Feverfew

CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=216947

Feverfew leaf (Tanacetum parthenium)

Feverfew is a flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae. It is a traditional medicinal herb which is commonly used to prevent migraine headaches and is also occasionally grown for ornament. It is also commonly seen in the literature by its synonyms, Chrysanthemum parthenium and Pyrethrum parthenium. It is also sometimes referred to as bachelor’s buttons or feverfew.

The name stems from the Latin word febrifugia, “fever reducer.” The first-century Greek physician Dioscorides prescribed feverfew for “all hot inflammations.” The ancient Greeks called the herb “Parthenium,” supposedly because it was used medicinally to save the life of someone who had fallen from the Parthenon during its construction in the 5th century BC. The first-century Greek physician Dioscorides used feverfew as an antipyretic. Feverfew also was known as “medieval aspirin” or the “aspirin” of the 18th century.

Common names: Chrysanthemum parthenium , Feverfew, featherfew, altamisa, bachelor’s button, featherfoil, febrifuge plant, midsummer daisy, nosebleed, Santa Maria, wild chamomile, wild quinine, chamomile grande, chrysanthemum atricaire, federfoy, flirtwort, Leucanthemum parthenium, Matricaria capensis, Matricaria eximia hort, Matricaria parthenium L., MIG-99, mother herb, Parthenium hysterophorus, parthenolide, Pyrenthrum parthenium L, European feverfew, feather-fully, feddygen fenyw, flirtroot, grande chamomile, mutterkraut, and vetter-voo.

Feverfew is native to Eurasia, specifically the Balkan Peninsula, Anatolia and the Caucasus, but cultivation has spread it around the world and it is now also found in the rest of Europe, North America and Chile.

Uses: The plant has been used to treat arthritis, asthma, constipation, dermatitis, earache, fever, headache, inflammatory conditions, insect bites, labor, menstrual disorders, potential miscarriage, psoriasis, spasms, stomach ache, swelling, tinnitus, toothache, vertigo, and worms. Feverfew also has been used as an abortifacient, as an insecticide, and for treating coughs and colds. Traditionally, the herb has been used as an antipyretic, from which its common name is derived.

History: In Central and South America, the plant has been used to treat a variety of disorders. The Kallaway Indians of the Andes mountains value its use for treating colic, kidney pain, morning sickness, and stomach ache. Costa Ricans use a decoction of the herb to aid digestion, as a cardiotonic, an emmenagogue, and as an enema for worms. In Mexico, it is used as an antispasmodic and as a tonic to regulate menstruation. In Venezuela, it is used for treating earaches.

The leaves are ingested fresh or dried, with a typical daily dose of 2–3 leaves. The bitterness is often sweetened before ingestion. Feverfew also has been planted around houses to purify the air because of its strong, lasting odor, and a tincture of its blossoms is used as an insect repellant and balm for bites. It has been used as an antidote for overindulgence in opium.

Properties: It has multiple pharmacologic properties, such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, antispasmodic, an emmenagogue, and as an enema for worms.

The plant contains a large number of natural products, but the active principles probably include one or more of the sesquiterpene lactones known to be present, including parthenolide. Other potentially active constituents include flavonoid glycosides and pinenes. There has been some scientific interest in parthenolide, which has been shown to induce apoptosis in some cancer cell lines in vitro and potentially to target cancer stem cells.

Health Benefits of Feverfew (Organicfacts.net)

Migraines: It is one of the few herbs with substantial scientific evidence for its efficacy in migraine prophylaxis. Most RCTs and surveys of individuals using feverfew for migraine prevention have documented beneficial results. Not only has feverfew demonstrated a reduction in migraine frequency and pain intensity, but also a profound reduction has been observed in typical accompanying symptoms, including vomiting, nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia.

Anxiety and Stress: Although the pathway for this particular benefit is not fully understood, feverfew has been known to reduce stress and alleviate anxiety in some users. This is very important for those who suffer from chronic stress, as the presence of stress hormones in the body can be dangerous over long periods.

Lower Inflammation: Some of the volatile compounds in feverfew have anti-inflammatory abilities, which effectively reduces inflammation throughout the body. For those who suffer from chronic joint pain, arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory conditions, herbal treatment with feverfew is a painless and effective solution.

Pain Reduction: This is closely related to the anti-inflammatory effects of feverfew, but any analgesic substance deserves some recognition. For thousands of years, feverfew has been used to prevent pain throughout the body, not just the pain of headaches and migraines. Following surgery or an injury, it can be successfully utilized for rapid and long-lasting relief.

Fever Symptoms: Traditionally, feverfew has been used to break and eliminate fevers. The name of the plant should be some indication of this ability. If you are suffering from a fever, whether it is linked to another more serious illness or not, it can help to promote sweating and eliminate toxins from the body, speeding the healing process and reducing inflammation.

Menstrual Discomfort: One of the popular uses of feverfew is in the reduction of discomfort during menstruation. For billions of women around the world, menstruation can be a painful monthly occurrence that includes cramps, bloating, hormonal swings, pain, and excessive bleeding. It can effectively lower inflammation, eliminate cramps, and induce calm to reduce mood swings and anxiety.

Appetite Booster: For people trying to gain weight or recovering from an injury/surgery, increasing one’s appetite can be very important. Feverfew has been linked to certain hormonal activity that induces hunger. While this may not be ideal for people trying to stay on a diet, it can certainly help the healing process and weight gain efforts for those individuals who may be underweight or calorie-deficient.

Respiratory Function: The soothing ability of feverfew also extends to the respiratory tract, where this herb is able to reduce inflammation and irritation, which can often exacerbate conditions like asthma or coughing. By allowing the respiratory tracts to relax, it can help soothe these symptoms and improve overall respiratory health.

Skin Guard: One of the more recent health benefits of feverfew is its role in skin health. Research is ongoing on the full effects of feverfew on the skin, but when it comes to dermatitis and other common forms of irritation, it has been shown to improve symptoms when topically applied.

Heart Health: Feverfew can inhibit the production of certain prostaglandins in the body that are responsible for increasing blood pressure. By reducing symptoms of hypertension, feverfew can protect overall heart health and lower the chances of experiencing atherosclerosis, and the consequent heart attacks and strokes linked to that particular blockage of the cardiovascular system.

How to Take: Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

The standard adult dose for feverfew supplementation is 100-300 mg of a feverfew supplement containing 0.2%-0.4% parthenolide, taken one to four times a day.

Children younger than two should not be given feverfew. The standard feverfew dose for children is based off of a standard adult weight of 150 lbs. For example, if a child weighs 50lbs, the dose is one-third of the adult dose.

Liquid and tincture feverfew supplements are sometimes used to alleviate arthritis. The suggested dose is 60 – 120 drops of 1:1 (fluid) supplement or a 1:5 (tincture) supplement, taken twice a day.

Essential Oil of the Root of Tanacetum parthenium: The roots and rhizomes of Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schulz. Bip. (Asteraceae), have been used in Iranian traditional medicine under the name of Aqhovan, as digestive and stomachic tonic. Composition of the essential oil, which was obtained from the root of T. parthenium collected from Karaj, was determined by gas chromatography, combined GC/MS and GC/IR. In total, 20 components (92% of essential oil) were identified. Major constituents were camphor (30.2%), (Z)- chrysanthenyl acetate (26.5%), α-farnesene (11.1%) and spathulenol (8.2%).

Common side effects: oral ulcers and tongue soreness if dried leaves are chewed. It can cause increased heart rates, dizziness, anxiety, sleeplessness, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.

Long-term use of feverfew followed by abrupt discontinuation may induce a withdrawal syndrome featuring rebound headaches and muscle and joint pains. Feverfew can cause allergic reactions, including contact dermatitis.

Other side effects have included gastrointestinal upset such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence. When the herb is chewed or taken orally it can cause mouth ulcers and swelling and numbness of the mouth. Feverfew should not be taken by pregnant women. It may interact with blood thinners and increase the risk of bleeding and may also interact with a variety of medications metabolized by the liver.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanacetum_parthenium
  2. http://nccih.nih.gov/health/feverfew
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/feverfew.html
  4. https://examine.com/supplements/feverfew/
  5. https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/feverf10.html
  6. https://doi.org/10.1002%2F14651858.CD002286.pub2
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Center_for_Complementary_and_Integrative_Health
  8. https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/natural-remedies/feverfew/
  9. http://www.meschinohealth.com/books/feverfew
  10. http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/105/11/4163.long
  11. http://www.pharmacists.ca/content/CPJPDFS/Jan04/parthenolide.pdf
  12. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/feverfew-000243.htm
  13. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0890-6238(06)00102-X
  14. http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/Default.aspx?DN=5a05a8da-ff3e-490b-b280-35f7b22b803b
  15. https://www.jstor.org/stable/29520398
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210009/
  17. https://www.medicinenet.com/feverfew_tanacetum_parthenium-oral/article.htm
  18. https://www.medicinenet.com/feverfew_tanacetum_parthenium-oral/article.htm#which_drugs_or_supplements_interact_with_feverfew_tanacetum_parthenium-oral
  19. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/tanacetum-parthenium
  20. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199711)11:7%3C508::AID-PTR153%3E3.0.CO;2-H/abstract
  21. http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Herbal_-_HMPC_assessment_report/2011/06/WC500107719.pdf
  22. http://ijpr.sbmu.ac.ir/article_735.html
  23. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-933-feverfew.aspx?activeingredientid=933&activeingredientname=feverfew
  24. Duke JA. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1985. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs.

