Move over 1,8 Cineole…..a review of essential oils that provide respiratory support for kids

Move over 1,8 Cineole…..a review of essential oils that provide respiratory support for kids

Aromatherapists have written articles about the safety of the constituent 1,8 cineole, specifically Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus globulus, and Eucalyptus smithii. You’ll read plenty of articles as to why this constituent is not safe for children and not to use it at all under the age of 10. This is not, however, an accurate statement. The caution that is given from Robert Tisserand in his book entitled Essential Oil Safety 2e concerning Eucalyptus essential oil, and any other oil considered high in 1,8 cineole is to not apply on or near the face of a child under 10, (1) which is very different than do not use.

 

Rather than reinvent the wheel in this article and tell you why you should not be using Eucalyptus on a child, (which I believe that you absolutely can do), this article is going to speak to which essential oils are a great replacement for oils high in 1,8 cineole when your child needs respiratory system support, so you can feel confident and empowered and use these powerful tools for good.

 

*For more information on Eucalyptus, see the well-written article referenced below by Jade Shutes of The School for Aromatic Studies.

 

Now, let’s take a look at which essential oils we can use to help support the respiratory system of our children while taking the concern of 1,8 cineole out of the picture.

 

The first essential oil I would like to cover is Cedarwood, specifically Cedarwood Atlas:

 

Cedarwood Atlas: Cedrus Atlantica
Aroma:
Balsamic, woody, sweet and spicy
Chemistry:
Cedarwood Atlas contains approximately 50% β-himachalene, which is a sesquiterpene, and has 15 carbon atoms. Typically, sesquiterpenes have anti-inflammatory properties and can help combat germs in the home when they arrive. Follow this link to learn more about the chemistry of Cedarwood.

 

Cedarwood Atlas is a great oil to support respiratory wellness and is safe for kids. Cedarwood can help to reduce spasms, address spastic coughs, and is an expectorant helping to combat phlegm. It is a great aroma for fall and winter, so in a diffuser it has a dual purpose.

 

Here is a great blend for your diffuser when needed:

Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica 3 drops
Cypress Cupressus sempervirens 2 drops
Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis 5 drops

*This amount is suitable for a 400ml water reservoir diffuser. Adjust accordingly.

 (See more on safe diffusing below)

 

Fir needle or Siberian fir (one in the same) is my next recommendation. I was using this essential oil when my oldest (now 11) was responsible enough to perform a steam bowl (with supervision).


Fir Needle/Siberian: 
Abies sibirica
Aroma: Balsamic, camphorous, fresh, green, herbaceous, piney and soft
Chemistry: Siberian fir, mainly monoterpenes, has 10 carbon atoms, and is a great stimulating decongestant and expectorant. Follow this link to learn more about the chemistry of Fir Needle.


The uplifting forest-fresh scent of Fir Needle supports a healthy respiratory system. Fir Needle helps ease congested breathing associated with typical seasonal illness. I feel this essential oil is a fantastic replacement for oils high in 1,8 cineole.

 

Steam Tent for Respiratory Support
Master blend

Fir Balsam 5 drops
Rosalina 5 drops
Spruce 5 drops

(See instructions and safety below for a steam tent)

Pine has a stronger aroma than Siberian Fir; it is crisper with more of a bite. I can close my eyes and imagine standing on the forest floor of pine needles when performing organoleptic testing on this gem of an oil.


Pine: Pinus Sylvestris
Aroma: Fresh, green, resinous, strong and warm.
Chemistry: Pine is a monoterpene, and it is common knowledge that monoterpenes carry a risk of oxidizing quicker than other essential oils. Proper storage is important.

 

Pine is known for its ability to help support a healthy respiratory tract, and in a diffuser helps to clear/cleanse the air. It is also a powerful addition to cleaning products to help purify the home. You can add Pine to Lemon essential oil in a spray bottle if Pine-sol is a scent that you love. Make sure if only using essential oils and water than you use it quickly without a preservative.

