Hops Flower

Hops Flower (Humulus lupulus)

Also known as:  Houblon, Pliny the Elder, Lupulin

Parts Used:  Flowers (female), fruit (strobiles), leaves

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Systems/Organs affected:  brain, stomach, nervous system, heart, liver, digestive, respiratory, gall bladder, hormonal, pancreas, urinary

Properties:  febrifuge, nervine, anodyne, bitter tonic, sedative, hypnotic, diuretic, anthelmintic, astringent, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, cholagogue, lithotriptic, aperient, anaphrodisiac, stimulant, estrogenic, expectorant, anti-carcinogenic, galactogogue

Hops is a member of the Cannabaceae (Cannabis) family and a distant relative of marijuana.  That, in and of itself, is amazing.  It is a vigorous plant native to Europe but now cultivated all over the globe.  It has stout, hairy stems that allow it to climb up to 26 feet!  It is a dioecious perennial (meaning it has both male and female flowers) that has a dark, green, heart-shaped leaves with toothed edges.  The female hop flowers form strobiles (a kind of vining axis of bracts and stipules) that zigzag.  Each branch has a bract which bears a pair of stipules which holds another 4-6 bracts, each holding a flower.  When harvesting, the aerial portion of the plant is cut and the roots left in the ground to produce a new crop the following year.  The root stock can live to be up to 50 years old.  The best time to harvest in this region is between August and September when the flowers turn a rusty brown and have a yellowish powder on them.  Hops should be dried immediately and then refrigerated until used as the bitter components in the plant break down quickly (between 50-70% in 6 months).

You will find Hops Flowers in Mother Jai’s Relax & Sleep Tea

The Anglo-Saxons referred to hops as ‘hoppari’ which means ‘to climb’.  Humulus comes from the Slavic word ‘chmele’ which the Romans then changed to the Latin ‘lupulus’ which means ‘wolf’ or ‘small wolf’.  The Romans believe hops would strangle the plants they climbed, similar to how a wolf kills its prey.  Pliny consumed the young shoots in spring much like the country folk of England still do today; apparently it is much like asparagus and the young tops were bundled and brought to market to sell.

Earlier practitioners stated that oil of hops would restore even a bald head to full hair.  Mesue the Younger (around 1000-1015), an Arabic practitioner, wrote that hops reduced fevers, purified the blood, purged yellow bile from the body and is responsible for 17 different anti-inflammatory effects.  Other Arab physicians also spoke of it being a digestive bitter.  In Ayurvedic medicine hops is used to alleviate headaches, nervous tension and indigestion.  King Wencelas IV incorporated hops into his coat of arms in recognition of its rejuvenating effects.  (He recommended taking a cold brew sludge bath).  Our Native Americans have long used hops for a host of conditions.  The Fox and Delaware tribes used it as a sleep agent and for relaxation (the Delaware also used it for toothaches and earaches).  The Cherokee used it as a sedative, analgesic, for kidney and bladder stone, as an anti-rheumatic and to help with uterine and breast-related issues.  The Dakota used it for gastrointestinal problems and for wound healing while the Navajo used it for colds and coughs.

Hops contains a powerful antioxidant called xanthohumol.  It has a very high scavenging rate against peroxyl radicals which are one of the most common reactive oxygen species in the body.  In vitro tests on this substance have found it to be anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative (prevents the spread of malignant cells into surrounding tissues), decreases plasma glucose and lipid levels, is antimutagenic, anti-carcinogenic and may be important in diabetes.

Hops contains isohumulones, another amazing compound found to reduce insulin resistance.  A randomized study of 20 volunteers with mild type 2 diabetes found their hemoglobin AIC’s and blood glucose levels significantly decreased after eight weeks on isohumulones (100 mg twice daily).  Another such study on 94 patients found a marked decrease in overall body fat after 12 weeks of supplementation (48 mg).  Other research indicates hops may be used for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism and osteoarthritis.  Xanthohumol is under study for its use against both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and the Linus Pauling Institute has shown recently that is is active against ovarian, breast and colon cancers (at least in a lab).  They believe it also may help to prevent prostate cancer. 

Uses & Effectiveness

Body odor. Early research suggests that applying a deodorant that contains hops and a specific zinc salt to the underarm can reduce body odor.

Insomnia. Some research suggests that taking a combination of hops extract plus valerian extract at bedtime helps some people fall asleep faster. It appears to take 28 days of treatment to see these benefits. However, a combination of valerian extract and hops extract seems to improve sleep quality similarly to bromazepam (Lexotanil) when taken for only 14 days. Sleep quality does not appear to be improved by taking a combination of hops, soya oil, soya lecithin, and Cannabis sativa (Cyclamax) for one month.

Menopausal symptoms. Early research suggests that taking hops extract daily does not improve menopausal symptoms after 8-12 weeks of treatment. However, it might improve the severity of hot flashes after 6 weeks of treatment.

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Postmenopausal conditions. Some research suggests that applying 1-2 grams of a vaginal gel that contains hops, hyaluronic acid, liposomes, and vitamin E can reduce vaginal dryness, burning, itching, and rash in postmenopausal women.

Leg ulcers. Early research suggests that applying a cream containing bladderwrack, English ivy, horse chestnut, gotu kola, butcher’s broom, horsetail, and hops (Idrastin), together with compression therapy, might help decrease pain and inflammation in people with leg ulcers and poor blood circulation in the legs.

Dosage and Administration

In tablets and capsules form the usual dosages of hops is 500mg. As an infusion, drink one cup in the evening to aid sleep.

Tincture, take 20 drops in a glass of water 3 times daily for anxiety or 10 drops with water up to 5 times daily for digestion.

Commercial preparations of hops can vary from product to product so the manufacturer’s directions should be followed whenever available.

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WebMD states that hops are considered likely to be safe for most people.  However, they caution pregnant and nursing women against using it.  They also state if you are depressed, have hormone sensitive cancers (such as breast cancer or endometriosis) or are due for surgery to avoid hops as it can worsen depression and may cause too much sleepiness when combined with anesthesia.  Stop taking hops at least two weeks before any surgical procedure. 

Hops also is contraindicated if you are taking the following medications:

      anti-anxiety drugs             anti-seizure medications          antihistamines

      muscle relaxants               antibiotics                               anti-fungal drugs

      antidepressants                 anti-psychotics                        sedatives

      tranquilizers                      narcotic pain medications        gastrointestinal drugs

Some people may experience an allergy to hops, which would manifest as itching, dizziness, swelling, rashes, dry cough, blood sugar fluctuations, respiratory issues, delayed thinking, etc.  As always consult a physician before starting any herbal product or regimen.

Benefits of Hops Tea

Hops is a plant rich in nutrients, making each cup you drink a healthy and nutritious beverage.

It contains vitamins A, B-complex, and B3; minerals such as calcium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium and zinc. Hops also contains volatile oils, valerianic acid, tannins, flavonoids, estrogenic substances, resin, lupulone and humulene.

All these components are blended in yoru cup of tea to bring you the following benefits.

Calming Tea

Hops tea is best known for its positive effects of the nerves. A cup of this tea is said to calm nerves and reduce anxiety feelings. It is said to strengthen and tone the nervous system, helping to bring relief from nervous non-psychiatric disorders, such as hysteria.

It has also been used to promote restful sleep, calming the mind and thus fighting insomnia. Hops herbal tea should be helpful for those who tend to wake several times during the night and are light sleepers.

Tip: take a cup of this tea at night and then prepare a comfortable bed in a room that is neither too hot nor too cold and then avoid watching TV or any device and just let yourself relax. Some people even put pouches with hops under their pillow to induce sleep. Give it a try!

This calming tea may also help to soothe pain, reducing muscle spasms and painful cramps. Its sedative properties help to treat headaches and migraines relieving tension in the brain and nervous system.

It is said to help reduce sexual excitation, calming and balancing excessive sexual drive and reducing libido. Hops herbal tea may also help to inhibit cravings, helping smokers to remain calm while quitting their habit.

Digestive Aid

Taking hops tea may help improve your digestion. Its bitter properties help stimulate stomach juices and boost your metabolic rate. This could help you when you suffer from indigestion or heartburn. Its calming features also soothe digestive problems due to nerves and stress.

Hops tea may even help improve your appetite, relieving burping, soothing peptic ulcers and helping your stomach to remain calm as you enjoy your meals.

This herbal tea may also treat intestinal issues such as constipation, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, calming spasmodic action in the colon. It may get rid of the harmful elements and parasites that could be causing flatulence or even diarrhea.

Infection Fighter and Detox Tea

Hops tea may prove to be a great tea when you are suffering from a bladder infection. It is said to help relieve the pain caused by this infection. It may help fight the infection in the sense that it is said to help eliminate toxins in the body and get rid of harmful bacteria.

You may take this tea as a detoxifying agent, helping the body to eliminate wasteful elements, clearing away causes of inflammation. It is said to cleanse the blood, lowering levels of sugar in the blood, and it may also act as a diuretic reducing fluid retention.

Its bacterial action may also be useful when you need to soothe a sore throat or treat other chest problems. Its antioxidant properties may help boost your immune system, preventing these diseases from occurring as well as possibly fighting the onset of tumors.

Female Tonic Tea

Hops tea is ideal for women who are going through menopause. This female tonic may help calm nerves and mind, while at the same time relieving symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and insomnia. This herbal infusion contains the natural estrogens you may need at this time.

Tip: blend this herb with black cohosh for fighting these symptoms.

For nursing mothers, this tea is said to help boost the supply of breast milk. However, it is not advisable to take this tea while breastfeeding unless recommended by your doctor. Monitor your baby’s reactions carefully.

The presence of estrogens in this herbal infusion may also prove to be helpful for when who suffer from constant menstrual problems. If your checkup has not revealed any serious problems, then ask your doctor about drinking this tea to help soothe PMS and bring balance to your hormones.

External Use

Applied topically, hops tea may be good for your skin, keeping it healthy and clean. It may be used for its antiseptic action to clear and heal sores, wounds and other skin injuries.

Soak a towel in warm hops tea and apply to the inflamed area for a calming and healing action that could even help relieve pain associated with arthritis.

After a long day, soak your feet in a foot bath infused with hops to clear away any possible harmful agents while helping to rest our tired feet and improving the skin.

References:

  1. http://theherbhound.blogspot.com/2016/07/hops.html
  2. https://www.therighttea.com/hops-tea.html
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-856/hops
  4. https://healthyfocus.org/benefits-of-hops/
  5. http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/surprising-benefits-of-hops-for-skin-hair-and-health/
  6. https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/allergy-asthma/health-benefits-of-hops/
  7. https://www.thesleepdoctor.com/2017/06/19/understanding-valerian-hops-how-valerian-and-hops-can-help-you-de-stress-relax-and-sleep-better/
  8. https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/hops-humulus-lupulus.html
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/humulus-lupulus
  10. https://www.amazon.com/Cascade-Hop-Pellets-Home-Brewing/dp/B000MGYRHE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1469674683&sr=8-3&keywords=hops
  11. https://www.amazon.com/Love-Hops-Practical-Bitterness-Elements/dp/1938469011/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1469674707&sr=8-4&keywords=hops
  12. https://www.amazon.com/Herb-Pharm-Certified-Organic-Extract/dp/B0014AUH8U/ref=sr_1_6_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1469674731&sr=8-6&keywords=hops
  13. https://www.amazon.com/Hop-Growers-Handbook-Sustainable-Small-Scale/dp/1603585559/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1469674731&sr=8-10&keywords=hops
  14. https://www.amazon.com/100-HOPS-Develops-Rhizomes-MySeeds-Co/dp/B00KLIYW50/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1469674731&sr=8-11&keywords=hops
  15. https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Way-Flowers-310mg-Capsules/dp/B000Z8YK6C/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1469674810&sr=8-2&keywords=hops
  16. https://www.amazon.com/Hop-Variety-Handbook-Create-Better/dp/1475265050/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1469674845&sr=8-14&keywords=hops
  17. https://www.amazon.com/Starwest-Botanicals-STARWEST-BOTANICALS-Flowers/dp/B002DY3F8U/ref=sr_1_22_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1469674870&sr=8-22&keywords=hops
  18. https://www.amazon.com/Estro-Balance-Capsules-8-prenylnaringenin-Menopause/dp/B00OJFFVM4/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1469674924&sr=8-1&keywords=hops+8+PN
  19. https://www.drvitaminsolutions.com/Diabetes-Defense-with-Isohumulone/
  20. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213434415000134
  21. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/content/catalog/xanthohumol-hop-extract-supplement.html

Ginger Oil

Ginger Root Essential Oil (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine. It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual pseudostems (false stems made of the rolled bases of leaves) about a meter tall bearing narrow leaf blades. The inflorescences bear pale yellow with purple flowers and arise directly from the rhizome on separate shoots. Ginger is in the family Zingiberaceae, to which also belong turmeric (Curcuma longa), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), and galangal.

Ginger produces clusters of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers. Because of its aesthetic appeal and the adaptation of the plant to warm climates, it is often used as landscaping around subtropical homes. It is a perennial reed-like plant with annual leafy stems, about a meter (3 to 4 feet) tall. Traditionally, the rhizome is gathered when the stalk withers; it is immediately scalded, or washed and scraped, to kill it and prevent sprouting. The fragrant perisperm of the Zingiberaceae is used as sweetmeats by Bantu, and also as a condiment and sialagogue.

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Ginger originated in the tropical rainforests from the Indian subcontinent to Southern Asia where ginger plants show considerable genetic variation. As one of the first spices exported from the Orient, ginger arrived in Europe during the spice trade, and was used by ancient Greeks and Romans. The distantly related dicots in the genus Asarum are commonly called wild ginger because of their similar taste.

You will find Ginger Oil in Mother Jai’s Aroma Sprays and Body Oils.

The characteristic fragrance and flavor of ginger result from volatile oils that compose 1-3% of the weight of fresh ginger, primarily consisting of zingerone, shogaols and gingerols with [6]-gingerol (1-[4′-hydroxy-3′-methoxyphenyl]-5-hydroxy-3-decanone) as the major pungent compound. Zingerone is produced from gingerols during drying, having lower pungency and a spicy-sweet aroma.

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Raw ginger is composed of 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat. In 100 grams (a standard amount used to compare with other foods), raw ginger supplies 80 Calories and contains moderate amounts of vitamin B6 (12% of the Daily Value, DV) and the dietary minerals, magnesium (12% DV) and manganese (11% DV), but otherwise is low in nutrient content.

The chemical composition of the essential oil obtained from the rhizomes of Zingiber officinale Roscoe from Cuba was examined by combined GC and GC/MS. The oil was characterized by the presence of ar-curcumene (22.1%), zingiberene (11.7%), β-bisabolene (11.2%) and cadina-1,4-diene (12.5%).

