Essential Oil Of The Week: Peppermint

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Thad got me a very sleek aromatherapy diffuser for a Christmas present and using it is increasing my love for essential oils. It’s such a great way to experience the benefits of essential oils in a subtle and pleasing way. I’ve been trying out a new oil every few days, with the diffuser in my bedroom on for a few hours before I fall asleep.

Today I want to tell you about a common essential oil, peppermint. Although it might not sound very exotic, this is an excellent oil to keep in your arsenal, especially for nausea and other digestive issues.

Peppermint oil has such a refreshing and invigorating scent. It is best for diffusion and inhalation. Undiluted topical application is not recommended because in high concentrations menthol is an irritant. Definitely don’t put this one on your face, although a single drop in a bathtub is perfectly lovely and safe.

Carrying a bottle of peppermint essential oil when traveling is an excellent cure for all motion sickness, whether it’s car or boat etc., It is also recommended for pregnancy-related nausea and for easing stomach cramps. The scent is very calming for the digestive system, it relieves excess gas and bloating. Peppermint essential oil is routinely given in a low dosage for inhalation to chemotherapy patients to help prevent and ease nausea.

This ability to improve digestion is energetic as well, since peppermint oil facilitates the digestion of new ideas and the processing of emotions. It is very clarifying and consciousness-expanding. It inspires enthusiasm and can boost self-esteem and increase one’s motivation and interest in activities.

Peppermint oil offers relieve to those suffering from migraines and headaches. A drop rubbed on the temples is soothing and cooling and can also aid in concentration. Peppermint has analgesic properties and can help ease muscular stiffness and all sorts of bruising, aches, pains and swelling.

Using essential oils is safe, easy and effective, as well as a portable healing system excellent for folks on the go!

 

Love and Blessings,

Frances

 

 

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Essential Oil Of The Week: Silver Fir

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The fragrance of the holidays has overtaken the flower shops where I work. We are receiving evergreen bundles, garlands and wreaths every day. It is lovely and so very wintery. The resinous, heady and fresh scent of pines, balsams and fir boughs is invigorating and cheery.

This got me thinking about a favorite essential oil of mine: silver fir.

Silver fir essential oil encourages deep breathing and is healing for the entire respiratory system as well as supportive of the immune system. Because it is a strong oil that can be irritating to skin if used undiluted, it is best to use take benefit from this oil through inhalation. Simply placing a drop or two in the palms of your hands, rubbing them together and then holding in front of your nose for 3 or 4 deep full breaths is an easy way to appreciate the healing effects of this oil.

This is also an ideal oil to diffuse in your home. This allows the anti-viral, anti-septic and anti-microbial actions of silver fir to cleanse the air in your home – especially beneficial during cold/flu season. Plus it will make your house smell incredible.

It is a great decongestant because the scent can easily open the lungs, heal respiratory infections and bronchitis as well as clear excess phlegm and mucus. On a more subtle energetic level, this oil offers the sensation of more “breathing room.” It encourages inspiration and creativity.

Silver fir essential oil tonifies Qi and warms the interior. One single drop or two added to a warm bath is very soothing and clarifying as well as relaxing for muscular aches and arthritis.

This oil is distilled from the cut needles of the silver fir tree (Abies alba). It is important to get high-quality, hand-harvested silver fir oil because some conifer oils are contaminated with unwanted resins, petroleum byproducts and turpentine due to chain saws and other harvesting methods.

Happy December dear readers!

Love and Blessings,

Frances

 

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Essential Oil of the Week: Vetiver

Vetiver LeavesVetiver essential oil comes from the fibrous root structure of a dense perennial grass grown in places such as Haiti, Sri Lanka and India.

This potent, earthy and sweet smelling oil has been used traditionally as a base note in perfumes (to this day it is used in 90% of all perfumes). It has a long history of use to bring about tranquility and protection from evil spirits and influences and… bugs!

Vetiver essential oil is a complex oil, golden to dark brown in color with a warm, deep aroma reminiscent of the woods and marshes. It is a very safe oil (non-phototoxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing) with many uses, so definitely a good one to consider purchasing. 

