Prostate Health & Aromatherapy

Over the course of the past fifteen to twenty years a positive trend has been happening in our culture; men are more willing to discuss their personal health. It is no longer taboo for men to talk about their reproductive health, prostate gland, low testosterone levels, etc. And, because more men are openly addressing these issues, more men are able to catch early stages of prostatitis, prostate cancer, and other serious health issues. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, but I want to address prostate health in general in this Monday Musing. Continue reading “Prostate Health & Aromatherapy”

Essential Oils to Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month!  Fibromyalgia is a nasty, painful syndrome.  For thousands of people with fibromyalgia it can be debilitating.  I should know, I have endured fibromyalgia for over twenty years.  In this Monday Musing I will tell you how I use true aromatherapy, diet, sleep-hygiene, and positive thinking to manage my symptoms of fibromyalgia.

The most recent findings indicate that fibromyalgia is the result of a faulty nervous system due to lowered levels of neurotransmitters.  Specifically, individuals with fibromyalgia have lower levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.  The exact causes of fibromyalgia are not known, there is no “cure,” and traditional medical treatments involve the use of pharmaceuticals.

 

From experience I know that some medications work and some do not; some medications have negative side-effects some do not; some are easy to take (as in once a day) and some require several doses per day.  Due to what I viewed as “the complications of pharmaceuticals,” and because I prefer a more pure and natural way of life, I began using more aromatherapy blends to help manage the pain of fibromyalgia.  Below you will find three aromatherapy blends I have found very helpful when the pain of fibromyalgia slows me down.

 

*Before using essential oils and carrier oils be aware of any allergies, medications, herbal remedies, and medical conditions that can be negatively affected by the use of essential oils.

 

Massage Blend

In a one ounce dark glass bottle blend the following essential oils with one ounce Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) carrier oil:

6 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

4 drops Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

3 drops Birch, Sweet (Betula lenta)

I use this massage blend throughout the day, on those rare days, when my fibromyalgia pain has flared up.

 

Bath Blend

Add the following essential oils to one ounce of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) carrier oil:

6 drops Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis)

4 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

3 drops Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)

Fill the bath tub with warm water before adding the bath blend.  Soak in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes.  The steam from the bath water will diffuse the essential oils and allow you to reap the benefits of two application methods, inhalation and absorption.

 

Dead Sea Salt Scrub

6 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil

6 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil

3 Tablespoons Coconut (Cocos nucifera) carrier oil

½ cup Dead Sea salt – fine grade

Mix essential oils with the carrier oil and then add this mixture to the Dead Sea salt.  While you are standing in the shower, without the water running, massage your painful muscles with the salt scrub. Direct your massage strokes in the direction of lymph flow and upward toward your heart.  Once you have massaged each area well simply rinse off with warm water.  Do not use soap!  Gently pat yourself dry when you get out of the shower.  These steps allow the essential oils to absorb into your skin and help ease muscle pain.

Cautionary notes: Please be very careful when using a salt scrub in either the shower or bathtub.  The carrier oil will make the floor of the tub and shower slippery.  To avoid the possibility of a fall do not attempt to use a salt scrub if you are feeling dizzy, unstable on your feet, or weak.   Also, orange essential oil is not recommended for use in the bath; however, you are not immersing your entire body in bath water, you are only exposing your sore muscles to the orange essential oil.

 

The blends I provided above have been God-sends for me, especially on days when my pain threshold is low.  I encourage you to try one or all of these blends.  I also encourage you to consult with a Registered Aromatherapist, who can formulate an individualized blend for you.

 

In addition to using true aromatherapy I made other life-style changes that helped improve my condition.  I began to eat better: more fresh fruits and vegetables; meals made entirely from scratch, nothing that comes from a box or simply requires the addition of water; inclusion of more spices and fresh herbs; eating the large meal of the day at noon and not at night; little use of sugar and salt.  These dietary changes greatly helped minimize the digestive issues that often accompany fibromyalgia.