 

Rosalina: Melaleuca ericifolia
Aroma: Herbaceous, medicinal, robust, warm and slightly spicy.
Chemistry: Rosalina has a very unique chemistry, containing primarily monoterpenols (linalool), but also contains a small enough amount of 1,8 cineole to be perfectly safe yet effective for kids. Its properties are similar to both Tea Tree and Niaouli/Eucalyptus, and is very gentle for inhalation as well as topical application for children (2).

 

Open the Flood Gates (Inhaler 5 and up)

Rosalina 6 drops
Orange Sweet 6 drops
Spruce 3 drops

Place drops on the inhalers cotton wick and snap into place. Use as needed. (See safety recommendations below)

Now, let’s briefly talk safety regarding my recommendations above…

Aromatherapy Inhalers

On average, the age recommended for aromatherapy inhalers is five and up (In line with Plant Therapy’s recommendation). There are two reasons that I agree with this recommendation. We need to assess the maturity of the child. They need to understand what they are using and why. As a parent, it is important for you to assess your child and decide if they are ready at five to handle it. If you are not sure, I recommend waiting a bit longer.

The second reason for the recommendation is that inhalers are a direct method of inhalation, whereas diffusers are considered to be a more passive method of diffusion. Less is more.

Lastly, if you are sending your kid to school with an inhaler with permission, be sure that they understand they are never to be shared with their classmates.

Diffusing (Three months and up)

Practicing safe diffusion is important for kids. If essential oils need to be used under the age of two, diffusion is my preferred method of use. For under two, 10 minutes of diffusion is likely plenty of time for them to obtain the oils therapeutic benefits. Older children two and up can likely tolerate 10-20 minutes of diffusion. In both instances, be sure to take a reasonable break of about 45 minutes to 1 hour before turning the diffuser on again. There are many diffusers with handy timers so you can set it and have peace of mind that you are not diffusing for too long.

What are the risks of over diffusing? Habituation is a concern. When you have diffused for too long a time period, you may no longer notice the aroma, but it can begin to put stress on the body rather than be beneficial. I compare this to walking into a room with someone wearing a specific perfume (assuming you do not have a negative reaction to it). You may no longer notice it after being in the room for a bit. There is also a risk of overexposure that can result in headaches, nausea, dizziness, and an overall feeling of being unwell. As parents, it is therefore important to keep diffusing times down as in many cases little kids are not going to be able to vocalize that they are feeling unwell.

*For further information on diffusing safety, see the book Essential Oil Safety 2e by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young referenced below.

Steam Tent (Not for all ages)

Heat water on the stovetop to just before boil (be sure not to make it too hot). Pour into a stainless steel or glass bowl, place 1-2 drops of essential oil blend in the bowl and lean over the bowl, covering their head with a towel. Inhale the steam, alternating through nose and mouth as long as the steam is present (3-5 minutes). Make sure they keep their eyes closed. Can repeat every few hours as needed. Older children can lean over a plugged sink rather than a bowl if desired as it then lessens the change of spillage.

*Test the heat of the steam before you let your child try it. Always supervise as you are using extremely warm water and essential oils. Recommended for kids five and up (dependent on maturity of child), for the same reasons as an aromatherapy inhaler. Parents, if you feel your child is not responsible enough, please wait another year or two. Use your discretion.

 

For more Aromatherapy recommendation like this, I encourage you to take a look at my most recent book entitled, Aromatherapy for Kids, Safe and Sound. I briefly cover my tops 25 essential oil recommendations, and includes plenty of recipes/blends for use, and as always, speaks on safety.

 

References:

(1) Tisserand, R. Young, R. (2014) Essential Oil Safety (2nd Ed) Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier

(2) Rhind, J. (2012) A handbook for aromatherapy practice. (p. 194)

Is Eucalyptus Safe for Children. by Jade Shutes of The School for Aromatic Studies

Like so many practices in life, I encourage you to become educated on the proper use of essential oils. When using them, please do so cautiously, understanding that there is often misinformation on the internet. You can be assured that I support only educated and proven resources. While essential oils should not be feared they should be respected and used properly to ensure the safety of the individuals using them.

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

Why Essential Oils Don’t Always Work

Why Essential Oils Don’t Always Work

 

Does this topic surprise you? It is true, there are times that essential oils do not work as we think they should, and many instances where what works amazingly well for one individual does not for another. There are a few points that I want to make today on this topic, so let’s get started!

