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.

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.

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.

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

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/

Feverfew

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

Feverfew leaf (Tanacetum parthenium)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health Benefits of Feverfew (Organicfacts.net)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanacetum_parthenium
  2. http://nccih.nih.gov/health/feverfew
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/feverfew.html
  4. https://examine.com/supplements/feverfew/
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  6. https://doi.org/10.1002%2F14651858.CD002286.pub2
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Clary Sage

Clary Sage oil (Salvia sclarea)

  • Country of Origin: France
  • Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
  • Plant Part: Leaves and flowering tops.
  • Strength of Aroma: Medium

Aromatic Scent: Clary Sage essential oil has an earthy, fruity and floral aroma that is both nutty and herbaceous. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is ‘Euphoric’.

Blends Well With: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile German, Chamomile Roman, Geranium, Jasmine Absolute, Lavender, Neroli, Orange, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang.

The chief components of clary sage essential oil are sclareol, alpha-terpineol, geraniol, linalyl acetate, linalool, caryophyllene, neryl acetate, and germacrene-D.

The health benefits of clary sage essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, anticonvulsive, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, deodorant, digestive, emmenagogue, euphoric, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, stomachic, and a uterine substance.

Purported Oral Uses and Benefits

In folk medicine, salvia sclarea extract is used as a general health tonic. It is purported to help treat mental fatigue, depression, anxiety, kidney disease, tension and migraines as well as to prevent and treat muscle spasms. It is also used to promote oral health and treat sore throats, bad breath and toothaches. Due to its estrogenic properties, it is used to restore hormonal balance, and to relieve symptoms of both premenstrual syndrome and menopause. Herbs2000.com states that salvia sclarea is beneficial for the treatment of a variety of digestive problems, such as upset stomach, gas, and both chronic and acute indigestion.

Health Benefits

Fights Depression: Clary sage oil can boost self-esteem, confidence, hope, and mental strength, thereby efficiently fighting depression. This can be very helpful for forms of depression due to failure in career or personal life, insecurity, loneliness, stagnation, the death of a friend or loved one, and many other reasons. Clary sage oil also relieves anxiety. As an antidepressant, it can be systematically administered to patients suffering from acute depression who are undergoing rehabilitation.

Works as Stress Reliever: Clary sage serves as an antidepressant and as one of the best natural remedies for anxiety; it boosts confidence and mental strength while alleviating feelings of anxiety and failure. It also has euphoric properties, leaving you with a feeling of joy and ease. A 2010 study conducted in South Korea found that clary sage oil could be developed as a therapeutic agent for patients with depression. For the study, antidepressant properties were measured in rats with a forced swimming test; clary oil had the strongest anti-stressor effect.

Reduces Convulsions: It calms down and reduces convulsions, whether they are epileptic or from some other nervous disorder or mental condition. Clary sage essential oil brings peace of mind and acts as a sedative for tense nerves.

Relieves Spasms: Clary sage oil is useful in the treatment of spasms and related ailments such as muscle cramps, spasmodic cough, stomachache, headache, and spasmodic cholera. It relaxes the nerve impulses and doesn’t allow uncontrollable spasms to occur.

Prevents Bacterial Infections: This type of essential oil kills bacteria and fungi, curbs growth and spread of bacterial infections, and also protects against new infections. Studies show that clary sage essential oil is particularly beneficial in curing bacterial infections affecting the colon, intestines, urinary tract, and excretory system. It is equally effective in inhibiting the bacteria from entering our body through water or food.

Prevents Infections: Wounds will not become septic, nor will they be infected with tetanus germs if clary sage oil is topically applied to them. The antiseptic qualities can protect the body during surgical recovery and in all types of wounds that are typically hot spots for infections.

Stimulates Sexual Desires: This is one of the most well-known properties of clary sage oil. It is an aphrodisiac, which means a substance or stimulus that boosts libido and feelings of sexual desire. It is very effective in treating frigidity, psychological problems resulting in loss of libido, and even impotency. Studies have shown it to be equally effective for both, males and females. It affects the hormones and increases testosterone levels, which can increase performance and interest in sexual activities.

Prevents Hair Loss: If you think that your gums are weakening their hold on your teeth, sooner or later, they will start falling out. Speak to a dentist, but it is never a bad idea to use clary sage oil because it has astringent properties. It does not only strengthen your gums but also strengthens and tones the skin, muscles, and hair follicles, preventing hair loss and making you look and feel younger. It functions as an antioxidant in this way by tightening up the skin that might be sagging due to the activity of free radicals present in the body.

Skin Care: More specifically, there is an ester present in clary sage essential oil called linalyl acetate, which reduces skin inflammation and heals rashes. Furthermore, it balances and regulates the production of natural oils in the skin, reducing both oily and dry skin and making your skin look young and beautiful. It is recommended to be used directly or mixed with a carrier agent like almond oil to facilitate maximum absorption and effect.

