars, and I included some useful tools towards that end.

This week, we look at how essential oils can be beneficial to our hair.

Some oils to Consider

Essential oils are great for nourishing, strengthening and cleansing both the hair follicles and the hair shafts. Essential oils are also effective in fighting fungal infections that may be at the root of things like dandruff.

If you have a dry scalp, then some oils you may want to consider are Cedarwood, sandalwood, geranium and patchouli. If it’s an oily scalp you have then peppermint, lavender and lemon oils could be handy. Read the rest of this entry

The doubts in many people’s minds over the vaccines and medicines being produced by the pharmaceuticals continues to grow. A lot of people just don’t realize how strong many antibiotics and vaccines actually are. In many cases, the cure can be more damaging than the illness.  Only just recently we saw health authorities in Australia warning doctors not to give the flu vaccine to children under 5 (so much for the idea that vaccines should only be given to the weakest in our society – children and the elderly), after a child fell critically ill and others developed serious adverse reactions after receiving the vaccination in Western Australia. [1]

Meanwhile in the U.S., health authorities recommended that doctors suspend the use of Rotarix, a vaccine used to treat children suffering from rotavirus (a diarrhea inducing infection), after the vaccine was found to be contaminated with DNA from a pig virus. [2] Surprise, Surprise. For more information on the latter, check out the video from the National Vaccine Information Center in the U.S. at the end of this post. You’ll also find a good article on the subject and an interview of Barbara Loe Fisher from NVIC on Dr Mercola’s site. To get access to the article, you’ll be asked to subscribe to Mercola’s newsletter. This is FREE, and believe me well worth it.

Building an ‘arsenal’ of essential oils

Coming back to the title of this post…Last week we discussed Thieves essential oil as a powerful but relatively safe preventative measure against many airborne infections. It’s also worth using if you have already contracted a cold or flu as it will help build your body’s immunity and help it to recover, WITHOUT damaging the good bacteria in your body. On a number of occasions I’ve taken Thieves oil internally, using a gelatin capsule, with anywhere between 4-8 drops of oil.

It is by no means the only essential oil effective against germs and viruses.

Immupower is another essential oil blend that will strengthen your immunity. It contains Cistus, Frankincense, Oregano, Idaho Tansy, Cumin, Clove, Hyssop, Ravensara and Mountain Savory. It can be diffused, directly inhaled or applied to cotton balls (4-8 drops) and placed on vents. It can also be applied topically around the navel, chest, temples, wrists, under the nose or on the Vita Flex points on the feet. When applying topically dilute it with olive oil, 4 drops of olive oil to 1 drop of Immupower.

Inner Defense Softgels, formulated to tackle the largest range of pathogenic organisms, this blend is made up of Thieves, Oregano and Thyme and comes encapsulated in a vegetable capsule. The Essential Oil Desk Reference recommends 1-2 capsules a day. [3]

Ningxia Red juice is a great companion to Inner Defense or any other essential oils. Its constituents include foods that have the highest antioxidants known to Man – blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates, apricots and top of the list, the Ningxia Wolfberries. It also contains Lemon an Orange essential oils. I could write an article or two just on this beverage alone, and we will come back to it in future, but for now let’s just say that it’s a good way to build one’s immunity up on a day to day basis. My own experience with it is that I feel it’s improved my health immeasurably over the past 6 years. Definitely a part of the ‘arsenal.’

RC and Raven. RC is a blend made up of Eucalyptus Globulus, Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Radiata, Eucalyptus Citriodora, Myrtle, Pine, Spruce, Marjoram, Lavender, Cypress and Peppermint. I mentioned RC and Eucalyptus Radiata in my post last week. Research has found RC to be the most potent oil blend against the MRSA bug (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). [4] Raven contains the oils Ravensara, Eucalyptus Radiata, Peppermint, Wintergreen and Lemon.

