January 24, 2017

Top 10 Essential Oils

 

The use of essential oils is based in a practice called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses volatile (quick to evaporate) aromatic plant oils to bring about spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Essential oils provide healing in many ways including:

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Penetrating cell walls to deliver nutrients and oxygen
  • Neutralizing free radicals with antioxidant properties
  • Killing bacteria, viruses and fungi[1]
  • Detoxifying cells in the body
  • Passing the blood-brain barrier to treat neurological issues
  • Increasing ozone and negative ions in the air
  • Raising the frequency of the human body. This fights disease and brings balance the physical, emotional, and spiritual health.[2]
  • Acting on the central nervous system. Oils can relieve depression, anxiety, and stress and also bring focus and alertness.
  • Bringing relief to pain and inflammation

Essential oils are not the same as fragrance or perfume. They are naturally potent medicines with constituents based in chemistry. Made of hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds, essential oils have the potential to be as powerful as pharmaceutical drugs. This is why safely using these powerful and effective oils is so important!

There are three primary and safe methods of essential oil use:

  • Inhalation
  • Topical
  • Internal

Inhalation of Essential Oils

The inhalation of oils is most effective on the central nervous system. When inhaling essential oils, the volatile molecules become a vapor. This vapor travels to the top of the nasal cavity and meet the olfactory mucous membrane. The olfactory membrane has thousands of sensory receptors to:

  • Identify the smell.
  • Convert the smell to an electrical charge.
  • Send the frequency to the olfactory bulb.

Inhaling Essential Oils CanThe olfactory bulb then sends those charged impulses to different parts of the brain, including the limbic system.

The limbic system includes parts of the brain that control emotional and psychological responses. Once the charge reaches the limbic region, it stimulates the hypothalamus and continues to the autonomic nervous system or pituitary gland. Once the charge reaches the autonomic nervous system, it can affect body functions such as heart rate and digestion. Its effects on the pituitary gland can initiate hormonal activity in the body.

Through the process of inhalation, essential oils have the capacity to:

  • Heal emotional trauma
  • Stimulate memory
  • Enhance focus and learning
  • Decrease stress levels
  • Balance hormones
  • And much more!

The entire process from inhalation to response from the brain takes place in a matter of seconds![3] The oils also reach the bloodstream during inhalation via the nasal mucosa and the alveoli in the lungs. Certain oils, eucalyptus for example, can also have a direct effect on the lungs.

When inhaled, eucalyptus acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and expectorant. Click to Tweet.

Inhalation can be performed using an essential oil diffuser or an inhaler. Another way that essential oils enter the body is inhalation through the nose or mouth. Diffusers are also an excellent way:

  • To neutralize odors
  • Kill airborne bacteria and viruses
  • Increase ozone in the air

I recommend using ultrasonic diffusers. They are the most effective at creating a fine mist of aromatic molecules. This inexpensive diffuser from NOW is a great introductory diffuser for a great price!

Applying diluted essential oil to the skin through a body oil or lotion is also a great way to incorporate the benefits of both inhalation and topical application.

Topical Use of Essential Oils

Topical application quickly gets the oils into the bloodstream by bypassing the digestive system. When applied to the skin, essential oil molecules pass through dermis of the skin, into the capillaries and then into the bloodstream.

Essential oils can be quickly absorbed through the feet. The feet contain bundles of nerve endings. These nerve endings act as neuroelectrical pathways to different organs throughout the body. Applying oils to the corresponding points on the feet allows healing to reach the particular affected organ.

For example, if you are nauseous, then apply peppermint to the stomach and intestinal locations on the feet.

To induce sleep and relax your mind, apply lavender to the brain’s location on the big toe. Click to Tweet.

Applying certain essential oils, such as peppermint, close to the chest or face of a small child is strongly discouraged due to risk of bronchospasm. Applying essential oils (always diluted) to their feet instead is a great, safer way for small children to get the topical benefits of essential oils.