Fennel

Fennel seeds, bulb, stalk, and leaves. Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

Fennel seed & oil (Foeniculum vulgare)

Common Names: Large fennel, sweet fennel, wild fennel, sweet cumin, finnochio, fänkål (Swedish), hinojo (Spanish), Fenchel (German), fennikel (Danish), hui-hsiang (Chinese), fenouil (French), fennika (Icelandic).

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) comes from either a perennial or biennial herb with yellow flowers in the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.

You will find Fennel Seeds in Mother Jai’s Heartburn Relief Tea

There are two variations: bitter/common (F. vulgare var. amara) and sweet (F. vulgare var. dulce). Bitter fennel oil should be avoided in aromatherapy and home use. Sweet fennel smells like anise with a hint of earth and spicy pepper.

Fennel is a member of the carrot and parsley family. It can grow to five feet tall and has delicate, lacy leaves. Sweet fennel oil is produced in places like Bulgaria, France, Germany, and Japan.

It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.

Fennel has several subspecies and varieties including:

  • Foeniculum vulgare Mill. subsp. vulgare var. dulce (Mill.) Batt. (Sweet fennel)
  • Foeniculum vulgare Mill. subsp. piperitum (Ucria) Cout. (Bitter fennel)
  • Foeniculum vulgare Mill. subsp. vulgare var. azoricum (Mill.) Thell.
  • Foeniculum vulgare Mill. subsp. vulgare var. vulgare (Sweet fennel)

Historical Uses

Fennel is considered one of the oldest medicinal plants and culinary herbs. It is fairly certain that fennel was in use over 4000 years ago. It is mentioned in the famous Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian collection of medical writings made around 1500 BC. There it is referred to principally as a remedy for flatulence.

The name foeniculum is from the Latin word for “fragrant hay.” Fennel was in great demand during the Middle Ages.

Wealthy people added the seed to fish and vegetable dishes, while the poor reserved it as an appetite suppressant to be eaten on fasting days.

The plant was introduced to North America by Spanish priests and the English brought it to their early settlements in Virginia. Fennel has been used to flavor candies, liqueurs, medicines, and food, and it is especially favored for pastries, sweet pickles, and fish.

Fennel was used by the ancient Egyptians as a food and medicine and was considered a snake bite remedy in ancient China.

During the Middle ages fennel was hung over doorways to drive away evil spirits. (Herb Society of America) Fennel has been used since ancient times to treat menstrual disorders, dyspepsia, flatulence and cough, and to reduce the griping effect of laxatives.

Fennel fruits have been used as TCM for the treatment of infants suffering from dyspeptic disorders in China for centuries. It was also recommended for bronchitis, chronic coughs, kidney stones, dysmenorrhea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The ancients believed eating the fennel herb and seeds imparted courage, strength, and conveyed longevity. In Imperial Roman times the physicians were in high regard of fennel for medicinal purposes.

The ancient Greeks and Anglo-Saxons snitched on their fast days by nibbling a little fennel, which reduced the appetite. The ancients believed that myopic reptiles ate fennel to improve their vision and so used it themselves for this purpose. It is still prescribed as an eye-wash. Also, for failing eyesight, a tea was made from fennel leaves to be used as a compress on swollen eyes.

As Old English finule, fennel is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century.

In the 15th century, Portuguese settlers on Madeira noticed the abundance of wild fennel, and used the Portuguese word funcho (fennel) and the suffix -al to form the name of a new town, Funchal

Longfellow’s 1842 poem “The Goblet of Life” repeatedly refers to the plant and mentions its purported ability to strengthen eyesight:

Above the lower plants it towers,

The Fennel with its yellow flowers;

And in an earlier age than ours

Was gifted with the wondrous powers

Lost vision to restore.

Known Hazards of Fennel

Skin contact with the sap or essential oil is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people. Ingestion of the oil can cause vomiting, seizures and pulmonary edema.

Epileptics, people with cancer or on multiple medications, and anyone pregnant or trying to be shouldn’t use fennel.

Those who are allergic to celery, carrot, mugwort, or other plants in the Apiaceae family may have a reaction to the herb and its oils.

Fennel might slow blood clotting. Taking fennel might increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in people with bleeding disorders.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Fennel might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use fennel.

Keep in mind that fennel interacts negatively with multiple medications including Cipro and may decrease the effects of birth control. If you are taking any prescribed drugs, confer with a physician before using any form of fennel.

Cautions and Contraindications: avoid use of oil in liver disease, alcoholism, while breast feeding, or during the use of acetaminophen; pregnancy due to emmenagogue action (empirical), essential oil use with infants or small children under 2 y.o.a. (speculative), prolonged use (speculative), acid reflux (speculative)

Constituents of Fennel

Fennel oil contains 50-60 percent of the licorice-tasting terpenoid anethole, the same active constituent found in anise. Anethole is thirteen times sweeter than sugar and is widely used as a flavoring agent in many things including liqueurs like Ouzo, Absinthe, and Pernod.

The main chemical components of fennel oil are a-pinene, myrcene, fenchone, trans-anethole, methyl chavicol, limonene, 1,8-cineole and anisic aldehyde.

Blending Fennel

Fennel blends well with other seed oils like cardamom and caraway, spicy oils like black pepper and ginger, and citrus oils, as well as geranium, lavender, rose, and sandalwood.

Therapeutic Uses

The dried seeds are steamed distilled to produce a thin yellow liquid that is good for a variety of therapeutic uses. This oil is helpful for conditions like gastrointestinal disorders and menstrual issues. It is detoxifying and can be used for weight loss and to reduce fluid retention and cellulite.

The plant is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactogogue, hallucinogenic, laxative, stimulant and stomachic.

An infusion is used in the treatment of indigestion, abdominal distension, stomach pains etc. It helps in the treatment of kidney stones and, when combined with a urinary disinfectant like Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, makes an effective treatment for cystitis.

It can also be used as a gargle for sore throats and as an eyewash for sore eyes and conjunctivitis. Fennel is often added to purgatives in order to allay their tendency to cause gripe, and also to improve the flavour.

For the mind, it adds courage and strength in the face of adversity. It has a cleansing and toning effect on the skin, helping with bruises, sorting out overly oily skin and to fight wrinkles in more mature complexions (possibly due to the estrogenic properties of the oil).

The essential oil of fennel contains several bioreactive secondary metabolites, such as aldehydes. The oil apparently affects the stability of biomembranes and interacts with molecular targets, such as proteins and DNA, which causes a low cytotoxicity.

It has a toning effect on the spleen and liver, that helps with the results of excess drink and food. Hepatoprotective properties.

It is also used for increasing insufficient milk in nursing mothers – but for boosting breast milk, rather use the fresh herb, since the oil contains very high concentrations of trans-anethole.

An infusion of the seeds is a safe and effective cure for wind in babies.

An infusion of the root is used to treat urinary disorders.

An essential oil obtained from the seed is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is “Normalising”. The essential oil is bactericidal, carminative and stimulant.

Benefits of Fennel

Rich in phytoestrogens, Fennel is often used for colic, wind, irritable bowel, kidneys, spleen, liver, lungs, suppressing appetite, breast enlargement, promoting menstruation, improving digestive system, milk flow and increasing urine flow. Fennel is also commonly used to treat amenhorrea, angina, asthma, anxiety, depression, heartburn, water retention, lower blood pressure, boost libido, respiratory congestion, coughs and has been indicated for high blood pressure and to boost sexual desire. Fennel offers us the opportunity to release toxins, increase energy, release self-limiting beliefs, and support our ability to ‘digest’ and ‘transform’ food/experiences/thoughts in a healthy way.

Increases Confidence: If you have a problem being assertive, fennel can help break you out of it. Add a drop of fennel to a cotton ball to sniff throughout the day. Changes will not happen overnight, but with repeated use, you may find your confidence increasing. Alternatively, you could blend fennel with other ‘meek-busting’ oils like jasmine, ginger, patchouli, bergamot, carnation, or lime. Find a mix you enjoy, and add a drop of that to a cotton ball.

Calms Digestive Disorders: Fennel has long been used for digestive complaints. A fennel massage using four drops of the essential oil in a tablespoon of a carrier can be made to help with diarrhea, constipation, or painful bloating. Rub this into the abdomen three times a day until symptoms subside. If you have fluid buildup elsewhere in the body, then simply rub the oil there instead of the abdomen.

If nausea is the issue, add this blend to a pint of hot distilled water. Mix as well as possible, then soak a small towel in it to make a compress and lay it over the stomach. Alternatively, you can rub the blend on first and then put a hot towel over instead of using the oil water.

Fennel seeds, particularly in powdered form, can act as a laxative. The roughage helps clear the bowels, whereas its stimulating effect helps maintain the proper peristaltic motion of the intestines, thereby helping promote proper excretion through the stimulation of gastric juices and bile production. Fennel is also commonly found in medicines that treat abdominal pain, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other intestinal issues.

Fennel is helpful in curing diarrhea if it is caused by bacterial infections because some components such as anethol and cineole have disinfectant and antibacterial properties. Some amino acids, such as histidine, can aid in digestion and the proper functioning of the digestive system, thereby helping to eliminate diarrhea due to indigestion. Fennel has long been used by indigenous cultures as a way to eliminate diarrhea.

