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Essential oils for cold and flu

Essential Oils for Cold and Flu

Written by: Claire Kenny

 

When you get a cold your instincts may tell you rush to the doctors and get an antibiotic, now by all means if you are feeling very poorly or if you have any underlying issues make an appointment with your doctor, however if it is simply a cold virus the best action to take is rest up as much as possible, drink plenty of fluids, increase your Vitamin-C intake and add moisture to the air, as you are doing that why not add these oils to help boost your immunity, fight off a cough and congestion and help kill those airborne germs.

Essential oils have known antibacterial and antiviral properties making them very useful during the cold and flu season.  In most cases, the essential oils can provide a layer of protection in the air while other oils can help alleviate common symptoms while supporting the healing process.  There are many ways to use essential oils to fight off colds and flu during their peak months. Here are a few ways to use essential oils to neutralize air borne illnesses.

There are many different ways to use essential oils around the home and office.

 Diffusing Essential Oils

Diffusing is perhaps one of the best ways to benefit from the effects of essential oils. You have a few options of diffusion.  There are cold water diffusers, oil burners, a bowl of hot water and add a few drops of the oils or a good one if you don’t have any of the above is to get a wet facecloth and soak in a bowl with the oils and apply to your radiator.

But how do you know which ones work best? Some of the strongest germ-fighting oils come from plants. These include cinnamon, thyme, clove, tea tree and oregano. Combine these powerful oils with those known to support the immune system such as lavender, eucalyptus and any citrus oils like lemon, lime and orange. Many of these deter the growth of viruses and should be used during the weeks you tend to stay indoors because of cooler weather.

Tissue or cotton ball Breather

One useful way to fight congestion is to create a tissue or cotton ball breathing aid. Use a small pack of tissues or cotton balls and place six drops of eucalyptus oil and four drops of lavender oil in a few different areas in the tissues or cotton balls. Place them into a zip lock bag and seal it. Put it in your bag and take it along with you if you are fighting off a cold. When you feel congestion coming on, take them and hold it up close to your nose. Breathe deeply. This will help alleviate congestion.

Peppermint and eucalyptus oil can both help open the airways. You can use them separately or together for sinus congestion, lung congestion, or for respiratory issues of any kind.

Eucalyptus oil as a nasal decongestant works exceptionally well.

Those with chronic chest congestion issues like bronchitis and COPD, elderly people, or anyone pregnant or nursing should choose Eucalyptus radiata. Don’t use eucalyptus this way for children.

Balm

Create your own effective balm to help fight off congestion and coughing. Use a dark jar (as essential oils need to be kept out direct sunlight) to mix these essential oils.

  • 1 TBL coconut oil
  • 8 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of Thyme essential oil

Eucalyptus helps fight congestion as well as coughing; thyme is extremely antiviral. Lavender fights viruses and bacteria and helps promote relaxation. Rub about a teaspoon of the mix on your chest before going to bed. It can help you get some much-needed rest and breathe easier.

Here is a great aromatherapy immune system booster to keep you feeling your best you can make up wither a roller ball bottle blend using coconut oil and the following oils.

  • 6 drops Geranium
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus
  • 5 drops Tea Tree

Oils to Use for Congestion and Influenza

Here’s a list of some of the most popular oils. It’s a good idea to keep these versatile oils on hand for a lot of different reasons, but they are beneficial for helping soothe symptoms and in some instances to use for home remedies.

Peppermint can help soothe headaches, relieve congestion and sometimes relieve a fever. Dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it to the chest, bottoms of your feet or temples.

Lemon is a natural and effective decongestant and has antiviral properties.

Oregano is thought to be antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antiviral and antifungal. Diffuse it or put it in a vaporizer.

Lavender can aid with relief of cold and flu symptoms while it helps relax muscles and ease a headache.

Eucalyptus helps ease the respiratory system during a bout with the flu or a cold. Create a soothing rub by blending it with a carrier oil. It can be used as an ointment. Rub it on our chest and shoulders for cough relief.

Cinnamon Essential oil of cinnamon has powerful antifungal and antioxidant properties that help bolster the body’s immune system. A little bit of this essential oil, however, goes a long way. It has a richer scent than the ground spice, but it’s an essential oil you’ll want to use—even a small amount is effective, and the aroma is comforting.

Clove essential oil is a rich spice that adds warmth to a cold and flu blend while opening nasal airways and improving breathing. Clove is also an excellent companion oil that will boost the scent of other spices or sweeten the sharpness of eucalyptus. Just a drop or two, though—like cinnamon, clove’s robust aroma can overpower. These distinct spice oils (clove and cinnamon) will help you avoid getting sick when it seems as if everyone is sneezing in your direction.

