General Wellbeing

Smoking Cessation: Guide to Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Techniques That May Help With Your Efforts to Quit Smoking

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Smoking CessationAs a former smoker, I intimately understand how difficult it can be to quit smoking. It requires a lot of willpower and determination, and few people are able to completely quit "cold turkey" without any discomfort or withdrawal symptoms.

Once you've quit, no matter what strategies that you used to assist you, you will have a huge reason to pat yourself on the back!

Aromatherapy is not a miracle cure that will magically eliminate all of your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. But... sensibly using essential oils may play an especially helpful role in your effort to quit smoking.

I have just finished publishing a lengthy article on AromaWeb that describe a number of essential oils and techniques including those I personally used when I quit several years ago. Combined with other smoking cessation techniques, aromatherapy can help increase your chances of quitting and staying quit.

Click here to read the full article on AromaWeb...

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Achoo! Aromatherapy and Other Tips to Help You Feel Better When You're Sick

Aromatherapy for Colds and the FluSpring is officially here, and I can't wait to begin enjoying the progressively warmer weather and spending more time outdoors.

I'm in the midst of getting over a head cold that has left me feeling like my head is about 2 miles wide. As uncomfortable and inconvenient as a typical head cold is, I consider myself super blessed that it's not something worse.

While aromatherapy won't keep you from getting sick, I've learned firsthand that diffusing anti-viral and anti-bacterial essential oils have reduced the number of colds and flus that I get, and when I become ill, my symptoms don't seem quite as severe.

In simplistic terms, the regular but safe use of essential oils has kept my immune system healthy and has helped to ward off the bacteria, viruses and microbes that can lead to illnesses. These same principals can potentially also help you lessen the risk of contracting the H1N1/Swine Flu virus.

Read AromaWeb's article Reducing the Risk of Contracting H1N1, Flus and Colds With Aromatherapy to view a quicklist of ways that you can use aromatherapy to help stay as H1N1, cold and flu-free as possible. Look to the end of the article for a list of antibacterial, anti-viral, expectorant and decongestant essential oils.

The following aromatherapy and general tips also helped me in lessening the severity of my cold:

  • I love utilizing a wide array of diffusers and choose the diffuser type to match what I'm up to. For prayer, meditation, romantic moments and quieter times, I prefer the ambiance and glow of candle diffusers. When I'm ill, I use my nebulizing diffusers from Diffuser World combined with anti-bacterial and/or anti-viral oils. For more information, read AromaWeb's All About Diffusers article. For a list of essential oils especially helpful for colds and the flu, read Reducing the Risk of Contracting H1N1, Flus and Colds With Aromatherapy.

  • The steam from showers can be comforting to nasal passages. Add a few drops of your chosen anti-bacterial/anti-viral oil to the back ledge of your shower (but keep the oil from directly contacting your skin). The heat and steam will vaporize the oil.

  • I've read from multiple sources that sugars can suppress your immune system. The orange juice that you might typically drink when you are sick might actually be doing more harm than good. Definitely drink fluids and get your Vitamin C from low-sugar sources, but consider limiting the amount of sugars and juice that you consume.

  • I've also read that dairy can cause a lot of added congestion and mucous build-up. I've personally noticed a correlation with that. Ice cream might be soothing to your sore throat, but that comforting ice cream might wind up making you feel sicker in the long run with its typically high dairy and sugar content.

  • When my nose is severely plugged, I tend to breath through my mouth at night. That leads to chapped lips if I don't plan ahead and use a lip balm. Using my handmade lip balm kept my lips moisturized and chap-free. I typically use Peppermint Essential Oil in my lip balms, but I also make a few tubes without it for use if my lips become especially sensitive.

  • After plowing through at least a couple boxes of Kleenex, the exterior of my nostrils and upper lip area begin to feel raw. I make a "nose balm" that resembles a lip balm and that I store properly labeled in a lip balm tube (using my nose balm on my lips would be just plain gross). Instead of peppermint that can cause further irritation to such a sensitive area, I tend to add just a hint of Tea Tree Essential Oil or Manuka Essential Oil.

  • I discovered years ago that allowing myself to become too inactive when sick can lead to a greater likelihood of fluid building up in my lungs. I tend to steer clear of full cardio when sick. But within reason, I strive to do a modest number of pushups, roman sit ups and other exercises once every hour or two so that I keep my lungs active without excessively straining myself. This also helps prevent getting stiff from inactivity. This is not a safe practice for everyone and depends on how ill you are. If you think it's a good idea for you, talk it over with your doctor.

  • I'm a former smoker. If you smoke, you are at a much greater risk for developing bronchitis and pneumonia. I'll replay that broken record for you: Don't quit quitting.