Reduces Heart Disease: Fennel is a great source of fiber, as mentioned above, but besides the advantages to digestion that fiber provides, it also helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream. This means that it can stimulate the elimination damaging LDL or bad cholesterol, which is a major factor in heart diseases, atherosclerosis, and strokes.

Eases Menstrual Issues: Fennel is also an emmenagogue, meaning that it eases and regulates menstruation by properly regulating hormonal action in the body. Furthermore, fennel is used in a number of products to reduce the effects of PMS, and it is also used traditionally as a soothing pain reliever and relaxing agent for menopausal women.

Promotes Breast Enlargement: The flavonoids present in fennel seeds increase the amount of estrogen thereby acting as a stimulant and tonic. Fennel seeds help increase the size of the breasts as they increase the formation of new cells and tissues in the breast.

Helps Hangovers: Drinking too much alcohol can wreak havoc on the body. If you imbibed too much the night before, dropping 3-4 drops of fennel in your shower and breathing in the steam can help make you feel better.

Soothes Infant Colic: Besides calming gastrointestinal disorders in adults, fennel can be helpful for infants. ‘Gripe water’ is either dill, anise, or fennel water mixed with syrup and bicarbonate of soda that eases painful flatulence in infants.

Prohibits Growth/Causes Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells: In 2017, researchers found that the high anethole content present in fennel essential oil has an inhibitory effect on cancerous prostate cells. It stops proliferation of the cells and leads to apoptosis, or spontaneous death of the prostate cancer cell line (PC-3 cells). This study shows that anethole could be promising in the fight against the often-fatal prostate cancer.

Regulates Blood Pressure: Fennel is a very rich source of potassium, which is an essential nutrient in our bodies and is vital for a number of important processes. One of the attributes of potassium is its quality as a vasodilator, which means that it relaxes the tension of blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. High blood pressure is connected to a wide range of health issues, including heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. Also, for diabetics, blood pressure issues can make management of their insulin and glucose levels very difficult and can be the cause of many potentially lethal complications. A cup of fennel bulb in your daily diet will pump you full of potassium and all the benefits that come along with it.

Improves Brain Function: Potassium, found in high levels in fennel bulbs and seeds, is an electrolyte, which means that it facilitates increased electrical conduction throughout the body. This includes connections within the brain, which is a veritable switchboard of electric currents. Potassium can help increase brain function and cognitive abilities through this quality. Also, fennel is a vasodilator, which means more oxygen reaches the brain and neural activity can work at optimal functionality.

Eye Care: Using fennel in food helps protect the eyes from inflammation and also help reduce disorders related to premature aging and macular degeneration. This is due to the high abundance of antioxidants (vitamin C and amino acids like arginine are very beneficial for rejuvenation of tissues and the prevention of aging), detoxifiers and stimulants. They are more specifically found in fennel essential oil, as well as minerals like cobalt and magnesium. Finally, the juice of its leaves and the plant itself can be externally applied to the eyes to reduce irritation and eye fatigue.

Fennel is also a rich source of flavonoids, which are very useful in protecting against pigment cells dying due to oxidative-stress-induced death. By protecting against this destruction of the pigment cells, fennel can safely be classified as effective in eye health for numerous reasons.

Treats Respiratory Disorders: Fennel is useful in respiratory disorders such as congestion, bronchitis, and cough due to the presence of cineole and anethol, which are expectorant in nature, among their many other virtues. Fennel seeds and powder can help break up phlegm and prompt loosening of the toxins and buildup of the throat and nasal passages for elimination from the body to ensure quick recovery from respiratory conditions.

Other Benefits & Uses: Fennel is a diuretic, which means that it increases the amount and frequency of urination, thereby helping the removal of toxic substances from the body and helping in rheumatism and swelling. It also increases the production and secretion of milk in lactating mothers and since this milk contains some properties of fennel, it is an anti-flatulent for the baby as well. It strengthens hair, prevents hair loss, relaxes the body, sharpens memory, and has a marvelous cooling effect in summer. This can be achieved if the pale, greenish-yellow water, in which it is soaked, is ingested with a bit of sugar and black salt.

FENNEL TEA

Fennel tea is a delicious and popular variety of tea that happens to provide a number of health benefits, including its ability to lower blood pressure, protect the respiratory system, improve digestion, detoxify the body, and help with weight loss, among others.

Anti-spasmodic Effects: Calming the stomach and other organs can be an important first step in eliminating inflammation and stomach upset. The natural soothing effects of fennel tea can reduce spasms in the gut and other parts of the body, thereby reducing stress hormones and taking less of a toll on your overall system.

Improves Digestion: for thousands of years, fennel has been used as a digestive aid. The anti-inflammatory and carminative effects can prevent the formation of gas, thereby eliminating bloating and cramping, while also speeding up the digestive process and ensuring maximum nutrient uptake. Fennel can even help to rebuild damaged tissues and prevent further injury to the digestive tracts.

Boosts Immunity: This herb has powerful antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal effects, making it an excellent immune system booster. It is also well known to stave off cold and flu before they can fully manifest into an infection. Drinking fennel tea is, therefore, a preventative measure and a treatment to keep you on the right side of healthy!

Weight Loss: There are a number of ways in which fennel tea can help you lose weight. First of all, by promoting urination, it can eliminate water retention and bloating. Secondly, as a metabolism booster, it can help your body burn fat and calories faster, making your exercise efforts more rewarding. Finally, by regulating your appetite and hormones, it can prevent overeating and obesity.

Detoxifies the Body: One of the most important functions of urination is not only relieving that pressing feeling in your gut, but eliminating excess toxins extracted from the blood and kidneys. Fennel works as a blood cleanser and a diuretic, keeping your kidneys and liver healthy and working at full capacity.

Balances Hormone Levels: When it comes to protecting female reproductive health and wellness, few herbs are as important as fennel. The compounds found in fennel tea have estrogen-like qualities, meaning that they can alleviate many of the painful symptoms of menstruation, while also regulating hormones, increasing libido, and stimulating the production of breast milk in lactating mothers.

Reduces Inflammation: Those suffering from arthritis, gout and other inflammation issues have found relief from fennel tea for generations. By detoxifying the body, you also help your tissues and muscles function more normally and lower the chances of unnecessary inflammatory responses. This can help you get better sleep and have more energy to take on your daily tasks.

Protects the Eyes: Nothing shows a bad night of sleep like swollen or puffy eyes, but fennel tea can be an ideal solution for this. The rapid anti-inflammatory response of this tea can help your physical appearance, while the antibacterial and immune-boosting effects can further protect the eyes from other infection, such as conjunctivitis.

Lowers Blood Pressure: The impact that fennel tea can have on the heart is largely based on its mineral content, namely the potassium found in this herb. Potassium acts as a vasodilator, meaning that it can relieve the tension on arteries and blood vessels, thus making it more difficult for atherosclerosis to occur. This can help prevent coronary heart diseases, as well as lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Eliminates Bad Breath: Not only is fennel great for the digestion of a meal, but also to eliminate any traces of it on your breath. As mentioned above, the similarity of fennel to anise seed gives it a refreshing and cleansing effect on your breath, while also protecting your gums and teeth, due to its antifungal and antibacterial effects.

Relieves Respiratory Distress: When it comes to congestion of the respiratory system, fennel tea is an excellent solution, as it works as an expectorant, eliminating the phlegm and mucus where infectious pathogens can reside and multiple. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effects help to relieve sore throats and sinus pressure, thus allowing you to breathe normally.

Word of Caution: Fennel tea is generally considered to be very good for overall health, so much so that it is often given to infants in order to calm them down and ward off colic. However, people who are allergic to carrots or celery should avoid fennel tea, due to the plant’s close relationship to those allergens. Furthermore, women suffering from breast cancer or undergoing treatment for such should not consume fennel unless they clear it with a doctor, as the estrogen-like effects can be a dangerous complication in the case of those conditions.

RECIPES

Weight Loss Bath Oil: Taking fennel herb supplements may help those that are trying to lose weight, and oil-lovers can benefit from the stimulating effects of fennel in the bath. Add five drops of the following blend to a teaspoon of carrier oil and mix into your bath water.

  • 8 drops Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
  • 4 drops Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
  • 4 drops Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
  • 2 drop Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
  • 1 drop Fennel, sweet (Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce)

Facial Steam: Fennel hydrolats are an excellent choice for brightening up normal, dull or oily complexions, and mature skin. Or, try a vapor steam by putting 3-5 drops in a bowl of steaming hot water. Place a towel on the back of the head and lean over the bowl until cool.

Hair Loss: Most people think of rosemary for hair loss. While that is an excellent choice, there are other oils that can be beneficial or this condition. Blend the following oils together and add two drops to a teaspoon of a carrier suitable for hair loss, such as avocado. Massage into hair nightly.

  • 10 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • 10 drops Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica)
  • 5 drops Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • 3 drops Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce)
  • 2 drops Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)

Colic Soother: If you are dealing with a colicky baby, you can make a massage blend to help ease the symptoms. This combination, from Kurt Schnaubelt, can be utilized while making the dietary changes needed to solve the problem.

