Rose Essential Oil

Rose Otto & Absolute

Rose oil (rose otto, attar of rose, attar of roses or rose essence), this fragrant essential oil is known for its wonderful, classic floral scent that is comforting and timeless. Rose Otto can be helpful during times of duress and extreme sadness. It is also gentle to the skin and helps heal dry, reddened patches.

The petals of the rose bush are harvested at sunrise when the fragrance of the flower is at its most powerful. Steam distillation is applied to the petals, releasing a clear liquid with an exquisite, rosy aroma. It takes over 200 flowers to make a single drop of essential oil, making this a truly luxurious oil to use in home aromatherapy blends.

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Rose Otto is hydro-distilled from the petals of the rose flower, creating a clear, thin liquid that can solidify at a temperature of 68 degrees F. If solid, put in a bag and insert into warm water. The oil will quickly return to a liquid state. This occurs with Rose Otto because of the distillation process and is completely normal. A little of this oil goes a long way, so only a drop is necessary to utilize its benefits.

Two major species of rose are cultivated for the production of rose oil:

Rosa damascena, the damask rose, which is widely grown in Bulgaria, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Iran and China

Rosa centifolia, the cabbage rose, which is more commonly grown in Morocco, France and Egypt.

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Rose absolute (Rosa damascena): This has a deep, rich color and a scent to match. Not especially sweet, nor indeed anything like the rose aroma that is associated with many rose-scented toiletry products. Rounded and persistent, a little goes a long way. The lowest price of all the rose oils due to the higher production yield. Great if you need a strong rose aroma for a blend however the use of a solvent to extract the oil brings its own dilemmas when it comes to using on the skin.

Persian Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena): Solid at room temperature, this oil has a high level of plant waxes which slow its movement down a little in comparison to the other distilled rose oils. The Persian Rose has a slightly softer, sweeter scent than the classic Bulgarian Rose. At around two-thirds the cost of Bulgarian Rose this oil makes a good introduction to the distilled rose oils.

Bulgarian Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena): The classic rose, deep, rich and inviting. There are two varieties, the organic oil and the traditionally farmed oil. They share the same base scent however the organic version is a little deeper and more complex (and costs more due to the increased costs associated with organic farming).

White Rose essential oil (Rosa alba): Not a Rosa damascena but a Rosa alba. A dusky and mysterious fragrance.

Turkish Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena): Similar to the Bulgarian Rose in terms of scent but perhaps a little more grounding and earthy. Previously this oil cost less than its Bulgarian counterpart but more recently it has been the other way round.

Types of Rose Extracts

Rose Otto Essential Oil is lighter in color and thinner in viscosity than Rose CO2 Extract or Rose Absolute. It is made directly by steam distilling fresh rose petals. Two tons of rose petals to make two ounces of essential oil.

Rose CO2 Extract is a bit thicker to work with, even at room temperature because the CO2 extraction process can extract more of the heavier aromatic molecules, natural plant waxes and resins than can steam distillation. Aromatically, Rose CO2 Extract has a beautiful aroma that is more complete and more closely represents the natural fragrance of fresh roses (Rosa damascena).

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Rose Absolute is often favored by fragrance formulators and perfumists for its fragrance, aromatic strength and lower cost than Rose Otto Essential Oil or Rose CO2 Extract.

Chemical Composition of Rose Otto

  • Citronellol – effective mosquito repellant (also found in citronella).
  • Citral – strong antimicrobial that is necessary for vitamin A synthesis (also found in lemon myrtle and lemongrass).
  • Carvone – effective digestive aid (also found in caraway and dill).
  • Citronellyl Acetate – responsible for the pleasant flavor and aroma of roses, which is why it is in many skin and beauty products.
  • Eugenol – also the powerhouse behind clove, the richest antioxidant in the world.
  • Farnesol – natural pesticide (also found in orange blossom, jasmine and ylang-ylang).
  • Methyl Eugenol – local antiseptic and anesthetic (also found in cinnamon and lemon balm).
  • Nerol – sweet-smelling aromatic antibiotic compound (also found in lemongrass and hops).
  • Phenyl Acetaldehyde – another sweet-smelling and aromatic compound (also found in chocolate).
  • Phenyl Geraniol – natural form of geraniol, which is commonly in perfumes and fruit flavorings.

Blends Well With: Bergamot, Chamomile Roman, Clove Bud, Geranium (All Types), Helichrysum Italicum, Jasmine Absolute, Lemon, Neroli, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Ylang Ylang

Benefits of Using Rose Otto, CO2 Extract or Absolute

The most therapeutic effects of R. damascena in ancient medicine are including treatment of abdominal and chest pain, strengthening the heart, treatment of menstrual bleeding and digestive problems, and reduction of inflammation, especially of the neck. North American Indian tribes used a decoction of the root of R. damascena plant as a cough remedy to ease children’s cough. Rose oil heals depression, grief, nervous stress and tension. It helps in the reduction of thirst, healing old cough, special complaints of women, wound healing, and skin health. Vapor therapy of rose oil is helpful for some allergies (unless you are allergic to roses), headaches, and migraine.

Acne: able to completely destroy Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria responsible for acne) after only five minutes of a 0.25 percent dilution!

Depression: women experienced significant decrease in depression scores, they also reported marked improvement in general anxiety disorder.

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Improves Dysmenorrhea (Painful Period): a nonpharmacologic treatment method, as an adjuvant to conventional treatment methods may be beneficial for pain relief in individuals with primary dysmenorrhea.

Eczema: the soothing effects of rose oil, when diluted in a lotion or carrier oil, helps to relieve dry, red patches of skin

Frigidity: as an anti-anxiety agent, rose essential oil can greatly help men with sexual dysfunction related to performance anxiety and stress. It may also help to balance sex hormones, which can contribute to increased sex drive.

Mature Skin: it has potent anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, it contains antioxidants that fight off free radicals which encourage skin damage and skin aging. Free radicals can cause damage to skin tissue, which results in wrinkles, lines and dehydration.

Stress: the uplifting and calming effects of rose oil can help you deal with life’s stressors more effectively.

Rose Essential Oil Safety Information

Essential Oil Safety forewarns that Rose Otto may contain methyeugenol and states: “We recommend a dermal maximum of 0.6% and a maximum oral dose of 21mg, based on 3.3% methyleugenol content, with dermal and oral limits of 0.02% and 0.01mg/kg for methyleugenol).

For external use only. Do not use undiluted on the skin. Avoid contact with sensitive areas, such as eyes. Keep out of reach of children. Do not use essential oils on children under 5 years old. Consult your healthcare professional before using essential oils during pregnancy. Best kept in a cool dry place. Naturally occurring allergens: Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol and Linalool.

References:

https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/rose-oil.asp

https://www.tisserand.com/essential-oils/rose-otto-essential-oil/

https://www.planttherapy.com/rose-otto-essential-oil

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-76921/rose-oil-emollient-topical/detai

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586833/

https://oshadhi.co.uk/articles/essential-oil-profiles-how-to-choose-a-rose-oil

Pine Needle Oil

Pine Needle Oil (Pinus sylvestris)

Pine needle oil is steam distilled from the fresh needles, branch tips, or the combined fresh branches with needles and branch tips of Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine or Norway pine) or other essential oil-containing species of Pinus. Scots pine is an evergreen conifer tree native to Eurasia, introduced to North America by European settlers, now cultivated extensively in the eastern United States and Canada.

In Germany, pine needle oil is official in the German Pharmacopoeia, the Standard Licenses for Finished Drugs Monographs, and it is also approved by Commission E. Drops of the essential oil are added to boiling water for inhalation of steam vapor as a supportive treatment for catarrhal diseases of the respiratory tract. The drops are also applied topically by carefully rubbing into the skin for rheumatic complaints. The Germans also prepare an aqueous infusion of pine shoots for oral ingestion for the same indications as the oil.

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Chemistry and Pharmacology

Constituents include 5097% monoterpene hydrocarbons, such as a-pinene, with lesser amounts of 3-carene, dipentene, b-pinen, Dlimonene, a-terpinene, g-terpinene, cis-b-ocimene, myrcene, camphene, sabinene, and terpinolene. Other constituents include bornyl acetate, borneol, 1,8-cineole, citral terpineol, T-cadinol, T-muurolol, a-cadinol, cayophyllene, chamazulen, butyric acid, valeric acid, caproic acid, and isocaproic acid.

The Commission E reported secretolytic, hyperemic, and slight antiseptic activity. The active principles of some pine needle essential oils responsible for the antiviral and antibacterial activities are thought to be limonene, dipentene, and bornyl acetate. Pine needle oil can cause a decongestant effect by stimulating reflex vasoconstriction.

The Commission E approved pine needle oil for catarrhal diseases of the respiratory tract, and externally only for rheumatic and neuralgic ailments. It has been used as a fragrance and flavor component in cough and cold medicines, vaporizer fluids, nasal decongestants, and analgesic ointments.

Benefits

The health benefits of pine essential oil include its ability to reduce inflammation and associated redness, protect against sinus infections, clear mucus and phlegm, treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, boost the immune system, fight fungal and viral infections, stimulate the mind and body, and protect your home and body from a variety of germs.

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Pine essential oil also increases metabolism and boosts your activity levels. It is also helpful in purifying the body due to its ability to treat intestinal problems. It is diuretic in nature and helps remove excess water from your body through urination. By stimulating the frequency and quantity of urine, you eliminate more uric acid, excess water, salt, and fat from your body. It also keeps the kidneys healthy, because they do not have to filter the toxins more than once.

Pine essential oil is considered an analgesic and is, therefore, a good remedy for people suffering from joint pain, arthritis, and rheumatic conditions. Besides being an analgesic, it is also an anti-inflammatory agent, meaning that it reduces inflammation and redness of the affected areas, simultaneously eliminating the pain.

The ability of pine essential oil to neutralize free radicals through its antioxidant capacity also represents a positive impact on eye health. Macular degeneration, cataracts, and several other vision-related conditions are due to the presence of free radicals in our system that cause degradation of our cells. Pine essential oil has related to improving eye health and protecting them from natural, age-related failure.

Pine essential oil is an antiseptic used to treat boils, cuts, sports injuries, and Athletes’ Foot. This is not only due to its antiseptic properties, but also its anti-fungal characteristics. Fungal infections are some of the most dangerous and difficult conditions to treat, and if they become internal, they can even be fatal. Therefore, using pine essential oil to cleanse your system of any fungal infections is a good idea.

