Herbs and Pregnancy – A Match Made In Nature

Herbs and PregnancyThe process of conception, gestation and birthing is the beginning of all things – the beginning of life. Is there a more natural process?

To complement the ultimate natural process, doesn’t it make sense to remain as close to nature as possible? A great way to do that is to care for your body during your pregnancy and after giving birth with nature’s medicine chest – herbal remedies.

Herbal remedies can be used for everything from morning sickness to varicose veins.

Here is a list of some common herbs and their uses to get you started:

Ginger – Great for relieving nausea and the symptoms of morning sickness – just add a couple of slices of organically grown ginger to a cup of hot water and sip it as needed. Ginger should be used sparingly during pregnancy so if you have frequent or prolonged morning sickness, alternate with chamomile.

Lavender – One of the most calming and soothing of the essential oils. Lavender essential oil can be used to aid healing after childbirth – just add 4 or 5 drops to your bath water and soak. Three or four drops of lavender essential oil on a warm compress will help relieve symptoms of mastitis.

Dill – Drinking a dill seed infusion helps promote breast milk and relieves colic or gas in the baby. You can also use dill essential oil – use 1 drop in a teaspoon of honey.

Chamomile – Soothes the nerves and is wonderful for the digestive system. A cupful of chamomile tea will relieve morning sickness, help you relax and ease any digestive issues you may be having.

Jasmine – There is a long tradition of using jasmine essential oil during labor for relaxation and to instill a feeling of calm confidence. Dilute the essential oil with a good carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil) and have your partner massage it into your lower back.

Witch Hazel – Long valued for its astringent properties, witch hazel will help shrink and tighten inflamed veins. Keep a bottle of distilled witch hazel in your refrigerator. Pour some on a cotton ball and apply it to tired, sore legs, varicose veins and/or hemorrhoids.

LinseedLinseed oil acts as a gentle laxative and bowel lubricant to help relieve constipation. As an added bonus, it’s loaded with omega fatty acids. Add a tablespoon to your morning meal (in cereal or oatmeal) and drink lots of water during the day.

Raspberry Leaf – A strong uterine tonic only for the last trimester of pregnancy to help the body prepare for childbirth. Drink a raspberry leaf infusion daily in the last trimester and for 2 to 3 weeks after giving birth to help the muscles contract and promote breast milk. Do not use this infusion during early pregnancy.

Calendula – Calendula oil is very nourishing to your skin and helps promote healing. Massage macerated calendula oil (available on Amazon.com) into your skin during pregnancy to prevent stretch marks.

Now having said that, just as there are beneficial herbs to be used during pregnancy and childbirth, there are also herbs to be avoided. You’ll notice that some of these herbs are culinary herbs.

These can be used as you normally would use them in cooking but don’t take them medicinally while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding:

Aloe vera
American spikenard
Angelica root
Ashwaghanda
Bearberry
Black cohosh
Borage
Catnip
Cayenne
Celery seed
Comfrey
Common sage
Crampbark
Feverfew
Ginseng (ANY variety)
Goji
Golden seal
Hemp agrimony
Juniper
Lemongrass
Liquorice root
Mistletoe
Mugwort
Oregon grape
Red clover
Rosemary
St. John’s wort
Thyme
Turmeric
Vervain
Wormwood
Yarrow

When the birthing process stays as close to nature as possible it’s a win/win for both mother and child. Using these herbal remedies will go a long way toward doing exactly that and keeping you and your baby happy and healthy before, during and after birth.

Have questions about using essential oils? Please drop me an email at susie@oldsouthessentialoils.com. I’d love to hear from you!

And if you don’t have these oils on hand, click on the Revive Your Life button above to visit my Young Living website, where you will be able to order it.

Mountain Rose Herbs
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To Diffuse Or Not To Diffuse Your Essential Oils – That Is The Question

Diffuse or NotAnd the answer is YES! And this is why.

Diffusing essential oils does a lot more than just make your house smell great.

To understand why diffusing essential oils can be so beneficial, it probably helps to understand what is meant by diffusing an essential oil.

What Is Diffusing?

Diffusing is nothing more than putting the essence of an essential oil into the air so it can be inhaled.

You can diffuse an oil by

  • Putting a couple of drops on a tissue and breathing the scent
  • Using a tea light diffuser (not really recommended unless you just want the scent of the oil and not the health benefits – heat has a bad effect on the chemical composition of the oils)
  • Using a nebulizer or ultra-sonic diffuser
  • Mixing the essential oils with distilled water in a spray bottle (always use glass, not plastic) and spraying around your house
  • Wearing a terracotta pendant neck diffuser

What Exactly is a Diffuser?

The tissue method is pretty straight forward. All you need is a tissue and some oils. The same goes for the terracotta pendant. You just apply the oils to the pendant and wear it around your neck. These are probably the most cost effective methods for diffusing essential oils. Of course, you have to apply the oils more often because they evaporate but these are still the least expensive ways to diffuse essential oils.

Diffusers and nebulizers, however, are probably not something you’re familiar with if you’re new to essential oils.