Incredibly centering and supportive to the nervous system, this is a great oil for grounding vata and cooling pitta aggravation. Emotionally, the use of vetiver oil provides a sense of security and balance. It helps to calm the mind when too many thoughts are swirling around creating anxiety and confusion.

Vetiver oil has the ability to consolidate and bring clarity to a frazzled mind – it’s a perfect tool for bolstering your meditation practice. Vetiver grounds energy and promotes strength and solidity. It is an ideal essential oil for people who tend to “float outside” their bodies, because it can help center them back into the physical and into body-centered reality.

For the physical body, vetiver oil is beneficial for varicose veins, poor circulation (cold hands/feet), muscular aches and pains and arthritis. It can be helpful for insomnia, PMS, menopause and postnatal depression.

Wonderful for the skin, vetiver oil helps with inflamed conditions, acne and oily skin as it is slightly astringent. It’s used as a preventative for stretch marks and wrinkles. Vetiver is very nourishing for dry or irritated skin and can help with wound care and topical infections caused by fungus or bacteria.

A great way to employ vetiver in your skincare regime is to add just one or two drops to an unscented natural lotion or carrier oil for your face and body.

I like to put a drop on the soles of my feet and on my heart center for its grounding and relaxing effect.

Have you used vetiver oil before? What are your favorite essential oils and way to incorporate them into your health and beauty regimes?

 

Love Frances

 

PS – Please enter the  GIVEAWAY for a free yoga mat!

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Health-Changing Reads

I love to read. Although I adore the feeling of getting transported by a great novel, I’m almost always reading at least one non-fiction book. Many of these books have a cultural, historical or spiritual lean, but given my interest in health, I’ve been picking up more books on health and wellness recently.

In the past year, two book in particular have inspired me to drastically change my own lifestyle habits. These books are on quite different subjects, but both of them raised my awareness about how my choices effect my health in a big way. I have given copies of these books to my sister and recommended both to pretty much all of my female friends.

There’s so much information on the web about health and wellness. Some of it is great, other sites are kind of bogus. There are a gazillion contradictory opinions about what to do/not do, what to eat/not eat etc., etc. so it’s sometimes hard to know what to believe. But one reason I especially benefited from the following two books is that they both approach health from a place of common sense and traditional knowledge. Both are accessible and full of realistic and effective suggestions for making positive lifestyle choices.

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The first book is Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welch. This book made me stay up at night reading and occasionally waking up Thad to say “Oh my gosh, did you know….?” It is really eye-opening how diet and lifestyle choices effect the balance of our sex hormones and stress hormones. Coming from both a Traditional Chinese Medicine background and an Ayurvedic one, for years Dr. Welch has been studying hormones and working with women of all ages from puberty through menopause. She is such a storehouse of information. This book discusses the role of hormones in all a woman’s life stages. The information on birth control and hormone replacement therapy especially needs to be heard by every woman out there, in my opinion. So fascinating and really empowering. I learned so much from reading this book, because I, like so many other women, have struggled with unbalanced hormones and difficulties with my cycle. Having read this book, I feel like I have new tools to help me achieve balance and ease on this front.

Her website is drclaudiawelch.com

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The second book pretty much blew my mind and made me clean out my entire bathroom cabinet. It is called No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and The Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt. We all know that what we eat is important, but so many of us forget that what we put on our bodies is just as important. Most women who use conventional products and even some of the green-washed “natural” products out there are lathering up in cancer-causing, endocrine-disrupting toxic chemicals from head to foot daily. There is next to no regulation on the cosmetics industry in North America. Many chemicals in these products have actually been banned in Europe and other countries, but American women are still using them daily without any knowledge of the dangerous repercussions. This book was so informative but also really entertaining. Not sure how they managed to make the science and politics of cosmetics to be such a turn-pager, but they did. Like Dr. Welch’s book, I finished NMDL and felt really empowered with my new knowledge and the many suggestions for how to clean up my own personal beauty routine. I love the suggestions for clean brands and DIY recipes offered in this book. Their blog No More Dirty Looks is one of my go-to resources online for learning about clean, green products from shampoo to lipstick.

What books have you read that have inspired you and empowered you to change your lifestyle and adopt new healthy habits? I would love your suggestions too!

Blessings,
Frances

 

PS – In no way is this a sponsored post, I’ve just been so psyched on these books I wanted to share them with you!