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Essential Oils for inflamed, dry, or itchy skin

Many suffer from dermatitis, itchy and flaky skin, or just plain dryness. Did you know you can use essential oils to treat these conditions safely and naturally? You can!

Sensitive skin impacts so many people, which means either you or someone close to you suffers from rosacea, acne, contact dermatitis, excessive dryness and flakiness, eczema, or redness. All these conditions are a bit different, but there’s a clear common denominator: inflammation!

Many artificial or harsh scents, colors, etc. in commercial skin products can trigger skin inflammation. All inflammation, including skin, is complex and not completely understood. If you suffer from any of those conditions, it’s time to take a good, long look at your cleaning supplies and start weeding out the likely triggers! Get rid of commercial fabric dryer sheets, laundry detergents with surfactants, commercial soaps containing harsh ingredients, and start protecting your skin! Wear non-latex gloves when you clean the bathroom, for example, and use natural and gentle skin care products.

You can also begin to heal damaged skin using essential oils! Some of the top essential oils for healing and calming troubled skin include

Geranium (uplifting and strengthening). Geranium essential oil offers balance by both calming inflammation and stimulating new skin growth. It also balances skin condition by helping to regulate sebum production, and so is perfect for all skin types. This also helps Geranium speed wound healing. Use in very small amounts, and go slowly!

Juniper (healing and anti-inflammatory). This soothing essential oil offers amazing anti-inflammatory action! Famed for helping with eczema and psoriasis, try this essential oil on itchy, patchy skin.

Sandalwood (moisturizing and protecting). With its rich scent, Sandalwood is effective for nourishing dry skin and can help with rashes. It may also protect your skin against impurities, pollution, and unwanted microbes. Try it on acne-prone skin!

Lavender (calming and cooling). Skin benefits of Lavender may include reducing redness, soothing inflammation, and assisting with dryness. Lavender may also help to clear up eczema, acne, psoriasis, and scarring! Plus, you can use it directly on your skin!

Most essential oils must be used with carrier oils, in very small amounts! Some favorites include sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or evening primrose oil. Look for organic products and get to know the manufacturer.

A good starting point to try essential oils on your skin is to start with one or two drops of the essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil. Mix small amounts at first, while you find a combination that works for you.

And, the quality of the essential oil is important! Check for artificial fragrances and chemical fillers! Use your health care dollar to purchase pure ingredients, and mix them yourself.

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Do you find yourself having trouble falling asleep at night?

Do you find yourself having trouble falling asleep at night? Or, do you snap at the children even though your intention is to remain calm? Are you irritable, sometimes for no reason?

One thing to check is how much caffeine you ingest each day. Many of us start the day with a cup of coffee, and studies show that coffee (in moderation) can actually be beneficial. Researchers at UCLA identified that drinking coffee can help prevent type 2 diabetes (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012180/ retrieved 4/8/2018) especially I women. Additionally, coffee and caffeine intake has been linked to a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s Disease (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/192731 retrieved 48/2018).

But many of us also add a second, third, or fourth cup to our mornings. Or, we drink a caffeinated soft drink when we hit the 3pm afternoon slump. This additional intake can lead to irritability and sleeplessness.

How much caffeine do you ingest each day? The average cup of coffee has approximately 95 milligrams of caffeine. Despite its stronger flavor, espresso actually has less caffeine, at 64 milligrams per shot. That cola that you drink in the afternoon probably has about 40 milligrams of caffeine. Add it all up, and you may discover why you snap at the kids and have trouble falling asleep at night!

Aromatherapy can help.

If you reach for caffeine because of lack of energy, try diffusing lemon, orange, or eucalyptus oil in the morning and early afternoon. All of these are known to increase energy and help us handle stress.

Peppermint and Spearmint oil can also help with energy levels! Try mixing 3-4 drops of peppermint oil with 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil (try almond oil!). Rub on the back of your neck and your temples.

You can also use aromatherapy to help unwind at night. Lavender oil is a popular solution for folks who tend to take their work home with them. Inhale directly for immediate calming effect. Diffuse it in the bedroom for a sound night’s sleep!