Reduces Flatulence: Clary sage oil, owing to its carminative properties, can eliminate gas as quickly as a needle empties a balloon! That is, it will eliminate excess gas in your body through flatulence, which will reduce the sensation of being bloated. You might find it funny, but gas can actually be fatal when it pushes upwards and hits the delicate organs inside your chest cavity, so a downward movement is always the safest way to expel them. This essential oil also inhibits the formation of gas in the first place.

Regulates Menstruation: If you are having troubles with irregular, obstructed or painful menses, you can try clary sage oil before you spend a fortune on specialized treatment from a gynecologist. There is no need to worry since it has no adverse side effects. It simply stimulates the opening of obstructed menses and makes them regular, while easing the pain. It also cures dizziness and mental irritation during menses as well as in cases of Post Menopause Syndrome (PMS). Furthermore, it can help to reduce the symptoms and negative effects associated with menstruation like cramping, bloating, mood swings, and cravings for food by balancing the hormones that run rampant during this time for women.

Reduces Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance made by the liver and required by the body for the proper function of cells, nerves and hormones. Cholesterol travels in the lipids (fatty acids) of the bloodstream, which is also called plaque, and can build up in the walls of the arteries. This decreases the flow of blood to vital areas of the body, and if the plaque continues to build, it significantly increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of clary sage oil are cardio-protective and help lower cholesterol naturally. Clary sage oil also decreases emotional stress and improves circulation — two very important factors for reducing cholesterol and supporting your cardiovascular system.

Relieves Depression: Clary sage oil can induce a feeling of immense joy, confidence, pleasure, and high spirits and fill you with the desire to live your life to the fullest. This is why it is frequently used to cure depression, chronic stress, and anxiety.

Relieves Insomnia: People suffering from insomnia can find relief with clary sage oil. It is a natural sedative and will give you the calm and peaceful feeling that is necessary in order to fall asleep. When you can’t sleep, you usually awaken feeling unrefreshed, which takes a toll on your ability to function during the day. Insomnia affects not only your energy level and mood, but also your health, work performance and quality of life. Two major causes of insomnia are stress and hormonal changes. An all-natural essential oil like clary sage can cure insomnia without drugs by alleviating feelings of stress and anxiety, and by balancing hormone levels.

Lowers Blood Pressure: Clary sage oil is very effective in reducing blood pressure by relaxing the veins and arteries, thereby reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, and brain hemorrhaging. By reducing blood pressure, it widens the blood vessels and allows for increased circulation, resulting in increased oxygenation to the muscles and organ system, boosting your overall metabolic performance.

Increases Circulation: Clary sage opens the blood vessels and allows for increased blood circulation; it also naturally lowers blood pressure by relaxing the brain and arteries. This boosts the performance of the metabolic system by increasing the amount of oxygen that gets into the muscles and supporting organ function. A study done at the Department of Basic Nursing Science in the Republic of Korea measured clary sage oil’s ability to lower blood pressure in women with urinary incontinence or involuntary urination. Thirty-four women participated in the study, and they were given either clary sage oil, lavender oil or almond oil (for the control group); then they were measured after inhalation of these odors for 60 minutes.

Acts as a Nervine: Clary sage essential oil is good for your nerves. It sedates nervous convulsions and other disorders such as nervousness, vertigo, anxiety, and hysteria.

Lowers Inflammation: Do you need to calm down? Do you want to concentrate? Or do you simply want to relax and have a good night’s sleep? Clary sage oil can help you with all of these. It reduces inflammations and has an undeniably calming effect. People suffering from chronic stress or anxiety disorders find great comfort by using clary sage essential oil.

Reduces Stomach Disorders: This oil also maintains the health of the stomach and regulates secretion of digestive juices. In this way, it prevents stomach disorders and helps to stimulate efficient absorption of nutrients, digestion of food, and regulation of bowel movements. It also helps in the healing of ulcers. By regulating bowel movements, it can also protect the integrity of your colon and reduce the chances of serious gastrointestinal conditions, including colorectal cancer.

Eliminates Bad Odor: Buying synthetic deodorants is not only expensive but they also negatively impact the environment. Their pleasant smell effect only lasts for a short time. Moreover, sometimes they produce skin irritation and allergies. Clary sage oil can be a far better choice as a deodorant, because, in diluted form, it serves as an efficient deodorant without any side effects. It is natural, so it doesn’t impact the environment, and its effects can last for a long time.

Promotes Digestion: Clary sage essential oil promotes digestion and relieves symptoms of indigestion. It boosts the secretion of gastric juices and bile, thereby speeding up digestion and easing the process, which relieves cramping, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.

