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2002 08: Aromatherapy Newsletter August 2002

From our experiences answering your e-mail questions and talking to so many of you in person, we came to realize that we, as women, want the basics of aromatherapy to help us understand and make informed decisions, we want to know how the oils work, what they can do for us personally and how we can have fun with them! With that in mind, we have compiled an informal listing of essential oils for different experiences. Some are fun, some are more clinical and all are informational. We hope you enjoy our slightly different format this issue!

Boosters for your Body and Spirit

These essential oils can be used on their own or blended to create a creation just for you! If you want to turn your blend into a massage or bath oil, create your essential oil blend first and then add 1 drop of your blend to every milliliter of massage oil (i.e. a 30 ml bottle of massage oil would contain 30 drops of the essential oil blend). For you sensitive skin types, cut that in half to be on the safe side. Remember, more is NOT better when it comes to essential oils. You can end up doing more harm than good. Your essential oil blend can be diffused in the air with your aromatherapy diffuser or you can create a room spray. Room sprays are made by filling a small spray container with water, blending 4-20 drops of your essential oil blend with 1 tsp of alcohol or witch hazel (to help the oil blend better with the water). Mix well, pour the oil blend into the water and shake well (after you put the lid back on, of course!) Spray and enjoy!

Essential Oils for Cellulite

Perhaps it is that time of year, but we have been receiving an unusual number of requests for information on cellulite from our friends around the world (it seems this condition knows no geographical boundaries!). To that end, we guess that if many of you are contacting us, there must be many more interested. Here is a brief synopsis of what causes this condition, what we can do to help eliminate it and what essential oils may help us on our way!

What is Cellulite?
There are a variety of things that cause cellulite: poor circulation, poor oxygen uptake, water retention, hormonal changes, a build up of toxins due to a slowing of the lymphatic drainage system and of course, diet. It is not easy to treat this condition because it is an infiltration of toxins into the subcutaneous layer of fat cells. This invasion, coupled with the deposits of fibrous collagen, as the fat cells grow thicker, effectively locks in the toxins and fluids and creates that “orange peel skin” we have all grown to despise!

So, how can we work on getting rid of it?

  1. The first and best line of defense is diet. We need to cut way back on unhealthy fats, increase our intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink lots of clean, pure water, spring water and herbal teas. Water helps to dilute the toxins and flush them out of our cells and eventually out of our bodies. Cut out coffee, tea and alcohol. Taking nutritional supplements (vitamin C, a good multi B and zinc) as well as looking into possible food allergies are also wise ideas. Make sure your fruits and veggies are all well scrubbed to eliminate ingesting any surface toxins. It is suggested that you cut out any dairy products from cows and eat raw cabbage, as this will help your body more effectively eliminate toxic debris.
  2. To help increase circulation it is recommended to practice daily skin brushing by using a natural bristle brush and brushing in upward movements all over the body. Exercise regularly. Find exercises that target the areas you find are your biggest cellulite culprits. This will help to increase the circulation in that area.
  3. Daily massage will help to increase your circulation as well, which will assist in flushing out the toxins (use essential oils in your massage oil for an even better result!).
  4. Remember to breathe deeply to help oxygenate your cells and work on learning how to relax (when we relax our body goes to work eliminating the toxins in our systems). Stress will make cellulite a “regular” in your body by keeping it toxic.

How can essential oils help?
Certain essential oils carry with them the ability to act as a diuretic, appetite suppressant, detoxifier (stimulates lymph glands). When these oils are utilized as part of an overall program they can help us to eliminate cellulite from our systems:

  • Birch essential oil – diuretic and blood cleanser, helps to eliminate toxins.
  • Rosemary essential oil – general stimulant and tonic, can help to get a sluggish metabolism up and running, used to tread edema.
  • Geranium essential oil – stimulates the lymph system, has diuretic abilities, relieves fluid retention and helps with cellulite.
  • Juniper essential oil – diuretic, valuable detoxifier (helps the body throw off toxins).
  • Grapefruit essential oil – diuretic, detoxifier and lymphatic system stimulant, helps to disperse lactic acid in muscles post exercise!
  • Fennel essential oil – decreases appetite, mild diuretic, detoxifier.
  • Lemon essential oil – detoxifier (helps decrease fluid retention associated with toxic waste)

Above all else, remember to love the skin you are in! Marvel at the miracles your body performs daily and be grateful for that. The illusion of the perfect body is just that, don”t buy into it. Work to create a healthy environment for your body to do its best work in. Skinny may be the Hollywood ideal but it is not necessarily the healthiest one. A body that is well loved and cared for will respond by releasing unnecessary weight and toxins and will reward you with vibrancy and vitality. How much better can things get?