  • 3 drops Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. amara)
  • 3 drops German Chamomile (Matricaria recutica)
  • 3 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 3 drops Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
  • 3 drops Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Gas Reliever: Infusion – 1-2 tsp/cup three times daily, or before meals

References:

  1. https://momprepares.com/essential-oils/fennel/
  2. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/fennel-oil.asp
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fennel
  4. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=FOVU
  5. https://www.drugs.com/npc/fennel.html
  6. http://ageless.co.za/fennel.htm
  7. https://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-fennel.html
  8. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/fennel-tea.html
  9. https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/24271
  10. https://www.verywellfamily.com/foods-that-increase-breast-milk-supply-431598
  11. https://www.aromaweb.com/books/blossoming-heart-robbi-zeck.asp
  12. https://www.aromaweb.com/books/tissera2.asp
  13. https://aromaticstudies.com/fennel-foeniculum-vulgare/
  14. https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/fennel-herb.html
  15. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-311-fennel.aspx?activeingredientid=311&activeingredientname=fennel
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23275017
  17. http://www.sbpmed.org.br/download/issn_06_4/8esp_193_198.pdf
  18. http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/f/foeniculum-vulgare=fennel.php
  19. http://www.ndhealthfacts.org/wiki/Foeniculum_vulgare
  20. http://www.ndhealthfacts.org/wiki/55_Most_Common_Medicinal_Herbs:_The_Complete_Natural_Medicine_Guide
  21. http://www.ndhealthfacts.org/wiki/Principles_and_Practices_of_Naturopathic_Botanical_Medicine,_Advanced_Botanical_Medicine._V3
  22. http://www.ndhealthfacts.org/wiki/Herb,_Nutrient_and_Drug_Interactions:_Clinical_Implications_and_Therapeutic_Strategies
  23. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225476912_Foeniculum_vulgare_A_comprehensive_review_of_its_traditional_use_phytochemistry_pharmacology_and_safety
  24. http://www.herbmedpharmacol.com/PDF/JHP-4-1.pdf
  25. https://www.rxlist.com/fennel-page3/supplements.htm#Interactions
  26. https://www.thebotanist.com/articles/the-loucheouzo-effect-and-anethole-video
  27. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878535212000792
  28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28745237
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19143669
  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28426256
  31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20334152
  32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28846628
  33. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202632/
  34. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0367326X03000285
  35. http://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/6/9/73
  36. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4137549/
  37. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12722142
  38. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arabjc.2012.04.011
  39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2013.06.056
  40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2012.10.012
  41. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21285921
  42. http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/hepo-2013-0026
  43. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17709257
  44. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24617303
  45. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19075616
  46. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9292276
  47. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-97072011000300008
  48. http://dx.doi.org/10.3329/bjb.v38i2.5144
  49. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15612826
  50. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25920239
  51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.04.033
  52. http://dx.doi.org/10.4141/cjps77-120
  53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2012.02.021
  54. http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.077768-0
  55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0305-1978(96)00106-8
  56. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24751059
  57. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23933237
  58. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27721178
  59. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24156356
  60. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24767854
  61. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20008902
  62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12868253

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaf & oil (Eucalyptus globulus)

Eucalyptus globulus, the Tasmanian bluegum, southern blue-gum or blue gum, is an evergreen tree, one of the most widely cultivated trees native to Australia. They typically grow from 30–55 m (98–180 ft) tall. The tallest currently known specimen in Tasmania is 90.7 m (298 ft) tall. There are historical claims of even taller trees, the tallest being 101 m (331 ft). The natural distribution of the species includes Tasmania and southern Victoria (particularly the Otway Ranges and southern Gippsland). There are also isolated occurrences on King Island and Flinders Island in Bass Strait and on the summit of the You Yangs near Geelong. There are naturalised non-native occurrences in Spain and Portugal, and other parts of southern Europe incl. Cyprus, southern Africa, New Zealand, western United States (California), Hawaii, Macaronesia, and the Caucasus (Western Georgia).

Mother Jai blends a wonderful Cold & Flu Tea with eucalyptus globulus leaves.

Other Names: Blue Gum, Blue Mallee, Blue Mallee Oil, Eucalipto, Eucalypti Folium, Eucalyptol, Eucalyptol Oil, Eucalyptus blatter, Eucalyptus bicostata, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Eucalyptus fructicetorum, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus Leaf, Eucalyptus odorata, Eucalyptus Oil, Eucalyptus polybractea, Eucalyptus smithii, Fever Tree, Fieberbaumblatter, Gully Gum, Gully Gum Oil, Gum Tree, Huile Essentielle d’Eucalyptus, Huile d’Eucalyptol, Huile d’Eucalyptus, Red Gum, Stringy Bark Tree, Sugandhapatra, Tailapatra, Tasmanian Blue Gum.

Eucalyptus globulus

History of Eucalyptus

The first to use eucalyptus tea to bring down a fever were the aboriginal people of Australia. This plant was only introduced to the rest of the world in the 18th century by a botanist on the Cook voyages to the Australian continent.

Eucalyptus was quickly adopted by traditional Chinese and Ayurveda medicines and, in the 19th century, it began being planted in Europe. By the beginning of the 20th century large plantations of eucalyptus would be found in many countries.

The rapid growth of these trees helped not only to reforest vast areas of land but feed into the growing industries from pulpwood and charcoal to hygiene and cosmetics. In swamp areas the eucalyptus trees helped to drain the soil and reduce cases of malaria.

Uses for Eucalyptus Today

Eucalyptus leaves are still appreciated for their value in teas, inhalations and even for making cough candy. The nectar produced by lovely eucalyptus flowers is made into high quality honey.

As potpourris or stored inside a drawer, leaves are used to scent both clothes and home. You will find many products using eucalyptus oil for its refreshing and antiseptic properties, such as detergents, mouthwash, toothpaste and much more.

Eucalyptus radiata

BENEFITS OF EUCALYPTUS

The therapeutic benefits of Eucalyptus Globulus and Eucalyptus Radiata are quite similar. Both oils are high in 1,8- cineole, with varying monoterpenes. For example, Eucalyptus Globulus is high in 1,8- cineole, with significant amounts limonene, whereas Eucalyptus Radiata is high in 1,8- cineole with significant amounts of terpineol. These constituents lend our Eucalyptus oils to being excellent at supporting respiratory issues. The 1,8- cineole leads Eucalyptus oil to act as an astringent, and an aid to oily skin and acne.

Benefits of Eucalyptus Tea

Eucalyptus leaves are rich in limonene, which is antiviral, eucalyptol, and pinene, which is antiseptic. Apart from the volatile oils, this tea also contains flavonoids and tannins. These elements account for some of the main benefits of this herbal tea.

Treat Respiratory Problems: The most important of all eucalyptus tea benefits is its ability to help speed up the treatment of cold, flus and sore throats. Its antibacterial properties may help treat the cause of your respiratory ailments.

  • Taking this tea may also help to break a fever, bringing high body temperature down. You may even use eucalyptus leaves to create an air purifier, helping to clear the room of microbes.
  • As an expectorant, this tea may help by relieving irritation and disinfecting the respiratory tract. Eucalyptus herbal tea may help to expel phlegm and mucus that is causing chest congestion and making it difficult for you to breathe.
  • This herbal tea may treat all sorts of respiratory ailments such as laryngitis, bronchitis, emphysema and other infections. Gargling with it may even help to heal and calm a bad cough, treating an inflamed sore throat.
  • It also helps with other breathing problems such as allergies, asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis. You may even try using eucalyptus tea to try to reduce snoring. It is worth a try.

Blood Sugar Regulator: Drinking eucalyptus may help to lower blood sugar levels and stimulate the production of insulin. This may help prevent the onset of diabetes. If you already have diabetes then you should speak to your doctor before drinking this tea. A cup of this herbal tea may also improve blood circulation, relieving blood pressure and thus possibly preventing heart disease and other health problems.

Digestive Aid: Eucalyptus tea may be used to improve your digestion by clearing away any bacteria or parasites that may be causing you digestive problems. This herbal tea may be used as a cleansing agent, clearing your intestines of toxins and harmful agents.

It is a refreshing and cooling tea that may begin helping you the moment you take your first sip, as it helps to treat mouth infections, gum disease and even preventing cavities and plaque. It is a great remedy to try when you have mouth sores or just simply bad breath that could have been caused by bacteria.

Infection Fighter: Eucalyptus tea may be used to treat an illness, but it may also be used to prevent the occurrence of future ailments. A cup of this tea may help to give your immune system a boost reducing the chances of you getting sick.

  • Drink daily to help clear up acne, as this is a minor bacterial infection that may be fought using this antibacterial herbal tea. Eucalyptus is said to help detoxify the liver and cleanse the kidneys, resulting in healthier and fresher skin.
  • A cup of eucalyptus tea may be what you need when you have bladder or urinary problems. It is said to help not only treat bladder disease but also clear away infections in the urinary tract. This antiseptic tea may also help fight cystitis.
  • This herbal tea may be able to treat other infections, such as strep throat, E. coli, or yeast infections.

External Uses: Make a cooled eucalyptus infusion to use as a topical treatment for skin infections or inflammation. Use this herbal tea to clear away bacteria or microbes that are causing your problems.

  • As a compress this herbal infusion may be used to help scar wounds and begin the healing process. It may be used on cuts, burns and other wounds that you need help cleaning.
  • When applied topically this tea is also said to make your skin look healthier and feel fresher. You may resort to this tea when you need to get rid of lice or just simply repel insects.
  • You may find relief from muscle pains or joint stiffness by using a warm compress made with eucalyptus tea. This may also apply when the ache is caused by rheumatism or arthritis. The herbal infusion may clear away the inflammation and soothe the area.
  • Tip: Try soaking in a bath infused with eucalyptus tea when your body is aching.