Pine essential oil is helpful for curing respiratory problems and is commonly used as a remedy for cold and cough. This is due to its abilities as an expectorant, meaning that it loosens phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tracts and makes it easier to eliminate them. By reducing the amount of deposition in your respiratory tracts, your body can fight the initial infection faster and reduce your recovery time.

Using Pine Needle Oil

Pine oil blends well with many other essential oils depending on what you are using it for. Try combining it with oils including bergamot, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, frankincense, grapefruit essential oil, juniper, lavender oil, sage, sandalwood, tea tree and thyme.

Aromatically: You can use pine essential oil (or pine nut oil) for aromatherapy by diffusing it within your home using a diffuser. Adding some to firewood is a great way to create a scented fireplace that will travel throughout your home. Another good option is to inhale the oil directly from the bottle when symptoms strike.

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Topically: The oil should be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio before applying it directly to your skin. Note that some people react to pine oil by experiencing skin irritation, so perform a patch test first to be safe.

Interactions and Concerns of Pine Oil

Internal consumption of pine essential oil can be dangerous because there is a possibility of kidney damage. It should also not be given to people who are suffering from kidney disorders. Furthermore, pine essential oil can cause irritation to sensitive skin, so it must be used only in a diluted form. Children and elderly people should not be given pine essential oil as it may cause hypertension and irritation.

Some people with sensitive skin or even allergies might experience redness, itching or other skin irritation when using pine nut oil. So as with all essential oils, it is a good idea to first perform a small patch test to make sure you do not experience side effects. Apply one to two drops with a carrier oil to a part of your skin that is not overly sensitive, such as your feet or forearm, and wait for your reaction before beginning to use pine oil on your face, chest or other sensitive areas.

Always combine pine oil with a carrier oil, and never use them undiluted directly on your skin. Keep pine oil away from your eyes or inside of your nose, where it can encounter mucus membranes that can easily become irritated.

Remember that, as with all essential oils, you should never ingest pine needle oil.

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References

http://nopr.niscair.res.in/handle/123456789/16860

http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/PineNeedleoil.html

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf990146l

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2010.9700368

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874102002143

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.2129/abstract

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874111008543

http://www.acgpubs.org/RNP/2010/Volume%204/Issue%201/27-RNP-1008-297.pdf

https://www.fht.org.uk/therapies/aromatherapy

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/essential-oils/index.cfm

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/pine-oil

https://acaai.org/allergies/types-allergies/pine-tree-allergy

Bown, D. 1995. Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses. New York: DK Publishing, Inc. 329.

Braun, R. et al. 1997. Standardzulassungen f r FertigarzneimittelText and Kommentar. Stuttgart: Deutscher Apotheker Verlag.

Budavari, S. (ed.). 1996. The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 12th ed. Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck & Co, Inc.

Bundesanzeiger (BAnz). 1998. Monographien der Kommission E (Zulassungs- und Aufbereitungskommission am BGA f r den humanmed. Bereich, phytotherapeutische Therapierichtung und Stoffgruppe). Kln: Bundesgesundheitsamt (BGA).

But, P.P.H. et al. (eds.). 1997. International Collation of Traditional and Folk Medicine. Singapore: World Scientific. 1516.

Deutsches Arzneibuch (DAB 1997). 1997. Stuttgart: Deutscher Apotheker Verlag.

Grieve, M. 1979. A Modern Herbal. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

Koelling, M.R. 1999. History and CharacteristicsScotch PinePinus sylvestris L. Okemos, MI: National Christmas Tree Association Internet Committee. Available at: www.christree.org/treetype/scotch.html

Lacey, L. 1993. Micmac MedicinesRemedies and Recollections. Halifax, NS: Nimbus Publishing Ltd. 29, 36, 99, 115.

Leung, A.Y. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2nd ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Palmarosa Oil

Cymbopogon martinii – Palmarosa grass at full Flower blooming stage.This photo at Sesha farms www.sfpalmarosaoil.com during the month of December

Palmarosa Oil (Cymbopogon martini)

Cymbopogon martinii is a species of grass in the genus Cymbopogon (lemongrasses) native to India and Indochina, but widely cultivated in many places for its aromatic oil. It is best known by the common name palmarosa (palm rose) as it smells sweet and rose-like. Other common names include Indian geranium, gingergrass, rosha, and rosha grass.

Origin of Palmarosa Oil

It is a wild growing, herbaceous green and straw-colored grass, with long slender stems, terminal flowering tops and fragrant grassy leaves. It is harvested before the flowers appear and the highest yield is obtained when the grass is fully dried – about one week after it has been cut.

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There are two varieties of grass from which the oil can be extracted – motia and sofia. We find the sofia chemotype to be far more active and pleasant smelling – and for this reason the oil sold by us is from this chemotype.

Extraction of this essential oil is done by steam distillation of dried grass which is harvested before flowering. The chief constituents of this oil are geraniol, geranyl acetate, dipentene, linalool, limonene, and myrcene. This oil smells like rose oil, which is how it got the name, palma rosa.

It is often used as an ingredient of soaps, perfumes and cosmetics, and is also used in the flavoring of tobacco.

Composition of Palmarosa Oil

The main chemical components of palmarosa oil are myrcene, linalool, geraniol, geranyl acetate, dipentene and limonene.

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In general terms, Palmarosa Essential Oil contains approximately 70-80% monoterpenes, 10-15% esters and around 5% aldehydes. It does not contain the abundance of citral (aldehyde) that Lemongrass Essential Oil and Citronella Essential Oil possesses.

Palmarosa oil is an antifungal that fights against Aspergillus niger (commonly known as black mold), Chaetomium globosum (also known as moldy soil), and Penicillium funiculosum, which is a plant pathogen.

The essential oil of this plant, which contains the chemical compound geraniol, is valued for its scent and for traditional medicinal and household uses. Palmarosa oil has been shown to be an effective insect repellent when applied to stored grain and beans, an antihelmintic against nematodes, and an antifungal and mosquito repellent.

Benefits of Using Palmarosa

Palmarosa oil calms the mind, yet has an uplifting effect, while clearing muddled thinking. It is used to counter physical and nervous exhaustion, stress-related problems and nervousness.

It is most useful during convalescence and cools the body of fever, while aiding the digestive system, helping to clear intestinal infection, digestive atonia and anorexia nervosa. It is effective in relieving sore, stiff muscles.

Palmarosa oil moisturizes the skin, while balancing the hydration levels and stimulating cell regeneration. It balances production of sebum, to keep the skin supple and elastic and is valuable for use with acne, dermatitis, preventing scarring, rejuvenating and regenerating the skin, as well as fighting minor skin infections, sore tired feet and athlete’s foot.

Palmarosa Essential Oil Uses

Sinusitis & Excess Mucus:  anti-inflammatory effects reduce inflammation caused by infection and irritation. Mucolytic benefits thin mucus and help clear membranes.

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Cystitis & Urinary Tract Infection: antibiotic or antimicrobial effects reduce infection and anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce inflammation and increase water and toxin removal.

Gastrointestinal Disorders: it assists in improving intestinal flow and nourishes intestinal flora. It also helps to thin and remove mucus buildup that happens in the intestines with inflammatory foods. Its carminative benefits calm the digestive tract and assist in the expulsion of gas.

Wounds & Scarring: through cytophylactic action it assists in wound healing and tissue regrowth.

Acne: through antiseborrheic actions it helps to reduce oil production of the skin cells. Antibacterial actions reduce skin infection. Anti-inflammatory benefits reduce redness and irritation of skin.

Fungal Infection: its antifungal and antimicrobial benefits reduce fungal growth on the skin and throughout the body.

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Restlessness & General Fatigue: Palmarosa has calmative effects that assist in calming the mind and nervous system and allowing the body to relax and heal. Its cephalic actions help to clear the mind and assist in focus.

Muscular Aches: through mild analgesic properties it assists in relieving muscular pain associated with overuse or injury.

Stress & Irritability: as a gentle sedative, relaxant and uplifting oil it helps to counteract the effects of stress on the body and to bring balance to moods.

Insect Bites & Stings: antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits reduce the pain and swelling associated with insect bites or stings.

How to Use Palmarosa Oil

Burners & Vaporizers: In vapor therapy, palmarosa oil can help during convalescence. It relieves fatigue, nervousness, exhaustion and stress, while having an uplifting effect on the mind and clearing muddled thoughts.

Blended massage oil or in the bath: In a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, palmarosa oil can be used on convalescent patients, to fight exhaustion, fatigue, nervousness, stress, bolstering the digestive system, while boosting the health of the skin.

Wash, lotions and creams and used neat (undiluted): Palmarosa oil can help clear up infections and prevent scarring when added to the water used to wash the wound. When included in creams and lotions, it has a moisturizing and hydrating effect on the skin, which is great to fight wrinkles. It also balances the natural secretion of sebum, which keeps the skin supple and elastic.

On cellular level, it helps with the formation of new tissue and for that reason is great for rejuvenating and regenerating the skin. It is most useful when fighting a dry skin and treat skin infections. Some people find that they have great results when applying palmarosa oil neat or undiluted to the affected area of athlete’s foot – but please keep in mind that we do not advocate the use of neat essential oils on the skin.

Precautions

Palmarosa oil has no known contra indications and is considered a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing essential oil.

References:

https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/palmarosa-oil.asp

https://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/palmarosa.htm

https://www.essentialoilsdirect.co.uk/palmarosa-cymbopogon_martinii-essential_oil.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymbopogon_martinii

https://www.nativeoilsaustralia.com.au/palmarosa-essential-oil/

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00073a015

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12809717

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4276358

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0926669004000317

https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/93598/antimicrobial-action-of-palmarosa-oil-cymbopogon-martinii-on-saccharomyces-cerevisiae

Prashar, A.; Hili, P.; Veness, R.; Evans, C. (2003). “Antimicrobial action of palmarosa oil (Cymbopogon martinii) on Saccharomyces cerevisiae”. Phytochemistry. 63 (5): 569–575. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(03)00226-7.