 

Good sleep-hygiene is a must for anyone, especially people with health issues.  Going to bed at the same time every night, and getting out of bed at the same time every morning, is the first step to improving sleep and health.  Avoiding caffeinated beverages after 2:00 p.m., limiting fluid intake after 8:00 p.m., and avoiding alcoholic beverages also helps to improve sleep.  Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only; not to read late into the night and not to watch television until you fall asleep. Avoid electronic devices for at least two hours before retiring for the night.  Yes, that means turning of the computer games, closing down email, and possibly shutting off the television!

 

Staying mobile also helps improve overall health.  This is hard for people with fibromyalgia because when they hurt they don’t want to get up and exercise.  Doing simple stretching exercises, going for short walks, or going for a lazy swim do wonders for your aching muscles.  Staying physically active helps to keep the pain and stiffness of fibromyalgia at bay.

 

Although the pain of fibromyalgia may make you feel like withdrawing from society you must stay in touch.  I have found that although I may be in pain every single day of my life I still need to interact with people.  Every day I attempt to do one nice thing for someone else and not stay focused on me and the pain.  Yes, some days it is hard to put on a smile and be cordial, but when you do you feel better.  Doing for others will take your mind off of your pain, and for those brief moments you are doing something nice for someone else your pain may disappear completely.

 

And last, but certainly not least, be positive!  This can be so difficult when you are in pain.  Depression and malaise can quickly creep into your life when you are suffering with a chronic pain condition.  However, when I decided I was not going to be a slave to fibromyalgia I also decided to adopt a more positive outlook on life.  Every day I find at least one positive affirmation on the internet or from a book or card.  I find happy videos on YouTube.  I listen to upbeat music. I watch the antics of my three terriers. I laugh!  Laughter really is a good medicine.  Laughing works muscles throughout your entire body, it releases good endorphins, it causes you to breathe deeply, and it just feels good!  So decide to laugh a little!

 

Haly JensenHof, MA, RA

The information provided is for educational purposes, and it is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider.  This information is not meant for the diagnosis of health issues.  If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils.  If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.   

For more information, or if you have questions and comments, please contact me at yourhealthscents@gmail.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions. You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/yourhealthscents

Fragrantly helping you achieve health and well being!

 

 

April ~ IBS Awareness Month

[quote]The information provided is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider. This information is not meant for diagnosis of health issues. If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils. If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.[/quote]

April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) awareness month.  If you, or someone you know, are afflicted with this malady you are aware that it can be debilitating.  IBS can have a drastic, negative effect on an individual’s quality of life. Aromatherapy can be used to complement traditional western medicine in alleviating the symptoms of IBS.

I do not pretend to know how to diagnose or treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I simply want to provide limited information and offer suggestions on how aromatherapy can be of help.

There are no specific tests to diagnose IBS; but there are certain symptoms, when taken in conjunction with a detailed medical history, a complete physical exam, and exclusionary tests help your physician make the diagnosis.  The most common symptom is pain. Typical symptoms of IBS include:

*Abdominal pain.

*Changes in bowel habits, i.e. frequency and/or urgency.

*Diarrhea and/or constipation.

*Feeling bloated or full.

*Flatulence/Gas.

*Changes in sleep pattern due to pain.[i]

 

Typical treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome includes prescription medications to treat: pain and discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, and flatulence.  Dietary changes are also recommended.  Including probiotics, which can be found in yoghurt, in your diet is helpful for promoting a healthy digestive system.  Avoiding fatty foods, over eating, and caffeine is also helpful.

Stress, anxiety, and depression can also be symptoms, or contributing factors, of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Heightened emotional discomfort can result in diarrhea and constipation in some individuals.

How aromatherapy can help alleviate symptoms of IBS

As with prescription medication for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, aromatherapy can only address the individual symptoms.  There is no one medication or aromatherapy blend that can address all of the symptoms. Before using essential oils be aware of any allergies, pre-existing medical conditions or sensitivities an individual may have to avoid serious adverse reactions.