Improves Uterus Health: Clary sage oil helps to maintain good health of the uterus. It prevents some of the most common uterine problems that women have after menopause, including uterine tumors, bleeding, and pain. Furthermore, it regulates hormones like estrogen and ensures a long-term health of the uterus, thereby reducing the chances of uterine and ovarian cancer.

Fights Leukemia: A promising study conducted at the Department of Immunology, Hellenic Anticancer Institute in Athens, Greece, examined the role that sclareol, a chemical compound found in clary sage oil, plays in fighting leukemia. The results showed that sclareol is able to kill cell lines through the process of apoptosis. Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death; research involving the role of apoptosis has increased substantially since the early 1990s. An insufficient amount of apoptosis results in uncontrolled cell proliferation, such as cancer.

Other Benefits: Clary sage essential oil can be used to battle addiction (particularly drugs) and can stimulate a change in mentality towards a positive way of approaching life. Furthermore, it is anti-inflammatory in nature and can treat backaches and joint pain. In terms of skincare, it can help to regulate excess sebum production and prevent acne from forming. It also eases labor and reduces labor pains.

Uses at Home

For menstrual pain, combine Clary Sage with Geranium, Marjoram and Carrot Seed. Add to your favorite carrier oil and use as a daily moisturizer or diffuse into the air for its mood-enhancing properties. For topical application dilute to 2-4%.

Combination therapy with at least Clary Sage and Lavender appears to be effective in reducing menstrual pain.

For stress relief and aromatherapy, diffuse or inhale 2–3 drops of clary sage essential oil.

To improve mood and joint pain, add 3–5 drops of clary sage oil to warm bath water. Try adding clary sage oil to my Homemade Healing Bath Salts to boost your mood and bust feelings of stress.

For eye care, add 2–3 drops of clary sage oil to a clean and warm wash cloth; press cloth over both eyes for 10 minutes.

For cramp and pain relief, create a massage oil by diluting 5 drops of clary sage oil with 5 drops of a carrier oil (like jojoba or coconut oil) and apply it to needed areas.

For skin care, create a mix of clary sage oil and a carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba) at a 1:1 ratio. Apply the mixture directly to your face, neck and body.

To ease digestion, massage the abdomen with equal parts clary sage oil and a carrier oil, or use a hot compress with 3–5 drops of clary sage oil soaked into it.

To enhance healing prayer or meditation, mix 6 drops of clary sage oil with 2 drops of frankincense, white fir or orange oils. Add the mixture to a diffuser or oil burner.

To naturally relieve asthma symptoms, mix 4 drops of clary sage oil with lavender oil and massage the blend on the chest or back.

For hair health, massage equal parts clary sage oil and rosemary oil into your scalp while showering.

Considerations

Salvia sclarea is generally recognized as safe, and there are no reported side effects. Despite its safety, pregnant and breastfeeding should avoid the herb. Due to the effect that salvia sclarea has on estrogen, people with estrogen-related disorders such as breast cysts and uterine fibroids, should avoid long-term use of this herb. It should be noted that the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database warns that there is currently insufficient research to determine the efficacy of salvia sclarea for its purported uses.

Possible Side Effects & Precautions

Use clary sage oil with caution during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester or when using it in the abdomen; clary sage can cause uterine contractions that may be dangerous. Clary sage oil is not for infants or toddlers.

There have been claims that clary sage oil brightens eyes, improves vision and protects loss of vision due to premature or normal aging; however, there is not enough research to suggest that essential oils be used in the eyes just yet. It may not be safe and should be discussed with your ophthalmologist first.

Avoid using clary sage oil during or after alcohol use; reports indicate that this may lead to vivid dreams and trouble sleeping. When using clary sage oil topically, make sure to test yourself for skin sensitivity. Apply the oil to a small area first to make sure you won’t have a negative reaction.

Chloral hydrate and hexobarbitone interact with clary sage oil; they cause sleepiness and drowsiness, and clary sage seems to increase the effects of these medications.

Word of Caution: It can enhance the intoxicating effects of alcohol and other narcotics since it is a relaxant and a sedative by nature. Heavy dosage can also cause headaches. Pregnant or nursing women should avoid using it since there has not been enough research done on the transference of effects through breast milk to children.

References:

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Beeswax

Beeswax (Cera alba)

You will find Raw & Unfiltered Colorado Beeswax (from haefelihoney.com) in Mother Jai’s Lip Balm.

Beeswax (cera alba) is a natural wax produced by honeybees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.

Bees consume about eight times as much honey and fly 150,000 miles to create one pound of beeswax. The mixing of pollen oils into honeycomb wax turns the white wax into a yellow or brown color.

