Lavender Helps Fight Heart Disease

Statistics from the American Heart Association(AHA) show that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and claiming more than 800,000 lives in 2008 alone.  More than 8.8 million men suffer from coronary heart disease in the US but alternative approaches using aromatherapy are proving to be highly promising.  In a recent study published by PubMed below, lavender aromatherapy proved to be extremely effective in  not only reducing stress but improving coronary circulation amongst men.  Further studies have not yet been conducted in women but evidence in its efficacy is strong.

Another article on Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong.com also cites this same study on its how lavender improves circulation and helps to fight heart disease.

For help on where to find pure lavendar essential oils, check out this link:

http://www.earthsolutions.com/Lavender-Pure-Essential-Oil-p/bflv-010.htm

Int J Cardiol. 2008 Sep 26;129(2):193-7. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

Relaxation effects of lavender aromatherapy improve coronary flow velocity reserve in healthy men evaluated by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography.

Source

Department of Cardiovascular Science and Medicine, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba City, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

It has been reported that mental stress is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events and impairs coronary circulation. Lavender aromatherapy, one of the most popular complementary treatments, is recognized as a beneficial mental relaxation therapy. However, no study has examined the effect of this therapy on coronary circulation. We aimed to assess the effect of lavender aromatherapy on coronary circulation by measuring coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) with noninvasive transthoracic Doppler echocardiography (TTDE).

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

We enrolled 30 young healthy men (range 24-40 years). Coronary flow velocities in the left anterior descending coronary artery were recorded by TTDE at rest and during hyperemia induced with an intravenous infusion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). CFVR was calculated as the ratio of hyperemic to basal mean diastolic flow velocity. CFVR was assessed at baseline and immediately after lavender aromatherapy (four drops of essential oil diluted with 20 ml of hot water and inhaled for 30 min). Simultaneously, serum cortisol was measured as a marker of stress hormones. To exclude the relaxation effects of rest, the same measurements were repeated in the same volunteers without aromatherapy as a control study.

RESULTS:

CFVR measurements were obtained in all volunteers (100%). Blood pressure and heart rate responses to ATP infusion were not affected by lavender aromatherapy. Serum cortisol significantly decreased after lavender aromatherapy, but remained unchanged in controls. In addition, CFVR significantly increased after lavender aromatherapy  but not in controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lavender aromatherapy reduced serum cortisol and improved CFVR in healthy men. These findings suggest that lavender aromatherapy has relaxation effects and may have beneficial acute effects on coronary circulation.

All Natural Acne Remedy in Pure Tea Tree Essential Oil

 

Here’s an  interesting  article recently published in the New York Times . It indicates  tea tree oil is an all natural home remedy for treating acne citing from several scientific studies .   If you are one of many suffering from acne and have been using harsher drying acne agents, all natural tea tree oil can be an effective and gentler alternative.

Natural tea tree pure essential oil has antibacterial agent that kill bacteria causing the acne and has soothing properties that decreases redness and swelling in a study cited by this article in the New York Times.

Earthsolutions.com carries a wide selection on natural pure essential oils including tea tree pure essential oil.

If you want to get more information on acne recipes with essential oils, the following website  is a useful website I found that provides all natural acne fighting essential oil recipes containing  tea tree pure essential oil:

http://www.easy-aromatherapy-recipes.com/essential-oils-for-acne.html

Please let us know if you found this article helpful on the comments section at the bottom and what topic interest you about essential oils therapies including aromatherapy.

January 27, 2011, 11:38 AM

Remedies: Tea Tree Oil for Acne

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR
Tony Cenicola/The New York TimesWhat alternative remedies belong in your home medicine cabinet?

More than a third of American adults use some form of complementary or alternative medicine, according to a government report. Natural remedies have an obvious appeal, but how do you know which ones to choose and whether the claims are backed by science? In this occasional series, Anahad O’Connor, the New York Times “Really?” columnist, explores the claims and the science behind alternative remedies that you may want to consider for your family medicine cabinet.