Rajeswara Rao, B.; Kaul, P.; Syamasundar, K.; Ramesh, S. (2005). “Chemical profiles of primary and secondary essential oils of palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Wats var. motia Burk.)”. IIndustrial Crops and Products. 21 (1): 121–127. oi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2004.02.002.

Kumar, R.; Srivastava, M.; Dubey, N. K. (2007). “Evaluation of Cymbopogon martinii oil extract for control of postharvest insect deterioration in cereals and legumes”. Journal of Food Protection. 70 (1): 172–78.

Kumaran, A. M.; D’souza, P; Agarwal, A; Bokkolla, RM; Balasubramaniam, M; et al. (2003). “Geraniol, the putative anthelmintic principle of Cymbopogon martinii”. Phytotherapy Research. 17 (8): 957. doi:10.1002/ptr.1267. PMID 13680833.

Mallavarapu, G.; Rajeswara Rao, B.; Kaul, P.; Ramesh, S.; Bhattacharya, A. (1998). “Volatile constituents of the essential oils of the seeds and the herb of palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Wats. var. motia Burk.)”. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 13: 167–169. doi:10.1002/(sici)1099-1026(199805/06)13:3<167::aid-ffj719>3.0.co;2-b.

Guenther, E (1952). “Recent developments in essential oil production”. Economic Botany. 6 (4): 355–378. doi:10.1007/bf02984884.

Orange Peel

Orange peel dried (Citrus reticulata)

Botanical Name: Pericarpium citri reticulata. Mandarine Oranges/Chen Pi – Citrus reticulata. Bitter Orange (aka Seville Oranges)/Zhi Shi – Citrus sinensis, Citrus aurantantium.

History/Folklore: All species help move Qi stagnation. Mandarin Orange Peel is a better anti-inflammatory, carminative and tonic. The Unripe Green Orange Peel is a cholagogue and carminative.  Bitter Orange Peel moves Qi stagnation, stimulates, expectorates and is a stomach digestive. Another species is tangerines with the Latin name, Citrus tangerina.

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For hundreds of years, herbalists trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have used mature mandarin orange peel, known as chen pi or ju pi in Chinese medicine, to improve digestion, relieve intestinal gas and bloating, and resolve phlegm. This peel acts primarily on the digestive and respiratory systems. We apply it in conditions involving a sense of distension and fullness in the chest and upper middle abdomen combined with loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, or coughs with copious phlegm.

You will find dried orange peel in Mother Jai’s Raspberry Tea. Shop below.

Immature mandarin orange peel, known as qing pi in Chinese medicine, acts primarily on the liver and stomach to promote digestion, relieve food retention and abdominal distension, and promote good liver function. Practitioners of Chinese herbology use this herb when the sense of distension and discomfort lies primarily under the rib cage rather than the central abdomen. 

The cut peel is traditionally used as a tea, and the powdered peel is used to add a sweet, fizzy flavor to drinks. Many cosmetics call for peel in either cut form or as a powder. Its light flavor makes it easy to add into tea blends, and the peel can also be incorporated into jams, jellies, stir-fry dishes and many other culinary creations.

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Symbol of Fertility: Oranges can produce flowers and fruit at the same time so they have become a symbol of fertility.

Health benefits of Oranges

Oranges are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, filled with Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and low in calories. Consuming them more often may protect against heart disease, cancer and diabetes while also helping to improve memory, blood pressure, immune system and overall health. Listed below are few of the popular health benefits of oranges

Helps Prevent Cancer: oranges are wonderful sources of both Vitamin C and hesperidin. These two antioxidants are recognized to help prevent the formation of free radicals – which are known to cause cancer. Vitamin C content is particularly important because a lack of Vitamin C has been shown to help tumors survive. So if you want to help prevent cancer, make sure you eat an orange.

Control Your Diabetes: oranges are a great source of fiber! This can help lower your cholesterol which in turn helps make your diabetes easier to control. Additionally, researches have shown that if you’re a Type I diabetic, consuming a high-fiber diet helps lower your overall glucose levels. And for Type II diabetics, it can improve your blood sugars and insulin levels. Not only that, but getting so much fiber improves your digestion and helps you feel fuller longer. Meaning you’re less likely to attack the pantry for sugary and unhealthy snacks.

Heart Healthy: oranges are high in potassium. And an increase in potassium can help support heart health and decrease the risk of things like stroke and heart attacks. Potassium also decreases your risk of heart disease. Additionally, oranges help lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure, which is great for your heart health and for preventing heart problems.

Better Skin: oranges are good for your skin, helping to protect from skin damage caused by the sun and pollution. They also reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. And, as mentioned earlier, Vitamin C helps increase collagen production, which is important for keeping your skin healthy and wrinkle-free.

Science Supports Citrus

Sweet and bitter orange peels have similar constituents. Modern research shows many benefits to these peels or their constituent phytochemicals.

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The medicinal actions of  citrus peels come in part from their primary essential oil, d-limonene. D-limonene has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also acts as a solvent for cholesterol, which has led some physicians to use it to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones. D-limonene neutralizes gastric acid and supports normal peristalsis, making it useful for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Research also indicates that d-limonene has cancer-preventive properties. 

Citrus peels also contain hesperidin, a flavonoid that reduces the proliferation of cancer cells and induces programmed cell death in human colon cancer cells. Korean researchers found that qing pi extract induces programmed cell death in human colon cancer cells.

A team of scientists from Taiwan investigated the effects of the four citrus herbs mentioned above on adipocyte (fat cell) differentiation. They found that mandarin orange peel (chen pi) markedly reduced production and accumulation of triglycerides (fats) in fat cells, with the highest dose tested reducing triglyceride production by nearly 50 percent.

References:

https://www.whiterabbitinstituteofhealing.com/herbs/orange-peel/

https://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/citrus-peel-medicine

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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1658077X16300960

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22980779

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26024407

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4690266/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908842/

Nutmeg

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

Nutmeg and mace are plant products. Nutmeg is the shelled, dried seed of the plant Myristica fragrans, and mace is the dried net-like covering of the shell of the seed. Nutmeg and mace are used to make medicine.

Nutmeg and mace are used for diarrhea, nausea, stomach spasms and pain, and intestinal gas. They are also used for treating cancer, kidney disease, and trouble sleeping (insomnia); increasing menstrual flow; causing a miscarriage; as a hallucinogen; and as a general tonic. Nutmeg and mace are applied to the skin to kill pain, especially pain caused by achy joints (rheumatism), mouth sores, and toothache.

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In manufacturing, nutmeg oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics. Nutmeg oil is distilled from worm-eaten nutmeg seeds. The worms remove much of the starch and fat, leaving the portions of the seed that are rich in oil.

Steam distilled Nutmeg Essential Oil is a warming oil that when used judiciously, it is a wonderful essential oil for use in helping to ease digestive complaints as well as muscular aches and pains. A little goes a long way for all essential oils, but this especially holds true for Nutmeg Essential Oil. It primarily contains monoterpenes, but also contains approximately 10% ethers including myristicine and safrole as well as the phenol methyeugenol.

Aromatically, Nutmeg Essential Oil is a warm, spicy essential oil that is sweet and somewhat woody. It blends beautifully with other essential oils in the spice family. It also blends well with floral, citrus and wood essential oils. It can add a beautiful, distinctive spicy characteristic to otherwise bland blends.

Major Constituents of East Indian Nutmeg Oil:

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  • Sabinene
  • a-Pinene
  • B-Pinene
  • Myristicin
  • Terpinene-4-ol
  • Gamma-Terpinene
  • Linalool
  • (+)-Limonene
  • a-Phellandrene
  • a-Terpinene
  • Safrole
  • a-Thujene
  • Methyleugenol (reported for East Indian Nutmeg Oil)

Nutmeg Essential Oil Uses

  • Gastrointestinal Spasm
  • Nausea
  • Upset Stomach
  • Rheumatism
  • Arthritis
  • Muscular Aches and Pains
  • Muscular Injury
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Nervousness
  • Tension

Source: Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 609.

Benefits of Nutmeg

Antibacterial. Test-tube studies show that nutmeg has antibacterial effects against potentially harmful bacteria, including E. coli and Streptococcus mutans.

Antioxidants. Nutmeg is rich in antioxidants, including phenolic compounds, essential oils, and plant pigments, all of which help prevent cellular damage and may protect against chronic diseases.

Anti-inflammatory. Nutmeg may reduce inflammation by inhibiting certain inflammatory enzymes.

Increase Libido. Some animal research suggests that high doses of nutmeg may enhance libido and sexual performance.

May benefit heart health. Animal studies show that taking high-dose nutmeg supplements reduced heart disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels, though human research is lacking.

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Could boost mood. Rodent studies have found that nutmeg extract induced significant antidepressant effects in both mice and rats. Studies are needed to determine if nutmeg extract has the same effect in humans.

May improve blood sugar control. A study in rats showed that treatment with high-dose nutmeg extract significantly reduced blood sugar levels and enhanced pancreatic function.

Nutmeg has a warm, sweet flavor that pairs well with many different sweet and savory foods.

Nutmeg Essential Oil Safety Information

Nutmeg may cause serious side effects, such as hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, and even death, when taken in large doses or combined with other recreational drugs.

Tisserand and Young warn that Nutmeg Essential Oil is potentially carcinogenic and can be psychotropic in high doses. They recommend a dermal maximum of 0.8% for East Indian and 5% for West Indian Nutmeg Oils. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 366-367.]

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References:

  1. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/nutmeg-oil.asp
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-788/nutmeg-and-mace
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nutmeg-benefits
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5222521/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3920909/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5927356/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3891177/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29926690
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26434127
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22449521
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23570003
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20816778
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4848392/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26434127
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1187868/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14567759
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151601/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3434417/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16233309
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4502738/
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16579733
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4075663/
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31063201
  25. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13181-013-0379-7#page-1
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4057546/
  27. https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+3516

Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Urtica dioica, often known as common nettle, stinging nettle (although not all plants of this species sting) or nettle leaf, or just a nettle or stinger, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae. Originally native to Europe, much of temperate Asia and western North Africa, it is now found worldwide, including New Zealand and North America.

Nettles are the larval food plant for several species of butterflies, such as the peacock butterfly, comma (Polygonia c-album), and the small tortoiseshell. It is also eaten by the larvae of some moths including angle shades, buff ermine, dot moth, the flame, the gothic, grey chi, grey pug, lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing, mouse moth, setaceous Hebrew character, and small angle shades. The roots are sometimes eaten by the larva of the ghost moth (Hepialus humuli).

