Sunday, July 30, 2006

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is an essential oil extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant, usually by a process of steam distillation. It's a very well known essential oil, and is extensively used in aromatherapy for its many beneficial properties.

Just for starters, lavender oil has been shown to relieve tension, ease tiredness, and reduce feelings of depression. Lavender oil can be utilized in many ways to achieve these ends. Very simply, lavender oil can be applied to a tissue or handkerchief and placed nearby while you work or sleep. Another popular way of using lavender oil is to place it in an oil burner or diffuser, and allow heat to gently dissipate the fragrance into the atmosphere, allowing you to breathe in the powerful aromas and the medicinal chemical compounds present in the lavender oil.

Lavender oil can also be added directly to bath water, preferably while the water is still running. Unlike many essential oils, lavender oil can be used directly on the skin, so it's not at all irritating. When you bathe in water that's had lavender oil added, you get the benefit of the oil not only from breathing in the aromas released by the steam, but also by absorbing some of the oil through your skin.

One important use of lavender oil that few people know about is its ability to heal burns. Putting oil on a burn seems like contradictory advice; however, lavender oil provides one of the best ways of healing and soothing burns, and if applied as soon as possible after the burn has occurred, can alleviate both pain and assist in healing.

If you are prone to burning yourself, perhaps on the oven, fireplace or even spilling boiling water on yourself lavender oil really does work wonders. All you do is apply a few drops of lavender oil to the recently burned area, and cover it with a bandage or sticking plaster (depending upon the size of the burn). The pain usually disappears within the hour (again depending upon the severity of the burn), and the burn heals easily and quickly.

The story behind the discovery of lavender oil as a treatment for burns is an interesting one. In 1910 the French chemist and perfumer, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, burned his hand badly while working in his laboratory. The only liquid close to hand was lavender oil, so without thinking, he plunged his hand straight into the oil. Not only was the pain eased almost immediately, but his hand healed quickly without scarring, much to his own surprise and delight.

Having given medical advice, it's necessary to state that you shouldn't try treating an extremely serious burn, especially on a child with anything except immediate cold water. While lavender oil is fantastic for minor burns and sunburn, it can't take the place of correct medical burn treatment when it's necessary.

Lavender oil has so many beneficial properties that it should be an integral part of anyone's medicine cabinet. You can find lavender oil at your local aromatherapy supply store or online, at one of the many aromatherapy websites.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pills, Potions and Power

This little essay is about your personal power and how to give it away OR how to keep it. It is all to do with a particular way of thinking, doing and being. It is a way of getting out of the victim and fear mode that pervades a lot of the global population. If you are interested in staying right where you are in your current state of consciousness, please, go watch TV or have another beer. Reading this will only bother you and be a waste of time.

This is about being your own person and being in your own power. It is about the beginnings of change and creating the personal world that you want to inhabit. There will always be things going on in the world that are not quite the way we would like. Just accept this as the way things are and that it is really none of your business. This may sound like a selfish statement. However, it is made with the intent that if it is happening the worst thing you can get into is the judgment of 'good and bad.' 'Energy follows thought' so you will only be exacerbating the situation by focusing upon it. You do not know the way that someone else's reality operates or what lessons they may have to learn. Certainly do what good you can in the world AND ensure that you keep your own counsel.

Now for a basic concept. Accept that you are the power in your life. You have a body. You think thoughts. You are not your body or your thoughts.

When you say that you must ingest such and such to be well there is no power in that way of thinking. The power lies within. When you eat or drink something to make you 'better' you take the healing and curative energy away from the body. You are working with effects. The causative lies within and not without. You are the cause and not the effect.

There are many quotes and experiences to substantiate the above outlandish assertions. Some are from the Bible and others from various sources.

1. 'As a man thinketh in his heart so shall he be.' The Bible

2. 'Nothing happens by chance.' Reshad Field

3. 'With our thoughts we make the world.' Gautama the Buddha

4. 'Energy follows thought.' Annie Besant

5. 'We become what we behold.' William Blake

6. 'Man creates his own disharmony.' Hazrat Inayat Khan

7. 'What you think about comes about.' Anonymous

8. 'No ye not that ye are the temple of the Living God.' The Bible

If you search around in the Natural Hygiene area on the internet you will find further evidence and the experience of many people for whom, given the right conditions, the body does indeed have the capacity to heal itself without any interference from drugs or herbs. This may come as a shocking surprise to most of us who grew up in the 'if you are feeling off then you must take something for it' culture. If you have ever been around a farm dog when it is feeling sick it will chew grass, spit it out, avoid eating and rest. Such are the triggers for healing in our human society.

Any sort of cleansing and clearing of the old accumulated debris within your body will be of great assistance to allow it to heal and function as it is meant to. There is a substantial amount of material available on this subject from the Natural Hygiene area and the old stuff in the body is called 'morbid matter.'