Blending: Ginger oil blends well with many other essential oils including lemon, cedarwood, lime, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, rosemary, sandalwood, patchouli, myrtle, bergamot, rosewood, neroli, orange, and ylang-ylang.

Health Benefits Of Ginger Root Essential Oil (OrganicFacts.net)

Relieves Stomach Issues – Ginger root oil is one of the best remedies for indigestion, stomach ache, dyspepsia, colic, spasms, diarrhea, flatulence, and other stomach and bowel related problems. Ginger or ginger oil is often added to recipes, especially in India, as it helps in improving digestion. Ginger tea is also used for relieving stomach problems. Furthermore, it can increase your appetite, which is great for people who are trying to put on weight.

Treats Food Poisoning – Ginger oil is an antiseptic and carminative substance. As a result, it can be used to treat food poisoning. It is also used for treating intestinal infections and bacterial dysentery.

Effective Against Nausea – Research has shown that ginger root and its oil are also effective against nausea, motion sickness, and vomiting. Use of ginger may also result in a reduction of pregnancy-related vomiting in women.

Protects Against Malaria – Ginger root and ginger oil are effective against yellow fever and malaria as they have mosquito repelling qualities.

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Treats Respiratory disorders – Ginger root and ginger oil are both good expectorants, so they are effective in treating respiratory problems such as cold, cough, flu, asthma, bronchitis, and breathlessness. Ginger is very effective in removing mucus from the throat and lungs, so it is often added to tea. The health benefits of honey and ginger in treating respiratory problems are also well-known.

Reduces Inflammation – Ginger oil or ginger paste is often topically massaged on aching muscles to remove muscle strain. It is further believed that regular use of ginger leads to the reduction of prostaglandins, which are the compounds associated with pain. Therefore, ginger helps in pain relief. Recently, a few Chinese researchers have reported that ginger can be very effective in treating inflammation of the testicles.

The extract of ginger is often used in traditional medicine to reduce inflammation. Research has now proven that its anti-inflammatory properties can be attributed to the presence of a substance named zingibain. It is analgesic in nature and reduces the pain caused by muscle aches, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, headaches, and migraines.

Treats Menstrual Issues – Irregular and painful menstrual discharges can be treated with ginger root oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the production of prostaglandins, which often cause painful uterine contractions during menstruation.

Protects Heart Health – In China, it is strongly believed that ginger boosts your heart health. Many people use ginger oil as a measure to prevent as well as cure various heart conditions. Preliminary research has indicated that ginger may be helpful in reducing cholesterol levels and preventing blood clots. With reduced cholesterol levels and blood clotting, the chance of blood vessel blockage decreases, thereby reducing the incidences of heart attacks and strokes.

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Lowers Stress – Ginger oil, being an essential oil, is stimulating and therefore, relieves depression, mental stress, exhaustion, dizziness, restlessness, and anxiety.

Eliminates Impotency – Ginger is helpful for male health as well. Since ginger root and its oil are an aphrodisiac in nature, they are effective in eliminating impotency and preventing premature ejaculation.

Dissolves Kidney Stones – It is also believed that ginger root juice is able to dissolve kidney stones. Ginger root oil aids in keeping you hydrated thereby helping in expelling the stones, if there are any.

Hair Care – Ginger oil is rich in minerals, which aid in hair care. Also, it helps get rid of the dry, itchy scalp, which is often a major cause of dandruff. The oil’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties also assist you in keeping the scalp clean and healthy.

Word of Caution: It should be noted that ginger oil is very strong and should, therefore, be used carefully and sparingly.

Research on Ginger

Ginger has been used for stomach upset, motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting. Some herbal/diet supplement products have been found to contain possibly harmful impurities/additives. Check with your pharmacist for more details about the particular brand you use. The FDA has not reviewed this product for safety or effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Rheumatoid Arthritis – various phytochemical constituents of ginger have potential therapeutic roles in amelioration of RA symptoms and even possibly RA itself. It is expected that further elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind the action of these phytochemicals not only can lead to discovery of new drugs for symptomatic relief of RA conditions like inflammation and pain, but also may make it possible to stop further progress or even reverse the damage caused by RA.

Motion Sickness – Ginger works by blocking the effects of serotonin, a chemical produced by the brain and stomach when a patient is nauseated. In a recent study, ginger was equally as effective in relieving motion sickness as Dramamine.

Morning Sickness – During pregnancy, approximately 70-80% of women experience nausea and vomiting. Many new studies have taken a therapeutic approach to treat pregnancy induced sickness. Ginger has a long history of pharmaceutical application, especially in China, Japan, and India. According to the results, ginger is a simple, accessible and convenient approach to gestational nausea.

Although Zingiber officinale (ginger) has been used for centuries among Asian cultures as an antiemetic, research directly assessing the effects of this herb in a variety of clinical as well as animal models remains sparse.  In those few studies reported, however, ginger has been shown to attenuate symptoms of nausea and vomiting in both clinical and laboratory settings.

Chemotherapy – In a double-blind study of women being treated for breast cancer, 500 mg of powered ginger was administered twice a day for three days. This benefited those patients experiencing nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.

Dental Health – Orally, studies have demonstrated that gingerol, a compound in ginger, poses both antiviral and antifungal agents that promote salivary flow and reduce oral candidiasis.

Liver Health – Zingiber officinale acts as a nutraceutical agent against liver fibrosis.

Pain Relief – the available data provide tentative support for the anti-inflammatory role of Z. officinale constituents, which may reduce the subjective experience of pain in some conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Antimicrobial Activity – Zingiber officinale possesses remarkable antimicrobial activity, which is mainly due to naphthalenamine, decanal, and alfa.-copaene. According to these findings, it could be said that the methanolic extract act as antibacterial agents.

Anticancer Activity – Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is widely used all over the world as a spice and condiment in daily cooking. It is a natural food component with many active phenolic compounds such as shagaol and gingerol, and it has been shown to have anti-cancer and antioxidant effects. Ginger extract was able to reduce the incidence of liver neoplasms in rats, this is the first study reporting that the anti-cancer effect exhibited by ginger on liver cancer cells is mediated by inflammatory markers NFκB and TNF-α. Thus, the ginger extract may have a chemotherapeutic effect in the treatment of liver cancer.

Ginger’s pungent components offer powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, making it useful in arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The active compound responsible for this effect is zingibain, an enzyme that counteracts inflammation. The active compounds contained in ginger are divided into two groups: volatile essential oils and fragrant or harsh phenol compounds. Among these volatile essential components, which constitute gingerol and shagelol have been accounted for antimicrobial activity of ginger.

Lowering Cholesterol – The ginger extract has reduced in serum LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids levels, as well as cellular cholesterol accumulation, reduce DPPH absorption, scavenge free radicals and it has potential to improve the histopathological lesion occurring in different layers of the arterial tissue. In the other word it is effective in attenuating of atherosclerosis development.

Hypertension – Adults who consume ginger daily have an 8 percent lower risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure). A 2005 study found ginger may lower blood pressure through blockade of voltage-dependent calcium channels.

Side Effects of Ginger

Burning feeling in mouth/throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or heartburn may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these very unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual bleeding/bruising, unusual drowsiness, irregular heartbeat. A very serious allergic reaction to ginger is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Before taking ginger, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: bleeding problems, diabetes, gallstones, heart problems. This product might contain aristolochic acid, which can cause serious problems in the kidneys or urinary system (e.g., renal fibrosis, urinary tract cancer). Symptoms include an unusual change in the amount of urine or blood in the urine. Consult your pharmacist for more details about the contents of this ginger product. Liquid forms of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely. During pregnancy, this product should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Before using ginger, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: medications/herbal products that may increase your risk of bleeding (e.g., “blood thinners” such as warfarin and heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel and ticlopidine, herbs such as danshen/garlic). Aspirin may also increase the risk of bleeding when used with this product. If your doctor has prescribed low doses of aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue to take the aspirin. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Rosemary Ginger Oil

Recipes

How to Make Ginger Oil Infusion

Materials:

  • Fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • Oven-safe bowl
  • Cheese grater

Procedure:

  1. Rinse a cup of fresh ginger, including the skin, thoroughly, and let dry for a few hours.
  2. Pour the olive oil in an oven-safe bowl.
  3. Chop the ginger and then shred using a clean cheese grater. Add to the olive oil and mix well.
  4. Put the mixture in the oven and leave it to simmer under low heat (150 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least two hours.
  5. Pour the mixture through an unbleached cheese cloth to filter it and take out the bits of ginger. Once all the oil has been filtered, squeeze out the remaining oil from the cheese cloth.
  6. Transfer the ginger oil into clean vials or bottles and store in a cool dry place.

This ginger oil infusion can stay fresh for up to six months.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger
  2. https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/ginger-root.html
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/ginger-root-oil.html
  4. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/lemon-ginger-tea.html
  5. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/ginger-oil.aspx
  6. https://drericz.com/benefits-of-ginger-essential-oil/
  7. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/ginger-oil.asp
  8. https://www.livestrong.com/article/128211-benefits-ginger-oil/
  9. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-92766/ginger-oil-oral/details
  10. https://draxe.com/ginger-essential-oil/
  11. https://draxe.com/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/
  12. https://draxe.com/ginger-root-benefits/
  13. https://draxe.com/ginger-tea-benefits/
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  17. http://www.orientjchem.org/vol32no2/antibacterial-effect-of-ginger-zingiber-officinale-roscoe-and-bioactive-chemical-analysis-using-gas-chromatography-mass-spectrum-2/
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  20. https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/biology/facilities/confocal_microscope/baird/node/118798
  21. https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-8-40
  22. http://www.ijddr.in/drug-development/anti-bacterial-and-anti-inflammatory-efficacy-of-zingiber-officinale-and-decalepis-hamiltonii–in-vitro-study.php?aid=6861
  23. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/707084/ZINGIBER_OFFICINALE_%28GINGER%29_ROOT_OIL/#.WsnsBojwaUk
  24. http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1807-59322008000600017
  25. https://www.medicinenet.com/ginger_zingiber_officinale-oral/article.htm
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25719344
  27. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/arthritis/2014/159089/
  28. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110116413000902
  29. https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/42/5/652/1784589
  30. https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zingiber+officinale
  31. http://eol.org/pages/987032/overview
  32. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213434416300676
  33. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=182.20
  34. https://books.google.ca/books?id=KeGzp-YXrPYC&pg=PA3591
  35. https://books.google.com/?id=0HzoNfy-__EC&dq=ginger+philippines+sore+throat

Ginger Root

Fresh ginger

Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine. Ginger is in the family Zingiberaceae, to which also belong turmeric (Curcuma longa), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), and galangal. Ginger originated in the tropical rainforests from the Indian subcontinent to Southern Asia where ginger plants show considerable genetic variation. As one of the first spices exported from the Orient, ginger arrived in Europe during the spice trade, and was used by ancient Greeks and Romans. The distantly related dicots in the genus Asarum are commonly called wild ginger because of their similar taste.

Fresh ginger

Other Common Names: Jamaican ginger, Indian Ginger, gan-jiang, sheng-jiang, African ginger, black ginger, zingiber officinale.

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The English origin of the word, “ginger”, is from the mid-14th century, from Old English gingifer, from Medieval Latin gingiber, from Greek zingiberis, from Prakrit (Middle Indic) singabera, from Sanskrit srngaveram, from srngam “horn” and vera- “body”, from the shape of its root. The word probably was readopted in Middle English from Old French gingibre (modern French gingembre).

Ginger root and powder

Ginger Nutrition

Raw ginger is composed of 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat (table). In 100 grams (a standard amount used to compare with other foods), raw ginger supplies 80 Calories and contains moderate amounts of vitamin B6 (12% of the Daily Value, DV) and the dietary minerals, magnesium (12% DV) and manganese (11% DV), but otherwise is low in nutrient content. When used as a spice powder in a common serving amount of one US tablespoon (5 grams), ground dried ginger (9% water) provides negligible content of essential nutrients, with the exception of manganese (70% DV).

100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of raw ginger contains approximately (3):

  • 80 calories
  • 17.8 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.8 grams protein
  • 0.7 grams fat
  • 2 grams dietary fiber
  • 415 milligrams potassium (12 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligrams copper (11 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligrams manganese (11 percent DV)
  • 43 milligrams magnesium (11 percent DV)
  • 5 milligrams vitamin C (8 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligrams vitamin B6 (8 percent DV)
  • 0.7 milligrams niacin (4 percent DV)
  • 34 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
  • 0.6 milligrams iron (3 percent DV)

In addition to the nutrients listed above, ginger also contains a small amount of calcium, zinc, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and thiamin. However, keep in mind that most people consume a very small portion of ginger, so it should be combined with a variety of other nutrient-dense foods to meet your micronutrient needs.

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Ginger tea

Benefits of Using Ginger Root

Ginger has been used for in cooking and traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is currently one of the most widely used herbs worldwide.

  • It has been used traditionally for a long time to treat nausea. Scientific evidence confirms its uses as an herbal remedy for nausea and related ailments such as morning sickness and motion sickness.
  • Several studies have found that ginger could help prevent the formation of stomach ulcers. In fact, one 2011 animal study showed that ginger powder protected against aspirin-induced stomach ulcers by decreasing levels of inflammatory proteins and blocking the activity of enzymes related to ulcer development.
  • Ginger contains many anti-fungal compounds which make it a popular herb for treating athlete’s foot. Fungal infections cause a wide variety of conditions, from yeast infections to jock itch and athlete’s foot. Fortunately, ginger has powerful anti-fungal properties that can safely and successfully help kill off disease-causing fungi.
  • The health benefits of ginger are largely due to its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and content of therapeutic compounds like gingerol, shogaol, paradol and zingerone. Studies have shown that ginger root inhibits the production of cytokines, which promote inflammation. Therefore, the traditional Indian use for treating inflammation is gaining new-found popularity.
  • Some of the other traditional Asian uses for this herb include stimulating the appetite, promoting perspiration, and fighting body odor.
  • It has been used to treat pain and traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicinal uses include ginger root in herbal arthritis treatment. Treatment of joint pain, especially those conditions caused by poor circulation, is another popular use of this herb.
  • Heart health is another benefit of ginger use. It has been shown to slow the production of LDL and triglycerides in the liver and prevent the clotting and aggregation of platelets in the blood vessels, associated with atherosclerosis and blood clots.
  • One of the most impressive benefits of ginger is its anti-cancer properties, thanks to the presence of a powerful compound called 6-gingerol. Test-tube studies show that ginger and its components may be effective in blocking cancer cell growth and development for ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer. However, more research is needed to determine how the anti-cancer properties of ginger may translate to humans.
  • Unfortunately, adverse side effects like pain, period cramps and headaches are commonly associated with menstruation for many women. While some turn to over-the-counter medications to provide symptom relief, natural remedies like ginger can be just as useful at easing menstrual pain.
  • The root has also been used to treat some of the symptoms of common cold and flu such as loosening phlegm and treating chills. During cold weather, drinking ginger tea is good way to keep warm. It is diaphoretic, which means that it promotes sweating, working to warm the body from within. To make ginger tea at home, slice 20 to 40 grams (g) of fresh ginger and steep it in a cup of hot water. Adding a slice of lemon or a drop of honey adds flavor and additional benefits, including vitamin C and antibacterial properties.