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Dried Nettle Leaf is in Mother Jai’s Detox Tea & Allergy Relief Tea, shop below.

Stinging nettle is considered a common weed. It is found in gardens, waste areas, near where animals live, and around moist areas such as creeks. All nettles are plants with sharp hairs on their leaves. If you touch them, these hairs inject irritants into the skin, making it itchy, red and swollen.

Exposure to fresh nettles leaves can cause local symptoms such as burning, itching, redness, swelling (occasionally small blisters will form) and local numbness. Symptoms are usually self-limiting and resolve within a few days. In cases where a large area of the body has been exposed to the nettles, or you have been exposed to the nettles for a longer period of time it is possible further symptoms such as inco-ordination, tremor, muscle weakness and faintness may occur.

The root and above ground parts are used as medicine. Stinging nettle is used for diabetes and osteoarthritis. It is sometimes used for urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney stones, enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), muscle pain, and other conditions.

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Stinging nettle leaf has a long history of use. It was used primarily as a diuretic and laxative in ancient Greek times.

In foods, young stinging nettle leaves are eaten as a cooked vegetable. In manufacturing, stinging nettle extract is used as an ingredient in hair and skin products.

Stinging nettle’s leaves and root provide a wide variety of nutrients:

Vitamins: Vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins

Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium

Fats: Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid

Amino acids: All of the essential amino acids

Polyphenols: Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids

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Pigments: Beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin and other carotenoids

Many of these nutrients act as antioxidants inside your body. Antioxidants are molecules that help defend your cells against damage from free radicals. Damage caused by free radicals is linked to aging, as well as cancer and other harmful diseases.

Uses & Effectiveness

Blood Pressure. Stinging nettle may help lower blood pressure by allowing your blood vessels to relax and reducing the force of your heart’s contractions.

Diabetes. Taking stinging nettle leaf preparations for 8-12 weeks seems to reduce blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. The effect of stinging nettle on A1c in people with diabetes is unclear.

Osteoarthritis. Taking stinging nettle leaf preparations by mouth or applying it to the skin might reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis. Taking stinging nettle leaf preparations by mouth might also reduce the need for pain medications.

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Hay fever. Early research suggests that using stinging nettle above ground parts at the first signs of hay fever symptoms may help provide relief.

Enlarged Prostate. Stinging nettle may help reduce prostate size and treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland in men with BPH.

Stinging nettle may offer other potential health benefits:

Reduced bleeding: Medicines containing stinging nettle extract have been found to reduce excessive bleeding, especially after surgery.

Liver health: Nettle’s antioxidant properties may protect your liver against damage by toxins, heavy metals and inflammation.

Natural diuretic: This plant may help your body shed excess salt and water, which in turn could lower blood pressure temporarily. Keep in mind that these findings are from animal studies.

Wound and burn healing: Applying stinging nettle creams may support wound healing, including burn wounds.

How to Consume Stinging Nettles

You can buy dried/freeze-dried leaves, capsules, tinctures and creams. Stinging nettle ointments are often used to ease osteoarthritis symptoms.

The dried leaves and flowers can be steeped to make a delicious herbal tea, while its leaves, stem and roots can be cooked and added to soups, stews, smoothies and stir-frys.

However, avoid eating fresh leaves, as their barbs can cause irritation.

Dosing:

The following doses for ADULTS have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

For diabetes: 500 mg of stinging nettle leaf extract has been taken three times per day for 12 weeks. Also, 3.3 grams of stinging nettle leaf has been taken three times daily for 8 weeks. A combination product containing 200 mg of stinging nettle, 200 mg of milk thistle, and 200 mg of frankincense taken three times per day for 3 months has also been used.

For osteoarthritis: 9 grams of crude stinging nettle leaf has been used daily. Also, an infusion containing 50 mg of stinging nettle leaf has been taken along with 50 mg of diclofenac daily for 14 days. A specific combination product containing stinging nettle, rose hip, devil’s claw, and vitamin D taken by mouth as 40 mL daily has been used for 12 weeks.

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:

For osteoarthritis: Fresh stinging nettle leaf has been applied to painful joints for 30 seconds once per day for one week. Also a specific cream containing stinging nettle leaf extract has been applied twice daily for 2 weeks.

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Stinging nettle is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 2 years. It might cause diarrhea, constipation, and upset stomach in some people.

When applied to the skin: Stinging nettle is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin in appropriate amounts. Touching the stinging nettle plant can cause skin irritation.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Stinging nettle is LIKELY UNSAFE to take during pregnancy. It might stimulate uterine contractions and cause a miscarriage. It’s also best to avoid stinging nettle if you are breast-feeding.

Diabetes: There is some evidence that stinging nettle above ground parts can decrease blood sugar levels. This might increase the chance of blood sugar levels becoming too low in people being treated for diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully.

Low blood pressure: Stinging nettle above ground parts might lower blood pressure. In theory, stinging nettle might increase the risk of blood pressure dropping too low in people prone to low blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, discuss stinging nettle with your healthcare provider before starting it.

Kidney problems: The above ground parts of stinging nettle seem to increase urine flow. If you have kidney problems, discuss stinging nettle with your healthcare provider before starting it.

Moderate Interactions: Be cautious with this combination

Lithium interacts with STINGING NETTLE: Stinging nettle might have an effect like a water pill or “diuretic.” Taking stinging nettle might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with STINGING NETTLE: Stinging nettle above ground parts might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking stinging nettle along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed. Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with STINGING NETTLE: Stinging nettle above ground parts seem to decrease blood pressure. Taking stinging nettle along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interact with STINGING NETTLE: Large amounts of stinging nettle above ground parts might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking stinging nettle along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with STINGING NETTLE: Stinging nettle above ground parts contain large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, stinging nettle might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210803312000978
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22593694
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19149749
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28078249
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29844787
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9923611
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8740085
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10911825
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20015358
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27582614
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21806658
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16985920
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16635963
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18038253
  16. “Urtica dioica L.”. Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  17. “Stinging nettles”. Ministry of Health. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  18. “Urtica dioica – L”. Plants for a Future. 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  19. “Burning & Stinging Nettles”. University of California. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  20. “Nettles”. Drugs.com. 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  21. Per Brodal (2010). The Central Nervous System: Structure and Function. Oxford University Press US. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-19-538115-3. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  22. Lukešová, Hana (June 2017). “Identifying plant fibre textiles from Norwegian Merovingian Period and Viking Age graves: The Late Iron Age Collection of the University Museum of Bergen”. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 13: 281–285. doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.03.051.
  23. Chen Jiarui; Ib Friis; C. Melanie Wilmot-Dear. “Flora of China online”. efloras, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  24. “Species: Urtica dioica”. United States Forest Service. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  25. “Stinging Nettle”. Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio State University. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  26. “Nettles: Bad guys come good”. The Telegraph Online. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  27. Smith, Paul L. (2012). Indicator Plants: Using Plants to Evaluate the Environment. p. 47.
  28. Heiko Bellmann: Der Neue Kosmos Schmetterlingsführer, Schmetterlinge, Raupen und Futterpflanzen, pg. 170, Frankh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-440-09330-1.
  29. Carey, Jennifer H. (1995). “Urtica dioica”. Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
  30. Cummings, Alexander J; Olsen, Michael (2011). “Mechanism of Action of Stinging Nettles”. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine. 22 (2): 136–139. doi:10.1016/j.wem.2011.01.001. PMID 21396858.
  31. Nettle (Stinging). Wildflowerfinder.org.uk. Retrieved on 3 July 2012.
  32. Louis J. Casarett; Curtis D. Klaassen; John Doull (2008). Casarett and Doull’s toxicology: the basic science of poisons. McGraw-Hill Professional. pp. 1104–. ISBN 978-0-07-147051-3. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  33. Michael I. Greenberg (4 June 2003). Occupational, industrial, and environmental toxicology. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 180–. ISBN 978-0-323-01340-6. Retrieved 22 September 2010.

Myrrh Oil

Myrrh Resin Oil (Commiphora myrrha)

Myrrh is a sap-like substance (resin) that comes out of cuts in the bark of trees that are members of the Commiphora species. It is familiar to many as one of the traditional resinous gifts mentioned in the Bible. It has been used for thousands of years in traditional healing therapies and in religious ceremonies. Its amber scent creates a warm, calming environment. The oil is often used during meditation to create a relaxing and uplifting atmosphere.

You can find Myrrh in Mother Jai’s Divinity Spray & Oil, shop below.

Myrrh is commonly used for indigestion, ulcers, colds, cough, asthma, lung congestion, arthritis pain, cancer, leprosy, spasms, and syphilis. It is also used as a stimulant and to increase menstrual flow. Applied directly to the mouth for soreness and swelling, inflamed gums (gingivitis), loose teeth, canker sores, bad breath, and chapped lips. It is also used topically for hemorrhoids, bedsores, wounds, abrasions, and boils.

Blending: Frankincense, Lavender, Palma Rosa, Patchouli, Rosewood, Sandal Wood, Tea Tree, and Thyme essential oil blend well with this oil.

Benefits of Using Myrrh

Anti-Cancer & Antioxidant Benefits: researchers found that it was able to reduce the proliferation or replication of human cancer cells. They found that myrrh inhibited growth in eight different types of cancer cells, specifically gynecological cancers. Although further research is needed to determine exactly how to use myrrh for cancer treatment, this initial research is promising. As a strong antioxidant it helps prevent cellular oxidation which thus helps to prevent cancer and tumor formation. Studies have shown that its benefits are improved when combined with Frankincense.

Anti-Catarrhal Properties: This oil relieves you of excess mucus and phlegm and troubles associated with mucus deposition like congestion, breathing trouble, heaviness in chest, and cough.

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Anti-Inflammatory Properties: it sedates inflammation in various tissues in case of fever or viral infections. It also treats indigestion resulting from consumption of spicy food and protects the circulatory system from toxins.

Astringent Properties: Myrrh essential oil is an astringent, which means that it strengthens the gums and muscles, intestines, and other internal organs, and smoothens the skin. It also strengthens the grip of hair roots, thereby preventing hair loss. One more serious aspect of this astringent property is that it stops hemorrhaging in wounds. When this astringency makes the blood vessels contract and checks the flow of blood, it can stop you from losing too much blood when wounded.