Foot reflexology chart description

Using a reflexology or vita flex chart gives you a visual mapping of where to apply the oils on the feet to treat a particular organ. Other great application points are:

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4 Root Causes of Asthma

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

Marilyn had asthma since she was a young adult. There seemed to be no pattern to her attacks – sometimes it would happen frequently, and other times she would go for years without an attack. Later, she noticed that before an asthma attack she would have an intense itch right in the middle of her back, where she couldn’t reach. If someone scratched it hard, the attack would not come. However, if nobody was around to scratch that itch, she would get severely short of breath. Interestingly, after divorcing her husband she stopped getting asthma attacks altogether.

Asthma is not a disease, but rather a syndrome where the airways in the lungs close down, not allowing air to get to the alveoli, or air sacs to give the body oxygen. As with most “diagnoses” in the medical world, asthma is not a single entity. It is a collection of symptoms of many different causes.

  • asthma caused by magnesium omega glutathione deficiencyAllergies
    • Pollen
    • Dust
    • Food
  • Deficiencies
    • Magnesium
    • Omega-3 oil
    • Glutathione
  • Chronic infections
    • Molds/fungi
    • Virus
    • Bacteria
  • Inflammation
    • Autoimmune disease
  • Neurological
    • Autonomic Nervous System instability
    • Anxiety
  • Hypocapnea (low carbon dioxide levels)

Supplements that may help with asthma are varied, depending on the type of asthma. Those with inflammation will need different supplements than those with allergies, for example. The following is a list to work from.

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4 Reasons Why Allergies Are Attacking Our Health

by Sarah Stanley

No doubt you know someone with allergies. It seems like everywhere we turn another child is suffering from a peanut, soy or dairy allergy, and one more person has suddenly become gluten intolerant. According to Food Allergy, 15 million Americans suffer from allergies; 1 in 13 children (under the age of 18) suffers from allergies.

So, what is going on? Could there be a connection between our body, the food we eat and the products we use on a daily basis? You bet! Let’s discover the 4 reasons why allergies, and food allergies in general, are increasing in number and most importantly, what we can do about them.

1) Antibiotics

4 reasons why allergies are attacking our healthAntibiotics are being prescribed at alarming rate; it’s no wonder our poor bodies are reacting the way they are. Did you know that 80% of our immune system lives in our gut? Antibiotics not only kill the bad germs in our gut, but they kill the precious good germs, too. They weaken the immune system and make it harder for our bodies to fight infection, illness and yes, even all types of allergies.

One researcher, Gary Huffnagle, has linked the rise of antibiotics to the increase in asthma. While asthma can be linked to a number of causes (such as nutrition and dust), there is a correlation between diagnosing asthma and over-prescribing antibiotics. So as antibiotic use has increased, so has asthma. In fact, asthma has increased 160% in the last 20 years![1]

Another thing to remember is that prescription antibiotics only kill bacteria, but do not work for viral health ailments, including the common cold, flu and even ear infections.

What’s even more alarming is that over-prescribing antibiotic drugs is causing an epidemic of antibiotic resistance. A report from the CDC stated,

“Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.” This is indeed a cause for great concern.

Additionally, the CDC also states that antibiotics are a concern and parents should work with doctors to treat their children safely and effectively.  Antibiotics do affect our health and could be one of the reasons why we are seeing a massive rise in allergies.

2) Anti-bacterial Products

You most likely used antibacterial products today. You probably think using antibacterial soap is a good thing killing all those germs, right? Well, not exactly. One of the main ingredients in antibacterial products is triclosan. It’s also in many commercial beauty & skin care products.

Triclosan blocks the essential fatty acids in the bacterial cells, effectively killing the germs. Unfortunately, the bacteria that manage to survive the triclosan attack actually mutate into a new strain to resist this chemical. What’s really interesting is what happens next.

How Stuff Works describes it like this:

Some antibacterial agents go after the same physiology of bacteria that prescription antibiotics do. This means that if a particular strain of bacteria develops a resistance to an antibacterial agent in a household cleaner, it will also be resistant to similar attacks from prescription antibiotics. Microbiologists call this cross-resistance.”

Remember, germs aren’t all bad! We need them to survive. However, the immune system needs to keep them in their proper place.  It’s how our body fights fevers, infections and illnesses.

What is the connection between anti-bacterial products and allergies? Glad you asked! From the time a baby is born, they are born into an environmental flora of all sorts of germs. These bacteria, yeasts, and viruses can be found everywhere from dirt to countertops; most of these microbes are harmless.

