Category Archives: Uses of Essential Oils

Love to Fido, from Mr. Pet-Conscious: 7 aromatherapy blends for dogs

Your Fido’s (dog’s) health is one of the most important things for your in life. As faithful friends, dogs bring with them love, joy, affection and fun into our lives. They become integral part of ourselves, that we consider them as members of our families. These days dogs are losing their wilder instincts and becoming very tame and domesticated. This makes them less resistant to illnesses that are caused by dust, dander and allergens. Though you may have your Vet to advice you on the treatments for dogs, some basic essential oil recipes maybe of great help in times of need.

Essential oil remedies for dogs: Only recently, doctors, vets and researchers have realized the significance of essential oils in treating human and animal ailments. Aromatherapy has grown up as an alternative medicinal system after centuries of years in hiding, under the label of quackery. Recent research reveals that dogs can be relieved of their doggy lives if treated with aromatherapeutic blends made from herbs, plants and plant oils. This article will detail on the essential oil recipes that can be used to heal skin problems, prevent fleas and ticks, relieve the pain of rheumatism and control odor in dogs.

Dogs have a predictable set of ailments that occur at various stages in their lives. The essential oil blends given below will address the most prominent of such ailments:

1. Dog skin problems:
Add 5 drops of Lavender with 6 drops of Geranium in a 10 ml bottle of Calendula oil and shake the mixture well. After the blend is perfect, apply on the affected skin area.

2. To kill fleas: Fleas are a real nuisance. They not just harm your pet, but infect your carpet, parquet and window coverings as well. To combat fleas, add 7.5 ml of Mint oil with 22.5 ml of alcohol (rubbing one) in a 1 oz spray bottle. Since fleas do not like the smell of Mint, they eventually die at  first contact with the oil. Spray all over your house – in your bed, carpets, living room etc. Also, spray on your dog, holding the bottle at a distance of about 10 inches away. This would avoid him from sniffing too much of Mint.

3. To relieve itching: Dogs can get scratchy when they have an itching somewhere in their body. They keep on itching, causing a wound in the area. To avoid this, apply the following recipe on to the affected area: 4 drops of Lavender, 5 drops of Geranium and 3 drops of Roman Chamomile to a 10 ml bottle of Calendula oil. This will not just reduce the itching but will also heal the wound.

4. To combat ticks: Ticks maybe all over your house or your pet’s area – his bed coverings, carpets and doormats. Use a blend comprising of 10 drops of Tea Tree oil, 10 drops of Lavender oil and mix them with 10 ml of organic vegetable oil. Spray the blend in the infected areas to combat ticks. You can also apply 1 drop of Lavender and Tea Tree oils each on your dog before extracting ticks. This will make your job easier.

5. To help with rheumatism: If your dog is aging, chances are it has become a victim of rheumatism. Prepare the following blend by pouring the essential oils into a 10 ml bottle and add organic vegetable oil to fill – 8 drops of Birch, 8 drops of Juniper and 7 drops of Rosemary. Apply the blend morning and night on to your dog’s legs.

6. To control odor: Let’s accept it. Though your dog is your best friend, it smells very bad if not washed regularly. You can reduce the intensity of this dog odor with an aromatic spray. Add 10 drops of Lavender, 10 drops of Geranium and 6 drops of Lemon in a 1 oz spray bottle and spray directly on to its skin.

7. To boost its energy: You can increase the energy levels of your dog by adding 5 drops of Rosemary, 6 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Peppermint into 10 ml bottle of organic vegetable oil. Massage the blend to the spine of the dog in the mornings. It will make your pet happier and enthusiastic than ever.

No my-foot-remedies: Anti-fungal oils treatment for athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot is an annoyance to anyone who has it or suffered through it. Though a common foot fungus, it is quite contagious and can be transmitted via locker room floors, swimming pools, gym change rooms and other warm and wet areas. It is estimated that about 70% of the population is infected by this condition at some point in their lives. Though anyone is vulnerable to the condition, athletes, especially swimmers and sprinters, are the most infected group. This article will elaborate on how anti-fungal essential oils have the potential to heal athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s foot – An overview: Athlete’s foot is otherwise called Tinea Pedis. Caused by a fungus, the skin condition occurs to people constantly exposed to damp and warm environments. The fungus thrives only in dark, wet and warm places like in the saunas, gym, worn out gym clothes etc. Athlete’s foot can infect a person without any major signs. Meaning, an individual will not be aware of the infection until the symptoms appear. Symptoms of athlete’s foot are: itching and burning of the skin; skin ruptures; redness or white color skin; crackled, peeled and blistered skin. The fungus occurs in the feet, mostly in between the toes or on the soles of the feet.