Black Pepper less aggressive than cinnamon or clove, yet still effective for easing influenza’s aches and pains, black pepper is a woodsy, green aromatic that smells very little like the table spice, but offers a similar stimulating kick. Blend it with other essential oils to tackle bugs and viruses and add a bright scent to the mix.

Grand Fir is a decongestant that also offers anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties, especially when combined with clove. Grand fir can be added to a massage oil blend or to a bath (along with a carrier oil) to relieve achy muscles and joints associated with seasonal colds or the flu.

Geranium Many people enjoy the smell of geranium. But the scent is just one of its many charms. It is antiseptic and antibacterial, which not only makes it great in blends but can help you disinfect the air and surfaces in your home.  Geranium is relaxing as well and can help mask the odor of more medicinal oils that may be in blends for sickness.

Lemon oil helps invigorate the lymphatic system, which can be sluggish in times of illness. It may surprise you to know that even though the scent is stimulating, this oil is quite calming and can actually act as a mild stimulant.  This is a photosensitizing oil, and should not be used on the skin undiluted or before going out in the sun.

Peppermint Along with ginger, peppermint tea has long been used to reduce nausea and make people feel better.  If you have been exposed to oils for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve heard someone recommend peppermint oil for coughs at some point.  Many commercial supplements contain peppermint. It can help for a variety of ailments including gastrointestinal issues, respiratory and sinus infections, and coughs and colds.

Rosemary  is one of those oils to have on hand all of the time. It can help soothe aches and pains that come with the cold and flu and is helpful to diffuse for a cough. Not only this, it can help calm anxiety that may be plaguing you while you’re ill and can help ease your pounding head as well.

Thyme Both of these oils are a good choice. There are numerous variations and chemotypes of thyme. Both of these have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.  Thyme has been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. Hippocrates even recommended the herb for respiratory conditions, and we can still benefit from it today.

 

Winter Warmer Roller Blend

Roll this aromatic blend on the inner wrist and dab a dot under your nose and breathe deeply. Not only is this blend naturally antiviral, it’s also emotionally uplifting for when you’re feeling under the weather. Use coconut as your carrier,

  • 2 drops Eucalyptus
  • 2 drops Cinnamon
  • 2 drops Clove
  • 6 drops Black Pepper
  • 8 drops Lavender

Breathe Easy Blends

You can add these blends to a diffuser or use them to make a massage oil: mix oils in a 1 oz. glass bottle with a carrier oil such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil.

Blend

  • 8 drops Eucalyptus
  • 8 drops Black Pepper
  • 12 drops Lavandin

Blend

  • 4 drops Eucalyptus
  • 10 drops Lavandin
  • 14 drops Green Mandarin

Immune Boosting Blend

Here is a great aromatherapy immune system booster to keep you feeling your best you can make up using a roller ball bottle blend using coconut oil and the following oils.

  • 6 drops Geranium
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus
  • 5 drops Tea Tree

Healthy Tip: Make effective use of your respiratory blends. A few times daily, apply blends in a circular motion on the chest and solar plexus, the base of and behind your neck, behind your ears, and on other lymph nodes. Then place a drop under the nose to hasten the benefits of aromatherapy.

Colds:

  • 2 Drops Eucalyptus
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • 1 drop Lemon

Mix a teaspoon of carrier oil of choice. Rub a bit over the temples, forehead, chest, and neck areas.

 Head Colds:

  • 10 drops Ravensara
  • 5 drops Ho wood
  • 5 drops Palmarosa
  • 5 drops Thyme linalol.

Mix together and add six drops to diffuse for colds.

 Coughs With Mucus

  • 2 drops Eucalyptus radiata
  • 2 drops Thyme linalol
  • 1 drop Tea Tree
  • 1 drop Geranium

Add this mix to your diffuser or another humidifying method.

 Sinus Congestion

  • 2 drops Cardamom
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • 1 drop each Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Tea Tree

This blend works well to either diffuse or add to a bowl of hot water for steam inhalation. Place your head over the bowl and a towel on the back of your head and breathe in the steam for 10 minutes or so, until the water cools.

 For Fever

  • 2 drops Lavender or Peppermint
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus

More often than not, these illnesses come with a raised temperature. Luckily, there are essential oils that are antifebrile, which means they can help reduce fevers.  Add the above oils to a bath will have a cooling effect. Be sure to mix the drops with a little carrier oil or aloe vera juice before adding to the bath water, as the bath can become slippy.

Toddler Cold

If you are dealing with a little one who’s sick, don’t use the steam inhalation method as they can burn themselves with the hot water. For a toddler cold, diffuse a five-drop mix of any of the following oils:

  • Chamomile, Roman
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Tea Tree

The above oils are appropriate for babies and children above seven months old.