Eucalyptus essential oil is well-loved in the field of aromatherapy. There are around 500 different species of eucalyptus essential oil produced around the world, but these four are the most commonly used:

Eucalyptus globulus: This species is the top choice for creating eucalyptus essential oil, and is the ingredient used for various eucalyptus products as well.

Eucalyptus polybractea: Also known as “Blue Mallee,” it is high in cineole, which is a colorless liquid terpene with an odor similar to camphor.

Eucalyptus radiata: Also known as “narrow-leaved peppermint,” it is known for its refreshing aroma.

Eucalyptus citriodora: Nicknamed the “lemon-scented gum,” it is primarily used in perfume and industrial purposes.

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=129596

Benefits and Uses of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Colds and Flu: Basically, Eucalyptus can cleanse the body of micro-organisms and harmful toxins that make you feel unwell. One of the best ways to use eucalyptus oil is to add the essential oil to a diffuser and leave this on all night. You sleep sound as the healing benefits of eucalyptus works its magic. If your cold/flu is more severe then add between 5 to 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of boiling water, cover your head with a towel and inhale for 5 minutes. This should certainly clear your breathing.

Alleviating Pain: Eucalyptus essential oil has been scientifically proven to be particularly effective in alleviating pain, especially joint and muscle pain when topically applied. This is due to the beneficial herbal remedy’s potent compounds with incredibly powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Topical application of eucalyptus oil on the affected area is recommended to offer an almost immediate relief for arthritis, stiff muscles, fibrosis, nerve pain, ache, rheumatism, sprained tendons and ligaments, and lumbago among other types of body pains. Massaging the potent eucalyptus oil on the affected area in a circular motion is considered to be an even more effective treatment strategy.

Repelling Insects: You can now easily do away with irritating pests and insects thanks to the natural herbal remedy’s distinct smell that drives them off. The natural remedy is a potent natural insect repellant that can be used to effectively scare harmful and irritating pests. You can either use the eucalyptus essential oil as a mist in a vaporizer or mix it with your favorite skin care cosmetic cream before topically applying it on your body. This essential oil is mostly used as an effective natural insect repellant by individuals who are allergic to pharmaceutical aerosol products created for the same purpose.

Promoting Good Dental Health: Eucalyptus essential oil is a common natural ingredient used in various toothpaste and mouthwash dental products. This is mainly because of the herbal remedies increasingly potent germicidal and antibacterial properties that are combined with its minty yet quite camphoraceous taste. Apart from playing a major role in improving oral breath, the eucalyptus natural herbal remedy can also be used to treat a wide variety of dental disorders, fight tooth decay, alleviate toothaches and treat both cavities and dental plaque. All these beneficial properties make the essential eucalyptus oil a must-go-to drug for various if not all dental-related issues.

Boosting the Immune System: Various scientific studies show that eucalyptus oil contains potent natural properties and compounds that can be used to enhance the immune system. For instance, when topically applied to the human skin, the essential oil can easily strengthen and stimulate immune cells, thus providing a super protective barrier against common infections.

Macrophages are unique types of body cells that whose main role is to fight and kill infections. Apart from that, the published scientific study also revealed that the natural herbal remedy actively helped the body to strengthen its protective mechanism (immune system) even further.

Treating Respiratory Issues: Eucalyptus essential oil has been scientifically proven to be quite effective in treating a wide range of respiratory issues, especially coughs and colds. The herbal remedy can also be used to offer relief against various sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis symptoms.

Eucalyptus leaves contain potent expectorant compounds that help in removing excess mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tract and sinuses thus actively eliminating thus threatening the existence of pathogens like bacteria that thrive in such environments. The natural herbal remedy’s vasodilating, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties are particularly effective for treating multiple asthma symptoms. All these eucalyptus benefits for breathing are crucial for maintaining a healthy respiratory system.

Alleviating Fever: The eucalyptus plant is often referred to as the “fever” tree due to its amazing ability to reduce body temperature and manage fever. A more effective natural herbal fever remedy can be produced by combining the eucalyptus essential oil with peppermint oil and then spraying it on the sick person’s body. You can also dilute the potent mixture with either water or olive oil when using it on a patient with a sensitive skin.

Diabetes Management: The natural herbal remedy can be used to manage and even prevent diabetes. There are various scientific studies that are still being carried out to explain the eucalyptus essential oil’s significant role in lowering blood sugar levels. Various research findings also indicate that the eucalyptus tree’s leaves can be brewed into a highly potent herbal tea that can be used to prevent and even treat diabetes. Drinking particularly one to two cups of the herbal infusion daily is highly recommended.

It is important to consult your doctor or licensed health practitioner before consuming the herbal remedy or any other natural remedy for that matter to manage your diabetes condition. This is because the essential oil’s blood sugar lowering effect might be dangerous depending on your current diabetes condition. Eucalyptus oil’s vasodilating properties can also lead to an increase in overall blood circulation, which is a major diabetes symptom.

Treating Anxiety, Stress, Depression, and Fatigue: This essential health benefit is attributed to the natural herbal remedy’s potent soothing and sedative effects. Eucalyptus tea is a natural remedy commonly recommended, especially for individuals suffering from chronic stress and anxiety. Apart from that, the herbal remedy’s vasodilation and stimulant properties help to relax blood vessels thus increasing blood flow.

By increasing blood flow to the brain, the herbal remedy actively rejuvenates the entire body system, thus; promoting active behavior. Mental exhaustion can also be alleviated by consuming the eucalyptus natural herbal remedy. You are likely to become slightly sluggish when suffering from any major or minor medical condition. However, you can solve this issue simply by consuming the natural herbal remedy.

Eucalyptus Benefits for Skin: According to the “University of Maryland Medical Centre,” the eucalyptus essential oil has been used to reduce inflammation, treat various skin infections and heal wounds for centuries now. Cineole, citronellal, and citronellol are the main compounds that provide the herbal remedy with its potent antibacterial compounds that are beneficial to the skin.

Eucalyptus oil also contains antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that are particularly effective for treating sores, wounds, burns, abrasions, scrapes and cuts. The herbal remedy can also be made into a healing ointment or salve for treating insect bites and stings.

Wound Treatment: Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that are effective at treating wounds, burns, cuts, abrasions, sores and scrapes. It also can be made into a salve or healing ointment and put on bug bites and stings. Along with acting as a natural pain reliever to the area, it also keeps the area from getting infected, which speeds healing.

Odor Remover: Whether you’re battling smelly shoes or a stinky dog bed, topically wash items to remove odors with a wet rag soaked in eucalyptus oil-infused water, and place outside to dry in the sun. This can prevent odors as well as keep the shape intact! You may also mix it with lemon oil or tea tree oil for an anti-stink spray.

Air Cleanser: Try putting a few drops into your vacuum and clothes dryer filters to freshen them up and sanitize them a little. Also, it’s great for killing mold in your home, and you can mix eucalyptus with other oils like clove and tea tree oil to cleanse the air and maintain a mold-free home.

Spot Remover: Like lemon essential oil, eucalyptus oil is highly effective at removing spots on your carpet, clothes and basically every fabric you have in the house. It even works to get gum off your shoes! Make sure to “test” it on an inconspicuous place first just to make sure the oil doesn’t react strangely with the material you treat. You just don’t know what’s in the synthetic materials nowadays!

Eucalyptus Side Effects: Eucalyptus essential oil in its original state is extremely potent and can be actually poisonous when undiluted, especially for young children. It is important that you consume the herbal remedy in small quantities as it can be toxic when overused. The herbal remedy has also been reported to cause airborne contact dermatitis in individuals with certain levels of allergic sensitivities. Eucalyptus essential oil is also known to interfere with certain homeopathic remedies, hence; it will be wise for you to consult a licensed herbalist before deciding to use it.

By Arnaud Gaillard (arnaud () amarys.com) – Self. Photo de l’auteur., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2411

Recipes with Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus Tea Recipe for Asthma and Bronchitis

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces of dried eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 ounce of dried coltsfoot leaves
  • 1 ounce of dried thyme leaves
  • 1 cup of water

Procedure:

  • Mix all herbs together, and pour 1 teaspoon of the mixture into a cup of boiling water.
  • Cover and steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Serve and enjoy.

Eucalyptus Tea Recipe for Acne

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce of dried eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 ounce of dried dandelion roots and leaves
  • 0.75 ounces of dried licorice root
  • 1 cup of water
  • 0.75 ounces of fennel seeds

Procedure

  • Mix all herbs together and pour 1 teaspoon of the mixture into a cup of boiling water.
  • Cover and steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Serve and enjoy.
  • Alternatively, you can use the tea as a facial wash. Simply let the tea cool to a comfortable temperature first before applying to your skin.

Eucalyptus Tea Recipe for Head Colds

Ingredients:

  • 0.5 ounces of dried eucalyptus leaves
  • 0.5 ounces of dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 ounce of dried peppermint leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • Raw, organic honey to taste

Procedure:

  • Mix all herbs together, and pour 1 teaspoon of the mixture into a cup of boiling water.
  • Add honey to taste. Serve and enjoy.

