13 Surprising Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil

The health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation, and treat respiratory problems. The Latin name of lavender is Lavare, which means “to wash”, due to its particularly pleasant aroma.

lavenderoil

About Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is extracted mostly from the flowers of the lavender plant, primarily through steam distillation. The flowers of lavender are fragrant in nature and have been used for making potpourri for centuries. Traditionally, lavender essential oil has also been used in making perfumes. The oil is very useful in aromatherapy and many aromatic preparations and combinations.

Lavender oil blends well with many other essential oils including cedarwood, pine, clary sagegeranium, and nutmeg. Today, lavender essential oil is frequently used in various forms including as an aromatherapy oil, in gels, infusions, lotions, and soaps.

Health Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil

The various health benefits of lavender essential oil include the following:

Bug Repellent

The smell of lavender essential oil is potent for many types of bugs like mosquitoes, midges, and moths. Apply some lavender oil on the exposed skin when outside to prevent these irritating bites. Furthermore, if you do happen to be bitten by one of those bugs, lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that will reduce the irritation and the pain associated with bug bites.

Induces Sleep

Lavender essential oil induces sleep and is thus used as an alternative treatment for insomnia. Frequent studies on elderly patients have shown an increase in their sleep regularity when their normal sleep medication is replaced with some lavender essential oil being placed on their pillows. It has a relaxing impact on people; thereby, it often replaces modern medicines for sleep issues.

Relieves Stress & Anxiety

Lavender essential oil has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and anxiety issues. Therefore, it can also be helpful in treating migrainesheadachesdepression, nervous tension and emotional stress. The refreshing aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness while also increasing mental activity. It has a well-researched impact on the autonomic nervous system, which is why it is frequently used as a treatment for insomnia and also as a way to regulate heart-rate variability. One study showed that people taking tests showed a significant decrease in mental stress and anxiety, as well as increased cognitive function when they inhaled lavender oil and rosemary oil before taking the test.

LavenderessentialoilTreats Acne

According to dermatologists and aromatherapists, lavender essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne, which is a very uncomfortable and embarrassing condition that primarily affects young people as they move through puberty, but can also afflict adults. It is characterized by red, raised sores on the face and body that develop due to a bacterial infection near the sebum gland. When sebum cannot be properly secreted from the sebum glands on the face, it begins to build up, particularly because puberty stimulates extra sebum and bacteria feed off of it, creating a vicious cycle of irritation, infection, and visible sores that can result in serious scarring.

Lavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial infection, helps to regulate some of the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing.

Relieves Pain

Lavender essential oil is known as an excellent remedy for various types of

Continue reading “13 Surprising Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil”

Top 8 Benefits Of Bay Leaves

The most impressive health benefits of bay leaves include their ability to detoxify the body and protect it from bacterial infections, slow the aging process, speed wound healing, manage diabetes, improve hearthealth, reduce inflammation, alleviate respiratory issues, optimize digestion, and prevent certain types of cancer.

What Are Bay Leaves?

There are many types of plants whose leaves are referred to as “bay leaves”, but the true bay leaf is scientifically known as Laurus nobilis, and this is the nutrient-rich variety that is discussed in the article. Many other leaves have a similar appearance and aroma like true bay leaves, but not the same nutrient content. This plant is a small tree native to the Mediterranean region. Laurel trees were present everywhere in the region, but changing climates have shrunk their natural growth. However, these leaves have been a part of the culinary and medicinal world for thousands of years, dating back at least to Roman times.

The uses of bay leaves include grinding the leaves into a spice to flavor soups and stews, but they are most commonly added in their whole form as a flavoring for certain Italian dishes and are then removed or used as a garnish. Whole leaves are not commonly consumed. There is no extensive range of culinary application for bay leaves, although extracts of these leaves have numerous medical uses. These leaves are also a popular element in aromatherapy and herbal treatments for various skin and respiratory conditions.Bay leaves

Health Benefits Of Bay Leaves

With the wide range of benefits that these powerful leaves offer, it is a mandate to include them in your diet, so let us explore them in detail.

Improve Digestion

Bay leaves have a very strong effect on the gastrointestinal system, both stimulating urination as a diuretic, which decreases the toxicity of the body and stimulates vomiting (as an emetic) when something toxic has been consumed. Furthermore, the organic compounds found in bay leaves are very effective for settling upset stomachs, soothing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or even lessening the symptoms of Celiacdisease. Some of the more complex proteins in our modern diet can be difficult to digest, but the unique enzymes found in bay leaves help facilitate efficient digestion and nutrient intake.