The Modality of Aromatherapy as a Whole

Essential oils and aromatherapy are complementary. We have likely all heard this before, yes? Unfortunately too many are still using them as band-aids. The reason that they may not work as well as they should or could is this very reason. If you are using aromatherapy inhalers for example for grief and sadness…..they will absolutely be a great comfort to you. They will lessen the moments of complete overwhelm…but unless you seek out a counselor, or other professional to help you work through your feelings, have a great support system of friends, perform plenty of self-care, etc. …essential oils are only touching the surface of what they could be doing for you in this instance. This is a perfect example of complementary. Alone they do little, but together with other things, they are amazingly powerful.

 

We are all Beautifully Different

I teach my aromatherapy classes with constitutions in mind. Some individuals are more prone to stress and run hot, others tend to be anxious and are always cold. You have those with weak digestive systems and others with guts of steel. Some are worriers, analyzers, and extremely sensitive, while others are in a constant state of denial about life’s problems. How this all manifests in every individual is very different, so it can begin to be easy to see how different individuals need different things.

I have made a blend in the past for what some call “monkey mind” and others call “squirrel moments” for a young boy when he lay down to sleep at night. It worked amazingly for him, but not at all for his twin brother on the bunk above. Case in point, constitutions should not be overlooked and is one of the many reasons why aromatherapists want to perform one on one consultation before making their recommendations to you.

 

Method of Use

In order to understand how essential oils truly work, we need to know quite a few things! What is the quickest route to the bloodstream? What is the method of absorption? What about excretion? Will inhalation help our gut? Why would we put oils on our skin topically? What is the best method of use for a cough? Allergies? Headache? Parasites? Stomachache?

Let’s look at one small example briefly. What do you think would be the most beneficial method of use for allergies? We would need to address pollen, right? What about the true histamine response that is happening systemically? Then we need to look at how the body is reacting. Is it the typical sneezing, itchy eyes and ears, watery red eyes, etc? The most popular choice (that we see in blogs and Pinterest memes) is placing oils in a capsule. The trio is usually Peppermint, Lemon, and Lavender. Does this sound like the best method of use? Would you be surprised to hear that is most definitely is not?

When looking at the true histamine reaction, essential oils internally in this way are not targeting the issue, I assure you. The best method of use here is by far going to be inhalation. A neti pot is also a good addition to target the pollen (no essential oils in the neti pot, please). In addition, addressing this issue with things such as what we are putting into our body via nutrition is paramount. Herbs are often a one, two punch for allergies.

This is a primary example of why method of use is important. You will simply not be as successful with your essential oil regimen when the least effective method is used.

 

Different Reactions From One Oil?

This topic can be perplexing to some. Lavender is the oil talked about the most, but I assure you it applies to more than this beautiful floral yet herbaceous essential oil. Lavender, for myself, has been a deeply beautiful “friend” that I can continue to count on. I keep some with me at all times. It can and does lower my stress level quickly, slows my heart rate, my rate of breath and I adore it. It does not work in this way for my son. I can add it to a diffuser for him along with other oils to help support a good night sleep, but Lavender itself does not garner the same reaction for him, he would say “meh”.

Read 4.4 of this research study in regards to lavender.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/

This study suggests that not only does Lavender alone not have the same reactions across the board, it shows that synergy among multiple oils is often more helpful.

Some have reported a more significant reaction to Lavender. Rather than calming or relaxing, it awakens the user, and in some instances, more pronounced reactions such as irritability and more manic feelings have occurred.

I found other reports of essential oils, such as one touted for eliminating headaches to actually cause it in others:

Do Essential Oils Cause Migraines and Headaches?

We can exhibit aggressive reactions to an essential oil or essential oil blend when it is overused as well. For example, when over diffusing essential oils adverse affect can occur. Diffusing for a short time is recommended, 30 minutes is preferred over hours and hours. If one drop works, 5 will not be better. This is why you see conservative recommendations from aromatherapists. Less is more. When overused we can see some of the symptoms below:

 

 

Therefore, the adverse, or opposite effect of an essential oil could perhaps be due to overuse in some cases.