Cinnamon leaf essential oil is also great for stress and anxiety. Try a blend of 4 drops cinnamon leaf oil and 6 drops orange oil in 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil (coconut is another great option). Massage gently on the back of your neck and your temples, and let these oils help you release the stress of the day!

Head over to our shop to see the great selection of Plantlife Essential Oils!

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Essential Oils for Healthy Teeth and Gums

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a fresh, clean mouth! We work hard to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Good oral hygiene is also very important for overall health. According to the Mayo Clinic, your oral health may be connected to cardiovascular disease and other heart problems. And, if you are diabetic or suffer from osteoporosis, these conditions may be linked to worsening oral health. (Visit https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 for more information!)

Make sure you work with a dentist or dental hygienist for professional oral health care. But, you can also add essential oils to your oral health care and improve the health of your teeth and gums naturally! Here are some ideas:

Peppermint and spearmint essential oils are both antiseptic and help to treat pain. This is why you see them as flavors in so many oral hygiene products. They will also help combat bad breath.

Rosemary essential oil is a good disinfectant and helps with mouth odor.

Tea tree essential oil is great to help fight germs, heal cold sores, and combat bad breath.

Myrrh oil is very good for oral hygiene. It can strengthen gums and has both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

Eucalyptus essential oil is a germicide that may fight plaque build-up, gingivitis, and perhaps also prevent cavities.

Lemon essential oil is antiseptic, strengthens gums and helps to whiten your teeth.

Cinnamon essential oil is great for bad breath and helps with oral pain.

Many people add a drop or two of one of these essential oils to their toothbrush (either beneath or on top of toothpaste) and brush as they regularly do.

You can also make your own mouth rinse! Mix and match from the above essential oils, and blend 5-10 drops of each together. Add 8 ounces of purified or filtered water. Shake well, rinse and spit, and avoid swallowing. Adjust the strength to your taste.

For more information and ideas, visit https://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-35/issue-10/features/incorporating-essential-oils-into-clinical-dentistry.html (retrieved June 10, 2018.) Our blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, prescribe, or cure any disease or condition, and the information is provided for educational purposes only.

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Aromatherapy and the Chakras, Part 3

Today we continue our discussion of the chakras and the use of essential oils to heal ourselves from this level. If you’re joining us late, please read the last two blogs for background to enhance your understanding!

The fourth, or heart chakra, is located in the center of the chest. As this wheel spins, it carries energy relating to our ability to be in affinity with ourselves, with our tribe, with strangers, and with the world. Many people experience blocks in this chakra by focusing on the wellbeing of others at their own expense, putting others needs first.

Rose essential oil can help soothe this chakra and allow the wheel to spin with unconditional acceptance of what is. If you find yourself fighting with life, try balancing this chakra with the sweet, floral scent of the rose oil.

The fifth, or throat chakra, is located at the cleft of your throat. This wheel carries energy relating to communication and self-expression. A writer experiencing writer’s block is probably blocked on this level. Energies blocking the spin of this wheel might also manifest as sinus infections, sore throats, etc.

Eucalyptus oil, famous for its ability to help clear sinuses and soothe a sore throat, also helps clear blocks on other levels, allowing a freer flow in communication and creativity!

The sixth, or brow chakra, is located at the forehead between the eyes. Commonly called the third eye, this wheel also carries energy relating to perspective and intuition! Blocks here can manifest as headaches or a rigid perspective.

Lavender oil, with its calming scent, is great for headaches. It also helps calm the mind, loosen rigid thinking, and allow access to a higher state of consciousness!

The seventh, or crown chakra, is at the top of the head. This wheel carries energy about our connection to source and our highest spirituality. Blocks to the spin of this wheel can manifest as ringing in the ear or a consciousness that is locked into the physical plane.

Frankincense is one of the most spiritually charged oils! Use it to help clear your spiritual connection, enhance mental peace and clarity, and help you attain a higher perspective!

Visit us in the Essential Aromas section for high-quality essential oils, body products, and other carefully sourced, high-quality items!