Treat Respiratory Conditions

When the essential oil of bay leaves is extracted, it can be mixed into a salve and applied to the chest to help alleviate various respiratory conditions. This can also be achieved with a poultice made of the leaves. Spread it on the chest and allow it to remain overnight. Inhaling the vapor has a similar effect to aromatherapy and can loosen up phlegm and eliminate dangerous bacteria that may be trapped in your respiratory tracts, thanks to its natural antibacterial quality.bayleafinfo

Hair Care

If you want to improve the health of your hair follicles and eliminate dandruff, steep bay leaves in water and then rub them on your scalp after shampooing. The chemicals and volatile ingredients in them can help eliminate dry skin and dandruff.

Anti-inflammatory Activity

One of the most important benefits of bay leaves is their ability toreduce inflammation throughout the body. These leaves contain a unique phytonutrient, called parthenolide, which can quickly reduce inflammation and irritation when topically applied to affected areas, such as sore joints or areas affected by arthritis. This effect can also be achieved through normal consumption of bay leaf spice.

Protect Heart Health

Caffeic acid and rutin are both important organic compounds, found in bay leaves, that enhance our heart health. Rutin strengthens capillary walls in the heart and the body’s extremities, while caffeic acid can help eliminate LDL or bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system.

Prevent Cancer

The unique combination of antioxidants and organic compounds in bay leaves, including phytonutrients, catechins, linalool, and parthenolide, helps to protect the body from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells and bay leaves are particularly adept at preventing this activity.

Reduce Anxiety & Stress

Linalool is often associated with thyme and basil, but it is also present in bay leaves and can help lower the level of stress hormones in the body, especially when used in aromatherapy. Excess stress hormones can be dangerous for long-term health, so bay leaves can help you calm down and remain relaxed even in your high-anxiety moments.

Bay leaves have been directly connected with improved insulin receptor function and regulated blood sugarlevels. For patients at risk of developing diabetes or for those who have already developed the condition, regular consumption of bay leaves can significantly lower the chances of diabetic episodes.

Word of Caution: As mentioned earlier, “bay leaf” is a commonly used term that applies to many different plants around the world; however, to achieve all of the health benefits listed above, it is essential that you find a true bay leaf, derived from the laurel tree. Other varieties can actually be toxic when consumed, so be certain that you’re getting the real thing. In terms of allergies, bay leaves aren’t widely known as an allergenic substance, but contact dermatitis and eczema breakouts have been sporadically reported. If you’re allergic to other members of the Lauraceae family, you will likely be allergic to bay leaves as well.

Source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/bay-leaves.html#comments-container

Food Is Medicine: The Diet of Medicinal Foods, Science & History

Food is medicine - Dr. Axe
Hippocrates was to thank for the famous quote, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” — which we translated to “food is medicine” and use as our motto. Still to this day medical doctors and historians consider Hippocrates to be the founder of medicine as a “rational science.”

Considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of medicine and healing, Hippocrates was ahead of his time when, around the year 400 B.C, he advised people to prevent and treat diseases first and foremost by eating a nutrient-dense diet.

Why is a calorie not just a calorie when it comes to your health, and how come it matters so much which types of foods you get your calories from?Foods provide us with energy (calories), but they do much more than that.

The foods you include in your diet also play a critical role in controlling inflammation levels, balancing blood sugar, regulating cardiovascular health (including blood pressure and cholesterol levels), helping the digestive organs to process and eliminate waste, and much, much more. Did you know that certain anti-inflammatory foods even contain powerful active ingredients that help control how your genes are expressed?

Hippocrates and the Ancient Greeks weren’t the only ones onto something when they studied the many medicinal properties of foods. Many traditional systems of healing which have been practiced throughout history — including Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, for example — have taught for thousands of years that food is medicine and a healthy diet is a powerful tool for protecting one’s health.

Below you’ll learn which medicinal foods we now know make the biggest impact in someone’s health overall, which foods you should avoid most, and how to get started today eating a healing diet.


How Food Works Like Medicine

Perhaps more than anything else in our lives, the foods we regularly eat help determine whether or not we will become ill, or remain healthy into older age. Whether vegetables, fruit, meat, oils or grains, foods contain influential substances including antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, fiber and much more.