Ginger for Your Skin and Hair (GingerParrot.co.uk)

Here are our favorite Ten Beauty Benefits of Ginger for Skin and Hair – they’re all reasons to eat ginger every day!

  1. Anti-ageing: Redheads are well-versed in the importance of wearing SPF to protect the skin from the sun, the biggest influence of the appearance of ageing. But eating ginger can also help fight wrinkles! The food is packed with the super-foodiness of anti-oxidants, which reduce toxins in skin cells while increasing blood circulation, helping to reduce the appearance of ageing.
  2. Blemishes and Acne: Not only is ginger great for anti-ageing, it can also help with spots and imperfections. Ginger contains powerful antiseptic and cleansing qualities, minimizing the rate of spot and acne formation by actively killing bacteria on the skin’s surface and deep inside the pores. And sensitive-skinned redheads will be pleased to know that ginger is the best natural acne-fighting solution, so it’s great for those with delicate skin.
  3. Soothes burns and blisters: Probably not wise to apply immediately after a new burn, but your skin has cooled, fresh ginger juice is said to soothe and heal blisters, burnt skin or sunburn.
  4. Radiant skin: As odd as it sounds, slices of ginger root applied to your face can help to give you a refreshing glow. We agree that it doesn’t sound too glamourous, so perhaps try it when you’re home alone.
  5. Skin toning: While cleaning, fighting blemishes and making your skin more radiant, ginger also gets to work on toning your skin. A face mask is an ideal method for this. Try mixing grated ginger with a natural mask mix (or store-bought); it’ll help to moisturize and soften the skin, leaving it supple and glowing.
  6. Hypopigmental (white) scars: If you have scarred areas that are slightly lighter in pigmentation than the rest of your skin, a piece of fresh ginger can help. For noticeable results, hold a sliver of fresh ginger on the white scar for 30-40 minutes. This should be done every day for at least a week, at which point you should start seeing the color come back to your skin.
  7. Reduces hair loss: Ginger root makes your ginger roots stronger! Thus reducing hair loss, something we obviously want to prevent – keep living the ginger dream!
  8. Stimulates hair growth: Not only does ginger reduce hair loss, but it increases blood circulation to the scalp, also making hair silky and shiny at the same time.
  9. Fights dandruff: Ginger contains natural antiseptic properties which help to fight dandruff issues.
  10. Split ends: With its anti-oxidants, ginger can seriously help to repair any split ends and dry hair problems. Mix some ginger oil with your shampoo and watch how its natural moisturizing powers help to fix any dryness.
Ginger and lemon tea

Therapeutic Dosages

Ginger is available in fresh or dried root, tablets, capsules, powder, tincture, and tea forms. Customary daily dosages are:

Fresh Ginger Root: 1/3 of an ounce of fresh ginger root daily. This can be taken in tea form or used in baking or other herbal uses. Take five to six thin slices of fresh ginger and steep it in hot water for thirty minutes to make a fresh ginger tea.

Dried Ginger Root: 150 to 300 milligrams of the dried root can be taken three times daily in capsule or powder form.

It may also be used to make tea. A teaspoonful of the dried powder may be added to a pint of hot water and steeped for 30 minutes to make the tea.

Tablets and capsules generally come in 150 mg to 500 mg doses.

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Ginger tea

Potential Side Effects of Using Ginger

Allergic reactions to ginger generally result in a rash. Although generally recognized as safe, ginger can cause heartburn and other side effects, particularly if taken in powdered form. Unchewed fresh ginger may result in intestinal blockage, and individuals who have had ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, or blocked intestines may react badly to large quantities of fresh ginger. It can also adversely affect individuals with gallstones and may interfere with the effects of anticoagulants, such as warfarin or aspirin.

  • Pregnant women should be careful with ginger due to its potential to cause uterine contractions.
  • It has also been shown to interfere with the absorption of dietary iron and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Stomach upset is a common side effect with larger doses. It may potentiate the effects of blood thinners, barbiturates, beta-blockers, insulin, and other diabetes medications.
  • Due to the blood thinning effect, it should not be used before surgery.
Ginger and lemon

Benefits Of Lemon Ginger Tea: health benefits of this unusual infusion!

Treats Nausea & Indigestion – Ginger has a very powerful active ingredient, named zingiber, which is able to eliminate bacterial pathogens that often attack the stomach and compromise digestive function. Ginger is also known to soothe nausea and eliminate vomiting while promoting more effective digestion and nutrient absorption. Lemon, on the other hand, is closely linked to reducing indigestion and heartburn!

Improves Cognitive Function – Lemon and ginger help in improving concentration and cognition. Fortunately, both of these ingredients are also excellent at soothing nerves and improving mood, which means clear thinking, while the antioxidant effects mean less oxidative stress and a lower chance of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Skin Care – The high vitamin content of lemon and ginger, combined with their numerous antioxidants, make this infusion an excellent option for improving the skin health. You can drink this tea or even apply it topically to irritated patches of skin. Antioxidants help to reduce oxidative stress in the skin and promote the growth of new cells, while the antibacterial and antiviral nature of this beverage protects the skin from infections.

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Weight Loss – Ginger is well known to stimulate the metabolism and can also help to satiate feelings of hunger. Therefore, a glass of lemon ginger tea in the morning can help those who are trying to lose weight, primarily by adding extra calorie-burning to their day and suppressing the desire to snack between meals.

Hair Care – Lemon and ginger have both been used independently for hair health for centuries, but this tea is high in vitamin A and C, both of which are linked to improve hair growth, and a reduce dry skin and dandruff. This can strengthen your hair and give it a luscious appearance.

Boosts Immunity – Both lemon and ginger are known around the world as immune system aids, so it makes sense that lemon ginger tea can comprehensively protect you from pathogens and illness. When you are suffering from a cold or flu, simply drink 1-2 cups of this tea each day and quickly see an improvement in your symptoms and a reduction in irritation of your respiratory tracts.

Controls Diabetes – When it comes to blood sugar regulation, few things are as effective as ginger. By optimizing the release of insulin and blood sugar in your body, you can prevent the dangerous spikes and drops in blood sugar that can lead to diabetes or can affect someone already diagnosed with this condition.

Relieves Pain – The natural anti-inflammatory nature of ginger not only reduces irritation, swelling, and inflammation in the body but can also function as an analgesic. This tea can help you recover from body pain, menstrual cramps, illness, and surgeries.

Improves Mood – Aside from this infusion’s effect on concentration and cognitive function, lemon and ginger are also known as mood boosters. There is a good reason why lemon is so commonly used in aromatherapy approaches, while ginger is known to relieve tension and lower stress hormone levels in the body, which can definitely make you feel happier and more in control of your emotions.

Side Effects Of Lemon Ginger Tea – Some people suffer from heartburn or stomach upset when they drink this beverage, which could be the response of a sensitive stomach to ginger’s powerful active ingredients or even a ginger allergy. Speak to your doctor or allergist before making any major changes to your diet or health regimen.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger
  2. https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/ginger-root.html
  3. http://nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger/
  4. http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:798372-1
  5. http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/84/3/367
  6. https://draxe.com/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21753209
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16117605
  9. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/star.19820340203
  10. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09712119.2011.558612
  11. https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/abs/10.1123/ijatt.2014-0142
  12. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228476601_Chemical_composition_and_antioxidant_properties_of_ginger_root_Zingiber_officinale
  13. http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1380710823_Shirin%20and%20Jamuna.pdf
  14. http://www.jafs.com.pl/Effects-of-dose-and-adaptation-time-of-ginger-root-Zingiber-officinale-on-rumen-fermentation,66200,0,2.html
  15. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/ginger.html
  16. https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/nutrition-research/learning-center/plant-profiler/zingiber-officinale.html
  17. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990.php
  18. https://wellnessmama.com/7958/ginger-root/
  19. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-961/ginger
  20. https://gingerparrot.co.uk/ten-beauty-benefits-of-ginger-for-your-hair-and-skin/
  21. https://www.livestrong.com/article/73965-cleanse-face-skin-ginger/

Geranium

Multicolor Geraniums

Rose Geranium flower & oil (Pelargonium graveolens)

Pelargonium graveolens, Rose Geranium, is an uncommon Pelargonium species native to the Cape Provinces and the Northern Provinces of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It is in the subgenus Pelargonium along with Pelargonium crispum, Pelargonium tomentosum and Pelargonium capitatum.

You will find Geranium essential oil in Mother Jai’s Aroma Sprays, Toners, & Bath Oils.

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There are many cultivars of P. graveolens and they have a wide variety of scents, including rose, citrus, mint and cinnamon as well as various fruits. Cultivars and hybrids include:

  • P. ‘Graveolens’ (or Pelargonium graveolens hort.) – A rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. Possibly a hybrid between P. graveolens and P. radens or P. capitatum. This cultivar is often incorrectly labeled as Pelargonium graveolens (the species). The main difference between the species and this cultivar is the dissection of the leaf. The species had about 5 lobes but the cultivar has about 10.
  • P. ‘Citrosum’ – A lemony, citronella-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’. It is meant to repel mosquitos and rumour has it that it was made by genetically bonding genes from the citronella grass but this is highly unlikely.
  • P. ‘Cinnamon Rose’ – A cinnamon-scented variety of P. graveolens.
  • P. ‘Dr Westerlund’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’.[citation needed]
  • P. ‘Graveolens Bontrosai’ – A genetically challenged form of P. graveolens. The leaves are smaller and curl back on themselves and the flowers often don’t open fully. Known as P. ‘Colocho’ in the US.
  • P. ‘Grey Lady Plymouth’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. Similar to P. ‘Lady Plymouth’. The leaves are grey – green in colour and beautifully contrast of scented pelargonium varieties.
  • P. ‘Lady Plymouth’ – A minty lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. A very popular variety with a definite mint scent. Possibly a P. radens hybrid.
  • P. ‘Lara Starshine’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’ but with more lemony scented leaves and reddish pink flowers. Bred by Australian Plantsman Cliff Blackman.
  • P. ‘Lucaeflora’ – A rose-scented variety of P. graveolens, much more similar to the species that most other cultivars and varieties of P. graveolens.
  • P. × melissinum – The lemon balm pelargonium (lemon balm – Melissa officinalis). This is a hybrid between P. crispum and P. graveolens.
  • P. ‘Mint Rose’ – A minty rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. Similar to P. ‘Lady Plymouth’ but without the variegation of the leaves and lemony undertones.
  • P. ‘Secret Love’ – An unusual eucalyptus-scented variety of P. graveolens with pretty pale pink flowers.
  • P. ‘Van Leeni’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’ and P. ‘Dr Westerland’.
Rose Geranium

Composition of Geranium Oil

Geranium oil contains about 67 compounds. The main components of geranium oil are citronellol (26.7 percent) and geraniol (13.4 percent). Other major constituents include:

  • Nerol (8.7 percent)
  • Citronellyl formate (7.1 percent)
  • Isomenthone (6.3 percent)
  • Linalool (5.2 percent)
https://www.planttherapy.com/geranium-egyptian-organic-essential-oil?v=1595

Functions

The most interesting health benefits of geranium include its ability to lower stress levels, reduce inflammation, relieve menstrual pain, strengthen the immune system, ease digestion and improve kidney, skin and hair health. It has antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties which help heal wounds faster.

Pelargonium graveolens is a geranium extract used in cosmetics and personal care products as a fragrance ingredient. It is cultivated in large numbers in South Africa, and known for its rose-like scent, although it is also used for other smells it imparts, including citrus, mint, coconut and nutmeg, as well as various fruits. It is sometimes known as rose geranium, old fashion rose geranium, and rose-scent geranium, according to Wikipedia. It is considered a less expensive alternative to other rose oils, and is often used in aromatherapy formulas as well.

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Pelargonium graveolens has other skin care properties as well and is known to create a balance between oily and dry skin by balancing the production of sebum; this balance assists in boosting and improving the elasticity of the skin. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, releasing excess water that may be retained in the tissue. This may not only prevent cellulite but can also relieve swelling. Pelargonium graveolens also has therapeutic abilities that can calm irritated skin, clear acne, and heal bruises, burns, cuts and eczema, due to its astringent, antiseptic, tonic, antibiotic and anti-infectious properties.

Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Uses of Geranium Oil

In aromatherapy, geranium oil is used to help treat acne, sore throats, anxiety, depression and insomnia. It is popular among women due to its rosy smell and its beneficial effect on menstruation and menopause.4 The essential oil can also aid in uplifting mood, lessening fatigue and promoting emotional wellness.

Geranium oil also functions to assist in pain reduction and inflammation. Its antiseptic properties can help speed up the healing of wounds and treat a variety of skin problems, such as burns, frostbite, fungal infections, athlete’s foot and eczema. Hemorrhoids can also be potentially treated with the use of geranium oil.

