Birch Essential Oil For Arthritis, Muscle And Joint Pain

Birch Essential Oil For Arthritis, Muscle And Joint Pain | birch-tree | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Once you move beyond the basic, everyday essential oils that we all know and love, it becomes time to explore some of the more esoteric oils that solve specific ailments.  In my own exploration of essential oils, a specific ailment high on my list was relief from muscle and joint pain.

The oil of choice?  Birch essential oil for arthritis and other aches and pains of the muscles and joints is perfect!

Not only is Birch effective against common, everyday aches and pains, but it is superior if not outstanding in providing relief from arthritis joint pain and those deep, spasmodic cramps that only seem to visit in the dead of night.

What is Birch Oil?

Not surprisingly, Birch essential oil comes from the bark of birch trees. The scientific name is Betula Lenta and sometimes the oil is referred to as Sweet Birch Oil.

Pure, unadulterated birch oil, while not rare, can be difficult to find. That said, it is not an expensive oil relatively speaking.  What makes it special is that 100% pure Birch essential oil contains both salicylic acid and methyl salicylate. Both have a cortisone-like quality that reduces discomfort in the muscles, bones, and joints and in addition, are recognized as germicides and bactericides in the world of medicine.

Whereas Birch essential oil is an effective anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, and diuretic, it really shines in its use to combat muscle and joint pain.  Bar none, Birch is the oil you want to use to relieve the pain of arthritis, tendonitis, gout, and severe muscle cramping.

How to Use Birch Oil to Fight Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain

In my own household, we use Birch essential oil blended synergistically with both Geranium and Lemongrass oils.  We came up with this formula by trial and error and although it uses other oils, we still fondly refer to it as “The Birch”.

We use “The Birch” in two ways: as a topical, roller-ball application diluted with fractionated coconut oil, and also as a heavy duty pain-relieving salve. According to Shelly, who is also known as the Survival Husband, the back to back use of both the roller ball and the salve, morning and night, has made the arthritis in his hands bearable.

Here is what he has to say:

“Before using the essential oils Gaye made up for me, I had so much arthritis pain in my right hand that at times my hand was non-functional.  After using the EO blends morning and night for five months, my arthritis pain has almost disappeared.

I can ride my Harley, play golf, do my chores, and simply get through the day with minimal discomfort.”

Replicating the formula I made for Shelly is easy.  Here are my two “arthritis busting” recipes.  That is what I call them although, of course, they are used for other aches and pains as well.

Arthritis Busting Roller Ball Formula

6 drops Birch Essential Oil
6 drops Geranium Essential Oil
6 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Add the oils to a 5ml roller ball bottle.  Top with enough fractionated coconut oil (FCO) to fill the bottle.  If you are using a 10ml roller ball bottle, just fill half way.  (I find that the 10ml size is more common.)

Arthritis Busting Salve

30 drops Birch Essential Oil
30 drops Geranium Essential Oil
30 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Add the oils to a 1 ounce jar (I use both these and these).  Top with either Plain “Simple” Salve or DIY Miracle Healing Salve and mix well with a small stick (I use a coffee stir stick).  Use twice daily or as needed.

A Word of Caution

Birch essential oil is a strong oil and if used undiluted, may cause irritation.  In addition, Birch should be avoided by those who use blood thinners, have epilepsy, or women who may be pregnant.

If you do use blood thinners, I suggest substituting the birch essential oil with additional drops of lemongrass oil. While not quite as effective as Birch, Lemongrass EO is an amazing pain reliever in it’s own right.  It is also a very inexpensive oil.

About Essential Oils

After a significant amount of research, for health, first-aid, and wellness purposes I use essential oils from Spark Naturals.  There are a lot reasons, the most important being their commitment to both quality and value.  I am satisfied that the raw materials used in Spark Naturals products are tested and authenticated to be of pharmaceutical grade purity.

If you decide to make a purchase from Spark Naturals, please know that you will enjoy a 10% discount on your order when you use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout. (Note:  I do receive a small commission on your purchase and for that I extremely appreciative.)

The Final Word

As I have mentioned, we call our Arthritis Busting formulas, “The Birch”.  In reality, the title of this article could have been “Using Essential Oils for Joint and Muscle Pain”. Still, with Birch essential oil being a key component, I wanted to introduce the oil to you along with some of its beneficial properties so that you can explore more uses on your own.

Personally, I love using all three of the oils in “The Birch” and even though I do not have arthritis myself, I find the formula useful for breaking down those knots of stress that appear on my neck and on my shoulders.  And for cramping hands and toes?  Nothing beats “The Birch” aka the Arthritis Busting formula.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!Save

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DIY Cold And Flu Bomb

DIY Cold And Flu Bomb | Wellness_Products | Natural Medicine

Essential oils have taken the prepper world by storm and with good reason.  For a relatively low cost, a few bottles of carefully selected essential oils can resolve a myriad of first aid woes, not the least of which are colds and flus, headaches, minor infections, and those dreaded aches and pains caused by sore muscles, charley horses, and more.

Each month, as I have written about essential oils, the message has come back loud and clear.  “We want specifics!”

Today I am going to share with you a very basic, very useful, and very specific use of essential oils.  It has been my experience that three simple oils, applied to the bottom of your feet at the onset of a cold, will bust the nasties quickly and allow you to get on with the business of living.

This protocol is commonly referred to as the “Cold and Flu Bomb”.

The Cold and Flu Bomb Recipe

This essential oil recipe is so darn easy, yet effective, that it is embarrassing.

Cold and Flu Bomb

5 drops Melaleuca essential oil
5 drops Shield Blend (a proprietary “Thieves” type blend by Spark Naturals)
3 drops Oregano essential oil

Combine the essential oils in a roller bottle.  At the onset of a cold, apply to the soles of your feet plus the big toe every 2 to 3 hours.  Continue to use for at least one day after your symptoms are done.

I find that this makes up enough to use on one person for one day.  It is easy to double or triple the recipe so use your judgment and prepare as little or as much as you think you will need.

Special note for use on children under eight:  You will not want to use these oils undiluted on the kiddos.  You can’t go wrong with a 50/50 dilution with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or even Plain Ole’ Salve (healing salve without essential oils).

That’s it.  Were you expecting more?

Actually, there are variations to this recipe, such as adding 5 drops of lemon essential oil or a few drops of Peppermint or Frankincense.  I have had excellent results using the basic recipe so have not bothered with any alternatives.

Night Time Cold Buster

For extra healing, I have used 2 drops of melaleuca, 2 drops of Shield, and 1 drop of Oregano in my diffuser at night.  If you are stuffed up, you may want to diffuse eucalyptus or Respire blend instead.

A Note About Essential Oils

I use essential oils from Spark Naturals because I feel they are they are the most affordable, therapeutic quality essential oils out there.  That said, there are many quality essential oil companies and I am certain their oils will work as well.  On the other hand, why pay more when you don’t have to?

That being said, I am building up a supply of Melaleuca, Shield, and Oregano essential oils for long term storage.  So far, I have 2 of each stored away in a cool dark location and there is no reason to believe that they will not be good years from now.  If however, you live in a warm, humid climate, you may want to store your oils in the refrigerator during the heat of summer.

If you decide to give Spark Naturals a try, be sure to use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” to receive a 10% discount.

I should also mention that you can take these oils internally in gel or veggie capsules.  I have not tried this myself so I leave it up to you to decide if you want to give internal use a try.  The typical dosage is 3 drops of each oil per capsule.  Just make sure you are using a therapeutic grade of oil as indicated by the supplement information on its label.

The Final Word

As I have written in the past, Oregano essential oil is considered to be nature’s strongest and most effective antibiotic.  In addition, Melaleuca (aka Tea Tree Oil) has been proven to fight bacteria, viruses and fungi.   Shield is a blend of oils that support a healthy immune function plus kills bacteria, mold and viruses.

All are great oils to have on hand for use now as well as for the long term when traditional drugs and OTC remedies may not be available.  For more information, read:

25 Ways to Use Oregano Essential Oil for Health and Wellness
The Miracle of Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil: 80 Amazing Uses for Survival
DIY Antiviral Sanitizing Spray: When Hand Sanitizer is Not Enough

One more thing.  Over the next year I plan to share more essential oil solutions that I have used personally with good results.  To me, first hand anecdotal knowledge and first hand experience trumps volumes of material found on the internet that may, or may not be valid, in practical terms.