Essential oil cure for athlete’s foot: The first basic step toward treating athlete’s foot is to maintain proper hygiene. The next step is to kill the fungus through topical creams or oral antibiotics.  You can also use natural therapies to cure the skin condition and aromatherapy is just one of them. Essential oils or plant extracts have the potential to completely eliminate the fungus and heal the infection. This is because essential oils are absorbed easily and quickly into the body. They also respond and react well, thanks to their anti-fungal and skin-healing properties. Research has now revealed that essential oils can be used to treat all kinds of skin infections from acne to psoriasis and athlete’s foot.

Anti-fungal oil blends for athlete’s foot: Most of the essential oils are effective skin-healers, but only a handful have strong anti-fungal properties. You need to choose oils of therapeutic grade quality and mix them on a 50:50 ratio with base oils or vegetable oils. Better to use extra virgin Olive oil or Jojoba oil. Once mixed, you can apply the blend directly on to your foot fungus and see the healing happen. Some of the best anti-fungal oils you can use are: Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Niaouli, Oregano, Lavender, Peppermint, Clove and Mountain Savory. Some possible base oils other than Olive and Jojoba are Sesame seed, Wheat gram, Grapeseed and Avocado oils.

Foot powder with essential oils: If you are not comfortable with an oily blend, you can mix essential oils to make a foot powder and apply on to your fungal infection. To make a foot powder, mix 25 drops of Tea Tree oil, 8 drops of Olive oil and 8 drops of Peppermint oil with ¼ cup of cornstarch in a plastic bag. Once the oils blend completely with the starch, take the powder out of the plastic bag and apply on the infected area.

Clear your throat now: 5 essential oil cures for sore throat

Aromatherapy can be used to clear a variety of ailments and sore throat is one of them. Yes, you can cure your sore throat infection through remedies made using essential oils. It is said that many European singers preserved their voices for centuries using essential oils and herbs. This article will throw light on the tested and proven sore throat remedies prevalent in aromatherapy.

Sore throat cause: Sore throat happens due to bacterial infection. Sometimes it can be a result of a lot of yelling, singing, talking or constant and aggressive use of voice box. The throat can be inflamed by bacteria that often it becomes difficult to even swallow food. Sometimes the voice box is infected, leading to laryngitis which impairs speech and makes it difficult to talk. Though sore throat is a very common condition, it can be a painful experience to contend with. Ancient singers, musicians and speakers knew that herbs mixed with honey can be a good remedy for sore throat. They kept their voices immaculate only using herbal and essential oil remedies.

Essential oil blends for sore throat: Essential oils can help with ready-made, no-side effect remedies for sore throat. It is better that you get to know a little about oil blending, extraction etc. before trying out these remedies. This is because, throat is a sensitive part of the body and hence should not be dabbled with anything and everything. Below are a few remedies or sore throat treatments with essential oils:

1. Marjoram herb: One of the most popular sore throat and laryngitis cure is marjoram and herbal tea sweetened with honey. Like the herb, the Marjoram oil is also a great killer of bacterial infections. It is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and a good choice to treat throat problems.

2. Essential oils for gargling: You can choose from a wide range of essential oils, but these are the most useful ones – Sage, Hyssop and Thyme. You can gargle or spray any of these oils into the throat. When such antibacterial oils come in contact with bacteria in the throat, the relief is immediate. However, it is always better to avoid oils in high concentrated states as they can even harm or cause rashes in the throat if you are sensitive to aromatherapy. In case of emergencies, you can dilute a few drops of essential oils in 2 oz of water and then, spray it directly. Other essential oils for sore throat include Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Sandalwood and Tea Tree.

3. Recipe for throat spray: You can prepare the below recipe and spray it on your throat for instant relief. Mix 4 drops of Marjoram oil with ½ cup of warm water and ½ teaspoon of salt and shake well. Let the salt dissolve and oils disperse before spraying or gargling. Gargle every half an hour during the initial stages and then use several times a day for betterment.

