Why We Should Avoid Petrolatum

White Petrolatum – By Kiyok – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2647443

What is Petroleum Jelly or Petrolatum?

Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of the oil refining process. This means it is not sustainable or eco-friendly, and it also explains some of the potential problems with using it. Petroleum jelly was originally found in the bottom of oil rigs and is further refined for use in the beauty industry. According to packaging and safety info, all of the harmful components are removed before use in beauty or personal care products, but some sources argue that it still contains some harmful components (like hydrocarbons).

Petrolatum, commonly known as petroleum jelly, is a byproduct of petroleum refining. Petrolatum is a soft paraffin or wax mixture sold as a topical skin ointment. It is acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an approved over-the-counter skin protectant and is used in the manufacturing of cosmetic skin care.

Advertisement

Petroleum jelly, petrolatum, white petrolatum, soft paraffin/paraffin wax or multi-hydrocarbon, CAS number 8009-03-8, is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons (with carbon numbers mainly higher than 25), originally promoted as a topical ointment for its healing properties.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a U.S. non-profit organization that does environmental and safety studies, says there’s petrolatum in one out of every 14 cosmetic products on the market, including 15 percent of lipsticks and 40 percent of baby lotions and oils. Plus, it is used as an active ingredient for healing cuts and burns.

The EWG says ’and governments and the CCTFA acknowledge’ there is a risk of contamination from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), cancer-causing chemicals found in crude oil and its by-products. While no studies have ever shown a direct link between petrolatum and cancer, the European Union put numerous grades of petrolatum on a list of dangerous substances. Only highly refined petrolatum can be used in cosmetics there.

How Does Petroleum Jelly Work on Skin?

Petroleum jelly is used in everything from lotions to baby products for its ability to create a protective barrier on the skin and hold in moisture. On labels, it may also appear as Petrolatum, Mineral oil, Liquid paraffin, or Paraffin oil.

Advertisement

While the ability to hold in moisture may seem like a good thing, it can have its downsides as well. Since petroleum jelly is both waterproof and not water soluble, it creates a waterproof barrier on the skin. At first glance, this may sound good, but it also means that it blocks pores and can lock in residue and bacteria. This is also the reason petroleum jelly should not be used on a burn or sunburn, as it locks in heat and can block the body’s ability to heal.

Also, while it certainly gives the appearance of hydrated and moisturized skin, this may be an illusion as there is nothing in petroleum jelly that is actually nourishing the skin.

Petroleum jelly can’t be metabolized by the skin and just sits as a barrier until it wears off. This means that the body isn’t able to gain any benefit from petroleum jelly (like it can from nutrient rich substances like shea butter or cocoa butter), and there is concern that some of the components (like hydrocarbons) may be stored in fat tissue within the body.

There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person. Possible routes of contamination include air inhalation, food intake, and dermal absorption.

This suggests the potential for long-term accumulation of these hydrocarbons in the body. The study found no link between nutritional habits and hydrocarbon levels in the body but did find a strong potential link between cosmetic and beauty product use and contamination, suggesting that beauty products may be a major source of hydrocarbon exposure.

As moms, this study is especially interesting, since it shows the potential for passing on these contaminants to our children during breastfeeding. We also know that we can’t metabolize these substances, so they can build up in the body and are difficult to remove.

Collagen Breakdown

Because of the barrier that mineral oil/petroleum jelly creates on the skin, there is also some concern about its potential to cause collagen breakdown (which is the opposite of what most women want!). Essentially, the concern is that when petroleum jelly coats the skin it blocks the skin’s natural ability to breathe and absorb nutrients. This can slow the cell renewal process and cause the skin to pull the necessary moisture and nutrients from within, leading to collagen breakdown over time (aka wrinkles!).

Advertisement

Estrogen Dominance

A growing problem in today’s world, estrogen dominance is when the body has high levels of estrogen and proportionately low levels of progesterone to balance it. It is linked to infertility, menstrual problems, accelerated aging, allergies and autoimmune problems as well as nutrient deficiencies, sleep problems and even some types of cancers.

Many products (including petroleum jelly) contain chemicals called xenoestrogens which may increase estrogen problems in the body. Studies have shown that these chemicals may act on hormone receptors in the body and lead to estrogen dominance.

Does it heal skin?

While some beauty companies are promoting petrolatum alternatives, other manufacturers swear by its ability to moisturize and heal. Petrolatum seals off the skin from water and air, as it allows the skin to heal itself.

But there’s a potential downside. A study that was published in Pediatrics in 2000 found that extremely-low-birth-weight infants treated with petroleum jelly were more likely to develop systemic candidiasis; it created a warm, moist place for fungi to grow.

Petrolatum is an occlusive barrier, locking in moisture but it does not allow moisture to be absorbed from the atmosphere. For example, lip balms with petrolatum and other petrochemicals can be less moisturizing than those with emollients that enable moisture exchange.

Advertisement

Alternatives to Petroleum Based Products for the Skin

Thankfully, there are many great alternatives to petroleum jelly and mineral oil that help increase moisture on the skin and provide nourishment as well. The best part? Most of them can be used alone and you don’t even have to make anything!

Looking for a simple alternative to petroleum jelly or petrolatum? Try Mother Jai’s Moisturizer. Simply all natural with Coconut, Olive and Sunflower Oils. A little goes a long way.

Shea Butter– A natural skin superfood that is high in Vitamins A, E and F. It also contains beneficial fatty acids that nourish skin and it may reduce skin inflammation and increase collagen production. It is excellent on its own or in homemade beauty products.

Cocoa Butter-A great source of antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids, cocoa butter is another great product for skin. There is even some evidence that it may reduce the signs of aging.

Beeswax– A great substitute for the waterproof and protective properties of petroleum jelly without the hydrocarbons. Though not usually used alone, beeswax can be blended into homemade beauty products for its skin-protective ability and is especially good in lip balms and body creams.

Coconut Oil– Coconut oil has so many benefits, internal and external, and it can be great for the skin. It does cause breakouts in some people, so I always suggest testing on a small area of skin first, but it is a source of skin-nourishing fatty acids, lauric acid and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Almond Oil– A liquid oil that is fragrance free and nourishing to skin.

Sunflower Oil – Another liquid oil that is full of nutrients like omega fatty acids and minerals that are essential to skin health.