For these reasons, it is important to not offer blanket statements of the therapeutic uses of an oil. I like to say something like “Historically, this essential oil has sedative properties, it is relaxing and calming. However, everyone reacts differently, so it is important to make note of how you and your family respond and make note of it for future use”. A mouthful, but I feel it is an important “disclaimer” if you will.

 

Closing

Hopefully, this gives you a general idea as to why what works for you, does not work the same for someone else in your home. The exciting thing about essential oils is there are so many options, with a little bit of experimentation, you can find what is right for all.

 

 

Like so many practices in life, I encourage you to become educated on the proper use of essential oils. When using them, please do so cautiously, understanding that there is often misinformation on the internet. You can be assured that I support only educated and proven resources. While essential oils should not be feared they should be respected and used properly to ensure the safety of the individuals using them.

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

Resources

Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy
http://www.atlanticinstitute.com/blog/2014/6/28/sometimes-lavender-is-not-the-one-to-use

Do Essential Oils Cause Migraines and Headaches?

What does self-care look like for you?

What does self-care look like for you?

No matter which way you slice it, more often than not we as adults struggle with self-care. Ironically enough, many of us in the healing field commonly have issues in this area. I think the reason for this is we are constantly looking to help everyone else, and women, specifically mom’s, give a whole new meaning to “martyr”.….BUT you know what they say on an airplane about putting on your own mask first, right? It is time to fill our cups first!

We may have weeks where we do really well with showing ourselves the extra love and attention we deserve, and others where it seems we can sometimes be nicer to a stranger than we our to ourselves…exaggerating, of course…or am I? I fell into a non-existent self-care routine recently. There were many reasons for this, but were they actually excuses? (And maybe this sounds familiar to you) Banish those excuses!

Self-care can mean many things to many people, but my definition would definitely be doing things for me and only me, and nothing to do with technology. So watching a movie does not count in my rulebook, nor does spending quality time with my boys. Now, quality time is equally important to me but does not qualify as self-care…hence the “self”.

So, today I just want to give you three ideas, in case you are feeling a bit lost in this area. (More blogs to follow)

 

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside”. –Wayne Dyer

 

Take a Breath on the Go

Sometimes, the car is the ideal place for me to bring myself back to center as I am somewhat held hostage away from all the should’s at home: laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc etc. Practicing mindful breathing can be done with your eyes open, very successfully at that.

Before you run out of the house, grab a cotton ball or cotton round and place 2 drops of the essential oil that brings you to a calmer place. Get in your car and push it inside your air vent. Here are a few ideas, but you very likely may already know exactly what you will use:

Bergamot Citrus bergamia
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia
Mandarin Red Citrus reticulata
Orange Sweet Citrus sinensis
Sandalwood Santalum spicatum
Vetiver Vetiveria zizanoides

This 4-7-8 breathing technique was created by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. (See his video here: https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath/) (1)

The basis of this 4-7-8 breath is truly to create awareness of conscious breathing. It works wonders, and the car is a great place to practice it. If you embrace it, the 4-7-8 breath will become a habit in no time! For those of you saying, I breathe every second of every day…so not the same. Practice it and you will be sure to notice the difference immediately.

According to Dr. Maxwell Maltz, “It takes 21 days to form a new habit”, but other research states it takes a bit longer, on average two months (2). We can all do something for two months to make a fresh new habit that fosters wellness, right!?!

 

“Breath is the link between mind and body”. –Dan Brule

 

The Lovely Bath Time Routine

Do you love to take a bath as much as I do? First things first, even though my boys are now 9 and 11, the second I hit the bathroom is still the second that they need to tell me something, are looking for something, or need something. So I work to get them involved in something first, then I head to my sanctuary.

Essential oils are a treat for me. I do not use them every day, but bath time is a must! I typically add crème as a luxury item too. Heck if throwing in some rose petals makes you feel like the goddess that you are, then definitely do that!

Here is one of my favorites:

 

Vanilla Rose Goddess Bath Time Blend

Rose Absolute Rosa x Damascena 3 drops
Vanilla Vanilla Planifolia Oleoresin 2 drops
Epsom salt 1 cup
Unscented fragrance free shampoo 1 tbsp
Full fat crème ½-1 cup

Mix and add to bath after water has run.

