Healthy Living

Explaining Essential Oils- Cedarwood

Explaining Essential Oils- Cedarwood

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Cedarwood Essential Oil

Botanical Name: Cedrus atlantica

What is it?

Cedarwood essential oil is extracted from cedar trees and is an earthy smelling oil similar to sandalwood.

How can I use it?

Anxiety Reducer.  Essential oil extracted from red cedarwood essential oil has been proven to be an effective alternative method to treat anxiety. Applying a safely diluted solution of this oil topically or diffusing it aromatically can help manage anxious feelings and help promote calmness.

Sleep Aid. Due to Cedarwood’s sedating effects, Studies have shown that the aromatic use of Cedarwood essential oil may be beneficial to those who struggle to fall asleep or suffer with insomnia.  

Skin Care. Because of its antimicrobial content, cedarwood essential oil is a great natural remedy for treating certain skin conditions. It has been shown to effectively treat acne breakouts and can also be used to reduce scar formation and treat eczema.  

Insect Repellent.  Cedarwood oil can be a great alternative to toxic bug repellents such as DEET and can be safely applied to skin when diluted with a carrier oil.

What are the benefits?

Cedarwood contains special healing ingredients called sesquiterpenes. These chemicals promote emotional balance, support the body’s immune system and can act as antioxidant agents. The specific sesquiterpenes found in cedarwood are cedrene and thujopsene which have been shown to help balance moods and promote emotional balance and well-being.

What are the risks? 

Cedarwood oil has been listed as a safe agent by the U.S. Environmental Protective Agency for aromatic or topical use. Never ingest any essential oil without first checking with your physician. Avoid getting this oil into eyes, mouth or open sores.  

Healthy Living

Explaining Essential Oils- Peppermint

Explaining Essential Oils- Peppermint

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Peppermint Essential Oil

Botanical Name: Mentha × piperita

What is it?

Peppermint is categorized as a perennial herb. It gets its scientific name “Mentha” because of the Greek legend of a mythical nymph who supposedly transformed into this plant.

How can I use it?

Aromatherapy Focus Booster. When diffused aromatically, peppermint essential oil can induce a happier mood and has been shown to promote concentration and focus. Adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your household or office diffuser can help you feel better and be more productive.  

Alternative Gastrointestinal Treatment. Research has shown that peppermint can be an effective natural remedy to manage gastrointestinal syndromes such as irritable bowel syndrome and also treat acute digestive issues such as acid reflux.   

Headache Relief. Studies have proven that peppermint and menthol can be effective management tools when easing the symptoms and pain of headaches. When applied topically during a headache, patients reported decreased pain and sensitivity.

Muscle and Joint Pain Management.  Aches and pains can be naturally eased when you apply a solution of peppermint oil safely diluted in a carrier oil.  Many massage therapists and physical therapy professionals recommend the use of peppermint oil to ease myofascial discomfort and treat post work out soreness.

What are the benefits?

Peppermint oil has been used to treat many ailments and is also a favorite flavor in many candies and desserts. It’s cooling effects and fresh scent makes it a favorite among essential oil users and those seeking natural remedies.

What are the risks? 

Those with conditions such as G6PD deficiency should not use peppermint oil topically or take it internally, as they do not have the enzyme factor to convert peppermint oil for their body’s use and it can be toxic to them.

Peppermint aromatherapy can also be toxic to animals so use caution if you are diffusing around cats, dogs, birds and fish.

Do not apply peppermint essential oil without first diluting it, as it is a very concentrated oil and can cause burns and irritation. Recommended dilution percentages are 6 drops of carrier oil per one drop of peppermint essential oil. Oils can be safely diluted in hypoallergenic lotions, creams and carrier oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil and jojoba oil. Do not get peppermint oil into eyes, mouth or open sores.

Do not ingest any essential oil without first checking with your physician.

Healthy Living

Explaining Essential Oils- Tea Tree (Melaleuca)

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Explaining Essential Oils- Tea Tree 

Tea Tree Essential Oil  

Botanical Name: Melaleuca alternifolia 

What is it? 

Tea tree oil is made from distilling the leaves of the native Australian plant, Melaleuca alternifolia. It was first brought into modern culture by Captain James Cook in 1770. He observed the aborigines use of the tea tree leaves for healing purposes and shared this information with the rest of the English speaking world.  

How can I use it? 

Antiseptic.  Tea Tree oil is naturally anti-microbial and antiseptic and can clean a wound naturally and effectively. It is very beneficial in preventing infection and bacterial growth. 

Acne Astringent. With its anti-microbial properties, Tea Tree Essential Oil has been proven to reduce the occurrence of acne blemishes and breakouts. The Medical Journal of Australia published a study that this oil was just as effective as benzoyl peroxide against acne breakouts, proving it is a viable, natural option. 