Jojoba Oil – A perfect choice for skin care because it naturally resembles sebum, the oily substance naturally produced by the body to nourish and protect skin. You can mix jojoba oil into shea butter for a natural lotion.

References:

  1. https://wellnessmama.com/61770/petroleum-jelly/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_jelly
  3. www.livestrong.com/article/226763-side-effects-of-petrolatum/
  4. www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/petrolatum/
  5. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/skin/the-truth-about-petrolatum/
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/vaseline-petroleum-jelly_n_4136226.html
  7. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/petroleum-jelly
  8. https://beautyeditor.ca/2014/10/16/petroleum-mineral-oil-skin-products
  9. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/over-counter-products/article/petroleum-jelly-safe
  10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/019096229270060S
  11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S092318111200031X
  12. https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(15)01194-X/fulltext
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4885180/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6477564/
  15. https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0365-05962018000200238
  16. http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/petrolatum/
  17. https://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/78/1/65
  18. https://www.aad.org/news/petroleum-jelly-for-skin-care
  19. https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/dirty-dozen-petrolatum/
  20. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.00785/full
  21. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/519971
  22. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00032719.2016.1153647?scroll=top&needAccess=true
  23. https://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/over-counter-products/article/petroleum-jelly-safe

May Chang

 Litsea cubeba foliage and flowers. Photo taken on Anma Mountain (鞍馬山), Da Xue Shan Forest Recreation Area (大雪山森林遊樂區), Tzuyu Village, Hoping HsiangTaichung CountyTaiwan, with a Nikon D200 digital camera.

May Chang (Litsea cubeba)

May chang (Litsea cubeba), often referred to “mountain pepper” for the fruit’s resemblance to a pepper, is a kind of citrus that grows in China. It has a bright, lemony aroma and, like other citrus oils, offers uplifting and cleansing benefits. It is a wonderful addition to the collection of any essential oil user.

This shrub is native to China and areas of Southeast Asia. The essential oil is extracted through distillation from the small fruits that are grown on tress featuring white or pale yellow flowers. The flowers have a lemony aroma similar to the aroma of the essential oil.

Advertisement

Bright, lemony, and energizing, it is most commonly known for its usefulness in dealing with skin problems. This oil has uplifting properties, and it has a strong effect on promoting mental and physical well-being.

Blends Well With: Bergamot, Citronella, Clove Bud, Geranium Egyptian, Ginger Root CO2, Grapefruit Pink, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marjoram Sweet, Orange Sweet, Petitgrain and Rosemary 1,8-Cineole.

Benefits of May Chang Essential Oil

  • In massage treatments, May Chang can act as a digestive and liver tonic, particularly useful in abdominal massage.
  • May Chang can also help to clear the head and refresh the mind and spirit, soothing and restoring frayed nerves.
  • When used in a diffuser, this oil has uplifting qualities. It is known for lowering blood pressure and relieving stress without causing drowsiness. It can also promote overall physical and mental well-being.
  • May Chang has natural insect repellent qualities. It can be blended into body lotion, shampoo, or liquid body wash to help repel mosquitoes. Adding a couple drops to a candle and placing it outdoors will help keep pests away.
  • This oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties making it popular for use in skin care products. It is useful for preventing the growth of bacteria that can cause acne. Some people use it to treat eczema and similar skin conditions.
  • As an astringent, it is used to eliminate excess skin oil and shrink enlarged pores. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help clear up skin irritation. Users should always dilute the oil before applying it to the skin. This skin tonic is said to leave skin feeling silky-smooth and refreshed.
  • This oil is known to have a stimulant action on the digestive system and can even help in case of poor appetite. The blend of May Chang oil and a carrier oil is perfect for massage over the stomach to improve digestive tract function.
  • Combined with a carrier oil on throat, chest, neck and back provides instant relief from respiratory infections. This essential oil even helps in quieting down coughs and improving cold too.

Cautions

To avoid the risk of various safety issues, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.8% for topical applications. Possible drug interactions. 

Recipes

May Chang Toner 

Ingredients:
8 drops Aura Cacia May Chang Essential Oil
10 drops Aura Cacia Tea Tree Essential Oil
2 fluid ounces witch hazel
2-ounce Aura Cacia Amber Glass Mist Bottle 

Advertisement

Directions:
In bottle, combine oils and witch hazel. Replace lid, shake until well blended, then mist face, avoiding eyes. 

References:

  1. https://www.planttherapy.com/may-chang-essential-oil
  2. https://www.epainassist.com/articles/uses-of-may-chang-essential-oil
  3. https://plantessentials.com.au/blogs/news/81438913-exploring-the-health-benefits-and-uses-of-may-chang-essential-oil
  4. https://lumitylife.co.uk/pages/oil-ingredient-may-chang
  5. https://www.tisserand.com/aromatherapy/may-chang-ethically-harvested-pure-essential-oil-9ml/
  6. https://www.aromaweb.eu/product/organic-may-chang-essential-oil-litsea-cubeba-10ml/

Lemon Oil

Lemon Peel Oil (Citrus limon)

Lemon, scientifically called Citrus limon, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Rutaceae family. Lemon plants are grown in many countries all over the world, although they are native to Asia and are believed to have been brought to Europe around 200 A.D. In America, English sailors would use lemons while on the sea to protect themselves from scurvy and conditions caused by bacterial infections.

Advertisement

The essential oil comes from cold-pressing the peel and not the inner fruit. The peel is actually the most nutrient-dense portion of the lemon because of its fat soluble phytonutrients. Lemon essential oil is composed of many natural compounds, including terpenes, sesquiterpenes, aldehydes, alcohols, esters and sterols.

Lemons and lemon oil are popular because of their refreshing scent and invigorating, purifying and cleaning properties. Research shows that lemon oil contains powerful antioxidants and helps to reduce inflammation, fight bacteria and fungi, boost energy levels and ease digestion.

Major Constituents of Cold Pressed Lemon Peel: (+)-Limonene, B-Pinene, Gamma-Terpinene, a-Terpineol, a-Pinene, and Geranial

BENEFITS OF LEMON (OrganicFacts.net)

Advertisement

The health benefits of this citrus oil include its ability to treat skin disorders, hair conditions, stress disorders, fever, infections, asthma, obesity, insomnia, stomach problems, and fatigue. All these benefits of lemon can be attributed to its stimulating, calming, carminative, anti-infection, astringent, detoxifying, antiseptic, disinfectant, sleep-inducing, and antifungal properties.