What do you think?  Do you have an essential oil “recipe” or formula to share that may be useful to someone else?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!Save

The post DIY Cold And Flu Bomb appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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Balance Sugar, Cholesterol and Weight with Bergamot Essential Oil

Balance Sugar, Cholesterol and Weight with Bergamot Essential Oil | bergamot | Natural Medicine Sleuth Journal Special Interests

Bergamot is a citrus plant found in Italy, the oil extracted from the peel of the fruit has many uses, including supporting balanced blood sugar, cholesterol, and providing support to an individual’s weight loss efforts.

How Does Bergamot Essential Oil Work?

Essential oil of bergamot contains cleansing and astringent substances, this makes it beneficial for a wide range of conditions and situations. However, perhaps what draws the most attention to bergamot is that, especially when compared to other citrus varieties, bergamot contains extremely large amounts of polyphenols. Polyphenols are helpful compounds believed to halt production of blood fats, stimulate the metabolism, and prevent the absorption of cholesterol.

Bergamot Essential Oil and Weight Loss

Like lavender or peppermint, bergamot is one of a few essential oils that can stimulate the endocrine system to produce relaxed and calm feelings. This action can combat emotional stress, a symptom commonly linked to overeating or “comfort eating.” Typically, unhealthy foods are the most consumed during periods of emotional eating. The stress relieving action of bergamot essential oil promotes weight loss in that it helps combat the emotional stress that can lead to overeating and unhealthy food consumption.

Bergamot also stimulates hormone secretion and helps maintain proper metabolic rates. This stimulation increases digestive juices, bile, and insulin; all of which promote nutrient absorption, decomposition of sugar and fats, and the lowering of blood sugars. When a sluggish metabolism or digestive issues lead to malnutrition and/or excessive weight gain, bergamot may provide a boost.

Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

Triglyceride levels are measurements of the amount of fats in your blood. Higher levels indicate more fat. High blood sugar readings are an indication that the body is retaining more glucose than it is eliminating. In turn, accumulated glucose gets stored as fat.

Bergamot has the added advantage of lowering blood sugars and triglycerides. Bergamot inhibits an enzyme (HMG-CoA) linked to the liver’s production of cholesterol; this limits LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) production and reduces the bad LDL cholesterol in the blood.

HMG-CoA is also linked to blood sugar levels, being most active when blood sugar is high. By lowering blood sugar, bergamot affects HMG-CoA reductase activity.

Research on more than 200 patients with high cholesterol was performed by the University of Catanzaro in Italy. Researchers noted that, after a month of taking bergamot, subjects experienced reductions in LDL levels and blood sugar. HDL levels (good cholesterol) rose by over 40%.

Bergamot Essential Oil as Part of a Weight Loss Strategy

Extra body weight is often a problem with a number of contributing factors. Making a concerted effort to change lifestyle habits is a great step but when a sluggish metabolism, comfort eating, or high blood sugar hinder progress, evidence suggests the essential oil of bergamot may help.


  1. Mollace V, Sacco I, Janda E, Malara C, Ventrice D, Colica C, Visalli V, Muscoli S, Ragusa S, Muscoli C, Rotiroti D, Romeo F. Hypolipemic and hypoglycaemic activity of bergamot polyphenols: from animal models to human studies. Fitoterapia. 2011 Apr;82(3):309-16. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.10.014. Epub 2010 Nov 4.
  2. Fisher K, Phillips CA. The effect of lemon, orange and bergamot essential oils and their components on the survival of Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus in vitro and in food systems. J Appl Microbiol. 2006 Dec;101(6):1232-40.
  3. Bagetta G, Morrone LA, Rombolà L, Amantea D, Russo R, Berliocchi L, Sakurada S, Sakurada T, Rotiroti D, Corasaniti MT. Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot. Fitoterapia. 2010 Sep;81(6):453-61. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.01.013. Epub 2010 Jan 20. Review.

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What You Need to Know About Using a Diffuser

What You Need to Know About Using a Diffuser | essential-oil-diffuser-1024x683 | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Using a diffuser to dispense the healing qualities of essential oils is one of the easiest ways to become accustomed to their use.  Say, for example, someone in your home is sick with a cold or flu.  Adding 5 or 6 drops of an anti-microbial essential oil to a diffuser will allow the healing qualities of the oil to disperse and circulate around the room, benefiting all if its occupants.

Likewise, if you are having problems breathing, a few drops of an essential oil running in a diffuser can clear the nasal passages and allow you to breathe more easily, especially at night.  If this sounds familiar to the old fashioned vaporizer our mother’s put in our rooms as kids, you are correct.  The concept is the same but instead of breathing in a chemical cocktail invented by the OTC drug industry, you are breathing something plant based that is actually good for you.

In this article, I share with you some of the benefits of using an essential oil diffuser along with alternatives for those times when a diffuser is not available.  I also suggest specific oils and blends to get you started.

The Role of Smell In Staying Healthy

Smell plays a large role in the way essential oils affect the body.  Let me walk you through it.

As we breathe the aroma from an essential oil, the receptors in the nose are stimulated.  These, in turn, send a chemical message through our nerve system and to the brain’s limbic system.  Moods, emotions and physical health are affected. This process, collectively, is what is commonly referred to as aromatherapy.

Alas, credible scientific research on these effective use of essential oils for healing is spotty at best.  This article from the University of Minnesota gives the following reasons.

Essential Oils are not standardized

It is difficult to conduct blind studies with aromatic substances

It is difficult to get approval and funding for research on essential oils (no surprise there).

It is difficult to tell what caused the outcome.

Much of the research that does exist has been either conducted or funded by essential oils companies themselves. The results of the research may be valid but to me, that is like asking your favorite cousin to give you a glowing job reference.  It may be true, but then again, it may be rigged.

Still, anecdotal evidence is abundant, and much of it comes from professional aromatherapists who have made it their life’s work to treat individuals with the use of essential oils.  Many if not most do not have a relationship with a specific brand name; they simply want the best product for the job.

Although I am not a scientist, health professional, or trained aromatherapist, I do believe that the use of essential oils is a diffuser is beneficial to our health and well-being  The benefits I outline for you are benefits I have personally experienced and for me, it does not get much better than that.

Note:  For the most part, the essential oils below are not-brand specific.  The exceptions are some proprietary blends that I use myself on on ongoing basis.

11 Benefits of Using Essential Oils with a Diffuser

Avoid Colds and Flu

Many essential oils are anti-microbial and when used in a diffuser, can collide with airborne pathogens before they have a chance to invade your body and attack your immune system.

Suggested:  Melaleuca (also known as tea tree), Oregano, Shield Protective Blend

Promote Sleep

At the end of the day, many of us are wound up tight, managing our to-do list in our head, and focused on the coulda, woulda, shouldas of life.  A bedside diffuser is calming with the added bonus of running for up to 6 hours throughout the night, promoting relaxation and blissful sleep.

Suggested: Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Bliss Calming Blend

Relax and De-Stress

I wish I could say that stress was a 21st century ailment but my guess is that stress from jobs, relationships, chores, and just the process of surviving have been around for a long, long time.  I remember being stressed in high school, college, early in my career, and even now, when life should be slowing down.  Relaxation?  What’s that?  Diffusing essential oils can be a major stress reliever, whether during the workday, with a diffuser sitting on your desk, or in the evening, while winding down from a busy day.

Suggested:  Wild orange, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Zen Grounding Blend

Mood Elevating

Essential oils are effective in turning a bad day into a good day b elevating your mood and giving you a boot in energy.  This helps when you are sad or depressed or just plain tired.  Try diffusing a blend of oils after a long day of work or chores and feel rejuvenated and ready to enjoy the evening, whatever you happen to be doing.

Suggested: Wild Orange, Lavender, Geranium

Purify and Cleanse the Air

Say you forgot to take the garbage out and you walk into the house after being gone for awhile only to realize the place stinks and stinks big time.  Funny how we don’t notice the smell until we leave the house and come back!

Suggested: Any Citrus (Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit), Refresh Cleansing Blend

Mental Focus

Essential oils can be clarity to your work and help you focus on the task at hand.  This is especially true during the work day, when you have a project deadline and can’t seem to focus on what needs to be done to bring it to completion.

Suggested: Wild Orange combined with Cedarwood or Zen Grounding Blend

Breath Easier

This is typically one of the number on reasons someone will invest in a diffuser and begin using essential oils.  Not only will essential oils will clear the nasal passages, but they will also travel throughout the respiratory system, soothing the sinuses and lungs.