Nutrient deficiencies and toxicity from a poor diet are linked to nearly all modern health conditions. John Hopkins University reports that some 80 percent of cancer patients are believed to be malnourished, and that treatments used to battle cancer (like chemotherapy) only increase the body’s need for nutrients and very high-quality foods even more. (1) You probably already know that diabetes and heart disease (currently the No. 1 killer in the U.S. and most industrialized nations) are also illnesses that are highly influenced by one’s diet — and the same can be said for allergies, autoimmune disorders like arthritis, thyroid disorders and many more.

The expanding field of Nutrigenomics (also called Nutritional Genomics) is devoted to studying how food influences gene expressions and contributes to either health and longevity or to disease and earlier death. The principles behind nutrigenomics can be summarized in several key points: genes play a role in disease development and prevention; a poor diet can be a serious risk factor for many diseases; nutrient deficiencies and toxic chemicals in low-quality foods have an effect on human gene expressions; each person is different in terms of how much their genes/health are impacted by their diet; and a healthy but also personalized diet can be used to prevent, mitigate or cure chronic diseases. (2)

Some of the ways that medicinal foods specifically act like natural protectors against disease and help to slow the effects of aging, include:

  • Decreasing & Controlling Inflammation – Inflammation is the root of most diseases and a major contributor to the effects of aging. Inflammation is a response from the immune system when the body perceives it’s being threatened, and it can affect nearly every tissue, hormone and cell in the body. Research also shows that “obesity has a strong inflammatory component,” a problem that now affects nearly two-thirds of all adults in the U.S. (3)
  • Balancing Hormones − Hormones affect every part of health, from your energy and cognitive abilities to your body weight and sex drive. Abnormal hormonal changes contribute to accelerated aging, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, depression, low mental capacity, reproductive problems and an array of autoimmune diseases. (4)
  • Alkalizing the Body – The human body keeps a tight grip on its internal pH level, working hard to keep it around a pH of 7.36. Studies show that when it comes to the pH and net acid load in the human diet, “there has been considerable change from the hunter-gather civilization to the present.” (5) Processed, low-quality foods make the body more acidic and allow diseases to thrive more easily. An alkaline diet (high in plant foods that are detoxifying) helps with cellular renewal and might promote longevity.
  • Balancing Blood Glucose (Sugar) – Diabetes and weight gain are tied to poor insulin response and other hormonal changes. Poorly managed blood sugar levels due to consuming high amounts of sugar and processed carbohydrates can lead to cravings, fatigue, neurological damage, mood disorders, hormonal balances and more. To sustain normal blood sugar, experts recommend that low-glycemic and non-processed carbohydrates take the place of refined, empty calories and added sugar. (6)
  • Detoxifying & Eliminating Toxins – Toxicity is tied to poor digestive health, hormonal changes and decreasing liver functioning. In modern society, we are bombarded by chemicals from our diet and environment that contribute to inflammation, autoimmune diseases, infertility, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, and so on.
  • Improving Absorption of Nutrients – Many of today’s illnesses are due to nutritional deficiencies and high rates of free radical damage. The majority of processed convenience foods are stripped of their natural nutrients or at least partly manmade, packed with synthetic ingredients and preservatives but very low in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and enzymes.

 

Food is medicine guide - Dr. Axe

 


7 of the Best Medicinal Foods

Continue reading “Food Is Medicine: The Diet of Medicinal Foods, Science & History”

What is Acupuncture & How Can You Benefit

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been used to treat hundreds of imbalances, from a minor cold to chronic back pain.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest recorded forms of medicine and is used to realign and balance our energy system into a harmonious flow. It is based off of the belief that we all carry vital energy (called “Qi”) through our meridians (energy layers).  Acupuncture has been used to treat hundreds of imbalances, from a minor cold to chronic back pain.

Along with Massage, Herbal Remedies, Exercise and Nutrition, Acupuncture is one of the Five Pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  As a healing form, it dates back 5,000 years, and today in the US, about 10 million acupuncture treatments are given per year. Most likely, someone you know has received a treatment; the knowledge of its benefits are becoming more widely recognized. Acupuncture is thought to be a valuable therapeutic addition by fifty-one percent of medical doctors, and the National Institute of Health approves Acupuncture as a treatment for dozens of conditions.

The history of Acupuncture dates back only a few decades in the US. However, it has been used in China and other parts of Asia for thousands of years, as a healing method for illnesses of almost all kinds. More solid research is needed to study just why acupuncture is effective, but so far it has been proven by Western medical standards to relieve pain, enhance healing and recovery, and treat effects of many conditions such as:

Continue reading “What is Acupuncture & How Can You Benefit”