The Remedy: Tea tree oil.

The Claim: It fights acne.

The Science: Acne can be one of the most embarrassing and stressful skin conditions for both teenagers and adults.

Most over-the-counter creams and gels for the condition employ benzoyl peroxide, a compound developed decades ago that helps slough off dead skin cells and reduce inflammation. Benzoyl peroxide works for many people, but for those who find it ineffective or want an alternative, some experts recommend tea tree oil. The pleasant-smelling essential oil is extracted from the leaves of a tree native to Australia, Melaleuca alternifolia, and has been shown to have both antibacterial and cosmetic properties.

small number of studies have found it particularly effective against mild to moderate acne. One study carried out by researchers at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia, for example, involved 124 acne patients. Some were assigned to apply a 5 percent tea tree oil treatment daily, and others used a 5 percent benzoyl peroxide solution. Both treatments, the researchers found, “had a significant effect in ameliorating the patients’ acne by reducing the number of inflamed and noninflamed lesions.” The tea tree oil worked more slowly than the benzoyl peroxide, they concluded, but it also produced fewer side effects.

smaller, randomized study published in 2007 involved 60 patients with mild to moderate cases of acne. The patients were randomly divided into two groups, one treated with a gel containing 5 percent tea tree oil and the other given placebo for 45 days. The scientists found the tea tree oil worked far better than placebo in reducing the number and severity of acne lesions. Anda study published in The British Journal of Dermatology in 2002 involving 27 subjects reached a similar conclusion on tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory effects.

The Risks: Tea tree oil should be used only topically because it can have severe side effects if swallowed. It is generally safe when applied to the skin in moderate amounts, but according to the Mayo Clinic, some people may develop allergic rash, blistering or itching. People with eczema and other sensitive skin conditions should be particularly cautious.

Peppermint Oil – One of the World’s Oldest Medicines

Found this great read on the health benefits of Peppermint Oil:

“The health benefits of peppermint oil include its ability to treat indigestion, respiratory problems, headache, nausea, fever, stomach and bowel spasms and pain. Due to the presence of menthol, menthone and menthyl esters, peppermint and peppermint oil find wide applications in manufacture of soap, shampoo, cigarette, toothpaste, chewing gum, tea and ice cream.”

Source: http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/natural-essential-oils/health-benefits-of-peppermint-oil.html

Essential Oils in Pregnancy; Pain and Nausea During Labor and Delivery

Midwives use aromatherapy during labor and delivery for pain and nausea with great success.

This eight year study evaluated 8000 mothers who were undergoing labor. The study evaluated various essential oils to relieve anxiety, pain, nausea, vomiting and also to strengthen uterine contractions. Results showed that more than 50% of the mothers had success in using essential essential oils for these various conditions. Fewer than 1% had negative outcomes. The use of essential oils was found to reduce the need of pain  medicines during labor.  It also improved strength of contractions with dysfunctional or extended labor cases.

The outcome studied mothers ratings of effectiveness, outcomes of labor, use of pharmacologic pain relief, uptake of intravenous oxytocin, reported associated symptoms, and annual costs.

Use essential oils during labor and delivery by diffusing with an aromatherapy room diffuser, adding oils to a warm water bath and apply to belly with rag, massage pure oil blend in jojoba into the feet triggering reflexology points or add to warm bath.

An investigation into the use of aromatherapy in intrapartum midwifery practice.

Source

Oxford Centre for Health Care Research and Development Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom.

OBJECTIVE:

The principal aim of the study was to examine the contribution of aromatherapy to the promotion of maternal comfort during labor and as a tool to improve the quality of midwifery care.

RESULTS:

The use of aromatherapy during childbirth was an increasingly popular care option with mothers and midwives. More than 50% of mothers rated it as helpful, and only 14% found it unhelpful. The use of aromatherapy was not confined to low-risk mothers. Sixty percent of the sample were primigravidae, and 32% overall had had their labor induced. The administration of aromatherapy in childbirth did appear to reduce the need for additional pain relief in a proportion of mothers. More than 8% of primigravidae and 18% of multigravidae used no conventional pain relief during labor after using essential oils.  The study also showed that aromatherapy may have the potential to augment labor contractions for women in dysfunctional labour.