Suggested: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Respire Respiratory Blend

Immune System

One of the best ways to avoid illness is to have a strong immune system.  This allows your body to fight bacteria and viruses that are just waiting to attack and take you down. Seriously, a diffuser misting antimicrobial and antibacterial oils will go a long way in helping you avoid any “bugs” that are going around.  This is especially true while traveling and staring in hotels where someone else has stayed just hours prior to your arrival

Suggested:  Oregano, Melaleuca, and any robbers-type blend such as Shield Protective Blend

Relieve Headache Pain

Relieving a headache via the topical use of an essential oils is quite common.  You can extend that relief by also using a diffuser.  This is especially true with one of the those nagging headaches that keep coming back.  I like to follow-up topical treatment with diffused oils.

Suggested:  Lavender, Peppermint, Relief Headache Blend

Repel Insects and Other Unwanted Visitors

Bugs seem to be repelled by essential oils and especially peppermint.  In addition to putting peppermint infused cotton balls in your cupboards and closets, essential oils in a diffuser helps control flying insects such as house flies, mosquitoes,  fruit flies, and even or moths.

Suggested:  Peppermint, Cedarwood, clove, Lemongrass, Lavender

Safe Alternative to Candles

Candles are an age old tool for inspiring calm and promoting romance.  That said, candles have the potential of causing a fire or being knocked over, splashing hot wax on both people and furniture.  With a diffuser, you avoid the risk and mess.

Suggested oils:  Any oil you find pleasant

No Diffuser?  Try This Alternative

As much as I love diffusers, as a practical matter, I know that there are times when one may not be available.  Or perhaps a diffuser is not in the budget.  If that is the case, try steam inhalation instead.

There are two ways you can do this.  One of the easiest is to place 1 or 2 drops of an essential oil or blend onto a tissue or handkerchief then bring it up to your nose and inhale.  It takes a while for the oils to dissipate so you can do this many times throughout the day with good results.  Of course, a handkerchief will hold up better than a tissue!

The second method is to add 3 to 5 drops of oil to a steaming bowl of hot water. Cover your head with a towel that is large enough to reach over the sides of the bowl.  With your face 12 inches away from the bowl and your eyes shut, inhale deeply.  Repeat again several times over the period of 5 or 10 minutes.

What Does Antimicrobial Mean?

When studying essential oils, you will see this term used a lot.  Sometimes you will even see the word anti-microbial used interchangeably with the term “antibiotic” but that is wrong.  Here is a definition I can live with:

An ANTIMICROBIAL is any substance of natural, semisynthetic or synthetic origin that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms but causes little or no damage to the host.

All antibiotics are antimicrobials, but not all antimicrobials are antibiotics.

Source:  Michigan State University

Many 100% pure essential oils are a natural antimicrobial with far fewer side effects than antimicrobials of synthetic origin.

Additional Resources

The use of essential oils for healing is somewhat controversial and so, to present a balanced article, I share the following resources so you can continue your own research.

If you are interested in learning about the history of aromatherapy, Aromaweb has an article you may find interesting. .

Another interesting article is The Science of Essential Oils: Does Using Scents Make Sense? It states:

“Although many essential oils have pleasant smells and some of their active ingredients are purported to have health benefits, there is limited scientific evidence that they actually improve people’s health or mood.”

I tend to agree that there is little in the way of scientific evidence although anecdotal evidence, including my own, is substantial.

And finally, this article for the NIH describes the promising use of essential oils to relieve the symptomatic effect of disease (cancer mostly) along with a medically-based Q&A:  Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

A Word About Essential Oils

In the article, I have outlined some of the benefits of using an essential oil diffuser to promote a positive attitude, good health, and general well-being. In addition, as I mentioned above, I have also tried to avoid being brand-specific, since the value of using essential oils comes from their use, and there are many fine essential oil companies in the marketplace.

That said, I do prefer essential oils from Spark Naturals, an online company located in Orem, Utah.  They sell a high-quality product at reasonable prices.  They provide one up-pricing and there are no membership fees.  In addition, they offer my readers a 10% across the board discount when they use my coupon code, BACKDOORSURVIVAL, at checkout.

Spark Naturals also has weekly sales which I share on a special page on this website.  You will find the link to the right-hand position of the top menu bar. You will find this week’s special below.


The Final Word

In Part 2 of this series, I will talk more specifically about diffusers and will review one of my current favorites. I will also explain how they work and maintenance procedures to keep them in tip-top shape.  Finally, I will share some of my favorite DIY blends (called synergies) made from essential oils I keep on hand at all times.

Essential oils are not snake oil and much of what I share comes from my own experience as I have made them a part of my everyday life.  They are an important part of my overall survival strategy, not only for first aid, but for stress relief, wellness, and for maintenance of a healthy and strong immune system.

I wish you good health in good times and bad!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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What Is Neroli Oil and What Is It Used For?

What Is Neroli Oil and What Is It Used For? | orange-tree-white-blossoms | General Health Natural Medicine

Neroli oil is a pale-yellow essential oil derived from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree (citrus aurantium). Extracted via steam distillation, neroli oil has a sweet, distinctive citrus scent and is widely used in perfumery and aromatherapy. According to legend, neroli oil is named for Anna-Marie de Nerola, an Italian aristocrat who popularized the oil in 17th century Europe.

Related Essential Oils

Orange trees produce a wide variety of essential oils. The bitter orange tree also yields petitgrain essential oil. While neroli oil is extracted from the flowers, petitgrain oil is derived from the leaves and young twigs. Petitgrain is chemically distinct from neroli and possesses a woodier aroma. Bergamot orange (citrus bergamia) is a closely related cultivar. The peel of the bergamot orange fruit is used to produce bergamot essential oil, which is used to flavor Earl Grey tea, Turkish delight, and marmalade. Orange oil extracted from the peel of the sweet orange fruit (Citrus sinensis) is used in an assortment of beauty products, cleaners, and flavorings.

Uses of Neroli Oil

Neroli Oil In Beauty Products

Neroli essential oil is prized for its aroma and is one of the most commonly used essential oils in perfumery. Although many people think of “cologne” as a generic term that may refer to any cosmetic fragrance, Eau de Cologne is actually the name of a specific fragrance formula and neroli (along with bergamot, lavender, lemon, and rosemary) is an ingredient.

When used properly, neroli oil is nontoxic, won’t irritate, and is safe for sensitive skin. It moisturizes dry skin and may reduce the appearance of scarring and stretch marks. Neroli oil can be blended with other essential oils and used to relieve occasional itchiness and irritation that comes with psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.[1]

Therapeutic Applications

The benefits of neroli oil extend well beyond its pleasant fragrance and ability to support skin health. It has a strong action against harmful organisms.[2] It offers benefits as a digestive aid and can help relieve bloating, gas, and diarrhea.[1] Neroli oil can even promote normal sleep.[3]

Due to its relaxing properties, neroli oil is frequently used in aromatherapy. Although viewed with skepticism by some, aromatherapy has real, scientifically proven benefits, especially for stress management. Inhaling an essential oil blend that includes neroli has been found to significantly reduce blood pressure, lower stress levels, and improve mood.[4, 5] Because of its mild sedative effects, neroli is a relaxing massage oil.[3]

Neroli oil can positively affect women’s health. One study found that aromatherapy with neroli oil is a safe, simple, natural, and effective way to reduce labor anxiety.[5] Another study tested the effects of neroli oil on menopausal women and found that inhalation reduced stress and blood pressure, improved pulse rate, and increased sexual desire.[6] As an added bonus, the study concluded that neroli oil may also support the endocrine system.

Chemical Composition of Neroli Oil

Neroli oil has a unique chemical composition. The oil is composed of over thirty distinct compounds including nerolidol, alpha-terpineol, alpha-terpinyl acetate, and farnesol.[7] Limonene, which is the most abundant compound in neroli oil, is used as a remedy for heartburn and acid reflux. Limonene, alpha-terpineol, and farnesol have also been evaluated for possible anticarcinogenic effects.[8, 9, 10]

Neroli Oil Blends

Many essential oils must be diluted with other oils before they are safe to use on human skin. Neroli oil should be diluted but not because it’s unsafe—because it’s expensive!

Pure neroli oil can cost $100 per ounce! Beware of retailers who charge significantly less—it is likely a fake or a blend. There’s nothing wrong with an essential oil blend… as long as it’s not being passed off as 100% pure neroli oil. Exercise caution and read ingredient labels and reviews before purchasing any neroli oil product.

Why is neroli oil so expensive? Because neroli oil is costly to produce. It takes one ton of bitter orange blossoms to make one quart of oil. Fortunately, a little neroli oil goes a long way and it blends well with other essential oils. Oils frequently blended with neroli include benzoin oil, geranium oil, lavender oil, jasmine oil, and rosemary oil. Neroli also blends well with other citrus oils.

