Five Kid-Friendly First-Aid Recipes

Parenting isn’t for the weak. Childhood is fraught with bumps, bruises, injuries, and illness. But the savvy and well-equipped parent can handle many of the situations that require first-aid at home with the right remedies and knowledge from a book. Parents are the first responders for their child’s health and so they need to be prepared for these situations with a few must-have blends of essential oils. Essential oils are ideal options for child first-aid care because they are safe, effective, and easy to use.

Here are five DIY first-aid recipes to care for your child at home:

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BRUISE AWAY BLEND

Combine the following in a 10 mL roller bottle and shake well:

  • 4 drops – Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops – Spruce (Black) essential oil
  • 2 drops – Geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with your favorite carrier oil. FCO, aloe vera, grapeseed, sweet almond, and apricot are good choices.

How to use: Apply to the bump or bruise 3-5 times daily until healed.

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CUT HEALING BLEND

Combine the following in a 10 mL roller bottle:

  • 3 drops – Tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops – Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops – Copaiba essential oil
  • 2 drops – Helichrysum essential oil
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with your favorite carrier oil. FCO, aloe vera, grapeseed, sweet almond, and apricot are good choices.

How to use: Cleanse the are with soap and water. Apply widely around the cut (applying directly to the cut may sting) 2-4 times daily until healed.

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IMMUNE-BOOSTING BLEND

Combine the following in a 10 mL roller bottle:

  • 4 drops – Tea Tree essential oil 
  • 2 drops – Thyme essential oil
  • 2 drops – Lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops – Lavender essential oil
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with your favorite carrier oil. FCO, aloe vera, grapeseed, sweet almond, and apricot are good choices.

How to use: Apply to the spine and bottoms of the feet 3-5 times daily until feeling better, and continue 1-3 times daily for three additional days.

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BREATHE EASIER BLEND

Combine the following in a 10 mL roller bottle:

  • 3 drops – Tea Tree essential oil
  • 3 drops – Balsam Fir essential oil
  • 2 drops – Myrtle essential oil
  • 1 drop – Cypress essential oil
  • 1 drop – Lavender essential oil
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with your favorite carrier oil. FCO, aloe vera, grapeseed, sweet almond, and apricot are good choices.

How to use: Apply to the chest and back every 30 minutes for the first four hours, then every two to four hours until recovered. Continue applying 1-3 times daily for an additional three days.

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BURN SOOTHING BLEND

Combine the following in a 2-ounce glass mister bottle:

  • 25 drops – Lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops – Tea Tree essential oil
  • Fill the rest of the mister bottle with aloe vera juice.

How to use: Apply 1 drop of neat (undiluted) lavender (children ages 2 and up; use the mister bottle for younger children) to the affected area and then spray with the mister bottle. Spray the area with the mister bottle as needed throughout the day.

Do you know the anti-aging benefits of essential oils?

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We are just beginning to understand the anti-aging benefits that essential oils provide. Discover 5 scientifically proven anti-aging benefits of essential oils in this short quiz.

1. Telomere length is a key to the healthy lifespan of cells. Which of the following essential oils are known to elongate shortened telomers?

 
 
 
 

2. Which of the following essential oils are known to preserve telomere length, therefore expanding the cells healthy lifespan?

 
 
 
 

3. Which common compound widely distributed in essential oils activates the Nrf2 protein, which can determine longevity and protect against age-related diseases?

 
 
 
 

4. Elastase is an enzyme involved in the breakdown of elastin. Which of these essential oils is known to inhibit elastase activity, which may lead to tighter, more supple and flexible skin?

 
 
 
 

5. Which of the following essential oils reduces the appearance of wrinkles and aging according to preclinical research?

 
 
 
 


Surviving a World Overwhelmed with Toxins

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CREDIT: GRAPHIC BY JULIE MCMAHON

Let’s face it. We live in a toxic world where exposure to harmful chemicals regularly occurs. These chemicals are pervasive in our air, water, and the products we use on our bodies and in our homes every day. It really isn’t realistic to avoid toxins in today’s world, but we can mitigate their harmful effects and reduce exposure to them through some reasonable actions and the use of essential oils.

