2002 09: Aromatherapy Newsletter September 2002
Hope you have enjoyed the summer. There are definite signs of autumn here in British Columbia, but it is still warm and sunny. I will be off to England in a couple of weeks and I hope the weather is kind to us there. I plan to visit the farms where some of our essential oils are grown. I also hope to visit some aromatherapy people and find out what is new and how the aromatherapy field is progressing on the other side of the pond. I will report back on my return.
President & CEO
Back to School
Where has the time gone? It seems only yesterday the children were pouring forth from their respective institutions of knowledge, thrilled at the prospect of two whole months with no teachers, no school books and hours of free time. At this same time, parents were also pondering the prospect of two whole months of having their children not in school.
Nevertheless, the time has passed and now its time to buckle down for yet another school year. So, we decided this newsletter should address issues relating to getting back into the groove, keeping healthy and sane, while maintaining great spirits all around! We hope you will enjoy our Back to School Tips and Information newsletter!
Back to School Anti-Stress Blend
With the start of school we must also address the issues of stress. Stress is definitely not exclusive to business-type executives. Children feel the effects of stress as well, and are usually less equipped to deal with the resulting emotions and health issues that surround this condition. This blend can be place in an inhaler or even on a tissue and placed in a plastic bag for inhalations throughout the day as needed. It is also wonderful when used in the bath at the end of a particularly long and stressful day.
- 15 drops Bergamot essential oil
- 15 drops Lavender essential oil
- 15 drops Marjoram essential oil
- 15 drops Lemon essential oil
Mix in a 2 ml bottle. Inhale directly or blend into a carrier oil for massage at one drop of blend to one ml of carrier oil. Try adding 4-10 drops of the blend directly into a bath (use 1/2 the amount for children). Inhale deeply and enjoy!
To make this bath even more beneficial, blend two tablespoons of honey with one cup of very hot water, add your blend of essential oils and pour this mixture into the running water of your tub. Soothing to the skin and the nerves! WOW!
With everyone going back to school (otherwise known as the cesspools for germs!) the focus now becomes maintaining health, rather than waiting passively for illness to befall us and then treating with drugs. Of course, the first thing we must address is our nutritional intake. We cannot expect to function optimally if we are only feeding our bodies saturated fats and sugars from processed foods. The analogy of trying to run your automobile on strictly water and expecting it to perform is the same as filling your body with empty calories and then wondering why we are gaining weight, have no energy and keep getting sick.
Ensuring you and your family are partaking in a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, with adequate proteins, water, and healthy fats will go a long way to keeping your systems functioning in an optimal manner.
Essential oils can also assist in keeping your body healthy. Bergamot essential oil, Eucalyptus essential oil, Lavender essential oil, Manuka essential oil, Ravintsara essential oil and Tea Tree essential oil are known to act against a wide variety of bacteria and viruses while also helping the body to increase its immune response.
These oils can be used in a blend and mixed into a carrier oil for massage onto the body or added to the evening bath or even carried in an inhaler for use throughout the day. Essential oils do not need to be directly applied to the body for their benefits to be felt. Simply by inhaling the oils the molecules are introduced to the olfactory bulb inside the nose and are transported to the limbic system in the brain where the gifts of these oils are then distributed throughout the body where they are most needed. Rosemary essential oil and Geranium essential oil help to support the actions of the adrenal glands and can also help to stimulate the lymph system. Black Pepper essential oil and Lavender essential oil help to strengthen the spleen.
Regular use of all the above-mentioned essential oils assist the body in helping to resist and combat infection. While most therapeutic oils will be effective in fighting one or more strains of bacteria, almost all of them stimulate the production of white blood cells. The most efficient essential oils for helping to do this are Lavender essential oil, Bergamot essential oil and Tea Tree essential oil.
When using essential oils as a part of your daily routine you may find that you are less likely to catch what everyone else is getting, as your resistance to illness is that much greater. Keep in mind that overuse is also not the answer, all things in moderation. If you have been using one particular oil over a long period of time, switch to another oil with similar properties to keep your body from getting used to it. Your oils will be more efficient if you rotate them on a regular basis. It is a good thing to keep your body guessing as it were, in regards to how the oils benefit the body.
Homework (it is NOT a four letter word!)
With the return of our wee (and not so wee) ones back to class, most will find themselves dealing with some degree of homework (however grudgingly) in the next 10 months. To make this less of a daunting task and more of a useful endeavor, here are a few ideas that can help.
- Set aside a special area for doing the homework.
- A desk is the best option in an area that is free of clutter. Clutter clouds the mind and is extremely distracting to a focused mind.
- Limit any loud television or music in the general area.