 

Abdominal Pain/Cramps: To help relieve abdominal pain a massage blend of 2% (10 to 12 drops essential oils to one ounce carrier oil) can be prepared using one or more essential oils. This blend can be used daily or whenever discomfort arises.  Essential oils that help relieve abdominal pain include: basil (Ocimum basilicum), bergamot (Citrus bergamia), coriander (Coriandrum sativum), lemon (Citrus limon), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), peppermint (Mentha piperita), ginger (Zingiber officinale), neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara), and tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus).  Carrier oils that are helpful to the digestive system include coconut (Cocos nucifera) and sesame (Sesamum indicum).

Diarrhea: A 2% massage blend can be prepared using one or more of the essential oils of orange (Citrus sinensis), oregano (Origanum vulgare), caraway (Carum carvi), black pepper (Piper nigrum), chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), and benzoin (Styrax benzoin) in the carrier oils of coconut or sesame.

Constipation: A 2% massage blend can be prepared using one or more of the essential oils of grapefruit (Citrus paradise), myrtle (Myrtus communis), mandarin (Citrus reticulata), carrot seed (Daucus carota), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) and frankincense (Boswellia sacra) in the carrier oils of coconut or sesame.

Flatulence: A 2% massage blend can be prepared using one or more of the essential oils of may chang (Litsea cubeba), clary sage (Salvia sclarea), lemon (Citrus limon), dill seed (Anethum graveolens), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), ginger (Zingiber officinale) and benzoin (Styrax benzoin) in the carrier oils of coconut or sesame.

Stress and anxiety: Everyone experiences stress, and it affects people in different ways, unfortunately for individuals with IBS stress can cause gastrointestinal issues.  I like to use personal inhalers to help alleviate and reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety.  If you do not have a personal inhaler a few drops of essential oil on a handkerchief or cotton ball can be used.  Essential oils commonly used to help reduce stress & include: may chang (Litsea cubeba), orange (Citrus sinensis), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara), and rose (Rosa damascena).

If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or any one of the individual symptoms listed above, I hope you consider consulting with a Registered Aromatherapist to help compliment your existing medical regimen.

For information on Irritable Bowel Syndrome visit http://www.aboutibs.org/. or http://www.aboutibs.org/site/living-with-ibs/ibs-awareness-month/.

 

[i] http://www.aboutibs.org/. Retrieved on 5 April 2014.

 

✿´´¯`•.¸¸ Haly JensenHof, MA, RA ¸¸.•´¯`´✿

Fragrantly helping you achieve health and well being!

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact me at yourhealthscents@gmail.com.  I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions.

You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/yourhealthscents

Aromatherapy for Grief

Grief is an emotion every single human being on the earth experiences several times during a lifetime.  During the past week, and in the weeks to come, grief is the predominant emotion in our small community. Our community was hit hard by the loss of not one, but three young people.  Although I can not take the grief and extreme emotional pain away I can offer aromatherapy blends that help.

On more occasions than I could have imagined I have been asked to formulate blends for clients experiencing grief.  This is an undertaking I take with great reverence and honor; for to be asked to help someone through their darkest hours is a great privilege.

Formulating a grief blend can be quite complex.  After obtaining the requisite allergy information I must also get information on what aromas elicit specific emotions.  For example, rose (Rosa damascena) essential oil is helpful for grief; however, one client’s mother wore a rose scented lotion, and when the client’s mother died he could not tolerate the scent of rose because it was too immediately painful.  For me, personally, when I lost my Dad I needed the aroma of sandalwood (Santalum spicatum), because it was the first essential oil he had introduced me to, and to smell its warming, comforting scent gave me peace.

I formulate a grief blend and have the client use a personal inhaler for application.  A personal inhaler allows the client to use the blend at anytime and in any situation, which can be helpful during memorial services.  I have also formulated grief blends for clients to diffuse in their homes for the relief of bereavement.  Every client I have formulated a grief blend for has received some level of bereavement relief.