In a new report, Project TENDR: Targeting Environmental NeuroDevelopment Risks, released July 1, 2016, dozens of scientists, health practitioners, and child advocates seek to draw attention to the damaging effects of chemicals to children. They particularly point out the host of chemicals that endanger child brain development. Some of the chemicals this panel is concerned about include lead, mercury, organophosphate pesticides, phthalates, flame retardants, and air pollutions produced by burning wood and fossil fuels.

The human brain continually develops into early adulthood, but the largest growth occurs during gestation when neurons are forming, migrating, maturing, and differentiating into specialized nerve cells. If exposure to chemicals disrupts this process, permanent brain damage can occur. In addition, the endocrine system is intimately involved in every aspect of brain development through the production and release of thyroid hormone. Many of these chemicals are known to disrupt endocrine system function (called endocrine disruptors), which puts developing babies at risk of reduced neuron formation, and reduced myelination of nerve cells. Reduced myelination is associated with developmental delays and behavioral disorders.

Fortunately, we have essential oils to help reduce the damaging effects of toxins and exposure to them by creating our own personal care and home cleaning products. Here are some examples of the protection afforded by essential oils from Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy:

  • Black pepper essential oil prevents chemicals from bonding to DNA, which may reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Geranium essential oil has been shown to protect neurons from toxicity caused by excess zinc.
  • Inhalation of lavender essential oil protects neurons from degeneration by increasing antioxidant levels and activity.
  • Lemongrass essential oil reduces the death of neurons caused by glutamate toxicity.

Take the steps today to reduce the toxic chemicals in your home, replacing them with natural essential oil-infused homemade products. And continue your aromatic lifestyle to realize the virtually unlimited health potential of essential oils. For more information about the harmful effects of chemicals and how to encourage normal cleansing and detoxification read my book Surviving A World Overwhelmed with Toxins, which includes a remarkable 48-hour cleansing protocol.

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Effective as of June 29, 2016

DIY essential oil bleach alternative

Chlorine bleach is one of the most common chemicals found in homes, but it is also one of the most corrosive and dangerous materials we regularly expose ourselves to. And our children suffer the most from its toxic effects because of their smaller size.

The dangers of bleach include:

  • Respiratory problems (including an increased risk of infections in children)
  • Skin burns
  • Sensory irritation
  • Headache or migraine
  • Asthma flares
  • Damage to the nervous system
  • Vomiting
  • Creates a deadly gas when mixed with ammonia (in fact, mixing chlorine with dish soap can create deadly mustard gas used in chemical warfare)
  • Damage to the mucous membranes of the digestive tract
  • and much, much more

Don’t expose your family to chlorine bleach! Use a safe alternative made from just six ingredients found in Synergy, It’s an Essential Oil Thing.

3D-SynergyIngredients:

  1. Enough distilled water to fill half-gallon jug (after all other ingredients are added)
  2. 1.5 cups 3% hydrogen peroxide
  3. ½ cup lemon juice
  4. 1 tablespoon citric acid
  5. 20 drops of lemon essential oil
  6. 10 drops of thyme essential oil

Instructions: Add all ingredients except water to half gallon glass jug. Fill the remainder of the jug with distilled water. Shake well and use as you would regular bleach.

The scientifically proven benefits of laughter

Laughter may truly be the best medicine!

You may wonder why this post is under the category Move and Move Often, but laughter actually exercises several muscles of the body, including your face muscles, abdomen, shoulders, and back.

An excerpt from The Doctor’s Guide to Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails: The Ultimate Natural Medicine Guide to Preventing Disease and Living Longer:

“Laughter is the best medicine” is more than a catchy phrase. Laughter has both psychological and physiological effects on the body that can lead to dynamic psycho-physiological changes. Learning to laugh makes life more enjoyable. Laughing is contagious. It is almost impossible not to laugh and smile when you hear the raucous giggle of an infant. You may have a smile on your face right now with just the thought of it.

Psychologically, laughter helps eliminate anxious, angry, and gloomy emotions. It reduces stress and promotes a sense of relaxation. Laughter is a coping mechanism and strategy with the ability to promote confidence and create a feeling of optimism in difficult situations.

