Saturday, July 12, 2008

Everyday Aromatherapy, Part 2 : Increase Indoor Oxygen by Diffusing Essential Oils

Everyday Aromatherapy, Part 2 : Increase Indoor Oxygen by Diffusing Essential Oils

Submitted by Jennifer Nordin MTP

As we begin to understand the power of essential oils (EOs) in the realm of personal, holistic healthcare, we will appreciate the necessity for obtain?ing the purest essential oils possible. No matter how costly pure essential oils may be, there can be no substitutes. Although chemists have success?fully recreated the main constituents and fragrances of some EOs in the laboratory, these synthetic oils lack therapeutic benefits and may even carry risks. Why? Because EOs contain hundreds of different naturally occurring chemical compounds, which, in combination, lend important therapeutic properties to the oil. Also, many EOs contain molecules and isomers that are impossible to manufacture in the lab. We will cover more information about the importance of pure oils in the future.

There are three basic ways to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy: diffusing or inhalation, topical application to the skin, and ingestion as a supple?ment (the bottle MUST be labeled as a SUPPLEMENT for safe use). In this article we are going to focus on diffusing essential oils and how this method can improve indoor air quality.

Why Should We Diffuse Essential Oils Instead of Using Those Common Air Fresheners?

▪ Researching air freshener/plug-in ingredients from their Material Safety Data Sheets we find that these ingredients are toxic. Let’s look at a few of the toxic chemicals in air fresheners/plug-ins (Fleming):

Benzyl Alcohol - “…upper respiratory tract irritation, headaches, nausea and vomiting, a depressed central nervous system and a drop in blood pres?sure.”

Camphor - “On EPA's Hazardous Waste List… readily absorbed through the body tissues…irritation of eyes, skin, nose, and throat…dizziness, con?fusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions…avoid inhalation of vapors.”

Dichlorobenzene - “extremely toxic, a central nervous system depressant, kidney and liver poison. One of the chlorinated hydrocarbons that is long-lasting in the environment and is stored in body fat. Vapor irritating to skin, eyes and throat. Banned in California.”

Ethanol-- “… derived from petroleum and is carcinogenic… toxic to the skin, respiratory, cardiovascular, developmental, endocrine, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems.”

Formaldehyde - “…toxic if inhaled, poisonous if swallowed, skin and eye irritant, carcinogenic…”

Naphthalene - “… a carcinogen that accumulates in our waters and marine life. It can be irritating to the skin, alter kidney function, cause cataracts, and is toxic (cardiovascular and developmental), especially to children. It can be poisonous if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin.

▪ Air “fresheners,” according to the Household Hazardous Waste Project, do not freshen the air at all. What they do is mask one odor with another, while diminishing one’s sense of smell with a nerve-deadening agent (Pitts, Whiff).

▪ Colorado researchers have helped figure out why mothballs and air fresheners can cause cancer - their chemicals block the natural process of "cell suicide," allowing tumors to develop (Scanlon).

The Healthy Benefits of Diffusing Essential Oils

Diffused oils alter the structure of molecules that create odors, rather than just masking them. They also increase oxygen availability, produce negative ions, and release natural ozone. Many essential oils such as lemongrass, lemon, Purification blend, Citrus Fresh blend, and Thieves blend are highly antibacterial and are extremely effective for eliminating and destroying airborne bacteria, fungus, mold, and unpleasant odors.

Research shows that cold air diffusing certain oils may also:

· Relax the body, relieve tension, and clear the mind.
· Help with weight management.
· Improve circulation, alertness, and mental clarity.
· Stimulate neurotransmitters and secretion of endorphins.
· Stimulate growth hormone production and receptivity.
· Improve digestive function and hormone balance.
· Relieve headaches.

A cold air diffuser is designed to atomize a microfine mist of EOs into the air, where they can remain suspended for up to several hours. Unlike aroma lamps or candles, it disperses oils without heating or burning, which render the oil therapeutically less beneficial and even create toxic compounds.

(From Essential Oils Desk Reference, Second Edition, Essential Science Publishing)

If you don’t have a diffuser yet, you can benefit from pure EOs by the following simple methods.

Simple Inhalation:

Place 2 or more drops of EO into the palm of the left hand, and rub clockwise with the flat palm of the right hand. Cup hands together over nose and mouth and inhale deeply. Avoid placing hands near eye area. If oil should get into eyes, use vegetable oil, rather than water, and gently swipe a cotton swab toward tear ducts.

Misting Spray: Add several drops of EOs to 1 ounce of distilled water in a dark amber or blue GLASS spray bottle. Do not use plastic containers as EOs may react and break down plastic.

To obtain a FREE product guide for therapeutic essential oils, aromatherapy supplies, and diffusers you may contact Jennifer Nordin.

Or order online at

Jennifer Nordin, Massage and Aromatherapy Practitioner
AtPeace Therapeutic Massage (exclusively for women)
2217 Vine Street, Suite 203
Hudson, Wisconsin 54016

Thursday, July 10, 2008

High Cholesterol? Lower Your "Number" Naturally.