A friend of mine, Artemis, suggests that if you have a cold or flu, you should alternate between these two oils – “RC contains oils that are more antibacterial, whereas Raven contains oils that are more antiviral. However, I have never really noticed this. What I do notice is that RC decongests (so it’s great to use when we are all stuffed up), whereas Raven does the opposite. So if my nose is running profusely and won’t stop (the proverbial “dripping tap”), then Raven is the oil that I would use. I put it around my throat area, as it’s a little stronger to use on sensitive skin like the face. And normally I’d apply these oils several times a day as needed. I have also observed that I can put RC on just before I go to bed and it won’t affect my sleep, whereas Raven keeps me awake so one of the oils in it must be a stimulant ” (Most likely the peppermint and lemon – Anthony).[5]

Myrtle, is another great oil listed by Artemis for the cold and flu season, particularly those nasty coughs – “I first fell in love with Myrtle when I realized its benefits to coughing. I have used it on many people during coughing fits (or that nasty tickle in the throat that leads to hacking coughing at the tail end of a cold). In virtually everyone I’ve used it on, the coughing has stopped pretty much instantly, and they had minimal coughing for the next couple of hours.  When Noel’s son Robin was sick one day and we had no RC on hand, Noel gave him some Myrtle. He rubbed it on his chest, and voila! 4 hours later he was feeling well enough to return to work. It’s become one of Robin’s favourite oils. Then I tried Myrtle on a lady at one of my playshops, and she was experiencing wheezing in her chest. And voila! Wheezing stopped.” [6]

Purification is an oil blend I’ve mentioned in previous articles with reference to insect bites. But it’s also good for cleaning the air and keeping airborne pathogens away. Aside from diffusing it, I would try rubbing it on the soles of my feet. It contains Citronella, Lemongrass, Lavandin, Rosemary, Melaleuca and Myrtle. Some very powerful oils in this blend.

Peppermint and Lemon are two oils that are a ‘must have’ in the anti-cold/flu arsenal. Peppermint is great for when you get that headache. I just rub 2-3 drops around the base of neck. And for when I get that tickle and bit of phlegm in the back of my throat, (that to me signal the onset of a cold or flu) I put 3 drops of Peppermint oil and 3 drops of Lemon oil (and if I have Eucalyptus Radiata on hand, 3 drops of that as well) on a spoon and down the hatch. It sure gives you Zing, but for the germs it’s the equivalent of a knockout punch. {:-)

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are other oils which are also quite powerful against infections. Lemongrass, I’ve mentioned on a previous occasion as being effective against MRSA, while Rosemary is antiseptic, antifungal and antimicrobial. Eucalyptus Radiata, which I mentioned briefly, is anti-infectious, antiviral, antibacterial and an expectorant. I hope you’ve found this list useful for building your own ‘armory’. If you would like any more information on any of these, feel free to contact us.

Till next time

Cheers

Anthony

 

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1] Calls for calm amid flu jab scare, ABC News, Sat Apr 24th

[2] CNN, March 22 2010

[3] Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th Edition, Essential Science Publishing, Sept 2007, p192

[4] Inhibition of Methicillin-Resistant Staphyloccus Aureus (MRSA) by Essential Oils. Author: S.C. Chao,  D.G. Young, C.J. Oberg and K Nakaoka, Journal: Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 23 (444-449) (2008)

[5] Artemis’ oils bulletin: RC and other oils for the cold and flu season, 6th July 2008

[6] Ibid

Getting ready for the next Flu season. Part Two

Last week we saw some evidence of the diabolical dynamic at work in antibiotics and ended by looking at alternatives. And I mentioned the essential oil blend – Thieves (See also this post). So we’ll look at this in more detail today, because it is a very potent and relatively safe alternative to the antibiotic cocktails which are served up today.

A Tale of 4 Thieves

The story behind the origins of the Thieves blend is a fascinating one. This blend is based on the account of 4 thieves in 15th Century France. During an outbreak of bubonic plague these 4 individuals robbed plague victims, without coming down with the disease themselves. When the four were eventually captured, they were offered a lighter sentence (hanging instead of being burned at the stake) in return for the secret of their ‘immunity’. It was revealed that these men rubbed themselves with (and inhaled) a number of essential oils, including Clove and Rosemary.

