Calendula officinalis is more commonly known as “marigold flowers.” It has been made into an infused oil for centuries and used to soothe red, irritated and sensitive skin or for maintaining joint mobility in later life. For many, calendula works miracles on dry and chapped hands, and is an effective treatment for facial thread veins. it is also a helpful oil to balance excessively oily skin.

How Is an “Infused” Oil Created?

The method of making an infused oil has not changed very much in the last few thousand years. The chosen plant or flower is cut into small pieces, put into a wide-necked glass jar and then a vegetable oil such as sunflower or olive oil is added. The mixture is stirred and then placed into direct sunlight for up to 2-3 weeks. Periodically, the jars are turned to ensure the heat and the light from the sun are distribured evenly across the soaking mixture. Eventually the precious essential oil begins to seep out into the carrier oil and all the wonderful healing properties of the plant are infused into the oil. Finally the mixture is filtered and the result is a natural remedy containing all the active principles of the plant, pre-diluted and ready to use.

PS: Want to learn more about oils and how they can help you have beautiful skin? What about essential oils helpful for fibromyalgia or gastric upset or high blood pressure? The Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy offers an Aromatherapy “Club” that covers topics of interest on how to maintain a healthy life style through using essential oils.  Members receive 3 teleseminars and outlines and the mp3 recordings every month plus they receive periodic ebooks on aromatherapy. To find out how you can join, go to http://www.ISHAhealing.com and click on the healing store.

We have lots of carrier oils to choose from when selecting one for a massage or for diluting an oil to take internally.  There is a wide variety plus some other infused or macerated oils such as Calendula and St. Johns Wort. The variety of vegetable oils available to a newcomer can seem a little bewidering at first but choosing which one is for you is not really complicated.

You choose one with the properties that you need for your particular needs. You want to use vegetable oils that are the very best for intensive facial treatments and body massage and that can be combined to suit your particular requirements.  Experimenting with small quantities will help you find what works best for you.

Here Are Some Suggestions

Sweet almond, peach and apricot oils are very versatile and can be used for both body massage and facial treatments since they are light and easily absorbed. If you have a nut allergy, then sunflower or grapeseed oil might be better.

Jojoba is by far my favorite but it is not a real oil–rather it is a thick pale yellow liquid extracted from the beanlike seeds of a desert shrub. Jojoba is a wax that is the closest preparation to our own naturally secreted skin oil and is the most moisturizing of the carrier oils and good for most skin types.

My second most favorite carrier oil is fractionated coconut oil which is a clear liquid squeezed from coconuts by high pressure. It is a favorite of a lot of massage therapists. I like it because of the nice feeling on my skin.

Unrefined avocado and wheatgerm oil are perfect for nourishing the skin in an overnight treatment, but are a little too heavy for use in a body massage. They have a strong odor that some people do not like, but please don’t let that put you off! They are excellent, deep nourishing oils that will provide essential fatty acids and nutrients to soften your skin.

What About Prepared Massage Oils–What’s Really Good to Use?

My most favorite is Cel-Lite Magic Massage oil prepared by Young Living Essential Oils. It comes in a great pump bottle making it very easy to use. This oil combines fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, wheatgerm oil, sweet almond oil, and olive oil and the the following essential oils: grapefruit, cypress, cedarwood, juniper and clary sage. The grapefruit essential oil benefits skin textures and juniper essential oil helps detoxify and cheanse the skin. I absolutely love the fragrance and how this oil feels on my skin.

PS: Want to find out more about carrier oils and essential oils? go to http://www.ISHAharomatherapy.com and see our educational offerings.

PSS: Want to order a high quality carrier oil? Go to http://www.Youngliving.com/HTSMSmith to explore their many products.

The whole purpose of carrier oils is of course “to carry” or act as a vehicle for administering essential oils to the skin or to take them internally.  Some essential oils are simply too “hot” for the skin and should be safely diluted to prevent redness and burning. Or if an essential oil is used in a massage, it is very helpful to first dilute it so that the whole body can receive the benefits of the essential oil. Otherwise, you will use too much essential oil which is simply not necessary and may not be safe. 

If taking an essential oil internally is desired, it is also helpful to put a drop of a carrier oil in the vegetable capsule first or the essential oil may dissolve it before you can swollow it!