Just remember that with oils, less is more. Here are a handful more tips for you to get rid of that cold using essential oils.

  • 3-8 drops of single or blended oil are suitable for a bath. Mix with a teaspoon or tablespoon of carrier or aloe vera juice first.
  • For compresses, whether hot or cold, disperse 3-10 drops of oil in water prior to soaking.
  • Cotton swabs or tissues only need a drop or two.
  • Follow your diffuser instructions to determine the number of drops.
  • For humidifiers, use up to eight drops per pint.
  • If using a bowl of water for inhalation, only 3-5 drops are needed.
  • Ten to 30 drops of essential oil can be added to each ounce of carrier oil (30 mL). Use sparingly over the area being massaged.
  • Purify the air by adding 10-20 drops of your favorite viral-busting oil or blend to a pint of water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

 

There are special circumstances to be aware of when using essential oils for congestion, colds, and the flu.

Children, Elderly, and the Chronically Sick

Care must always be taken around particular groups of people. Babies and toddlers are especially susceptible to being harmed by oils.

For instance, there have been cases of seizures due to eucalyptus oil in small children.

Asthmatics

People with asthma can have severe attacks just being around essential oils. Even recipes for breathing them in can be dangerous.

Please use care when diffusing around asthmatics as well as giving them any other type of remedy involving essential oils.

 

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding should always be careful what they breathe in, ingest, or use on their body topically. While many oils are safe, others are not. Please consult with an expert on which oils you may or may not use.

 

 

 

Smells like home

Smells like home…

written by: Claire Kenny 08/09/2018


For as long as I can remember, my mother always had a bottle of essential oils ready for nearly all of our minor ailments when growing up.
When it came to exam times, interviews even the debs, mam would just pop into her wooden box of magic and make up blends that we could apply to our pulse points or even to our clothes. Our house always smelled safe.
Some of these blends even today remind of feeling safe and secure rather than the stress I was going through at the time of applying them.
Aromatherapy is the practice of inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve your mental and physical well-being.
One theory of how they work is that by stimulating the smell receptors in your nose, they can send messages to your nervous system. They are also thought to have a subtle effect on the body’s chemical and energy systems. Because of this, aromatherapy is often used as a natural remedy to relieve anxiety and stress.
Essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil before they’re applied to the skin. This reduces your risk of irritation. For adults, every 15 drops of essential oil should be diluted with 1 ounce of carrier oil. For children, the ratio is 3 to 6 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Some popular carrier oils are almond, coconut, and jojoba.
Essential oils should never be ingested, despite claims on the internet that suggest otherwise. There’s not enough research on any one essential oil to prove it’s safe to swallow. Each essential oil is very different, and some are toxic.

Below is a list of some of my favourite essentials oil for anxiety and stress.

Valerian

Valerian is an herb that has been used since ancient times. It’s thought to contain compounds that promote sleep and calm nerves. It can have a mild sedative effect on the body.
How to use: Add a few drops of valerian oil to an aromatherapy diffuser and inhale. Ideally use Valerian at home in the evening as it may make you sleepy or relaxed.

Lavender

Lavender is one of the most popular aromatherapy oils. Lavender aromatherapy is thought to calm anxiety by impacting the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions.
How to use: Enjoy a relaxing lavender bath by combining several drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil or an unscented bath gel. Stir the mixture into warm bathwater just before entering.

Jasmine

Jasmine oil has a gorgeous floral scent. Inhaling jasmine oil can promote a sense of well-being and romance. Unlike some other essential oils used for anxiety, jasmine oil is thought to calm the nervous system without causing sleepiness.
How to use: Inhale jasmine oil directly from the bottle or allow the scent to fill the room through a diffuser.

Sweet basil

Sweet basil essential oil comes from the same herb that you use in cooking. In aromatherapy, it’s thought to help calm the mind and relieve stress.
The phenol compounds in sweet basil oil helped relieve anxiety. These compounds were found to be less sedating than the anxiety medication diazepam.
How to use: Add several drops of sweet basil oil to a room diffuser or inhale through an inhaler tube.

Bergamot

Bergamot oil comes from bergamot oranges and has an invigorating citrus scent. Bergamot helps relieve anxiety and improve mood.
When used topically, bergamot may increase sun sensitivity.
How to use: Place a few drops of bergamot oil onto a cotton ball or handkerchief. Inhale the aroma two to three times to help relieve anxiety.

Chamomile

Chamomile is well-known for its relaxing and sedating properties and intoxicating scent. There isn’t much research on chamomile essential oil for anxiety.
How to use: Massage diluted chamomile oil into your skin or add it to a warm bath.