Because of its many benefits for beauty and body, and because it complements other essential oils, Global Healing Center includes neroli oil in several of our products. AquaSpirit® is a refreshing body and face mist that combines neroli oil, oxygen, and other natural aromatherapeutic ingredients to promote radiant, beautiful skin. French for “perfect face”, Parfait Visage® is our top-of-the-line, organic skin care product. It combines neroli oil with natural antioxidants, moisturizers, and botanicals to encourage fresh, healthy-looking skin.

Have you tried neroli oil? What do you use it for? Tell us in the comments!


References (10)
  1. Wilson, Roberta. The Essential Guide to Essential Oils: The Secret to Vibrant Health and Beauty. New York: Avery Group, 2016. Print.
  2. Ammar, A. Haj, J. Bouajila, A. Lebrihi, F. Mathieu, M. Romdhane, and F. Zagrouba. “Chemical Composition and in Vitro Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Citrus Aurantium L. Flowers Essential Oil (Neroli Oil).” Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 15.21 (2012): 1034-040. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
  3. Suryawanshi,Jyotsna Saonere A. “An Overview of Citrus Aurantium Used in Treatment of Various Diseases.” African Journal of Plant Science, vol. 5, no. 7, July 2011, pp. 390–395. Accessed 23 Nov. 2016.
  4. Kim, In-Hee et al. “Essential Oil Inhalation on Blood Pressure and Salivary Cortisol Levels in Prehypertensive and Hypertensive Subjects.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM 2012 (2012): 984203.PMC. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
  5. Namazi, Masoumeh et al. “Aromatherapy With Citrus Aurantium Oil and Anxiety During the First Stage of Labor.” Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal16.6 (2014): e18371.PMC. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
  6. Choi, Seo Yeon et al. “Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial”Citrus AurantiumL. Var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM 2014 (2014): 796518. PMCpan. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
  7. Ammar, A. Haj, et al. “Chemical Composition and in Vitro Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Citrus Aurantium L. Flowers Essential Oil (Neroli Oil).” Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences vol. 15, no. 21, 1 Dec. 2012, pp. 1034–1040.
  8. Jidong, Sun. “D-Limonene: Safety and Clinical Applications.” Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 12, no. 3, 2007, pp. 259–264.
  9. Hassan. Saadia Bashir, et al. “Alpha Terpineol: A Potential Anticancer Agent Which Acts Through Suppressing NF-κB Signalling.” Anticancer Research, vol. 30, no. 6, June 2010, pp. 1911–1919. Accessed 23 Nov. 2016.
  10. Burke, Yvette D., et al. “Inhibition of Pancreatic Cancer Growth by the Dietary Isoprenoids Farnesol and Ge aniol.” Lipids, vol. 32, no. 2, Feb. 1997, pp. 151–156.



The post What Is Neroli Oil and What Is It Used For? appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

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Evidence-Based Aromatherapy: Stress Relief And Much More

Evidence-Based Aromatherapy: Stress Relief And Much More | lavender-aromatherapy | Natural Medicine

The health benefits of aromatherapy can no longer be considered placebo in nature. Accumulating evidence now shows that the fragrance of flowers and other volatile plant compounds pack a punch as powerful as certain drugs.

In a day and age like ours, bouts of stress and anxiety are expected to occur at least occasionally during the course of daily life. In fact, if the experience is completely alien to you, you may not be paying attention to what’s going on in the world around us — or, you may be enlightened, and should be congratulated.

Certainly, anti-anxiety drugs can be effective, but they are also addictive and dangerous, with withdrawal symptoms that include seizures and, paradoxically, extreme anxiety. Because of this fact, natural alternatives are needed now more than ever.

Fortunately, finding a non-pharmaceutical solution is no longer simply a matter of guessing, or relying solely on the anecdotal accounts of others. There is an accumulating body of pre-clinical and clinical research available today demonstrating the power, safety and effectiveness of natural compounds for relieving stress and anxiety. In fact, some of these substances do not even require being ingested, as they can be inhaled in exceedingly small doses to be effective.

For example, back in 2002, an amazing discovery was reported in the Japanese Journal of Pharmacology. Researchers found that the simple inhalation of patchouli and rose oil reduced sympathetic nervous activity by 40%, with rose oil reducing adrenaline concentrations by 30%.1    

Such a profound reduction in fight-or-flight associated hormones is hard to accomplish through other non-toxic means. In fact, many folks use alcohol, tobacco and harder drugs, and even foods that contain opioid peptides, to self-medicate themselves down from the emotional cliff — but not without a wide range of unintended, adverse health effects. All the more reason to appreciate the power of therapeutic fragrances.

In turns out that many flowers are well-suited to calm the human body and soul, bringing them back into greater balance. Lavender oil, for instance, has also been studied for the ability to reduce stress,2 anxiety, aggression,3and cortisol levels,4 among two dozen other potential therapeutic properties.5  

Aromatherapy, of course, works primarily through the nose, but can also act through the lung and the skin. When inhaled, volatile aroma compounds from plants are capable of exerting direct-to-brain actions, primarily through the limbic and olfactory systems.  As opposed to the oral ingestion or topical application of a drug or herbal substance, aromatherapy usually offers a far higher margin of safety because the active compounds are small molecule.

Aromatherapy Offers Far More Than Stress Reduction

Stress and anxiety are only two of 30 potential therapeutic applications that have been studied in connection with aromatherapy.

Others of note include:

  • Dysmenorrhea (Menstraul Pain): Aromatherapy massage on the abdomen was found superior to Tylenol for alleviating menstrual pain in high school girls.6   Another study, this time in college students, found that the topical application of a combination of lavender, clary sage and rose essential oils was effective in decreasing the severity of menstrual cramps.7
  • Insomnia: Lavender fragrance has been found effective in a number of studies for treating mild insomnia.8, 9 Beyond sleep-promoting properties, lavender has also been found to simultaneously reduce depression in women college students.10
  • Excessive Chocolate Cravings: While there are worse addictions, jasmine essential oil has been found to reduce chocolate cravings.11
  • Reducing Tobacco Withdrawal: The inhalation of vapor from black pepper extract reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms.12
  • Arthritis Pain: The essential oils lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint blended in proportions of 2:1:2:1:1, resulted in decreased pain and depression scores in arthritic patients.13
  • Infantile Colic: The use of aromatherapy massage using lavender oil was found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of colic.14
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: 28 days of aromatherapy consisting of the use of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening, resulted in significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.15
  • Migraines: Inhalation of lavender essential oil appears to be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.16
  • Postpartum Depression: Aromatherapy-massage has been shown to have value for postpartum mothers in improving physical and mental status and to facilitate mother-infant interaction.17

View the rest of the research on here: Aromatherapy’s Health Benefits.


1 Shinichiro Haze, Keiko Sakai, Yoko Gozu . Effects of fragrance inhalation on sympathetic activity in normal adults. Jpn J Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;90(3):247-53. PMID: 12499579

2 Sioh Kim, Hyun-Jae Kim, Jin-Seok Yeo, Sung-Jung Hong, Ji-Min Lee, Younghoon Jeon. The effect of lavender oil on stress, bispectral index values, and needle insertion pain in volunteers. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Sep ;17(9):823-6. Epub 2011 Aug 19. PMID: 21854199

3 Sun-Young Lee. [The effect of lavender aromatherapy on cognitive function, emotion, and aggressive behavior of elderly with dementia]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2005 Apr;35(2):303-12. PMID: 15860944

4 Masahiro Toda, Kanehisa Morimoto. Effect of lavender aroma on salivary endocrinological stress markers. Arch Oral Biol. 2008 Oct;53(10):964-8. Epub 2008 Jul 16. PMID: 18635155

5, Lavender’s Health Benefits

Myung-Haeng Hur, Myeong Soo Lee, Ka-Yeon Seong, Mi-Kyoung Lee. Aromatherapy massage on the abdomen for alleviating menstrual pain in high school girls: a preliminary controlled clinical study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:187163. Epub 2011 Sep 22. PMID: 21949670

7 Sun-Hee Han, Myung-Haeng Hur, Jane Buckle, Jeeyae Choi, Myeong Soo Lee. Effect of aromatherapy on symptoms of dysmenorrhea in college students: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jul-Aug;12(6):535-41. PMID: 16884344

8 George T Lewith, Anthony Dean Godfrey, Philip Prescott. A single-blinded, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a treatment for mild insomnia. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Aug;11(4):631-7. PMID: 16131287

9 Li-Wei Chien, Su Li Cheng, Chi Feng Liu . The effect of lavender aromatherapy on autonomic nervous system in midlife women with insomnia. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:740813. Epub 2011 Aug 18. PMID: 21869900