Antidepressant: uplifting and mood enhancing. It has been found to reduce anxiety and assist in relieving the physical symptoms of depression.

Antimicrobial: works as a natural antimicrobial agent because of two dominant compounds found in the oil, limonene and b-pinene. This makes lemon oil a powerful tool in cleaning and food protection.

Antitumoral: limonene, a major component of this essential oil, has anti-tumor and chemotherapeutic effects. Oral feeding of lemon has resulted in significant regression of mammary carcinoma (a breast cancer), without any observable systemic toxicity.

Asthma: inhaling the essential oil has been proven to open airways and clear nasal passages and sinuses.

Cancer: A mixture of lemon combined with eucalyptus, melaleuca, lemongrass, clove leaf, and thyme, in a 40 percent ethanol base, demonstrated anti-tumorigenic effects when administered to patients with metastatic tumorigenic ulcers. Cancer patients have also found relief from pain, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting by using lemon and other essential oils.

Cleaning: used to cleanse your home of harmful pathogens, like bacteria, fungi and viruses. Using lemon as a natural cleaning product also keeps your home free of conventional products that are made with dangerous chemicals.

Advertisement

Cold & Cough: has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so it helps to boost your immune system and fight respiratory conditions.

Detoxification: has a purifying, cleansing and protective effect on the body. It helps to defend the body against harmful pathogens and promotes detoxification through the blood and liver. It also stimulates lymphatic drainage, which helps the body to cleanse itself of wastes and toxins.

Digestion: can help to soothe digestive problems, including issues like gastritis and constipation. It reduces gastritis symptoms by reducing the erosion of gastric mucosa (the lining of your stomach) and working as a gastro-protective agent against stomach lesions.

Nausea: can be used as a tool for reducing nausea and vomiting safely during pregnancy.

Oral Health: has antibacterial and antifungal properties, it works as a natural remedy for many oral conditions, including oral thrush and bad breath. It can also be used to whiten your teeth naturally and prevent tooth decay.

Advertisement

Skin Care: benefits your skin by reducing acne, nourishing damaged skin and hydrating the skin. It is also effective against skin issues like blisters, insect bites, greasy and oily conditions, cuts, wounds, cellulite, rosacea, and viral infections of the skin like cold sores and warts.

Weight Loss: this essential oil contains d-limonene, which is known to help support your metabolism and cleanse your lymphatic glands, which can help with weight loss.

USES FOR LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL

Athlete’s foot, chilblains, colds, corns, dull skin, flu, oily skin, spots, varicose veins, warts. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-66.]

Detergent: Mix washing soda, purified water, vinegar, citric acid, and kosher salt with orange and/or lemon. Must be stored in the fridge. (See specific recipe below) Works for scrubbing dishes, in the dishwasher, and on hard surfaces. Cleaning your dishwasher is important at least once a month, run it empty with a cup of vinegar and baking soda.

Disinfectant & Degreaser: Add 40 drops of lemon and 20 drops of tea tree to a 16 ounce spray bottle fill with pure water (and a little bit of apple cider vinegar) for a traditional cleaning favorite. This natural cleaning product can be used to kill toxins and bacteria in your home, especially in places like your kitchen and bathroom.

Facewash: combine 2-3 drops lemon essential oil with baking soda and honey and scrub face and rinse with warm water.

Goo-Be-Gone: 3-5 drops of lemon will dissolve it, then you can wipe it off. Use it on your hands to remove grease and oil.

Sore Throat Relief: adding the essential oil to water and baking soda and gargling can relieve sore throat, reduce mouth inflammation and soothe tonsillitis.

Tooth Whitener: mix baking soda, coconut oil and lemon, rub on teeth after brushing and flossing, allow to sit at least 2min before rinsing.

Wood & Silver Polish: 10 drops of lemon essential oil on a cloth and polish silver and jewelry safely, or clean and nourish wood surfaces.

PRECAUTIONS

Lemon essential oil can cause photosensitivity when used topically, so it’s important to avoid direct sunlight up to 12 hours after using lemon oil on your skin.

It can cause skin irritations in some people, so do a patch test on your arm or leg before using it topically just to be sure that you won’t have an adverse reaction. When using lemon oil on my skin, I like to dilute it with a carrier oil, like coconut oil or jojoba oil, especially on sensitive areas like my face.

RECIPES

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent with Orange and Lemon

Total Time: About 10 minutes  Serves: About 30 ounces

INGREDIENTS:

2 ounces washing soda

3¼ cups purified water

4 ounces white vinegar

1 ounce citric acid powder

1 cup kosher salt

20 drops wild orange essential oil

20 drops lemon essential oil

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients until well blended.

Use about 1½–2 tablespoons of detergent per load.

Homemade Melaleuca Citrus Household Cleaner

Total Time: 2 minutes  Serves: 30-90

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces water

4 ounces distilled white vinegar

15 drops melaleuca oil

15 drops lemon

Glass cleaning spray bottle

DIRECTIONS:

Fill spray bottle with ingredients.

Close bottle and shake to mix.

Swirl/shake bottle before each spray.

Homemade Dish Soap with Lemon and Lavender

Total Time: 10 minutes Serves: About 16 ounces

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Castile soap

¼ cup soap flakes or grated Castile soap

4 tablespoons super washing soda

4 ounces purified water

30 drops lemon essential oil

30 drops lavender essential oil (optional, rosemary)

DIRECTIONS:

Place the soap flakes and washing soda into a bowl and blend with a whisk.

Bring the water to a boil, then pour on top of the ingredients. Stir.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Blend all ingredients well.

Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, then pour into a BPS-free squirt bottle or a glass bottle with a pump.

Homemade Face Wash

Total Time: 5 minutes Serves: 30

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp baking soda

5 drops lavender essential oil

5 drops frankincense essential oil

5 drops lemon essential oil

Glass Jar

(if acne prone, replace frankincense and lemon oils with 10 drops of tea tree essential oil)

DIRECTIONS:

Melt the coconut oil in a pan over low heat

Once melted, remove from heat and add in the remaining ingredients.