Improves Digestion: This essential oil helps relieve you of those gases which often result in embarrassing situations in public. Myrrh oil is beneficial for the all-around health of your stomach.

Improve Thyroid Function: If you suffer from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), you may be looking for natural ways to boost the function of your thyroid, which helps manage metabolism, and when not working properly can cause fatigue, weight gain, joint pain, dry skin, and hair loss. Myrrh essential oil is ideal to help supplement your thyroid medication to get your thyroid hormone levels back up to normal.

Increases Perspiration: this essential oil increases perspiration and removes toxins, extra salt, and excess water from your body. Sweating also cleans the skin pores and helps harmful gases like nitrogen escape.

Inhibits Microbial Growth & Prevents Infection: Myrrh essential oil does not allow microbes to grow or infect your system. It can be used to prevent many problems occurring due to microbial infections such as fever, food poisoning, cough and cold, mumps, measles, pox, and infection of wounds. Myrrh essential oil acts as a fungicide as well. It can be used both internally and externally to fight fungal infections. It has no adverse side effects, unlike other antibiotics, such as weakening of liver or digestive malfunction.

Protects Overall Health: As a tonic, myrrh oil tones up all the systems and organs in the body, giving them strength and protection from premature aging and infection. Helps protects wounds from infections and heals them quickly. Myrrh oil strengthens and activates the immune system and keeps the body protected from infections.

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Relieves Spasms: It provides relief from unwanted contractions or spasms and therefore eases cramps, aches, and muscle pain.

Skin Health: Myrrh can help maintain healthy skin by soothing chapped or cracked patches. It is commonly added to skin care products to help with moisturizing and for fragrance. Ancient Egyptians used it to prevent aging and maintain healthy skin. A research study in 2010 discovered that topical application of myrrh oil helped elevate white blood cells around skin wounds, leading to faster healing.

Stimulates Blood Circulation: This powerful essential oil stimulates blood circulation and ensures a proper supply of oxygen to the tissues. This is good for attaining a proper metabolic rate as well as for boosting the immune system. Increasing the blood flow to all the parts of the body helps in staying healthy.

Stimulates the Nervous System: Myrrh essential oil stimulates thoughts, blood circulation, digestion, nervous activity, and excretion. It stimulates the pumping action of the heart, secretion of digestive juices and bile into the stomach, and keeps you alert and active by stimulating the brain and the nervous system.

Treat Diseases of the Mouth and Gums: Because it has both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, myrrh essential oil is great for soothing sores of the mouth and for treating gingivitis (gum inflammation). Myrrh also relieves toothaches and freshens the breath. You can add a drop or two of myrrh essential oil to your mouthwash or toothpaste for its freshening and healing benefits.

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Other Benefits: This oil is highly valued in aromatherapy as a sedative, antidepressant, and as a promoter of spiritual feelings. It takes care of uterine health and stimulates that organ, helps fade away scars and spots, pyorrhea, diarrhea, and skin diseases such as eczema, ringworm, and itches. It is also an emmenagogue which means that it normalizes menstruation and relieves associated symptoms like mood swings and hormonal imbalances.

By Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen – List of Koehler Images, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=255283

Side Effects of Using Myrrh

Myrrh seems safe for most people when used in small amounts. It can cause some side effects such as skin rash if applied directly to the skin, and diarrhea if taken by mouth. Large doses may be UNSAFE. Amounts greater than 2-4 grams can cause kidney irritation and heart rate changes.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking myrrh by mouth during pregnancy is UNSAFE and should be avoided. Myrrh can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage. There isn’t enough information to rate the safety of using myrrh on the skin during pregnancy, so until more is known, it’s best to avoid this use. Breast-feeding mothers should also avoid using myrrh. Not enough is known about the safety of using myrrh when breast-feeding.

Diabetes: Myrrh might lower blood sugar. There is a concern that if it is used along with medications that lower blood sugar, blood sugar might drop too low. If you use myrrh as well as medications for diabetes, monitor your blood sugar carefully.

Fever: Myrrh might make a fever worse. Use with caution.

Heart problems: Large amounts of myrrh can affect heart rate. If you have a heart condition, get your healthcare provider’s advice before starting myrrh.

Surgery: Since myrrh might affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop using myrrh at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Systemic inflammation: If you have systemic inflammation, use myrrh with caution, since it might make this condition worse.

Uterine bleeding: Myrrh seems to be able to stimulate uterine bleeding, which is why some women use it to start their menstrual periods. If you have a uterine bleeding condition, use myrrh with caution, since it might make this condition worse.

Prescription Medication Interactions

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with MYRRH: Myrrh might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking myrrh along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.<br><nb>Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with MYRRH: Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Taking myrrh might decrease how well warfarin (Coumadin) works to slow blood clotting. This could increase the chance of blood clotting.

Recipes

Thyroid Support Oil

Ingredients:

  • 3 drops myrrh EO
  • 3 drops clove EO
  • 3 drops lemongrass EO
  • 2 drops frankincense EO
  • 2 drops peppermint EO
  • fractionated coconut oil

Directions:

  • Combine the five essential oils listed above in a 10 ml glass bottle with a rollerball top.
  • Top with fractionated (liquid) coconut oil.
  • Apply to the neck in the area of the thyroid gland and on the appropriate reflexology points on the soles of the feet to boost thyroid function with hypothyroidism (low thyroid).

Poison Ivy Relief Balm

Ingredients:

  • 12 drops lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops myrrh essential oil
  • 30 ml carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, olive, almond, etc.)

Directions:

  • Combine the two essential oils in a glass bottle.
  • Add the carrier oil.
  • Apply to poison ivy rash to sooth itching and irritation.

Oil Blend for Minimizing Scars and Stretch Marks

Ingredients:

  • 5 drops myrrh EO
  • 10 drops helichrysum EO
  • 4 drops patchouli EO
  • 6 drops lavender EO
  • 8 drops lemongrass EO

Directions:

  • Add 1 ounce of your favorite carrier oil to a small dropper bottle.
  • Add each of the essential oils listed above one at a time.
  • Roll the bottle between your hands after adding each oil to incorporate it fully.
  • Apply oil to scars or stretch marks to minimize their feel and appearance.

Nail Strengthener

Ingredients:

  • 15 drops myrrh essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 vitamin E capsules
  • 1 oz. (approximately) carrier oil (e.g., fractionated coconut, almond, jojoba, avocado, etc.)

Directions:

  • Add the myrrh and lavender essential oils to a small dropper bottle.
  • Open the vitamin E capsules and empty them into the bottle.
  • Top the mixture with the carrier oil.
  • Place the lid on the bottle, and shake to combine the ingredients.
  • Apply to nails regularly with a cotton swab or small brush to make them stronger and healthier looking.

Royal Egyptian Perfume

Ingredients:

  • 7 drops myrrh EO
  • 9 drops patchouli EO
  • 7 drops cedarwood EO
  • 9 drops amber EO
  • 9 drops rose EO
  • 5 drops vanilla EO
  • 7 drops frankincense EO
  • 1 cup (approximately) almond oil

Directions:

  • Add the essential oils to an 8-ounce glass bottle.
  • Top with almond oil to fill.
  • Roll the bottle gently to blend the ingredients.
  • Set the bottle aside for 3-4 weeks in a dark place for the aroma intensity to increase.
  • Apply to pulse points for an exotic scent.

References:

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-570/myrrh

https://draxe.com/myrrh-oil/

Marjoram Leaf

Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavors. In some Middle Eastern countries, marjoram is synonymous with oregano, and there the names sweet marjoram and knotted marjoram are used to distinguish it from other plants of the genus Origanum. It is also called pot marjoram, although this name is also used for other cultivated species of Origanum.

Find it in Mother Jai’s Cold & Flu Tea, shop below.

OTHER NAME(S): Essence de Marjolaine, Garden Marjoram, Gartenmajoran, Huile de Marjolaine, Knotted Marjoram, Maggiorana, Majoran, Majorana Aetheroleum Oil, Majorana Herb, Majorana hortensis, Majorana majorana, Marjolaine, Marjolaine des Jardins, Marjolaine Ordinaire, Marjolein, Marjoram Essential Oil, Marjoram Oil, Marubaka, Marwa, Mejorana, Mejram, Origan des Jardins, Origan Marjolaine, Origanum majorana, Sweet Marjoram.

It is commonly used for runny nose, coughs, colds, infections, and various digestion problems, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these or any other uses. In foods, marjoram herb and oil are used as flavorings. In manufacturing, the oil is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, lotions, and perfumes.

Don’t confuse it with winter marjoram or oregano (Origanum vulgare), which is also referred to as wild marjoram.

BENEFITS OF MARJORAM

Asthma. Early research shows that taking 2 drops of the essential oil daily along with asthma medication for 3 months might improve lung function in people with asthma better than taking asthma medication alone.

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Anti-Inflammatory Effects: When added to your food, it can help reduce your risk of developing inflammatory reactions. It can help with conditions such as asthma, fever, muscle aches, sinus headaches and migraines.

Improved Digestive Function: When used to make tea, this herb can help improve your digestion by improving your appetite and increasing the production of digestive enzymes that help break down food. In addition, marjoram tea can help alleviate common digestive disorders such as flatulence, constipation, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Improved Heart Health: it can help improve your overall cardiovascular health by maintaining normal blood pressure levels, which lowers your risk of hypertension. It’s also known for helping reduce the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries, which can prevent heart disease.

Painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). Early research suggests that massaging a cream containing lavender, clary sage, and marjoram essential oils to the abdomen may reduce pain in some women with painful menstrual cramps. The effect of marjoram essential oil alone on menstrual cramps is unclear.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Early research suggests that drinking the tea might improve some chemical markers of PCOS, but overall it does not seem to improve body weight, blood sugar, or levels of certain hormones in women with PCOS.

Protection Against Common Illnesses: it contains various compounds that have effective antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. As such, it can help reduce your risk of diseases such as the common cold, measles, mumps, influenza, food poisoning and various staph infections.

Therapeutic Benefits: in its essential oil form, can help uplift your mood and improve your psychological well-being. It can be used to help relieve insomnia and reduce stress and anxiety.

