Wednesday, October 28, 2015

ISsentials of Essential Oils

Brrr!!! It is getting cold outside. That means it is the season of germs and colds running amuck.
Time to stock up on tissues, cough drops, cold and cough medicine….and anything else to make the pain of a head cold or flu go away. Unfortunately, with sucking on many lozenges and taking excessive OTC medicine we are only making ourselves feel more run down. Our bodies become dependent on these after only a short time and end up leaving us sick for a longer period of time. Last year, after going through two large bulk bags of lozenges and weekly trips to the local pharmacy, I decided there has to be a better way. The better way I discovered is with essential oils. I always loved using essential oils for perfume and diffusers, but using them for my health was fabulous. Essential oils are made up of very small molecules that are very easily absorbed. Each essential oil has a unique chemical composition. They are made up of terpenes, esters, oxides, alcohols, phenols, ketones, and aldehydes. Terpenes – anti-allergy properties, decongestant Phenols – fragrance, antiseptic, anti-acterial, possibly anti-cancerious Alcohols – antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, stimulate immunes system Ketones – stimulate cell regeneration, loosen mucous Esters – anti-fungal, calming, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral Aldehydes – anti-infectious, sedative, topical irritants, calming when inhaled Oxides – expectorant, antiseptic These elements interact with the body can stimulate and aid the immune system. (http://www.essentialoils.co.za/components.htm)
Essential oils can be used in various ways so you can be creative. You don’t need a lot, so it is best to sample smells and see which ones appeal to you before you invest the money. Since there are so many scents and different strengths, there are a few ways you can use them. Essential oils are used by topical application, inhalation, or ingestion. Depending on the desired effect of the oil, people will often use a combination of these. I like to apply my oils to my pulse points and add to the ambiance by burning them in my diffuser. Topical Application Essential oils can be applied to the skin and absorbed into the blood stream. Since the oils are strong and skin is sensitive, it is important to use a carrier when applying the oils. Essential oils are often applied to the skin along with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil, or even in lotions. I personally like to mix mine with some Aloe Vera. Inhalation When essential oils are inhaled, the oil is absorbed in the nasal cavities to your lungs. They can be inhaled by diffusing them in a special essential oil diffuser, humidifier, in a boiling pot of water, or easily by smelling the bottle of oil. When you smell an essential oil, cilia and receptor cells in the olfactory organ receive the aroma and send signals to the limbic system of the brain, which is the center of memory and emotion. It also is connected to areas of the brain that control blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, hormone balance, and more. "Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived." Helen Keller (www.essanteorganics.com) Ingestion. You must be very careful when ingesting essential oils. They must be diluted properly. I recommend speaking to an aromatherapist or herbologist before you try this. The safest way to ingest is to use a gelatin capsule. If you do not have these, honey works just as well. I use one drop of oil with one teaspoon of honey. Caution is advised for the following reasons: Some essential oils can be toxic to the liver or kidneys when ingested. The chemical breakdown of some essential oils, during gastric processing, can change the effects. There could be potential drug interactions.(www.essanteorganics.com)
Some main flu fighting essential oils: Immune Strength Melaleuca Lemon Flu Time Peppermint Lavender Oregano Eucalyptus Topical Recipes Big Flu Bomb 15 drops Immune Strength 15 drops Melaleuca 15 drops Lemon 10 drops Oregano Fractionated coconut oil You will need a roll-on bottle or small glass jar and cotton swabs. Combine the essential oils in a bottle or jar. Fill the rest of the bottle/jar with fractionated coconut oil. Apply to bottoms of feet or along spine every hour if you are sick or twice a day for protection. You can also apply to pulse points for added inhalation and absorption Kid’s Flu Bomb With kids spread germs at school and constantly getting sick, this really helps the immune system fight off sickness. 10 drops Tea Tree 10 drops Lemon 10 drops Lavender Fractionated coconut oil Combine the essential oils in a roll-on bottle or jar. Fill the rest of the bottle/jar with fractionated coconut oil. Adjust the amount of essential oils to coconut oil if needed. Apply to bottoms of feet or pulse points twice a day for added protection. Inhalation Recipes Germ Remover-Diffuser Blend 15 drops Pine 15 drops Lemon 20 drops Lavender Mix oils in a glass container and shake/stir well. Add 10 drops to your diffuser. You will have extra to store away for future use. If you would like to only make enough for one use, use 3 drops of Pine, 3 drops of Lemon, and 4 drops of Lavender. Use to help clean the air and environment when someone in your home is sick. Time to Breathe-Diffuser Blend 25 drops of Eucalyptus 15 drops of Peppermint Mix oils in a glass container and shake/stir well. Add 10 drops to your diffuser. You will have extra to store away for future use. If you would like to only make enough for one use, use 6 drops of Eucalyptus and 4 drops of Peppermint. Helps relieve nasal congestion and promotes the feeling of well-being.
Along with making ourselves feel better, we also have to worry about our dried out, painful skin that is being effected by this weather too. Intelligent-SkinSense offers Bare It Oil™ as an essential product to have this season. Bare It Oil™ helps to seal in moisture deep into the skin while leaving a silky, smooth finish. The soothing aromatic oil softens the skin while fruit extracts and vitamins provide an anti-oxidant defense system against free radical damage. This lightweight silicone and natural oil blend dries in seconds and leaves the skin feeling like silk. Bare It Oil™ is free of parabens, synthetic fragrance, and color. Bare It Oil™ is a great accessory because of it’s ability be used in multiple different ways: - It can be used as a makeup primer making the skin a perfect canvas for foundations to glide on to. - You can use it head to toe as refreshing moisturizer, sealing in moisture for a protective layer that leaves the skin feeling amazingly smooth. - Smooth it through the ends of your hair as a conditioning treatment to add shine and remove frizz. - Bare It Oil™ can be used as a lightweight bath oil and work to relieve stress while you relax in the bath. - It can be used mixed with water to take off any stubborn makeup residue. Bare It Oil™ contains all natural ingredients that are great for your skin: Canola Oil: rich in vitamin E, protects the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals, can keep your skin supple and smooth, increases the healing rate of injuries, reduces the appearance of blemishes and acne marks, and slows down the appearance of wrinkles. Cyclomethicone- conditioning agent that forms a protective barrier, helps to temporarily plump skin by filling lines and wrinkles Lemon Oil- many benefits here are a few: astringent, detoxifies, stimulates, stress reliever, calming, increases luster of dull skin, antiseptic properties help with acne and helps to decrease oiliness Rose Oil- invokes relaxation, antidepressant, acts as a shield protecting from many different viruses, astringent, helps tone and lift skin Sandalwood Oil- calming, relieves itching, inflammation, and dehydrated skin, helps tone skin, soothes skin, helps heal scars and spots, fights aging Grapefruit Oil- relieves stress, rich in antioxidants, helps with oily and acne skin, removes toxins and excesss water Aloe Barbadensis Oil- conditions and rejuvenates skin, moisturizes, helps fight acne because of its ability to decrease inflammation Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Oil - helps keep skin thick, supple and strong, helps prevent wrinkles, antioxidant Not everyone is pro essential oils ....and that’s okay. Easting healthy and taking vitamins help as well. If you would like to nourish your body from the inside, you should try some of Marlene’s Vegetable Rainbow Medley Soup.
To a healthy November! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Autumn Hydration