Changing eating habits is one challenge here; the greater one is to change our mind habits; our habitual, cultural ways of thinking. If you would like some valid information from an excellent writer then search for Are Wearland, author of 'The Cauldron of Disease.' This book is readily available as a free download. Reading this 70+ years old publication will help with the mind stuff as you gain insights into how your digestive system was designed to function.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Whys and Wherefores of Body Odor

Your skin is the largest organ of your body (despite what some men may think!) As such, it is part of the breathing apparatus for your body. The skin is also highly absorbent. To make this more believable to you place a few drops of pure peppermint oil on the souls of your feet. Within 10 to 15 minutes you will taste the peppermint in your mouth. Nicotine patches and those used for H R T and other medical reasons work exactly the same way, on the absorbency of the skin.

Given the high level of transference from 'outside' to 'inside' you would really wonder why writing on labels of various preparations states: 'for external use only' or 'not to be swallowed'. Well folks, what you put on the skin does get to the rest of the body system so be aware of what you readily apply to your skin.

Now, with that snippet of information out of the way, let us return to some of the reasons why body odor exists. As well as being extremely absorbent the skin is an organ of elimination. When we perspire and the sweat literally drips off us, you get an idea of the volume of fluid transferred to the outer layers of skin. Many, many toxins are eliminated through the skin in this fashion. Have you ever noticed the relationship between what you eat and your underarm odor? If you are a heavy meat eater you may not notice a lot of difference. If you only eat meat occasionally, you may note the change in body odor. You will notice a difference if you dine on Indian (from India) style food with many aromatic spices, as this will come through the body pores.

If, for instance, you participate in any sort of detoxification/cleansing of your body, this can raise the intensity of body smell. Most likely, your tongue will look white and furry. This is all part of the body ridding itself of accumulated toxins. Your urine may be quite strong as well during this healing process and this is all very natural. This process can go on for some time until your body clears itself of the accumulated debris. You will come out of this feeling energized, healthier and in a much better state to avoid what is usually called disease.

So, if you want to 'smell nice' without the use of antiperspirants, deodorizers, perfumes and unguents then you need to address the causative. This is achieved by changing your eating habits and participating in regular cleansing until your body is clearer.

Taking note of the fact above, that your skin is like a sponge taking in what you put on it, the reading of product labels is highly recommended. If you cannot easily pronounce the name of any of the ingredients then maybe it is a chemical that your body is not handling either.

When your digestive system is operating well with good bowel function then your feces and any flatus will have only a small amount of odor. This will only occur with particular diet and after your body is well cleansed of old morbid matter.

You are in charge of your health, if you choose to take the job. If not you are at the mercy of outside influences and currents. It is entirely your choice!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Probiotics and Their Effect On the Body

Probiotics are nutritional supplements that contain strains of beneficial bacteria. You might wonder why someone would actually introduce bacteria into their diet. Bacteria are living in your body right now, over 3 pounds of it just in your intestines. That probably makes you want to run to the doctor's office and pick up a prescription for antibiotics. But before you do, you should realize that not all bacteria are the same. Everyone's body has a combination of good bacteria and bad bacteria living in it. The object is to have more good bacteria than bad, and this is where Probiotics come into play. They replenish the good bacteria and allow it to thrive and crowd out the illness-causing bad bacteria. And overgrowth of bad bacteria can lead to, or complicate a variety of diseases and even in an otherwise healthy person can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain. Doctors in Europe have long recommended probiotics to their patients, and finally, many doctors in the United States are starting to follow their lead.

Bad bacteria can enter your body in a variety of ways. It's in the food we eat. It's on the door handles that we touch the phones that we answer. In short, bad bacteria are all around us. It enters the body and takes up residence in the small and large intestine, and once there, it flourishes. It latches on to the intestinal wall and begins to affect digestion. It causes inflammation of the intestinal lining and begins to inhibit the absorption of many nutrients. It even begins to produce toxic substances, like alcohols and aldehydes. The least serious result of bad bacteria in the gut is gas and bloating, mild abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. But there are serious side effects as well. Overgrowth of bad bacteria is thought to contribute to many of the intestinal disorders we suffer with, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chrones disease, and Leaky Gut Syndrome. All in all, bad bacteria are bad for your body.