4. Recipe for neck wrap:
You can try neck wrap if you have a swollen throat or unable to swallow or if your neck is stiff. A neck wrap reduces the swelling in your glands and keeps the bacteria away, till your throat recovers fully. Use 2 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Bergamot, 1 drop of Tea Tree oil and 2 cups of hot water for the ingredients. Mix all of them with water. When the mixture is still warm, soak into it a soft cloth, preferably flannel and wring it out. Wrap this flannel around the neck and then, cover with a towel thin enough to hold the heat. Repeat this throughout the day, soaking again and again only in case of loss of heat in the cloth.

5. Aromatherapy steam: Passing through an aromatic steam too can be of help. Steam your voice through an aromatic oils Lavender and Eucalyptus. You will feel relieved instantly, but remember not to overstress your throat before full recovery.

Temper your blood sugar levels: 3 essential oils for diabetes

Diabetes is becoming a common condition with many people in the United States and elsewhere in the world. A silent killer disease, diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder that is characterized by insufficient amount of insulin in the blood. It has been recently discovered that diabetes can be tempered with use of essential oils. Many believe that at least the symptoms of the disease can be alleviated using aromatherapy.

Diabetes Mellitus – Why is it dangerous? Though apparently harmful, diabetes mellitus is one of the worst conditions that can happen to a human being. People suffer from the disease when the insulin levels in their body go low or when there is imbalance in blood sugar levels. Everything starts with the breaking down of carbohydrates. When the carbohydrates (which contain energy in the form of glucose) are broken down in the digestive system, they are transformed into blood glucose and absorbed into the body cells. Only insulin, a hormone secreted in the pancreas, can help in the absorption of blood sugar.  When the insulin is not secreted or there is excess or very low blood sugar in your blood stream, you become a victim of diabetes.

Diabetic patients can have two types of the disease – Type I and Type II. While the first one is caused by lack of insulin, the second one is a result of failure of regulation of glucose in the blood. Diabetes is a fatal disease which can lead to a serious of disorders like vision problems, kidney disorders, cardiovascular disease and nerve problems. The disease can even complicate pregnancy. To curb all the evils that come with the disease, it is important to temper your blood sugar levels and regulate the glucose and insulin in your body.

Essential oils and diabetes: No, essential oils can never cure diabetes completely. But they can help alleviate the symptoms of the disease and also, help reduce aggravation of the condition. Below are a few issues that essential oils can address with regard to diabetes:

1. Treat poor circulation: One of the major conditions of diabetes is poor circulation. Lack of circulation leads to a lot of painful problems and results in pain in the joints, legs and other body parts. To improve circulation, you can massage the following essential oils on to the body – Geranium, Eucalyptus and Juniper.

2. Regulate blood sugar levels: It is said that oils like Dill, Coriander, Cinnamon, Cypress etc can help regulate the blood sugar levels in the body. You can use any oil that can reduce symptoms of the disease, but avoid angelica oil as it can be harmful. You can also use any oil that may stimulate, relax, sedate or anti-inflame the body. However, it is better to consult your GP before taking up anything.

3. Essential oil blend: If you are doubtful on which body oil to use, you can apply this recipe to prepare an essential oil blend with 4% Eucalyptus, 4% Geranium, 4% Juniper and 88% vegetable oil base. Massaging this blend helps in proper overall functioning of the body. Use the blend daily before hydrotherapy.

Essential oils can ameliorate the stress of coping with the symptoms of diabetes. Aromatherapy is of great help in reducing stress, anxiety and fear, the common emotional issues of severe diabetics. It also helps temper your anger and irritability through pleasant aromas. The golden rule is, if you know to use it wisely, you can lead the life of a peaceful diabetic and handle your disease well.

Epilepsy cure or cause? 5 unknown facts about essential oils for epilepsy

Epilepsy is one of the worst conditions that can occur to any human being. An epileptic patient, when provoked, can be caught in a row of frenzied convulsions if not properly treated or cared of. Those who know about essential oils and epilepsy, know that aromatherapy is not advisable for epileptics as usage of certain oils can lead to convulsions or seizures. But there are the others, new researchers, who opine that aromatherapy can be used to prevent seizures when used along with hypnosis. This article will analyze the pros and cons of using essential oils for epilepsy treatment.

Harmful essential oils: All is not pink when it comes to essential oils treatment. Here are a few toxic and harmful essential oils for epileptic patients:

1. Neurotoxins: Oils like Nutmeg and Thujone have a psychotropic effect on the body and cause convulsions in epileptics. So, avoid them at the most.