It’s also important to note that this flora helps us digest food and fight off bad bacteria. Our body has two specific cells (T-H1 and T-H2), which prevent us from dying if someone should sneeze near us or if we cut our toe. To work properly, T-H1 and T-H2 must come in contact with microbes and allergens.  Your immune system coming in contact with the germs is how your body builds its defense so you don’t die when someone coughs on you!

But sadly, our homes are filled with many antibacterial cleaners and soaps, giving our young children no defense to fight off disease and causing our precious little ones to be diagnosed with allergies. Sanitizing our homes, hands and world is not such a good thing and our health is taking a direct hit. Allergies are a direct result.

3) GMOs

It’s not just prescription antibiotics that are causing many food allergies; it’s also GMO antibiotics found in meat and dairy. With genetic modification (basically telling God that what He created is not good) happening all around us, our health is declining and allergies are increasing.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms that have been changed using genetic engineering techniques. Some plants like corn have even been modified to produce their own pesticide. Because these have never been in the human food supply before, diseases and health problems are skyrocketing. From infertility to sterility, to allergies to cancer, the effects of GMOs are dangerous and very scary not just for humans but for the health of our earth, soil, plants, animals, air, and water.[2]

Organic Consumers conducted a few tests on allergies and GMOs and this is what they found:

Soy allergies soared by 50% in the UK, right after GM soy was introduced; GM soy also contains an unexpected allergen-type protein not found in natural soy; the level of one known soy allergen is as much as 7-times higher in cooked GM soy compared to non-GM soy.”

Bt toxin is the primary GMO antibiotic and used in corn, soy and potatoes. It is now known that the Bt toxin gene can insert itself from your food into your own gut bacteria, making you a Bt toxin factory.  While the company that makes this has assured us that it isn’t toxic to humans, recent studies indicate that Bt toxin can affect our red blood cells and immune system.[3]

The hormones found in milk may also play a role with allergies.  Robyn O’Brien, founder of Allergy Kids, writes:

 “[rBST & rBGH] seems to be hazardous to the cows. The package itself warns of such bovine problems as ‘increases in cystic ovaries and disorders of the uterus’, ‘decreases in gestation length and birth weight of calves,’ and ‘increased risk of clinical mastitis.’ Mastitis is a painful type of udder infection that causes cows to pump out bacteria and pus along with milk, requiring treatment with antibiotics and other meds that can end up in the milk.”

And how much of this “milk” (if you can call it that!) is poured into glasses without much thought? More than I care to imagine. So not only are antibiotics being over prescribed, but we’re drinking them on top of it. No wonder why we’re in an allergy crisis!

Our bodies were not created to digest foreign genes, which ultimately alter our DNA!

4) Processed Food-like Products

How else is our food supply attacking our health? By hiding in processed, food-like products.

Now that you know a little bit about GMOs, you understand just how important it is to eat real (organic food). Processed products (generally known as Big Food) are filled with GMO ingredients: corn, HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), soy, MSG, and countless other additives that don’t have to be labeled as GMO ingredients.

Which brings us to ask this question, so what can we do to prevent allergies? Or if you currently have them, what can you do to help your body fight them?

Here Are 7 Anti-Allergy Tips to Remember

7 Anti-Allergy Tips

1) Eat organic food.

If you consume meats and dairy, choose organic. The best way to avoid GMOs is to always buy organic foods (and also look for the non-GMO label). Some raw milk drinkers have lower ranges of allergies and asthma.

2) Use regular soap (not anti-bacterial).

Also, avoid foaming soaps (even some natural ones contain toxic ingredients). Dr. Bronner’s is a good choice.

3) Avoid any products that say “antibacterial” or “sanitizer” on them.

This includes all forms of hand sanitizer (gels, liquids, sprays, etc.). Again, Dr. Bronner’s is a wonderful option.

4) Switch to eco-friendly household cleaners.

A few I recommend are Eco-Me, Seventh Generation, Vermont Soap Company and Dr. Bronner’s has so many wonderful uses!

5) Commit to using only natural beauty & skin care products.

Nourish Organics, SKINourishment, and Balanced Guru are some of my personal favorites.

