While many people associate the word ‘hormone’ with teenagers, these molecules are present in everybody. They send signals to various organs and help to regulate how our bodies function as well as our behavior. Our bodies require a healthy balance of hormones to maintain good health.
For example, too much of the stress hormone cortisol can wreak havoc on your body and mental health. A little cortisol can actually help you deal with tense situations, but if you are frequently under stress, you end up producing too much of this hormone for too long. Side effects of prolonged stress include weakened immune system, interrupted sleep, headaches, weight gain, and more.
As you can see, unbalanced hormones are less than desirable. Using essential oils can help you readjust various hormone levels to help you lead a healthy and happy life. While both men and women can benefit from reducing their stress levels, there are a variety of Essential Oils that target hormonal imbalances specific to each gender. Read more
With summer in full swing, many individuals are looking for ways to keep cool. While it may seem like the only option is to turn the air conditioning up to full blast and deal with the costly electricity bill later, this is not the case. Certain Essential Oils are excellent at helping you naturally cool off without breaking the bank.
While many individuals use the mint based Essential Oils to flavor candies, they are also excellent for keeping you cool due to their light and refreshing qualities. The science behind this benefit is the menthol content in theses oils. Menthol can trick brain receptors into thinking your body is cooler than it actually is. Spearmint and Peppermint Essential Oils both contain menthol and are great for combating the relentless summer heat. Plus, these oils are both excellent at helping you relax, combat headaches, and reduce muscle fatigue. Read more
When it comes to caring for your body, you want to be sure you are only using the best quality soaps, hair products, lotions, etc, so why wouldn’t the same hold true for your wound care? Like many personal hygiene products available on the market, several first aid options contain chemicals that are questionable to use on the skin. Many individuals feel the benefits outweigh the risks, but for the naturopath at heart there are other more holistic options.
In addition to the homeopathic benefits many Essential Oils possess, they are also much faster acting as they are not water based. This means they will permeate the skin more quickly than traditional remedies. Therapeutic grade oils carry a number of healing properties an individual would expect and want for wound care. These include antifungal, antibacterial, analgesic (pain reliever), antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and more. This post will cover wound care with essential oils. Read more
Many of the Essential Oils available on the market today are extracted from plants that often double as spices or flavoring agents. This leads many to wonder if they can cook with their Essential Oils and the answer is yes! Food grade Essential Oils can be used to flavor candies, baked goods, soups, and other savory dishes.
However, because these oils are incredibly potent you will need to use a great deal less than you would with regular spices. For example, herbal based oils such as basil and thyme have a ratio of one drop of oil for every teaspoon of loose spice.
When using citrus based oils such as lemon, lime, or grapefruit in place of a peel or zest, the flavor is a little more forgiving and you need not fear overpowering your dish. In your given recipe, replace one tablespoon of zest with 1/8 of a teaspoon of your corresponding oil.
You can even use Essential Oils for baking as a replacement for alcohol based extracts (i.e. using peppermint oil instead of peppermint extract). Essential oils are significantly stronger than these extracts; a good place to start would be using ¼ of a teaspoon of oil for every whole teaspoon your recipe calls for. If you are using the oils to flavor chocolate, you will want to be very careful with measuring your Essential Oils. Aim for ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon per pound of chocolate to avoid overpowering the candies. Below are more tips for how to cook with essential oils. Read more
With spring around the corner, many people are looking forward to a break from the dreary cold of winter while others are dreading the allergies that come with the changing seasons. However, there is no need to live in a haze of itchy, water eyes, clogged sinuses, and headaches. There are numerous Essential Oils that can help ease the worst of your allergy symptoms to let you enjoy the warmer weather and blooming flowers. Here are some tips for using essential oils for allergies. Read more
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