Research into this historic account by Young Living today, has led to the creation of an oil blend that contains Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary, Lemon and Eucalyptus Radiata essential oils. With this blend you have a combination that is anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-infectious.

In fact, studies conducted at Weber State University in 1997 were able to demonstrate its potency against airborne microorganisms. [1] The tests found a 90 % reduction in the number of Micrococcus Luteus (M.Luteus) organisms after diffusing Thieves in the air for 12 minutes and a 99.3 % reduction after 20 minutes of diffusing. With the pathogen Pseudomonas Aeruginosa they had a kill rate of 99.96% kill rate after 12 minutes of diffusing Thieves.

Both of these pathogens are fairly common and opportunistic pathogens that pose risks for immuno-compromised patients. Can you start to see the possibilities of using Thieves in hospitals and clinics?

Using Thieves

Many of the oils making up Thieves are powerful in their own right. Clove oil has the highest antioxidant capacity on the ORAC scale (over a million, compared to oranges at 750). [2] Cinnamon Bark has been shown to be very effective against MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) [3], while Eucalyptus Radiata forms part of another blend- R.C. – which is equally potent against MRSA. Oil blends have been found to demonstrate a capacity not found in their component oils. The whole literally is greater than the sum of the parts.

So how do we use Thieves oil? Well we’ve already seen one study where it was diffused in the air. So if you have an oil diffuser (don’t use an oil burner, as you’ll damage the therapeutic qualities of your oils), put some Thieves oil in it and leave it on in a room for about 15-20 minutes, every 3-4 hours. Use it at home or in the workplace.  Try putting 4-8 drops on a cotton ball and putting it on a vent.

You can inhale it. You can apply it topically on the base of your feet – anywhere between 4-6 drops. If applying anywhere else on your body, you will want to avoid any part of your skin that is likely to be exposed to the Sun, as the oil is sensitive. And also dilute it, 1 part Thieves to 4 parts vegetable oil. Should you choose to take it internally (and this is not recommended for everyone), buy yourself some gelatin capsules (or enteric coated ones if you can get them) and put the oil (start with 2-4 drops initially) in them. Take them preferably before a meal, as otherwise you may find yourself belching Thieves.

I used the latter method to prepare for a trip to Egypt in 2005. I wanted to avoid what is known as ‘Pharaoh’s curse’, the typical belly bug one can get when visiting a third world country (diarrhoea, vomiting, gastric pains, etc), and build my immunity up. So each day prior to departure I took a capsule and gradually increased the dosage, starting at 2 drops and going up to 10-12 drops. It worked for me, as I avoided getting any kind of tummy bug in Egypt.

Thieves around the home.

As I pointed out earlier, something like Thieves ought to be widely used in places like hospitals and clinics. Unfortunately it isn’t as yet. However we can make it more difficult for bacteria and viruses to visit our homes and workplaces.  Young Living have incorporated the Thieves oil blend into a number of different products –  soaps, toothpaste, mouthwash, wipes, sprays and yes even household cleaners [4].

If this interests you or you would like to get your hands on some of this great stuff, contact us via our helpdesk or visit our site. Find out how you can get these products at a wholesale price and the Thieves kits which can save you money.

Till next time,

Cheers

Anthony

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1] Effect of a diffused essential oil blend on bacterial bioaerosols. Author: S.C. Chao,  D.G. Young and C.J. Oberg, Journal: Journal of Essential Oil Research 10 (517-523) (Sept/Oct 1998)

[2] ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) was a test developed by USDA researchers at Tufts University in Boston, MA, USA. It is the first of its kind to measure time and degree of free-radical inhibition and has been able to identify the highest known antioxidant foods. This information from the Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th Edition, Essential Science Publishing, Sept 2007, p 493

[3] Inhibition of Methicillin-Resistant Staphyloccus Aureus (MRSA) by Essential Oils. Author: S.C. Chao,  D.G. Young, C.J. Oberg and K Nakaoka, Journal: Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 23 (444-449) (2008)

[4] The Meaner, Greener Thieves Household Cleaner