  • Keep a small supply of your chosen over the counter cold or flu products on hand so that you don't have to scramble to the drugstore to get what you need. It's inconvenient not only to you but also to all the other shoppers who you risk infecting. Medications do expire, so be careful about not stocking up too heavily.

  • I've discovered that when I get especially sick, I tend to get "stupid" and don't remember to utilize all I've learned about aromatherapy to help combat my symptoms. So now, I plan ahead, make sure that I'm stocked with my favorite handmade products and those over the counter products that personally help me, and I keep a list of what I should be doing.

Aromatherapy Insect Repellent Recipe

Natural Insect Repellent Ingredients
The essential oils distilled from natural botanicals like citronella, lavender and eucalyptus act as natural insect repellents.

I love spending time outdoors, especially in the warmer months, but mosquitoes and other flying/biting insects can ruin the best of outdoor occasions. Synthetic insect repellents are known to cause irritation and sensitivity in some people, are toxic and can be harmful to the environment.

AromaWeb features a more gentle insect repellent recipe that only requires a few reasonably priced essential oils and other ingredients. It has a pleasant aroma, and can be quite effective in keeping the little itchy critters away.

Click here to read the rest of this article and to view the Insect Repellent Recipe on AromaWeb....

Fighting Colds and the Flu With Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy for Colds and the FluEver since I began my journey into aromatherapy over 12 years ago, I have experienced far less colds and flus than I previously had. And when I get ill, I seem to recover faster. Use of essential oils helps to make recovery a little more pleasant (or should I say a little less unpleasant).

In simplistic terms, the regular but safe use of essential oils has kept my immune system healthy and has helped to ward off the bacteria, viruses and microbes that can lead to illnesses.

Click here to read the rest of this article on AromaWeb... It contains a quicklist of ways that you can use aromatherapy to help stay as cold and flu-free as possible. Look to the end of the article for a list of antibacterial, anti-viral, expectorant and decongestant essential oils.

Aromatherapy for Arthritis

Elderly Woman with Arthritis Holding a TulipI have the sweetest elderly neighbor living near me. Each summer, we chat it up every time we see each other working outside, and as each new season begins, I progressively see his sadness as he cannot do as much as the year before. A strong man with a fun-loving and active spirit, it saddens me beyond words to see him discretly try to hide the tears that well up in his eyes when he talks about the pain he experiences from his arthritis. Arthritis has robbed him of his ability to golf, bowl, cater to his garden like he used to and most all of his other passions. And arthritis doesn't just afflict the aging. It can be instigated by other illnesses, diseases or injuries at any age. A foot injury has lead to arthritis in my foot. And from my personal experience, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle had directly contributed to arthritis in my knees.

Aromatherapy can't cure arthritis, but it can help significantly, depending on the form of arthritis. I am not a medical professional and my knowledge of the various forms of arthritis is quite limited. But.. my successful experience in using an anti-inflammatory blend of essential and carrier oils for my own personal situation is one of the largest reasons that I became passionately involved in aromatherapy.

Click here to read the rest of this article on AromaWeb....

Tips for a Healthier Mouth

Myrrh Essential Oil May Help Gum Health

Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh Essential Oil  
Myrrh Essential Oil is said to be helpful in maintaining good gum health and combating gum disease. I do not have any scientific data to back that up, but over the years, I've read about countless individuals that have mentioned that adding a drop of myrrh essential oil to their mouthrinse has made a difference in the health of their gums or in their recovery from periodontal disease.

Flossing: Before or After?

Until recently, I used to floss after I brushed my teeth. That's a routine that stuck with me since I was first taught to floss at a young age. Recently, however, I learned that it's best to floss before brushing so that the debris caught between teeth can be loosened and carried away as we brush. Makes perfect sense to me!

For the naturally inclined, dental floss made with natural fibers and/or natural waxes is available.

Alcohol Based Mouthwashes May Increase Cancer Risk

Unless your dentist advises otherwise, finishing your dental care regimine with an alcohol-free mouthwash/rinse is a good idea. Ask your dentist about the concerns with using oral care rinses that include alcohol. Apparently, there are much higher incidences of various oral cancers (mouth/throat/tongue) by those that use alcohol based mouthwashes.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a Common Ingredient in Toothpastes

Brushing Teeth
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, abbreviated SLS, is used primarily in bubble baths, shampoos, liquid soaps and other products where good lather is saught. It is also a common ingredient in toothpastes. At the time of this writing, it is even used in the Tom's of Maine line of "natural" toothpastes - with the exception of its newer non-SLS line. SLS, however, draws moisture from the skin and can cause drying and irritation. Individuals that experience frequent chapped lips, cold sores or other mouth and gum irritations may especially want to consider avoiding dental products that contain SLS. For more information about harmful ingredients used in personal care products, see AromaWeb's Harmful Skin Care Ingredients article.