The Multiple Uses of Aromatherapy.


Cuts and Scrapes

A spray of diluted essential oils makes an excellent antiseptic. The germ-killing abilities of essential oils high in terpenes, such as tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus and lemon, increase when a 2-percent solution is sprayed through the air. The antiseptic quality of tea tree actually increase in the presence of blood and pus. Superficial cuts, scrapes and burns may also be treated with a salve. Although studies show that oils are antiseptic when diluted in an alcohol base instead of oil, this may sting in cases of an open wound. Tea tree, lavender, helichrysum, cistus, eucalyptus, rose geranium, sandalwood and rose repair skin damage and encourage new cell growth for faster healing.

Antiseptic Skin Spray
15 drops tea tree or eucalyptus
10 drops helichrysum
5 drops lavender
2 ounces distilled water
1/2 ounce grain alcohol or goldenseal tincture

Combine and shake well before each use to help disperse the oils. Spray as needed on minor cuts, burns and abrasions to prevent infection and speed healing.

Fungal Infections
Treat fungal infection with tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, myrrh and geranium. Small amounts of peppermint relieve itching. Soak a compress in these essential oils diluted in vinegar, which also deters fungus, and apply to the affected area. A fungal powder is also appropriate to keep the area as dry as possible.

Antifungal Powder
1/4 cup bentonite clay
1 tablespoon goldenseal root powder
12 drops (1/8 teaspoon) each essential oils of:
tea tree
clove
geranium

Combine all the ingredients and powder the affected area liberally. For fungal conditions, such as athlete’s foot, an aromatic foot bath is a great treat.

Soak Those Pups
5 drops tea tree oil
5 drops sage
2 drops peppermint

Fill a portable basin or tub with hot water-or, better yet, sage tea. Add essential oils to water and soak for at least 15 minutes. For feet that sweat excessively, finish with a foot powder.

Rashes Caused by Poisonous Plants
The menthol in peppermint relieves the painful burning and itching of poison oak, ivy or sumac. A 2- to 3- percent dilution (12-24 drops per ounce) in vinegar or witch hazel provides blessed relief to nerve endings. Four cups of quick-cooking oats (they dissolve best) wrapped in a muslin cloth and/or one cup Epsom salts may also be added to a lukewarm bath, or mix a smaller amount and sponge on. Lavender and a few menthol crystals added to a tincture of jewelweed or sassafras are also helpful during the first stages of a reaction. Oil-based products aren’t usually recommended, although some people find that a lotion relieves itching during the later, dry stage of poison oak, ivy and sumac.

Poison Oak/Ivy/Sumac Remedy
3 drops each:
lavender
helichrysum
Roman chamomile
geranium
cypress
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon menthol crystals
1 ounce calendula tincture

Combine ingredients. Apply externally as needed. When healing begins, apply externally 6 drops each stoechas lavender and cistus (diluted to 2 percent) in aloe gel or juice.
Herbal Adjuncts-Take liver herbs such as milk thistle, burdock and dandelion; avoid sweets and fruits. Take vitamin C and pantothenic acid.

Inflammation and Burns
For inflammation, immediately apply a cold herbal compress with an anti-inflammatory oil, such as chamomile, lavender or marjoram. The first step in treating burns and sunburns is to quickly immerse the area in cold water containing a few drops of one of these essential oils, or to apply a cold compress that has been soaked in that water. Lavender oil and aloe-vera juice promote new cell growth, reduce inflammation and stop infection. Aloe, which is so healing it has even been used successfully to treat radiation burns, also contains the natural “aspirin,” salicylic acid.

Sunburn Spray
50 drops (1/2 teaspoon) lavender oil
4 ounces aloe-vera juice
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
1 tablespoon vinegar

Combine ingredients. Store in a spritzer bottle, and shake well before using. Use as often as needed to reduce pain and speed healing. Keep the bottle in the refrigerator for extra cooling relief.

Insect Bites and Other Critter Attacks
For mosquito or other insect bites that don’t require much attention, a simple dab of essential oil of lavender or tea tree provides relief. Chamomile and lavender essential oils reduce swelling, itching and inflammation, and together with tinctures of echinacea and plantain often prevent an allergic response. (If an allergic reaction does occur, take 1/2 teaspoon of echinacea tincture internally.)

First-Aid Remedy
3 drops each:
lavender
tea tree
German chamomile
helichrysum
1 ounce calendula infused oil

Mix together. This remedy is excellent for skin irritation, bites, stings, burns, inflammation, bruises or scrapes.

Adding essential oil and tincture to clay keeps the medicine reconstituted, preserved and ready for an emergency. As the clay dries it pulls toxins from stings and bites to the skin’s surface to keep them from spreading, while also pulling out pus or embedded splinters.

Clay Poultice
12 drops lavender essential oil
1 tablespoon bentonite clay
1 teaspoon each tincture of:
echinacea root
chamomile flowers
plantain leaves

Put clay in the container to be stored. Add the tinctures slowly, stirring as the clay absorbs them. Add lavender oil, stirring to distribute it evenly. Store poultice in a container with a tight lid to slow dehydration; it will last at least several months. If the mixture does dry out, add distilled water to reconstitute it.

Nothing is more annoying than trying to enjoy the outdoors while shooing away pesky insects. Many people don’t care for the smell of citronella, a traditional repellant, but this formula smells great.

Insect-Aside Bug Repellant
5 drops eucalyptus
2 drops orange
4 drops lavender
2 drops lemon
8 drops cedar
1 drop peppermint
1 drop clove
1 drop cinnamon
2 ounces carrier oil

Mix together and apply liberally. Keep out of eyes.