2. Classic convulsants: Some essential oils like Rosemary, Fennel, Sage and Hyssop are said to be classic convulsants and have to be avoided at all costs. Though herbalists may recommend use of Hyssop, it has to be understood that aromatherapy is different from herbalism and hence, individuals with a  family of epilepsy or patients who are already epileptic should avoid it all costs.

3. Toxic oils: Essential oils listed under the toxic category should never be used. These include, Tansy, Thuja and Wormwood oils. Spike Lavender is also an oil to be avoided as it has a camphoraceous aroma and is not generally appealing to epileptics or any other individual. So, avoid it by all means.

4. Convulsants: Since epilepsy starts with seizures, you should avoid oils which have even the least convulsant effect. These include Rosemary, Sage, Camphor (they contain camphor, a convulsant), Fennel (which contains fenchone) and Hyssop, Tansy and Wormwood (which contain thujone compounds). These oils contain convulsant compounds which have ketones. Though not all ketones are hazardous, it is better to avoid all than suffer from using one or two.

5. No burner therapy: Never use these oils in burners or adopt to vapor therapy while treating epileptic patients or when epileptics are around. If you want to use in bathing preparations for some other ailments, consult your medical practitioner before you do so.

New research on epilepsy: The old-timers would say that essential oils are a mismatch with epilepsy treatment. But new researchers like Dr. Tim Betts, head of an epileptic hospital in Birminghan, UK says that one can use a few essential oils to actually prevent the occurrence of seizures. Volunteers in Dr. Betts experiment had aromatherapy massages using their favorite essential oils. The massaging was accompanied by a self-hypnosis treatment. That is, with the help of a self-hypnosis relaxation, a conditioned response was initiated in the volunteers to prevent seizures. The research proved to be a turning point in the aromatherapy-epilepsy debate and believers like Betts profess that essential oils can actually help epileptic patients.

To puke or not to puke: 4 quick ways to nausea relief with aromatherapy

Nausea is common with everyone, everywhere. People concur it once in a while so much so that nausea relief has become an in-demand remedy for all and sundry. Frequent occurrence of nausea can also signal symptoms of other disorders like cancer, heart attack as well as kidney and liver disorders. Common cause of the ailment maybe on account of stomach irritation, indigestion, motion sickness, flu or food poisoning. The condition can generally be identified by the presence of a queasy or uneasy feeling in the stomach and through the esophagus, accompanied with a vomiting sensation. It has been discovered that nausea can be relieved through use of highly concentrated essential oils.

Why essential oils for nausea? First, they do not cause any side effects. Second, massaging them can be contraindicated, so they are often be inhaled or ingested in small amounts. Third, with essential oils, you do not just treat the ailment (nausea), but also improve your digestion and alleviate any possibilities of colitis or ulcers. Essential oils act as digestive stimulants and relax the intestinal muscles from cramping and intestinal gas formation.

Nausea relief remedies: To cure nausea, you need to first understand what causes nausea and why it needs to be cured. Nausea is the result of an impairment in your digestion process. The cause of the condition can be range from anything between stress or overwork to tension or high blood pressure. When adequately ingested or massaged, essential oils can counteract with the existing condition, by relaxing the body and alleviating the intestinal pressure. The oils can signal the brain by working at the first stage of digestion and evoke an  instant response from the body. They achieve this by making the  brain releases digestive juices in the mouth, intestine and stomach to encourage proper assimilation of food into the body.

Below are a list of few essential oils and aromatherapy recipes to aid in digestion and prevent/treat nausea:

1. Ideal essential oils: Make an essential oil blend with drops of essential oils you like and 20 ml of carrier oil or vegetable oil. Once done, shake your container thoroughly and use it in your bath water or inhale it deeply. The ideal essential oils for curing nausea are – Peppermint oil, Lavender oil, Orange oil and Ginger oil.

2. Peppermint recipe: Jeanne Rose, author of the book, ‘Applications and Inhalations’, suggests the following nausea-relief recipe with Peppermint oil: Add a single drop of Peppermint oil to a sugar cube and suck it slowly till it gets completely melted. This would relieve nausea instantly and leave your stomach and food pipe with the freshness of Peppermint. Another remedy is to add two drops of the oil to 8 oz of water and consume it.