Store in wash dispenser or air tight jar and keep it in a cool place

References:

  1. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemon-oil.html
  2. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/lemon-oil.aspx
  3. https://www.planttherapy.com/lemon-essential-oil-fresh-zesty-pure-citrus-scent-plant-therapy
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon
  5. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/lemon-oil.asp
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-lemon-health-benefits
  7. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0153643
  8. https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12944-017-0487-5
  9. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10942912.2017.1303709
  10. https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.4973164
  11. https://irjponline.com/admin/php/uploads/2498_pdf.pdf
  12. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/real-benefits-lemon-water-according-science
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073409/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4005434/
  15. https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/lemon-essential-oil-cancer-fighter/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5543433/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24829772
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19410566/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10568210
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5435909/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15778557
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2581754/
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27571876
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25272759
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606594/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19109001
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11314887
  28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671226/
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5543433/
  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3824622/
  31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5894780/

Lavender Oil

Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis)

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

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

Advertisement

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

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

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

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

Advertisement

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

PARTS USED: Flowering tops

EXTRACTION METHOD: Water-steam distilled

NOTE CLASSIFICATION: Middle

AROMA: Sweet, floral, herbaceous

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

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

Advertisement

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

BENEFITS & USES OF LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL

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

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

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

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

Advertisement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL SIDE EFFECTS & PRECAUTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12112282/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880178/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23351960
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26247152
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24373672
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23808618
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24456909
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22789792
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22475718
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424179/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22895026
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23737850
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880962/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931201/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4443384/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/#B74
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26051566
  20. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2008.03.007
  21. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00023210-200620040-00001
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29955514
  23. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/740813/abs/
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192562
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325408/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746639/
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3804257/
  28. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.1103/abstract
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24384140
  30. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender-essential-oil.html
  31. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-838/lavender
  32. https://draxe.com/lavender-oil-benefits/

Your Skin

The Skin

The largest organ of the body, with a total area of about 20 square feet. The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold. Skin has three layers:

  • The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone.
  • The dermis, beneath the epidermis, contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
  • The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.

The skin’s color is created by special cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin. Melanocytes are located in the epidermis.

Advertisement

Your skin’s the barrier between the outside world and the rest of you. It constantly renews itself and produces sebum (oil) to ward off contaminants, pollutants, and microbes. Alas, sometimes it goes under or overboard and you end up with clogged pores that can harbor bacteria and lead to breakouts and infections.

Dry Skin and Infection

To restore your skin to good health, you must actively replenish the moisture down to the deeper layers, not just cover the skin. Moisturized, intact skin is your body’s best defense against bacteria and viruses because it is a natural barrier that keeps moisture in and infectious agents out.

Mother Jai’s Skin Care Recommendations:

  • Skip the glycerin soap when it comes to cleaning your face – all facial cleansers should be glycerin-free.
  • Avoid petroleum based ‘moisturizers’, they only trap moisture, they do not nourish or provide moisture to the skin.
  • Breathing, sweating and most of your other bodily processes remove water from your cells. That is why it is so important to drink at least a half-gallon (2 liters) of water every day.
  • Essential fatty acids are crucial to keeping your skin looking healthy. Omega-6 – poultry, grains, cooking oils; Omega-3 – cold-water fish (salmon, sardines), kidney beans, walnuts, and spinach Gamma linolenic acid – plant oils.
  • Beneficial to both your body and skin, antioxidants are crucial for healthy skin cells. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which can otherwise damage healthy cells.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Findings from a few studies suggest that eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. Findings from research studies also suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging.
  • Drink less alcohol. Alcohol is rough on the skin. It dehydrates the skin, and in time, damages the skin. This can make us look older.
  • If you smoke, stop. Smoking greatly speeds up how quickly skin ages. It causes wrinkles and a dull, sallow complexion.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Moving the body and stretching the skin regularly tones and strengthens it, improving tone and tightening wrinkles. Findings from a few studies suggest that moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system. This, in turn, may give the skin a more-youthful appearance.
  • Wash your face once a day and after sweating heavily. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, irritates the skin, so you want to wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
  • Apply a natural facial moisturizer every day. Moisturizers provides moisture to our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance.
  • Stop using skin care products that sting or burn. When your skin burns or stings, it means your skin is irritated. Irritating your skin can make it look older.
  • Exfoliating is essential for skin strength and elasticity. Removing dead skin cells on a regular basis stimulates regeneration of healthy tissue below. It prevents clogged pores, rough and scaly skin, and helps moisturizers absorb more effectively.
  • Get some sun every day if possible. The sun in moderation does not cause cancer. Too many sunburns and overuse of sunscreen cause skin cancer.

Natural Make-Up Remover

Microfiber actually works great for this too and removes even mascara without soap or oils. Plain olive or coconut oil will also remove mascara (even waterproof) and will remove other make-up as well but isn’t as ideal if you have oily skin. For oily skin- Liquid Castille soap in water will remove makeup without adding oils to the skin or stripping the natural ones.

Mother Jai’s Coconut Oil Soaponly organic coconut oil, distilled water and sodium hydroxide (lye). Just like the good ole days! Truly natural and nourishing soap. Great for oily skin types.

Advertisement

Mother Jai’s Skin Cleanser/Toneryes it does both. Made of distilled organic witch hazel, organic apple cider vinegar, everclear, distilled water, and essential oils.

Lotions and Moisturizers

For most people, pure coconut oil is all that is needed for moisturizing the face. It is naturally full of collagen supporting lauric acid and is easily absorbed by the skin. Even for oily and acne prone skin, coconut oil’s natural anti-bacterial properties make it a great option. Sunflower oil can be a less greasy and less expensive option.

Mother Jai’s Moisture Balmcoconut oil, olive oil and sunflower oil blended together for a non-greasy and deeply moisturizing lotion without any water or preservatives.

Natural Exfoliators

A sugar/oil scrub is great for most skin types when extra exfoliation is needed. Just mix equal parts oil (coconut, olive, sunflower, etc.) and sugar (white or brown) or Epsom salt and use as a whole-body exfoliator. For more oily skin, plain baking soda can be used to exfoliate skin and remove blackheads or dirt.

Mother Jai’s Coffee Scrubcoffee grounds, raw cane sugar, distilled water and Everclear come together to exfoliate and tone skin naturally.

Mother Jai’s Charcoal Mudd Mask activated charcoal, arrowroot powder, and baking soda blended with water and/or honey for an amazing toning, clearing, and antibacterial mask.

Mother Jai’s Mineral Milk Bathbuttermilk, Epsom salt, oatmeal and baking soda blended for exfoliation and nourishment. Use as a body scrub or soak in the tub.