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BENEFITS OF MARJORAM ESSENTIAL OIL

Collected by steam distillation of the fresh flowering tops. Marjoram oil happens to be popular among aromatherapy enthusiasts, and is known for providing a warm, spicy, woody and camphoraceous scent that can provide a vast array of benefits, such as:

Analgesic: Helps alleviate pain related to colds, fevers, inflammation and headache.

Antiseptic: Applying the essential oil on wounds can help prevent them from becoming infected and developing tetanus.

Antibacterial: Helps kill bacteria that may cause various skin and digestive infections.

Carminative: Can help solve digestive problems such as flatulence by relaxing the muscles in the abdominal region.

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Diuretic: Can help increase your frequency and quantity of urination, thereby helping improve your ability to eject excess water and harmful toxins from your body.

USES FOR MARJORAM LEAF

Marinades: Upgrade the taste of your marinated meat and fish dishes by adding it to the marinade.

Roasted meats: it can add an herbal aroma to roasted meats, such as chicken.

Sautéed vegetables: Side dishes such as sautéed vegetables become more flavorful with a dash of marjoram.

Soups: It gives vegetable soups more flavor.

Teas: in medicinal amounts for short periods of time to alleviate symptoms of cold and flu

DOSAGE

The typical oral dose of marjoram is one to two cups of the tea daily. Prepare the tea by steeping one to two teaspoons of the flower or leaf in one cup of boiling water for five minutes, and then strain. Marjoram can also be used as a poultice or mouthwash; consult with your physician for appropriate concentrations.

Child Dosage: Children should avoid it in amounts larger than those typically used in culinary applications.

SIDE EFFECTS & SAFETY

Marjoram is LIKELY SAFE in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts for short periods of time.

It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used long-term. There is some concern that marjoram could harm the liver and kidneys or cause cancer if used long-term.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use marjoram in medicinal amounts if you are pregnant. It might start your period, and that could threaten the pregnancy. Not enough is known about the safety of using it in medicinal amounts if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Do not give marjoram to children in medicinal amounts. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for them.

Bleeding disorders: Taking medicinal amounts of marjoram might slow clotting and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Allergy to basil, hyssop, lavender, mint, oregano, and sage: it can cause allergic reactions in people allergic to these plants and other members of the Lamiaceae family of plants.

Surgery: Taking medicinal amounts of marjoram might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using marjoram medicinally at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Lithium interacts with MARJORAM: it might have an effect like a water pill or “diuretic.” Taking marjoram might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

RECIPES

Spicy Roast Chicken With Tomatoes and Marjoram

Ingredients:

  • 24 ounces of cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups), stemmed
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. of chopped fresh marjoram
  • 4 pasture-raised chicken breast halves with ribs
  • Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Toss the tomatoes, coconut oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1 tablespoon of marjoram in a large bowl.
  3. Place the chicken slices on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Pour the mixture over the chickens, while arranging the tomatoes in a single layer on a sheet around the chickens.
  5. Sprinkle the chicken slices generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast until the chicken slices are cooked through and the tomatoes are blistered, for about 35 minutes.
  7. Transfer the chickens to plates.
  8. Spoon the tomatoes and juices over.
  9. Sprinkle the plates with the remaining 1 tablespoon of marjoram and serve.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjoram
  2. https://www.planttherapy.com/marjoram-sweet-essential-oil?v=256
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-563/marjoram
  4. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/721189/ORIGANUM_MAJORANA_%28SWEET_MARJORAM%29_LEAF_OIL/
  5. https://www.britannica.com/plant/marjoram
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/marjoram
  7. http://www.ejpmr.com/admin/assets/article_issue/1454479607.pdf
  8. https://articles.mercola.com/herbs-spices/marjoram.aspx
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292161091_Origanum_majorana_L_-Phyto-pharmacological_review
  10. https://plantvillage.psu.edu/topics/marjoram/infos
  11. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/CropOp/en/herbs/culinary/orega.html
  12. https://www.oils4life.co.uk/5ml-Marjoram-ORGANICessential-oil-Sweet-Origanum-Majorana-Leaf-Oil
  13. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/marjoram-oil.asp
  14. https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/herbs/marjoram/
  15. http://www.lindbergnutrition.com/ns/DisplayMonograph.asp?StoreID=1c7a08050b8f4419bffba945004ca5d1&DocID=bottomline-marjoram
  16. https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/origanum/majorana/
  17. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d828
  18. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Marjoram+leaf+(Origanum+majorana)&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30217790
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30210537
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30205180
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30138756
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29747749

Licorice Root

By The original uploader was Jeansef at French Wikipedia. – Transferred from fr.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2772919

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Common Names:  licorice root, licorice, liquorice, sweet root, gan cao, gan-zao, Chinese licorice

Latin Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis

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Liquorice (British English) or licorice (American English) is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a sweet flavor can be extracted. The liquorice plant is an herbaceous perennial legume native to southern Europe and parts of Asia, such as India. It is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are sources of similar flavoring compounds. Liquorice flavors are used as candies or sweeteners, particularly in some European and Middle Eastern countries.

Found in Mother Jai’s Heartburn Relief Tea, order yours below.

History of Licorice

The word “liquorice” is derived (via the Old French licoresse) from the Greek γλυκύρριζα (glukurrhiza), meaning “sweet root”, from γλυκύς (glukus), “sweet” and ῥίζα (rhiza), “root”, the name provided by Dioscorides. It is usually spelled “liquorice” in Commonwealth usage, but “licorice” in the United States.

It is one of the most widely used herbs worldwide and is the single most used herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine today. It was used by the Egyptians as a flavoring for a drink called Mai-sus, and large quantities were found in the tomb of King Tut for his trip into the afterlife. Pliny the Elder recommended it to clear the voice and alleviate thirst and hunger.

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Dioscides, when traveling with Alexander the Great, recommended that his troops carry and use it to help with stamina for long marches, as well as for thirst in areas of drought. In the Middle Ages it was taken to alleviate the negative effects of highly spicy or overcooked food.

It was also used for flavoring tobacco, and as a foaming agent in fire extinguishers and beer. In a recent survey of Western medical herbalists, licorice ranked as the 10th most important herb used in clinical practice.

G. glabra from Koehler’s Medicinal-Plants

An astonishing number of Chinese herbal formulas (over 5,000) use it to sweeten teas and to “harmonize” contrasting herbs. Its first documented use dates back to the time of the great Chinese herbal master Zhang Zhong Zhing, about 190 AD, but it was certainly used for many centuries prior to this.

In 1914 the Chicago Licorice Company began to sell Black Vines, the first in a very long line of licorice based modern candies.

Chemical Composition

The scent of this root comes from a complex and variable combination of compounds, of which anethole is up to 3% of total volatiles. Much of the sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizin, which has a sweet taste, 30–50 times the sweetness of sugar. The sweetness is very different from sugar, being less instant, tart, and lasting longer. The isoflavene glabrene and the isoflavane glabridin, found in the roots of liquorice, are phytoestrogens.

Medicinal Uses of Licorice Root

The chemicals contained in licorice are thought to decrease swelling, thin mucus secretions, decrease cough, and increase the chemicals in our body that heal ulcers.

It can be taken by mouth for various digestive system complaints including stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and ongoing inflammation of the lining of the stomach (chronic gastritis).

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Some people take licorice by mouth for sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and infections caused by bacteria or viruses.

Licorice is also taken by mouth for Addison’s disease, a type of diabetes caused by a hormone deficiency (diabetes insipidus), menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), liver disorders, malaria, tuberculosis, high potassium levels in the blood, food poisoning, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a condition in which there is too much muscle tone (hypertonia), abscesses, recovery after surgery, rash, high cholesterol.

It is recommended to treat respiratory problems. Taking licorice as an oral supplement can help the body produce healthy mucus. Increasing phlegm production may seem counter intuitive to a healthy bronchial system. However, the opposite is true. The production of clean, healthy phlegm keeps the respiratory system functioning without old, sticky mucus clogging it.

Licorice is sometimes taken by mouth along with the herbs Panax ginseng and Bupleurum falcatum to improve the function of the adrenal glands, especially in people who have taken steroid drugs long-term. Steroids tend to suppress the activity of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce important hormones that regulate the body’s response to stress.

Licorice is also taken by mouth in combination with peony to increase fertility in women with a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome, to treat people with abnormal levels of a hormone prolactin, for muscle cramps, and to reduce cancer pain. In combination with other herbs, licorice is also used to treat prostate cancer and the skin disorder known as eczema. Licorice is also taken in combination with andrographis, Siberian ginseng, and schisandra to treat familial Mediterranean fever. This hereditary condition is characterized by recurrent and painful swelling in the chest, stomach, or joints. A formulation containing licorice root along with slippery elm bark, lactulose, and oat bran has been used for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

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Some people use licorice as a shampoo to reduce oiliness in their hair. It is also applied as a gel for itchy, inflamed skin (eczema), as a solution to stop bleeding, as a patch in the mouth or as a gargle for canker sores, as a cream for psoriasis, weight loss, or a skin condition characterized by brown spots (melisma), as a gargle for recovery after surgery, and as a paste for dental plaque.

Licorice is used intravenously (by IV) to treat hepatitis B and C, as well as mouth sores (lichen planus) in people with hepatitis C.

Recovery after surgery. Research suggests that sucking on a single lozenge containing licorice (Sualin, Hamdard Pharma, India) beginning 30 minutes before having a tube inserted through the mouth into the trachea reduces cough following surgery by about 50%. Also, gargling with a licorice fluid before intubation reduces complications when the breathing tube is removed.

Bleeding. Early research suggests that applying a specific product containing alpinia, licorice, thyme, stinging nettle, and common grape vine (Ankaferd Blood Stopper, Mefar Ilaç Sanayi A.S., Istanbul, Turkey) to the skin reduces bleeding during surgery, but does not reduce time in surgery. Another early study suggests that applying the same product after dental surgery reduces bleeding.

Hepatitis. There is some evidence that certain components in licorice might be effective in treating hepatitis B and hepatitis C when given intravenously (by IV). Early research shows that using a specific IV product (Stronger Neominophagen C, Minophagen Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd) seems to reduce death by about 50%. However, the studies involved too few patients to draw firm conclusions.