3. Digestive oils/stimulants: Some essential oils act as digestive stimulants. In that, they relieve the intestinal cramps and ease the process of digestion. By this, they give better option for the food to digest and that improves poor appetite and avoids gas formation. Peppermint, Ginger, Dill, Coriander and Fennel work wonders here. Other oils like Rosemary, improves food absorption, while Basil overcomes nausea from chemotherapy. Oils to eliminate intestinal gas include – Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Rosemary and Thyme. Chamomile oil can help reduce heartburn and stomach pain too.

4. Tummy oil recipe: The below recipe can help you soothe your stomach by massaging the blend on to the abdomen area. Add 2 drops of Lemongrass oil, 2 drops of Chamomile oil, 2 ounces of vegetable oil along with 1 drop of Fennel oil. Massage the blend over the abdomen area to thwart indigestion, nausea, intestinal gas, appetite loss, motion sickness etc. You can even add this blend to your bath water and use it for nausea relief.

The healing power of smell: Ayurveda and aromatherapy

Aromatherapy existed centuries ago, right from the day people started using herbs and oils to treat diseases. Though this did not happen in the Western system of medicine, it happened way back in the science of life or what is called Ayurveda. Ayurvedic system of medicine used the power of smell for a lot of cures and treatments. Ayurvedic physicians understood that smell can have a huge impact on the brain and thereby, the other functions of the body. They used aromatherapy as a supplementary form of ayurvedic treatment. This article will explore more on the connection between modern aromatherapy and ayurveda.

The power of smell: It is said that about 80 percent of us sense the flavor of an item only through smell. The sense of smell is so powerful that it can arouse our appetite, warn us in case of danger (like fire), kindle our sexual self and elicit a surge of deep-seated memories in our mind. Smell gains power from the fact that it is connected with emotion-generating areas of the brain or the limbic system. It works like this: when you inhale an aroma, you stimulate the tiny membranes of your nose which in turn trigger electric signals to the hypothalamus of your brain. The hypothalamus is the seat of various activities of the body and controls and integrates parts of the nervous system, endocrine system, heartbeat, respiration, sexual arousal and blood sugar levels. The limbic system also wields power over the most basic emotions in your body like anger, pleasure, sadness, fear etc. So, when an aroma hits your nose membranes, it immediately makes an impact on your brain and thereby, the other parts of the body. This happens instantly, unlike the medications and drugs (which take time to dissolve into the blood stream) and hence, plays a great role in relieving people of pain and diseases.

Ayurveda and aromatherapy: As mentioned earlier, the ancient science of ayurveda has an age-old history of use of essential oils. It can be said that ayurvedic physicians used a lot of herbs and oils that it became the base on which the medicinal system was built. Ayurveda is based on the notion that the entire universe is composed of five elements and that three of these elements – Vata (Air), Pitta (Fire) and Kapha (Earth & Water) control the body. These elements have to be in right balance for the body to function well and in case of any imbalance, there is disease or what is otherwise called ‘dosha’.

Ayurvedic essential oils: Ayurveda uses aromatherapy to treat the Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. This can be done by inhaling or massaging specific essential oils or oils that would balance the particular dosha. This is a quick way to heal trauma and disease as the aroma instantly starts working along with the brain. Remedies for Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas.

1. Essential oils for Vata dosha: Basil, Orange, Geranium, Rose and Clove oils work well in treating Vata dosha. They cultivate positive emotions and joy to keep fear and sorrow at bay.

2. Essential oils for Pitta dosha: Sandalwood, Rose, Mint, Cinnamon, Jasmine oils are good cures for Pitta dosha. These oils work by inducing creativity and enthusiasm as a replacement to irritability and anger.

3. Essential oils for Kapha dosha: Pungent aromatic oils like Eucalyptus, Juniper, Camphor, Clove and Marjoram can stimulate sociability and happiness and cure Kapha dosha.

Mind, moods and aromas: A glimpse at the mood properties of essential oils

Have your ever noticed why things happen the way they happen during an aromatherapy session? Ever wondered why we are drawn to things that are smelly (in a positive or negative way) rather than things that are bland in scent? Mind can be influenced by the smell or scent of something as the olfactory nerves have a close relationship with the limbic system of the brain. Hippocampus, fornic, singulate cyrus, thalamus, mamillary bodies, amygdala and olfactory bulb are parts of the limbic system which influence the brain and controls various important parts/functions of the body.