I like to light candles, and have a glass of red wine. It is up to us to totally pamper ourselves, no one else. So go all out!

 

Transport Yourself to a Happy Place

 Are you familiar with guided imagery? This is my go to when meditation fails me. I have been meditating for over 10 years, and sometimes I still fail….we all do. Dust yourself off and move on to something else that might work. Over the years my self-care routine evolves. What used to work like a charm may not so much anymore. So when I try to sit in meditation and the monkey mind does not stop knocking, guided imagery it is.

I typically do not recommend making purchases in my blogs, but this time I am making an exception because I feel it is THAT GOOD. I am not an affiliate or getting paid to make this recommendation, I just feel it is a tool that I use, my kids use, and many of my clients use….and I have yet to hear anyone say they do not LOVE it.

The website is called Meditainment. (see link below) There are 20 audio recordings in all, complete with a beautiful voice, sounds effects, and stories with a purpose. You will be able to transport yourself to a beach, an ocean, a garden, even the moon. Well worth the investment in your health.

This is typically a time that I diffuse essential oils. For example, if I listen to the recording marked “Island Paradise”, for rapid relaxation, I will diffuse what to me says beach, tropical, and relaxation. What that is for me, may be different for you, but here is a diffuser blend to try:

Diffuser Blend (Drops appropriate for a 400ml water reservoir)

Orange Sweet Citrus sinensis 5 drops
Sandalwood Santalum spicatum 3 drops
Vanilla Vanilla Planifolia Oleoresin OR CO2 1 drop
Jasmine Absolute Jasminum sambac 1 drop

Be sure to practice safe diffusion times.

Want to know more about what the health benefits of guided imagery are? Cleveland Clinic touches on it here. (3)

 

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere”. –Carl Sagan

With the high levels of stress that most of us are under, and the turmoil in the world, self-care is crucial. What are you doing for yourself today?

 

References

(1) Weil, A. Video: Breathing Exercises: 4-7-8 Breath Retrieved from https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath/

(2) Clear, J. How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science) Retrieved from http://jamesclear.com/new-habit

(3) Guided Imagery Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/wellness/integrative/treatments-services/guided-imagery

Resources

https://www.meditainment.com/

Like so many practices in life, I encourage you to become educated on the proper use of essential oils. When using them, please do so cautiously, understanding that there is often misinformation on the internet. You can be assured that I support only educated and proven resources. While essential oils should not be feared they should be respected and used properly to ensure the safety of the individuals using them.

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

Essential Oils And Our Microbiome (AKA…Our Gut Bugs)

Essential Oils And Our Microbiome (AKA…Our Gut Bugs)

There have been many blogs stating that essential oils are great for our gut health, and that they provide us with a healthy microbiome. The issue with statements like these is that people walk away from reading these articles thinking that essential oils work much like a prebiotic or probiotic….when that has yet to be proven. With an education in Aromatic Medicine, I can see how these statements or claims are somewhat like a telephone game. My goal is to help you see what I mean by that. Let’s take a look at our gut health…one of my favorite topics, and how essential oils can play a role. It’s not what you think!

 

There are many things that can disrupt the function of our gut, which is also called our second brain. There is a strong relationship between the food that we eat as well as our levels of stress in regards to how our gut functions, and our overall health. Chronic stress is not our gut’s friend. Other things that effects our gut health are alcohol, antibiotics, modern day wheat, NSAID’s, and the jury is still out on GMO’s (although I believe they are detrimental on more levels of our health than we can even imagine).

 

When we look at how many things in modern day society is wreaking havoc on our gut microbiome, looking at statistics of how many people are dealing with afflictions such as leaky gut, dysbiosis, SIBO, Crohn’s disease, C diff, and others…it is quite dizzying how “dis” eased our digestive systems really are. Experts publish articles and books every day on this very topic, discussing what we can do to restore healthy levels of bacteria.