CONCLUSION:

This study represents a successful example of the integration of a complementary therapy into mainstream midwifery practice and forms a basis for future research.

Grapefruit Essential Oil for Lowering Hypertension and Reduce Appetite

An interesting study from the Journal of Brain Research published in 2005 and republished in the archives of the National Institute of Health shows that the inhalation of grapefruit essential oil has the effect of lowering blood pressure in rats. Conducted by the Division of Protein Metabolism, Institute for Protein Research at the Osaka University, the following abstract describes the study and the effects of the olfactory stimulation on adrenalin nervous system. It was also found to decrease appetite. The benefits were attributed to the active compound limonene. The action was through direct action on the central histamine nerves of the brain.

To enjoy the benefits of grapefruit for hypertension or appetite craving, eat a grapefruit. Or for a more routine effort, simply take a bottle of grapefruit essential oil and open the bottle wave it under your nose and inhale. Try this when craving food or when you suspect your blood pressure may be on the rise.

Olfactory stimulation with scent of essential oil of grapefruit affects autonomic neurotransmission and blood pressure.

Abstract

Here, we show that olfactory stimulation with SGFO for 10 min elevates renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) and blood pressure (BP) and lowers GVNA in urethane-anesthetized rats. Olfactory stimulation with limonene, a major component of grapefruit oil, also elicited increases in RSNA and BP in urethane-anesthetized rats. Anosmic treatment with ZnSO(4) eliminated both the effects of SGFO and scent of limonene on RSNA and BP. Intracerebral administration of diphenhydramine, a histaminergic H1-antagonist, abolished SGFO- or scent of limonene-mediated increases in RSNA and BP as well as the decrease in GVNA. Moreover, bilateral lesions of the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) eliminated the SGFO- and limonene-mediated increases in RSNA and BP and decrease in GVNA, but bilateral lesions of the cerebral cortex did not have any affect on these parameters. These findings suggest that scent ofgrapefruit oil and its active component, limonene, affect autonomic neurotransmission and blood pressure through central histaminergic nerves and the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

Black Pepper Nicotine Withdrawal Recipe

Recipes for quitting smoking:

While it may be difficult to commit to quitting smoking it is easy to support the effort. Inhalation of essential oils is effective on several levels. For starters simply inhale essential oils for the simple pleasure of stimulating the senses with something other than smoke.

It’s a sure way to reclaim the pleasures deprived from the tarring effect on the taste buds.

Essential oils can benefit in many ways; the use of oils to calm, reduce symptoms, expectorate mucous from the lungs and reduce craving.

Try these:

Black pepper:

The scent of black pepper is as enjoyable as is the taste of freshly ground peppercorns. Plus it has aphrodisiac properties that might come in handy. Simply place 3-4 drops of black pepper oil on a cotton pad and inhale. Or simply carry a bottle of the pure essential oil with you at all times and open on occassion, as you would a pack of cigarettes. Inhale frequently, exhale slowly.

Other oils that are useful include pine, lemon and eucalyptus. Use them in an inhaler or add them to a plug in diffuser to release the scent throughout the room. Everyone will enjoy this blend, even if not trying to quit smoking. 5 drops pine, 3 drops lemon, 4 drops eucalyptus. Pine helps curb craving. Lemon helps break mucous. Eucalyptus opens the airways.

To help relax, combine five drops of rosemary, five drops of lemon, three drops of peppermint, three drops of ylang-ylang and 6 drops of lavender. Diffuse these oils in a simmering pot.