Essential oils that are helpful during times of great bereavement include:

†Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)                                     †Sage (Salvia officinalis)

†Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)                            †Marjoram (Origanum marjorana)

†Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)                                    †Melissa (Melissa officinalis)

†Rose (Rosa damascena)                                             †Sandalwood (Santalum spicata)

†Spikenard (Nardostachus jatamansi)                         †Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

†Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)                                    †Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

†Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)                                      †Benzoin (Styrax benzoin)

Use of an aromatherapy blend during times of grief can provide comfort and support; soften the stabbing pain.  A grief blend can be used when needed and for any amount of time during the times of immediate loss and in the months ahead.

Cherish the ones you love!

If you would like me to formulate a blend for you, for more information, or if you have questions, please contact me at yourhealthscents@gmail.comThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions. You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/yourhealthscents

Haly JensenHof, MA, RA

Fragrantly helping you achieve health and well being!

 

 

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

This Monday Musing is for Stacey and all other individuals who have this insidious condition.

I want to make it very clear from the start that I am not medically trained.  I am not a nurse or doctor, and my knowledge of MS is limited.  I am a person who has a very dear friend who is afflicted with this condition.  I am also a Registered Aromatherapist who uses her skills to help her friend with the symptoms of MS.

Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological disorder that causes inflammation to the myelin sheath of the nerves, muscle weakness, and brain lesions.  Other symptoms include bowel and bladder problems, fatigue, visual problems, muscle spasms, balance difficulties, and pain.  Approximately 75% of those diagnosed with MS experience physical pain. A study conducted in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that individuals with MS listed pain as the second leading symptom that caused them concern (35%) following mobility (36%).[1]

Initially, Stacey asked me to formulate a blend to help her with the physical pain that she experiences.  After getting a complete health history, including a list of the medications Stacey was prescribed, I formulated a massage blend for her.  This blend included orange (Citrus sinensis), Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) in a lotion base.  Each one of the essential oils in this blend was chosen because they help boost the immune system, target neuralgia pain, and reduce stress.

As fall turned to winter Stacey found herself quite ill with various respiratory infections, which required several rounds of antibiotics.  In an attempt to help Stacey rid her environment of bacteria and viruses I formulated a blend for her to diffuse in her home.  This blend contained bergamot (Citrus bergamia), ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) and cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum).  As a bonus Stacey discovered that this diffusion blend gave her relief from pain!  And, it is true that each one of these essential oils does help relieve muscular pain.  Now, whenever Stacey is in pain she diffuses this blend in her room, relaxes, and within 30 minutes her pain is greatly reduced.

Since formulating these blends I have researched the issue of aromatherapy for Multiple Sclerosis and I have found that very little scientific research has been conducted.  In fact, I found two studies and one article on the matter.  The first study focused on the use of aromatherapy massage.  The results showed that massage using essential oils improved sleep in 55% of the 50 patients in the study.  Further, aromatherapy massage improved mobility in 64%, improved overall feelings of well being in 88%, reduced pharmacological medication consumption in 7%, and improved the ability to relax in 91%. [i]

A second study, also done in the UK, noted aromatherapy as being helpful in relieving symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.  This study focused on the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).  Participants were self-selected, i.e. they chose to complete a questionnaire and attend a workshop at a 2006 MS Trust Biennial congress for individuals with MS.  Of the possible CAM modalities six were found to be most helpful.  The six most used and beneficial modalities were reflexology, massage, yoga, relaxation/meditation, acupuncture and aromatherapy.  Specifically, aromatherapy was found to be relaxing, help with sleep, reduce pain, relieve muscle tension, stimulate bladder and bowel function, impart a general sense of well being, improve the sense of self-worth, and was uplifting.  The second study also noted that 84% of individuals with MS had tried at least one form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.  Additionally the respondents reported the positive effects of CAM modalities were “extremely helpful,” and they would continue using alternative therapies to assist with their overall well being. [ii]

Finally, the article regarding aromatherapy for pain relief for MS patients listed various application methods of aromatherapy that are helpful.  It listed the use of essential oils in massage, inhalation, warm baths, compresses, and ingestion.  “[Massage] is thought to stimulate the nerve fibers that reduce the transmission of pain impulses.  It is also thought to improve the circulation of blood to the muscles and to help people relax and generally feel better in themselves, all of which may help them cope with their chronic pain.”[iii]

I want to make a note regarding the ingestion of essential oils, and this point was also made in the text of the article cited.  The ingestion of essential oils should not be done unless it is under the direct supervision of a qualified, fully trained aromatherapist, who has received the proper training and safety guidelines of internal use of essential oils.