We all know someone (maybe it's you) with high cholesterol. But did you know you can lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels naturally? You can, at least according to recent research from Mayo Clinic showing that Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oils and a supplement called Red Yeast Rice Extract actually did a better job than conventional cholesterol medications.

Researchers in Pennsylvania followed 74 patients with high cholesterol and randomly assigned them to either the alternative treatment group or the statin group and followed their progress for three months.

The alternative treatment group received daily fish oil and red yeast rice supplements, and they were enrolled in a 12-week multidisciplinary lifestyle program that involved weekly 3.5-hour educational meetings led by a cardiologist, dietitian, exercise physiologist and several alternative or relaxation practitioners.

The statin group participants received 40 milligrams (mg) of Zocor (simvastatin) daily, as well as printed materials about diet and exercise recommendations. At the end of the three-month period, participants from both groups underwent blood cholesterol testing to determine the percentage change in LDL cholesterol.

The researchers noted that there was a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels in both groups. The alternative treatment group experienced a 42.4 percent reduction, and the statin group experienced a 39.6 percent reduction. Members of the alternative therapy group also had a substantial reduction in triglycerides, another form of fat found in the blood, and lost more weight.

Mayo Clinic (2008, July 10). Lowering Blood Cholesterol With Fish Oil And Red Yeast Rice Instead Of Statins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 10, 2008, from /releases/2008/07/080708122441.htm

Dr. Zach's Comments:

-In order to move toward health, wellness, and wholeness in your life, you need three key elements: 1) a deliberate and positive focus 2) a healthy lifestyle and 3) a clear connection between your brain and your body.
-This study demonstrates that lifestyle changes (in this instance dietary changes) has a profound effect on your life and health. Omega 3 fatty acids are a necessary requirement of every cell in your body, and therefore should be a staple in your diet through either foods or supplements. The DAILY MINIMUM you should be getting is 1000mg (1g), but studies show 2000mg (2g) is more likely what our body needs for optimum function each day. The following list shows the amount of omega 3's in common foods:

Fish Portion Total n-3 FA (g)
Salmon, cold water, fresh and frozen, cooked 4 oz. 1.7
Sardines, canned in oil, drained 4 oz. 1.8
Tuna, canned in water, drained 4 oz. 0.3
Tuna, canned in oil, drained 4 oz. 0.2
Cod, fresh and frozen, cooked 4 oz. 0.6
Mackerel, canned, drained 4 oz. 2.2
Swordfish, fresh and frozen, cooked 4 oz. 1.7
Crab, soft shell, cooked 4 oz. 0.6
Lobster, cooked 4 oz. 0.1
Bluefish, fresh and frozen, cooked 4 oz. 1.7
Salmon, canned, drained 4 oz. 2.2
Smelt, rainbow 4 oz. 0.5
Scallops, Maine, fresh and frozen, cooked 4 oz. 0.5

Nuts & Seeds Portion Total n-3 FA (g)
Almonds, dry roasted 1 oz. 0
Walnuts 1 oz. 2.6
Flax seeds 1 oz. 1.8
Pecans, dry roasted 1 oz. 0.3
Pistachios, roasted 1 oz. 0.1
Poppy seeds 1 oz. 0.1
Pumpkin seeds, shelled 1 oz. 0.1
Sesame seeds 1 oz. 0.1
Oils Portion Total n-3 FA (g)
Walnut oil 1 Tbsp. 1.4
Soybean oil, unhydrogenated 1 Tbsp. 0.9
Flax seed oil 1 Tbsp. 6.9
Canola oil 1 Tbsp. 1.3
Cod liver oil 1 Tbsp. 2.8
Olive oil 1 Tbsp. 0.1
Sardine oil 1 Tbsp. 3.7

Grains & Beans Portion Total n-3 FA (g)
Soybeans, dried, cooked ½ cup 0.5
Tofu, regular 4 oz. 0.3
Greens Portion Total n-3 FA (g)
Spinach, fresh, cooked ½ cup 0.1
Green leaf lettuce, fresh, raw 1 cup Trace
Red leaf lettuce, fresh, raw 1 cup Trace
Boston or Bibb lettuce, fresh, raw 1 cup Trace
Chard, cooked ½ cup 0
Turnip greens, cooked ½ cup Trace
Dandelion greens, cooked ½ cup 0.1
Kale, cooked ½ cup 0.1
Beet greens, cooked ½ cup Trace
Collard greens, cooked ½ cup 0.1
Mustard greens, fresh, cooked ½ cup Trace

-Red yeast rice is the product of yeast grown on rice. A dietary staple in some Asian countries, it contains several compounds known to inhibit cholesterol production. Although Red Yeast Rice Extract is very effective at inhibiting cholesterol production, please understand that cholesterol in your body is present because your body is making it. Cholesterol is the glue that holds our cells together and IS NEEDED in the body. Lowering cholesterol levels without getting to the reason why cholesterol is being overproduced in the first place can be very dangerous and lead to other health conditions.

-So, what should you do next? Seek the guidance of a trained natural health care provider such as your chiropractor or a good qualified nutritionist to assist you in making the lifestyle changes necessary to optimize your health and life.