Black Pepper Oil Effective for Cigarette Smoking Withdrawal

This study by Rose JEBehm FM is one of many articles describing the benefits of black pepper essential oil to help smokers reduce withdrawal symptoms from cigarette smoking. Black pepper has a number of known benefits, including anti-infective properties and anti-oxidant. But for cigarette smokers the inhalation of black pepper oil can be particularly useful, namely that it reduces craving. The test below, from the  journal of Drug Alcohol Depend shows how smokers compared inhalation of black pepper oil vs inhalation of nicotine and inhalation of air. Black pepper reduced craving significantly. To use this at home one can simply apply black pepper oil to a cotton pad and inhale or open the bottle of oil and inhale the vapors. Black pepper oil can be irritating, especially if it gets near the eyes, so use precaution when attempting to use the oil for kicking the habit.
The study was conducted at the Nicotine Research Laboratory (151-S), V.A. Medical Center, Durham, NC 27705.

Inhalation of vapor from black pepper extract reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms.

Abstract

“Previous studies have suggested that sensory cues associated with cigarette smoking can suppress certain smoking withdrawal symptoms, including craving for cigarettes…..”

A cigarette substitute was administered that contained a mint/menthol cartridge and another with an empty cartridge, were compared to inhalation of the essential oil from black pepper

“Forty-eight cigarette smokers participated in a 3-h session conducted after overnight deprivation from smoking. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: one group of smokers puffed on a device that delivered a vapor from essential oil of black pepper; a second group puffed on the device with a mint/menthol cartridge, and a third group used a device containing an empty cartridge….”

“Reported craving for cigarettes was significantly reduced in the pepper condition relative to each of the two control conditions. In addition, negative affect and somatic symptoms of anxiety were alleviated in the pepper condition relative to the unflavored placebo. The intensity of sensations in the chest was also significantly higher for the pepper condition. These results support the view that respiratory tract sensations are important in alleviating smoking withdrawal symptoms. Cigarette substitutes delivering pepper constituents may prove useful in smoking cessation treatment.”

Get Courageous with Positive Affirmations

Self-affirmations

Affirmations whether used with scents that help us recall those affirmations or else are practiced by receiving positive reinforcment in other ways functions in a way that gives us courage. The summary of these two explanations below suggests that people benefit from affirmations as it gives us freedom from the idea we do not exist.

This proposes a deeper meaning realted to our deeper underlying fear of non-existence or death. However if one believes that all fears derive from the fear of death then by affirming we are alive and well and in control of our life then we can free ourselves from that fear and so have more courage.

To quit smoking or reduce stress, if we use a positive affirmation then we resolve in ourselves that we exist and we are not acting out of fear because we are more grounded in our being and our sense of self. When we have that then we are better able to look after our physical self and practice greater self love.

“Courage is the self-affirmation of being in spite of the fact of nonbeing. It is the act of the individual self in taking the anxiety of nonbeing upon itself by affirming itself either as part of an embracing whole or in its individual selfhood” (Tillich, 1952; p. 155).

We pr

The theory of self-affirmation is a psychological theory that was first proposed by Claude Steele (1988) with the premise that people are motivated to maintain the integrity of the self. The ultimate goal of the self is to protect an image of its self-integrity, morality and adequacy. On the whole…  people respond in such a way to restore self-worth when their image of self-integrity is threatened.

In this theory, people would respond to the threat using the indirect psychological adaptation of affirming alternative self resources unrelated to the provoking threat

Self-affirmation: A strategy to reduce self-control failure

Published on March 26, 2009 by Timothy A. Pychyl, Ph.D. in Don’t Delay

Self-affirmation refers to behavioral or cognitive events that sustain, support and strengthen the perceived integrity of the self (Steele, 1988, cited in Schmeichel & Vohs, 2009). Examples of self-affirming events include:

  • receiving positive feedback from others
  • reflecting upon positive aspects of oneself

Another, and perhaps the most powerful, mode of self-affirmation is expressing one’s core values.

Their results also suggested that self-affirmation counteracts ego depletion by promoting high levels of mental construal. In other words, the process of self-affirmation changes the way we think about our tasks or goals, so that we think about our tasks in more abstract/value-related ways, as opposed to concrete, lower-level actions.