Laughter alleviates pain and discomfort. The subsequent surge of endorphins during a good laughing episode is like receiving a temporary morphine shot, and a study suggested that laughter actually increases your pain tolerance.562 Endorphins not only naturally relieve pain, they promote an overall sense of well-being and euphoria. Remarkably, one study concluded that just the mere anticipation of a good laugh releases not only endorphins, but human growth hormone.563 A good hardy laugh may also relieve tension by encouraging the muscles to relax.

Laughter enhances blood f low and improves the circulation of oxygen to tissues. A study conducted by the University of Maryland illustrated that laughter causes the inner lining of blood vessels, called the endothelium, to relax, expanding blood vessels and increasing blood f low.564 This suggests that laughter is actually beneficial to the heart and brain because they require a continual f low of oxygen from the blood.
Laughter may stimulate immune system activity. Some research indicates laughter may raise antibody activity and reduce levels of stress hormones.565,566 Norman Cousins famously battled his destructive disease, ankylosing spondylitis, with laughter and high doses of vitamin C. He contended that a good belly laugh provided him with two hours of pain free sleep. Amazingly he actually recovered from his illness reportedly through mega-doses of vitamin C, laughter, and a positive attitude.

Laughter appears to have social benefits as well. Laughter is so contagious that when you hear laughter your brain is primed and prepared to laugh. Laughter positively affects relationships and can help two people grow closer together. Laughing together can forge a connecting link and bond. Finally, laughter is attractive, with a tendency to draw others in.
Research has also demonstrated the ability of laughing to reduce blood glucose levels following the consumption of a meal.567 This makes laughter a supportive therapy for diabetics. Another reported benefit of laughter for diabetics is a possible reduction in the risk of heart disease—something diabetics have an elevated risk of. One study demonstrated the ability of laughter to reduce blood vessel inflammation and increase HDL cholesterol, thus lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease among diabetics.568

DIY Essential Oil Foaming Hand Soap

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces water
  • 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera juice
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
  • 5-10 drops of essential oils 

Instructions: Fill an empty foaming soap dispenser with 5 ounces of water. Then add the other ingredients in the order listed and shake vigorously. Use each time hands are washed.

For more essential oil recipes like this, see Synergy, It’s an Essential Oil Thing.

Dark chocolate boosts athletic performance and endurance

Dark chocolate has quickly earned a reputation as a superfood with vast human health benefits. Scientists continue to reveal the vast benefits of dark chocolate, including supporting cardiovascular health, providing powerful antioxidants to combat free radical damage, and enhancing brain function. On April 19, 2016, scientists at London’s Kingston University announced an impressive reason for athletes to also celebrate and eat dark chocolate — eating it enhances athletic performance and endurance.

Dark chocolate (chocolate with 70% or more cacao content) is highly nutritious, providing such valuable nutrients as fiber, fatty acids, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. In addition, dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants like polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins; and combats free radicals better than other superfoods such as acai berries.(1)

Now, the caveat is dark chocolate is also high in calories — a whopping 600 calories per 100 grams — and contains about six teaspoons of sugar in the same serving, so only small amounts should be consumed on a regular basis. A reasonable daily amount to consume may be 30 to 50 g daily, aiming for 85% cacao content.

Evidence demonstrates that dark chocolate relaxes the arteries to allow blood to flow more freely and mildly lowers blood pressure.(2) In addition, dark chocolate favorably affects cholesterol levels—decreasing LDL cholesterol and oxidized cholesterol while simultaneously increasing HDL cholesterol.(3) These two benefits may contribute to an overall decrease in cardiovascular disease risk. Indeed, research suggests eating dark chocolate most days of the week decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57%.(4)

Adding to the mounting body of evidence that dark chocolate is a beneficial superfood, scientists at London’s Kingston University suggest that dark chocolate may give athletes and weekend warriors an edge to achieve their fitness goals. The team of researchers led by Rishikesh Kanesh Patel sought to investigate whether epicatechin — a flavanol found in dark chocolate known to increase nitric oxide production in the body — could enhance athletic performance similarly to beetroot juice.

Beet root juice contains nitrates that the body converts to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels and reduces the consumption of oxygen, allowing athletes to work harder and longer. The benefits of increased nitric oxide production particularly improve endurance.