 

You see, our gut bacteria is a complex system, with good and bad forever seeking balance. Just as all of our bodies have cancer cells, and our immune systems are always working to combat these cells and “eat/destroy cancer cells” or what is termed phagocytosis, our guts always have “bad” bacteria. The goal is to keep balance. Here is previous article of mine speaking to how food and emotions play a role in our digestive health.

 

On to Essential Oils

 

You will be hard-pressed to find papers or research studies that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that essential oils provide your gut with healthy bacteria, that is not their role. Essential oils can be used to bring balance in another way. If you are suffering from too much unhealthy bacteria (overgrowth), essential oils can help! Challenges aside, as we know that essential oils being used as medicine, specifically Aromatic Medicine, is yet to be accepted here in the United States as legal by any aromatherapist OR Chiropractor, etc.. Back to the facts.

 

If you were suffering from SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or C diff (clostridium difficile colitis) for example, essential oils taken via a suppository and/or capsule can assist in killing off the bad bacteria.

 

This first study, looking at overall dysbiosis (a term used for overall microbial imbalance), it was found that specific essential oils can help to bring about balance by killing bad bacteria: Caraway Carum carvi, Lavender Lavandula angustifolia and Bitter Orange Citrus aurantium var. amara were the essential oils highlighted in this study. This study was performed in-vitro, which means in a test tube or petri dish, or elsewhere outside of a living organism. The essential oils tested showed to have significant antimicrobial activity. Now, those that are trained in the more advanced topics of aromatherapy know that what happens outside of the body via a test tube or petri dish does not always equate to what happens inside of the body, but this study is promising.

 

Other essential oils that have been shown to have antimicrobial activity are Basil Ocimum basilicum and Oregano Origanum vulgare (not an all-inclusive list).

 

This next study shows how the antimicrobial effects of Oregano Origanum vulgare were successful at restoring balance from Salmonella Enteritidis in minced sheep meat, again an in-vitro study. You can read the full report here.

 

*TIP- Do not confuse Oil of Oregano with Oregano Essential Oil. They are not the same thing, nor do they provide the same benefits in every instance. 

 

What these studies and many more show are that essential oils can work to reduce bad gut bacteria or overgrowth to restore balance, to coax the gut back to health.

 

Essential oils have not been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to wipe out good bacteria as well like we know that antibiotics do, but perhaps more importantly…essential oils do not provide our gut with good bacteria. What are a few things that do?

 

Bring on the Good Bugs

There are plenty of things that we can do to maintain or restore a healthy balance in our microbiome. (If you have been diagnosed with SIBO, or C diff, etc., be sure to seek out medical care). Let’s very briefly look at the top three:

1.Fermented Foods

Sauerkraut, kefir, miso, and yogurt provide us with various types of probiotic bacteria. When looking at volume consumed, you need very little of any one of these per day to obtain very large levels of beneficial bacteria.

 

2. Prebiotics

Any food that supplies you with healthy soluble or insoluble fiber is something to think about. Think freshly ground flaxseed, chia seed, or beans and legumes for example. You may be thinking that you are always hearing about probiotics, why prebiotics? A good way to look at it is probiotics replenish, and prebiotics nourish. They are both very much needed for gut health.

 

3.Probiotics

You can purchase capsules of probiotics to take every day. The number of strains per capsule is not as important as which ones you are taking for your specific situation. A great resource that covers everything gut related, including plenty of gut healthy recipes was written by a friend and colleague Lindsay Boyer entitled: The Everything Guide to Gut Health. This is one book you should definitely invest in if your gut health needs attention.

 

What You Should Avoid

I see both on the Internet and in social media people stating that they take Oregano essential oil in capsules every day for gut health. I hope that now you can see how that is detrimental to your gut health. IF you know you have a problem and are under the care of a trained professional, that is one thing (Someone trained in Aromatic Medicine would not suggest ongoing treatment, there is a time frame for treatment, 7-10 days for example. All dependent on the severity of the issue). Abuse of essential oils can and do cause more problems than they help.

It is equally important to not take the advice of someone who is not heavily trained. Opinions on how to use essential oils are rampant on the Internet, we must always utilize caution in what we read or are told. I am a stickler for this, even when I am given a prescription from a doctor, I ask a million questions and research the pill and it’s side effects before I take it. It is crucial you do so as well. The statement that all essential oils are natural and are therefore safe, does not hold water here.