10 Inn-Sook Lee, Gyung-Joo Lee. [Effects of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia and depression in women college students]. Br J Pharmacol. 1999 Sep;128(2):380-4. PMID: 16520572

11 Eva Kemps, Marika Tiggemann, Sarah Bettany. Non-food odorants reduce chocolate cravings. Appetite. 2012 Mar 9. Epub 2012 Mar 9. PMID: 22407134

12 J E Rose, F M Behm. Inhalation of vapor from black pepper extract reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms. Drug Alcohol Depend. 1994 Feb;34(3):225-9. PMID: 8033760

13 Myung-Ja Kim, Eun-Sook Nam, Seun-In Paik . [The effects of aromatherapy on pain, depression, and life satisfaction of arthritis patients]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2005 Feb ;35(1):186-94. PMID: 15778570

14 Bengü Cetinkaya, Zümrüt Başbakkal. The effectiveness of aromatherapy massage using lavender oil as a treatment for infantile colic. Int J Nurs Pract. 2012 Apr ;18(2):164-9. PMID: 22435980

15 Daiki Jimbo, Yuki Kimura, Miyako Taniguchi, Masashi Inoue, Katsuya Urakami. Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Psychogeriatrics. 2009 Dec ;9(4):173-9. PMID: 20377818

16 Payam Sasannejad, Morteza Saeedi, Ali Shoeibi, Ali Gorji, Maryam Abbasi, Mohsen Foroughipour . Lavender essential oil in the treatment of migraine headache: a placebo-controlled clinical trial. Eur Neurol. 2012 ;67(5):288-91. Epub 2012 Apr 17. PMID: 22517298

17 Masumi Imura, Hanako Misao, Hiroshi Ushijima. The psychological effects of aromatherapy-massage in healthy postpartum mothers. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2006 Mar-Apr;51(2):e21-7. PMID: 16504900

©  December 7, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here

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20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils


The use of essential oils for wellness and healing seems to be catching everyone’s attention these days.  This is true not only in the prepping and homesteading world, but in the mainstream world of traditional medicine as well.

While it is easy to recommend using essential oils for whatever ails you, the question of which essential oil to use for a specific ailment can be elusive.  Let’s face it.  Sometimes you have a little problem that you want to solve right now, without resorting to a ton of research.

I am going to make it easy for you.  With the assistance of contributing author Rebecca Schiffhauer, I have compiled a go-to list of 20 great ways to use essential oils to solve everyday ailments not only for you, but your pets and children as well.

20 Great Ways to Use Essential Oils

1.  Hiccups

Dab some Peppermint on the back of your neck, a little on each side of the spinal cord.

2.  Runny nose

Swipe a drop of Lemon down each side of the nose to dry it up.  Stay out of the sun afterwards to avoid sunburn.

3.  Drowsiness

Combine Peppermint and Wild Orange, apply to the back of the neck, next inhale the oil left on your hands.  Or add 4 drops of each to your diffuser.

4.  Itchy, irritated eyes

Dab Lavender with a bit of carrier oil on the facial bones surrounding your eyes (careful to keep oil away from eyes).  If applying to children, make sure they don’t rub their eyes until oil is absorbed.

5.  Allergies

Mix up equal parts of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint ~ nature’s antibiotic!  Apply to bottom of your feet morning and night.  Diffuse if possible.  Spark Naturals sells a convenient blend called called L.L.P. – short for Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint!

6.  Ear Ache/Infection

Combine 2 drops Basil or Melaleuca (aka Tea Tree) with a little carrier oil and rub around the rim of the ear, behind the ear and just inside.  Apply several times a day.  Note:  never drop essential oils directly into the ear.

7.  Troubled breathing

Have a bit of chest congestion or asthma?  Apply Respire blend on the chest, then cup your hands over your face and breath in the residual Respire blend on it ~ creating a natural “inhaler”.

8.  Bad breath

A drop of Peppermint on your tongue and you’re kissable fresh again.

9.  Athlete’s foot

Melaleuca works wonders!  Apply neat (meaning undiluted) to affected areas twice a day.

10.  Toe fungus

Melaleuca to the rescue again.  Dab the affected toenail with a saturated q-tip morning and night.

11.  Unsightly warts or skin tags

Use a Q-tip to dab one drop of Oregano oil on the affected area morning and night.  Oregano is a hot oil so you won’t want to spread it around.  Skin tags should fall off in two or three of weeks.  Warts will take a bit longer but eventually will disappear.

For kids: Lemon works wonderfully too.  Apply morning and night and don’t cover with a Band-Aid; it’s important to let the area breathe.  Also, it’s convenient to put the EO in a roll-on bottle so kids can apply themselves…they like taking charge   Be careful of too much sun after the application of lemon oil.

12.  Cellulite

Pour a bottle of Grapefruit into a 4 oz. bottle of fractionated coconut oil and rub into problem areas after shower or bath.  You’ll smell divine and your skin will be so soft.

13.  Diaper Rash

Mix up some Diaper Spray: 18 oz. water, 1 tsp. organic body wash, 4 drops Melaleuca, 4 drops Lavender.  This is a great diaper rash preventative too!  DIY Healing Salve is a wonder for this as well.

14.  Fleas on Your Dog

Drip a couple drops of Melaleuca on back of your dog’s  collar.  Or, tie a bandanna with a few drops of Melaleuca around your dogs neck and watch fleas flee!

15.  Dog’s Ear Infection

Place 1 of drop of Melaleuca and carrier oil on a cotton ball, wipe inside of ear several times a day.

16.  Dog with Sunburned Nose

Dab a little Lavender with carrier oil on his nose for relief.  This works for people too!

17.  Muscle Aches

Mix 1 part Amend blend with 1 part fractionated coconut oil as a penetrating, pain relieving massage oil.  Add a drop of Birch or Wintergreen for extra strength.  Or, try Lemongrass mixed with some DIY Healing Salve.

18.  Fever

A few drops of Peppermint mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the torso can drop body temperature by 3 degrees in minutes.

19.  Burns

A drop of Lavender will immediately stop the pain and mitigate tissue damage.

20.  Heartburn

A couple drops of Peppermint in a small glass of milk will knock out heartburn.  Or, try rubbing a few drops of Digest blend over your chest.  It really works!

The Final Word

My love affair with essential oils continues.  These days I have moved beyond the basics of Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint and Melaleuca (tea tree) and  rely on a variety of oils to do various things.  They are used for first aid, personal grooming, stress relief, and general health and wellness.

To be honest, three years ago, if someone told me I was going to dump, literally, all of my over-the-counter remedies in favor of essential oils I would have thought “no way”.  Clearly, that is exactly what has happened.  I now have a large collection of oils that should serve me well for a long time as long and I continue my pursuit of knowledge about these amazing substances.

I know I am not alone.  Whenever I write an article extolling the virtues of essential oils, I receive a flurry of emails that reflect a pent up interest in learning more about essential oils and how they can be used to enhance our long term well-being and survival.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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Best Essential Oils and Their Benefits


Essential oils, also called volatile oils, are scented oils extracted from plants. Historically, they’ve been used in medicine, cosmetics, perfumes, food, and, more recently, aromatherapy. Essential oils are “essential” because they contain the “essence” of the plant, meaning the taste or odor.[1]

Not only are essential oils popular, they have legitimate therapeutic use and the science to back it up.[2] Although the exact benefit depends on the oil in question, some have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. Others can affect cognitive function, mood, and memory. Some can even help alleviate stiff, sore muscles and joints.

Some essential oils can be applied to the skin, others are best taken orally. However–and this is important–do not ingest or topically apply any essential oils unless you are absolutely certain that they can be used this way. Not all essential oils are safe to take internally and some can irritate the skin. Essential oils are a concentrated source of many phytochemicals and some essential oils must be diluted with an unscented “carrier oil” to be used safely on skin.

Health Benefits of Common Oils

One of the primary benefits of essential oils is that, when used properly, they offer many benefits and have few, if any, side effects. Many essential oils are effective against harmful organisms. Some can positively affect your mood and mental state. Some essential oils can even help you reduce a headache or feelings of nausea. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to improve quality of life and reduce unpleasant side effects of aggressive therapies and health conditions.[3] Just be careful not to spill them; some surfaces, like painted wood, may react with essential oils.