Frequent travelers can use geranium oil as a natural insect repellent. Topical application can also help heal insect bites and stop itching. It may also be used as a massage oil to help relieve aching muscles and stress. Other uses of geranium oil include:

  • Food — Geranium oil can be added to baked goods, frozen dairy, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and candies.
  • Perfumery — Geranium oil has been used to create an artificial rose scent in fragrances and cosmetics.
Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Benefits of Geranium Oil (OrganicFacts.net & Mercola.com)

Geranium essential oil provides numerous health benefits due its uses as an astringent, hemostatic, cicatrisant, diuretic and many others. Below are just some of the ways this essential oil serves both your physical and emotional health:

  • It causes your gums, muscles, intestines, skin, blood vessels and tissues to contract due to its astringent properties. It assists in preventing skin problems like sagging and wrinkling and helps give your muscles a toned appearance.
  • It contains antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It can aid in inhibiting the bacterial strains Brevibacterium linens and Yersinia enterolitica, as well as the fungal species Aspergillus niger. It can also help prevent bacterial infections.
  • It can help eliminate the appearance of scars and dark spots by helping improve blood circulation just below the surface of the skin and helping promote an equal distribution of melanin.
  • It can help speed up the healing of wounds by triggering blood clotting. This also helps in stopping toxins from reaching your bloodstream through open wounds.
  • It assists in detoxification by increasing the rate of urination. This process of elimination does not only remove toxins from your body, but also aids in your digestive function and helps inhibit the excess gas in your intestines.
  • It can serve as a deodorant due to its fragrant scent. It can also help prevent body odor due to its antibacterial action.
  • The impact of geranium on the nervous system is well known and the plant has been used in this way for generations. If you brew the leaves of its plant, you can produce a tasty tea that has soothing properties, derived from its organic compounds that positively impact the endocrine system and help to balance hormones that cause stress and anxiety. A quick cup of tea when you’re stressed can quickly relieve unpleasant moods and a cluttered mind.
  • Although quite similar to its anti-inflammatory properties, the analgesic ability of geranium has made it a popular traditional remedy for headaches and other injuries. If you suffer from chronic pain or migraines, research has shown that its tea can release endorphins and relieve pain quite rapidly. This effect is relatively mild, and shouldn’t be relied on for permanent pain relief.
  • Geranium relieves symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, and nose infections because it is a powerful antiviral.
  • Geranium, being a styptic, has the ability to stop hemorrhage as it slows down blood flow by contracting the arteries and veins. It also has hemostatic properties which cause the blood to clot. This helps heal wounds faster.
  • If you’re suffering from cramping, bloating, or a generally upset stomach, drinking a cup of geranium tea can be one of the easiest and most painless remedies. The beneficial organic compounds can quickly soothe inflammation and eliminate bacteria that may be causing the discomfort, and get your gastrointestinal system back to normal!
  • Geranium is excellent for treating a range of women’s health issues from hot flashes and distress during menopause and menstrual cramps. It works two-fold, as a tonic and an antidepressant. It has been traditionally used to stabilize hormonal levels during menopause through its action on the adrenal cortex.
  • If you are looking for a natural skin cleanser and tonic, opt for geranium essential oil. It can be used directly on the skin or added to your bathwater. It helps tighten and tone the skin and keeps it blemish-free.
  • Geranium promotes hair growth because it regulates the secretion of sebum on the scalp. The essential oil can be added to either, carrier oils or shampoo. This helps give the hair a smooth sheen and a lovely, mild rose aroma.
Rose Geranium

The 17 Best Uses for Geranium Essential Oil, A-Z (TheTruthAboutCancer.com)

#1. Adrenal Health – Geranium has been used for centuries for its ability to support the adrenal glands. It acts as a tonic for the paired adrenal glands that sit atop the kidneys. In so doing, geranium may help those suffering from chronic exhaustion and fatigue.

#2. Allergies – A June 2016 Japanese study found that geranium essential oil had an inhibitory effect on cultured mast cells. These are immune cells involved with triggering allergic reactions, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune dysfunction. Geranium also inhibited tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a cell signaling protein known as a cytokine, involved in systemic inflammation. TNF is also involved in the regulation of immune cells.

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#3. Anxiety, Depression, Nervous Tension – The aroma of geranium is very calming to the nervous system. It helps to relieve nervous tension, melt away anger and aggression, balances emotions, lifts the spirit, and promotes feelings of peace and well-being.

#4. Blood Sugar Problems – Geranium is held in high esteem in Tunisia and is much studied there for its ability to decrease blood glucose levels. Animal studies reported in 2012  revealed that serum glucose levels were significantly decreased in diabetic rats and much more effective than glibenclamide, an antidiabetic drug. Hopefully studies will continue and humans will be included!

Rose Geranium

#5. Brain Clarity & Concentration – Geranium helps to improve cognitive function and improves concentration. It is even being studied for its ability to prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

#6. Cancer – Geranium has long been used by natural healers for its anti-tumoral properties. One 2002 study found that geraniol had anti-proliferative effects (proliferation is the ability of cancer cells to spread) and, when combined with the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil, had twice the cancer-killing action of  5-fluorouracil alone in cultured colon cancer cells. Several of the researchers in that study released a subsequent study in 2004 showing this combination also worked in mice. Researchers observed a 53% reduction in tumor size using the combination of 5-fluorouracil and geraniol.

A Chinese study reported in 2012 stated that the combination of geranium and several traditional Chinese herbs greatly assisted breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation. The geranium/herb combination was found to delay or slow the associated reduction of leukocytes (white blood cells involved in immune function) for women receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation.

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Research released in May 2016 revealed that citronellol can be used in an interesting way. Researchers combined citronellol with the anti-cancer drug cabazitaxel, a taxane used to fight prostate cancer. The combination (called a conjugate self-assembled nanoparticle, or CSNP) improved the drug’s ability to accumulate at the site of a tumor. Researchers said this method was an effective antitumoral, in vitro (test tube).

Rose Geranium

#7. Candida – Because of its strong anti-fungal properties, geranium has been investigated for candida sufferers. Research reported in 2008 found that of three essential oils studied, geranium was the most effective in combination with Amphotericin B, an antifungal drug, against 11 strains of candida. Geranium helps the antifungal drugs work better and they appear to have a synergistic effect. Another study reported in 2008 on mice found that geranium oil suppressed candida cell growth in the vagina.

#8. Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex) – Due to its anti-viral qualities, geranium essential oil is excellent for helping to heal cold sores. It will reduce the pain and size of a cold sore quickly.

#9. Golden Staph and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – A research study reported in 2012 demonstrated that geranium has excellent antimicrobial properties against Staphylococcus aureus (“golden staph”) and even methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. Indeed, the author’s own mother-in-law was diagnosed with MRSA several years ago. Geranium essential oil was one of several essential oils used topically (on the skin), instead of the antibiotic drugs given to her by the doctor. It completely healed the MRSA in what her doctor called “record time.”

#10. Hair and Scalp Health – Geranium has been used traditionally for decades for hair regrowth. It is known to nourish and tone the scalp. Geranium works on the sebaceous (oil) glands of the scalp, regulating the secretion of sebum. This helps to balance both dry and oily scalps, resulting in smooth and silky hair.

#11. Hemorrhoids – The astringent properties of geranium can help to shrink and heal swollen tissue, and ease the pain of hemorrhoids.

Rose Geranium

#12. Inflammatory Conditions – Geranium, and geraniol in particular, has been widely studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. 2014 research indicated geraniol increased interleukin-10 production, which is an anti-inflammatory cytokine. Because inflammation is involved in many disease processes, from arthritis to hemorrhoids to cancer, geranium essential oil is very useful indeed.

#13. Insect Repellent – Bugs don’t like geranium! It is an excellent insect deterrent. Going hiking? Take your geranium essential oil along. 2013 research found that the phytochemical 10-epi-gamma-eudesmol in geranium was just as effective as DEET against ticks.

Even dust mites don’t like geranium. 2008 research found that geraniol and beta-citronellol out-performed DEET and benzyl benzoate (two common chemically-derived mite and lice deterrents, both with side effects) for controlling dust mites. The beta-citronellol component makes geranium very effective for repelling mosquitoes as well. Several research papers investigating effective botanical insecticides have explored this and other essential oils for their ability to kill mosquito larvae.

#14. Shingles – Research released in 2003 found that application of geranium oil was helpful for relieving nerve pain caused by shingles (herpes zoster). Being a good anti-viral, geranium also helps to speed the healing of shingles.

Rose Geranium

#15. Skin Health, Scars, and Regeneration – Due to its potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties, geranium has been used for centuries in skin tonics, lotions, moisturizers, and balms for such conditions as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, oily skin, and acne. It is balancing to the skin’s production of oil and superb for fading scars.

#16. Urinary Tract Infections – 2011 research examined the effect of geranium oil combined with ciprofloxacin, a commonly used drug for treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Researchers found that the oil/drug combo worked synergistically to effectively kill the bacteria causing UTIs.

#17. Wound Healing – Geranium is a natural styptic − it helps to stop the flow of blood. Geranium also speeds wound healing by triggering blood clotting. This process, together with its natural antiseptic action, keeps harmful bacteria from reaching the bloodstream via open wounds and cuts.

Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Safety Measures/Side Effects

Pelargonium graveolens is considered a safe and natural ingredient that is repeatedly listed as non-toxic, non-irritant and generally non-sensitizing. The Cosmetics Database finds it to be 99% safe and lists data gaps as the only concern.

However, it may cause allergies and sensitivities in some people. If you’re looking for essential oils that offer the same therapeutic benefits as geranium oil does, your options include lavender oil, orange oil, lemon oil and jasmine oil. To be on the safe side, consult your physician before using any essential oils for medicinal purposes.

Geranium infused oil

How to Make Geranium Oil Infusion

Geranium essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the plant’s stems and leaves. When made from young, green leaves, geranium oil appears with a lemon scent. However, if extracted from older leaves that have changed their color, the oil will have a strong rose fragrance. While geranium oil is available in stores, it is possible to create a homemade oil infusion.

What You Need:

  • Geranium leaves
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Carrier oil like jojoba oil
  • Large jar with lid
  • Small jars or bottles with lids
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth

Procedure:

  • Remove the leaves from a geranium plant (more leaves mean more oil produced).
  • Remove pests, dirt and other debris from the leaves by washing them in cold water.
  • Dry the leaves by gently patting them with a cloth or paper towel.
  • Using the mortar and pestle, ground the leaves until they are completely mashed and pulpy. Leave the crushed leaves for a few hours.
  • Afterward, transfer the ground leaves to the large jar. Pour some of the carrier oil — just enough to cover the leaves. Then, seal the jar and place it in a cool, dry spot. Set aside for two weeks.
  • Once the two weeks are up, check the scent of the oil. You may add more ground leaves to make the scent stronger and set aside for another week. If the fragrance is too strong, just add some oil to dilute the finished product.
  • To store, pour the geranium oil into the small sterilized jars or bottles through a strainer lined with a cheesecloth. This will separate the crushed leaves from the oil. Once the oil has been transferred, seal the bottles/jars and store them in a cool, dry place.
Pink Geranium

Homemade Conditioner

This homemade conditioner recipe is awesome, for it helps to restore the hairs natural pH, thus rehydrating the hair. The result is soft, luscious and healthy hair. Add 10 drops of geranium oil and see how it helps to condition your dry hair.

 Total Time: 2 minutes  Uses: 20–30

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops of essential oils
  • BPA-free plastic bottles or glass bottle with dispenser

 Customize Your Conditioner:

  • Rosemary or sage essential oils for all types of hair
  • Lemon, bergamot or tea tree essential oils for oily hair
  • Lavender, sandalwood or geranium essential oils for dry hair or dandruff

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix ingredients together in eight-ounce spray bottle
  • Shake bottle before using and then spray hair
  • Leave in hair for five minutes, then rinse

Tips for Using Geranium Essential Oil

A) Massage geranium into the skin and muscles of the back, especially mid-back and just over the bottom of the rib cage (over area of the kidneys). Use an organic carrier oil like jojoba, almond, coconut, hemp, or argan to dilute if desired or if you have sensitive skin.

B) Drip 1-2 drops of oil into your hands and make a tent over your nose and mouth (avoid the eyes), breathe in deeply for a couple of minutes.

C) Using an ultrasonic cool mist diffuser, diffuse several drops of geranium into a room where you intend to sit for an hour or so.

D) Massage oil into the soles of the feet. They have the largest pores in the body and the oil will be in the bloodstream and working in just a few minutes. This method works especially well if digestion is impaired.

E) Gently massage oil into the sides of the neck, overlying the carotid arteries, diluting as described in A above if needed. Also massage into the back of the neck just under the base of the skull.

F) Geranium essential oil is generally regarded as safe for human consumption by the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA). To take orally, put 1 drop of oil in 3-4 ounces (about 100 ml) of liquid such as almond or rice milk. It can also be combined with 1 teaspoon of honey. Avoid for children under 5 years of age.

G) Massage geranium oil into the abdomen and lower back.

H) Rub a drop of geranium on the affected area, being careful to dilute if you have sensitive skin. If using as an insect repellent, rub geranium into exposed skin.

I) Add a drop or two of geranium oil to one teaspoon of jojoba oil and pat it on topically. Use a small amount of gauze if you wish to hold it in place.

J) Add a drop or two of geranium to your favorite organic personal care products like cleanser, body wash, moisturizer, toner, shampoo, or conditioner.

Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Important Precautions When Using Essential Oils

If you intend to use geranium essential oil medicinally, please do your homework and work with a qualified healthcare practitioner who is well versed in essential oil usage.

  • Be aware that quality of essential oils varies widely. Find out whether or not your essential oil supplier uses organic growing methods, and knows how to properly distill the oils. Always buy your oils from a trusted source because if they are not organically grown or properly distilled they may be adulterated with toxic chemicals that will not help to heal you… and may indeed cause harm.
  • Do not apply essential oils anywhere near eyes, ears, or sensitive regions of the body.
  • If you have sensitive skin, be sure to dilute essential oils first. If you are unsure, do a patch test on a small area of skin just inside the elbow. You may want to dilute essential oils with an organic carrier oil such as jojoba, almond, coconut, hemp, or argan.
  • Be cautious when using essential oils with children and in pregnancy. Always dilute essential oils for children. Some oils need to be avoided during pregnancy. When in doubt, work with an experienced expert in essential oils.
  • It is not recommended to use any essential oil by itself as a sole treatment for cancer, or for any other health issues mentioned above. When used in combination with other treatments, both conventional and alternative, essential oils can be very effective in assisting the healing process.

References:

  1. https://kollectionk.com/blogs/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-skin-care-oils
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelargonium_graveolens
  3. https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/pelargonium-graveolens
  4. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PEGR11
  5. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/geranium-oil.aspx
  6. http://www.reherb.eu/en/content/pelargonium-graveolens
  7. https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pelargonium+graveolens
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4312398/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641007/
  10. http://ageless.co.za/rose_scented_geranium.htm
  11. http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/JMPR/article-full-text-pdf/054149D15942
  12. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/med-aro/factsheets/GERANIUM.html
  13. https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/geranium-essential-oil/
  14. http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/33014/1/IJTK%2014(4)%20558-563.pdf
  15. http://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/rose-geranium.htm
  16. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283051914_An_overview_on_phytopharmacology_of_Pelargonium_graveolens_L
  17. https://draxe.com/10-geranium-oils-benefits-healthy-skin-much/
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793238/
  19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25514231
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18670079
  21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23401038
  22. http://www.acanceresearch.com/cancer-research/pelargonium-graveolens-rose-geranium–a-novel-therapeutic-agent-for-antibacterial-antioxidant-antifungal-and-diabetics.pdf
  23. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-153-rose%20geranium%20oil.aspx?activeingredientid=153&activeingredientname=rose%20geranium%20oil
  24. http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/1974-34-3-aromatic-pelargoniums.pdf
  25. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20013071662
  26. https://www.hchs.edu/sites/default/files/files/Geranium%20article.pdf
  27. http://japsonline.com/admin/php/uploads/1200_pdf.pdf
  28. https://www.naturalbynature.co.uk/organic-geranium
  29. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/geranium
  30. https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/products/all-about-geranium-oil.html
  31. http://www.essencejournal.com/pdf/2014/vol2issue2/PartA/2-2-8-979.pdf
  32. http://www.doctorsbeyondmedicine.com/listing/candida-geranium-oil
  33. http://www.globalsciencebooks.info/Online/GSBOnline/images/2010/MAPSB_4(SI1)/MAPSB_4(SI1)77-79o.pdf
  34. https://www.rxlist.com/rose_geranium_oil/supplements.htm
  35. https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-511X-12-30
  36. http://www.worldresearchlibrary.org/up_proc/pdf/420-147558255618-21.pdf
  37. http://ijm.tums.ac.ir/index.php/ijm/article/download/681.pdf/451
  38. http://www.worldresearchlibrary.org/up_proc/pdf/420-147558255618-21.pdf
  39. http://www.theresearchpedia.com/health/aromatherapy/health-benefits-of-geranium-essential-oil

Frankincense

Frankincense Resin & Oil (Boswellia carterii, serrata, sacra)

Frankincense is an aromatic resin used in incense and perfumes, obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia in the family Burseraceae, particularly Boswellia sacra (syn: B. bhaw-dajiana), B. carterii, B. frereana, B. serrata (B. thurifera, Indian frankincense), and B. papyrifera. The English word is derived from Old French “franc encens” (i.e., high quality incense). There are four main species of Boswellia that produce true frankincense. Resin from each of the four is available in various grades, which depend on the time of harvesting. The resin is then hand-sorted for quality.