Aromatherapy will not treat or cure Multiple Sclerosis but it is a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) choice that can augment conventional medical treatment.  Most, if not all, of the research done on aromatherapy with MS patients has been in the United Kingdom.  It is my hope that more research will be conducted world-wide.

Theinformation provided is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider. This information is not meant for diagnosis of health issues. If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils. If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.

✿´´¯`•.¸¸ Haly JensenHof, MA, RA ¸¸.•´¯`´✿

Fragrantly helping you achieve health and well being!

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact me at yourhealthscents@gmail.com.  I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions.

You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/yourhealthscents

 

 

 

[i]http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1353611702906281 Will aromatherapy be a useful treatment strategy for people with multiple sclerosis

[ii] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1744388108000364 Complementary therapy use by persons with multiple sclerosis: Benefits and research priorities

[iii]http://www.mstrust.org.uk/information/opendoor/articles/0311_06_07.jsp  Aromatherapy for pain in multiple sclerosis.

Heart Health Awareness Month

February is Heart Health Month!  Seems fitting during the month that holds Valentine’s Day, doesn’t it?  There are several ways to help maintain good heart health, and the use of essential oils in conjunction with other heart healthy habits is just one of those methods.

[quote]Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes, and it is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider. This information is not meant for diagnosis of health issues. If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils. If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.[/quote]

Essential oils can help keep the heart healthy and they can also be used in conjunction with standard pharmaceuticals and health regimens. The use of essential oils should never be a stand-alone approach for someone who has had a heart related episode.  If an individual has been diagnosed with a heart condition he must follow the treatment recommendations of his cardiologist; however, essential oils can be part of the person’s heart health routine.  Before beginning the use of essential oils I always instruct clients to discuss this option with their cardiologist.  Additionally, I strongly suggest that if you are considering the use of essential oils as part of a heart health program you consult a Registered Aromatherapist.  A Registered Aromatherapist has the education, training, background and experience to formulate a blend that will do the most benefit without putting the person at risk of adverse reactions.

There are several essential oils that are cardio-tonics, i.e. heart tonics, which have positive effects to the heart and heart tone.  There are also essential oils that can be used for high cholesterol as well as arteriosclerosis.  When a client comes to me with any or all of these complaints, I begin by getting a complete health and medication history.  Once I am aware of all medications, allergies, homeopathic remedies, and overall health I then proceed to formulate an individualized heart tonic blend for that person.

I have clients who use their heart blends religiously with favorable results.  The use of essential oils as heart tonics is subtle.  One client quit using his heart blend for a few days and noticed he didn’t feel as well as he did when he was using his blend daily.  Clients have told me that while using their heart blend they do not notice a marked difference in their health, but if they quit using their heart blend they feel sluggish, tired, and have less stamina.

Most individuals diagnosed with a heart condition have either high or low blood pressure.  Some essential oils should NOT be used with people diagnosed with high blood pressure.  Likewise there are essential oils that should NOT be used with people diagnosed with low blood pressure.

Not for use with High Blood Pressure

♥Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)            ♥Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

♥Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)                ♥Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

♥Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

 

Not for use with Low Blood Pressure

♥Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)                             ♥Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

♥Marjoram (Marjorana hortensis)                   ♥Ylang ylang (Cananga Odorata)

In addition to the use of essential oils for heart health other natural measures can be employed.  In October 2013 I wrote a blog on Infused Honey  where I infused honey with hawthorn, grape, and red clover.  Each one of these honeys is a good addition to a heart healthy diet, and they taste lovely as well!