Rose

Rose essential oil is extracted from rose petals. Roses have an enchanting floral scent known to relax the senses.
Using a rose aromatherapy footbath can reduce anxiety in pregnant women during labour. Not be used unless in labour.
How to use: Soak your feet in a basin filled with warm water and diluted Rose essential oil. You can also add rose oil to your favourite non-scented moisturizer or shea butter and massage into skin.

Vetiver

Vetiver may be less known than other essential oils, but it’s not less effective. Vetiver oil comes from the grassy vetiver plant native to India. It has a sweet, earthy scent and is used as an aphrodisiac.
How to use: Enjoy a relaxing massage with diluted vetiver oil, or add it to a diffuser.

Ylang Ylang

Floral-scented Ylang Ylang is used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation. Inhaling a blend of Ylang Ylang, lavender, and bergamot lowered stress and anxiety levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and serum cortisol.
How to use: Apply diluted Ylang Ylang to your skin, add to a room diffuser, or inhale directly.

Frankincense

Frankincense oil is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It has a musky, sweet aroma that’s thought to ease anxiety. A beautiful massage blend of frankincense, lavender, and bergamot can improve anxiety, depression, and sometimes even pain in people with terminal cancer.
How to use: Massage diluted frankincense oil onto your hands or feet. You can also add frankincense to a diffuser.

Clary sage

Clary sage is different from the common herb used to make stuffing at Thanksgiving. It has a woody, herbal odour. Due to its calming abilities, it’s often used as an aphrodisiac.
Clary sage can ease tension and help control cortisol levels in women. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. High cortisol levels may increase your risk of anxiety and depression.
How to use: Inhale clary sage oil directly when you feel anxious, or massage the diluted oil into your skin. Do not use clary sage while pregnant as it can cause contractions.

Patchouli

Musky patchouli is used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression. It’s often combined with other essential oils such as lavender. Patchouli is thought to promote calmness and relaxation, though most evidence is anecdotal.
How to use: To relieve anxiety, inhale patchouli oil directly or add it diluted to a warm bath or room diffuser.

Geranium

Geranium oil is distilled from the geranium plant.
For women in the first stage of labour, inhaling geranium oil effectively reduced their anxiety during labour. It may also help decrease diastolic blood pressure.
How to use: Apply a few drops geranium oil to a cotton ball and waft under your nose a few times.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm has a fresh, uplifting aroma. In aromatherapy, it has a soothing, restorative effect. Most success stories on inhaling lemon balm for anxiety are anecdotal. It may also improve sleep.
How to use: Lemon balm is a great oil to add to a diffuser to add scent to an entire room. You can also inhale it directly.

Marjoram

Also known as oregano, sweet marjoram is thought to calm nervousness and anxiety. It’s also used to ease headaches, a common symptom of anxiety.
How to use: Dilute marjoram with a carrier oil and rub into your temples. You may also apply to your wrists or add to a diffuser.

Fennel

Fennel is best known as a cooking spice. It has an anise aroma and is used to treat many anxiety side effects such as digestive problems. It may also help relieve anxiety that’s related to menopause and other conditions.
Using fennel essential oil has been known to help menopause side effects such as anxiety, hot flashes, sleep problems, and depression.
How to use: Add diluted fennel oil to a warm bath to help relax your body and your mind.

What to do before use:

Essential oils may cause an allergic reaction when used topically. To avoid this, it’s important to do a patch test on a small area of skin before use.
Place a few drops of diluted essential oil on your wrist or elbow, and cover the spot with a bandage. Check the area in 24 hours. If you experience any redness, rash, or itching, the oil isn’t safe for you to use on your skin.
Essential oils aren’t safe for everyone. Talk to your doctor before using essential oils if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying medical condition. You should also consult your doctor before using essential oils on children.
Remember: Not all essential oils are created equal, so you should only buy them from a reputable source.

Natural treatments for psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease marked by inflammation in the joints and skin. This disease is progressive, worsening over time. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can lead to joint damage.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a form of arthritis that mainly affects people who have psoriasis or those with a family history of psoriasis. Often, those with PsA have joint pain and inflammation combined with the inflamed, itchy, red patches of skin covered with silvery scales that are typical of psoriasis itself.
The progression of PsA may be slowed with traditional therapies and the symptoms may ease. Alternative remedies may complement these therapies and may help people with PsA feel more in control of the disease.

Natural remedies.
Apple cider vinegar, when applied to psoriasis on the scalp, may help to treat PsA.
There are many natural remedies to try for PsA. Most of these do not have much scientific research supporting their use. The use of these remedies is backed mainly by anecdotal evidence.