Olibanum is characterised by a balsamic-spicy, slightly lemon, fragrance of incense, with a conifer-like undertone. It is used in the perfume, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

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You will find Frankincense in many of Mother Jai’s products.

Chemical Composition: Structure of β-boswellic acid, one of the main active components of frankincense. These are some of the chemical compounds present in frankincense:

  • “acid resin (56 %), soluble in alcohol and having the formula C20H32O4”
  • gum (similar to gum arabic) 30–36%
  • 3-acetyl-beta-boswellic acid (Boswellia sacra)
  • alpha-boswellic acid (Boswellia sacra)
  • 4-O-methyl-glucuronic acid (Boswellia sacra)
  • incensole acetate, C21H34O3
  • phellandrene
  • (+)-cis- and (+)-trans-olibanic acids

Blending: Frankincense oil blends well with other oils such as Lime, Lemon, Orange and other Citrus oils as well as Benzoin, Bergamot, Lavender, Myrrh, Pine, and Sandalwood oil. This makes it a popular element of various aromatherapy combinations.

Boswellia sacra (frankincense) – Boswellia sacra trees in Dhofar, southern province of the Sultanate of Oman (Photo: Helen Pickering)

Uses for Frankincense

Boswellia serrata is a tree native to India that produces special compounds that have been found to have strong anti-inflammatory, and potentially anti-cancer, effects. Among the valuable boswellia tree extracts that researchers have identified, several stand out as being most beneficial, including terpenes and boswellic acids, which are strongly anti-inflammatory and protective over healthy cells.

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Frankincense is used in perfumery and aromatherapy. It is also an ingredient that is sometimes used in skincare. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the dry resin. Some of the smells of the frankincense smoke are products of pyrolysis.

Frankincense oil is used by either inhaling the oil or absorbing it through the skin, usually mixed with a carrier oil, such as an unscented lotion or jojoba oil. It’s believed that the oil transmits messages to the limbic system of the brain, which is known to influence the nervous system. A little bit of oil goes a long way; it should not be ingested in large quantities as it can be toxic.

Frankincense Essential Oil

The health benefits of frankincense essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, carminative, cicatrizant, cytophylactic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine, and a vulnerary substance. Frankincense oil relieves pain associated with rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to heal boils, infected wounds, acne, circulatory problems, insomnia, and various types of inflammation as well.

The essential oil of frankincense is produced by steam distillation of the tree resin. The oil’s chemical components are 75% monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, monoterpenoles, sesquiterpenols and ketones. It has a good balsamic sweet fragrance, while the Indian frankincense oil has a very fresh smell. Contrary to what some commercial entities claim, steam or hydro distilled frankincense oils do not contain boswellic acids (triterpenoids), although may be present in trace quantities in the solvent extracted products. The chemistry of the essential oil is mainly monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, such as alpha-pinene, Limonene, alpha-Thujene, and beta-Pinene with small amounts of diterpenoid components being the upper limit in terms of molecular weight.

Benefits of Frankincense Oil (DrAxe.com)

  1. Helps Reduce Stress Reactions and Negative Emotions: When inhaled, it’s been shown to reduce heart rate and high blood pressure. It has anti-anxiety and depression-reducing abilities, but unlike prescription medications, it does not have negative side effects or cause unwanted drowsiness.
  2. Helps Boost Immune System Function and Prevents Illness: Studies have demonstrated that frankincense has immune-enhancing abilities that may help destroy dangerous bacteria, viruses and even cancers.
  3. May Help Fight Cancer or Deal with Chemotherapy Side Effects: Frankincense oil has been shown to help fight cells of specific types of cancer.
  4. Astringent and Can Kill Harmful Germs and Bacteria: Frankincense is an antiseptic and disinfectant. It has the ability to eliminate cold and flu germs from the home and the body naturally and can be used in place of chemical household cleaners.
  5. Improves Oral Health: The same antiseptic qualities also make frankincense oil a useful preventive measure against oral issues, like bad breath, toothaches, cavities, mouth sores, and other infections.
  6. Heals Skin and Prevents Signs of Aging: Frankincense has the ability to strengthen skin and improve its tone, elasticity, defense mechanisms against bacteria or blemishes, and appearance as someone ages. It helps tone and lift skin, reduces appearance of scars and acne, and heals wounds. It can also be beneficial for fading of stretch marks, surgery scars or marks associated with pregnancy, and for healing dry or cracked skin.
  7. Balances Hormone Levels: Frankincense oil reduces symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause by balancing hormone levels. It can help relieve pain, cramps, constipation, headaches, anxiety, nausea, fatigue and mood swings. Frankincense oil also helps with regulating estrogen production and may reduce the risk of tumor or cyst development in premenopausal women.
  8. Reduces Scars: This is an interesting property of Frankincense oil. When applied topically or inhaled, it can make the scars and marks of boils, acne, and pox on the skin fade at a much faster rate. This also includes the fading of stretch marks, surgery marks, and fat cracks associated with pregnancy and delivery.
  9. Eases Digestion: Frankincense helps the digestive system properly detox and to produce bowel movements, reduces pain and cramping in the stomach, can relieve nausea, helps flush out excess water from the abdomen that can cause bloating and even relieves PMS-related stomach pains.
  10. Acts as a Sleep Aid: Frankincense essential oil is useful in lowering levels of anxiety or chronic stress that can keep you up at night. It has a calming, grounding scent that can naturally help you to fall asleep. It helps open breathing passages, allows your body to reach an ideal sleeping temperature and can eliminate pain that keeps you up.
  11. Helps Decrease Inflammation and Pain: Frankincense can inhibit the production of key inflammatory molecules associated with conditions like arthritis, asthma, painful bowel disorders like IBS and many more conditions.
  12. Acts as Tonic: Overall, frankincense essential oil tones and boosts health and is, therefore, considered a tonic. It benefits all the systems operating in the body, including the respiratory, digestive, nervous, and excretory systems, while also increasing strength by aiding the absorption of nutrients into the body. Furthermore, frankincense oil strengthens the immune system and keeps you strong.
  13. Stimulates Urination: If you think that Lasix and its variants are the only drugs that can help you release water from the body through urination, you are incorrect. These pharmaceutical options may be instantaneous, but not very safe. Frankincense essential oil is a natural and safe alternative. It promotes urination and helps you lose that extra water weight, as well as fats, sodium, uric acid, and various other toxins from the body, with the added advantage of lowering blood pressure. The best part about this is that frankincense essential oil is completely safe and has no adverse side effects.
  14. Reduces Respiratory Issues: It soothes cough and eliminates phlegm deposited in the respiratory tracts and the lungs. Frankincense essential oil also provides relief from bronchitis and congestion of nasal tract, larynx, pharynx, bronchi, and lungs. Its antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties also help relax the breathing passages, which can reduce the dangers of asthma attacks, and its antiseptic qualities give it the reputation of being an immune system booster! It also eases body pain, headaches, toothaches, and balances the rise in body temperature commonly associated with colds.

Using Frankincense at Home

  1. Stress-Relieving Bath Soak: Frankincense oil immediately induces the feeling of peace, relaxation and satisfaction. Add a few drops of frankincense oil to a hot bath for stress relief.  You can also add frankincense to an oil diffuser or vaporizer to help fight anxiety and for experiencing relaxation in your home all the time. Some people believe that the fragrance of frankincense can increase your intuition and spiritual connection.
  2. Natural Household Cleaner: Frankincense oil is an antiseptic, meaning it helps eliminate bacteria and viruses from your home and clean indoor spaces. The plant has been commonly burned to help disinfect an area and is used as a natural deodorizer. Use it in an essential oil diffuser to help reduce indoor pollution and deodorize and disinfect any room or surface in your home.
  3. Natural Hygiene Product: Due to its antiseptic properties, frankincense oil is a great addition to any oral hygiene regimen. Look for natural oral care products that contain frankincense oil, especially if you enjoy the aroma. It can help prevent dental health issues like tooth decay, bad breath, cavities or oral infections. You can also consider making your own toothpaste by mixing frankincense oil with baking soda.
  4. Anti-Aging and Wrinkle Fighter: Frankincense essential oil is a powerful astringent, meaning it helps protect skin cells. It can be used to help reduce acne blemishes, the appearance of large pores, prevent wrinkles, and it even helps lift and tighten skin to naturally slow signs of aging. The oil can be used anywhere where the skin becomes saggy, such as the abdomen, jowls or under the eyes. Mix six drops of oil to one ounce of unscented oil and apply it directly to the skin. Be sure to always do a small patch area test first to test for possible allergic reactions.
  5. Relieves Symptoms of Indigestion: If you have any digestive distress, such as gas, constipation, stomach aches, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS or cramps, frankincense oil can help relieve gastrointestinal discomfort. It helps speed up the digestion of food, similar to digestive enzymes. Add one to two drops of oil to eight ounces of water or to a tablespoon of honey for GI relief. If you’re going to ingest it orally, make sure it’s 100 percent pure oil; do not ingest fragrance or perfume oils.
  6. Scar, Wound, Stretch Mark or Acne Remedy: Frankincense oil can help with wound healing and may decrease the appearance of scars. It may also help reduce the appearance of dark spots caused from acne blemishes, stretch marks, eczema and help with healing of surgical wounds. Mix two to three drops of oil with an unscented base oil or lotion and apply directly to skin. Be careful not to apply it to broken skin, but it’s fine for skin that’s in the process of healing.
  7. Natural Cold or Flu Medicine: Next time you have a respiratory infection from a cold or flu, use frankincense essential oil to help provide relief from coughing. It can help eliminate phlegm in the lungs. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier, even for those with allergies or asthma. Add a few drops to a cloth and inhale for the respiratory benefits or use an oil diffuser.
  8. Helps Relieve Inflammation and Pain: To improve circulation and lower symptoms of joint pain or muscle pain related to conditions like arthritis, digestive disorders and asthma, try massaging frankincense oil to the painful area or diffusing it in your home. You can add a drop of oil to steaming water and soak a towel in it, then place the towel on your body or over your face to inhale it to decrease muscle aches. Also diffuse several drops in your home or combine several drops with a carrier oil to massage into your muscles, joints, feet or neck.
Boswellia sacra-habitat and leaf morphology. This tree grows wildly in the Dhofar region of Oman. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169794.g001
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Boswellia-sacra-habitat-and-leaf-morphology-This-tree-grows-wildly-in-the-Dhofar-region_fig4_312317670

History of Frankincense

Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula for more than 5000 years. A mural depicting sacks of frankincense traded from the Land of Punt adorns the walls of the temple of ancient Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, who died circa 1458 BC.

Frankincense was one of the consecrated incenses (Ha-Ketoret) described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud used in Ketoret ceremonies, an important component of the services in the Temple in Jerusalem. It was offered on a specialized incense altar in the time when the Tabernacle was located in the First and Second Temples. It is mentioned in the Book of Exodus 30:34.

Frankincense also received numerous mentions in the New Testament (Luke 1:10 ; Revelation 5:8, 8:3). Together with gold and myrrh, it was made an offering to the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:11). Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to the Christ child was symbolic of His willingness to become a sacrifice, wholly giving Himself up, analogous to a burnt offering.

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Frankincense was reintroduced to Europe by Frankish Crusaders, although its name refers to its quality, not to the Franks themselves. Although it is better known as “frankincense” to westerners, the resin is also known as olibanum, or in Arabic, al-lubān (roughly translated: “that which results from milking”), a reference to the milky sap tapped from the Boswellia tree.

The Greek historian Herodotus was familiar with frankincense and knew it was harvested from trees in southern Arabia. He reported that the gum was dangerous to harvest because of venomous snakes that lived in the trees. He goes on to describe the method used by the Arabs to get around this problem, that being the burning of the gum of the styrax tree whose smoke would drive the snakes away. The resin is also mentioned by Theophrastus and by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia.

Frankincense is used in many Christian churches including the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Catholic churches. According to the Biblical text of Matthew 2:11, gold, frankincense, and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus by the biblical magi “from out of the East.” Christian and Islamic Abrahamic faiths have all used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants, initiates and members entering into new phases of their spiritual lives.

Conversely, the spread of Christianity depressed the market for frankincense during the 4th century AD. Desertification made the caravan routes across the Rub’ al Khali or “Empty Quarter” of the Arabian Peninsula more difficult. Additionally, increased raiding by the Parthians in the Near East caused the frankincense trade to dry up after A.D. 300.

Frankincense Oil DIY Recipes

Scar Reducing Body Butter: Total Time: 5 minutes; Serves: 4

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ounces shea butter or coconut oil
  • 10 drops of jasmine oil
  • 10 drops frankincense oil
  • Small container or jar to mix the ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

In a double boiler, melt the shea butter until it’s liquid.

Make sure the oil is not so hot that it will burn you, then add the other oils and stir together to combine. Having the shea butter be room temperature or a little warmer is best.

You can either smear it on your scar right away, or if you’d like to make it into a shelf-stable cream texture, place the mixture in the fridge until it’s cool for a few minutes, then use a hand mixer on high speed to whip the oils into a white cream.

Pour into a glass jar or containers, and keep it at room temperature to use whenever you want.

Sleep-Inducing Facial Cream or Body Rub: Total Time: 5 minutes; Serves: 1

This all-natural night cream is great to help you fall asleep. It also doubles as a skin health-booster if you apply it to your face and may be able to help clear up blemishes or breakouts.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1/4 tablespoon organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Small container or jar to mix the ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

Use coconut oil that’s not solid but rather soft. If need be, heat it first in a double broiler.

Add the other oils and stir together to combine. Spread over your face and body. You may want to pat yourself off after to not allow the oil to seep into your bed sheets. You can also store this to use at another time.