High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking licorice root extract daily for 1 month reduces total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with high cholesterol.

High potassium levels. Some research suggests that certain components in licorice decrease potassium levels in people with diabetes or kidney problems.

Hot flashes during menopause. Some early research shows that taking licorice root extract can reduce the number and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women. But other early research shows that taking licorice root extract does not significantly reduce the number or intensity of hot flashes.

Muscle cramps. Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing licorice and peony (Shakuyaku-kanzo-to) might reduce muscle cramps in people with liver disease (hepatic cirrhosis) or in people undergoing treatment for kidney failure (hemodialysis).

Liver disease not associated with alcohol use (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease). Early research suggests that taking 2 grams of licorice root extract daily for 2 months reduces test markers of liver injury in patients with liver disease not caused by drinking alcohol.

Pain. Early research suggests that taking a combination of licorice root and peony root with Taiwanese tonic vegetable soup containing lily bulb, lotus seed, and jujube fruit reduces pain in cancer patients.

Psoriasis. Early evidence suggests that applying a cream containing licorice and milk to the skin for 4 weeks does not reduce the amount of standard therapy needed, but does seem to improve skin peeling in patients with psoriasis.

Weight loss. There is conflicting information about the use of licorice for weight loss. Licorice seems to reduce body fat. However, it causes water retention that can offset any change in body weight.Other research suggests that taking a specific licorice product (Glavonoid) daily for 8 weeks has no effect on weight or body fat.

Caution Must Be Taken with Licorice Root

Liquorice extracts have been used in herbalism and traditional medicine. Excessive consumption of liquorice (more than 2 mg/kg/day of pure glycyrrhizinic acid, a liquorice component) may result in adverse effects, such as hypokalemia, increased blood pressure, and muscle weakness.

The United States Food and Drug Administration believes that foods containing liquorice and its derivatives (including glycyrrhizin) are safe if not consumed excessively. Other jurisdictions have suggested no more than 100 mg to 200 mg of glycyrrhizin per day, the equivalent of about 70 to 150 g (2.5 to 5.3 oz) of liquorice. Liquorice should not be used during pregnancy.

An increase in intake of liquorice can cause many toxic effects. Hyper-mineralocorticosteroid syndrome can occur when the body retains sodium, loses potassium altering biochemical and hormonal activities. Some of these activities include lower aldosterone level, decline of the renin-angiotensin system and increased levels of the atrial natriuretic hormone in order to compensate the variations in homoeostasis.

Some other symptoms of toxicity include electrolyte imbalance, edema, increased blood pressure, weight gain, heart problems, and weakness. Individuals will experience certain symptoms based on the severity of toxicity. Some other complaints include fatigue, shortness of breath, renal failure, and paralysis.

By Pharaoh han – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30860013

Dosage and Forms

Liquid extract: Licorice extract is the most commonly found form of licorice. It’s used as a commercial sweetener in candies and beverages. Licorice extract consumption by an individual should not exceed 30 mg/mL of glycyrrhizic acid. Ingesting more could cause unwanted side effects.

Powder: Health food stores and online specialty retailers sell licorice powder. Combined with a gel base, it can become a topical ointment that clears the skin. In its powder form, licorice is especially helpful in treating eczema and acne. You can also pour the powder into vegetable capsules and ingest them orally. The recommended dosage of licorice root is less than 75 milligrams per day, according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

Tea: Licorice plant leaves, dried and crushed into a tea, have become popular. You can purchase these teas at supermarkets and health food stores. Teas are used to promote digestive, respiratory, and adrenal gland health. When you see herbal teas for “bronchial wellness” and “cleanse and detox,” they usually contain forms of licorice. The popular throat remedy known as Throat Coat tea is a combination of marshmallow root, licorice root, and elm bark. It’s not recommended that people ingest more than 8 ounces of licorice tea per day.

DGL: licorice with glycyrrhizin removed, which is a safer form. DGL should contain no more than 2 percent glycyrrhizin. This form is recommended for gastrointestinal symptoms as long-term intake may be needed. DGL is available in chewable tablets, capsules, tea, and powder. Consume no more than 5 grams of DGL per day.

References:

Lavender Oil

Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis)

Lavender is perhaps the most well-known of the essential oils and for good reason. Lavender essential oil is renowned for its many beneficial properties, including promoting calm, relaxation, and being a nervous tension reliever. It can also be added to a carrier oil to help reduce the appearance of scars and wrinkles and help soothe alterations in skin integrity, such as during sun exposure or a minor cooking burn.

Early and modern aromatherapy texts advocate for lavender’s use as an antibacterial essential oil. The leaves and stems of the plant were used to prepare decoctions against digestive system diseases and rheumatism, and lavender was valued for its cosmetic purposes. The Romans used lavender oil for bathing, cooking and purifying the air. And in the Bible, lavender oil was among the aromatics used for anointing and healing.

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You will find Lavender essential oil in many of Mother Jai’s products.

The proven health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, prevent acne, enhance blood circulation, and treat respiratory problems. Lavender oil is used extensively in aromatherapy and works as a natural sleep aid. Its potent antibacterial nature makes it a wonderful household cleanser and deodorant.

Lavender essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia), primarily through steam distillation. Lavender flowers are known for their calming fragrance and have been used for making potpourri for centuries. The Latin name of lavender is Lavare, which means “to wash”. This is because lavender flowers and lavender essential oil have been used since ancient times by the Romans, Persians, Greeks, and Egyptians as a bath additive and perfume.

Lavender essential oil is a pure oil and differs from certain commercial lavender oils which may be diluted and are often sold as perfumes. Lavender perfume and body sprays are popular due to their fresh and floral scent. On the other hand, pure lavender essential oil is frequently used in various forms including as an aromatherapy oil, in gels, infusions, lotions, soaps, baby products, and candles. It is also used to make tea, lemonades, syrups, aromatic beverages, and in baked dishes.

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Lavender (scientific name Lavandula angustifolia) is commonly contaminated with related species, including Lavandula hybrida, which is a cross between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia, from which lavandin oil is obtained.

PARTS USED: Flowering tops

EXTRACTION METHOD: Water-steam distilled

NOTE CLASSIFICATION: Middle

AROMA: Sweet, floral, herbaceous

BLENDS WELL WITH: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cedar Atlas, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Cistus / Labdanum, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mandarin, Sweet Marjoram, Oakmoss Absolute, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Ravensara aromatica, Rose, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Thyme, and Vetivert.

Major Constituents of Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil: Linalyl acetate, Linalool, (Z)-B-Ocimene, Lavandulyl acetate, Terpinene-4-ol, B-Caryophyllene, (E)-B-Farnesene, (E)-B-Ocimene, 3-Octanyl acetate, etc. See Essential Oil Safety for constituent breakdown for oils distilled from Lavender angustifolia grown in other regions.

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[E. Schmidt, The Characteristics of Lavender Oils from Eastern Europe. (Perfumer & Flavorist 28, 2003), 48-60. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 326.]

BENEFITS & USES OF LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL

Acne, allergies, anxiety, asthma, athlete’s foot, bruises, burns, chicken pox, colic, cuts, cystitis, depression, dermatitis, dysmenorrhea, earache, flatulence, headache, hypertension, insect bites, insect repellent, itching, labor pains, migraine, oily skin, rheumatism, scabies, scars, sores, sprains, strains, stress, stretch marks, vertigo, whooping cough. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.]

Aids in Digestion: Lavender oil is useful for digestion because it increases the mobility of food within the intestine. The oil also stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile, thus aiding in the treatment of indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Air Freshener: The same way you use lavender oil as a perfume, you can use it around your home as a natural, toxic-free air freshener. Either spray lavender oil around your home or try diffusing it. To create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom before you fall asleep, try spraying the lavender oil and water mixture directly onto your bed sheets or pillow.

Anti-bacterial: Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to a variety of diseases. Lavender has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that make it perfect for defending the body against rare diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria, according to early research in the 20th century.

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Antidepressant: Some research shows that lavender aromatherapy reduces depression after childbirth in some women.

Antioxidant Protection: Free radicals, like toxins, chemicals and pollutants, are arguably the most dangerous and most common risk factor for every disease that affects Americans today. Free radicals are responsible for shutting down your immune system and can cause unbelievable damage to your body. Thankfully, lavender essential oil is a natural antioxidant that works to prevent and reverse disease

Bug Repellent: The smell of lavender essential oil is potent for many types of bugs like mosquitoes, midges, and moths. Apply some lavender oil on the exposed skin when outside to prevent these irritating bites. Furthermore, if you do happen to be bitten by one of those bugs, lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that will reduce the irritation and the pain associated with bug bites.

Chemical Free Lip Balm: Lavender oil is excellent for preventing sunburns on the lips and also healing chapped, dried lips. Try adding a couple of drops of oil to shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil or another “carrier oil” and then rubbing it into your lips for protection whenever you will be in the sun.

Colic Relief in Babies: through its pain relieving and anti-anxiety benefits, babies with colic experience calming relief when applied to the feet or diffused in the room. Results from one small study show that massaging a combination of lavender and almond oils onto the belly of infants for 5-15 minutes at the onset of colic reduces crying time by about 7 hours per week.

Complementary Cancer Therapy: A 2012 study published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines shows that aromatherapy, particularly using lavender oil, helps patients with cancer cope with stress, nausea, chronic pain and depression. Because lavender oil works to stimulate the immune system, boost mood, improve sleep and fight stress, it can be used as a therapeutic agent.

There is a significant research on the effects of lavender, in combination with other essential oils, as a way to prevent the occurrence of breast cancer in mice. This could be an indication of an increased chance of lavender battling carcinogenic effects and the presence of cancer.

Massaging lavender oil into the back of your neck, chest, wrists and temples can induce relaxing and calming effects. If you are experiencing muscle or joint pain, or pain at the site of injections, apply 2–3 drops of lavender to the affected area.

Dementia Support: because lavender improves circulation and has strong antioxidant benefits the chances of developing dementia are reduced. It can also help to improve events and their longevity when patients have dementia. Some research shows that using lavender oil in a diffuser at night reduces agitation in people with dementia.