Eating a heart healthy diet is important.  Eating whole grains; avoiding foods high in triglycerides, trans fats and saturated fats; eating more fruits and vegetables; and limiting alcohol intake are all steps of a heart healthy diet.  If you smoke, quit!  If you do not exercise, start!

The American Heart Association has a lot of information regarding how to live a heart healthy lifestyle.  I encourage you to visit their website at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/.

If you, or anyone you love, have a heart related condition I encourage you to explore the option of adding aromatherapy to a health regimen. Contact a Registered Aromatherapist for more information on how aromatherapy can be beneficial.

Have a Happy Heart!

✿´´¯`•.¸¸ Haly JensenHof, MA, RA ¸¸.•´¯`´✿

Fragrantly helping you achieve health and well being!

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact me at yourhealthscents@gmail.com.  I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions. If you would like a consultation or a blend formulated, please contact me!

You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/yourhealthscents

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.  With this Monday Musing I want to provide information on how to include essential oils in a holistic approach to treating this disease.

To date there are no scientific/medical studies supporting the use of essential oils to prevent or cure cervical cancer; however, essential oils can certainly be part of a woman’s overall treatment strategy when faced with a diagnosis of cervical cancer.  Essential oils and Aromatherapy provide assistance with the emotional symptoms of cancer by helping to alleviate tension, stress, depression, fear, and worry.  As a mental health therapist I know how negative emotions can have serious detrimental effects on a person’s physical well being.  As a Registered Aromatherapist I know how beneficial essential oils can be in easing negative emotions.

There are several wonderful essential oils that help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety.  Those especially helpful in cases of cervical cancer include Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Rose (Rosa damascena), Frankincense (Boswellia sacra), and Orange (Citrus sinensis).  Diffusing one, or a blend, of these oils can create a sense of relaxation and ease.

Using essential oils in a bath is also recommended.  Create a synergistic blend using six to seven drops of essential oils suspended in one ounce of carrier oil.  Add five to six drops of this blend to bath water.  The following essential oils are reported to be good for cervical cancer baths:

•Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)           •Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)*

•Rose (Rosa damascena)                             •Carrot seed (Daucus carota)

•Frankincense (Boswellia sacra)

Massage is a wonderful means of creating a sense of relaxation, and alleviating stress and tension.   For cases of cervical cancer it is recommended to gently massage the lower back, hips, and lower abdominal area twice daily.  I recommend creating a synergistic blend, using no more than four of the following essential oils, in a 2% dilution.  A 2% dilution would include 10 to 12 drops essential oil in one ounce of carrier oil.

•Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)           •Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)*

•Rose (Rosa damascena)                             •Carrot seed (Daucus carota)

•Frankincense (Boswellia sacra)                  •Benzoin (Styrax benzoin)

•Myrrh (Commiphora  myrrha)*                  •Lemon (Citrus limon)

•Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)                    •Niaouli (Melaluca quinquenervia)

* The use of Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) and Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) is questionable to me.  Certain essential oils should not be used with estrogen dependent cancers.  These oils include Geranium, Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Anise seed (Pimpinella aniusm), Sage (Salvia officinalis), Clary sage (Salvia sclarea), Myrrh, Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), and Vitex (Vitex agnus castus).  However, if the cause of cervical cancer is known to be due to a virus, such as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), then the use of Geranium and Myrrh may be beneficial.

The exact causes of cervical cancer are not yet known.  Several factors have been considered, such as: Human Papilloma Virus, multiple sexual partners, tobacco use, poor diet, hormonal medications, a history of genital warts, a compromised immune system, and frequent douching.

If a woman has been diagnosed with cervical cancer several treatment options are available.  The type of treatment approach depends on how advanced the cancer has become.  Surgical procedures include laser surgery and total or partial hysterectomy.  Treatment may also include radiation and/or chemotherapy. In addition to these medical treatments several alternative therapies should be included as part of the holistic approach.  Diets that include fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains should be eaten.  Nutritional support should also include increasing the B-complex vitamins, Vitamins A, C, and E as well as increasing the minerals of zinc and selenium.  Establishing a regular exercise routine is also helpful in reducing stress and improving the immune system.  Massage therapy is very helpful at reducing stress and tension.  And of course aromatherapy is excellent for improving immunity and reducing stress.  Aromatherapy is also helpful for reducing side-effects of traditional medical procedures and treatments.