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Aromatherapy and the Chakras, part 2

In our last blog we talked about the effects of essential oils, in the aromatherapy setting, when used to heal the subtle energies of the body. In this blog we’ll discuss the basics of using some readily accessible essential oils to stimulate and tonify the chakras.

Good physical health and your ability to heal is enhanced by your mental and emotional state. One ancient way of doing this is by strengthening the chakras. These spinning wheels, representing our life cycles and offering an opportunity to affect all levels of health as the wheel spins.

The first, or root, chakra is located at the base of the spine in the tailbone area. This is where our sense of security lies, and this chakra is thought to be connected to the adrenal glands. It processes energy that helps your body on the physical plane.

Patchouli oil enhances your sense of grounding and stability, relieving you of certain anxieties and apprehensions. The sweet and musky scent of Patchouli oil is often used in perfumes and colognes and can emit a natural musk when applied to the skin. Also great in diffusers!

The second, or sacral, chakra is in the lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel. This wheel carries energy related to sexuality and sensuality through the different levels. When this chakra is blocked we may experience depression or a separation of our mental state from our sensual/sexual state!

Ylang ylang and sandalwood both act as tonifiers for this chakra and help relieve blocks, freeing energy to heal and balance your emotional and sexual life. Ylang ylang (literally, flower of flowers) has a sweet, floral scent, and in Bali the flowers are used to decorate the newlyweds’ wedding bed! Sandalwood, with its rich, woody aroma, helps ground your emotions and keep you from being overwhelmed by them.

The third, or solar plexus chakra is located above the belly button. This wheel carries energy and information about who we are as empowered beings and also how energy (both physical and subtle) moves through our system. If your self-esteem and self-confidence are low, you may have blockages in this chakra.

Cinnamon oil can help warm this power center. If you lack a sense of yourself as empowered, try this oil to awaken this chakra. Or, if you tend to be aggressive, pushy, or you overwhelm others, try peppermint oil to cool the excess fire in this chakra.

In the next blog, we’ll discuss the remaining chakras, their meanings, and what oils support healing in those areas.

Don’t forget to visit our Skin & Body Care section of the site! We offer quick shipping and a personal approach to customer support. If you’d rather place your order on the phone that’s fine too. Give us a call at (510) 222-4757.

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Aromatherapy and the Chakras

Essential oils as used in the practice of aromatherapy don’t work in the same way many other treatments work. For example, you know when you take an aspirin, there’s a specific chemical process that impacts your body. This is where western medicine excels, in the treatment of acute situations.

Aromatherapy, instead of having this direct and intrusive impact on your body, stimulates healing in other ways. The smell receptors in your nose communicate with parts of your brain (such as the amygdala and hippocampus; https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/aromatherapy retrieved 2/18/2018). Many believe that by stimulating these primal brain centers aromatherapy can influence physical, emotional, and mental health.

Many also believe that, rather than the health of the body being separate from mental or emotional health, these are entwined, each influencing the other. Many have noticed that they’ll get a cold a few hours or days after an emotionally overwhelming experience, for example. If this theory resonates with you, you may find value in the use of aromatherapy to stabilize your mental and emotional state, thereby creating a more stable state of physical health!

Certain schools of thought (yoga and Ayurveda for example) diagnose and treat our health through the chakra system. The word chakra means wheel, and represents the cosmic principles relating to life cycles. For example, the cycle of spirit, to emotions, to mental state, and to physical body. These wheels turn, and by turning impact us on all levels. The chakras are not physical constructs, but many believe they are connected to the endocrine system and the so-called ductless glands.

Aromatherapy has traditionally been used to stimulate or balance these chakras, clearing blocked energies and enhancing the natural cycles of the wheels. Many schools of thought focus on the seven main chakras, located up and down the spine, each processing information about a different area of life in the physical body. There are, however, many more chakras, generally considered in groups relating to each of the 7 major chakras. The Vedas and Upanishads speak of twenty-one chakras, roughly three in each major chakra grouping.

If you’re reading this blog, you probably have experience with aromatherapy. Perhaps for safe cleaning of your home, or perhaps for atmospheric and mood enhancement. You may already know that aromatherapy is an effective way to impact our lives. In the next blog, we’ll discuss the seven major chakras and how to bring your aromatherapy practice into that area of your life!