Beeswax is the only naturally occurring wax.  Vegetable waxes must be rendered from fruit or leaves like bayberries or candelilla leaves.  Other waxes like soy wax or paraffin are produced by a toxic chemical process.

Beeswax has been used since prehistory as the first plastic, as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, in lost wax casting of metals and glass, as a polish for wood and leather, for making candles, as an ingredient in cosmetics and as an artistic medium in encaustic painting. Beeswax is edible, having similar negligible toxicity to plant waxes, and is approved for food use in most countries and in the European Union under the E number E901.

Evidence has been found of prehistoric dentistry dating back to the Neolithic times reporting a 6,500-year-old human mandible from Slovenia whose left canine crown shows the traces of a filling with beeswax. While we don’t know all the facts, it’s thought that if the filling was done when the person was still alive, the intervention was likely aimed to relieve tooth sensitivity derived from either exposed dentine and/or the pain resulting from chewing on a cracked tooth.

Purified and bleached beeswax is used in the production of food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. The three main types of beeswax products are yellow, white, and beeswax absolute. Yellow beeswax is the crude product obtained from the honeycomb, white beeswax is bleached or filtered yellow beeswax, and beeswax absolute is yellow beeswax treated with alcohol. In food preparation, it is used as a coating for cheese; by sealing out the air, protection is given against spoilage (mold growth).

Beeswax may also be used as a food additive E901, in small quantities acting as a glazing agent, which serves to prevent water loss, or used to provide surface protection for some fruits. Soft gelatin capsules and tablet coatings may also use E901. Beeswax is also a common ingredient of natural chewing gum. The wax monoesters in beeswax are poorly hydrolyzed in the guts of humans and other mammals, so they have insignificant nutritional value. Some birds, such as honeyguides, can digest beeswax. Beeswax is the main diet of wax moth larvae.

Find 42 Ways to Use Beeswax at Home HERE.

Beeswax Benefits & Uses

Clears Acne: Beeswax is one of the most well-known home remedies for acne. It has strong antiseptic, healing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in the treatment of acne, in particular because it contains vitamin A. It’s also an excellent skin softener and emollient that helps maintain a smooth skin texture after acne elimination. The combination of skin care applications, a healthy diet and daily exercise is the best way to control and prevent acne.

Dermatitis, Psoriasis and Eczema: Beeswax is a great choice for many skin conditions. A honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture is useful in the treatment of diaper dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

Heals Dry, Cracked Lips: The natural moisturizers in beeswax make it the perfect lip balm. If you suffer from cracked or chapped lips, topical applications of beeswax and a few other ingredients can provide some much-needed relief. It’s easy to make your own lip balm by combining it with coconut oil, honey, vitamin E oil, and your favorite essential oils, such as orange, peppermint, lavender or lemon.

Moisturizes Skin: Beeswax is an amazing way to moisturize the skin and is commonly found in skin care products and cosmetics. It can help protect and repair rough, dry or chapped skin because it has the ability to lock in moisture. This wax has rich vitamin A content and emollient properties, which soften and rehydrate the skin as well as aiding in the healthy development of cellular reconstruction. Another benefit to its use is that because it is noncomedogenic, it won’t clog pores.

Reduces Stretch Marks: collagen is a major extracellular matrix component that’s very important in wound healing. Since beeswax contains vitamin A, which is helpful in collagen production, it can greatly benefit the reduction of stretch marks. By combining beeswax, royal jelly, shea or cocoa butter, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil, you have a natural remedy for preventing and treating stretch marks while helping improve collagen levels simultaneously.

Relieves Pain and Is Anti-Inflammatory: As medicine, beeswax has been studied in the use of relieving pain and inflammation and has mild anti-swelling effects. A 2014 study published in the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine reports that it was used to helped relieve inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.

According to Research Conducted There is Insufficient Evidence for

Small tears in the anus (anal fissures). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area for 12 hours reduces pain, bleeding, and itching due to anal fissures.

Diaper rash. Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area four times daily for 7 days reduces symptoms of diaper rash.

Hemorrhoids. Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area for 12 hours reduces pain, bleeding, and itching due to hemorrhoids.

Ringworm (tinea corporis). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for 4 weeks improves ringworm.

Jock itch (tinea cruris). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for 4 weeks improves jock itch.

Fungal skin infection (tinea versicolor). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for 4 weeks improves a fungal skin infection called tinea versicolor.

Side Effects & Safety

Beeswax is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as food or as a medicine, or when applied directly to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking beeswax if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

References:

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  5. https://wellnessmama.com/3765/homemade-lotion-recipe/
  6. https://www.beepods.com/10-helpful-uses-beeswax/
  7. https://wellnessmama.com/124235/beeswax-uses/