 6) Take probiotics.

It’s no surprise our immune system is under attack, so taking daily probiotics will help build a strong immune system! You can start the day with a morning elixir and eat plenty of pre & probiotic real foods such as kefir, raw sauerkraut (refrigerated, not shelf stable), kombucha, spirulina or chlorella, blue-green algae, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (important note: do not use commercial ACV).

Bananas, garlic, chicory root, dandelion greens (all in raw, organic form) are fantastic sources of prebiotics. Garden of Life has a complete line of digestive enzymes and probiotics.

 7) Eat what God made.

Bottom line to take away, if God didn’t make it, then don’t eat it! This means avoiding not just food and drink, but also skin care and household cleaners. Be extra diligent about reading labels and if an ingredient doesn’t make sense, avoid it.

Allergies of all kinds don’t have to be a part our life and especially future generations to come. This is why prevention is so important! By being a little more relaxed about “germs” and more careful about we eat, drink, clean our homes with, and slather on our skin, allergies can be prevented.

The 7 tips above are a great place to get started in living a lifestyle of prevention. By being proactive with preventative measures, allergies might not plague you unnecessarily anymore! And future generations will thank you for preventing allergies for them.

 

 

SarahStanleySarah Stanley is a wellness educator, endurance athlete, speaker, author, and founder of #wellnesschat & {wellprint}. Passionate about healthy living Sarah lives what she speaks about, practicing a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle that fuels her ultrarunning adventures. Her goal is to empower others to be knowledgeable about what they put in & on their body so they can live healthy, disease-free and happy life. She’s been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Ladies’ Home Journal and Washingtonian. Find Sarah on Twitter (@SarahStanley)G+ (+SarahStanley) and visit SarahStanleyInspired.com to start your wellness journey today

 

 


[1] http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn5047-antibiotics-linked-to-huge-rise-in-allergies.html#.U0SBG61dXjN
[2] http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_11361.cfm
[3] http://www.gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf

 

Healing Lupus Diet

By Amanda Box

One of the basic principles of natural medicine states, “All disease must be treated at the root.”  I have yet to find a disease or ailment this did not apply to.  However, so much of what allopathic medicine promotes is pharmacies full of drugs that “control symptoms” and doesn’t actually address the root cause of the problem. Although these pharmaceutical drugs can temporarily make life more comfortable, they don’t cure the disease with this band-aid style treatment.

Lupus is one of those conditions in which allopathic medicine strives to control it’s symptoms.  Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that currently affects over 1.5 million Americans, most of which are women.  When someone battles with Lupus, their immune system begins to attack their own tissues, not just foreign invaders as it was designed to do.

lupus root by flickr Photomatt28

The Devastation of Inflammation

Many of Lupus’ symptoms are caused by the extreme amount of inflammation. Inflammation is used to bring healing quickly to an injured area. But, when the inflammation becomes chronic, as with Lupus, it begins to destroy tissue and damages the body. This inflammation is a response brought about by the extreme autoimmune reaction in the body.

Lupus has no known exact cause.  Diagnoses is typically based a combination of both symptoms and blood work.  The most common lupus symptoms include:

  • Rashes (particularly, a butterfly rash on the face)
  • Poor kidney function
  • Arthritis
  • Heart and lung inflammation
  • Positive blood tests like the ANA (antinuclear antibody)
  • Low blood cell count, low white blood cells or low platelets
  • Anemia

Steroids are usually involved for treating Lupus because they lower the body’s immune system response. Since Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, this can help stop the body from attacking itself.  Unfortunately, this is a temporary solution and, again, doesn’t treat the root cause.  The use of steroids also comes with a plethora of side-effects, some of which include:

  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Increase in cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Susceptibility to diseases and ailments due to lowered immunity
  • Osteoporosis

Millions of people suffering with Lupus are left believing that steroids are their only option.  They put up with the side-effects because they believe this is their only option.  I am here to tell you that chronic inflammation can be stopped in a safer, more natural way!  And it starts with what you put in your mouth!