As the authors summarize their findings . . .
“The current findings extended the benefits of self-affirmation to essential volitional domains including pain tolerance, task persistence, and delay of gratification.

So how does it work?
In their discussion of self-affirmation, Schmeichel and Vohs draw on Terror Management theory.   This theory proposes that humans construct positive views of self because these views reduce the anxiety associated with awareness of death. In spite of the awareness of the inevitability of death, we are able to self-affirm our meaning, our sense of self.

and “The self whoseself-affirmation is virtue and courage is the self which surpasses itself” (pp. 18-19). Of course, this self-affirmation is a form of transendence that enables one to look past the immediate situation to find the strength to self-regulate.

Tea Tree Oil for Acne

From one of our favorite sites, this personal testimonial describes the benefits one person found from using tea tree oil for acne. The effects of tea tree are antibacterial. When surface bacteria contribute to redness and inflammation the use of tea tree can be helpful. There are other causes of acne related to diet and hormones. This is one approach written on the Earth Clinic website by anonymous, from Bethleham PA who says:

 “For years I’ve suffered from moderate acne and just recently started getting cysts again after a few years without. I couldn’t figure out why. I tried a lot of different solutions,nothing worked. I came upon this site a few months back and have had so much success with all my inquiries. TEA TREE OIL… Thank you to whom ever suggested that, my cyst was a quarter of the original size within 2 hours. By the next day completely dried out. Just be sure to use a small dab, to prevent over drying. It’s very powerful. I’ve also started drinking a large glass of carrot juice everyday and cut out dairy, not sure if about results yet since it’s only been 4 days.”

Lavender Essential Oil for Hypertension and Blood Flow

 

Aromatherapy alleviates endothelial dysfunction of medical staff after night-shift work: preliminary observations.

The following abstract describes a study that was conducted in the Osaka Ekisaikai Hospital in Japan. It effectively demonstrates that  lavender is effective in correcting blood flow to the tissues and vital organs of the body aka endothelial function.This is an important study that tested blood flow after inhalation of lavender essential oil by medical staff under stressful working conditions.

“Night-shift work causes mental stress and lifestyle changes, and is recognized as a risk of cardiovascular diseases associated with impaired endothelial function.Aromatherapy is becoming popular as a complementary therapy that is beneficial for mental relaxation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of aromatherapy on the endothelial function of medical staff after night-shift work. This study consisted of 19 healthy medical personnel (19 men, mean age 32 ± 7 years), including 11 physicians and 8 technicians. Aromatherapy was performed for 30 min by inhalation of the essential oil of lavender. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery was measured three times in each subject: on a regular workday, and after night-shift work before and immediately after aromatherapy. A control study was performed to assess the effect of a 30-min rest without aromatherapy. The mean value of sleep time during night-shift work was 3.3 ± 1.3 h. FMD after night-shift work was lower than on a regular workday (10.4 ± 1.8 vs. 12.5 ± 1.7%, P<0.001), which improved after aromatherapy (11.8 ± 2.5%, P=0.02 vs. before aromatherapy). FMD was stable in the control study (10.1 ± 1.9 vs. 10.1 ± 2.2%, P=0.9). This study demonstrated that night-shift work impaired endothelial function in medical staff, an effect that was alleviated by short-term aromatherapy.”

The below is taken from Wikipedia and explains something about what is endothelial dysfunction. This helps one to understand that it is related to high blood pressure and delivery of blood to the body.

Endothelial function

“can be improved significantly by exercise and improved diet. A study published in 2005 has determined that a positive relationship exists between the consumption of trans fat (commonly found in hydrogenated products such as margarine) and the development of endothelial dysfunction. Other factors have been identified as improving endothelial function and include cessation of smoking, loss of weight and treatment of hypertension andhypercholesterolemia amongst other things. Some studies have found antioxidants, potassium and arginine supplementation to restore impaired endothelial dysfunction.”