Stress, anxiety, and effects of depression plague a large number of us in today’s society. Whether this is due to environmental or psychological factors, the timely use of certain essential oils can vastly improve our emotional well being. The effects of stress on the body are numerous and largely not good for our health. While a little stress can be beneficial, excess or chronic stress can contribute to heart problems, ulcers, and worsen depression.
Essential Oils for Stress
Thankfully, there are a number of Essential Oils we can use to help reduce anxiety. One stress fighting oil is Patchouli. This potent oil not only relieves stress, but it also can control extreme emotions to help keep us feeling composed and serene. Read more
With seasonal threats in full swing, you may find yourself looking for natural remedies and defenses to keep yourself healthy. An excellent option to consider is using essential oils. Some oils provide a boost to your respiratory health or overall immune system while others are designed to provide relief of seasonal threats–some can even do both. Read more
Use of essential oils dates back to ancient India, Persia, and Egypt; however, the distillation process used today did not become common practice until the 11th century. Even so, it wasn’t until the 18th century that essential oils saw any commercial traction. This article will help you understand some basics about essential oils and how to use them.
What Are Essential Oils Made From?
Essential oils get their name as they are extracted from the essential part of the plant, be that the leaves, bark, resin, etc. Prior to the rise of modern medicine and pharmaceuticals, people sought to alleviate their illnesses with the healing properties of plants. Essential oils continue to be popular for their therapeutic and aromatic qualities as many individuals turn to more natural, homeopathic remedies for minor ailments.
As mentioned before, not all essential oils are derived from the same part of the plant. Some botanicals only contain medicinal properties in their leaves or budding flowers while others store their oils in their roots, bark, and so on. Below is a list of various oils and the part of the plant from which they are derived.
- Citrus rinds: Orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, etc.
- Flowers/Buds: Jasmine, rose, chamomile, clove, boronia, linden blossom, etc.
- Leaves: Cinnamon, bay, eucalyptus, tea tree, myrtle, lemon myrtle, violet, etc.
- Barks and woods: Cinnamon, cedarwood, cassia, sandalwood, rosewood, etc.
- Roots: Ginger, angelica, etc.
- Resins: Frankincense, benzoin, myrrh, etc.
- Seeds: Nutmeg, parsley, anise, cardamom, dill, cumin, fennel, coffee bean, etc.
However, individuals cannot simply munch on some flowers and expect results. It takes hundreds if not thousands of pounds of botanicals to produce the concentrated oils used today. By far the most popular method of extraction is steam distillation, with the exception being citrus. Citrus based oils are obtained through expression, which involves squeezing and pressing the botanicals’ peel.
Do you know GMO’s?
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genetic material has been modified using genetic engineering techniques. This process is not possible in nature or with crossbreeding. When discussed in the media, however, GMOs most often refer to genetically modified foods sold for consumption. The primary reasons for genetically modified foods is to improve upon them in some way, including their resistance to herbicides as well as their quality and nutrition. In the United States approximately 85% of corn, 91% of soybeans, and 88% of cotton are genetically modified.
Are GMOs Safe?
The answer to that question will depend entirely upon who you ask. The scientific community agrees that there is no substantial evidence to indicate GMOs are dangerous or carry any more risk than eating regular foods. However, many individuals against GMOs contend that a large number of these reports and scientific studies were funded by the very companies that sell them. Naturally, this would make any individual wary of the results.
What is Coconut Water?
Not to be confused with the high-fat coconut oil used in cooking or coconut milk from a traditional brown and hairy coconut, coconut water is a low-cal, fat-free, cholesterol-free beverage that not only hydrates but also packs a major potassium punch. Many individuals are turning to coconut water an an alternative to soda and fruit juice because it is slightly sweet but with significantly less sugar and calories.
It is also often used as an alternative to traditional energy drinks. This is because it is able to replenish electrolytes as well as prevent cramping due to its high potassium content. This is particularly true for athletes engaged in extremely long bouts of activity, such as marathons, as they are much more likely to require additional hydration, electrolytes, and potassium than someone who just went for a short jog.
There is also another reason to consider ditching the sports drink in favor of coconut water: your teeth. One obvious factor is the sugar. Sugar is bad for your teeth and can lead to cavities. However, sports drinks are also extremely acidic and begin to cause irreversible damage to your tooth enamel after just 5 days of consistent use. This damage is even worse with energy drinks. Read more
What is Kangen Water?
Kangen water is simply a brand of alkaline water with the potential to provide a number of benefits eclipsing those of regular water. The idea behind how it works is water is divided into its two separate entities via electrolysis: an acidic HO molecule and an alkaline OH molecule. Kangen water only contains the alkaline OH water.