Few “creepy crawlies” can survive the following blend. Use for skin fungus, scabies or other nonspecific critters.

Cootie Oil
10 drops thyme linalol
3 drops lemon
5 drops lavender
5 drops rosemary
1 drop clove bud
1 drop cinnamon bark
2 ounces carrier oil

Combine ingredients. Apply as needed.

Herbal Adjuncts – Jewelweed leaves, garlic, black-walnut hulls and the lichen usnea are all specific against fungus, and can be used as an external wash or soak.

Source: www.oawhealth.com

 

Chamomile Benefits: Growing Your Own Medicine.


Chamomile marks many people’s first venture into herbalism, and it’s usually because they have problems sleeping. The value of the plant as a mild relaxant has made it a popular choice in prepared teas found in nearly every grocery store. But chamomile benefits don’t stop there—this flowering jewel is able to provide an array of health perks. What’s more, growing chamomile at home is quite an easy task.

There are several varieties of chamomile, all members of the Asteraceae family. Most popular in herb gardens and commercially prepared teas, however, is German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), also sometimes called Hungarian chamomile, wild chamomile, or scented mayweed.

This plant is an annual (dies off in the cold season) and grows in small bushes to be about 20 to 30 inches high. It has smooth stems with long, narrow leaves, and little white flowers that used in herbal preparations. These small flowers resemble small daisies, with yellow centers and a strong, pleasant scent.


Brief History of Chamomile

The first recorded use of chamomile occurred in Ancient Egypt. The plant was held in high reverence for its ability to cure ‘Ague’, what is very much like an acute fever. Because an acute fever can be relatively common, extremely uncomfortable, and usually just goes away with time, a cure for the illness probably made chamomile quite popular.

The word chamomile comes from the Greek Chamomaela, which translates to “ground apple”. In Spain, it is still called the “Little Apple”. These titles likely come from its scent.

Over the years, the herb has been used for flavorings, incense, beverages, and for treating a variety of health ailments.

Chamomile Benefits: Healing Uses of Chamomile

Perhaps the most widely known use of chamomile is in its benefits as a mild relaxant or sedative. It has been used in this manner for centuries and can be found in grocery store aisles under names like “Sleepy Time Tea” for precisely this reason. Taken 30 to 45 minutes before bed, chamomile can help you relax and prepare for a restful slumber.

But despite its popularity as a soothing relaxant, chamomile benefits don’t end there.

Much of Chamomile’s ability to heal is due to phenolics within the plant. Phenolics represent a large family of compounds including flavonoids, quinones, phenolic acids, and other antioxidant compounds; they provide a range of health benefits, including protection against stress and healing cells. But what else is Chamomile good for?

Researchers with the American Chemical Society found that chamomile’s phenolics have antibacterial activity, suggesting it could be useful in boosting the immune system and fighting illnesses like the common cold. In addition, study subjects who drank the tea on a regular basis had elevated levels of glycine, a protein known for relieving muscle spasms, which could explain it’s relaxing qualities.

Chamomile has also been shown to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antimutagenic properties, according to researchers with the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center.

While science is slowly unlocking all of Chamomile’s benefits in the lab, there is no question that individuals throughout history have experienced the benefits even without the science to back it up.

Through tradition and folk healing over the years, chamomile has also been used to treat:

·         Anxiety

·         Insomnia

·         Digestive problems like nausea and bloating

·         Menstrual cramps

·         Migraines

·         Burns and scrapes

·         Rashes like eczema

·         Mouth sores and gum disease

Even better news? You can easily grow your own chamomile to experience chamomile benefits.

Growing and Harvesting Your Own Chamomile

Like growing oregano or growing parsley, growing chamomile is fairly easy with some basic tips. Because there are several varieties of the herb we know as chamomile, these tips are specifically geared towards growing the variety known as German chamomile.

The plant is best grown from seed, rather than potted as an already partially grown plant. Seeds can be started indoors and moved outside after fear of the last frost has passed. Otherwise you can direct sow in the soil in late spring.

Chamomile seeds need sunlight to germinate. This means you don’t want to completely bury them in the dirt or plant them in a heavily shaded area. Instead, scatter the seeds and lightly mix with the top soil. As for water, the plant doesn’t need to be overwatered, but it shouldn’t be completely dry between soakings either.

When the flowers on your chamomile plant begin opening up, harvest them. The more you harvest, the more that will grow. You should be harvesting every few days. Cut the stem just above a lead node, or where a leaf joins the stem, then remove the flower and place in a basket or on a drying rack.

Move the flowers around from time to time to ensure they are drying completely. Once they are thoroughly dried, you can store the flowers in a glass jar in your cabinet. They will keep for several months as long as they are kept dry and out of the sun.

Using Medicinal Chamomile

There are many applications for dried chamomile including tinctures and essential oils though the easiest and most often used is an infusion or tea. For stomach ailments, muscle spasms, and help in falling asleep, use about one tablespoon of dried herb per cup of water. Pour boiling water over the herbs and allow to steep for about 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

If you want to use chamomile topically– on rashes, cuts and other skin ailments, for instance—you can create a compress by simply making a more concentrated “tea”. Once the tea has cooled, dip a cloth in it, wring it out and apply to the affected area. You can similarly use this tea as a facial or hair rinse.

From your skin to your stomach or even a stressed mind, chamomile is a master-soother, and one you can easily add to your healing herb garden. Experience chamomile benefits today, and share your thoughts with others!

Source: http://naturalsociety.com