Make sure to visit us regularly at our Natural Skin & Body Care section for quality products that incorporate high-grade essential oils!

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Aromatherapy and allergies

Many people experience seasonal allergies. Sometimes they come in late winter or spring, but they can also come in late summer and into the fall. Are you an allergy sufferer? Maybe you notice it once in awhile, when something you’re allergic to blooms. Or maybe you have an allergy season, and the allergies hit you hard during specific times of the year. If so you’ve probably tried over the counter aids that leave you drowsy or jumpy and don’t really provide much relief.

Essential oils can be used instead or together with other treatments, and you may find additional relief through this safe and sense pleasing approach. As always, please be sure to properly diffuse the oils using a reliable aromatherapy diffuser. Or, to use an oil topically, dilute with a carrier oil of your choice. (Sweet almond or olive oil both work well.)

Here are some suggested oils for allergy relief:

1. Lavender. This oil may help soothe your symptoms during allergy season because of its ability to calm and reduce inflammation. A study published in ScienceDirect (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2014.05.018) showed that lavender oil prevents allergic inflammation as well as the enlargement of mucous cells. Good bye, stuffy nose!

Try it in a diffuser or add a few drops to your bath.

2. Blend sandalwood,, frankincense, and Ravensara oil. This blend may help to treat perennial allergic rhinitis. People have noticed an improvement in blocked nasal passages, runny or itchy noses, and sneezing.

Diffuse or mix with a carrier oil and apply to the skin as needed.

3. Eucalyptus. This oil is known as an anti-inflammatory and may help with congestion. The cooling sensation also seems to promote a sense of relief.

Breathe the aroma from the bottle, or put a drop or two in steaming hot water, and inhale the moist, warm, fragrant air.

Don’t use if you have an allergy to eucalyptus.

4. Tea tree oil. This oil is said to help with many allergy symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Some are allergic to tea tree oil, so use carefully if you are uncertain of your status. This oil should never be swallowed. Diffuse in the bathroom to take advantage of its additional antibacterial properties.

5. Peppermint. Peppermint essential oil is known to reduce inflammation. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21144345). Used carefully because of its strength, it can help you breathe easier. Diffuse peppermint oil properly, or dilute with a neutral carrier oil.

Visit our store to buy these and other essential oils. While you’re there you can browse the rest of our aromatherapy-based skin care products and other health supplements.

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Mood and Productivity

Smell is the strongest of our senses and the one best able to influence brain activity. This is why aromatherapy can be so effective! Your sense of smell is part of the limbic system and directly connects to parts of the brain that process emotion and learning. Have you ever noticed that a smell will trigger a memory or remind us of something or someone? This is why.

Here are five scents that are recommended to boost productivity and mood:

Lemon. This scent promotes concentration and has calming and clarifying properties. This may help if you are feeling anxious, angry, or run down. Additionally, its antiviral and antibacterial properties may help fight colds and sore throats!

Lavender. Lavender has calming properties that help relieve emotional stress. It is soothing to the nerves and can relieve your nervous tension as well as help with headaches.

Jasmine. This light floral scent is also used to calm the nerves and has uplifting qualities that may produce a sense of confidence, optimism, and revitalization.

Rosemary. Rosemary improves memory retention and helps relieve physical exhaustion, headaches, and mental fatigue. Some use this oil in the mornings to help get going or topically for muscle aches and pains.

Cinnamon. Stimulating cinnamon oil can help fight mental fatigue and improve your concentration and focus.

Use these oils in an inhaler or put a few drops on a cotton ball and inhale as needed. To use topically, dilute with a carrier oil such as sweet almond (so good for the skin).

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Stress and the Relaxation Response

Responding to stress in today’s world challenges many people. Whether you are trying to keep up with a new job, or balancing responsibilities from both family and work, or a stay at home parent caring for a family, stress can build up! Staying in a constant state of stress will eventually have negative health effects.

Cortisol, also called the stress hormone, is part of the body’s natural response to stress. But if you are constantly at the same stress level, and this hormone doesn’t disperse, it can decrease immunity, bone density, and quality of life.