- Some people work best with background noise, while others find it extremely pulling on their focus. Determining the needs of your child is important, but limit the volume so that it is a background noise. This also ensure that it is not a distraction to any other students or members of your household.
- Set out a time limit for this activity
- Time limits should be relevant to the age of the child to give the studier a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, it should be stated that the work needs to be done by this time, to stop the temptation to drag their feet until the allotted time is up!
- Create a Concentration Blend to diffuse while the studier is busy with the homework:
- 2 drops Basil essential oil
- 2 drops Ginger essential oil
- 2 drops Black Pepper essential oil
This synergistic blend can help to improve the mind”s ability to concentrate. Rosemary essential oil is another excellent brain stimulant and is said to help remove that brain fog that seems to settle on many a student”s mind (particularly right before an exam!)
While this is the least favorite topic of most individuals, it is unfortunately something that is linked to back to school. There are products available on the shelves of your local pharmacy to help deal with these little critters, but these tend to be chemically based and are now being found to be less effective. Essential oils can help with patient treatments. Head lice are not a sign of bad hygiene. They actually prefer clean hair! The life cycle of the louse is approximately 4 weeks. About 8 days are spent in the egg stage, hatching into tiny lice (first stage) progressing through two other stages before finally arriving at the adult stage. Healthy lice and eggs are found only with 1 cm of the scalp. They are transmitted by head to head contact. When looking for lice look to the roots of the hair for lice, eggs, lice faeces (black specks) and skin casts. These may also be found on pillows of the affected individual.
Try this solution to treat the problem.
- Into a base of 40% alcohol (vodka or grain alcohol) (as an alternative to alcohol you could try water with 10 mls of jojoba oil)
- add Origanum (oregano) essential oil or Aniseed essential oil at the rate of 10 drops to 50 mls.
Shake very well before using. Rub mixture into the scalp and leave on overnight then wash off in the morning with shampoo. After that is rinsed off, run a rinse of 100mls (a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water) into which you have added 2 drops of the same essential oil you used in the alcohol mix through the hair. Repeat the entire process again in 1 week.
New Books for the Aromatherapy Enthusiast
In October we will be carrying three new books to feed the knowledge-hungry folks out there. Check out these titles:
- The Aromatherapy Book by Jeanne Rose
- The first truly complete guide to aromatherapy, this book lists appropriate treatments for hundreds of ailments, gives descriptions of essential oils for distilling and using them, and recipes for applications and inhalations.
- 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols by Jeanne Rose
- Rose thoroughly profiles 375 different essential oils and hydrosols used in aromatherapy, according to botanical family, habit and growth, chemical components, properties and actions. Historical notes and lore, often from Chinese alchemy and Five Element Theory, as well as western botanical sources, are featured.
- Medical Aromatherapy: Healing with Essential Oils by Kurt Schnaubelt
- Schnaubelt traces aromatherapy”s French origins paralleling the development of pharmacology. Grounding his inquiry in the chemistry of the body odor and natural human aromas, he explores the molecular make-up of the major essential oils: their composition, biosynthesis, and effects in healing – including their action as anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral agents. Understanding the chemistry of the essential oils allows one to appreciate their effects and applicability.
Calendula is a species of marigold, though not the usual one we see used in gardens ornamentally. Once known as the Pot Marigold, this plant is extremely soothing and healing for the distressed skin. It has the reputation of being highly beneficial for acneic skin. Making your own infused calendula oil is simple and fabulous! All you will need is a clear, clean glass jar that you will fill to the top with dried calendula petals. Add your favorite carrier oil (sweet almond or sunflower are great) until the petals are completely covered, close the jar and shake really well. Put the jar in a sunny location and leave it for 2-6 weeks, shaking well every day. To make a stronger oil, strain petals at the end of the waiting period, add new petals and pour infused oil over to cover and seal again for another 2-6 weeks! This oil can then be used for treating most minor skin problems, i.e. burns, bruises, sprains, insect bites, slow healing wounds and sunburns. It can help to improve blood circulation and is useful for eczema.
Did you know?
- That honey works well in the treatment of skin conditions? (give yourself a honey mask, but avoid the eye area!)
- That if you have epilepsy you should avoid Sage, Fennel, Hyssop, Wormwood and Rosemary, Hyssop and Peppermint?
- Rosemary is a good analgesic? This makes it great for use on tired, stiff and overworked muscles as well as for rheumatism and arthritis. Try it in a massage oil or in the bath for a leisurely soak!
- That Lavender and Neroli have been reported to be the most powerful cytophylactic (promote the growth of healthy new cells) oils available?
*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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