The smell brain: Before the limbic system was discovered, this part of the brain was referred to us the “the smell brain” It is this smell brain which brings about mood changes in a person. When inhaling an essential oil, olfactory sensations immediately work on the brain and cause it to set off a series of changes in the emotional plane. Let’s take a look at the mood properties of popular essential oils and which oil can be used for changing or bringing about a particular mood:

1. Alertness: To become alert, you can inhale blends with Basil, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Peppermint and Rosemary. These oils invigorate the brain and make even a dullard hyperactive and mentally agile.

2. Concentration: The power of focus is extremely necessary for success and to achieve this, use the following oils – Lemon, Basil, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Frankincense, Chamomile Roman etc.

3. Confidence: Some children can lack confidence due to peer pressure or parental pressure. To help such children with low self-esteem and self-confidence, add Cypress, Fennel, Ginger, Grapefruit, Orange, Jasmine and Pine to your bath water or essential oil blends.

4. Creativity: Creativity is a will o’ the wisp and cannot be easily achieved. To improve your creativity or usher in creative thoughts, use Bergamot, Lemon, Frankincense, Neroli, Jasmine, Cloves and Rose oils.

5. Peace: To lead a peaceful life or to calm yourself during stressful situations, use Chamomile Roman, Neroli, Juniper, Melissa, Yarrow and Frankincense oil blends in your bath water or inhalations.

6. Happiness: Happiness is the most elusive thing in the world. One moment you have it, another moment, it is not there. To bring about happiness into your life, use Orange, Rose, Jasmine, Ginger, Cinnamon, Geranium and Cloves.

7. Rest and relaxation: To rejuvenate yourself and bring about complete sense of relaxation after a long tiresome routine or hard day at office, use Lavender, Geranium, Clary Sage, Neroli and Sandalwood oils.

8. Self-esteem: To build your self-esteem and face the world with confidence, use Jasmine, Geranium, Cedarwood, Sandalwood and other oils. You can also work on your self-image with Orange, Lavender, Melissa, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Bay, Pine and Nutmeg oils.

Labor of love: 7 ways to use aromatherapy for pregnant women

Labor pain is said to be the most severe pain in the world and every woman who passes through labor, wants to make it as pleasant and less-stressful as possible. Pregnant women love to surround  themselves with comfy things and pampering items that relax and soothe their labor and evoke a sense of familiarity in the birthing place or hospital in which they go through childbirth. Aromatherapy can do wonders to a pregnant mother as it can calm and rest the body and mind with its variety of aromas and herbs.

Aromatherapy for pregnant women – Things to note: Though aromatherapy can be replace drugs or act as relaxants during childbirth, they can be harmful sometimes. This is because some essential oils have strong scents which affect the senses of women and cause stressful conditions like menstruation, painful labor, contractions of uterus, miscarriage etc. To avoid such troubles, stay away from strong scents that you do not like before labor. Even the aromas that you like before labor can turn resentful during labor. So, consult with your doctor or an expert aromatherapist before inhaling or using any essential oil during childbirth. Especially, you need to stay away from a few essential oils like Basil, Clary Sage, Cedarwood, Cypress, Fennel, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Origanum, Peppermint, Rosemary and Thyme. Similarly avoid herbs like rue, golden seal, mistletoe, poke root, wormwood, sage, calendula, cotton root, male fern etc. NEVER ingest any of the essential oils.

Essential oils to choose from: You can choose essential oils that are mild in aroma and yet have a therapeutic effect on your mind and body. You can choose essential oils that are pain relievers, anxiety-relievers, anti-depressants, fear-eliminators, relaxants, oils with calming effects and body soothing properties. Below are some oils to choose from for use during labor:

1. For pain relief: Pain can be very stressful during labor. A woman’s blood pressure and stress levels increase when the pain intensifies. To alleviate painful and depressing labor, you can use Geranium, Rosemary, Chamomile or Lavender. These oils have pain-relaxing properties that can reduce pain and relax the body.

2. For depression: Pregnancy and postpartum depression can be treated with oils like Geranium and Neroli. Both the oils have anti-depressant properties which helps with anxiety, fear and apprehension tension during labor. Geranium also helps with breathing by improving circulation.

3. For feminine health:
Uterus contractions can be very painful and depressing during labor. Rose oil can be used as an uterine tonic to support labor and alleviate the traumas women undergo during it.

