Treating Hair Loss with Essential Oils

Treating Hair Loss with Essential OilsMy mother is 82 years old.

And she is losing her hair.

It’s not a new thing for her.  She has always had thin hair (or what we’ve affectionately referred to over the years as “Frog Fur”).  But for some reason it seems to be much worse lately.

Her first thought was calling Bosley to get an information packet for hair replacement.

No, I am not kidding.

Then I convinced her to at least try something else.

Essential oils.

If you feel like you’re shedding more hair than you normally do, here are some things to think about when deciding what to do about it.

What Causes Hair Loss in Women?

Any number of things can cause hair loss:

  • Heredity
  • Hormonal changes
  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Too much chlorine in the water in your house
  • Alopecia – a condition that causes inflammation of the scalp

Granted, you can’t do much about heredity, but if your hair loss is due to any of the other factors, it’s time to get it under control.

Fix The Obvious First

Chlorine

If you know you have high chlorine content in your water, get a good shower filter to keep it out of your hair and off your body.  Chlorine dries out the skin (including the scalp) and makes your hair brittle. Brittle hair breaks easily and that can contribute greatly to hair loss.

Hormones

If you know you have hormonal issues and your hair loss tends to increase during certain hormonal phases, talk to your naturopath about addressing your hormone imbalance with diet and herbs.

Stress, Sleep Loss or Diet

If any of the other conditions listed above are an issue for you and could be contributing to your hair loss, essential oils can definitely help.  Lavender, Stress Away™ or Peace and Calming will all help ease stress and help you get a good night’s sleep.  Getting enough rest can make a huge difference.

If your diet is full of processed foods and preservatives, it’s time for a change.  All those chemicals are not good for your body, inside or out.  Start eating fresh, unprocessed foods, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, control your sugar intake and you could seriously see a difference in how much hair you lose.

So How Do Essential Oils Help?

I’m sure you were wondering at this point when I would get to using essential oils (other than for stress relief).  Well, here you go.

Get a really good cleansing shampoo to strip the excess oil, chlorine and other chemicals out of your hair. My personal favorite is the Lemon Cleansing Shampoo from Avalon Organics.

Find a good organic shampoo (again, check out Avalon Organics).

Use about a dime size portion of the shampoo and add 3 to 5 drops of any of the following essential oils to wash your hair every day:

  • Clary Sage
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary

Any of these oils will help promote estrogen balance (thus helping the hormonal issue) and also help reduce thickening of the tissue around the hair follicle. This helps the root of the hair get enough nutrition to stay healthy.

If those oils don’t work for you as well as you would like, experiment until you find a combination that works with your body chemistry.

Other oils to try are:

  • Lemon
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Thyme
  • Cypress

If you would rather make an oil for your scalp than a shampoo, mix any of these oils (3 to 5 drops) with avocado or jojoba oil.  It will feel fantastic on your scalp! Rub it in and sleep on it. In the morning, wash your hair with the organic shampoo.

Alopecia

If your hair loss is caused by alopecia ( a condition that causes inflammation of the tissue of the scalp), try mixing any of the following oils with grape seed or jojoba oil and rub it into your scalp every night to reduce inflammation:

  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Thyme

Let’s face it. We all lose our hair.  But if you’re losing more than 100 strands a day and your scalp is more visible than normal, give these oils a try before you resort to drastic measures.  Your hair, scalp and body will thank 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.

Mountain Rose Herbs
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Kick Your Summer Cold With Herbs

Summer ColdThose first few muggy days of summer are here.

You leave your air conditioned home and get out in the heat to go to work or school or wherever…

You get to your destination and you’re inside in the air conditioning…

Then you leave and go out into the heat again.

Into the heat, back to the air conditioning, back and forth, all day, every day…

Before you know it, you have a summer cold.

And you’re miserable.

Before you make a stop at the local pharmacy, try one of these herbs instead.