It is vital for all women to have regular gynecological exams, including annual Pap smears, to ensure gynecological health.  Instead of dreading or fearing a gynecological exam, think of it as a gift to yourself, a gift of promoting your own health.  Every year I schedule a gynecological exam during the month of my birthday, and I call it my birthday present to myself, a gift of self-care. During this month of cervical cancer awareness discuss women’s health with your female relatives and friends, schedule a gynecological exam, make necessary changes to your life-style to promote good health, and learn more about this serious disease.

The information provided is for educational purposes, and it is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider.  This information is not meant for diagnosis of health issues.  If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils.  If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.   

Resources:

Worwood, Valerie Ann; The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy; Novato, CA; New World Library; 1991.

http://www.altmd.com/Articles/Cervical-Dysplasia–Encyclopedia-of-Alternative-Me.  Retrieved on 7 January 2014.

http://ehealthmd.com/content/what-cervical-cancer#axzz2q6smm2Pj. Retrieved on 7 January 2014.

Fragrant Blessings and good health!

✿´´¯`•.¸¸ Haly JensenHof, MA, RA ¸¸.•´¯`´✿

Fragrantly helping you achieve health and well being!

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact me at yourhealthscents@gmail.com.  I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions.

You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/yourhealthscents

Managing Thanksgiving Induced Indigestion

Giving thanks for all that we have is what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about; however, over the years it seems Thanksgiving is more about stuffing ourselves into heartburn, indigestion, and bloat. There are nearly 50 essential oils that help combat the symptoms of Thanksgiving induced indigestion.

First, I want to count my blessings and tell you what I am thankful for this year. I am truly blessed with a supportive, nurturing, wonderful husband. I have two great, faithful, supportive older brothers. I am blessed to be owned by three loving terriers. I have many positive, encouraging, and loyal friends that I call family. I, and my family, have good health. I have the perfect home with beautiful surroundings. I have just what I need in terms of property and material items and nothing more. I am thankful for my productive herbal, flower, and vegetable gardens. I also have wonderful clients who I enjoy and respect. In all, I have been blessed and I am truly thankful.

As family and friends gather for the Thanksgiving feast they all know they are going to over eat, but how can they not? The food at Thanksgiving is decadent. Most feasts include a big turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes or yams, vegetables, cranberries, and assorted pies. Each family has its own traditional dish too. In our family it is my mother’s recipe for pearl onions in a thick creamy cheese sauce. YUM! For a lot of families the addition of green bean casserole is the dish that makes the feast complete.

Regardless of what we serve on Thanksgiving Day, everyone tends to over eat. Over eating is one sure way of causing heartburn, indigestion, bloat, and flatulence. There are many means of managing these conditions: over-the counter antacids, drinking ginger ale, mixing up some sodium bicarbonate, drinking a lot of water, avoiding certain foods, and not lying down after eating. All of these methods are effective, and I recommend using them. However, using essential oils to help with indigestion is effective, pleasurable, and can be used with all members of the family, young or old.

Indigestion Massage Blend at a 3% dilution:
In a dark glass bottle mix the essential oils and add the carrier oil. Gently massage the blend over your abdomen in a clockwise fashion.
3 drops Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) essential oil
2 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
2 drops Dill seed (Anethum graveolens) essential oil
1 drop Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil
15 ml. Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera) carrier oil

I recommend this blend at a 3% dilution for healthy teens and adults: however, for young children, the elderly, or those with sensitivities or weakened physical states a 1% dilution would be where I would begin.