Making Infused Eucalyptus Oil: The great thing about eucalyptus oil is that you can make it in your own home, especially if you have leftovers from making tea. Below are a few things you need to make infused eucalyptus oil:

Ingredients:

  • Kitchen weighing scale
  • 2 ounces of eucalyptus leaves
  • Olive oil or a different carrier oil
  • Crock pot
  • Small-gauge mesh strainer
  • Airtight jar made of dark glass

Procedure:

  • Gently crush the eucalyptus leaves with your fist to release the oil. You may use more or less depending on the size of your crock pot.
  • Place the eucalyptus leaves in the crock pot.
  • Add 1 cup of olive oil for every 1/4 ounce of leaves in the crock pot.
  • Place the lid on the crock pot and turn it on at low heat. Let the mixture steep for 6 hours.
  • Strain the eucalyptus oil through the mesh strainer and into the jar.
  • Seal the jar and date it.
  • Store the eucalyptus oil in a cool, dry spot, where it will remain viable for 6 months. If needed longer, store the oil in the vegetable crisper drawer in your refrigerator, where it will last for about a year.

References:

  1. https://www.edensgarden.com/blogs/news/this-or-that-whats-the-difference-between-our-eucalyptus-essential-oils
  2. http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/uses-of-eucalyptus.html
  3. https://www.therighttea.com/eucalyptus-tea.html
  4. http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/uses-of-eucalyptus.html
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_globulus
  6. https://www.herbs-for-health.com/eucalyptus-benefits/
  7. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-700-EUCALYPTUS.aspx
  8. https://articles.mercola.com/herbs-spices/eucalyptus.aspx
  9. https://woman.thenest.com/eucalyptus-tea-good-for-3699.html
  10. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/eucalyptus.html
  11. https://www.livestrong.com/article/505179-benefits-of-eucalyptus-tea/
  12. https://draxe.com/eucalyptus-oil-uses-benefits/

Nasal Breathing for Health

Nasal Breathing is Essential to Good Health

Breathing through the nose is essential to much more than just a sense of smell. The nose is a miraculous filter lined with tiny hairs called cilia. The cilia have many functions: they filter, humidify and warm or cool the air (depending on the temperature) before it enters the lungs. It is estimated that cilia protect our bodies against about 20 billion particles of foreign matter every day!

The mouth is not designed to function in breathing that way. Plus, breathing through your mouth regularly dries out and irritates every membrane in the mouth, throat and lungs. Causing damage to teeth, tongue and gums which are essential for healthy food consumption.

Many of us feel stressed out, overworked, and overstimulated during our daily lives, which leaves us in a chronic state of fight or flight response. Breathing in and out through the nose helps us take fuller, deeper breaths, which stimulates the lower lung to distribute greater amounts of oxygen throughout the body. Also, the lower lung is rich with the parasympathetic nerve receptors associated with calming the body and mind, whereas the upper lungs, which are stimulated by chest and mouth breathing, prompt us to hyperventilate and trigger sympathetic nerve receptors, which result in the fight or flight reaction. Thus, continuing and compounding the stress reaction.

Here are a few more of the benefits of nasal breathing:

  • The lungs extract oxygen from the air during exhalation, in addition to inhalation. Because the nostrils are smaller than the mouth, air exhaled through the nose creates a back flow of air (and oxygen) into the lungs. And because we exhale more slowly through the nose than we do though the mouth, the lungs have more time to extract oxygen from the air we’ve already taken in.
  • When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange during respiration, the blood will maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too quickly, as in mouth breathing, oxygen absorption is decreased, which can result in dizziness or even fainting.
  • Air that we inhale through the nose passes through the nasal mucosa, which stimulates the reflex nerves that control breathing. Mouth breathing bypasses the nasal mucosa and makes regular breathing difficult, which can lead to snoring, breath irregularities and sleep apnea.
  • Breathing through the nose forces us to slow down until proper breath is trained; therefore, proper nose breathing reduces hypertension and stress.  It also helps prevent us from overexerting ourselves during a workout.
  • Our nostrils and sinuses filter and warm/cool air as it enters our bodies.
  • Our sinuses produce nitric oxide, which, when carried into the body through the breath, combats harmful bacteria and viruses in our bodies, regulates blood pressure and boosts the immune system.
  • Mouth breathing accelerates water loss, contributing to dehydration.
  • Mouth breathing leads to dry mouth which is the leading cause of tooth decay, gingivitis and bone loss in the jaw. Fluoride does not correct these issues.
  • The nose houses olfactory bulbs, which are direct extensions of part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for many functions in our bodies, particularly those that are automatic, such as heartbeat, blood pressure, thirst, appetite and sleep cycles. The hypothalamus is also responsible for generating chemicals that influence memory and emotion.
  • Research is showing strong links between mouth breathing and asthma. The more you breathe with your mouth open the more inflammation builds in the lungs, causing constriction of the bronchioles. The body is getting too much oxygen and is trying to slow down oxygen intake. It makes the individual feel short of breath until oxygen/carbon dioxide levels are restored in the blood.
  • The increased oxygen we get through nasal breath increases energy and vitality.

Training Yourself to Breathe Through Your Nose

Now that we have learned how bad mouth breathing is for our health in our post on Mouth Breathing, we know that nasal or nostril breathing is essential to develop.

Here are some simple ways to establish nasal breathing:

  1. Begin by clearing your nose by blowing it, getting some steam or with a nasal wash. If you’re a mouth breather clearing out the cobwebs is essential to get the sinuses open and working again.
  2. Then take a few minutes to practice keeping your mouth closed and slowly breathe in and out through your nose. Notice the way the sinuses feel with proper use.
  3. Next, simply remind yourself to close your mouth throughout the day. Set a reminder on your phone or put post-its by mirrors. Anything you will see or hear that will make you think about breathing though your nose.
  4. The more you stick with it, the more it becomes habit, just like any other practice.

There are products and ideas out there online that can help you with your specific situation. Many people find it beneficial to tape their lips shut to assist in the learning process. Either way you will find that you feel calmer and more relaxed even without changing your world completely. Nasal breathing is essential to whole body health and it is too bad many of us have forgotten this.

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate)

Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt with the formula MgSO4(H2O). It is often encountered as the heptahydrate sulfate mineral epsomite (MgSO4·7H2O), commonly called Epsom salt. The overall global annual usage in the mid-1970s of the monohydrate was 2.3 million tons, of which the majority was used in agriculture. Epsom salt has been traditionally used as a component of bath salts. Epsom salt can also be used as a beauty product. Athletes use it to soothe sore muscles, while gardeners use it to improve crops. It has a variety of other uses: for example, Epsom salt is also effective in the removal of splinters.

Magnesium sulfate is a common mineral pharmaceutical preparation of magnesium, commonly known as Epsom salt, used both externally and internally. Magnesium sulfate is highly water-soluble and solubility is inhibited with lipids typically used in lotions. Lotions often employ the use of emulsions or suspensions to include both oil and water-soluble ingredients. Hence, magnesium sulfate in a lotion may not be as freely available to migrate to the skin nor to be absorbed through the skin, hence both studies may properly suggest absorption or lack thereof as a function of the carrier (in a water solution vs. in an oil emulsion/suspension). Temperature and concentration gradients may also be contributing factors to absorption.

The magnesium contained in Epsom salt is a mineral that is crucial to the human body’s functioning. Some of the key roles of magnesium include keeping blood pressure normal, heart rhythm steady and bones strong. Sulfate is an essential mineral key to many biological processes, helping flush toxins; cleanse the liver; and assisting in the formation of proteins in joints, brain tissue and mucin proteins. Recent studies have shown that Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) can even be used intravenously for the treatment of asthma and pre-eclampsia (pregnancy induced hypertension) in pregnant women.

Epsom salt is used as bath salts and for isolation tanks. Magnesium sulfate is the main preparation of intravenous magnesium.

Internal uses include:

  • Oral magnesium sulfate is commonly used as a saline laxative or osmotic purgative.
  • Replacement therapy for hypomagnesemia
  • Magnesium sulfate is an antiarrhythmic agent for torsades de pointes in cardiac arrest under the ECC guidelines and for managing quinidine-induced arrhythmias.
  • As a bronchodilator after beta-agonist and anticholinergic agents have been tried, e.g. in severe exacerbations of asthma, magnesium sulfate can be nebulized to reduce the symptoms of acute asthma. It is commonly administered via the intravenous route for the management of severe asthma attacks.
  • Magnesium sulfate is effective in decreasing the risk that pre-eclampsia progresses to eclampsia. IV magnesium sulfate is used to prevent and treat seizures of eclampsia. It reduces the systolic blood pressure but doesn’t alter the diastolic blood pressure, so the blood perfusion to the fetus isn’t compromised. It is also commonly used for eclampsia where compared to diazepam or phenytoin it results in better outcomes

People use Epsom salt baths as a home treatment for:

  • Arthritis pain and swelling
  • Bruises and sprains
  • Fibromyalgia, a condition that makes your muscles, ligaments, and tendons hurt, and causes tender points throughout your body
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Insomnia
  • Psoriasis, a disease that causes red, itchy, scaly skin
  • Sore muscles after working out
  • Soreness from diarrhea during chemotherapy
  • Sunburn pain and redness
  • Tired, swollen feet

Benefits of Epsom Salt

There is a laundry list of ways to use Epsom salt in your daily life. Here are some of the top benefits of Epsom salt:

Boosts Magnesium Levels: Appropriate levels of magnesium are absolutely key to good health, and it is very common to have a magnesium deficiency. Known as hypomagnesemia, low magnesium levels can be caused by alcoholism, severe diarrhea, malnutrition or high calcium levels (hypercalcemia). By simply soaking your feet or entire body in a bath containing Epsom salt, internal levels of magnesium can be increased naturally without taking magnesium supplements. Magnesium regulates over 300 enzymes in the body and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions, including muscle control, energy production, electrical impulses and the elimination of harmful toxins. Magnesium deficiencies contribute to today’s high rates of heart disease, stroke, arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, digestive disorders as well as mental illness. By boosting your internal magnesium levels through external use of Epsom salt, you can help improve or ward off many avoidable health ailments.