4. For relaxation: There are several essential oils to achieve relaxation and mental balance. Some of them are Lavender, Bergamot, Rosemary, Geranium and Chamomile.

5. For emotional upliftment: Women can become really depressed during labor. To steer clear of labor blues, use a strong scented oil like Ylang Ylang. Since this is a strong scent, you need to try and check if you are comfortable with it several months before labor. It is a great option for lowering blood pressure and hence can help with labor. You can also use Jasmine for its uplifting properties.

How to use oils? Ok, let’s assume you have chosen your oils and are ready to use them. Now the question is, how would you use an essential oil? Below are two ways:

6. Spritzer method: Make a spritzer by combining two drops of your essential oil/s with four ounces of water. Pour the mixture into a small spray bottle and shake well. Then, store the container in the refrigerator until labor day and use it in the following ways:

  • Spritz into your bath water and soak in it on your labor day
  • Spritz on your handkerchief and keep it with yourself all the day
  • Spray a little bit into the birthing room to freshen the air around you during labor
  • Make your feet clean and fresh by spritzing on it. You will feel good about it during labor

7. Bowl method: Fill a small bowl with hot water and add your essential oils into it. Place it somewhere in your birthing room or other place where you can both inhale it and from where it can be easily removed.

Killer or carcinogen? The truth about essential oils as anti-cancer agents

With aroma medicine being accepted more than ever, research is on to explore the various healing benefits of essential oils. Though it has been tested and proved that essential oils have significant effects as antivirals, antibacterials, anti-fungals and anti-depressants, recent research shows that they have specific anti-cancer properties too. This article will explore the truth about essential oils as anti-cancer agents for future.

Essential oils as carcinogens: Before we analyze the role of essential oils as anti-cancer agents, we need to first understand that not all essential oils are good for health and as in every other case, there are a few exceptions too. Some essential oils are said to be carcinogens, or stimulators of cancerous growths. This is basically because of one or two carcinogenic components present in such oils. Hence prolonged use of such oils can mean increased possibility of cancer. There are a few carcinogenic oils and there are other oils to be avoided if you have a particular type of cancer or so. Calamus oil and Sassafras oil, because of their high content of asorone and safrole, are highly carcinogenic. The methyl chavicol in Basil oil can be carcinogenic if used in large amounts. It is best to select  a Basil oil with the highest Linalool content and of course, lowest methyl chavicol content.

You need to avoid a few essential oils if you have cancer. These include Aniseed, Basil, Bay, Cinnamon, Clove, Fennel, Nutmeg, Star anise, Ho leaf, Laurel, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass and Verbena. If you have skin cancer, avoid using Bergamot and other sun-sensitive oils.

Essential oils as anti-cancer agents: Research has revealed that many useful essential oils have an annihilating effect on cancer cell line. Some of these oils are:

Frankincense oil: A study in the journal of BioMed Central Journal of Complementary Alternative Medicine in March 2009 revealed, “Frankincense oil appears to distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells and suppress cancer cell viability.” The study opined that the oil can be used to induce bladder cancer death and is an inexpensive way to eradicate cancer without harming the healthy cells in the same organ. Since Frankincense is a natural compound, there will no side effects like in chemotherapy.

Lemongrass oil: Lemongrass oil has been extensively researched for its anti-cancer properties. A study published in Chemico-Biological Interactions identifies that Colon cancer and Neuron cancer lines can be reduced with Lemongrass oil. The study indicated that Lemongrass oil induces natural cancer cell death through a process called the apoptotic process.

Sweet Linalool: Linalool is a sweet, relaxing aromatic found in many essential oils. It has been found out that Linalool can completely eradicate the HepG2 line of liver cancer cells when used in very low concentrations. Apart from its anti-cancer effects, Linalool also has anxiety-alleviating and sleep-inducing properties.

Sandalwood oil: Sandalwood oil is a great agent for preventing skin cancer tumor development. The alpha-santalol in Sandalwood oil is a remarkable for reducing skin tumor formations. This has been proved in a study published in the Journal of Anticancer Research  in January 2008.

Spice oils: Spice oils like Thyme and Oregano are also effective in preventing cancer. They do this by protecting the breakage of human DNA strands when exposed to highly oxidative stress. Some oils, instead of being direct anti-cancer agents, prevent tumor growth by supporting the immune system.