Natural Hand Sanitizer. This oil is a great natural alternative to isopropyl alcohol gels. It has been scientifically proven to kill viruses and bacteria such as E. coli, S. pneumoniae and H. influenza. 

Fungal Treatment. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Tea Tree oil has been proven to be an effective treatment against many fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot and interdigital tinea pedis. 

Ear Infection Treatment.  Placing a diluted solution of Tea Tree Essential Oil in the ear canal has been shown to help naturally treat ear infections and reduce the pain associated with inner ear inflammation.  (Check with your healthcare provider for safety precautions first) 

What are the benefits? 

In the 19th century, a physician named Dr. A.R. Penfold discovered medicinal uses for Tea Tree oil that are still used today.  Dr Penfold worked as a chemist at the Government Museum of Technology and Applied Sciences in Sydney, Australia. His study on the medicinal uses of tea tree oil concluded this oil was a stronger antiseptic bactericide and therefore was a better more natural option for antiseptic use prior to surgery and in wound care.   

What are the risks?  

Tea tree oil is not safe for use around pets and is specifically toxic to dogs. Do not diffuse this oil around animals and do not apply it to them topically.  Tea tree oil is meant for human use.  

Be sure you are using a bio-friendly, 100% therapeutic grade oil. Do not ingest a low-quality oil, as they may be filled with other products and not 100% pure.  

Healthy Living

Explaining Essential Oils- Cinnamon 

Explaining Essential Oils- Cinnamon 

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Cinnamon Essential Oil 

Botanical Name: Cinnamomum aromaticum 

What is it? 

Cinnamon is an internationally renowned spice used for many purposes. The most common type of Cinnamon sold in North America is cinnamomum aromaticum, which is grown in southeastern Asia. 

How can I use it? 

Pain Relief: Cinnamon essential oil is believed to promote improved circulation, reduce stress levels, and when applied topically, aid in pain relief and ease muscle tension. When safely diluted and added to a warm, wet washcloth, cinnamon essential oil can be used as a compress and applied to painful or swollen areas of the body. Cinnamon essential oil compresses have been widely used to treat menstrual cramps, tense muscles, headaches and post-exercise soreness. 

Aromatherapy: Cinnamon essential oil can provide a warm, inviting scent to your diffuser blends and is a great way to freshen your home without using toxic air freshening products or chemical laden candles. 

What are the benefits? 

Cinnamon has been used for medicinal purposes in Chinese, Indian and Persian cultures, as it contains both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Today it is used as a potent essential oil and is a favorite in many aromatherapy blends. 

What are the risks?  

It is important to note that cinnamon essential oil is very concentrated and can cause skin irritation and burns if applied without a carrier oil. If you are using cinnamon essential oil topically, be sure you are diluting it with a safe, organic carrier oil such as olive oil, jojoba oil or coconut oil. Recommended ratios are 4-6 teaspoons of carrier oil per one drop of cinnamon essential oil. Discontinue use immediately if irritation or burns occur. Do not use on children or on pets. Do not get into eyes, nasal passages or open sores.  

People with respiratory issues such as asthma, allergies or environmental sensitivities need to use caution when diffusing cinnamon essential oil, as it can be irritating to the respiratory tract.  

Healthy Living

Explaining Essential Oils- Ylang Ylang 

 

Explaining Essential Oils- Ylang Ylang 

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil 

Botanical Name: Cananga odorata 

What is it? 

Ylang ylang is a tropical flower which is yellow and strongly scented. It is known for its aromatic scent which has been used in various popular perfumes such as Chanel number 5. 

How can I use it? 

Aromatherapy-  Using ylang ylang essential oil in a diffusor is a great way to promote wellness and can be used to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.   

Application- Applying ylang ylang essential oil to tense or painful areas with a carrier oil blend can help ease muscle aches and improve stiffness. Many holistic practitioners and massage therapists recommend applying essential oils to painful joins and problem areas to create a healing effects for their patients. 

Aphrodisiac- Ylang Ylang has been used for centuries to benefit sexual experiences and is one of the strongest natural aphrodisiacs known to man. It has been shown to increase sexual pleasure and promote libido in both men and women. It can be applied topically, aromatically diffused or both simultaneously to experience its potent, sexual effects.  

What are the benefits? 

Medical studies have shown that Ylang Ylang is an effective alternative treatment for anxiety and may also be used to treat high blood pressure, depression and even improve feelings of self-worth. Having anti-microbial properties, Ylang Ylang can be used to treat and clean wounds and promote skin healing. It has been studied to benefit those with dermatological issues as well. 

What are the risks?  

Though it has many wonderful benefits, Ylang ylang is poisonous to dogs and cats and should not be used on or around pets. It is also a very potent essential oil and should only be applied to skin when diluted with a carrier oil such as jojoba, olive or sweet almond oil.