Reduces Stress: Everyone has heard of the recommendation to have a good soak in a warm bath after a rough day (whether mentally or physically rough) — it’s a great way to bust stress.  If you want to amplify the stress-reducing benefits of a nice, long soak, then add a cup or two of Epsom salt to your bathwater. Not only will the magnesium in the Epsom salt help to relax your muscles, it can also help to relax your mind. According to research from the University of North Carolina, magnesium deficiency enhances stress reactions. Further studies show that magnesium has a profound effect on stress and neural excitability — and magnesium salts such as Epsom salt can reduce stress and improve neuropsychiatric disorders. Magnesium is critical to the production of energy in cells so, by increasing magnesium levels, you can feel revived without feeling restless (as opposed to how people feel revived from caffeine consumption).

Eliminates Toxins: The sulfates in Epsom salt assist the body in flushing out toxins and providing a heavy metal detox from the body’s cells, hence lowering the internal accumulation of harmful substances. Human skin is a highly porous membrane; by adding minerals like magnesium and sulfate to your bathwater, it sparks a process called reverse osmosis, which literally pulls salt out of your body and dangerous toxins along with it. For a detoxing bath, add at least two cups of Epsom salt to bathwater and soak for 40 minutes total. The first 20 minutes will give your body time to remove toxins from your system while the last 20 minutes will allow you to absorb the minerals in the water and help you emerge from the bath feeling rejuvenated. Make sure to consume water before, during and after the bath to protect yourself from dehydration and increase detoxification.

Relieves Constipation: Epsom salt is an FDA-approved laxative and is commonly used to naturally relieve constipation. When taken internally, Epsom salt acts like a laxative by increasing water in the intestines and cleansing the colon of waste. A roundup of studies published in Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology notes that there is strong evidence that Epsom salt “has potent laxative effect in vitro through the release of digestive hormones and neurotransmitters.” Internal use of Epsom salt can bring about temporary relief from constipation, but like any laxative, it is not meant to be a long-term solution or a substitute for a healthy high-fiber diet. If a laxative solution is a must, it’s smart to avoid many of the harsh laxatives on the market today, which are commonly loaded with artificial colors and flavors and questionable chemicals. To take magnesium sulfate orally, it’s typically suggested to dissolve one dose in eight ounces of water. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. You may add a small amount of lemon juice to improve the taste. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids while consuming Epsom salt to prevent dehydration. Magnesium sulfate taken orally should produce a bowel movement within 30 minutes to six hours. Adults are usually advised to take 2–6 teaspoons (10–30 ml) of Epsom salt at a time, dissolved in at least 8 ounces (237 ml) of water and consumed immediately. You can expect it to have a laxative effect in 30 minutes to six hours.

Reduces Pain & Inflammation: A warm bath containing Epsom salt is known to ease pain and relieve the inflammation at the root of most diseases, making it a beneficial natural treatment for bronchial asthma, sore muscles and headaches (including migraines). Epsom salt can also help heal cuts and reduce the swelling that accompanies sprains and bruises. Have an annoying and painful splinter stuck in your hand? Soak the problem area in warm water and Epsom salt, and the splinter should be drawn out of the skin in no time! Soreness after childbirth? Epsom salt can help with that, too. In general, healthy magnesium levels from Epsom salt use can help overall bodily inflammation since low magnesium has been linked with higher C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation in the body.

Improves Blood Sugar Levels: Healthy magnesium levels have been linked with a reduced risk of developing diabetes. Epsom salt is an excellent source of magnesium. Both magnesium and sulfate help improve the body’s ability to produce and utilize insulin. Regular intake of Epsom salts, either orally or transdermally, can help to regulate blood sugar, lowering the risk of diabetes and improving daily energy levels. Studies continue to show how a healthy intake of magnesium is associated with a lower risk of the development of type 2 diabetes in both men and women, proving Epsom salts work as natural diabetes remedies.

Promotes Sleep: Adequate magnesium levels are essential for sleep and stress management, likely because magnesium helps the brain produce neurotransmitters that induce sleep and reduce stress. Magnesium may also help the body produce melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Low magnesium levels may negatively affect sleep quality and stress. Many report that taking Epsom salt baths can reverse these issues by allowing the body to absorb magnesium through the skin.

Volumizes Hair: Adding Epsom salt to hair products can help decrease excess oil, which contributes to hair looking flat and weighed down. One easy way to create your own volumizing conditioner at home is to combine equal parts Epsom salt and conditioner (example: two tablespoons conditioner + two tablespoons Epsom salt). After shampooing hair as usual, apply the volumizing conditioner mix to hair, coating it from the scalp to the ends. Leave the mix in for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing. This is a great weekly hair treatment.

For Skin Care: Epsom salt may be used as a beauty product for skin and hair. To use it as an exfoliant, just place some in your hand, dampen it and massage it into your skin. Some people claim it’s a useful addition to facial wash, since it may help cleanse pores. Just a 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) will do the trick. Simply combine it with your own cleansing cream and massage onto the skin.

Soften callused feet. If your feet are feeling a little rough around the edges, try this simple at-home softening treatment: Pour ½ cup of Epsom salt into a tub of warm water and soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes. “It will soften the skin,” says Bhatia. You can then take a handful of Epsom salt, dampen it, and massage it on your feet to slough off dead, callused skin.

De-flake lips. Cold weather and even just repeatedly licking your lips year-round can leave you with a parched, flakey pucker. For smoother, healthier-looking lips, mix a few tablespoons of Epsom salt with a teaspoon of petroleum jelly, gently massage the mixture onto your lips, and then wipe off.

Soothe a sunburn. If you miss a spot with your trusty sunscreen and end up with an angry red mark, try this trick for easing a sunburn: Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in 1 cup of water in a spray bottle, and then spray the mixture on the sunburn to help reduce irritation.

Gallbladder Flush. The gallbladder is not as well-understood or talked about as our other organs, but an optimally functioning gallbladder is something we all should strive for when it comes to our health. Some of the warning signs that you may have a gallbladder problem include gallbladder pain, poor fat digestion, rosacea of skin and leaky gut syndrome. Epsom salt can be utilized in a gallbladder and liver flush recipe.

Headache Relief. There is quite a bit of evidence that magnesium may help headaches and even migraines when used regularly. Some sources even think that magnesium deficiency may increase the chance of headaches. I’ve noticed that when I consume magnesium or use it transdermally, I also don’t seem to get headaches. And my husband swears that the best hangover cure is a long swim in the ocean, which is much higher in magnesium than lakes or swimming pools. What to do: Use any of the methods to get more magnesium. I also find that magnesium spray and magnesium lotion are especially helpful for headache relief.

Epsom salt has a long history of use in the garden as well. For more robust vegetables, you can try adding a tablespoon of Epsom salt to the soil underneath a plant to boost growth. Epsom salt is also great for indoor gardening. For potted plants, simply dissolve two tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water, and substitute this solution for normal watering once a month.

Looking to get rid of slugs from your walkways and patios without using chemicals? Sprinkle some Epsom salt to keep them away!

For itchy skin, bug bites or sunburn, you can dissolve a tablespoon of Epsom salt in a half cup of cool water in a spray bottle and spritz on skin as needed.

Epsom salt can also be used for household cleaning. To clean tile and grout, mix equal parts of liquid dish soap and Epsom salt and apply this mixture to dirty and/or stained surfaces anywhere in your home. Allow the mixture to soak in for a couple of minutes, scrub away the loosened filth and rinse clean.

Epsom salt helps draw the moisture out of lesions caused by rashes, such as poison ivy, according to the doctors. And with bites or stings, Epsom salt reduces the swelling, which eases the itching sensation because the body’s nerves fire less frequently, the doctors say.

Healthy House Plants. House plants are great for cleaning indoor air and we love to keep them around. Just like garden plants, house plants love a magnesium boost once in a while. Add some Epsom salt as part of a regular watering or fertilizing routine for more robust house plants. What to do: Sprinkle a little Epsom salt on the soil in a house plant container or add a little Epsom salt to the water when watering. A tablespoon is usually plenty for a month or two.

Scour Pans. Scrubbing pans with a quarter tablespoon of salt and warm water should get them clean and gleaming.

Regenerate Your Car Battery. The mother of all Epsom salt uses! Make a paste by dissolving about an ounce of salt into warm water, and then spread onto each battery post.

Clean Your Washing Machine. Fill your washing machine with hot water, add the salt and run an agitate-soak-agitate cycle.

Get Rid of Toenail Fungus. Soak feet three times a day in warm water with a handful of Epsom salts dissolved into it.

Remove Hairspray. Combine one gallon of water, one cup of lemon juice and one cup of Epsom salt. Cover the mixture and let set for 24 hours. Apply to dry hair and leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing for squeaky clean strands.

Make a Mask. If you’ve got oily skin, mix one tablespoon of cognac, one egg, a quarter cup of non-fat dry milk, the juice of one lemon and a half-teaspoon of Epsom salt. Apply to damp skin and leave on for 20 minutes.