 

Closing

As we can see, there are some things we do know about essential oils and our gut, but others are not yet clear. Please do look through some of the references and resources for further reading on the topic, when we know better we do better.

 

 

 

Papers Referenced Within the Article

Hawrelak, J. et al. (2009) Essential Oils in the Treatment of Intestinal Dysbiosis: A Preliminary in vitro Study. Alternative Medicine Review Vol. 14 No. 4 http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/14/4/380.pdf

Govaris, A. et al (2010) The antimicrobial effect of oregano essential oil, nisin and their combination against Salmonella Enteritidis in minced sheep meat during refrigerated storage. International Journal of Food Microbiology. Vo. 137. Issues 2-3 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168160509006709

Additional Studies for Review

Gong, W. et al. (2005)Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and structurally related synthetic food additives towards selected pathogenic and beneficial gut bacteria. Journal of Applied Microbiology. p 296-305 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2005.02789.x

Logan, A. Beaulne, T., (2002) The Treatment of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth With Enteric-Coated Peppermint Oil :A Case Report. Alternative Medicine Review. Vol.7 Number 5. http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/7/5/410.pdf

Santos, F. Miranda-Novales, M. (2012) Essential oils from aromatic herbs as antimicrobial agents. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 23:136-141.DOI 10.1016/j.copbio.2011.08.005

Further Reading

Junger, A. Clean Gut

Tetro, J. Allen Ver-coe, E. The Human Microbiome Handbook

Resources

Digestive Center for Wellness. Retrieved from https://www.digestivecenterforwellness.com/

Gut Microbiota for Health. Retrieved from http://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/home/

Your Digestive System: 5 Ways to Support Gut Health, via John Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved from
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/your-digestive-system-5-ways-to-support-gut-health

Like so many practices in life, I encourage you to become educated on the proper use of essential oils. When using them, please do so cautiously, understanding that there is often misinformation on the internet. You can be assured that I support only educated and proven resources. While essential oils should not be feared they should be respected and used properly to ensure the safety of the individuals using them.

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

 

Rosemary Essential Oil for Memory-What the Research Shows

Rosemary Essential Oil for Memory-What the Research Shows

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil. Touted as a memory enhancer. What does the research show? How can we harness it? What about safety?

There are 4 chemotypes of Rosemary essential oil, the two studies I am about to talk about cover the one you are likely to see most often, Rosemary 1,8-cineole. The findings are pretty exciting!

Both studies were performed by Mark Moss PhD.

I will briefly cover the methods and findings, and provide you the references to dive further if you choose to do so.

In the first study, 20 healthy volunteers sat in cubicles with diffused Rosemary essential oil while being asked to complete serial subtraction and visual information processing tasks. Blood samples were then taken. Moss found that cognitive abilities increased and the blood plasma levels of 1,8 cineole increased. An exciting discovery (see abstract below) (1).

 

A second experiment performed by Moss entailed 60 volunteers, who tested Rosemary as well as Lavender essential oil. The individuals were tested with either diffused Rosemary, diffused Lavender or no aroma. All of the participants thought that they were brought in to test a vitamin-infused water.

Objects were hidden around the room to be found after testing was complete. While in the testing rooms, participants went through a series of test involving word puzzles, demanding memory skills that became increasingly more complex, involving recall of their memory. Then back to the hidden objects they went.

It was found that the Rosemary group did phenomenal with the testing, while the Lavender group started out ok, but performance slowly declined, likely due to what we know about Lavender and its sedative effects.

Read more about the details of the study here and here.

How Can We Harness the Effects of Rosemary

So are you thinking that you will need to walk around with an inhaler under your nose during all your waking hours? As we get older, walking into a room and forgetting why we are there becomes increasingly more common. Thankfully being attached to a sprig of Rosemary, an inhaler, or diffusing all day is not needed nor recommended. If you are going to sit down to read a book, study for an exam, or any other arduous task, diffusing a nice blend of essential oils including Rosemary 1,8-cineole will be very beneficial for you.