Natural remedies for psoriatic arthritis include the following:

Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has a lot of buzz for, supposedly, being a miracle cure-all. For treating PsA, people may find it useful if applied to patches of psoriasis on the scalp. However, this should be avoided if the areas are cracked and bleeding.
• Tea tree oil. This essential oil may ease skin inflammation caused by PsA. However, science is cautious to recommend this as a treatment because it may aggravate more sensitive skin.
• Oats. Adding oats to a bath or using oats in a paste can help relieve itchy patches of psoriasis. While there’s little scientific evidence supporting oats as a treatment for psoriasis, oats are highly regarded in folk medicine as one of nature’s best skin soothers.
• Turmeric. Turmeric is highly regarded for its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shownturmeric may be able to alter gene expression, easing PsA symptoms. People with PsA can either add the spice liberally to their food or take turmeric capsules.
• Capsaicin. Capsaicin is what makes chili peppers hot and may be useful by blocking pain receptors. Some research has also found that when used in over-the-counter creams, capsaicin may reduce psoriasis symptoms as well.
Aloe vera. This soothing balm from an aloe plant may provide cooling comfort for irritated patches of psoriatic skin. However, aloe vera should only be used topically and never ingested. Taking it orally may be dangerous.
• Epsom salts. A warm bath with Epsom salts may help reduce joint pain and inflammation. Epsom salts contain magnesium, a mineral that boosts bone health and may soothe itchy skin. Warm water also helps loosen joints and relieve pain. People with diabetes should be wary when using soaks of Epsom salts as they can stimulate the release of insulin.
• Oregon grape. Some studies suggest that applying creams with Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) can ease psoriasis skin irritation. Like aloe vera, Oregon grape should only be used topically.
• Fish oil. Joint pain may be reduced by fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help block inflammation and ease painful swelling.
• Ginger. A root of ginger is well-known in folk medicine for having many anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have shown that taking ginger three times a day can reduce knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.
When trying these natural remedies, people with PsA should remember that these remedies are not a substitute for prescribed treatments.

Alternative therapies

Massage therapy may help to alleviate joint pain and provide relief from arthritis-related discomfort.
There are a number of alternative therapies available to complement PsA treatment. These therapies should not replace the traditional treatments for PsA but can provide some additional relief and quality of life benefits.

Alternative therapies include the following:
Massage therapy. A massage therapist trained in dealing with PsA can help relieve joint discomfort and release tight muscles and joints. A massage can provide significant relief from arthritis-related discomfort.
Acupuncture. This technique involves sticking needles into various pressure points to relieve chronic pain. No studies show its usefulness for PsA but some patients with chronic pain do find acupuncture helpful.
• Acupressure. Acupressure involves putting pressure onto different points of the body to reduce pain and pressure, stimulate the immune system, and release tension.

 

Diet
Eating more healthily will not cure PsA but eating well does promote good health and well-being. People with PsA should strive to maintain a healthy weight and stay mindful of their diet.

 

Following these healthy eating tips may help:
• eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
• getting protein through lean meat, beans, and legumes
• choosing low-fat and fat-free dairy products
• avoiding refined sugar and bad carbohydrates such as processed white breads and pasta
• choosing whole grains when possible
• drinking plenty of water
Anyone with PsA may benefit from keeping a food journal and planning healthful meals.
Lifestyle tips
The symptoms of PsA often flare up during periods of stress or fatigue. It may help people with PsA to change their lifestyle to reduce stress since stress is associated with increased inflammation. Doing so also helps people to get adequate sleep so that the body can heal itself.
The following tips and suggestions may help:
Relaxing. Using aromatherapy, breathing techniques, and keeping a journal may help manage stress and promote relaxation.

Getting gentle exercise. Exercise is recommended for people with PsA. They may find yoga and tai chi particularly useful for helping to loosen stiff joints and release stress.
Meditating. Meditation may result in a deeper level of relaxation that may help alleviate stress, so helping prevent or manage symptoms of PsA.
Getting enough sleep. Sleep is crucial to allowing inflammation to heal and to promoting good health.
Taking a warm bath. Spa therapy, including hydrotherapy like a warm bath, can loosen joints and ease pain and inflammation associated with PsA. These therapies can also promote relaxation and decrease stress.
Practicing mindfulness. Being mindful involves checking in with the body and taking stock of how its feeling. It also involves being aware of any situations that may cause unnecessary stress.
An increased sense of physical awareness can help people to catch a flare of symptoms early so that they deal with it before it worsens. Doing so may prevent a worse flare from occurring.
When combining lifestyle remedies with other forms of treatment for PsA, people may find an increased quality of life and more relief. However, lifestyle remedies and natural therapies are not a substitute for a doctor’s care and traditional treatments.