Homemade Frankincense and Myrrh Lotion: Total Time: 90 minutes; Serves: 30

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup bees wax
  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tbsp vitamin E
  • 20 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 20 drops myrrh essential oil
  • BPA free plastic lotion dispenser bottles

Directions:

Put olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter in glass bowl then place that bowl in sauce pan with water.

Heat stove to medium and mix ingredients together.

Once mixed put in refrigerator for an hour until solid.

With a regular mixer or hand mixer beat the mixture until it is whipped and fluffy. Then add essential oils and vitamin E and mix.

Fill container and store in cool place.

Homemade Frankincense Soap Bar: Total Time: 30 minutes; Serves: 30

INGREDIENTS:

  • 20-30 drops frankincense essential oil
  • Soap Base
  • 5 drops pomegranate oil
  • Oval Bar Molds or Decorative Soap Mold

Directions:

Put soap base in glass bowl then place that bowl in sauce pan with water.

Heat stove to medium and allow base to melt.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Then add the frankincense and pomegranate oil

Mix well and transfer to a soap mold

Let mixture cool fully before popping bar out of mold. Keep at room temp

Frankincense Interactions/Side Effects

For oil safety concerns, you should know that frankincense essential oil is extremely well-tolerated, especially compared to prescription medications. To date, there are no reported serious side effects of using frankincense oil, as long as you do not ingest large quantities, which can result in it becoming toxic.

Rarely frankincense oil can cause certain reactions for some people, including minor skin rashes and digestive problems like nausea or stomach pains. Frankincense is also known to have blood-thinning effects, so anyone who has problems related to blood clotting should not use frankincense oil or should speak with a doctor first. Otherwise, the oil may have potential to negatively react with certain anticoagulant medications.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankincense
  2. https://draxe.com/what-is-frankincense/
  3. http://deposit.ddb.de/cgi-bin/dokserv?idn=975255932&dok_var=d1&dok_ext=pdf&filename=975255932.pdf
  4. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=frankincense
  5. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/worlds-last-wild-frankincense-forests-084122152.html
  6. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/21/christmas-staple-frankincense-doomed-ecologists-warn/
  7. http://www.bibler.org/glossary/frankincense.html
  8. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-frankincense-essential-oil.html
  9. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/frankincense-essential-oil/profile
  10. https://draxe.com/frankincense-oil-cancer/
  11. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314366.php
  12. https://drericz.com/frankincense-oil-benefits/
  13. https://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/frankincense-and-cancer
  14. http://tisserandinstitute.org/frankincense-oil-and-cancer-in-perspective/
  15. http://roberttisserand.com/2015/03/frankincense-essential-oil-and-cancer/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664784/
  17. https://breastcancerconqueror.com/the-power-of-essential-oils-on-breast-cancer/
  18. https://beatcancer.org/blog-posts/the-cancer-healing-power-of-frankincense
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796379/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?term=frankincense%20and%20cancer&page=2
  21. http://www.i-detox.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Frankincense-Essential-Oil-for-treating-Cancer-v2-summary-notes-from-Dr-Lin_s-talks-in-SG-2013.pdf
  22. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/boswellia
  23. https://www.nhs.uk/news/cancer/can-frankincense-really-fight-cancer/
  24. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001446
  25. http://www.acanceresearch.com/cancer-research/frankincense-boswellia-species-the-novel-phytotherapy-for-drug-targeting-in-cancer.php?aid=8424
  26. https://www.livestrong.com/article/479493-frankincense-cancer/
  27. https://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3658
  28. https://peoplebeatingcancer.org/frankincense-oil-causes-apoptosis-to-bladder-cancer-cells/
  29. https://www.curejoy.com/content/holy-herbs-frankincense-and-myrrh-can-cure-cancer/
  30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8505251.stm
  31. https://wellnessmama.com/123712/frankincense-oil-uses-benefits/

Nasal Breathing for Health

Nasal Breathing is Essential to Good Health

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

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

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

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

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

Training Yourself to Breathe Through Your Nose

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

Here are some simple ways to establish nasal breathing:

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

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

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate)

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

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

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

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

Internal uses include:

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

People use Epsom salt baths as a home treatment for:

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

Benefits of Epsom Salt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health Uses of Epsom Salt

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

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

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

Epsom Salt Detox

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

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

Safety and Side Effects of Epsom Salt

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

Why do we need magnesium?  (WellnessMama.com)

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

Magnesium Deficiency Leads To:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipes

Homemade Healing Bath Salts

INGREDIENTS:

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

Directions:

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

References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321627.php
  2. https://pocahontastimes.com/take-it-with-a-grain-of-epsom-salt/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_sulfate
  4. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/epsom-salt-bath#1
  5. https://draxe.com/epsom-salt/
  6. https://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/uses-benefits/health/
  7. https://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/health/doctors-say-epsom-salt-helps-reduce-itching-from-summer-ailments/
  8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/epsom-salt-benefits-uses
  9. https://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty-uses-epsom-salt
  10. https://www.livestrong.com/article/368695-how-to-use-epson-salt-for-infection/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1584988/
  12. https://draxe.com/homemade-healing-bath-salts/
  13. https://wellnessmama.com/8509/epsom-salt/
  14. https://wellnessmama.com/54128/magnesium-deficiency/
  15. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131004105233.htm
  16. https://www.healthline.com/health/epsom-salt-detox
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22516723
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24290571
  19. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/research-uncovers-low-magnesium-is-key-link-to-heart-disease-189181411.html
  20. http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/epsom-salt-uses
  21. https://www.care.com/c/stories/5914/29-clever-epsom-salt-uses-you-need-to-try/
  22. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/epsom-salt.html
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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)

Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). It has various applications. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidification, lasting up to six months at 24 °C (75 °F) without spoiling.

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Due to its high levels of saturated fat, the World Health Organization, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Food and Drug Administration, American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, British National Health Service, British Nutrition Foundation, and Dietitians of Canada advise that coconut oil consumption should be limited or avoided.

Coconut oil contains a large proportion of lauric acid, a saturated fat that raises total blood cholesterol levels by increasing both the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Although this may create a more favorable total blood cholesterol profile, this does not exclude the possibility that persistent consumption of coconut oil may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease through other mechanisms, particularly via the marked increase of blood cholesterol induced by lauric acid. Because the majority of saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, coconut oil may be preferred over partially hydrogenated vegetable oil when solid fats are used in the diet. Due to its high content of saturated fat with corresponding high caloric burden, regular use of coconut oil in food preparation may promote weight gain.

Nutrition and fat composition

Coconut oil is 99% fat, composed mainly of saturated fats (82% of total; table). In a 100 gram reference amount, coconut oil supplies 890 Calories. Half of the saturated fat content of coconut oil is lauric acid, while other significant saturated fats are myristoleic acid and palmitoleic acid. Monounsaturated fats comprise 6% of total fats, and polyunsaturated fats comprise 2% (table). Coconut oil contains phytosterols, but there are no micronutrients having significant content (table).

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Nutritional Profile of Coconut Oil: Part of the reason coconut oil is such a powerhouse superfood is its unique nutritional profile. It was avoided and shunned for years because of its 92% saturated fat content but recent research is showing this stigma was unwarranted. Most of the fats in coconut oil are saturated but they are in the form of MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides, also called MCFAs), which affect the body differently than short and long chain fats.

  1. Saturated fatty acids: Most of them are medium chain triglycerides, which are supposed to assimilate well in the body’s systems.
  2. Lauric acid: It is the chief contributor, representing more than 40% of the total, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin. Lauric acid is helpful in dealing with viruses and diseases.
  3. Capric acid: It reacts with certain enzymes secreted by other bacteria, which subsequently converts it into a powerful antimicrobial agent, monocaprin.
  4. Caprylic acid, caproic acid, and myristic acid: They are rich in antimicrobial and antifungal properties
  5. Unsaturated fatty acids: Polyunsaturated fatty acids- linoleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acids- oleic acid
  6. Poly-phenols: Coconut contains gallic acid, which is also known as phenolic acid. These polyphenols are responsible for the fragrance and the taste of coconut oil. Virgin Coconut Oil is rich in these polyphenols.
  7. Derivatives of fatty acid: Betaines, ethanolamide, ethoxylates, fatty esters, fatty polysorbates, monoglycerides and polyol esters.
  8. Derivatives of fatty alcohols: Fatty chlorides, fatty alcohol sulfate, and fatty alcohol ether sulfate
  9. Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamin E, vitamin K, and minerals such as iron.

Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) or Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)

Most of the fats we consume are long chain fatty acids that must be broken down before they can be absorbed. Coconut oil is high in short and medium chain fatty acids, which are easily digested and sent right to the liver for energy production. Because MCFAs are sent right to the liver for digestion, no bile or pancreatic enzymes are needed for digestion, making coconut oil a healthy food even for those with diabetes or those who have gallbladder problems. MCFAs can help increase metabolism since they are sent directly to the liver and give the body an instant source of energy. Most of the MCFAs in coconut oil are the highly beneficial Lauric Acid.

Benefits of MCFAs (MCTs)

  • All of these MCTs are beneficial to the body. They are metabolized differently than longer chain fats, going straight from the digestive system to the liver. This provides a quick source of energy and brain fuel.
  • These rare oils are naturally free of cholesterol and hard to find in nature.
  • This may be part of the reason that coconut oil is so beneficial to the brain and for weight loss. It isn’t digested or stored in the same was as other fats and is more quickly available for use.
  • Coconut oil is also a decent source of several fat soluble vitamins (mainly A and K) as well as healthy polyphenols.

Types of Coconut Oil

Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil: Considered the gold standard. This type of oil offers the most of the benefits listed above. It is extracted from fresh coconut using a wet-milled fermentation process that protects the beneficial properties of the coconut. This type of coconut oil has been found to have the highest antioxidant levels. This process does use heat but studies show that it does not harm the oil or reduce nutrient levels. In fact, the heat may be beneficial and create a higher quality oil.

“Extra Virgin” Oil: The gold standard for olive oil but not coconut oil. This is produced by cold-pressing the oil and does not preserve the antioxidants as well. In 2013, a study that compared “cold extracted virgin coconut oil” (CEVCO) with “hot extracted virgin coconut oil” (HEVCO) and standard refined coconut oil (CCO) was conducted in India, and published in the journal Food Science and Biotechnology. This study, like many others, showed that virgin coconut oils actually lower LDL cholesterol, while raising the “good” HDL cholesterol. This study also confirmed that virgin coconut oil produced with heat produced the highest amounts of antioxidants: “The antioxidant activity in the HEVCO group was 80-87%, 65-70% in CEVCO, and 35-45% in CCO.” The researchers went on to comment why heat is necessary to produce the highest amounts of antioxidants in virgin coconut oil.

Refined Coconut Oils: often tasteless and has no coconut smell. It is usually heated, bleached and deodorized. Healthy options are available but many refined coconut oils do not have the benefits of unrefined.

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Fractionated oil or MCT oil is a liquid oil that does not get solid below 76 degrees like unrefined oil does. It doesn’t contain all of the beneficial properties of unrefined coconut oil but is higher in brain-boosting fats.

Coconut Oil Benefits  

Coconut Oil for Hair– This nourishing oil has been used for centuries in hair and its unique fat composition makes it especially beneficial for certain hair types. Use it as a hair mask, hot oil treatment, or in homemade hair products.

To Moisturize and Nourish Skin– The same properties make coconut oil great for skin as well. Many people like to use it as a natural moisturizer. Its natural antioxidant properties make it great for stopping wrinkles and skin irritation. Coconut oil is wonderful as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen, but also it can treat many skin disorders. The fatty acids (caprylic and lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally and moisturize, making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions. It protects the skin and has many antioxidants that make it ideal for healing the skin. In addition, the antimicrobial properties balance out the candida or fungal sources that can cause many skin conditions. There’s so much unrefined coconut oil can do for skin.

Help remineralize teeth – Calcium is an important component of our teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in developing strong teeth. It also stops tooth decay. Recent research suggests that it is also beneficial in reducing plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis. Oil pulling with coconut oil has been used for centuries as a way to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and help heal periodontal disease. Coconut oil is one of the most effective oils for oil pulling due to its high concentration of antibacterial MCFAs. By swishing the oil in your mouth, the oil denatures the bacteria and sticks to it. Removing oral bacteria greatly reduces your risk of periodontal disease. If you want to heal your gums and repair your teeth, its recommended to do coconut oil pulling three times a week for 20 minutes a day.

Digestive Help– Coconut oil’s concentration of beneficial fats in coconut oil makes it helpful for digestion. Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system, and thus, prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The saturated fats present in it have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Coconut oil can help improve bacteria and gut health by destroying bad bacteria and candida. Candida imbalance especially can decrease stomach acid, which causes inflammation and poor digestion. All this together means coconut oil benefits digestive health and helps treat or prevent stomach ulcers and ulcerative colitis.

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Keeping Organs Healthy – The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids in coconut oil helps in preventing liver diseases. This is because those substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing the workload of the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat. It also helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases and helps to dissolve kidney stones. Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in keeping pancreas healthy by treating pancreatitis. The MCFAs of coconut oil do not need the pancreatic enzymes to be broken down, so taking coconut oil eases the strain on the pancreas. Additionally, this superfood is so easy to digest that it has been known to improve the symptoms of gallbladder disease as well. Replace other long-chain fats with coconut oil to improve gallbladder and total body health.

Great Source of Healthy Fats– Over 50% of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid. In fact, coconut oil is the richest source of lauric acid after breastmilk. Topically, it helps skin heal faster after injury or infection because of its beneficial fats – When applied to infected areas, coconut oil forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It is highly effective on bruises because it speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues.

Mental Boost– Studies show MCTs may contribute to focus and mental performance. In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging, researchers found that the MCFAs in coconut oil improved the memory problems in their older subjects. Across all the patients there was a marked improvement in their recall ability after taking this fatty acid. As the MCFAs are absorbed easily in the body and can be accessed in the brain without the use of insulin. Thus, they are able to fuel brain cells more efficiently.

Hormone Support– Getting the wrong kinds of fats can create havoc on hormones. Coconut oil contains specific fats that support the body’s natural hormone production. Coconut oil may help naturally balance hormones because it’s a great source of saturated fat, including lauric acid. Studies have found that coconut oil may be an excellent fat to consume during menopause and also may have positives effects on estrogen levels. In order to naturally balance hormones, reduce sugar and grain consumption and load up on healthy fats from coconut, avocado, flax seeds and ghee. You can also consume other coconut forms, such as coconut butter or coconut water.

Immune Support– The MCTs have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it beneficial for immune support. It strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which research has supported as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. Coconut oil helps in fighting harmful bacteria like listeria monocytogenes and Helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills the viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, and other serious health risks. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea. Finally, coconut oil is also effective in the elimination of fungi and yeast that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash.

Helps in AIDS & Cancer Treatment – It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing the viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown an indication of this effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients.