Essential oils for Healthy Skin

Without going too far into detail at this time, it seemed appropriate to touch lightly on which essential oils work well on the skin.

  • Carrot essential oil – helps to restore tone and elasticity and may help to reduce wrinkling.
  • Geranium essential oil – has a balancing effect on the sebaceous glands (making it good for dry or oily skins), natural antiseptic.
  • Lavender essential oil – stimulates the growth of healthy new cells, soothing, balancing (oily skin) anti-inflammatory, antiseptic.
  • Frankincense essential oil – tonic effect on older skins, helping to restore tone to slack skin and slow down the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Grapefruit essential oil – tonic effect on oily skin and acne.
  • Lemon essential oil – astringent, helpful for greasy skin, antiseptic, will help with pimples, boils, etc.
  • Litsea Cubeba essential oil – non irritant, very antiseptic, effective for treating oily skin, acne, pimples.
  • Chamomile essential oil – sensitive, red, dry skins, allergies, eczema, dermatitis, calming and soothing.
  • Rose essential oil – all skin types but especially for dry, sensitive or aging skins, tonic and astringent effect on the capillaries and circulation in general. May be able to assist with “thread veins” in the cheeks.
  • Neroli essential oil – helps to stimulate the growth of healthy new cells within the basal layer of the skin, rejuvenating, can be used by all skin types, most suited to dry or sensitive skins.
  • *Geranium and Lavender essential oil blended in equal parts for oily skin will help to control bacteria on the skin.

Mix one mashed up banana or avocado with ¼ cup of honey to make a mask for dehydrated skin (leave on 15-20 minutes, rinse and apply your regular moisturizer!)

Estrogenic Essential Oils

There has been a great deal of interest in whether or not essential oils contain estrogens. While I do not claim to be any kind of an expert on this topic, here is what my research has uncovered to date:

  • Fennel essential oil contains a plant hormone called anethol that helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, and is especially helpful for crampy, slight periods. It may be useful at menopause to help reduce symptoms due to fluctuating hormone levels. It is said to help stimulate the production of estrogen by the adrenal glands after the ovaries have stopped functioning. Not to be used on children under 6 or those individuals with epilepsy.
  • Tarragon essential oil also contains this same plant hormone (anethol).
  • Clary Sage essential oil contains Sclareol, an estrogen -like substance from the plant.
  • Geranium essential oil is an adrenal cortex stimulant. The adrenal cortex secretes regulating hormones that govern the balance of hormones secreted by other organs (this includes estrogen and progesterone), making this essential oil good to use when there is a problem relating to fluctuating hormonal balance. Estrogen needs to be balanced within the body with progesterone. Vitex contains progesterone-like molecules and compounds, which are able to balance the production of female hormones within our bodies. This makes it great for the treatment of amenorrhea, dysmennorrhea, PMS, endometriosis and hot flashes. Not recommended for use when pregnant.

There is still much to learn about the influence of essential oils on the body”s endocrine system. There is so much more to learn, as well, about phytohormones (plant like hormones). Moderate, informed use of these materials may help us to live healthier, more well rounded lives.


New Books!

Peaceful Journey – a yogi”s travel kit

This is an inspiring introduction to Yoga, with practical advice and instruction that will help relieve physical distress and promote a state of serenity. Designed especially for travelers, this kit fits easily in your travel luggage and includes exercises designed to ease travel stress. Peaceful Journey is also fine to keep at home as an aid to meditation and inner peace. Contents include: A Yoga Handbook, A set of two compact Discs, Two Yantras, Three container bottles for you to create your own meditation oils or bath salts.
Available for $34.95.

Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy 
by Suzanne Catty

One of the most anticipated books in the world of holistic health because it introduces a revolutionary new use of essential oils in aromatic treatment. Hydrosols, or hydrolates, are the pure, water-based solutions created when essential oils are steam distilled. Through this process, a potent, yet subtle form of medicine is created, one that can be applied directly to the skin. Hydrosols are considered to be the homeopathic version of aromatherapy and as such are ideal for use with children, pregnant women, animals and those with fragile immune systems. 290 pages. $31.95

Aphrodisiac essential oils!!!

Massage oil… bath oil… diffuser… you decide!

*This is educational information and any opinions expressed here-in do not replace professional medical advice. If you are ill, see a suitably qualified medical practitioner.*

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