 

When to see a doctor
Anyone who thinks they are experiencing symptoms of PsA should see a doctor for diagnosis and to begin treatment. As the disease is progressive, beginning treatment early is crucial.
Anyone with psoriasis or a family history of psoriasis should be screened regularly for PsA by a doctor.
People with PsA should also see a doctor regularly and should speak to one before starting or changing treatments. This includes any natural or alternative remedies.
Some natural remedies may interact with prescribed medication or may not be recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women.

 

 

 

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Healing with Fennel

Cleansing with Fennel

Fennel has a strong and distinctive smell that can help to suppress your appetite and ease digestive disorders.
Warming and stimulating fennel has a long tradition as a digestive tonic. The seeds of the herb are crushed to give a strongly scented, sweet, peppery oil. Fennel has potent properties. Used sparily, it has an enlivening, energising and revitalising effect on the mind and body.
Fennel’s main action is on the digestion, where it has a regulating and ‘unblocking’ action. It is effective in relieving nausea, indigestion, constipation and flatulence.

Fennel for your Detox regime:
Use fennel to detoxify your body as it acts as a tonic for the kidneys, liver and spleen. It is also a diuretic, promoting the flow of urine and helping to reduce fluid retention in tissues – as such it is especially useful before menstruation. Fennel also regulates periods and stimulates the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers.

Circulation Stimulant:
Stimulate sluggish circulation with fennel to gain relief from the building up of toxins and fluids.
Ease swollen feet:
Cypress acts as a tonic to the circulatory system, complimenting fennel’s ‘movin’ action. Ease puffy, swollen feet and ankles with a massage blend of:
• 5 drops fennel
• 5 drops cypress
• 20ml of grapeseed oil
Relieve painful gout:
Treat gout by gently massaging the affected are with:
• 3 drops fennel
• 6 drops juniper
• 6 drops lemon
• 25mls of grapeseed
this blend stimulate circulation and helps to clear away accumulated toxins.

Detoxifying Fennel:
Make use of fennel’s diurectic action to clean your urinary system.
Water Rentention:
Relieve symptoms of bloatedness due to water retention by massaging the abdomen and lower back with a blend of:
• 3 drops fennel
• 5 drops juniper
• 10 drops lemon
• 2 drops peppermint
• 25mls of sweet almond.
A massage blend of the following oils aids lymphatic drainage of the tissues.
• 3 drops of clary sage
• 6 drops of fennel
• 2 drops of geranium
• 2 drops of rosemary
• 25mls of grapeseed.
Diurectic Bath:
Aid your body’s ability to detox by adding to your bath water:
• 2 drops of fennel
• 3 drops of lemon
• 3 drops of juniper
Digestive Aid:
Tone, soothe and regulate the body’s digestive processes with fennel.
Ease Gut Cramps:
For relief from digestive cramps, make a warm compress by soaking a flannel in a bowl of water containing:
• 3 drops fennel
• 1 drop peppermint
• 6 drops rosemary
Apply across abdomen and use a hot water bottle to retain heat.

Soothe Indigestion:
Relieve indigestion with a chest and back massage blend containing:
• 3 drops fennel
• 5 drops orange
• 3 drops sage
• 25ml grapeseed
All three of these essential oils work to calm and balance the digestion- but don’t massage immediately after eating as the massage itself can disrupt digestion.

Oestrogen substitute:
Fennel is a natural source of a plant hormone that mimics the female hormone oestrogen.
Regulate Periods:
To treat irregular periods, apply a compress containing the following oils added to a bowl of water to the abdomen.
• 2 drops basil
• 2 drops fennel
• 2 drops Melissa
As a general tonic for the female reproductive system, massage the stomach and back with
• 4 drops cypress
• 4 drops of clary sage
• 2 drops fennel
• 30ml of sweet almond
Nursing Mothers:
Promote the flow of breast milk by massaging the breasts with:
• 5 drops of fennel
• 30ml of sweet almond.
• BE SURE TO REMOVE OIL BEFORE FEEDING.

The magic of Marjoram

Healing with Marjoram.


Marjoram is a garden herb that has remained a culinary favourite for thousands of years; it has wide-ranging therapeutic properties, too.
The warm and penetrating aroma of marjoram is both relaxing and restorative.
It’s peppery and spicy fragrance has camphorous undertones that evaporate to leave a soft, sweet scent. This garden herb can also be used for a wide range of healing therapies.
Marjoram alleviates aches and pains, making it an excellent massage oil for stiff tired muscles. It can be used as a sedative to promote a restful night’s sleep, and it’s relaxing action provides a remedy for headaches.

Soothing for the stomach:

The herb aids digestion by stimulating and strengthening the muscles of the digestive tract. It relieves intestinal spasms, heartburn and flatulence. Its application in an abdominal massage eases cramps and it is valuable for treating the symptoms of PMT.

Marjoram for Menstrual issues.