The study authors evaluated the physical fitness of nine amateur cyclists at the beginning of the study. The nine cyclists were divided into two groups. The first group consumed 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for two weeks, whereas the control group consumed 40 grams of white chocolate instead. White chocolate has a much lower cocoa content and therefore fewer epicatechins.

At the end of the two weeks, the cyclists’ physical fitness — heart rate and oxygen consumption — were measured during moderate exercise and time trials. After a seven-day break, the two groups swapped chocolate types and the two-week trial and physical fitness performance measures were repeated.

What the researchers found was that when the groups consumed dark chocolate they had better overall physical fitness. The cyclists’ who consumed dark chocolate used less oxygen and were able to cover more distance during the time trials.

The study requires further larger and controlled studies to confirm the findings but suggests that eating 40 grams of dark chocolate daily could boost athletic performance — particularly among endurance athletes. Mr. Patel is currently conducting further research as part of his doctoral thesis and plans to test dark chocolate against beetroot juice as part of a comparative study.

(1) Crozier SJ, Preston AG, Hurst JW, et al. Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products. Chem Cent J. 2011 Feb 7;5:5.

(2) Sudarma V, Sukmaniah S, Siregar P. Effect of dark chocolate on nitric oxide serum levels and blood pressure in prehypertension subjects. Acta Med Indones. 2011 Oct;43(4):224-8.

(3) Baba S, Natsume M, Yasuda A, et al. Plasma LDL and HDL Cholesterol and Oxidized LDL Concentrations Are Altered in Normo- and Hypercholesterolemic Humans after Intake of Different Levels of Cocoa Powder. J Nutr. 2007 Jun;137(6):1436-41.

(4) Djousse L, Hopkins PN, North KE, et al. Chocolate Consumption is Inversely Associated with Prevalent Coronary Heart Disease: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Clin Nutr. 2011 Apr;30(2):182–87.

Bloated portions bloat American’s waistlines

When was the last time you had a reasonably portioned meal at a restaurant? Food portions at restaurants these days seem to be intended to serve more than one. Some portion sizes have doubled and even tripled at American restaurants over the last 20 years leading to excess calorie consumption. And these distorted portion sizes are a significant contributor to the growing overweight and obesity epidemic in America.

According to the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Obesity Education Initiative, in just over 20 years the average size bagel has more than doubled in size and calories. Likewise, your average plate of spaghetti and meatballs doubled in size and calories, now providing a whopping 1,025 calories per serving. During that same time period, soda servings have increased from an average of 6.5 ounces and 85 calories to 20 ounces and 250 calories. Is it any wonder that American’s waistlines are expanding as these bloated portions become the expectation for your typical meal?

The U.S. National Institutes of Health estimates that today’s excessive portions could easily lead to the consumption of an additional 500,000 calories per year. Those excess calories are a significant contributor to the rapidly increasing number of Americans who are overweight or obese — currently estimated to be two-thirds of Americans.

Fortunately, with the TransformWise approach to sensible portions, you can combat this trend of oversized portions and waistlines.

Each person is biologically unique with different calorie requirements — a 90-pound woman does not need the same amount of calories as a 225-pound man. That is why the TransformWise sensible portion approach relies on your hands as guide to determine reasonable portions.

  • Vegetables and fruits should make up the bulk of your diet, with a sensible portion being the size of your entire hand.
  • Wholesome carbohydrates should fit into your cupped hand.
  • Fats, preferably healthy fats, should be about the size of your thumb
  • And lean protein sources that cover your open palm is a reasonable portion of protein.

In addition, TransformWise advocates five to six smaller, metabolically balanced meals per day. The growing body of research suggests that eating five to six smaller meals and snacks per day offers myriad benefits, including better blood sugar control, balanced hormone levels, improved appetite control and increased thermogenesis — when your body uses excess calories to produce heat rather than storing them as fat.

For a more information and a complete guide to revealing your ideal physique and managing your weight, read TransformWise: Your Complete Guide to a Wise Body Transformation.

Essential Oil Safety Quiz

ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY QUIZ

Put your essential oil safety knowledge to the test. Can you answer all six questions correctly? The answers are based on current evidence and our current understanding of essential oils. Then compare your results with your friends.

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Please go to Essential Oil Safety Quiz to view the test