It's officially Autumn! And that means it is Pumpkin Season! I am sure it is safe to say that we are all addicted to Pumpkin Spice Lattes or Starbuck’s new Toasted Graham Latte, which are so good! I bet you have even planned a trip to your local farm to find that perfect pumpkin to carve, but did you know that pumpkins can help your skin just as much as it helps you get in the festive spirit? Pumpkins are packed with zinc, antioxidants, and vitamins. Pumpkins are packed with fruit enzymes and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), which increase cell turnover, to brighten and smooth the skin. Pumpkins contain antioxidant Vitamin A and Vitamin C to help soften and soothe the skin and boost collagen production to prevent the signs of aging. Zinc in pumpkin seeds is brilliant for acne sufferers. Zinc will help control the hormone level and oil production, as well as assist with healing of the skin. Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, which are necessary to maintain good barrier function of the skin. They also regulate sebum, great for an oily skin. (http://www.dermalinstitute.com/)
I love to try anything pumpkin, especially food, but have you ever thought about putting pumpkin on your face? I know I have! Whether you have extra filling from the pumpkin you carved or a can of pumpkin puree (preferably organic), you can create your own at home pumpkin facial mask. Pumpkin Facial Mask Whisk together about 1/4 cup of pumpkin and 1 tsp of thick full fat Greek yogurt. For dry skin, add a 1/4 tsp of coconut oil or two drops of flax oil. For oily skin, add 1/4 tsp of baking soda. Spread the mixture all over your face and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse to reveal a brighter, more moisturized face. To finish, apply a moisturizing serum. I recommend Intelligent-SkinSense’s Lock In™ Serum. Lock In™ deeply rehydrates even the driest, most thirsty skin. It is packed with soothing anti-inflammatory herbs, healing anti-oxidants, and botanicals. It helps cells retain moisture and adds additional moisture to the skin. With this season, we need to make sure our skin stays hydrated. Dry patches are not fun when you need to wear heavy makeup for a holiday event! Opting for naturally hydrating products can alleviate the majority of concerns associated with skin care needs. With natural and organic moisturizers, your skin won’t be irritated or left with rough areas during the colder months. Plant-based moisturizers, like products by Intelligent-SkinSense, can lock hydration into the skin and aide in the absorption of vitamins. Some of my favorite naturally, hydrating ingredients for Autumn include: Lavender Oil: has been used for centuries as an aide to skin care and help relieve stress. Orange Oil: provides quick and effective relief from inflammation, both internal and external. Aloe Vera: has several properties that aide in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky/dry skin, cosmetic ailments, hair and scalp problems to many more. Hyaluronic Acid: has the ability to retain moisture; it’s considered to have a greater capacity to hold moisture than any other natural or synthetic polymer. In fact, one gram of hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to six liters of water (International Journal of Toxicology, July/August 2009)! Going back to pumpkins…. if you use the filling for a facial mask, I highly recommend you use the seeds for my favorite treat! Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as a source of the mineral zinc. The World Health Organization even recommends their consumption as a good way of obtaining this needed nutrient.
Ingredients SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 CUPS (depending on size of pumpkin) Seeds from one pumpkin 1 tablespoon olive oil Sea Salt Preparation Scrape seeds and any attached strands from pumpkin using a large spoon (or preferred utensil). Place seeds in a colander and rinse well to help separate seeds from strands. Set seeds aside. Cook seeds in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until beginning to look translucent, usually takes 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Make sure to dry seeds as well as possible. Preheat oven to 425°. Spread seeds on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle and toss with olive oil, and season with sea salt. Roast until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Additives Before baking or directly out of the oven, you can toss the seeds with one of the following combinations: 1 tsp. Za’atar and 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest 1 tbsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 1 tbsp. brown sugar and ¼ orange zest OR My Favorite! Drizzle ¼ cup melted dark chocolate over seeds and let harden (make sure to place over wax paper before drizzle) Enjoy!