Lucky for us, researchers discovered probiotics, or good bacteria. Most of you probably know more about good bacteria than you think. We've all heard of Acidopholus, right? It is the main culture of most commercially prepared yogurt. We've all been told to look for the label stating "Live and Active Cultures." In essence, yogurt is a very weak probiotic. It contains a specific strain of bacteria that is normally found in our bodies. But this is not the kind of bacteria that makes us sick. This is a good bacterium. And there are many different varieties of it. Good bacteria enter our system, and again take up residence in the intestines. It fights with bad bacteria for nutrients and food, and if there are enough good bacteria, it will crowd out the bad and leave us with a more balanced system. It reduces the amounts of toxic substances in the gut and allows for the more effective production of digestive enzymes, such as lactase, which is needed to digest dairy products. In many cases, people with food sensitivities notice a reduction of their symptoms when they begin a long-term regimen of probiotics. Good bacteria also protect the lining of the intestines and allow our bodies to more easily fight off infection.

There are even more benefits to probiotics. Pediatricians in Finland performed a double-blind placebo controlled study with pregnant and nursing women. They found that women taking probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding reduced the chance of infants developing eczema, and also helped to prevent allergies in babies. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, a doctor who uses a combination of holistic measures and standard drugs to treat his patients, taking a probiotic every day can reduce or reverse problems like acne, eczema, psoriasis, bad breath or body odor, developmental delays in some children, yeast infections, high cholesterol levels, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and frequent colds and flu.

So, while we should all probably take a probiotic every day, there are some times in our lives when we should "double up". Antibiotics are quite effective at killing off the bacteria that make us sick, but they also kill off the good bacteria. And science has shown that the bad always grows back more quickly. You need to actively replenish your system with probiotics to rebalance your body. You should also increase your probiotic intake after vaccinations, when you are sick with a cold or flu, and any time you have diarrhea.

Also, it is important to note that just eating yogurt is not enough. You need a quality probiotics with at least 10 to 16 different strains of live bacteria. Each strain of bacteria works slightly differently with your body, and some strains only take up residence in the small intestine. Probiotics are available in a powdered capsule form, and also as a liquid mixed with dairy. For children, the capsules can be opened and added to their favorite cold drinks. Many brands suggest refrigeration, and probiotics in general have a relatively short shelf life. In a perfect world, you should never heat a probiotic, or add it to a warm liquid, as this will kill the live cultures. But, a study done by Eyal Raz from the University of California, found that good bacteria is just as effective dead as it is alive.

Your doctor may be able to give you additional information about probiotics, though many doctors in the United States are just learning about these supplements. You may find it helpful to search out a doctor who uses a combination of holistic remedies and standard drugs. In any case, you should look into probiotics as a way to improve your health.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

Green tea leaves have long been used throughout Asia as medicine for poor digestion, body aches and pains, headaches and general improved well being.

Very little processing is required to produce green tea. In most cases the leaves are dried immediately after harvesting or briefly treated with steam prior to drying. There are a few types of tea that are also lightly roasted. Because of this minimal processing, the leaves keep their green color and more importantly they keep the very valuable ingredients that contribute to their healing properties. Green tea leaves contain caffeine, tannins, essential oils, proteins, vitamins, minerals and trace elements such as fluoride, zinc and potassium.

Green tea is naturally rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are needed by the body to protect cells from free radicals (unstable molecules found in our cells). Too much free radical damage, over time, could lead to diseases which includes cancer. As part of our regular cell processing, antioxidants attach themselves to free radicals and this results in the neutralization these molecules. Drinking green tea regularly has been linked (via loads of research) with the prevention of cancer; it lowers the risk high blood cholesterol, harmful blood clotting and stroke.

Green tea is very good for arthritis sufferers because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

The caffeine in green tea has an invigorating effect and it promotes concentration.

Green tea is also antibacterial and the trace element fluorine helps to fight tooth decay. Just one cup of tea a day will be beneficial in the prevention of decay. Green tea is also ideal after dinner as a palette cleanser.

Many Naturopaths recommend green tea to cleanse the body. It is a useful addition to all types of detoxification diets. It contains no calories, no carbs and is referred to as the 'fat eater' in China due to its cholesterol-lowering properties.

Green tea is an excellent thirst quencher. It is enjoyed at any time of the day and is also delicious hot or cold. Try it with a squeeze of lemon, over ice for a very refreshing drink.

Usual Preparation of The Tea: Use one level teaspoon of tea leaves per cup. Boil your water and then let the water sit for a couple of minutes - to cool slightly. Boil to 70 degrees Celsius if you have one of those fancy kettles. Pour the water over the tea and leave the tea to brew.

Brewing the tea for 2-3 minutes will give you a mild tasting but highly stimulating tea.

Brewing the tea for 4-6 minutes yields a less stimulating and stronger tasting tea.

Special Note: The caffeine in green tea can cause heart palpitations in extra sensitive people. To reduce the amount of caffeine in your tea, put one teaspoon of leaves in your cup, pour a little bit of hot water over it and allow it to stand for 30 seconds then strain. Now use the leaves to prepare your tea as usual.