Soften Fabrics. Mix four cups of Epsom salt with 20 drops of essential oil for homemade fabric softener crystals. Use a quarter cup per wash and add at beginning of each load.

Remove Blackheads. Mix a teaspoon of Epsom salt, three drops iodine and half a cup of boiling water. Dab the solution onto blackheads, allow to dry and rinse with warm water.

Remove Tree Stumps. Drill holes into the tree stump, fill each hole with Epsom salt and then add water to each hole. In a few weeks, the stump should begin to decay.

Health Uses of Epsom Salt

Doctors cite many health benefits from either soaking your feet or taking a bath in Epsom salt, including: soothing muscle pain and aches, providing itch relief from sunburn and poison ivy, removing splinters, decreasing swelling and boosting your body’s levels of magnesium and sulfate. Here are some natural recipes for different at-home remedies and uses of Epsom salt:

What to do for sore muscles, aches, pains, bruises and splinter removal – In each case, experts say taking an Epsom salt is a natural, at-home remedy. Here’s what you do:

  • Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to the water in a standard-sized bathtub (double the Epsom salt for an oversized garden tub). Soak for at least 12 minutes. The Epsom salt will dissolve quicker if you put it under the running water. Note: For human use, the Epsom Salt Council recommends only Epsom salt with the USP designation.
  • MAKE COMPRESS – Soak a cotton washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with Epsom salt (2 tablespoons per cup)
  • CREATE A PASTE TO APPLY TO THE SKIN – Adding a teaspoon of Epsom salt to about a cup of hot water until it dissolves. Chill the solution in the fridge for 20 minutes. Note: Clean the skin and pat dry before applying the paste.
  • SOAKING ACHING FEET IN AN EPSOM SALT FOOT BATH – Create an Epsom Salt bath by pouring 1 cup into a tub of warm water.

Epsom Salt Detox

Magnesium absorption is the biggest benefit of an Epsom salt bath. There need to be more studies to confirm that your body can absorb magnesium across the skin. One 2004 study looked at 19 participants and found increased levels of magnesium and sulfate in the blood after the baths.

BenefitsMethodHow it works
softer skin20-minute bath soakmay soften skin, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the skin barrier to keep skin hydrated
muscle soreness and pain12-minute bath soakreduce inflammation, muscle aches, and tension; there’s moderate evidence that magnesium can reduce muscle cramps
relaxation and anti-stress1-hour bath soakcan help relieve stress (magnesium deficiency may induce anxiety, depression, and stress)
laxative20-minute soak or oral ingestion: 10 to 30 grams for adults; 5 to 10 grams for children 6 years old and above (talk to your doctor if you have an infant under 6 years)leads to bowel movement 30 minutes to 6 hours after dose
ingrown toenails12-minute foot soakreduces inflammation and pain
splintersEpsom salt pastecan help draw out tiny splinters
magnesium balance12 to 20-minute soakmight restore magnesium (this may benefit people who are at risk for low levels, including those with fibromyalgia)

Safety and Side Effects of Epsom Salt

While Epsom salt is generally safe, there are a few negative effects that can occur if you use it incorrectly. This is mostly a concern if you take it by mouth. First of all, the magnesium sulfate in it can have a laxative effect. Consuming it may result in diarrhea, bloating or upset stomach. If you use it as a laxative, make sure to drink plenty of water, which may reduce digestive discomfort. Furthermore, never take more than the recommended dosage without consulting your doctor first. Some cases of magnesium overdose have been reported in which people took too much Epsom salt. Symptoms of this include nausea, headache, lightheadedness and flushed skin. In extreme cases, magnesium overdose can lead to heart problems, coma, paralysis and death. This is unlikely as long as you take it in appropriate amounts as recommended by your doctor or listed on the package.

Why do we need magnesium?  (WellnessMama.com)

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and impacts blood pressure, metabolism, immune function and many other aspects of health. Some experts claim that magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem in our world today. There are many reasons that deficiency is so widespread in modern times (even though it wasn’t in the past). Depleted soil conditions mean that plants (and meat from animals that feed on these plants) are lower in magnesium. Use of chemicals like fluoride and chlorine in the water supply make magnesium less available in water since these chemicals can bind to magnesium. Common substances that many of us consume daily, like caffeine and sugar, also deplete the body’s magnesium levels. So does stress. In other words, the lucky (but small) percentage of the population that lives near the ocean (a good source of magnesium) and eats foods grown in magnesium rich soil, drinks magnesium rich water, and doesn’t suffer from stress or consume sugar or caffeine might be ok… but the rest of us might need some additional magnesium.

Magnesium Deficiency Leads To:

Calcification of the Arteries – Though this is not (hopefully) the first symptom of magnesium deficiency, it can be one of the most dangerous. Calcification of arteries from low magnesium levels can lead to coronary problems like heart attack and heart disease. In fact, half of all heart attack patients receive injections of magnesium chloride to help stop the blood clotting and calcification.

Muscle Spasms and Cramps – Just as calcification causes stiffening of the arteries, it can cause stiffening of muscle tissue as well, leading to cramps and spasms. I had horrible leg cramps during one of my pregnancies. Potassium didn’t help at all, but magnesium fixed the problem almost instantly (which makes sense in light of the sodium:potassium pump).

Anxiety & Depression – There is a lot of research showing that magnesium deficiency can have a tremendous impact on mental health. Psychology Today explains one possible reason: Magnesium hangs out in the synapse between two neurons along with calcium and glutamate. If you recall, calcium and glutamate are excitatory, and in excess, toxic (link is external). They activate the NMDA receptor. Magnesium can sit on the NMDA receptor without activating it, like a guard at the gate. Therefore, if we are deficient in magnesium, there’s no guard. Calcium and glutamate can activate the receptor like there is no tomorrow. In the long term, this damages the neurons, eventually leading to cell death. In the brain, that is not an easy situation to reverse or remedy.

High Blood Pressure/Hypertension – This is perhaps one of the most well-studied areas of magnesium deficiency. A Harvard study of over 70,000 people found that those with the highest magnesium intake had the healthiest blood pressure numbers. A follow up meta-analysis of available studies showed a dose-dependent reduction of blood pressure with magnesium supplementation. A University of Minnesota study showed that the risk for hypertension was 70% lower in women with adequate/high magnesium levels.

Hormone Problems – I personally saw the effects of low magnesium in my hormone levels. The higher the estrogen or progesterone levels in a woman’s body, the lower the magnesium (pregnancy anyone?) This is also part of the reason why pregnant women experience more leg cramps and women notice more of these muscular type complaints and PMS in the second half of their cycles when progesterone/estrogen are higher and magnesium is depleted. Chocolate is a decent source of magnesium, and there is speculation that cravings for chocolate may be a sign of magnesium deficiency. Muscle cramps related to the menstrual cycle can also be related to magnesium levels. Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of the Magnesium Miracle, often recommends that women with bad PMS and cramps take magnesium early in their cycles before the symptoms begin.

Pregnancy Complaints – Related to the hormone problems above, magnesium levels can drastically affect pregnancy health and mood. I noticed this when my morning sickness was tremendously less in my pregnancy when I supplemented with transdermal magnesium. Magnesium is also often used to help with pregnancy related hypertension and muscle cramps, to help ward off preterm labor and to alleviate headaches.

Sleep Problems – With all of the above symptoms of deficiency, it makes sense that magnesium would have a drastic impact on sleep, but the impact is often immediately noticeable when a person starts taking magnesium. Dr. Mark Hyman calls it the ultimate relaxation mineral. Magnesium helps relax the body and the mind, which both contribute to restful sleep. Additionally, magnesium is needed for proper function of the GABA receptors in the brain, and GABA is the neurotransmitter that allows the brain to transition to a restful state.

Low Energy – Magnesium is required in the reactions that create ATP energy in the cells. Let’s flash back to freshman biology for a minute. ATP or adenosine triphosphate, is the main source of energy in the cells and it must bind to a magnesium ion in order to be active. In other words, without magnesium, you literally won’t have energy on a cellular level. This shows up as fatigue, low-energy, lack of drive and other problems.

Bone Health – Calcium is always considered the most important mineral for bone health, but it turns out that magnesium is just as important (or even more so!) In cases of magnesium deficiency, the bones suffer in multiple ways:

Vitamin D Absorption: Magnesium is needed for Vitamin D to turn on calcium absorption- this is why it is also important to get enough magnesium when taking Vitamin D (or magnesium levels can become even more depleted)

Proper Calcium Use: Magnesium is needed to stimulate the hormone calcitonin which draws calcium out of the muscles and soft tissues and into the bones. This helps explain why magnesium helps lower the risk of heart attack, osteoporosis, arthritis and kidney stones.

Other Mineral Deficiencies – Many vitamins and minerals work synergistically, and magnesium is a work horse on this list. It is needed for proper utilization of calcium, potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin D and many other nutrients. By using magnesium externally, or transdermally (meaning “across the skin”) the body can absorb what is needed without absorbing to much. It is similar to soaking in an Epsom salt bath or in the ocean.

Recipes

Homemade Healing Bath Salts

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups Epsom salts
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • Water to fill bath (as hot as you can stand without burning yourself)
  • 40 drops lavender essential oil (or use 20 drops lavender essential oil and 20 drops juniper berry essential oil)
  • Large glass jar

Directions:

  • Combine dry ingredients and store in a closed container
  • At bath time, add 1 cup of dry ingredients and the essential oil to the water
  • Soak for 20–40 minutes (the longer the better)

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