Beginners Guide to Using Essential Oils for Health

Gone are the days when essential oils were found solely in grandma’s purse and the odd medicine cabinet. These aromatic, calming oils have grown especially popular with the younger crowd, thanks to magazines and bloggers sharing their experience with trendy diffusers. And while lavender and eucalyptus oils can fill a room with a calming scent to create a relaxing atmosphere, these oils are much more than natural fragrances. Not only can you use essential oils to clean your home, they also provide various health benefits. 

Essential Oils 101

Essential oils originate in different areas of sweet-smelling plants, like flowers, leaves and even seeds.  They help these plants adapt to their environment, so when we are exposed to these essential oils, we reap the same types of benefits. Each essential oil has its own unique power, and utilizing them to heal, relieve pain, or prevent a virus is a form of aromatherapy.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Eucalyptus for Cold, Flu & Cough

The antibacterial and antiviral properties found in eucalyptus were discovered in a 2012 study. These agents can help fight a cold or flu virus, and help to clear congestion when diffused or added to boiling water.

Lavender for Anxiety

A study published in Phytomedicine considered the effects of lavender on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Researchers split a group of GAD patients into two groups, providing one group with lorazepam and the other with lavender oil. The results revealed that the lavender oil reduced anxiety by 45% and lorazepam by 46%, demonstrating that the oil works just as well as the drug.

Peppermint for Indigestion

Researchers studied the effects of peppermint and caraway oil on indigestion and found that when combined, the effects of these oils are comparable to cisapride, a drug that relieves indigestion. After splitting a group of 118 patients into 2 groups, and providing one with the oils and the other with the drug, each group had an equivalent reduction in pain scores.

Sage Oil for High Blood Pressure

80 diabetic patients were chosen at random to take either a 500mg sage extract capsule or a placebo daily for 3 months. The study showed that there were significantly lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and high levels of good cholesterol in patients who ingested the sage. The glucose levels in the sage group also reduced by 95% in comparison to the placebo group. 

Using Essential Oils

Inhale:

  • Add a few drops of oil to a cloth, or rub it in your hands, and breathe in
  • Dilute with water and spray on clothes or furniture
  • Hold the bottle a few inches from your nose and breathe in

Ingest

  • Take capsules, or drink in water or tea
  • Apply a drop under your tongue

Diffuse

  • Add a few drops to a diffuser
  • Drop in boiling water

Topical

  • Apply on wounded/painful area
  • Combine with other oils or creams and apply to skin

There are many oils and foods to aid your journey to healthy living. Learn how one particular food can help you live to see your 100th birthday.

Studies Show Loneliness Could be a Greater Health Threat Than Obesity

Studies Show Loneliness Could be a Greater Health Threat Than Obesity

We all get lonely every once in a while—it’s a normal human emotion. But when every once in a while turns into all the time, this could be detrimental to your health and even increase your risk of mortality.  Researchers presented two analyses of 218 studies at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention, where they concluded that loneliness could pose a threat to public health. 

How to Promote Healthy Habits for Your Kids at Home and School

How to Promote Healthy Habits for Your Kids at Home and School

The class bells are ringing, the school buses have hit the pavement, and before you know it, the leaves will start to turn. Yes, it’s that time of year again—already! School’s in session for some, and fast approaching for others, which means summer is coming to an end.

Even if the kids indulged in a few too many campfire s’mores, and rarely hit the sheets before midnight, it’s not too late to start reintroducing healthy habits. The start of the school year is a great time to make that transition back to normalcy.

Can Phthalates in Plastic Lead to Chronic Diseases?

Can Phthalates in Plastic Lead to Chronic Diseases?

You’d never think lathering your hair with shampoo or accenting your home with a scented candle could be harmful to your health, but you may be wrong. It’s unfortunate that these everyday items, and many more, contain phthalates, a family of chemicals used as plasticizers. Phthalates are used in plastics to make them more transparent, durable and flexible. They can be found in personal hygiene products, children’s toys and even some medical devices—go figure!

4 Natural Ways to Beat Fatigue

4 Natural Ways to Beat Fatigue

It’s 6 am and your alarm is buzzing, but your brain is not, so you hit the snooze button. Your alarm sounds off again 20 minutes later, and you’re forced to face a harsh reality; you need to be at work in 30 minutes.

We’ve all experienced mornings like this more than we care to admit, whether it’s due to a sleepless night of tossing and turning, or staying up until 2 am binge watching your new favorite show the night before. But the fact remains, you need to use that mushy brain of yours to get some work done. So what do you do?

Boost Weight Loss with These 4 Natural Teas

Boost Weight Loss with These 4 Natural Teas

When it comes to weight loss, many of us have tried it all: The Paleo diet, low-carb diet, dairy-free diet, and on and on. Weight loss comes easier for some than others, and there are several factors that affect this such as heredity and health conditions. But what if we told you that tea could be the healthy weight loss aid you’ve been looking for, without compromising your dietary intake?