First, let’s talk about what a diffuser or nebulizer is not. Diffusers and nebulizers are not humidifiers or vaporizers. With the exception of the tea light diffuser (which consists of a ceramic container containing the oils and distilled water and a tea light below to warm the water and release the vapors of the oils) a diffuser doesn’t heat water to create steam to disburse the essential oils into the air. Instead, diffusers use cold water to create a microfine mist containing particles of the essential oils and release it into the air. When you breathe the air in a room where the oils are disbursed, you’re breathing in a mist filled with essential oils. This mist gets the oils deep into your lungs and into your system immediately so you get the full benefit of the oils.

Why Is That Important?

If you’re using therapeutic grade essential oils (and these are really the only ones you should be using for addressing any physical or mental condition), the oils contain chemicals derived from the plants they come from that can have an immediate effect on your body, emotions and mind.

While you can use essential oils on your skin and some can even be taken internally, diffusing them is an easy way to get the full benefit of the oils – fast. Diffusing essential oils can:

  • Improve the quality of the air in your home by making chemicals non-toxic (some oils act as natural chelators and bond to heavy metals and chemicals and flush them out of the system)
  • Increasing the ozone in the atmosphere and inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungus and mold;
  • Improve your mood and frame of mind;
  • Stimulate your mind and body without making you nervous or jittery or relax you without putting you to sleep;
  • Improve your ability to focus;
  • Relieve stress and tension;
  • Improve concentration;
  • Aid the body in transporting nutrients throughout the body;
  • Boost your immune system; and
  • Create a feeling of balance.

It’s hard to argue with a list of benefits like that. Just decide which benefits you want or need, find out which oils will provide those benefits and you’re set.

How To Use and Care For Your Diffuser

The best ultrasonic mist diffusers I’ve found are available through Young Living (and I’m not just saying that because I sell Young Living). I’ve tried several different brands and none of them have lasted as well as the ones I bought through Young Living.

Once you have a diffuser, it’s easy to diffuse the essential oils. Just pour distilled water into the reservoir according to the instructions with the diffuser, add about 6 drops of the essential oil of your choice and turn on the diffuser. The diffuser will stop when it’s out of water.

When the diffuser shuts off, unplug it, wipe down the reservoir with a clean rag and let it dry until the next time you’re ready to use your diffuser. If you’re like me, that will be the very next day. I have mine running for about 3 hours every single day.

And one more word to the wise: ALWAYS use distilled water in your diffuser. Not bottled water, purified water or bottled drinking water. It needs to be distilled water. That way you’re not adding any chemicals to your oils. Just pure, clean, cold water.

I hope you’ll try diffusing your essential oils. It’s one of the easiest and most beneficial ways to use therapeutic grade essential oils.

Have questions about using essential oils? Please drop me an email at susie@oldsouthessentialoils.com. I’d love to hear from you!

And if you don’t have these oils on hand, click on the Revive Your Life button above to visit my Young Living website, where you will be able to order it.

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Essential Oils & Antibiotics

Essential Oils and AntibioticsRemember the old days when one round of a good antibiotic was the sure fire cure for whatever ailed you?

As much as I hated shots when I was a kid, I knew that giving in, going to the doctor and getting that dreaded shot or bottle of pills would have me feeling right as rain in pretty short order.

But when was the last time you heard someone say they were returned to health after one little round of antibiotics?

Everyone I know seems to take at least 2 rounds of medication to feel better these days. Those nasty little “bugs” that used to disappear after a shot of penicillin have done what nature does best. They’ve adapted. Our arsenal of chemicals and manmade drugs just don’t work anymore.

Believe me, we’re not imagining things. Science backs this up.

Antibiotic Resistance – A Threat to Global Health Security

In May, 2013, the World Health Organization issued a report with that exact title. In their report, WHO stated that it was vital that ways be found to control the distribution, use and misuse of antibiotics. They found that antibiotic resistance is increasing rapidly and turning into a health issue worldwide, reaching far beyond just the issue of human health. It’s affecting animal health (meaning the world food supply) as well.

The antibiotics we’ve used for years are no longer effective because they’ve been overused. The medical community prescribes antibiotics for everything because we, as a people, just don’t have time to let nature run its course or to give our bodies what they need to heal themselves. We want a quick fix.

For everything.

In our haste, we’ve overused a good thing and now all these germs, bacteria and viruses have adapted. Our secret weapons aren’t so secret anymore and they flat don’t work.

But there is hope.

Essential Oils Are Effective Against Germs, Bacteria and Viruses

Once again, Mother Nature has given us exactly what we need to take care of ourselves if we just use it and use it properly.

Research from the University of Angers in France in 2009 found what those of us in the herbal and natural health community already knew.

Essential oils work really well against germs, bacteria and viruses.

The French researchers tested 18 different essential oils for antibiotic activity against Streptococcus pyogenes (the bacteria that causes tonsillitis). Of the 18 they tested, 14 of them had significant antibiotic activity against the bacteria.

How significant?