Garlic

A fantastic antiseptic for the respiratory system and great for breaking up mucus, too.  You can use garlic for all kinds of chest issues – bronchitis, colds, flu, excess mucus, not to mention ear infections.  You can take garlic by adding it to your food, taking garlic capsules or by making a cough syrup with it by adding crushed garlic to honey (don’t use honey for young children – they have trouble swallowing it).

Yarrow

Promotes sweating which helps reduce fever from colds and flu and boosts your body’s immunity.  You can take it by combining it with peppermint and elderflower and making a tea – drink it three times a day (but not if you’re pregnant – avoid yarrow if you’re pregnant).

Mullein

An excellent expectorant and soothes coughs and bronchitis.  You can take mullein by combining it with coltsfoot and making an infusion.  Macerated mullein oil is also good for earaches.  Soak some of oil into a cotton ball and place it in the outer ear.

Echinacea

Naturally boosts your immune system and it’s a natural antibiotic as well.  Take Echinacea if you have a cold, the flu, sinus infection, cough or throat infection.  Clinical tests have proven that taking Echinacea will shorten the length of your illness if you have any kind of respiratory or throat infection.  The best way to take Echinacea is as a tincture.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is known for its antibacterial, decongestant and immunity boosting properties.  The easiest way to use eucalyptus is the essential oil.  You can make a chest salve with the essential oil by combining it with organic coconut or almond oil or you can inhale it in steam.  Heat a glass bowl of water almost to the point of boiling, add three or four drops of eucalyptus essential oil, tent a towel over your head and inhale the vapors.

Thyme

While we think of it as an herb to cook with, thyme is also a very effective respiratory antiseptic herb for the respiratory system.  It is a strong expectorant and helps to break up and expel mucus from your chest.  It has long been used in herbal medicine to treat throat and chest infections, pleurisy, bronchitis, and even whooping cough.  You can take as an infusion or dilute the essential oil and apply it to your feet on the vita flex points corresponding to the lungs or take it internally in a gel cap.

Sage

Another herb we think of for cooking but sage is wonderful for treating a sore throat.  You can gargle with the tincture or dilute the essential oil and gargle with it for sore throats, laryngitis, tonsillitis and mouth or gum problems.  Do NOT use sage if you are pregnant.

Elderberry

One of the most widely used traditional herbal medications for preventing and treating colds, coughs and sore throats.  Elderberry boosts the immune system and has strong antiviral properties.  Like Echinacea, it has been proven to shorten the duration of a cold or the flu.  You can take elderberry in syrup, decoction or a tincture.

If a summer cold or the flu is stopping you in your tracks, don’t stop at the pharmacy.  Stop at the local health food store or go online and order any of these herbs or essential oils.  You’ll not only be treating your cold or flu symptoms, but with many of these herbs you’ll be boosting your immunity over the long run, too.  And that can only keep you healthy longer.

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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Seven Essential Oils and Your Pet

Oils and Your PetLike most pet owners, I love my dogs.  Manfred and Harley are my fur kids (especially since I don’t have human ones).

And just like every other “parent”, I do whatever I can to take good care of them.

Good quality food.

Lots of fresh water and fresh air.

Lots of exercise.

Annual trips to the vet for checkups.

And I use essential oils to treat routine issues whenever possible.

Yes, essential oils.

I know a lot of people think you can’t treat pets, especially cats, with essential oils but you can.  The big keys are

(a)  a sound diagnosis of the problem
(b)  knowing which oils are good for which conditions
(c)  knowing how to dilute the oils properly to safely use them for your pet

First – A Good Diagnosis

You know your pet better than anyone.  If their behavior is off, you’re going to pick up on it.  Many times it may be nothing serious, possibly a little digestive upset or something along those lines, and they will often correct themselves in a day.  But if it lasts longer than a day or so, get them into the vet and see what’s going on.  Once you have a definitive diagnosis, there are many conditions that essential oils will treat.

Second – Which Oil Do You Use?