Boosts Heart Health – This is a controversial topic. There is enough research to prove that coconut oil is not good for the heart due to the presence of saturated fats. While there is also research that shows that coconut oil is good for the heart. Lauric acid present in coconut oil helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis. A study suggests that intake of coconut oil may help in maintaining healthy lipid profiles in pre-menopausal women. So, finally, is coconut oil good or bad for the heart? Well, if you are using it for edible purposes, check your cholesterol levels regularly. If you find them increasing, it is better to stop the intake. In any case, do consult a professional medical practitioner before you start consuming coconut oil. Never play with your (and someone else’s) heart!

Great fat for cooking- Coconut oil is a stable oil that doesn’t break down easily at high temperatures like other oils do. It doesn’t go rancid easily and has amazing nutritional properties. It is great for cooking eggs, stir fries, grain free baked goods, and practically any other cooking use.

Prevents Candida – Candida, also known as Systemic Candidiasis, is a tragic disease caused by an excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida albicans in the stomach. Coconut provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida, both externally and internally. Its high moisture retaining capacity keeps the skin from cracking or peeling off. Capric acid, caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid found in coconut oil help in eliminating Candida albicans. Further, unlike other pharmaceutical treatments for candida, the effect of coconut oil is gradual and not drastic or sudden, which gives the patient an appropriate amount of time to get used to the withdrawal symptoms or Herxheimer reactions (the name given to the symptoms accompanying body’s rejection of toxins generated during elimination of these fungi). But in the treatment of this condition, people should systematically and gradually increase their dosages of coconut oil, and shouldn’t initially start with a large quantity.

Speeds weight loss when consumed daily – It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. Research suggests that it helps to reduce abdominal obesity in women. It is also easy to digest as compared to other edible oils and helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby, burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who use coconut oil every day as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight. Several people focus on exercises to lose weight, from using indoor machines like leg press machines to outdoor exercises like running and playing sports. While this is a good approach to lose weight, including products like coconut oil enhances your weight loss efforts.

Other Benefits – Coconut oil is strongly recommended for a number of other benefits that are explained below. Using this oil has been shown to mildly help the following:

Stress relief: Coconut oil is very soothing, and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying it to the head, followed by a gentle massage, helps eliminate mental fatigue. According to research virgin coconut oil gives relief from stress and has antioxidant properties.

Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also promotes the effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby, preventing and treating diabetes. When cells refuse to respond to insulin and no longer take in glucose for energy, then they’re considered insulin-resistant. The pancreas then pumps out more insulin to compensate and creates an overproduction cycle. Insulin resistance is the precursor to type II diabetes. The MCFAs in coconut oil help balance the insulin reactions in the cells and promote healthy digestive process. They take off the strain on the pancreas and give the body a consistent energy source that is not dependent on glucose reactions, which can prevent insulin resistance and type II diabetes.

Bones: As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for the development of bones. Thus, it is very useful for women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age. Oxidative stress and free radicals are the two biggest culprits of osteoporosis. Since coconut oil has such high levels of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals, it is a leading natural treatment for osteoporosis. Another of the amazing coconut oil benefits is that it increases calcium absorption in the gut. Research on osteoporosis has found that coconut oil not only increases bone volume and structure in subjects, but also decreased bone loss due to osteoporosis.

Boosts Energy: Coconut oil is often used by athletes, bodybuilders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that it contains fewer calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy, and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. It helps boost energy and endurance, and generally, enhances the performance of athletes. Coconut oil is easy to digest and also produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. When taking a quality unrefined coconut oil, you can get the most coconut oil benefits as its MCFAs are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy. Today, many triathletes use coconut oil as their source of fuel during training and races for long-distance events. You can make a homemade energy fuel by mixing coconut oil, raw honey and chia seeds together. Simply put together one tablespoon of each and consume 30 minutes prior to exercise.

Coconut oil and Alzheimer’s disease: The research conducted by Dr. Newport states that the oil is useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease. One of the most beneficial properties of coconut oil is the large quantity of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that it contains, as opposed to the long-chain fatty acids that many other foods contain. The reasoning behind the benefits of this type of acid is that medium-chain fatty acids are not only absorbed easily by the liver, but they are also metabolized quickly. This means they can further be converted into ketones. Ketones are utilized by the brain as an important energy source and have been shown to have possible therapeutic effects on people suffering from memory loss, such as in case of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, unique phenolic compounds and hormones found in coconut oil may be able to prevent the aggregation of amyloid beta peptides, which are part of a leading theory concerning the cause of Alzheimer’s.

Use as Carrier Oil

Carrier oils are those oils, which easily penetrate or absorb into the skin, facilitating seepage or absorption of other oils (such as essential oils) and herbal extracts when mixed into it. It is easily absorbed through the skin’s pores and thus is used as a carrier oil. Furthermore, being one of the most stable oils, it doesn’t go rancid, nor does it let the other oils, herbal extracts, or medicines spoil inside of it. It does not alter the properties of the oils and herbs mixed within it. It also protects the herbs and oils from microbial or fungal interactions. Coconut oil is expensive in several countries; however, in tropical countries, its cost is low enough to make it affordable as a carrier oil.

Coconut Oil Beauty Uses

Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil that acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry skin. Unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin from the application of this oil. Therefore, it has been safely used for thousands of years for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. Yes, you read it right – thousands of years! Coconut oil usage may be termed as a recent fad, but it has been there for ages.

It also helps in treating various skin problems, including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections. For this exact reason, coconut oil forms the base ingredient of various body care products like soaps, lotions, and creams that are used for skin care. What more? It also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, which normally accompany aging. The credit to this benefit goes to its well-known antioxidant properties.

Some examples of uses include:

  1. With other oils as part of an oil cleansing regimen for beautiful skin
  2. Whipped with shea butter for a soothing body balm
  3. In homemade lotion bars with other beneficial ingredients like shea butter
  4. In homemade deodorant– its natural antibacterial properties make it helpful in fighting odor.
  5. Coconut oil makes an excellent eye-makeup remover on its own
  6. It may help lighten age spots when rubbed directly on the skin
  7. To help increase sun tolerance and avoid burning when used internally
  8. As a naturally low SPF sunscreen on its own when used topically
  9. In basic homemade lotion recipes
  10. Add a couple drops of a favorite essential oil to make a delicious massage oil
  11. Mixed with equal parts sugar for a smoothing body scrub (use in the shower)
  12. In homemade slow cooker soap
  13. To make natural Homemade Sunscreen recipes with other protective ingredients
  14. As a natural personal lubricant that won’t disturb vaginal flora
  15. As a natural shave cream and after shave lotion
  16. Use it alone as a great tanning oil
  17. Mix with seal salt to remove dry skin on feet
  18. In natural homemade diaper cream
  19. Use it alone or with baking soda as a natural deodorant
  20. By itself or with baking soda as a naturally whitening toothpaste
  21. Make homemade peppermint lip balm
  22. Or make magnesium body butter
  23. Rub on cuticles to help nails grow
  24. Rub into elbows daily to help alleviate dry, flaky elbows
  25. To help avoid chlorine exposure when swimming
  26. As a completely natural baby lotion
  27. Rubbed on lips as a natural lip balm or used in lip balm recipes

Coconut Oil For Hair –

This thick butter-like oil helps in healthy growth of hair and makes your hair shiny. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss, which if unchecked can lead to various unhealthy qualities in your hair. This is the reason why it is used as hair care oil, and in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Now you must be thinking how to use coconut oil for your hair? Just apply it topically to your hair or use a coconut oil hair mask. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Research studies indicate that it provides better protection to hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue. By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your scalp is dandruff free, even if your scalp is chronically dry. It also helps in keeping your hair and scalp free from lice and lice eggs (yes, some people do get lice in their hair).

  1. Rub into scalp daily to stimulate hair growth
  2. Or use in homemade shampoo bars
  3. A tiny dab rubbed on your hands and then through hair makes a great anti-frizz treatment
  4. As an incredibly intensive natural conditioner- Rub into dry hair, put a shower cap on and leave for several hours before washing out with several rounds of shampoo

Coconut Oil Uses Around the Home

  1. To make a simple homemade soap
  2. Or make a clay and charcoal soothing soap
  3. Rub a small amount into real leather to soften and condition (shiny leather only… test a small area first)
  4. And use a small amount to dilute essential oils for use on skin
  5. For pets struggling with skin issues when used externally
  6. In coconut oil dog treats
  7. On hands after doing dishes to avoid dry skin
  8. Mixed with catnip, rosemary, or mint essential oils as a natural bug repellent
  9. Natural Remedies for Coconut Oil
  10. Coconut oil – oil pulling chews with essential oils
  11. Rubbed on the inside of your nose it may help alleviate allergy symptoms
  12. The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties make it helpful topically to kill yeast or yeast infections
  13. The antimicrobial properties and beneficial fats make coconut oil a powerhouse in Remineralizing Toothpaste
  14. Can help sooth psoriasis or eczema
  15. Oil pulling with coconut oil and a drop of oregano oil helps improve gum health
  16. Can help improve cholesterol ratios
  17. Can help reduce appearance of varicose veins when used topically
  18. After initial heat is gone, can help speed healing of sunburn
  19. Blend a tablespoon into hot tea to help speed recovery from cold or flu
  20. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can help lessen arthritis
  21. Can reduce the itch of mosquito bites
  22. Can help resolve acne when used regularly
  23. A tablespoon melted into a cup of warm tea can help sooth a sore throat
  24. In homemade vapor rub
  25. Can be used internally and externally to speed recovery from UTIs
  26. In a salve for cracked heels
  27. One reader swears by using coconut oil to treat yeast infection. She suggests soaking a tampon in it and inserting the tampon for a few hours.
  28. Naturally clears up cold sores
  29. Ingesting coconut oil daily can help with allergy symptoms
  30. Some people say ingesting coconut oil daily can increase mental alertness
  31. Coconut Oil for Pregnancies, Babies and Children
  32. As a cloth diaper safe diaper cream (just rub on baby’s bottom)
  33. Used in kids ears with chamomile essential oil to help speed ear infection healing
  34. In place of Lanolin cream on nursing nipples to sooth irritation (also great for baby!)
  35. Nursing moms can take a couple tablespoons a day (and Vitamin D) to increase milk supply and nutrients
  36. To help soothe the itch of chicken pox or poison ivy
  37. Use on skin to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy
  38. Used directly on the perineum to help heal after birth
  39. To get rid of cradle cap on baby- just massage in to head, leave on for a few minutes and gently rinse with a warm wash cloth
  40. With apple cider vinegar as a natural treatment for lice that actually works

Uses for Coconut Oil in Cooking and Recipes

  1. A great cooking oil with a high smoke point. Great for baking, stir-frys or as a dairy free replacement to butter.
  2. Try adding to foods or smoothies daily for energy
  3. Or emulsify into coffee for a homemade coffee creamer (The only way I’ll drink coffee)
  4. In homemade Mayo without the high PUFA vegetable oils
  5. To season cast iron skillets
  6. It’s high Lauric acid and MCFA content helps boost metabolism when used in foods
  7. In healthy brain boosting snack for kids like Coconut Clusters
  8. Add to a filling and energy boosting Brain Power Smoothie
  9. Mix a tablespoon with a tablespoon of chia seeds for an all-day energy boost (do NOT take this at night!)
  10. Use as a replacement for vegetable oils in any recipe or in cooking
  11. Or try your hand at making coconut based grain free granola recipes
  12. My kids love these homemade meltaways (like candy)
  13. Use it as an anti-aging facial moisturizer
  14. Or make coconut cream concentrate for a brain boosting snack

Recipes

Body Scrub – Moisturize while getting rid of dead skin cells by making your own body (or facial) scrub. Just mix coconut oil with coconut sugar to reveal smoother skin. Try it a few times a week.

Coconut Oil Shampoo – Here is one of my favorite coconut oil shampoo recipes, that will leave your hair feeling soft and healthy. As every person’s hair is different, feel free to adjust the coconut oil level to suit your hair needs. For fine hair you may reduce the coconut oil amount as needed to 1/4 cup, and for thick dry or curly hair, you may need to increase this amount or add a few drops of avocado oil as well.

  • 1 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 50-60 drops of favorite essential oils

Melt coconut oil and coconut milk together over very low heat, as to not damage any of the nutrients. Pour into a bottle with a secure lid, and top with the castile soap. Shake well. And then, shake some more. Add 50 drops of your favorite essential oils, and shake again. Great essential oils for hair include lavender, wild orange, peppermint, lemongrass, rosemary, clary sage, and rosemary. This shampoo will not be as thick as commercial shampoos; squeeze on hair directly from the bottle. Wash, and rinse well.

Coconut Oil Conditioner

  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vitamin E oil
  • 1 tablespoon Jojoba oil
  • 10 drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a hand mixer until well combined. This may take several minutes. You want a smooth and creamy conditioner. In the shower, after washing hair with Coconut Oil Shampoo, use a teaspoon or two and smooth through hair. Allow to penetrate hair for the remainder of your shower, and rinse very well.

NOTE: If you color your hair, especially red, coconut oil may fade the color. For most hair types and colors, it will not.

BONUS: Coconut oil is a great base for natural hair colors as it penetrates the hair shaft. For darker hair, mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil with 1 cup of strong coffee, with 1 tablespoon of spent grounds, and apply to hair. Allow to sit for 45 – 60 minutes, the longer you leave it, the darker the results. Rinse well and style as desired.

For blonde hair, or to add subtle highlights, mix 1/2 cup of strong chamomile tea, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and ¼ cup coconut oil in a blender until emulsified. Apply to hair and roots and cover with a shower cap. Sit in the sun, or use a hair dryer to keep the cap warm for 45 minutes to 75 minutes. Rinse well.