Some Dilution Tips

If you are desiring to make a massage oil to deliver an essential oil, you can make a 1%, 2% or at most a 5% dilution. The dilution will of course depend on what essential oil you are choosing to use in a massage. The hotter oils such as basil (a good anti-spasmodic oil) can be used in a 1 or 2% dilution whereas frankincense which is not a hot oil could be used in a 5% dilution. To make a 1% dilution, use 1 drop of essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil. But for a massage, a teaspoon won’t go very far. You could then make up a larger quantity by adding 20 drops of your chosen oil to 100 ml of a carrier oil.

To make a 5% dilution you could add 5 drops of your essential oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil and for a larger quantity like 30 ml, you could add 30 drops of your essential oil.

PS: Want to learn more about safe use of essential oils? Go to http://www.ISHAaromatherapy.com to find an aromatherapy educational course near you.

What’s an “allergy?” It’s actually a state of hypersensitivity–it’s when our immune system goes into hyperdrive and hay fever is the result. We get red itchy eyes, inflammation and/or swelling of the tissue of the nose, sinuses, throat, ears, larynx and airways. We sneeze, cough, and our noses run. We may even have rapid heart beat, our ears may pop because of inflammation and swelling. In other words, we feel lousy when our allergies kick in.

Chamomile Can Actually Lessen our Symptoms

Yes this is the season for hay fever sufferers but chamomile has been used for centuries to help reduce these symptoms. Chamomile has anti-anxiety, antihistamine, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it very useful in treating respiratory allergies. Chamomile tea is used to reduce duration of hay fever attacks and chamomile creams are used for compresses.

Roman Chamomile Essential Oil–The Gentle Chamomile

Roman chamomile essential oil has a sweet, apple-like fragrance and is very light clear bluish-yellow color. It comes from a small perennial herb and is safe enough for children and infants. Chemically, Roman chamomile is high in esters making it a very gentle oil. Try putting a few drops of Roman chamomile in a base cream to rub on swollen tissues–just be careful not to get it in your eyes. You can also use a few drops on a warm or cool compress. This oil is gentle enough to take internally. Just remember one drop of Roman chamomile will make 28 cups of chamomile tea!

PS: Want to find out more about using essential oils for physical, mental and spiritual health? Go to http://www.ISHAaromatherapy.com to find an educational course near you.

PSS: Need to find a good quality Roman Chamomile essential oil? Go to http://www.youngliving.com/HTSMsmith to order therapeutic quality oils.

Are things tough at work? Your boss on your back about deadlines? Are you anxious about the economy and how you are going to paying your bills? It can all add up to muscle spasms and to tension headaches which are the most common form of headache in our society today. Tension headaches are also referred to as muscle contraction headaches because they are caused by muscle contractions that occur in the neck, head, jaw, upper back and shoulders. These muscle spasms are first felt at the base of the neck but soon work their way upwards, eventually spreading to the temples. People experience them as a tight band around the head. they can last a few hours or all day.

Most people have been “schooled” to take aspirin, ibuprofin or tylenol which work for some but not all people. All of these over-the-counter drugs carry side effects which are now coming to light. Is there an alternative that is effective in the plant kingdom? YES!

Essential Oils Prove to be Pain Relieving, Anit-Spasmodic and Anti-Inflammatory

In tension headaches, you want to relieve the muscle stress and ease the trigger points and muscle spasms. Aroma Siez is a great blend that I have found to be especially helpful in relieving tension headaches. It contains basil which combats muscle spasms and is anti-inflammatory; marjoram which helps regenerate smooth muscle tissue and helps relieve spasms; lavender which relieves muscle spasms, pains, inflammation and is hypotensive; peppermint which has powerful pain-blocking, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties; and cypress which improves circulation.

There’s no need to suffer with tension headaches. Find a quiet place, rub your chosen oil on the back of your neck and temples, and deeply inhale its fragrance. Or if you are at home, take a relaxing warm bath with 8-10 drops of your chosen oils in a dispersing agent like sea salts. Put on some relaxing music and calm your thoughts.