Advertisement

Natural Anti-Aging

There are a ton of anti-aging products available, but the best options are the ones you take internally. All of the collagen products that are supposed to firm up skin don’t take into account that collagen must be produced internally and is too large to absorb through the skin. To promote natural collagen production use coconut or sunflower oil as a moisturizer and take Gelatin or Arrowroot, Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend or eat Sardines, and Vitamin C or eat oranges to support natural Collagen production internally.

Mother Jai’s Face Serum – deeply nourishing to skin with safflower, sunflower and MCT oils. Use after cleansing and toning to hydrate and protect skin.

Mother Jai’s Tightening oil/balm/toner collagen building and skin tightening blends are made with tea tree, frankincense, and geranium essential oils. Strengthens collagen, shrinks pores, smooths lines, and softens skin naturally.

Free Radical and Antioxidants

Free radicals are atoms or molecules with one missing electron. They can be caused by exposure to pollutants/contaminants or created naturally by our bodies over time. Over time, they can cause a wide range of damage (including heart disease and cancer) by “stealing” electrons from important cellular structures.

Antioxidants are substances which can freely, safely ‘donate’ an electron. They make atoms/molecules stable again by neutralizing the free radical.

Advertisement

Vitamin C: It’s vital in maintaining healthy skin. It’s an important part of collagen production and has antioxidant properties that can limit/reduce damage caused by excess sun exposure. Collagen is part of your skin’s support structure and, when it’s healthy, prevents and reduces wrinkles.

Vitamin E: Sunflower oil is one of the best natural oils for skin care because it’s especially rich in Vitamin E, and Vitamin E’s a top antioxidant. It’s also been shown to help reduce inflammation and moisturize dry or sunburned skin, lessening premature signs of aging.

Vitamin K: This vitamin plays a critical role in a variety of systems, from blood to bones. In skin care, vitamin K plays a major role in wrinkle reduction by preventing the hardening of elastin, the stretchy protein that gives healthy skin its soft, springy texture.

Omega-3, 6 & 9 (Essential Fatty Acids): In addition to Omega-3 and Omega-6, high-oleic sunflower oil contains Omega-9. All three of these monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) help prevent and reduce skin inflammation, protect against infection, and reduce signs of aging caused by sun exposure.

Amino Acids: These are the building blocks of the proteins you need to survive. High-oleic sunflower oil contains a lot of them, and cold-pressing helps preserve them (they’re easily rendered unusable by heat). Think of amino acids as fuel for your skin’s natural renewal process: as cells divide to produce collagen, elastin, new skin cells, and other components of healthy skin, they need enough amino acids “in the tank” to continue functioning properly.

Natural Skin Care

Macadamia nut oil (majestic macadamia trees originated in Australia and are now grown worldwide) is a light, non-greasy healing and regenerative, stable oil. Macadamia nut oil delivers omega-7 and vitamins A and E, and is a protein-rich ultra-moisturizing elixir. This plant oil easily absorbs into skin, scalp and hair due to its uncanny ability to mimic the body’s own natural oils and its high palmitoleic acid content. Other major benefits include UV barrier protection from excessive heat, wind, hair color oxidation and sun and chemical damage. Use generously as a body cream for all skin types; it’s especially beneficial for mature, aging, dry complexions. Renew scalp and hair by massaging in one tablespoon, wrap with a warm towel and shower cap for 15 minutes. Follow with a light shampoo and cool rinse.

Coconut oil is often referred to as “the healthiest oil on earth.” Its essential proteins and capric and lauric acids fight wrinkles, and tone and tighten skin while nourishing healthy hair. As nature’s richest source of MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) coconut oil is easily absorbed by the body, strengthening your skin’s connective tissues therefore also promoting a healthy scalp, and reinforcing lackluster hair strands caused by sun, heat and chemical damage. For a special scalp and hair treatment, massage in one tablespoon and then wrap with a warm towel and shower cap for 15 minutes. Follow with light shampoo and cool rinse.

Sweet almond oil, containing vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E, is an all-natural beauty treatment for all skin, scalp and hair types. Its anti-aging properties naturally and visibly plump, fill and moisturize your skin. While its B6 benefits are known to promote healthy hair growth – therefore stimulating and rejuvenating the scalp – its fatty acids and mineral content of magnesium, iron and unsaturated triglycerides provides nourishment to the hair. 

Jojoba oil (grown in Northwestern Mexico, California, and Arizona) contains micro-elements such as zinc, copper, silicon, iodine, chromium, and vitamins E and B. It closely resembles your own skin sebum and your skin’s own lubricating medium, giving jojoba a natural affinity to the skin and scalp. It easily absorbs without making the skin feel greasy or tacky and it does not clog pores.  Jojoba oil has exceptional skin-softening properties, as well as the ability to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, promoting suppleness and rejuvenation. Try adding a few drops of jojoba oil to your anti-aging creams, body lotions and conditioners, but the oil also stands well on its own for skin, hair and nail care.

Grapeseed oil (derived from the seeds of a grape) is a very light non-greasy antioxidant that protects skin from free radicals and premature aging. It is loaded with EFAs, proanthocyanidins (known as OPCs) and flavonoid complexes that are known to play a role in the enhancement of collagen and the maintenance of elastin. Grapeseed oil is a great conditioner for the scalp, hair and nails. Use a few drops and massage into desired area for its moisture-retentive properties.

Apricot kernel oil is rich in potent antioxidants and protective fatty acids.  The kernel of the apricot has even been studied for its anti-cancer properties after a particular nutrient called laetrile or vitamin B 17 was found to play a powerful role in killing cancer cells. The kernels also possess antimicrobial properties, which extend the shelf life of this oil to about 6-9 months.  This oil is prized for its ultra-light and easily absorbed molecular structure. It is one of the least pore-clogging natural oils and is a great choice for those with oily or acne prone skin as well as those who do not like a greasy after feel.  Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it a good choice for those who suffer from acne or rosacea.

Hazel nut oil is healing to the scalp and can help promote re-growth of hair. A few drops massaged into the scalp and allowed to absorb in before a light shampoo and cool rinse. Its benefits are increased twice over when combined with rosemary leaves or essential oil.

Applying Oils to the Skin – When applying a single oil or oil blend to the skin, fill the palm with a teaspoon of oil at a time and always start at the bottom of the application area and spread the oil in an upward motion.