But why would you only want to drink the alkaline half of traditional water? Today’s society consumes a high quantity of acidic food and beverages to begin with, namely soda, which can lower the body’s natural pH balance making it too acidic. By drinking water low in acidity and high in alkalinity, you can restore your pH equilibrium.
Kangen water accounts for the highest number of alkaline water product sales in the industry, as it set the standards for alkaline water quality and is a trusted brand. Read more
Have you ever stopped to read the label of a TV dinner? Chances are, you cannot pronounce half of the ingredients on the list, much less know what they actually are. Many individuals looking to improve their health and diet are turning to organic options, but it comes with a heavy cost. Eating healthy is not cheap, so it is best to understand what exactly it means to eat organic and when is the best time to do so.
What Does Organic Mean?
There are quite a few labels thrown around on food these days. The easiest to interpret is “100% Organic,” as it is exactly what it says. Food that is 100% organic contains no synthetic ingredients and will often come with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organic seal. If the food item you are inspecting simply says it is “organic”, then it is made with at least 95% organic ingredients; it is also likely to have the USDA organic seal as well. The last label you are likely to run across is “made with organic ingredients.” This food is made up of at least 70% organic products, but is not allowed to carry the USDA organic label. Read more
If you own any essential oils, you may have noticed quite a few of them share the same ingredient(s) as your spice rack. This may have got you wondering, how can I cook with essential oils and how can I tell if my essential oils are meant for consumption? As these oils are undiluted and extremely concentrated, they will be much more potent than any spice or ingredient commonly found in your kitchen. Not only are they more powerful, their higher concentration means they also provide a greater level of nutrients including minerals, vitamins, and more.
Essential Oils Frequently Used in Cooking
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, here are some of the most commonly used essential oils in recipes: lemon, orange, nutmeg, peppermint, oregano, clove, basil, lemongrass, grapefruit, and others. However, not all essential oils are meant for human consumption and should only be used topically. How Can I Tell if an Essential Oil is Safe to Consume? The fastest and simplest way to determine this is by thoroughly reading the label. If it contains any message such as “For Aromatic Purposes Only” or “Not for Internal Use” then do not try to use that essential oil in your cooking. However, if your essential oil contains supplement facts and dietary information, then you know it is safe to use in your cooking. Bear in mind, this only applies if you have taken pains to ensure you have quality essential oils. If you tried to save some money by going for a lesser known bargain brand, you may not have the best quality oils and should therefore not consume them. Read more
Tackling your sugar addiction may seem like an insurmountable task, especially since one sugary snack tends to lead to another and then maybe even another. You are not alone when it comes to overindulging in sweets. When you consume simple carbohydrates you rapidly sate hunger with the added bonus of a quick energy boost. Unfortunately, your body metabolizes simple carbohydrates just as fast, leaving you hungry soon after.
Plus, your brain is hardwired to like sugar, so much so that humans crave sweetness before any other taste after they are born. Another way your brain adds to your sugar cravings is it releases endorphins when you consume sweets. Endorphins make you feel happy and provide a natural high as they are organically occurring opioids. Read more
Diets are a dime a dozen these days. And many adults have tried their fair share. Atkins. South Beach. Jenny Craig. The Zone. The Biggest Loser diet. The cabbage soup diet – hard to believe, but it’s real. The list goes on and on. It’s hard to resist such tantalizing marketing with slender spokespeople touting their weight-loss success stories.
Everywhere you turn there are gorgeous celebrities recommending veganism, macrobiotics, juice cleanses, and just about any crazy food plan you can develop. But if you’ve done your time with diets, you know the truth, most of them work great…for a while but the success is rarely sustainable once you return to your regular lifestyle habits and regain the weight and more. Doctors seem to agree that this yo-yo pattern could be even worse than simply carrying a few extra pounds around. Not to mention…everyone is focused on the weight…there’s more to it then how much you weigh.
So what’s a concerned adult to do? We all want to be healthy and fit, we all want to look and feel our best, but there’s so much conflicting advice out there where diets are concerned that it can be difficult to know what to listen to. Should you avoid carbs or fats? Should you limit yourself to protein or vegetables? Which diet will lead to better lifelong habits and an improved state of health and well-being?
It can be difficult to know what’s right for you and for the human body in general with all the differing points of view. Bio-individuality (one persons food is another persons poison) is key in learning to eat what works best for your body. With a few pointers and common sense, you’ll have all the ingredients you need to create a recipe for success where your diet is concerned. It’s a journey and we are all on it…Here are some truly useful tips to get you started.