PS: Want to know more about how essential oils–nature’s medicines–can help you achieve the health you desire? Learn more by enrolling in our aromatherapy courses at http://www.ISHAhealing.com

PSS: Need a source for therapeutic or medicinal grade essential oils? Go to http://www.youngliving.com/HTSMsmith to order yours today.

When the dreaded diagnosis of cancer is given, there are complementary treatments which can assist someone in the return to full health. Essential oils are mixtures of hundreds of different compounds which served to protect and keep the cells healthy in plants. Many of these compounds can help humans fight disease, repel invading organisms and promote health. In fact, some anti-cancer drugs were derived from plants.

What Can Essential Oils Do For Someone Receiving Cancer Treatments?

Cancers exist in an acid state and therefore have a very low vibrational frequency. Essential oils surrender to acid creating an alkaline state and thus increase the frequency of the body as well as bring more oxygen to the blood. Essential oils can bolster immune system function and enhance one’s ability to fight off disease. They can provide comfort, improve well-being, reduce fatigue or provide greater energy. They can improve mental clarity and assist with overall stress management and well-being.

PS: want to know which oils are helpful for fighting cancer? Join our ISHA Virtual Aromatherapy Circle where weekly we discuss essential oils with issues like cancer treatment, oils that are helpful for respiratory, digestive, cardiac, musculoskeletal and hormonal and endocrine issues. To join, go to http://www.ISHAhealing.com and click on the healing store where you can sign up for our monthly circle.

PSS: Need a good source for therapeutic grade oils? Go to http://www.youngliving.com/HTSMsmith

Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum) is a traditional remedy with a history of native use in Polynesia and Southeast Asia. Only in the past few years has tamanu oil begun to penetrate the European and US Markets, primarily in the cosmetic sectors. This oil has actually been studied in hospitals and by researchers in Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. It shows that tamanu is a significant topical healing agent with skin healing, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Tamanu is not an essential oil but can be used as a carrier oil or as a healing oil for the skin by itself. It comes from a nut which has to ripen on a rack for a month or so until it turns a deep, chocolate brown and becomes sticky with a rich oil. At this point, the oil can simply be pressed out into a rich, greenish-amber, and luxurious oil.

Tamanu has lots of healing abilities. It is good for accelerating wound healing and promoting the growth of healthy skin. ity is considered a traditional topical first aid for cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and stings, abrasions, acne and acne scars, psoriasis, diabetic sores, anal fissures, sunburn, dry or scaly skin, blisters, eczema, herpes sores and to reduce foot and body odor. The oil also possesses significant pain-relieving properties, and has been used traditionally to relieve neuralgia, rheumatism and sciatica.

PS: Want to know more about healing oils and how to take care of your body holistically? Go to http://www.ISHAhealing.com to find out how you can take courses throughout the United States on essential oils and various carrier oilsike tamanu.

If you looked at the chemistry of myrrh essential oil you would guess that it is phototoxic because it has furanoid compounds which are known to cause phototoxicity. But on the contrary, the Ancient Egyptians used myrrh oil liberally on their skin to protect against the harsh desert sun.

Myrrh Oil Was One of the First Essential Oil Medicines

What is the secret ingredient in the chemistry that makes it possible for myrrh oil to be considered a sunscreen? It’s the sesquiterpenes which quench the furanoids. In fact myrrh was their secret to soft, supple skin even in this hot climate. The fact that the sesquiterpenes quenched the phototoxic effects is an example of synergy where the effects of one compound can change the behavior of another, making it behave.

Myrrh oil can help you have a safe time in the sun this summer. So don’t forget your sunscreen! it’s best if you dilute it 20-80 with a good vegetable oil and then gently rub it on your face, hands, arms–anywhere you want sun protection.

PS: Want to know how you can get therapeutic grade myrrh oil that is not only safe to use but meets all of the standards set by the French Masters? Go to http://www.YoungLiving.com/HTSMsmith to order yours today.

PSS: How would you like to learn more about essential oils and how they can help you stay healthy? Go to http://www.ISHAhealing.com to find out how you can take courses on aromatherapy throughout the United States.

