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Essential Oil of the Day: Bay Laurel

Family: LauraceaeExtraction Method: Steam DistillationPart of Plant: Leaves and branchesAroma: Sweet and SpicyCharacteristics: Pale yellow to green, mobile liquidNote: TopEffect: Warming Precautions & Contraindications:-May cause skin sensitization if used for a period longer than 3 weeks-Do not use with pregnancy-Do not use near mucous membranesChemical Properties:High in monoterpenes and monoterpenols which contribute to its antiviral and and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Oxides are the highest chemical constituents in Bay Laurel which make it a great expectorant.Therapeutic Uses:Immune System: As it is a warming oil, it is believed that Bay Laurel reduces fever through its sweating action, prevents against infectious diseases, reduces inflammation in lymph nodes, fibromyalgia, lupus, viral infections, ear infections.Lymphatic System: Inflamed lymph nodes, cellulite, improves lymph flow, brings feeling of...

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Essential Oil of the Day: Black Pepper

Having trouble with quitting smoking? This climbing vine perennial can help. Known to lessen smoking withdrawn symptoms when diffused in a room (or in an inhaler), Black Pepper is definitely one oil that can to many things. Black pepper can strengthen resolve and reduce frustration and indifference.Family: PiperaceaeExtraction: Steam distillation of the dried peppercornsAroma: Warm and spicyCharacteristics: Clear to pale green - thin liquid.Note: MiddleOdor: WarmingContraindications-May cause skin irritation to sensitive skin-Do not use with homeopathics-Do not use if kidney disease is present - over use can cause kidney irritationTherapeutic Properties:Analgesic, apertif, carminative, rubifacient, anti-septic, stimulant, cardiac, digestive, stomatic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, antimicrobial, bactericidal, detoxifier, laxative, expectorant.Therapeutic Uses:Circulatory: Assists with new blood cell formation by stimulating the spleen, poor circulation, Raynaud’s...

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What are Hydrosols?

Hydrosols are known as the by-product of essential oil distillation. Hydrosols can be used in flavourings, aromatherapy and in skin care and go by many names: floral water, hyrolate, herbal distillates, herbal water and essential water.Hydrosols are produced in the same fashion as many essential oils – through steam and/or water distillation. The essential oils will float on top and the hydrosol will be drained from the bottom once the dilatation is complete. For many years, the watery by-product of the distillation process was thrown out – but it was discovered that these hydrosols are actually an extremely important co-product.Basically, hydrosols are diluted essential oils, making them safe to use directly on the skin. Also, the fact that they have...

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Self-Care: Meditation Part 2

Medical researchers have found a reduction of important cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and serum cholesterol. Large health insurance studies have shown that people practicing transcendental meditation in all age groups combined, display 50% reduction in both inpatient and outpatient medical care utilization compared to their controls. Hospitalization is 87% lower for heart disease and 55% lower for cancer. And what is most remarkable, meditators over 40 years old have approx. 70% fewer medical problems than others in their age group. (www.tm.org)

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Aromatherapy Book Review: The Fragrant Mind

Title: The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood & Emotion Author: Valeria Ann Worwood “Written in an accessible style and aimed at aromatherapists, practitioners of alternative medicine, and anyone wishing to use aromatherapy to maintain a peaceful equilibrium or bring about positive change, this book concentrates on the mood-changing effects of natural oils.” - Library Journal I could not agree more with the summary provided by Library Journal. If you have looked for or purchased aromatherapy books you will notice that most books have very dated information. A majority of the books offer nothing more than the standard information on the origins of Aromatherapy and the core information about a select group of essential oils. This book is much different. The...

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