Eating Chocolate Can Keep Your Heart Healthy and Strong

Eating Chocolate Can Keep Your Heart Healthy and Strong

The days of chocolate shaming are finally over, hooray! A new study reveals that eating chocolate—in moderation of course—could help prevent atrial fibrillation (A-fib), a condition that causes an irregular heartbeat. Researchers who studied over 55,000 Denmark adults found that eating two to six ounces of chocolate per week could reduce your risk of the heart condition by a fifth. So, the next time someone wants to shame you for devouring some chocolate, just let them know you’re mending your broken heart.

3 Healthy “Hacks” to Help You Slim Down for Summer

3 Healthy “Hacks” to Help You Slim Down for Summer

It’s much easier to slip up on workouts and have a few too many cheat days per week during the wintertime. Layers of sweaters and scarves can help hide the pounds we’ve gained since last fall and the annual pumpkin spice revolution, but what do we do now that summer is breathing down our pasty necks? After all, summer usually means beach days, vacations and a lot less clothing. 

Not to worry, we have a few tricks to help you get the results you’re looking for this summer, as well as the remainder of the year.

Seven Surprising Facts about Health Savings Accounts

Seven Surprising Facts about Health Savings Accounts

What’s all the hoopla about Health Savings Accounts recently? Well, with the AHCA being continuously debated in Congress, and the ACA here to stay for the immediate future, employees and employers alike are searching for ways to cut healthcare expenses. And the Health Savings Account, accompanied with a High Deductible Health Plan, accomplishes that while providing some tax savings.

Tame the Spare Tire: Eat Foods You Love in Moderation

Tame the Spare Tire: Eat Foods You Love in Moderation

“Everything in moderation! Too much of a good thing, can be a bad thing.”

Most things in life benefit from a bit of balance, including our eating habits. The only problem is, not many of us know how to eat in moderation. What do we eat? How much of it do we need? How often should we be eating? These are questions that many people don’t know the answers to, so they end up eating much more than their body really needs.

4 Methods For Getting the Best Sleep of Your Life

4 Methods For Getting the Best Sleep of Your Life

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

How many times do you hear this term being thrown around by people who think calling it a night before 11 pm makes you weak, somehow? Little do they know, they’re speeding up their aging process as well as increasing their likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and even alcoholism.

How Sleep Deprivation Damages Your Physical and Mental Heath

How Sleep Deprivation Damages Your Physical and Mental Heath

You know those people who brag about getting three hours of sleep per night and still wake up with the ability to function like the rest of us? No need to be jealous of them anymore. Sleep plays a vital role in our physical and mental health; it’s our body’s way of rebooting itself. When our heads don’t hit the pillow enough, it can significantly lower our quality of life. According to Harvard Medical School, sleeping less than five hours per night increases the risk of death from all causes by 15 percent. The first step to protecting your body is understanding how it works. Get to know the serious consequences of sleep deprivation.

Improving Brain Health Through Positive Thinking

Improving Brain Health Through Positive Thinking

Buddha was on to something when he said, “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” Negative thoughts impact our brains to an extent that most of us don’t fully understand.A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology reveals that negative thoughts can prevent you from processing information and thinking clearly. Researchers asked subjects to sort objects into two categories. They found that subjects who admitted to worrying over 50% of the time significantly struggled to sort the objects as the difficulty of the task increased.

Reap the 7 Life-Changing Benefits of Garlic

Reap the 7 Life-Changing Benefits of Garlic

It’s no secret that garlic works wonders for our immune system. Despite leaving you worried about your breath—which we’ll tell you how to avoid in a bit—garlic is a magical antioxidant. In honor of National Garlic Day, April 19, 2017, we’re spreading awareness of these perks and how to use it to your advantage.

How Eating Sugar Can Lead to Alzheimer’s Disease

How Eating Sugar Can Lead to Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s no secret that washing down a half a dozen donuts with a liter of coke every day can lead to obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, you can now add Alzheimer’s disease to that list.  Researchers at the University of Bath in the U.K. have found that high blood sugar levels can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States.

Fish Oil Benefits: Induce Weight Loss, Reduce Stress and Save Your Life

Fish Oil Benefits: Induce Weight Loss, Reduce Stress and Save Your Life

Fish oil can be a lifesaver—literally! Research shows that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil reduced the risk of death in patients who have experienced heart attacks. We hear the recommendations from our doctors, medical journals and blogs just like this one, but how many of us actually increase our intake of fish oils to improve our health? Whether you’re battling with the stress of a job, or something as serious as a cardiovascular disease, we break down how fish oil can help mitigate some major health problems.