I am attending the American Holistic Nurses Association’s annual conference, an organization that I have been a member of for the past 21 years. Through the years I have seen a gradual opening to  researching and embracing new forms of holistic health care  in the nursing field. Nurses are advocates for patient care and in a holistic nursing approach–for health care that addresses the whole person–body/mind/spirit. Essential oils in the form of aromatherapy education is a perfect match for holistic nurses interested in non-pharmcological approaches. Why? Nurses more than any other professional on the health care team see the results of drugs and surgery and how often they cause multiple side effects and complications. Can nature in the form of essential oils hold out a better approach? Many believe this to be true.

How Can Essential Oils Broaden a Holistic Nursing Practice?

Infections–many essential oils are known to be most effective (95% in the research) for infections of all kinds including MRSA. The pharmaceutical companies probably do not want the public to known this statistic.

Rest and relaxation–many essential oils have chemical properties that aid in sleep and decrease in stress related symptoms. Just look at the chemistry of lavender, Roman Chamomile, Valerian, and blends like Peace and Calming, Harmony, and RutaVaLa.

Pain Relief–a major problem in hospitals is pain associated either with disease processes or with the interventions of medical care. Drugs are often prescribed which can cause more harm than good. Essential oils may not work as “fast” as pharmacologic drugs but they will work. For muscle and bone pain, look at the action of marjoram, lavender, wintergreen, peppermint, cypress, Idaho tansy, Mt. savory, or blends like Aroma Siez, Deep Relief, and Valor.

Wound Healing–many essential oils have been found to be healing to skin, even for deep wounds. Look at Spikenard, helichrysum, rose, frankincense, myrrh, styrax benzoin, galbanum, Roman and German Chamomiles, Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Rosaline (Melaleuca ericifolia), and blends like Melrose, Thieves, and Purification.

Sinus Congestion and pain–many times people cannot sleep well because their sinuses are plugged or the drugs they have taken have caused inflammation and congestion. Essential oils like peppermint, Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata can help. Also look at basil known to clean off the receptor sites on the nasal mucosal cells, and blends like Purification, Raven and R.C.

These are but a few ways that nurses in clinical settings can aid the well being of others.

PS: Want to know more about the healing properties of essential oils? Go to our website to find out if aromatherapy education is right for you. http://www.ISHAhealing.com

PSS: You will only want to use the highest quality essential oils to affect the healing of body/mind/spirit. You can get them by going to http://www.YoungLiving.com/HTSMSmith

Headaches are a common symptom of fibromyalgia. In fact, more than 50% of people whith fibromyalgia suffer from constant headaches or migraines. There are a number of interesting theories as to why people with fibromyalgia suffer from so many headaches. Many of these theories rest on the the idea that the same dysfunction that causes fibromyalgia also causes migraine headaches.

Some Causes Incude:

  • Sleep Disorders
  • TMJ disorder
  • Low levels of serotonin
  • Low levels of magnesium

Headaches can make fibromyalgia pain much more intesnse. They tend to increase fatigue, making pain much more difficult to tolerate. 36% of fibromyalgia sufferers with chronic migraines experience greater levels of depression and pain in their illness.

How Can Essential Oils Relieve Headaches Associated with Fibromyalgia?

You can use lavender, marjoram, petitgrain, Roman and German Chamomile, clary sage, lemongrass, helichrysum, peppermint, ginger and black pepper. Also try other anti-inflammatory oils like nutmeg, balsam fir, white fir, and wintergreen. There are a number of blends I have found helpful for those with fibromyalgia headaches: PanAway, Relieve It, ImmuPower and Ortho Ease massage oil. You can boost the power of these oil blends by layering peppermint on top.

Fibromyalgia is indeed a debilitating disease brought on by a toxic liver. Cleaning up the body is the first step by to health and many supplements that have essential oils in them can help.

How to Uses the Oils:

You can diffuse them, rub them neat on the neck, temples, forehead, you can dilute them for a body massage, use them in a soothing bath. Some of these oils can be taken internally but I would adivse first learning more about the individual oil, its chemistry and its healing properties.

PS: Want to know more about treating the body with essential oils for health and wellness? Go to http://www.ISHAhealing.com to learn about our educational offerings throughout the United States. We offer classes in aromatherapy that lead to a national certification.

PSS: If you want the best essential oils that are all therapeutic grade as confirmed by gas chromatography, then go to http://www.youngliving.com/HTSMSmith to order yours today.

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