Lavender Oil

Derived from fresh lavender flowers, lavender oil is one of the most well known essential oils. It appears to slow the activity of the central nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote better concentration, and help encourage hair regrowth in those suffering from alopecia areata, a type of hair loss.[4]

Lavender may also help fight anxiety. In one study, encapsulated lavender oil was found to be effective for generalized anxiety disorder, without sedative effects or potential for abuse.[5]

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil, derived from the leaves of Eucalyptus odorata, a smaller variety of eucalyptus tree, is a powerful biocide. It’s antimicrobial, insecticidal (kills insects), herbicidal, acaricidal (kills ticks and mites), and nematicidal (kills nematodes).[6] It’s especially effective against the bacterial strains Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenza, Staphylococcus agalactiae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae.[7]

Eucalyptus oil is great for respiratory health. Inhaling eucalyptus steam can help alleviate a cough and congestion. The aroma of the oil acts as an expectorant, helping to loosen phlegm in the nasal passages and lungs.[8]

In one study, researchers found that the combination of eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil boosts cognitive performance. The same study also found the scent of these two essential oils reduce headaches and promote mental and muscular relaxation.[9]

Peppermint Oil

peppermint-oil-300x200Peppermint oil can help alleviate nausea,[10] headache,[9] upset stomach, gas, indigestion, and anxiety. It works on the digestive system by speeding up the rate of elimination. Peppermint oil calms the involuntary smooth muscle of the stomach, producing an antispasmodic effect, and improves the flow of bile. It can help soothe discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and studies have shown that encapsulated peppermint oil can reduce IBS symptoms in as many as 80% of people who take it.[11] Peppermint oil is effective because it contains menthol that interferes with the movement of electrolytes across cell membranes, stopping involuntary contractions.[12]

Beyond digestive help, peppermint oil may offer relief for HSV-1 (Herpes simplex) outbreaks by permeating the skin and acting as a virucide directly on the virus. More research is needed, but preliminary results suggest topical application may fight outbreaks.[13]

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is another essential oil with strong antimicrobial properties. Also known as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil comes from “tea” or “paperbark” trees.[14] In Australia, it has a long history of use as an antiseptic. Bundjalung aborigines native to Australia inhaled the aroma of crushed leaves to relieve cough and used poultices to help heal wounds.

Today, we know that tea tree oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiprotozoal.[14] It fights harmful organisms by damaging cell membranes.[15] Tea tree oil also inhibits the growth and sporulation of yeast and fungus. The oil can be applied topically to cuts to discourage infection.[14]

Like peppermint oil, tea tree oil seems to have an effect on HSV-1. One study revealed that, while topical tea tree oil doesn’t prevent recurrent herpes outbreaks, it may reduce viral load by up to 98.2%.[14]

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is derived from the seeds of the wild jojoba shrub, a small, woody desert plant native to Arizona, California, and northwestern Mexico. Historically, Native Americans used jojoba oil to help wounds heal. Jojoba oil contains unique fatty acids and fatty alcohol esters that are similar, but superior, to those found in sperm whales.[16]

Unlike other essential oils, jojoba oil is not a volatile oil, but still offers plenty of benefits, primarily to the skin.[17] With respect to wound healing, researchers found that jojoba oil accelerates the closure of wounds at a cellular level.[18] To improve skin appearance and reduce acne, incorporate jojoba oil into your skincare routine. Evidence indicates that clay-jojoba oil facial masks might be an effective remedy for mild acne.[18]

Blue Chamomile Oil

Blue chamomile oil is extracted from German chamomile. The vibrant color of blue chamomile oil is a result of the steam extraction process—the azulene content in the oil darkens to an inky blue, brilliant azure, or deep green. This color fades and turns dark yellow during storage, but, don’t worry, the oil’s benefits don’t fade.

Chamomile has been used therapeutically for thousands of years by Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians to remedy everything from skin conditions and injuries to fever and insomnia.[20][21] As a traditional medicine, blue chamomile oil may help with eczema, wounds, bruises, burns, canker sores, mastitis, and other conditions.[22]

Chamomile is also appreciated for its anti-inflammatory effects. One study found that chamomile inhibits and prevents a chemical process in the body that incites inflammation.[23] Further, chamomile seems to inhibit the effects of the stomach-ulcer-provoking bacteria Helicobacter pylori.[22]

Chamomile tea can help with insomnia, and inhaling the aroma of chamomile oil produces a mild sedative effect on the brain, which makes you feel sleepy. Like lavender, chamomile oil offers a mild anti-anxiety effect for those who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder.[22]

Rose Oil

Rose oil is a floral-scented essential oil derived from the petals of several species of rose. In contrast, rose absolute is not an essential oil because the essence of the rose is extracted using a more intense chemical extraction processes. Like other essential oils, rose oil promotes a calm mood and fights harmful organisms.[24] It contains tocopherol (a vitamin E compound), carotene, and high levels of phenolic compounds.[25] Rose oil can make your skin more permeable[26] so it’s often added to skin care products to improve efficacy.

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil contains carvacrol, a powerful organic compound with a long list of beneficial properties, including fighting harmful organisms.[27]Carvacrol also supports liver health.[28]

Jasmine Oil

Jasmine oil is derived from jasmine flowers. While many of the essential oils mentioned are sleep aids and relaxants, jasmine oil has a stimulating effect. When applied topically, jasmine oil increases alertness, breathing rate, and vigor. These effects may promote an uplifted mood and better sense of well-being.[29]

Copaiba Oil

Copaiba oil is extracted from the Amazonian plants in the Copaifera genus.[30] Copaiba oil contains copalic acid, which seems to halt the growth of common, but harmful, dental bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenus, Streptococcus salivarius, and Streptococcus mutagens.[31] Copaiba oil also has strong anti-inflammatory effects. Unlike most essential oils, copaiba oil can be taken orally.[32]

Bergamot Oil

essential-oils-blog3-300x200Bergamot oil is known for its calming effects,[33] but it may also encourage a healthy body weight and help with vascular and heart health. Researchers aren’t yet sure how, but bergamot oil encourages normal cholesterol levels and blood sugar.[34]

Neroli Oil

Neroli oil is derived from the blossom of Citrus aurantium, also known as the bitter orange tree, which is native to tropical and subtropical Asia. The oil goes by many names but is frequently called “orange bitters” and “Seville orange.” It’s known as Neroli because a 17th-century Italian princess, Anne Marie Orsini of Nerola, took a liking to the scent.[35] Neroli oil is commonly added to diet pills due to it’s ability to act as an appetite suppressant. One of the major benefits of Neroli oil is that it helps relieve symptoms associated with menopause and stress.[36] It also boosts the actions of the endocrine system, fights harmful organisms, and soothes irritation.[35]

Lemon Balm Oil

Also called valerian, lemon balm is another essential oil that helps with symptoms of menopause, especially disordered sleep patterns.[37] Lemon balm also seems to sharpen memory and boost problem-solving abilities. Some promising research indicates that it may improve recall for people with Alzheimer’s disease.[38]

Pomegranate Oil

essential-oils-blog2-300x200Pomegranate oil comes from the many seeds of the pomegranate. It’s exceptionally rich in linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid. Some research suggests pomegranate oil may even delay the development of colon cancer[39] and skin cancer.[40] The oil also enhances the immune system.[41]

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil is extracted from Boswellia tree sap and has a long history of therapeutic use.[42] Most interestingly, frankincense promotes normal cell growth.[43]

How to Use Essential Oils

Most essential oils are safe to use, but you have to pay attention to their intended use and stick to those applications. Some oils can only be used aromatically and should not be applied to the skin or taken orally. You may have noticed that many of the oils are effective against harmful organisms. Those effects aren’t always limited to harmful organisms—they might affect gut and skin microbiota, too. Others can kill cells indiscriminately, including normal tissue cells.[44]

There are, of course, gentle essential oils that are great for the skin. Neroli oil, for example, promotes circulation and soothes irritation. Rose oil moisturizes the skin and is used as a gentle toner. To take advantage of some of the skin benefits of essential oils, AquaSpirit® contains Neroli, rose, jasmine, and lavender oil. It encourages healthy-looking, radiant skin and promotes well-being.

Do you use essential oils? Leave a comment below and share your tips with us!