Here is one of my favorites:

 

References:

(1) Moss, M. Oliver, L. (2012) Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. 2(3) 103–113 DOI: 10.1177/ 2045125312436573

What does rosemary do to your brain, Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33519453

Rosemary aroma may help you remember to do things, Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409091104.htm

Like so many practices in life I encourage you to become educated on the proper use of essential oils. When using them, please do so cautiously, understanding that there is often misinformation on the internet.  You can be assured that I support only educated and proven resources. While essential oils should not be feared they should be respected and used properly to ensure the safety of the individuals using them.

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions. 

 

 

My Top 5 Aroma Books To Cozy Up With This Fall

My Top 5 Aroma Books To Cozy Up With This Fall

With so many books on essential oils and aromatherapy, it can be overwhelming to pick one that you know you are going to enjoy, learn from, and best of all….be inspired! With more than a few dozen aroma books on my shelves, I have picked out my top 5 to share with you. Enjoy!

 

Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils
by Gabriel Mojay

This book never makes it back to my bookshelf for how many times I reference it and recommend it to friends and clients. This book is where eastern meets western all in an effort to restore and maintain emotional wellness.

There is so much inherent wisdom in this book, Gabriel will help you to see aromatherapy in a whole new way. Inside you will find the esoteric and energetic healing properties of 40 different essential oils.

Not many teach from this space, and it is imperative that we take time to see beyond the chemistry and the components of the oil and see its energy, its value in the spiritual realm. If you like to learn about this aspect of life and are looking for emotional support for yourself or a loved one-this book is an absolute must have.

 

Aromatherapeutic Blending: Essential Oils in Synergy
by Jennifer Peace Rhind

How many of us have heard the term synergy when speaking about blending our essential oils. What is the meaning you ask? It is the concept that alone one essential oil can be very beneficial and have many therapeutic properties, but when blended with one or two others, the synergy becomes incredibly powerful. The sum is better than the parts. They support and enhance one another. Aromatherapeutic Blending: Essential Oils in Synergy has been one of my favorite books since the first moment I picked it up.

Blending is an art form, it is not necessarily an inherent “gift”. Jennifer takes many different approaches to teaching this concept and has plenty of references to back it up. The wealth of information within makes it an imperative book for all aromatherapists and essential oils users alike.

 

The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide: Using the Science of Carrier and Essential Oils to Create Natural Personal Care Products
by Danielle Sade BSc CAHP

Are you a DIY’er? Are you looking to remove more of the harmful chemicals from your skin care regime? If so, then this book is for you. The DIY market is growing in leaps and bounds, and there has not been a quality reference book to assist in making product at home using essential oils safely…that is up until now.

Danielle Sade has more than 30 years of experience in teaching and practicing in the realm of complementary health. This gem of a book is based on evidence-based information, an angle that is not taken nearly enough in the community. Gain the assurance you need to make lotion, creme, toners, serums, face masks and more at home that are safe…and that work!

Beautifully written and in full color, this book does not cut corners. Learn from one of Canada’s leading experts, and get started making your own product, confidently!

 

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art
by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green

 There are a combined 75 years of true experience in these two inspiring women who came together to collaborate on this gem of a book. Think about all the experience on these pages! Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art was one of the first books I invested in to begin my studies.

Inside you will find a little bit of everything, very well-rounded. If you like recipe ideas, you will find it here. If you want to know the scientific science-based information, you will find that too. Cosmetics, perfumes and herbal treatments? Check, check, and check. This is a great book for essential oils enthusiasts and practitioners alike.

 

Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Healthcare, 3e
by Jane Buckle Ph.D. RN

My last recommendation is for the people who really want to know “why” essential oils do what they do, with scientific studies to back it up. Jane Buckle has the credentials, the experience, and the studies to back up the powerful uses of aromatherapy in a clinical setting.

Covering topics such as: Toxicity and Contraindications, Integrative Healthcare, Infection, Oncology, Pain & Inflammation, and Palliative Care to name a few, this is one of the most thorough books on the clinical end that has been published to date.

The R.J. Buckle & Associates school has taught many nurses over the years to help them to integrate complementary care into their practice, and are still being taught all over the United States. If you are looking for clinical andscience-basedd information, you must invest in this book!

 

Happy reading!

 

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