Making Your Own Natural Skin Care Products

The first step in making your own skincare is to choose the right ingredients. There are so many wholesome foods and other all-natural ingredients to choose from that make excellent skincare products.

Avocado has amazing moisturizing properties, which makes it especially excellent for dry skin. The healthy fats and other beneficial nutrients in avocado help to prevent premature wrinkling and reduce inflammation. In addition, many facial care experts recommend using avocado oil, since it closely resembles our skin’s own natural oils.

Baking Soda works well as a natural means for exfoliating dead skin cells, leaving your face smooth and clean. In addition, baking soda’s slightly antiseptic properties can help alleviate breakouts.

Egg Whites help to tighten skin, giving your face a healthy glow while diminishing the look of fine lines. Egg whites also help to remove dead skin cells and draw excess oil from the pores while tightening them.

Fresh Fruits often are used in facial products because they’re rich in nutrients that aid in healthy skin. For example, papaya helps to moisturize and even-out skin tone. Strawberries function as a mild alpha hydroxyl acid helping to exfoliate skin, and the antioxidants in blueberries help to hydrate and repair dry damaged skin.

Honey is a wonderful friend to your skin. Its soothing anti-inflammatory properties are perfect for any skin type. Full of B vitamins and polyphenols, honey protects skin from damaging free radicals which helps to reduce wrinkles and encourages the formation of new skin cells. In addition, the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of honey naturally help acne-prone skin to heal and clear.

Yogurt is a common ingredient used in homemade facial masks. It helps to absorb excess oil and makes your skin feel tighter and smoother. It also helps even out skin tone and has anti-aging properties that help fight free radicals.

Face Serum

Moisturize with Mother Jai’s Face Serum

Mother Jai blends Sunflower and Safflower oils with Vitamin E oil to create an all natural and environmentally conscious base to safely dilute the essential oils. Then a one percent blend of Lavender, Frankincense and Patchouli oils are added for natural aroma and skin toning benefits. This blend reduces wrinkles, moisturizes skin, lightens dark spots, tones skin and fights acne. Use after Mother Jai’s Cleanser/Toner or Coconut Oil Soap for healthy and bright skin.

By I, Luc Viatour, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1004896

Why Mother Jai Avoids Argan Oil

Argan-oil production is threatening argan trees, which play a vital role in Morocco’s environment. Argan trees have always been extremely important to the environment in Morocco. In 1998, an area where the trees grow was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, because argan trees play a crucial role in preventing soil erosion and maintaining water resources. 

Advertisement

Sunflower and Safflower are grown in the United States and do not have to travel around the world to get here. They are also both sustainable in crops. Argan oil is not sustainable because of the the environmental cost of transport and the impact on the Moroccan environment.

Click below to purchase yours.

Ingredients in Mother Jai’s Face Serum

These all natural ingredients are hand blended to order and include:

Sunflower Oil – is an ideal “carrier” oil for many of these nutrients because it’s easy for your skin to absorb. Once absorbed, the nutrients penetrate deep into the hypodermis to nourish your subcutaneous fat cells (which fuel regeneration and renewal).

Advertisement

Safflower Oil – contains about 75% linoleic acid. This amount is significantly higher than corn, soybean, cottonseed, peanut or olive oils. Linoleic acid, which is high in polyunsaturated acids, can help to decrease cholesterol and the associated heart and circulatory issues. Studies have shown however, that the high levels of omega-9 fatty acids in safflower oil improves the body’s immune system and lowers LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

Vitamin E Oil – a strong, natural antioxidant that helps to prolong the life of the oil blend. Highly healing to tissues and promotes cellular regeneration.

Lavender Essential Oil – ability to lessen acne, help lighten skin, and reduce wrinkles. It can even be used to treat other things, like improving hair health and digestion. Lavender oil works to kill bacteria, and this can prevent and heal acne breakouts. It unclogs pores and reduces inflammation when you put it on your skin. 

Frankincense Resin Oil – its astringent and cytophylactic qualities help this oil to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and skin imperfections such as discoloration. It stimulates the growth of new cells, thus when used on cuts it promotes faster healing.

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=875908

Patchouli Essential Oil – contains several mono- and sesquiterpenoids, alkaloids, and flavonoids, is thought to possess significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. It’s commonly used for skin care because of its ability to help alleviate skin issues, and it’s considered one of best home remedies for acne, as well as for eczema, inflammation, and cracked, chapped or irritated skin. It has cell-rejuvenating properties, which is why it’s often used in anti-aging skin care; it has the power to lessen the look of scars or marks on the skin.

Get your Face Serum here.

Coconut Soap

Mother Jai’s Coconut Oil Soap

Home made and hand blended soap made of only Organic Coconut Oil, Distilled Water, and Sodium Hydroxide (yes, Lye). Mother Jai uses only silicon molds for this soap to prevent metal and releasing agent contamination. Silicon is inert and does not release any chemicals into products.

This is a ‘superfat’ blend. That means when the soap is made Mother Jai includes extra Coconut Oil to ensure all of the Lye reacts and to make the soap super moisturizing. This soap produces a wonderful fluffy foam that nourishes the skin and hair. Rub soap bar onto a loofa or wash cloth and scrub face and body.

Advertisement

As a shampoo bar it leaves hair clean and soft without over drying. It also works great to preserve hair dye as it is not a ‘detergent’ like many commercial shampoos. Hair with bright colored hair dye do extremely well with this coconut oil soap. Simply rub the bar on wet hair until foam forms then massage through hair with fingertips. Don’t forget to massage your scalp to improve hair growth by stimulating follicles.

As a hand soap it leaves hands soft and sanitized without ‘antibacterial’ chemicals. You can use the bar whole or dissolve it for sanitary purposes. Simply break up the soap bar into smaller pieces and dissolve in distilled water. One 4oz bar to 20oz of Water in a jar. Allow it to dissolve completely and pour into soap pump. It is more ‘liquidy’ than commercial soaps because it lacks artificial fillers and stabilizers. This liquid soap works great on surfaces, dishes and clothes as well.

Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut oil soap is an excellent moisturizer for both the skin and the hair. The properties of the coconut oil also help remove dead skin cells and dirt away from the body. The oils also help prevent or reduce acne. It also helps firm up your skin helps you look younger as the soap is rich in antioxidants.