Marjoram is a valuable aid to women who suffer from menstrual problems. Use the warming action of this oil to calm period pains and relieve the symptoms of PMT.
• Relax your body by stepping into a deep warm bath containing 4 drops of marjoram oil and 3 drops of chamomile oil. The synergistic blend of oils will calm uterine spasms.
• Another method of easing painful periods cramps with marjoram is to apply a hot compress made by adding 3 drops of marjoram oil and 2 drops of clary sage oil to a bowl of hot water. Soak a flannel in the dilution for a few minutes and then rest it on your stomach. Place a hot water bottle on top of the compress to retain the warmth.
• Balance mood swings and feelings of agitation associated with PMT with a full body massage. Add 4 drops each of marjoram, lavender and rose oil to 25ml of sweet almond oil.

Marjoram Oil for stiff muscles:

Massage away muscular stiffness, aches and pains and bring back movement back for stiff or rheumatic joints.
• Relax cold muscles before exercise with a brisk rub, adding 4 drops of marjoram oil and 3 drops each of basil and pine oil to 20ml of grapeseed oil.
• Alleviate muscular aches my massaging the affected area with 5 drops marjoram, 4 drops ginger and 3 drops of vetivert to 25ml of sweet almond oil. This remedy is particularly effective for treating lower back pain.
• In winter, boost circulation by relaxing in a hot bath containing a blend of warming oils: 2 drops each of marjoram, benzoin and clary sage.

Soothe the mind:

Ease anxiety and tension with marjoram’s sedative action. Its calming effect will aid relaxation and dispel tension headaches and insomnia.
• Soothe nervous tension headaches by massaging the forehead, neck and shoulders with 4 drops marjoram and 2 drops each of lavender and peppermint oil with 10ml of sweet almond oil. Both Marjoram and lavender are relaxing and the peppermint offers potent pain relief.
• Dispel insomnia by massaging the soles of the feet each night with 2 drops of marjoram and lavender to 10ml of grapeseed oil. These sedative oils are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.

Put the pep back in your step

Put the pep back in your step with Peppermint.

 

Peppermint oil has been used as a tonic for centuries, and its fresh aroma is evident in toothpastes and mouthwashes today.

Peppermint is a powerful digestive stimulant; it aids the digestion of fats and strengthens liver function.  This makes it an excellent oil for relieving indigestion and treating gastric fevers and diarrhoea.

Decongestant properties

Peppermint stimulates the circulation, reviving aching muscles and joints.  It is also a powerful decongestant  and can be used to help with fevers and respiratory infections.  Additionally, it acts as a good deodorant.

Peppermint complements other decongestant oils, especially eucalyptus and thyme, which work to boost the body’s immune system.  Its aroma can also help to cool feelings of anger, hysteria or emotional burnout.

Focus your mind with Peppermint

Refreshing Peppermint oil invigorates the mind, acting as a nerve tonic and stimulant.

~ To sharpen concentration and alertness, simple combine 5 drops each of peppermint and basil oil with 10 drops of lemon in a room vaporizer.

~ To fight mental fatigue and emotional burnout with a stimulating whole body massage.  Add 50ml sweet almond oil to 4 drops each of peppermint and geranium and 10 drops rosemary.

~ Clear headaches with a soothing neck massage using peppermint and lavender oils.

Digestive Disorders

Use Peppermint’s digestive and antiseptic properties to help with common digestive disorders.

~ For relief from constipation, dilute 3 drops of peppermint, 5 drops lemon and 7 drops rosemary in 25ml  of grapeseed oil.  Massage gently over the abdomen in clockwise, circular movements every couple of hours.

~ Help with diarrhoea with an aromatic compress.  Mix 5 drops each of peppermint, ginger and marjoram in hot water.  Soak a facecloth in this, wring and apply to the abdomen.

Revive tired feet

Just what the doctor ordered after a long day on your feet.

~Relieve aching feet in an invigorating foot spa that contains 4 drops each of peppermint and geranium along with 3 tablespoons of Epsom Salts.

~Combine 3 drops each of peppermint, rosemary and lavender with 25ml of grapeseed oil for a invigorating foot massage.  Firm, brisk strokes will increase circulation.

~ Make your own antiseptic foot powder to treat athletes foot.  Simply add 5 drops lavender and 3 drops                                                                                         peppermint to 2 tablespoons or corn flower.

Cold and flu remedies

~ Add 2 drops each of peppermint, rosemary and lavender to boiling water.

Place towel over your head and inhale steam for 5 minutes.

~ Treat feverish colds by putting a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus and pine in a room diffuser or oil burner.

 

 

We have some amazing Aromatherapists available at the centre or just pop in to buy this astounding oil.