Diabetes Natural Treatment:  In a nutshell, lavender essential oil treatment protected the body from the following diabetes symptoms:

  • Increased blood glucose (the hallmark of diabetes)
  • Metabolic disorders (especially fat metabolism)
  • Weight gain
  • Liver and kidney antioxidant depletion
  • Liver and kidney dysfunction
  • Liver and kidney lipoperoxidation (when free radicals “steal” necessary fat molecules from cell membranes)

Ear Infections: Early research shows that administering ear drops containing lavender and other herbal extracts improves ear pain in people with ear infections. However, this herbal combination does not appear to be more effective than using a skin-numbing agent along with the antibiotic amoxicillin.

Fall Prevention: There is some evidence that attaching a pad with lavender oil onto the neckline of clothing reduces the risk of falling by 43% in nursing home residents.

Flavor Booster: Lavender is a great flavor enhancer in things like grain-free muffins, teas and even salad dressings. Lavender oil is completely edible, but you will want to use a very small amount since the taste is very powerful. You’ll also want to purchase only a high-quality, 100 percent pure grade oil from a reputable company.

Heals Cuts & Burns: Widely known for its antimicrobial properties, for centuries lavender oil has been used to prevent various infections and combat bacterial and fungal disorders. Research shows that lavender oil speeds the healing of burns, cuts, scrapes and wounds — and a big part of this is because of its antimicrobial compounds.

A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine evaluated how lavender’s antimicrobial ability is enhanced when it’s blended with other essential oils, like clove, cinnamon and tea tree oil. Researchers found that a 1:1 ratio of these oils was found to be the most effective in fighting against Candida albicans and Staph aureus — two common causes of many fungal and bacterial infections that lead to respiratory pneumonia and skin funguses.

A 2016 study conducted on rats found that lavender oil promoted wound healing in the early phase by accelerating the formation of granulation tissue (tissue from the healing surface of the skin) and promoting collagen synthesis. The area of wounds treated with lavender oil was significantly decreased compared to the control group.

Healthy Skin & Hair: Most likely due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics, lavender essential oil mixed with a carrier oil (like coconut, sunflower, or grapeseed oil) has profound benefits on your skin. Using lavender oil topically can help to improve a number of skin conditions, from canker sores to allergic reactions, acne and age spots. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to ease skin conditions and reverse signs of aging.

Studies also show that lavender oil, along with other essential oils like thyme, rosemary and cedarwood, can significantly improve alopecia areata and hair loss when massaged into the scalp daily.

Improves Blood Circulation: Lavender essential oil is also good for improving the circulation of blood in the body. Researchers from the Department of Cardiovascular Science and Medicine, Chiba University in Japan suggests that aromatherapy using lavender oil has beneficial effects on coronary circulation. It also lowers blood pressure and is often used as a treatment for hypertension. This means that not only do the organs increase their levels of oxygenation, promoting muscle strength and health, but brain activity can have a noticeable boost, skin remains bright and flushed with blood, and the body is protected from the risks of heart attack and atherosclerosis often associated with poor blood circulation.

Early research shows that using an essential oil mixture of lavender, lemon, and ylang ylang as aromatherapy might reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number) but not diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) in people with high blood pressure.

Induces Sleep: Because of lavender oil’s sedative and calming properties, it works to improve sleep and treat insomnia. A 2015 study involving 158 mothers in their postpartum period were divided into the control or intervention group. The intervention group inhaled lavender oil before bed four times a week for eight weeks. The women using lavender oil displayed a significant improvement in sleep quality when compared to the control group.

Early research shows that using lavender oil in a vaporizer overnight, or on a gauze pad left beside the bed, might help some people with mild insomnia sleep better.

A mixture of lavender oil, Roman chamomile essential oil and magnesium oil is the best combination for improving sleep. Just rub this mixture into the back of your neck and wrists to induce a calm, peaceful feeling.

Lice Deterrent: it has been shown to be very effective on lice, lice eggs, and nits.

Mouth Sores: Research shows that applying 2 drops of lavender oil to the affected area three times daily can reduce canker sore swelling and pain and shorten the time it takes for canker sores to heal.

Natural Perfume: Do you want to smell good without using toxic perfumes? Lavender oil is a great scent for both women and men. You can either try adding pure oil directly to your skin, or you can dilute oil in water or with a carrier oil for a more subtle scent.

If you’d like to rub the oil right onto your skin, try adding 2–3 drops into your palms and then rubbing your hands together. Then rub the oil directly onto your skin or hair. You can also try using 2 drops of lavender oil added to a spray bottle with about ½ cup of water. Shake up the spray bottle and then spray whatever you’d like.

Neuroprotective Effect: A study published in Brain Research (February 2014) showed that lavender oil has the potential to reduce brain edema and improve functional ability in people affected by cerebral ischemia. While lavender has traditionally been used in many cosmetic and therapeutic applications due to medicinal properties, this study confirms that lavender oil has potent neuroprotective properties. Furthermore, the oil helps increase antioxidant capacity in the body and inhibits oxidative stress.

Promotes Wound Healing: Lavender essential oil is an excellent essential oil to have on hand as it helps treat minor cuts, bruises, and burns. According to a 2016 study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal, the essential oil boosts the synthesis of collagen and heals skin tissues. Just rub a few drops of lavender essential oil on the bruised area or on burns to increase blood circulation and healing. It can also be used to soothe skin irritations, razor bumps, and sunburn.

Relieves Headaches: It’s one of the best essential oils for headaches because it induces relaxation and relieves tension. It works as a sedative, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and calming agent. According to a study published in European Neurology, people struggling with migraine headaches saw a significant reduction in pain when they inhaled lavender oil for 15 minutes.

Relieves Pain: Lavender essential oil is known as an excellent remedy for various types of pains including those caused by sore and tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache, and lumbago.

Several studies have found that lavender oil helps as a natural painkiller. Simply rubbing lavender into the area of concern can reduce inflammation and pain intensity, helping to alleviate the symptoms of many health conditions.

Another study, published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that a combination of lavender, marjoram, peppermint and black pepper essential oils improved neck pain when applied to the affected area daily.

And yet another recent study proved that lavender oil, when massaged into the skin, can help to relieve dysmenorrhea, which is associated with menstrual pain and cramping in the lower abdomen. The results of this study suggest that lavender oil can be used as a natural remedy for PMS and menstrual cramps.

Relieves Stress & Anxiety:  In 2013, an evidence-based study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice found that supplementing with 80 milligram capsules of lavender essential oil alleviates anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression. Additionally, in the study there were no adverse side effects, drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms from using lavender oil.

The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology published a human study in 2014 that revealed that Silexan (otherwise known as lavender oil preparation) was more effective against generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) than placebos and the prescription medicine paroxetine. After treatment, the study found zero instances of withdrawal symptoms or adverse side effects.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): One study shows that massaging the legs with lavender oil for 10 minutes twice weekly can reduce the severity of restless legs syndrome in people with kidney failure who are undergoing dialysis.

Stimulates Urine Flow: Lavender essential oil is good for urinary disorders because of its stimulating effect on urine production. Furthermore, it helps in restoring hormonal balance and reducing cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces associated cramps with these and other disorders.

Stomach Discomfort: Many people find the scent of lavender to be soothing to the stomach. If you are feeling nauseous or know that you are going to be traveling in a car of plane and are prone to motion sickness, spray some lavender oil on your skin and clothes, or rub it into your temples, next and palms.

Supports Brain Function: Research also shows that lavender oil serves as a natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease! Studies conducted on rats show that inhaling lavender essential oil vapor can help to prevent brain oxidative stress and improve cognitive impairment.

Also, in 2012, the Swiss journal Molecules printed the results of a study that shockingly proved that lavender oil is a viable treatment option for neurological dysfunctions such as stroke. Researchers believe that lavender’s neuroprotective effects are due to its antioxidant properties.

Treats Acne: Pure lavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial acne infection, helps to regulate the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing.

Treats Eczema: Premium organic lavender oil is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it improves the formation of scar tissues. It is also added to chamomile to treat eczema.

Treats Respiratory Disorders: Lavender oil is widely used for various respiratory problems including throat infection, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. It can be put in in an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser or alternatively, it can be topically applied to the skin of neck, chest, and back. It is also added to many vaporizers and inhalers that are commonly used for cold and cough. The stimulating nature of lavender essential oil can also loosen up the phlegm and relieve congestion associated with respiratory conditions, thus speeding up the recovery process and helping the body naturally eliminate phlegm and other unwanted material. The vapor of lavender essential oil also has antibacterial qualities which can battle respiratory tract infections.

LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL SIDE EFFECTS & PRECAUTIONS

For most people, lavender oil benefits are all that you’ll experience and using lavender oil is completely safe; however, there has not been an extensive amount of scientific research done on lavender oil interactions with other medications, or for its use in pregnant women, so there are certain situations where you will want to use caution.

Medication Interactions: If you are already taking any prescription medication for sleep-related disorders or for depression, be cautious of the fact that lavender can increase the effectiveness of these medications. Even if you use an over-the-counter sleep aid or any type of sedatives (even cough or flu medicine), keep in mind that lavender makes many people sleepy and even somewhat drowsy, so it’s best to not combine lavender oil with other medications or sleep-related supplements. If you are planning on undergoing anesthesia in the near future, you will also want to avoid using lavender oil.

Pregnant Women: Lavender oil is generally considered safe for women who are pregnant and nursing. Because it can have a relaxing effect on muscles and can also affect hormone levels, use lavender with caution in your third trimester. It’s best to speak with your doctor about use of any essential oils when pregnant, since it has not been guaranteed that these are safe at this time.

Children: Lavender oil is considered generally safe for children to use, although there is some concern that lavender’s effect on hormone levels could be harmful for boys who have not yet gone through puberty. Although there isn’t strong evidence for lavender being a hormone disrupter (only 1–2 very small studies were ever completed), parents are told to use caution if using lavender oil frequently on young children.

Ingesting Lavender Oil: Studies have primarily looked at the effects of using lavender oil topically on the skin or through inhalation. There have been no negative symptoms found when three drops of oil are mixed with a carrier oil and applied directly to the skin. A 2013 evidence-based article, however, highlighted that lavender can be ingested at a large dose of 80 to 160 milligrams without adverse effects, except for minor gastrointestinal symptoms. To avoid gastrointestinal irritation, keep internal use to a minimum and be careful if you have a sensitive digestive system. There are no known food interactions of lavender oil at this time.

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