The Leaky Gut Connection

Around 12 years ago, I began to hear the term “leaky gut” being used in correlation with health conditions like ADD and Autism.  Then as the years passed, testimonies of “leaky gut” causing  more than psychological issues began to circulate in natural medicine health circles.  It has now been suggested that this severe digestive disturbance is a major factor in autoimmune disorder like Lupus.  Other conditions associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome include:

  • IBS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Celiac Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia

I personally believe that the majority of people suffering with Lupus have Leaky Gut Syndrome.  And if they didn’t begin with it, they will likely develop it due to years of inflammation and pharmaceutical drug use.

When you understand what a leaky gut does to the body, it makes a lot sense that it is a large contributing factor.  Our intestines are meant to be a barrier that protects microbes, undigested food and toxic chemicals from entering into our bloodstream and circulating through the body. But when the intestines become inflamed, Leaky Gut Syndrome begins and sets off an immune system response.

Leaky gut2 fix by flickr ian boyd

This inflammation of the gut can be caused by:

  • Parasites
  • Ingesting toxic chemicals
  • Improper bacteria in the gut
  • Antibiotic use
  • NSAID drugs
  • Food allergies
  • High sugar intake
  • Intestinal infections
  • Chronic candida overgrowth

Once the intestines are inflamed, the mucosal wall is damaged and becomes permeable.  This allows the microbes, food particles and toxic chemicals to pass through the wall and out into the bloodstream.  Hence the name, Leaky Gut Syndrome.

The body sees these particles as foreign invaders and the immune system goes to work. Inflammation is the autoimmune response and causes even more stress on your system.  The little battles are starting to be ignored, like filtering out the blood, calming inflamed areas of the body, fighting bacteria, regulating the gut, etc.  This process flow can lead to your body fighting itself and an array of autoimmune disorder such as Lupus. Inflammation, allergic reactions and psychological issues can result from this internal poisoning.  The good news?

Leaky Gut can be healed and it’s symptoms along with it! Treating Leaky Gut is a multi-faceted approach that requires many different pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.  If each one is utilized, the holes in the sinking ship will plug up and allow the body to return to a more normal state.

Because so much of Lupus is rooted in inflammation, healing the gut can result in giant steps towards a resolution of it’s symptoms! Here are a few of the most agreed upon avenues for healing Leaky Gut and reversing Lupus!

Healing Leaky Gut

Books that address healing Leaky Gut such as, Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha  Campbell-McBride, have taken the nation by storm.  This GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) diet has become the saving grace for thousands suffering with Leaky Gut and many of it’s accompanying conditions.

I have seen the GAPS diet change the lives of people suffering from things as simple as eczema and allergies to more intense ailments like inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia and Lupus.  The results can truly be amazing! However, the principles must be adhered to rigorously over a period of 6 months to 2 years, depending on the severity of the condition.

There are other diets targeted towards healing the gut.  Many of them contain the same principles as the GAPS diet and are designed to soothe an inflamed intestinal tract.  I don’t advocate that GAPS is the only path towards healing.  But my mantra is that I only recommend what I have personally seen work.  I have seen the GAPS diet give people the 180 degree turn they needed in their health!

4 Steps to Healing Leaky Gut

The GAPS Diet can be broken down into 4 main principles:

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The “Home Cure” for Celiac Disease

Heather came in to the office with “fatigue.”  She has felt tired for years.  She has been to other doctors and found to have normal thyroid and other hormones. No cause of her fatigue had been found.  She also had mild asthma and allergies, as well as some bloating when she eats.  We performed a blood test for antibodies against gluten and they were positive, so she started on a Gluten-free diet.  Over the next several months Heather was relieved of all her symptoms.  She even had dry skin and hair that resolved on the diet.  She was eating well, but was able to lose weight.  She had the energy to get through the day, and was able to quit using her inhalers and nasal spray.

In studies done on “Celiac disease,” it seems that about one percent of every population that eats wheat has gluten intolerance.  Many of them have little or no intestinal problems, but manifest this allergy in other ways, such as with Heather.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in all grains.  It’s what makes dough sticky and bread chewy.  Because it makes the dough sticky, it holds in the gas that yeast produces, allowing bread to rise.  Extra gluten is sometimes added to dough, such as bagels, to make them more chewy.

Why do people react to gluten?

Only the type of gluten found in wheat, rye, barley and spelt causes a reaction.  The reason for this problem is

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