Advertisement

Lauric, Capric, and Caprylic Acid – These fatty acids from the coconut are antimicrobial agents.  They help fight against nasty things like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and yeast.  Who needs anti-bacterial soap when you can just use coconut oil!

Micronutrients – Including calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, selenium, and vitamins C and E.  These micronutrients can pack a world of benefits from lowering blood pressure (manganese) to dandruff alleviation and prevention of skin aging (selenium).  

Antioxidants – Many of these micronutrients also act as anti-oxidants meaning that they block potentially harmful free radicals which can prevent disease and improve skin condition.

Distilled Water

Water that has been boiled into vapor and condensed back into liquid in a separate container. Impurities in the original water that do not boil below or near the boiling point of water remain in the original container. Thus, distilled water is one type of purified water. This means that distilled water is only H2O and all of the minerals, chemicals, bacteria and molds have been removed. This leaves a clean base for making clean soap.

Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)

Is an inorganic compound with the formula NaOH. It is a white solid ionic compound consisting of sodium cations Na+ and hydroxide anions OH. Sodium hydroxide is a highly caustic base and alkali that decomposes proteins at ordinary ambient temperatures and may cause severe chemical burns. It is highly soluble in water, and readily absorbs moisture and carbon dioxide from the air.

This chemical is used to manufacture soaps, rayon, paper, explosives, dyestuffs, and petroleum products. It is also used in processing cotton fabric, laundering and bleaching, metal cleaning and processing, oxide coating, electroplating, and electrolytic extracting. It is commonly found in commercial drain/ oven cleaners. According to the the FDA, sodium hydroxide is considered a direct food recognized as safe, where it serves as a pH control agent and follows good manufacturing guidelines. Interestingly, sodium hydroxide has been studied for its use in the treatment of prion disease (as occurs in mad cow disease and kuru). The use of this compound has been shown to effectively reduce prion levels in an in vitro inactivation assay.

Sodium hydroxide is used in several food processing applications, such as curing foods like olives or helping to brown Bavarian-style pretzels, giving them their characteristic crunch. Sodium hydroxide is used to remove skins from tomatoes, potatoes and other fruits and vegetables for canning and also as an ingredient in food preservatives that help prevent mold and bacteria from growing in food.

Advertisement

Get your home made superfat lye soap here.

Lye Soap

Soap is the result of a chemical reaction called saponification that occurs between lye and a type of molecule called a triglyceride (a fat or oil), where both substances are chemically transformed, creating soap and natural glycerin. Neither of the original ingredients exists anymore. All the lye – either sodium hydroxide for bar soap or potassium hydroxide for liquid soap – is consumed in the reaction.

So, while soap is made with lye, it doesn’t contain lye. Modern methods and measuring scales – as opposed to what was available to frontier women – allow soap-makers to use the proper mixture of oils and lye, ensuring that all lye is consumed. In addition, many soap-makers, including Mother Jai’s, add more oil than is required for the chemical reaction, further ensuring the neutralization of lye and adding to the soap’s moisturizing qualities. Including extra fats in the mixture is known as superfatting.

Still, some soap-makers make a point of positioning themselves as lye “alternatives,” insisting – for example – they use glycerin instead, or make their soap without the involvement of lye. In both these cases, misinformation seems to be a factor. Glycerin is a natural result of saponification. And the first step in creating bases for melt-and-pour soap-making – the most convenient home-based process? Saponification.

Understanding chemistry can go a long way toward informing public perceptions, including those of your customers. As negative as some perceptions of lye can be, all soap is made with lye – whether it’s bar or liquid – and soap made well can be great for your skin. The distinction between soap and commercial cleansers is especially clear with liquid soaps. Since most weren’t made with lye, what you’re buying isn’t soap, but a factory-made detergent for the skin. These are chemical emulsifiers usually derived from petroleum.

Advertisement

The truth about lye in soap-making is simple: there is no true soap, as defined by the FDA, without lye. There’s also a huge difference between “made with lye” and “containing lye.”

Lye isn’t a villain, nor is soap made with lye something to avoid. In fact, in the hands of good soap-makers, it’s a product made with your skin and health in mind, and is far superior in overall quality and gentleness to commercial, non-soap cleansers. Lye is what you should be using.

Get your home made superfat lye soap here.

By Walkerma – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5190866

Benefits Using of Lye Soap

Despite popular belief, lye soap is not harsh and it doesn’t burn skin. When farmers and homesteaders in the past made soap, they did not use correct proportions of lye and fats. They produced soap with residual lye in it. That soap burned skin. Unfortunately, the oldies ruined reputation of lye soap for us. Fortunately, modern homesteaders and soap makers have great resources available to them to make lye soap that is cleansing, soothing, conditioning, and pampering.

General Skin Care : Daily pampering with lye soap cleanses and conditions skin, gets rid of dry and itchy skin, rashes and irritations.

Acne Cure: Lye soap unclogs pores, reduces inflammation, and balances skin pH. Washing face with lye soap daily reduces acne and blackheads. It leaves skin silky and radiant.

Balancing Dry or Oily Skin: Lye soap fends both dry skin and oily skin. The way it works is very simple and ingenious.

  • Dry skin: Glycerin in the soap moisturizes dry skin. There is very little need or no need at all to use lotions any more.
  • Oily skin: This is the type of skin that has overactive oil (sebaceous) glands. When harsh soaps are used on oily skin, they make skin overly dry, but just for a short period of time. Oily skin reacts to dryness by producing extra lubricants by the oil glands. Such skin becomes oily almost immediately after washing.

Using lye soap on oily skin leaves the skin mildly moisturized by glycerin. Under these conditions, the oily skin doesn’t have to work overtime to produce oils any more. You must be patient though. This doesn’t happen overnight. You have to “train” your oily skin to slow down oil production by the hyperactive glands. It may take weeks to achieve noticeable results.

Seborrheic Dermatitis & Dandruff Treatment: Lye soap is used in the treatment of seborrhea and dandruff. Simply washing your hair and affected areas with lye soap reduces the flaky skin and irritation. Some lye soaps prescribed by dermatologists are medicated with aspirin, coal tar, zinc, or other additives.

Eczema, Psoriasis Relief: Because of the emollient qualities of lye soap, it is used by people with eczema and psoriasis to relief itching, irritation, and minimize the symptoms.