There are so many essential oils that no one blog post can cover them all so I’ll start with the  the seven essential oils every home should have on hand for first aid or medicinal purposes.

Purification

– a blend of lemongrass, rosemary, melaleuca alternifolia, myrtle, citronella and lavandin essential oils.  Great for parasites (like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes).  If you find a tick on your dog, don’t pull it off.  Put a drop of Purification on the tick and it will fall off.  To use it for cats, dilute it by at least 75% (1 drop of Purification to 3 drops of a good carrier oil) – dampen a towel with the diluted oil and wrap your cat in it.

Valor

– a blend of spruce, blue tansy, frankincense and rosewood oils.  Valor is good for skin masses (such as lipomas), itching, infections and allergies.  In fact, you can combine it with Purification oil to relieve allergies and itching.  To use it, either use a diffuser or put some on a cotton ball and apply it topically.  You can also dab some on your pet’s collar to help ease fear.

Peppermint

– contains nothing but peppermint oil and can be used for injuries and to help your pet cool down after exercise if they become overheated.  Peppermint helps to dull pain and it’s a good infection fighter, especially if you blend it with Lavender.  Peppermint will help calm an upset stomach, too, but dilute it very well by placing one drop in your dog’s water bowl (a large bowl of water).

Frankincense

– another pure oil and can be used for everything from wound care to infections to tumors, bacteria and fungus.  Always dilute frankincense before applying to your pet.

Lemon

– is wonderful for fighting parasites and for treating skin conditions.  You can diffuse it, use it topically (diluted, of course) or the oil can be given internally.  If you give it internally in a gel cap, you still need to dilute it in the same ratio you would for putting it on the skin.

Lavender

– is one of the best all purpose oils for pets or humans.  It’s great for fighting infections, helping the body heal, calming your pet, keeping bugs or parasites at bay and it has strong anti-tumor properties.  I’ve found that it really helps reduce lipomas on my lab mix.

Thieves

– is a blend of clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus radiata oils. Thieves oil is one of the best infection fighters you’ll ever find.  It helps relieve pain, gets rid of parasites (especially ticks), and it’s even good for dental pain.  You can diffuse it, apply it topically or give it internally – again, make sure you dilute it properly.

Third – Know How to Dilute Essential Oils

When diluting your essential oils, always use a good quality carrier oil.  I almost always use olive oil for anything on the skin or internally.  It’s healthy for you and I always have it in my kitchen.

For purposes of this post, I’m only going to address dogs and cats.  Other pets can be treated with essential oils but because they are so much smaller, you might want to consult a holistic vet in your area to get some insight on how much to dilute the oils.  You should dilute the oils whether they are going to be used topically or internally.

To know how much to dilute your oils, here’s a good guide:

Dogs

Up to 10 pounds – 1 drop of essential oil to 8 drops of carrier oil

11 – 25 pounds – 1 drop of essential oil to 3 drops of carrier oil

26 – 45 pounds – 1 drop of essential oil to 2 or 3 drops of carrier oil

46 – 75 pounds – 1 drop of essential oil to 1 drops of carrier oil

76 – 90 pounds – 2 drops of essential oil to 1 drop of carrier oil

91 pounds and up – 3 drops of essential oil to 1 drop of carrier oil

Cats

Regardless of weight, always dilute your oils by 75% to 90%.  In other words, use 1 drop of essential oil to 3 to 9 drops of carrier oil (depending on the weight of your cat). The smaller your cat, the more you want to dilute the oils.

I hope this helps clear up some of the misconceptions about using essential oils for your pets.  If you’re in doubt, always ask your vet.  Never use anything for your pet, or yourself, that you don’t feel comfortable with or have questions about. Holistic vets are becoming more and more popular.  Try to find one in your area and they will be a great resource for treating your fur kids as close to nature as possible.

A good starting point for natural pet care is using 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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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.

Posted in Essential Oils, Herbs, Pregnancy | Leave a comment