Frankincense – an oil from Boswellia trees – is a spiced, rustic-type fragrant product that has proven helpful in a range of health issues. Some examples nclude: asthma, some types of cancer, gut and oral health and arthritis. It has been around for centuries having been used long ago in Ayurvedic medicine. Frankincense grows in a dry region, typically in Africa, India and the Middle East in the mountains. It can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Lavender – also known as Lavandula – is a collection of 47 species of plants from Lamiaceae (mint) family. The most common one is the Lavandula angustifolia. It is believed that when made into oil it can help with both emotional and physical ailments including: alopecia, anxiety and fungus. It is also a common ingredient in cosmetics (shampoos, perfumes, etc.) as well as food (mint, fruity, herbaceous and peppery) by drying the buds and stems and combining with oregano, rosemary and thyme.
Oranges are made into essential oils since they contain a large amount of antioxidants (hesperidin, anthocyanins), fiber, folate, potassium, thiamine and vitamin C. They are part of a larger group (known as citrus fruits) from the citrus x sinensis genus. While the history of oranges is not certain, it is thought that they were first cultivated in eastern Asia many thousands of years ago. Orange essential oil can be helpful with heart conditions, the prevention of kidney stones and iron build-up.
Peppermint was used for medicinal purposes from the 5th century in Egypt and first refined in the late 17th century in England (being featured in 1721 in the London Pharmacopoeia). It is a combination of mentha aquatica (watermint) and mentha spicata (spearmint) and is today used in foods, drinks, cosmetics and perfumes. Medicinally, pepper has been proven to be helpful for digestive issues, headaches, muscle pains, itching and sinus problems. As an oil it is good for coughs, colds, enhancement of mental capacity and a stress reliever.
Rosemary – also known as Rosmarinus officinalis and Salvia rosmarinus – has a wood-like aroma and comes from an evergreen shrub. It comes from the Mediterranean Sea and thrives in areas of fair humidity. It is best known as being used to season food but it is now being recognized for its medicinal properties for example: brain function, alopecia, pain reliever, stress reliever, circulation reinforcer etc. It could also enhance mood and act as an antibiotic.
Luscha Baumwald: How I Became a Nutritional Nourisher
I was born into a family with a heavily westernized dichotomy. My paternal grandfather was a General Practitioner and my maternal grandmother a Registered Nurse. No-one from either side of my extended Family Tree believed in the strength and validity of alternative — or even complimentary — medicine. Most of my friends were raised the same way, except for one: Charlotte. Her parents were somewhat degradingly referred to as ‘The Hippies’ but there was always something about being in their house that gave me a strong sense of calm and serenity.
Fast forward 12 years to when I was in college. I kept feeling like I had a bug that just wouldn’t go away. My neck was sore. I was tired all the time (this from someone who spent most days in the gym or at the pool for 45 minutes without even thinking about it) and I felt incredibly down. I went to one Western-medical doctor after another only to be told — pretty much — that there was nothing wrong. A picture of my high school dance popped up on Facebook in which Charlotte had been tagged and I felt that was a sign that I needed to contact her.
I made contact and we immediately fell into a discussion about alternative and complimentary medicine. The rest, as they say, is history and I owe where I am today to her parents and her entire family. That has been my journey to date!
Flu, Coronavirus and Cold Season
With the increase in cold, flu and coronavirus infections, building up one’s immune system has never been so important. There are many factors that result in a compromised immune system however that we are actually able to prevent or reverse. These include: diet, exercise, toxins, sleep and exposure to disease. Diet and exercise are definitely something we can all work on but what about the others? Here we take a brief look.
Toxins: Interestingly the main way we can reduce their entrance into our bodies is what the experts have been saying is the best way to try to avoid COVID-19! Wash hands frequently. Make efforts to eliminate dust particles from the home via frequent vacuuming. Try not to use too many artificial products in the home and always use fresh (over canned) foods, preferably organic. If you can use filtered water as well, do.
Sleep. Getting at least seven to eight hours per night is recommended for most adults. According to a recent paper put out by the Sleep Foundation:
“Sleep and the immune system have a bidirectional relationship. Immune response, like that caused by a viral infection, can affect sleep. At the same time, consistent sleep strengthens the immune system, allowing for balanced and effective immune function. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, can throw off the immune system. Evidence indicates that in both the short- and long-term, sleep deprivation can make you sick.”
Exposure to Disease: This is exactly what we have been learning over the last year vis-à-vis the pandemic. It is very simple: wear a mask, do not come within 6 feet of another person and avoid crowds. These are the recommendations of the CDC.
Use of Essential oils There are many essential oils available and used for different ailments and health enhancement. All of them contain antimicrobial properties. But there are differences in how they aid in immunity bolstering. The most common ones used for this include: clove bud (digestive issues, oral health and general infections), eucalyptus (respiratory issues, chickenpox, flu, measles, mental health boosting), lavender (great against insomnia, stress reduction), lemon (rich in antibacterial properties, live health), niaouli (flu, fever, respiratory issues), oregano (germ killing, illness prevention, but can cause skin irritation), palmarosa (skincare, immune boosting), peppermint (anti-fungal, headaches, fever, flu), rosemary (gland stimulant, an immunostimulant, germ attacker) and tea tree (immunostimulant, anti-microbal, germ fighter).
If one makes attempts in all of these areas then battling the winter season in the midst of coronavirus will likely be a lot easier.