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  14. Carson, C. F., K. A. Hammer, and T. V. Riley. “Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: A Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties.” Clin Microbiol Rev 19.1 (2006): n.pag. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  15. Cox, S. D., et al. “The Mode of Antimicrobial Action of the Essential Oil of Melaleuca Alternifolia (tea Tree Oil).” Journal of Applied Microbiology 88.1 (2000): 170–175. Web.
  16. Undersander, D. J., et al. “Jojoba.” Purdue University. Oct. 1990. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  17. Benzioni, Aliza. “FRUIT DEVELOPMENT AND WAX BIOSYNTHESIS IN JOJOBA.”New Phytologist 81.1 (1978): 105–109. Web.
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  19. Meier, L, et al. “Clay Jojoba Oil Facial Mask for Lesioned Skin and Mild Acne–Results of a Prospective, Observational Pilot Study.” Forschende Komplementarmedizin (2006). 19.2 (2012): 75–9. Web. 14 Nov.
  20. “German chamomile.” University of Maryland Medical Center. University of Maryland Medical Center, 1997. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  21. Singh, Ompal, et al. “Chamomile (Matricaria Chamomilla L.): An Overview.” Pharmacogn Rev 5.9 (2011): n.pag. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  22. Srivastava, Janmejai K, Eswar Shankar, and Sanjay Gupta. “Chamomile: A Herbal Medicine of the Past with Bright Future.” Mol Med Report. 3.6 (2010): n.pag. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  23. Srivastava, JK, M Pandey, and S Gupta. “Chamomile, a Novel and Selective COX-2 Inhibitor with Anti-Inflammatory Activity.” Life sciences 85. (2009): 663–9. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  24. Almeida, Reinaldo Nóbrega de, et al. “Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Rose Oil Inhalation on the Elevated Plus-Maze Test in Rats.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 77.2 (2004): 361–364. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  25. Ulusoy, S, G Boşgelmez-Tinaz, and H Seçilmiş-Canbay. “Tocopherol, Carotene, Phenolic Contents and Antibacterial Properties of Rose Essential Oil, Hydrosol and Absolute.” Current microbiology. 59.5 (2009): 554–8. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  26. Schmitt, S, et al. “Comparative Study on the in Vitro Human Skin Permeation of Monoterpenes and Phenylpropanoids Applied in Rose Oil and in Form of Neat Single Compounds.” Die Pharmazie. 65.2 (2010): 102–5. Web. 14 Nov. 2016
  27. Burt, S. “Essential Oils: Their Antibacterial Properties and Potential Applications in Foods–a Review.” International journal of food microbiology 94.3 (2004): 223–53. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  28. H, Can Baser K. “Biological and Pharmacological Activities of Carvacrol and Carvacrol Bearing Essential Oils.” Current Pharmaceutical Design 14. (2008): 3106–3119. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  29. Hongratanaworakit, T. “Stimulating Effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil.” Natural product communications. 5.1 (2010): 157–62. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  30. Cavalcanti, BC, et al. “Genotoxicity Evaluation of Kaurenoic Acid, a Bioactive Diterpenoid Present in Copaiba Oil.” Food and chemical toxicology: an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association. 44.3 (2005): 388–92. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  31. “Bacteriostatic effect of copaiba oil (Copaifera officinalis) against Streptococcus mutans.” Brazilian Dental Journal 23.1 (n.d.): 36–38. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  32. Veiga, Valdir F., et al. “Phytochemical and Antioedematogenic Studies of Commercial Copaiba Oils Available in Brazil.” Phytotherapy Research 15.6 (2001): 476–480. Web.
  33. Bagetta, G, et al. “Neuropharmacology of the Essential Oil of Bergamot.” Fitoterapia. 81.6 (2010): 453–61. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  34. Mollace, V, et al. “Hypolipemic and Hypoglycaemic Activity of Bergamot Polyphenols: From Animal Models to Human Studies.” Fitoterapia. 82.3 (2010): 309–16. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  35. Suryawanshi, Jyotsna Saonere A. “An Overview of Citrus Aurantium Used in Treatment of Various Diseases.” African Journal of Plant Science 5.7 (2011): 390–395. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  36. Choi, SY, et al. Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus Aurantium L. Var. Amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. 2014. (2014): n.pag. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  37. Taavoni, S, Nazem Ekbatani, and H Haghani. “Valerian/lemon Balm Use for Sleep Disorders During Menopause.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice. 19.4 (2013): 193–6. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  38. Liu, Z, et al. “Effects of Combined Acupuncture and Eugenol on Learning-Memory Ability and Antioxidation System of Hippocampus in Alzheimer Disease Rats via Olfactory System Stimulation.” Journal of traditional Chinese medicine = Chung i tsa chih ying wen pan. 33.3 (2013): 399–402. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  39. Kohno, Hiroyuki, et al. “Pomegranate Seed Oil Rich in Conjugated Linolenic Acid Suppresses Chemically Induced Colon Carcinogenesis in Rats.” Cancer Science 95.6 (2004): 481–486. Web.
  40. Hora, Justin J., et al. “Chemopreventive Effects of Pomegranate Seed Oil on Skin Tumor Development in CD 1 Mice.” Journal of Medicinal Food 6.3 (2003): 157–161. Web.
  41. Yamasaki, M, et al. “Dietary Effect of Pomegranate Seed Oil on Immune Function and Lipid Metabolism in Mice.” Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.). 22.1 (2005): 54–9. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  42. Carvalho, Carla C. C. R. de, and Maria Jose Caramujo. “Ancient Procedures for the High-Tech World: Health Benefits and Antimicrobial Compounds from the Mediterranean Empires.” The Open Biotechnology Journal 2.1 (2008): 235–246. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
  43. Ni, Xiao, et al. “Frankincense Essential Oil Prepared from Hydrodistillation of Boswellia Sacra Gum Resins Induces Human Pancreatic Cancer Cell Death in Cultures and in a Xenograft Murine Model.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 12.1 (2012): 253. Web.
  44. Halcón, Linda. “Are Essential Oils Safe?” The University of Minnesota. Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing, 10 May 2016. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

The post Best Essential Oils and Their Benefits appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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‘Rosemary Is For Remembrance’ – Science Confirms Wisdom Of The Ancients

herbs, natural medicine, aromatherapy

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance…”

~ William Shakespeare

Since ancient times, herbs have been appreciated for their profound therapeutic effects. Science as a form of evidence-gathering did not take the epistemological pole position until quite recently in cultural history, with the evidence of direct experience and the senses being the method and the means for ascertaining the medicinal value of plant medicines and foods for countless generations stretching back to the dawn of the human experience.

Rosemary, a small perennial shrub in the mint family, is one such example, a plant woven deeply into ancient history and mythology, providing clues and hints to its particular value in cognition, memory and enhanced sensorial awareness, and ultimately its sacredness, which literally means “holy,” a word that also shares etymological roots with “whole,” “healthy” and “heal.”

Several examples include:

  • “Greek scholars wore rosemary in their hair to help remember their studies, and the association with remembrance has carried through to modern times. In literature and folklore it is an emblem of remembrance.” [Source]
  • “On ANZAC Day, a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, the wearing of small sprigs of rosemary in the coat lapel, pinned to the breast or held in place by medals is thus synonymous with remembrance and commemoration.” [Source]
  • “Rosemary (R. officinalis L., Family Lamiaceae) is native to the Mediterranean region, where the ancient Greeks revered it for stimulating the brain and assisting memory; Dioscorides wrote of rosemary: “the eating of its flower in a preserve comforts the brain, the heart and the stomach; sharpens understanding, restores lost memory, awakens the mind, and in sum is a healthy remedy for various cold ailments of the head and the stomach.” [Source]
  • “Legend says that the Virgin Mary, while resting, spread her cloak over a white flowering rosemary bush. The flowers turned the blue of her cloak, and from then on the bush was referred to as the “Rose of Mary”. [Source]

Today, through the optic of science and human clinical studies, we can further test the wisdom of the ancients through placebo-controlled and randomized trials. This is the ‘holy grail’ of so-called “evidenced-based” medicine, and confers a type of gravitas in today’s medical practice that is considered essential in informing treatment decisions and establishing their legality vis-à-vis the regulatory bureaucracies (e.g. FDA, AMA) that increasingly attempt to control what you can and cannot do with your body.

Science Grows Up: Remembering The Wisdom of the Ancients

All the more reason why a recent study published in The Journal of Medicinal Food, titled “Short-Term Study on the Effects of Rosemary on Cognitive Function in an Elderly Population,” is so important and confirmatory of traditional plant-based medical practice.

The study sought to investigate the role of rosemary in reducing cognitive decline in elderly subjects (average age 75 years).

Subjects enrolled in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, crossover study were administered several different dosages of dried rosemary leaf powder and evaluated for changes in cognitive performance.

The study design was as follows:

“Twenty-eight older adults (mean age, 75 years) were tested using the Cognitive Drug Research computerized assessment system 1, 2.5, 4, and 6 hours following a placebo and four different doses of rosemary. Doses were counterbalanced, and there was a 7-day washout between visits.”