 

Homeopathy for colds and flu

Homeopathy for Colds, Coughs and Flu

If you don’t fancy another few months of antibiotics and cough medicines, why not try some of the following Homeopathic remedies:

Colds and Flu

Aconite 30c – No. 1 Remedy for nipping colds in the bud. Useful in the early stages of colds, fevers, sore throats and the inflammatory stage of other illnesses. Sudden onset often after exposure to cold. Much sneezing with pain at root of nose. Dry mucous membranes. Worse: evening or night and for touch. Better: fresh air and rest.

Arsenicum Alb 30c. – Catches cold easily, burning, watery nasal discharge alternating with dryness. Frequent sneezing without relief. Very chilly and shivery. Nostrils become sore and red and nose feels blocked alternating with watery discharge. Worse: change of temperature, cold, damp and after midnight. Better: heat and warm applications, hot drinks.

Euphrasia 30c Profuse bland nasal discharge, running red eyes with burning tears and frequent sneezing. Burning sore throat and eyes sensitive to light. Worse: light, in the evening. Better: during the day when up and about.

Eupatorium perf.30c – Chill followed by heat and sweating. Intense aching of bones as if broken or bruised. Great thirst for cold drinks. Worse: movement, cold, open air. Better; Resting, warmth, sweating.

Gelsemium 30c – No 1 remedy for flu. Dull, sluggish with heavy looking eyes and dull headache usually at the back of the neck. Chills and shivering up and down the spine. Aching muscles in limbs and back. Burning throat. Colds and flu usually comes on gradually. Worse cold, damp weather. Better: after urination.

Pulsatilla 30c Chilliness even in a warm room, nasal catarrh, bland and thick. Dry mouth with no thirst. Painful headache with changing, shifting symptoms. Worse in a warm room, after lying down. Better: in the open air.

Rhus Tox 30c – Very restless with aching in all muscles and stiffness. Just cannot get comfortable. Heat alternating with chills, pain in head and eyes with red face. Worse: night, first movement. Better: warmth

COUGHS

Aconite 30c- Sudden onset often after exposure to cold air. Dry croupy cough with runny nose and sneezing. Irritation of respiratory tract, hoarseness/dryness of throat. Worse: cold dry winds, talking and deep breathing. Better: lying on back.

Ant Tart 30c – Noisy, rattling, loose cough as if chest full of mucus. Young children or elderly with cough too weak to expel the mucus. Worse: night, especially from 10 pm until after midnight, lying flat, eating. Better sitting up and after expectoration

Bryonia 30c – Dry hacking cough in the evening and night without sputum. Spasmodic cough shaking the whole body, pain in the head an abdomen from coughing, better for holding the painful part. Dryness of all air passages with thirst. Worse: movement, deep breathing, lying in bed. Better: fresh air and for pressure of painful part.

Drosera 30c – Spasmodic, dry irritating coughs like whooping cough. Barking cough which is dry in the evening and loose in the morning. Sputum is yellow/green, bitter or offensive, bloody or pus like. Retching after spasmodic cough. Worse: after midnight, lying down, singing, laughing and drinking. Better: holding chest.

Spongia 30c – Barking, dry croupy cough with wheezing and rasping. Great dryness of all air passages. Scanty expectoration tasting salty, looser in the morning but no mucous rattle in the chest. Cough sounds like a saw being driven through a pine board. Sensation as if had to breath through a dry sponge. Worse: warm room, talking before midnight. Better: swallowing, especially warm drinks, sitting up and bending forward.

Our Homeopath, Lee Ni Chinneide is happy to discuss with you and/or supply any of these remedies – call 086-3710187 from Mon – Fri 9am to 10am for advice or to book appointments.

Have a herbal Detox this spring

Have a herbal detox this spring. 

Feel like a deep spring clean of your body?

Cleavers (Galium aparine) could really help you. You might know this innocent looking plant as sticky-back, goosegrass or catchweed. All of these names are fitting, as it sticks to your clothes when you walk through long grass. Remember it now?

Cleavers helps the body to eliminate uric acid and it cleanses the lymph glands, reducing inflammation and detoxing as it goes, and in this way it has many knock-on benefits for the body. This amazing little plant may even be growing in your back garden.

Why not try a bit of DIY cleansing this spring? This is one of the few plants that does not need to be infused in hot water or extracted in alcohol. Clean (filtered or distilled), cold water is all you need.

  1. Source this plant growing in a clean environment away from roads and free from any sprays (April-May is the best time, before it has begun to flower)
  2. Pick a generous amount of leaves and stem
  3. Macerate it so that the outer layer has been broken
  4. Put it in a pot and cover with water, and put the lid on
  5. Leave in the fridge or cool place overnight
  6. Strain it the next day
  7. Drink a glass of this liquid three times a day for five days every few weeks in  spring to give your body a boost

 

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