References:

  1. https://wellnessmama.com/5734/coconut-oil/
  2. https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-for-skin/
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282857.php
  5. http://www.doctoroz.com/article/surprising-health-benefits-coconut-oil
  6. https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-uses/
  7. https://pinchofyum.com/coconut-oil-apple-crisp
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25163649
  9. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil
  10. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/coconut-oil-and-health#1
  11. https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-benefits/
  12. http://www.eatthis.com/benefits-of-coconut-oil/
  13. https://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/
  14. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/coconut-oil-and-health#1
  15. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1092-coconut%20oil.aspx?activeingredientid=1092
  16. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-161163/coconut-oil-oral/details
  17. http://jabsom.hawaii.edu/minimedschool/docs/coconut-macnut-oil.pdf
  18. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cracking-the-coconut-oil-craze-2017041011513
  19. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coconut-oil-studies#modal-close
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892314/
  21. https://cspinet.org/tip/coconut-oil-myths-persist-face-facts
  22. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/diet-weight-loss/food/nutrition/article/coconut-oil-all-its-cracked-be
  23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25997382
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715094
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11413497
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21669587
  27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24588369
  28. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3146349/
  29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23892389
  30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC90807/
  31. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2004.69/full
  32. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23024690
  33. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437664/
  34. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24613207?dopt=Abstract
  35. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24285126
  36. https://draxe.com/uti-symptoms/
  37. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25301680
  38. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24150106
  39. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Lipids%22[Jour]+AND+44[volume]+AND+2009[pdat]+AND+ferreira[author]
  40. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058
  41. https://nearfox.com/leg-press-machine/
  42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25838632
  43. http://coconutresearchcenter.org/articles-and-videos/coconut-information/cholesterol-hiv-and-coconut-oil/
  44. http://coconutresearchcenter.org/ 
  45. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4247320/
  46. http://coconutketones.com/
  47. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_oil
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  51. http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthyhearts/pages/cholesterol.aspx
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  56. http://www.aciar.gov.au/files/node/453/mono101.pdf
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  58. http://www.tis-gdv.de/tis_e/ware/oele/kokosoel/kokosoel.htm

Clove Bud

Clove Bud (Syzygium aromaticum)

You will find Clove Bud in Mother Jai’s Pain Relief Oils, Aroma Sprays, and Mouthwash

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Other Names: Bourgeon Floral de Clou de Girofle, Bouton Floral de Clou de Girofle, Caryophylli Flos, Caryophyllum, Caryophyllus aromaticus, Clavo de Olor, Clous de Girolfe, Clove Flower, Clove Flowerbud, Clove Leaf, Clove Oil, Clove Stem, Cloves

Botany: The clove plant grows in warm climates and is cultivated commercially in Tanzania, Sumatra, the Maluku (Molucca) Islands, and South America. The tall evergreen plant grows up to 20 m and has leathery leaves. The strongly aromatic clove spice is the dried flower bud; essential oils are obtained from the buds, stems, and leaves. The dark brown buds are 12 to 22 mm in length and have 4 projecting calyx lobes. The 4 petals above the lobes fold over to form a hood, which hides numerous stamens. Synonyms are Eugenia caryophyllata , Eugenia caryophyllus , and Caryophyllus aromaticus .

Oil properties: Clove oil has a warm, strong, spicy smell and the oil is colorless to pale yellow with a medium to watery viscosity. It blends well with Allspice, basil, bay, bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, mandarin, palmarosa, rose, sandalwood, vanilla, ylang ylang

Origin of clove oil: A native of Indonesia and the Malacca Islands, it is an evergreen tree that grows to about 10 meters (30 feet) tall and has bright green leaves and nail-shaped rose-peach flower buds which turn, upon drying, a deep red brown. These are beaten from the tree and dried. The Latin word ‘Clavus’ means nail shaped, referring to the bud. It was often used by the Greeks, Roman and the Chinese, to ease toothache and as a breath sweetener, especially when talking to the Emperor. It has antiseptic properties and was used in the prevention of contagious diseases, such as the Plaque. It was an important commodity in the spice trade and is still used in perfumes, mulled wines and liqueurs, love potions, dental products and, stuck in an orange as pomade, an insect repellant.

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Extraction clove oil: Clove oil can be extracted from the leaves, stem and buds. We sell clove leaf oil, which is extracted by water distillation, containing the desired lower percentage of eugenol.

Chemical composition: The main chemical components of clove oil are eugenol, eugenol acetate, iso-eugenol and caryophyllene.

Scientific Facts About Clove: Clove is the dried bud of the flower from the tree Syzygium aromaticum. It belongs to the plant family named Myrtaceae. The plant is an evergreen plant growing in tropical and subtropical conditions. Clove is an herb and people use various parts of the plant, including the dried bud, stems, and leaves to make medicine. Clove oil is also famous for its medicinal properties. Clove has been used for thousands of years in India and China not only as a spice and condiment but also as a medicine for many ailments. Ayurvedic medicating used cloves for tooth decay, halitosis, and bad breath. In Chinese medicine, clove was considered to possess aphrodisiac properties.

Cloves Nutrition Facts: According to the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, the nutrients found in 100 grams of cloves include 65 grams of carbohydrate, 6 grams of protein, 13 grams of total lipids, 2 grams of sugars, 274 kcal of energy and 33 grams of dietary fibers. Minerals in cloves include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. The vitamins found in them include vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K.

Precautions: Clove oil is a very potent oil and should be used with care. If it is used in a oil, lotion or cream applied to the skin, the concentration should be well below 1%. It may cause irritation to the skin of some individuals and can easily irritate the mucus membranes. It should be avoided during pregnancy.

Therapeutic properties: analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-neuralgic, carminative, anti-infectious, disinfectant, insecticide, stimulant, stomachic, uterine and tonic.

Clove oil can be used for acne, bruises, burns and cuts, keeping infection at bay and as a pain reliever. It helps with toothache, mouth sores, rheumatism and arthritis. It is beneficial to the digestive system, effective against vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, spasms and parasites, as well as bad breath. Clove oil is valuable for relieving respiratory problems, like bronchitis, asthma and tuberculosis. The disinfecting property is useful in cases of infectious diseases. Placing a few drops of clove oil on a cotton ball and then placing the cotton ball in a linen cupboard will not only fragrance the cupboard, but will help to keep fish moths at bay.

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Burners and vaporizers: In vapor therapy, clove oil can be useful for bronchitis and dizziness and to help lift depression, while strengthening memory and fighting weakness and lethargy.

Massage oil: Clove oil can be used in a blended massage oil to assist with diarrhea, bronchitis, chills, colds, muscular numbness, spasms, rheumatism and arthritis. For toothache the outer jaw can be massaged with this oil. Use a low dilution of less than 1%.

In cream or lotion: When used in a cream or lotion, the positive effects of clove oil are the same as those of a massage oil and can furthermore help to sort out leg ulcers and skin sores. Use in low dilution of less than 1%.

Mouthwash: Clove oil can be included at a low rate as part of a mouthwash for toothache.

Health benefits of clove bud

Better Digestion: Cloves improve digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. Cloves are also good for reducing flatulence, gastric irritability, dyspepsia, and nausea. They can be roasted, powdered, and taken with honey for relief in digestive disorders.

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Antibacterial Properties: Cloves have been tested for their antibacterial properties against a number of human pathogens. The extracts of cloves were potent enough to kill those pathogens. Clove extracts are also effective against the specific bacteria that spread cholera.

Chemo-preventive Properties: Cloves are of interest to the medical community due to their chemo-preventive or anti-carcinogenic properties. Tests have shown that they are helpful in controlling lung cancer at its early stages.

Liver Protection: Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which are ideal for protecting the organs from the effects of free radicals, especially the liver. Metabolism, in the long run, increases free radical production and lipid profile, while decreasing the antioxidants in the liver. Clove extracts are helpful in counteracting those effects with its hepatoprotective properties.

Diabetes Control: Cloves have been used in many traditional remedies for a number of diseases. One such disease is diabetes. In patients suffering from diabetes, the amount of insulin produced by the body is not sufficient or insulin is not produced at all. Studies have revealed that extracts from cloves imitate insulin in certain ways and help in controlling blood sugar levels.

Bone Preservation: The hydro-alcoholic extracts of cloves include phenolic compounds such as eugenol and its derivatives, such as flavones, isoflavones and flavonoids. These extracts have been particularly helpful in preserving bone density and the mineral content of bone, as well as increasing tensile strength of bones in case of osteoporosis.

Anti-mutagenic Properties: Mutagens are those chemicals that change the genetic makeup of the DNA by causing mutations. Biochemical compounds found in cloves, like phenylpropanoids, possess anti-mutagenic properties. These were administered on cells treated with mutagens and they were able to control the mutagenic effects to a significant rate.

Boosts the Immune System: Ayurveda describes certain plants to be effective in developing and protecting the immune system. One such plant is clove. The dried flower bud of clove contains compounds that help in improving the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count, thereby, improving delayed-type hypersensitivity.

Anti-inflammatory Properties: Cloves possess anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties. Studies on clove extracts being administered in lab rats, suggest that the presence of eugenol reduced the inflammation caused by edema. It was also confirmed that eugenol has the ability to reduce pain by stimulating pain receptors.

Cure for Oral Diseases: Cloves can be taken for gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Clove bud extracts significantly control the growth of oral pathogens, which are responsible for various oral diseases. Cloves can also be used for toothaches due to their pain-killing properties.

Aphrodisiac Properties: Spices such as clove and nutmeg have been said to possess aphrodisiac properties, according to Unani medicine. Experiments on clove and nutmeg extracts were tested against standard drugs administered for that reason, and both clove and nutmeg showed positive results.

Cure for Headaches: Headaches can be reduced by using cloves. Make a paste of a few cloves and mix it with a dash of rock salt. Add this to a glass of milk. This mixture reduces headaches quickly and effectively.

Anal fissures. Early research suggests that applying a clove oil cream to anal fissures for 6 weeks improves healing compared to using stool softeners and applying lignocaine cream.

Dental plaque. Early research suggests that using a specific toothpaste (Sudantha, Link Natural Products Ltd.) containing a combination of clove, Acacia chundra Willd., malabar nut, bullet wood tree, black pepper, Indian beech, gall oak, Terminalia, and ginger twice daily for 12 weeks can reduce dental plaque, bleeding, and amount of bacteria in the mouth.

Mosquito repellent. Early research suggests that applying clove oil or clove oil gel to the skin can repel mosquitos for up to 5 hours.

Pain. Early research suggests that applying a gel containing ground cloves for 5 minutes before being stuck with a needle can reduce needle stick pain similarly to benzocaine.

Premature ejaculation. Research shows that applying a cream containing clove flower plus Panax ginseng root, Angelica root, Cistanches deserticola, Zanthoxyl species, Torlidis seed, Asiasari root, cinnamon bark, and toad venom (SS Cream) to the skin of the penis improves premature ejaculation.

Toothache. Clove oil and eugenol, one of the chemicals it contains, have long been used topically for toothache, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reclassified eugenol, downgrading its effectiveness rating. The FDA now believes there is not enough evidence to rate eugenol as effective for toothache pain. “Dry socket” following tooth extraction.

Side Effects Of Using Clove

Clove Oil: Clove oils must not be used directly; instead they must be diluted either in olive oil or in distilled water. Clove extract oil is generally considered to be safe, but certain studies have revealed that they possess cytotoxic properties. There are two major components present in clove extract oil, eugenol, and B-caryophyllene. These compounds were particularly effective against fibroblasts and endothelial cells.

Clove Cigarettes: In Indonesia, cloves are consumed on a large scale in the form of cigarettes, popularly known as kreteks. These clove cigarettes have emerged as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, but research shows that clove cigarettes are actually worse than conventional cigarettes. In the case of clove cigarettes, the amount of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar entering into the lungs was higher than that from normal tobacco cigarettes.

Note These Contraindications for the Use of Clove Oil

Keep in mind that the oil of cloves should be used moderately. Because of the high content of eugenol, excessive use may cause nausea, vomiting and blood problems. Other contraindications for this essential oil include the following:

• Phototoxicity. Do not use this oil before going out into direct sunlight, as it can lead to severe burns and other skin problems.

• Aspirin or anticoagulant medications. Clove bud oil can slow down platelet activity, which can interfere with these medications and cause adverse effects.

• Allergic reactions. Topically applying clove bud oil on damaged skin may cause severe allergic reactions and can further damage the skin.

Recipes

Clove and Cinnamon Tea

  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 clove, crushed
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon tea leaves
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon raw milk, optional

Cooking Directions:

  • Boil water, cloves and cinnamon powder.
  • Cover the pot with a tight lid to retain flavors.
  • Boil for about two minutes.
  • Lower the heat and add the tea leaves.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes or until it is drinkable.
  • Add the honey and milk. Serve.

World’s Greatest Vegetable Broth

  • 1 pound celery
  • 1 1/2 pound sweet onions
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound tomatoes, cored
  • 1 pound green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound turnips, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 gallon water

Cooking Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove leaves and tender inner parts of celery. Set aside.
  • Toss onions, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers and turnips with coconut oil. Place vegetables in a roasting pan and place them in the oven. Stir the vegetable every 15 minutes. Cook until all of the vegetables have browned and the onions start to caramelize. This takes about an hour.
  • Put the browned vegetables, celery, garlic, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley and water into a stock pot. Bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Cook uncovered until liquid is reduced in half.
  • Pour the broth through a colander, catching the broth in a large bowl or pot. The broth can be use immediately in other dishes or frozen for future use.

How to Make Infused Clove Oil

  • 4 fresh clove buds, crushed
  • Carrier oil, such as coconut oil
  • Strainer
  • Glass container with spout
  • Airtight bottleneck jar

Procedure:

  • Take the airtight jar and place the four crushed cloves at the bottom. Crush them thoroughly so that they can fit into the container.
  • Fill the jar with the carrier oil until the cloves are submerged, but not too much to overfill the container.
  • Seal the container tightly. Exposure to air can affect the oil’s potency.
  • Set aside the mixture for a week in an area where it can be exposed to sunlight.
  • Transfer the mixture into the glass container with a spout. Use the strainer to remove any sediment. Do not hesitate to strain the oil a couple of times to make sure particles are completely removed.
  • Dispose of the cloves from the strainer and do not reuse these cloves, as doing so can impact the effectiveness of the oil.
  • The strained mixture should be poured back into the airtight bottleneck container.
  • When storing, make sure the oil of is sealed tight. Shelf life can last from four to five years. Color may darken as time progresses.

Cleansing the body from parasites

– a mixture of linseed and cloves

Ingredients:

  • The linseed and the clove are effective with almost all types of parasites.
  • In order to prepare the mixture for cleansing, you need to take 10 parts of linseed and 1 part of dried cloves (100 grams of linseed and 10 grams of cloves).
  • The cloves are actually immature, unopened flower buds of the tropical tree in the myrtle family. While they are fresh, they are pink, and when they are dried they change their color in brown.

Preparation:

  • Chop everything together into dust in a coffee mill.
  • This is your healing powder for cleansing!

Consumption:

  • Take 2 tablespoons of it every day, for three days.
  • You can add the powder to cooked food in one meal, or eat it and then drink a glass of warm water (preferably in the morning).
  • After three days of taking this mixture, you should take a break for 3 days.
  • Then repeat everything again.
  • You should take this mixture for about one month.

References:

  1. http://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/clove.htm
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-251-clove.aspx?activeingredientid=251&activeingredientname=clove
  3. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/858d/c0cdbe19ca12d9b0f74ed503cf909791ecc1.pdf
  4. https://www.drugs.com/npp/clove.html
  5. http://naturalsociety.com/health-benefits-of-cloves-super-spice-healing/
  6. http://www.healthyfoodplace.com/cleanse-body-parasites-normalize-weight-two-ingredients/
  7. https://articles.mercola.com/herbs-spices/cloves.aspx
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819475/
  9. http://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.4991186
  10. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/clove-bud-essential-oil/profile
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