Earlier I mentioned there are over 50 essential oils that help with digestive issues. These oils include:

Lemon (Citrus limon)

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)

Dill seed (Anethum graveolens)

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
Vetiver (Vetivera zizanoides)

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

These oils are listed because they are gentle, have few contraindications (can be used with children, during pregnancy, and with high or low blood pressure), and are effective. The citrus oils do increase the chance of photosensitivity.

If a massage blend is not your style, or if you will be traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, you may want to formulate a blend to use in a personal inhaler. Personal inhalers are easy to carry, as well as being easy and discrete to use. Choose two to three essential oils in the list above and use between 15 to 25 drops of the blend you have formulated. No carrier oil is used with a personal inhaler. Place the required drops of your chosen essential oils on a sterile glass plate. Then, using sterile tweezers, place the cotton pad from the inhaler on the essential oils. Allow the cotton pad to absorb all of the essential oils. Using the tweezers insert the cotton pad into the inhaler, cap the bottom, screw on the cover, and you are ready to go!

My Thanksgiving wish for you is that you have a day filled with love, family, friends, and good food. If you happen to eat to the point of digestive issues add essential oils to your arsenal of tools to combat them.

 Information provided is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider.  This information is not meant for diagnosis of health issues.  If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils.  If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.   

Haly JensenHof, MA, RA

Fragrantly helping you achieve health and well being!

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact me at yourhealthscents@gmail.com.  I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions.

You can also find me on Facebook

 

Essential Oil Gargle for Sore Throat

It is that time of year again…cold and flu season.  Several clients have informed me they, or family members, are suffering from pharyngitis, i.e. sore throat.  There are a few essential oils that work wonders at easing the pain and discomfort from a sore throat.

A sore throat can be caused by several factors; bacteria, viruses, yelling, singing or talking too much, smoking, and from a dry mouth/throat.  Whatever the cause of a sore throat the pain can prevent people from eating and drinking.  Making sure you are well hydrated is important, not just to keep your throat moist, but also to prevent you from becoming dehydrated, which can lead to further complications.

Gargling with warm salt water was a remedy often employed by my mother.  I remember not liking the salt water gargle or the sting of the salt on my sore tissues, but it did help a bit.  Gargling is a good remedy, especially if you use essential oils in the gargle.

Warm Gargle ~ Making a warm water gargle, with or without salt is easy.  Fill an 8 ounce glass with warm (not hot) water, add one to two drops of essential oil, and you can also add one teaspoon of salt; however, I choose to forego the salt. Stir the mixture well to dissolve the salt and mix the essential oils.  Gargle well, making certain you coat your throat and mouth well.  By gargling and swishing the warm water mixture so that it coats your throat and mouth well you will get the anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic benefits from the essential oils.  Use two to three times daily.  DO NOT swallow the mixture.

The following essential oils are those I believe to be the best at easing sore throat pain.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – helps to eliminate excess mucus. Thyme has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic, and analgesic benefits.  It is a very potent essential oil as an anti-septic.  Thyme may also irritate the mucus membranes, so use with caution.  Avoid use during pregnancy and if you have high blood pressure.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – helps to keep infection down.  Lavender is an analgesic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, analgesic, and anti-septic.

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) – excellent for oral care and sore throat.  Myrrh is anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, analgesic, an expectorant, and a disinfectant.  Avoid during pregnancy.

Lemon (Citrus limon) – stimulates white corpuscles and boosts the immune system.  Lemon is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-septic.

Finally, you know the saying, “Feed a cold, starve a fever?”  Feed both!  Starving or not drinking fluids is never a good idea especially when you have a cold or flu.  Make certain you drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated and to flush your system of toxins.  Eat foods that are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, anti-oxidants, and beta-carotene.  Yes, this does mean eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Stay healthy my friends!  And as usual, I wish you a fragrantly blessed week. 

✿´´¯`•.¸¸ Haly ¸¸.•´¯`´✿

The information provided is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider.  This information is not meant for diagnosis of health issues.  If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils.  If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.   

For more information, or if you have questions, please reach me at yourhealthscents@gmail.com.  I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions.

You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/yourhealthscents