The results were reported as follows:

“There was a biphasic dose-dependent effect in measures of speed of memory: the lowest dose (750 mg) of rosemary had a statistically significant beneficial effect compared with placebo (P=.01), whereas the highest dose (6,000 mg) had a significant impairing effect (P<.01). There were significant deleterious effects on other measures of cognitive performance, although these were less consistent. Speed of memory is a potentially useful predictor of cognitive function during aging. The positive effect of the dose nearest normal culinary consumption points to the value of further work on effects of low doses over the longer term.”


The study is interesting for several reasons. Especially noteworthy is that the lower dose increased the memory variable of cognitive performance, whereas the higher dose had the opposite effect. This speaks to the principle that ‘less is more,’ and that doses of medicinal plants – particularly spices – closer to their traditional culinary applications are more therapeutic than so-called ‘heroic’ doses, which carry higher risks due to their potency, and in this case actually had a deleterious effect. [Learn more at]

The authors of the study pointed out that this is not the first clinical study on rosemary to find cognition boosting effects:

“There are few clinical studies on the effects of rosemary. In a randomized study of 140 healthy young adults, inhalation of rosemary oil enhanced feeling of alertness and cognitive functions as evaluated using the Cognitive Drug Research (CDR) test battery used in the current study.22 In a separate study the aroma of rosemary oil increased performance in exam students while increasing free radical scavenging activity and reducing cortisol levels.42 However, to date there are no clinical studies on cognitive performance following ingestion of rosemary.”

Moreover, pre-clinical research has identified several physiological mechanisms which may explain rosemary’s observed beneficial actions:

“In experimental studies, rosemary extracts were shown to possess potent radical scavenging activity.26,30 The diterpenes carnosol and carnosic acid are thought to be the major antioxidant components,26,27 although antioxidant properties have also been reported for several other constituents, including rosmarinic acid.31–34 In vitro studies with rosemary extracts have demonstrated acetylcholinesterase inhibition,8,35 butyrylcholinesterase inhibition,36 and a protective effect on dopaminergic neurons.37

Using mouse models an antidepressant effect of rosemary has been identified, apparently mediated by an interaction with the monoaminergic system.38 There are antinociceptive effects [pain-killing] in animals39 inhibited by naloxone pretreatment40—suggesting interaction with the endogenous endorphin system, as well as antispasmodic effects on tracheal smooth muscle.41″

The take away here is that myth, ancient historical accounts, and folklore often contain truthful information – real ‘evidence’ – about a plant’s medicinal properties.  Today, as science does plenty of catch up work to ascertain the value – and in many cases superiority – of natural substances versus pharmaceuticals, we are increasingly blessed with a type of ‘right brain’ meets ‘left brain’ confirmation that speaks to the growing movement to integrate medical practice, intellectually and practically, with ancient healing wisdom — the kind that your grandmother and grandfather and their ancestors knew, and can be as readily accessible as your own backyard, spice rack, or lovingly prepared and gently spiced home cooked meal.

For additional research on rosemary’s evidence-based potential health benefits, visit our Rosemary Health Research page.  Also, you can explore our rich dataset within our ‘Ailments Index‘ — covering over 3,000 conditions/symptoms — on natural interventions for Memory Disorders.

© October 14, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here

The post ‘Rosemary Is For Remembrance’ – Science Confirms Wisdom Of The Ancients appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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How To Apply Essential Oils For Health And Wellness


Although I have been writing about essential oils for quite some time now, I still get emails asking how to get started, or, more specifically, how to use them.  For me it was easy.  I became interested in aromatherapy in the early 90s and studied everything I could get my hands on to learn about the therapeutic values of essential oils.

Taking things one step further, it is a simple recipe from Valerie Worwood’s book that really clinched the deal.  I was having some serious issues with my wrist and thinking it was tendonitis, I used her healing formula that included lavender, rosemary, and peppermint oils to relieve my pain and suffering.

Those three essential oils should sound familiar since they are the basis for my own blend of Miracle Healing Salve.

But I digress.  The question at hand is how to apply essential oils for health and wellness purposes. or, put another way, Essential Oils 101.

Today I call upon Contributing Author Rebecca Schiffhauer to help explain how to apply essential oils to derive health and wellness benefits for those that are just getting started on the EO journey.

How to Apply Essential Oils 101

EOs are used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications.  A single oil can be used or a complex blend, depending on the user’s experience and the desired benefit.

Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements.


Due to the natural molecular composition of EOs, they’re easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically, sometimes diluted with a carrier oil and sometimes “neat” (undiluted).

Once they’re applied, essential oils can have almost an immediate, localized effect to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used very effectively in massage and beauty therapy.

EOs are also natural disinfectants. The chemical structure of essential oils allows them to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin for internal benefit throughout the body.

TOPICAL Placements

1.  Sub-occipital Triangle:  (pictured below) is a great place to apply an EO topically, it sits at the base of the brain stem and close to the blood supply to the brain.


Gaye’s note:  When Shelly and I “salve-up” at bedtime, we call this “salving the brain”.  I use my Sleepy Dreamy salve blend for this.

2.  Feet: the bottoms of our feet host the largest pores on our body and allow quick absorption.

3.  Over the heart:  I nice place for a topical application, I find it very soothing and calming.

4.  Localized:  When aches and pains are involved, apply EOs directly to the area of discomfort and massage the oils in with carrier oil.


Our sense of smell influences lots of physiological pathways including the stimulation of hormones and other metabolic processes. Aromatherapy is founded on the body’s predictable response to specific olfactory stimuli.

Essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy applications. Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be stimulating while others can be calming and soothing. Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify air of unwanted odors and some airborne pathogens.

Low or no-heat essential oil diffusers are recommended because they don’t change the chemical structure of the oil being diffused. EOs can also be used as cleaning and purifying laundry and surfaces in the home.


Gaye’s note:  I can not recommend this enough.  I now own three diffusers; one for the bedroom, one for the main kitchen/living area, and one for my office.  This is an easy peasy way to ease yourself into essential oils.


Therapeutic grade essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some EOs have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support a healthy inflammatory response in cells.

Many EOs are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, but some oils should not be taken internally. Please don’t use any essential oil product internally that does not have the appropriate dietary supplement facts on its label.

Gaye’s note:  My best experience taking essential oils internally has been placing a drop or two in a glass of water and drinking it.  Adding essential oils to a capsule did not work for me at all (severe heartburn).  A drop of lemon oil in a glass of water is surprisingly refreshing (see 33 Awesome Uses of Lemon Essential Oil for some tips for using lemon essential oil) and nothing beats the woes of eating too much or too spicy than a drop of a digestive blend in water.

Using essential oils can be both profoundly simple and life changing all at once. Working with someone who has used essential oils before can help first-time users have a good experience and boost their confidence. There’s a wealth of information available for those wanting to increase their knowledge of essential oil applications.

I highly recommend Valerie Worwood’s books, and lots of time spent Google-ing EOs and their uses!  As always, hands on use will add to your confidence and open up lots of learning opportunities to broaden your healing skills.

I hope this post helps simplify some of the basics of EO use. While it all seems overwhelming at first, very soon it becomes second nature, I promise.  Just keep EOs within reach and use them everyday!

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

When it comes to essential oils, keep in mind that everyone’s physiology is different.  Not only that, it has been my experience that something that is working great for months may suddenly become less effective.

I equate this to growing tomatoes.  You may have grown a particular variety of tomatoes in you garden patch for years when suddenly, boom, they do not do well at all.  By switching to another type of seed – similar but different – all is well again.  I just wish I understood the science behind this better but for now let’s just say that this is Mother Nature’s way of doing things.

The good news is that many essential oils have similar qualities (Antiseptic, Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiviral, Antibacterial, Anti-Inflammatory, etc.) so it is easy to switch around.  Another thing to keep in mind that many are quite inexpensive, starting at $5.99 for a 5ml bottle, making it easy to build up a reasonable collection of basics at very little cost.

The Final Word

Late last year I dumped two drawers full of over-counter-remedies into a box and the box has not seen daylight since. My feeling is that by using essential oils exclusively, I will learn what works and what does not work.  Besides, playing with my oils brings out the inner chemist is me and is fun.

There additional things you need to know.  A little goes a long way.  Also, when stored in a cool dark area, most essential oils will have an infinite shelf life.  Now I don’t know about you, but I would much prefer to use 100% pure and natural essential oils than a concoction whipped up in a corporate lab somewhere.

For more articles on essential oils, see Interested in Learning About Essential Oils?  Start Here.  And of course, if you have questions, leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them in a future article.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


The post How To Apply Essential Oils For Health And Wellness appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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