Sun Burn Treatment and Prevention: Using lye soap on the bare skin before going out in the sun minimizes sunburns. Lye soap helps cure inflamed skin if the sunburns already happened. Lather lye soap on the sunburned area and leave it overnight. Repeat until sunburn is gone. Lye soap speeds up the healing process.

Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac Treatment: Washing the affected skin area with lye soap immediately after contact with the poisonous plants may help avoid the reaction altogether. If some time is passed after the contact, the reaction is very likely to happen. To minimize the reaction, wash the area with lye soap as soon as possible, and rinse with water. Repeat washing a few times. Lather lye soap on the affected skin and leave it on until the next wash. Skin reaction will disappear soon.

Insect Bites Cure and Insect Repellent: Washing the bites with lye soap reliefs itching and swelling almost immediately. Lather lye soap on your bare skin to repel mosquitoes. A bar of lye soap in your kitchen cabinets will keep ants in check.

Lye Soap Slows Down Skin Aging: Soothing, moisturizing, and antioxidant qualities of lye soap slows down formation of wrinkles and age spots when used daily.

Hunters’ Trick (can be a health benefit at times): Wash with unscented lye soap to become “invisible” when you go hunting. Lye soap removes human scent and animals become unaware of you presence. Happy hunting!

Get your home made superfat lye soap here.

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

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’.

Advertisement

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

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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:

  1. https://examine.com/supplements/salvia-sclarea/
  2. http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salvia+sclarea
  3. http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=174
  4. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SASC2
  5. https://www.livestrong.com/article/423952-salvia-sclarea-extract-benefits/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18557903
  7. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-clary-sage-essential-oil.html
  8. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/clary-sage-oil.aspx
  9. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-407-clary%20sage.aspx?activeingredientid=407&activeingredientname=clary%20sage
  10. https://draxe.com/clary-sage/
  11. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874110002667
  12. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1572599502800126
  13. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ffj.1733/abstract
  14. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf020422n
  15. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003194220300 2255
  16. http://scindeks.ceon.rs/article.aspx?artid=0354-46640802233D
  17. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0972060X.2007.10643576
  18. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711304701804
  19. http://www.jonnsaromatherapy.com/pdf/GC-MS_Salvia_sclarea_2010_01.pdf
  20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eujim.2011.08.007
  21. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096245620400027X
  22. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031942201004150
  23. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02906731#page-1
  24. http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/14/4/1438
  25. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874100001999
  26. http://www.google.com/patents?id=KwbVAAAAEBAJ
  27. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2012.0148
  28. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.1898/abstract
  29. Han SH, et al. Effect of aromatherapy on symptoms of dysmenorrhea in college students: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Altern Complement Med. (2006)
  30. Ou MC, et al. Pain relief assessment by aromatic essential oil massage on outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. (2012)
  31. Günnewich N, et al. A diterpene synthase from the clary sage Salvia sclarea catalyzes the cyclization of geranylgeranyl diphosphate to (8R)-hydroxy-copalyl diphosphate. Phytochemistry. (2012)
  32. Yalcin H, et al. Effect of γ-irradiation on bioactivity, fatty acid compositions and volatile compounds of clary sage seed (Salvia sclarea L.). J Food Sci. (2011)
  33. Conti B, et al. Repellent effect of Salvia dorisiana, S. longifolia, and S. sclarea (Lamiaceae) essential oils against the mosquito Aedes albopictus Skuse (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasitol Res. (2012)
  34. Caissard JC, et al. Extracellular localization of the diterpene sclareol in clary sage (Salvia sclarea L., Lamiaceae). PLoS One. (2012)
  35. Caniard A, et al. Discovery and functional characterization of two diterpene synthases for sclareol biosynthesis in Salvia sclarea (L.) and their relevance for perfume manufacture. BMC Plant Biol. (2012)
  36. Laville R, et al. Amphilectane diterpenes from Salvia sclarea: biosynthetic considerations. J Nat Prod. (2012)
  37. Walencka E, et al. Salvipisone and aethiopinone from Salvia sclarea hairy roots modulate staphylococcal antibiotic resistance and express anti-biofilm activity. Planta Med. (2007)
  38. Asadi S, et al. In vitro antioxidant activities and an investigation of neuroprotection by six Salvia species from Iran: a comparative study. Food Chem Toxicol. (2010)
  39. Seol GH, et al. Antidepressant-like effect of Salvia sclarea is explained by modulation of dopamine activities in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. (2010)
  40. Sundell G, Milsom I, Andersch B. Factors influencing the prevalence and severity of dysmenorrhoea in young women. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. (1990)
  41. Seol GH, et al. Randomized Controlled Trial for Salvia sclarea or Lavandula angustifolia: Differential Effects on Blood Pressure in Female Patients with Urinary Incontinence Undergoing Urodynamic Examination. J Altern Complement Med. (2013)
  42. Mahvi DM, et al. Intratumoral injection of IL-12 plasmid DNA–results of a phase I/IB clinical trial. Cancer Gene Ther. (2007)
  43. Sakaguchi S, et al. Immunologic self-tolerance maintained by activated T cells expressing IL-2 receptor alpha-chains (CD25). Breakdown of a single mechanism of self-tolerance causes various autoimmune diseases. J Immunol. (1995)
  44. Hori S, Nomura T, Sakaguchi S. Control of regulatory T cell development by the transcription factor Foxp3. Science. (2003)
  45. Fukaura H, et al. Induction of circulating myelin basic protein and proteolipid protein-specific transforming growth factor-beta1-secreting Th3 T cells by oral administration of myelin in multiple sclerosis patients. J Clin Invest. (1996)
  46. Woo EY, et al. Regulatory CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells in tumors from patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer and late-stage ovarian cancer. Cancer Res. (2001)
  47. Noori S, et al. Sclareol modulates the Treg intra-tumoral infiltrated cell and inhibits tumor growth in vivo. Cell Immunol. (2010)
  48. Hatziantoniou S, et al. Cytotoxic and antitumor activity of liposome-incorporated sclareol against cancer cell lines and human colon cancer xenografts. Pharmacol Res. (2006)
  49. Dimas K, et al. Sclareol induces apoptosis in human HCT116 colon cancer cells in vitro and suppression of HCT116 tumor growth in immunodeficient mice. Apoptosis. (2007)
  50. Dimas K, et al. The effect of sclareol on growth and cell cycle progression of human leukemic cell lines. Leuk Res. (1999)