Practicing consistent and intentional self-care will support our natural relaxation response and help balance cortisol levels. This is essential for long-term wellness.

Aromatherapy is one effective self-care method we can use to enhance the relaxation response and help replace stress with satisfaction.

Aromatherapy, when used properly, triggers the relaxation response. Combined with other known methods, such as deep breathing, self-massage, or meditation, aromatherapy will help you reap many health benefits from the relaxation response to the stress of modern life. It’s important to take time for yourself every day, even if that means stolen moments here or there.

Aromatherapy is flexible and portable, so be creative! Create a synergy of undiluted essential oils in a smaller bottle, using 3-5 essential oils. Try palmarosa, neroli, and bergamot (or your own favorites), and have this therapeutic synergy ready to inhale directly from the bottle between clients or before and after a meeting. Simply waft this bottle under your nose while taking, deep, even inhalations. Repeat up to 3 or times a day as needed. Blend your favorite selection of anise, basil, clary sage, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, sweet orange, tangerine, and ylang-ylang and diffuse in your favorite diffuser at the end of the day or during an afternoon rest period. Make your own dryer sheets by sprinkling a few drops of lavender or sweet orange on a clean washcloth made of organic cotton and toss in the dryer with your clothes.

Herbs Can Cleanse is your source for all of Plant Life’s wonderful products. We feature personal and service, and answers to all your questions. Take a look at the catalog, and try our Single Note Essential Oils, or helpful blends!

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Top 15 Essential Oils Health Benefits

Each and every essential oil contains compounds believed to provide unique healing and therapeutic benefits. Here are some of the most popular essential oils and how to use them. Remember to work closely with a health care professional when using essential oils.

Clove: May provide anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and antioxidant protection.
Clove Bud blends well with: Lavender, Lemon Cold Pressed Essential Oil, Peppermint, Rosemary

Cypress: Thought to improve circulation, reduce varicose veins, and lift confidence.
Cypress blends well with: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Fennel, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary

Eucalyptus: May improve respiratory issues like bronchitis, sinusitis, and allergies. Invigorating and purifies the body.
Eucalyptus blends well with: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary

Frankincense: Thought to build immunity, reduce inflammation, heal age spots.
Frankincense blends well with: Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Sandalwood

Ginger: Believed to reduce inflammation, support joints, improve digestion and relieve nausea.
Ginger blends well with: Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lemon

Grapefruit: May support metabolism and cellulite reduction. Mix with coconut oil and rub on areas of cellulite or take a few drops internally with water.
Grapefruit blends well with: Lavender

Lavender: Promotes relaxation, improves mood and may help to heal burns and cuts.
Lavender blends well with: Clove Bud, Cypress, Rosemary

Lemon: Great to use in homemade cleaning products.
Lemon blends well with: Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender

Myrrh: May provide natural anti-septic protection and thought to prevent or reduce infections. Also, supports beautiful skin, helps reduce stretch marks.
Myrrh blends well with: Clove Bud, Frankincense, Lavender, Sandalwood

Oregano: May kill fungus and help you kick a cold fast.

Peppermint: Supports digestion, improves focus, boosts energy, fever reducer, headache and muscle pain relief.
Peppermint blends well with: Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lemon

Rose: Thought to reduce skin inflammation and great for creating glowing skin. Add a few drops to your facial moisturizer. One of the most valued essential oils in the world.
Rose blends well with: Lavender, Rosewood, Sandalwood

Rosemary: Can naturally thicken hair. May improve brain function and memory. Try it when working, reading or studying.
Rosemary blends well with: Lemon, Lavender

Tea tree oil (melaleuca): natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, reduces bad odors and can help stimulate the immune system.
Tea Tree blends well with: Clove, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary

Sandalwood: Natural aphrodisiac that improves libido and may also improve energy.
Sandalwood blends well with: Cypress, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh

Different oils can be blended together to enhance each other’s energy or can be blended with a base oil to be used for massage, shower gels, or body lotions.

 

The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not our intention to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is our recommendation, if trying to get pregnant, pregnant or nursing, that you first seek advice from your health care provider before using any essential oil.