Five of these oils had “zones of inhibition” (how science measures how effective they are) between 48 to 35 millimeters. Those oils were:

  • Cinnamon
  • Thyme
  • Lemongrass
  • Marjoram
  • Winter Savory

Two other oils, Clove and Palmarosa Lemongrass oil came in at 18 and 15 mm each. The other seven oils came in between 13 and 9 mm.

Just to give you a frame of reference, the leading antibiotics prescribed for tonsillitis, strep and just about everything else came in like this in the French test:

  • Amoxicillin – 22.3 mm
  • Ampicillin – 34.5 mm
  • Ampiciox – 18.7 mm
  • Ciprofolxacin – 30 mm
  • Erythromycin – 14.5 mm
  • Gentamicin – 2.0 mm
  • Penicillin – 39.0 mm
  • Tetracycline – 15 mm
  • Vancomycin – 14.5 mm

Look at the difference. The top 5 essential oils actually came in higher in antibiotic activity than the prescription antibiotics. And this study was done in 2009 – many of these antibiotics have become even less effective due to overprescribing in the last 5 years.

Even Better News About Essential Oils as Antibiotics

The big problem with prescription drugs being overprescribed is that the very organisms they’re supposed to eliminate become immune to them because they adapt to overcome the chemicals being used against them.

With essential oils, that’s not really a concern. Here’s why.

Prescription antibiotics are synthetic. They are produced using a specific formula and every batch is exactly the same as the batch before it. This very uniformity, while great for quality control, allows germs, bacteria, etc., to mutate in order to overcome or become immune to the very chemicals that were supposed to kill them off.

Essential oils are natural. They’re derived from plants. Just as humans have all the same parts but no two are the same, neither are any two plants. That means that while the essential oil will have basically the same properties because of the properties of the chemicals in the plants, the genetic makeup of that individual plant is never the same as the one that came before it. That makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the germ to develop immunity against it.

The next time you have a need for an antibiotic, reach for one of these essential oils instead of running to the doctor for the first of several prescriptions that probably won’t work anyway.

Mother Nature is one smart lady. Let her work for you!

Have questions about using essential oils? Please drop me an email at susie@oldsouthessentialoils.com. I’d love to hear from you!

And if you don’t have these oils on hand, click on the Revive Your Life button above to visit my Young Living website, where you will be able to order it.

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Spring Cleaning For Your Medicine Cabinet

Spring Cleaning For Your Medicine CabinetWhen was the last time you went through your medicine cabinet?

I mean all the way to the deep dark recesses and pulled out all the old over-the-counter remedies you’ve bought over the years and either didn’t use or used until you were “well”.

I would be willing to bet there are boxes of pills and bottles of cough syrup in there that expired two or three years ago. I’m speaking from personal experience here.

Spring is a great time to not just spring clean your house but go into that medicine cabinet and dump those old medications and replace them with all natural therapeutic grade essential oils. If you want to do your body a favor and keep your family healthy, naturally, try replacing some of those old medications with essential oils.

Not sure where to start or which oils you need? Here is a list of essential oils and the conditions they treat to give you a place to begin in building your natural health arsenal:

Peppermint Essential Oil

  • Colds and Congestion
  • Fever
  • Constipation and Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Soreness

Lavender Essential Oil

  • Stress
  • Cuts, Scrapes and Burns
  • Insomnia
  • Dry Skin
  • Fever
  • Bacteria
  • Insect repellent

Thieves Essential Oil

  • Viruses and flu
  • Cuts
  • Household cleaning
  • Sore throats
  • Cold sores
  • Toothache
  • Infections
  • Household cleaner

Lemon Essential Oil

  • Bloating
  • Lethargy and low energy
  • Anxiety
  • Infections
  • Mouth sores
  • Coughs
  • Insect bites
  • Household cleaning
Panaway™ Essential Oil

  • Sore muscles
  • Sciatic and back pain
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Swelling and damaged tissue
  • Bruises
  • Headache

Purification Essential Oil

  • Bloating
  • Insect bites
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Acne
  • Household odors and musty air

Frankincense Essential Oil

  • Anxiety
  • Scars
  • Wrinkles and stretch marks
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Poor circulation

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

  • Congestion and bronchitis
  • Respiratory allergies and sinusitis
  • Dirty air or household odors
  • Earaches
  • Sores and skin infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Migraines

Are you noticing a common thread among some of these oils? Several of them treat the same conditions. That means you only need to buy one, not all of them. Just pick the one that addresses the issues you have most.

How many over-the-counter medications can you do that with? Or even prescription medications? You usually need one pill for EACH ailment or condition. Sometimes you even have to buy a different medication for each symptom. With essential oils you don’t need to do that. You can customize your own treatment plan to what works best for you and streamline your oil purchases according to what YOU actually need and use.

Doesn’t that sound better than hitting the local drugstore and loading up on one of everything?

Go ahead. Take a look at that medicine cabinet and start cleaning!

Have questions about using essential oils? Please drop me an email at susie@oldsouthessentialoils.com. I’d love to hear from you!

And if you don’t have these oils on hand, click on the Revive Your Life button above to visit my Young Living website, where you will be able to order it.

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