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7 Healing Uses For Lavender Essential Oil

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Sayer JiContributing Writer

Lavender has been used for medicinal purposes for over 2,500 years. Today lavender is the most popular essential oil in the world. Here are just 7 proven uses for this amazing oil.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has been used for medicinal purposes for over 2,500 years especially in Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Ancient Persians, Greeks, and Romans added lavender flowers to their bathwater. The name itself comes from the Latin “lavare” meaning to wash. The Egyptians used lavender as a perfume, as well as for mummification.

Today lavender is the most popular essential oil in the world. Compounds contained in the oil have antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibiotic effects.

Scientific studies back up the wisdom of the ancients. Here are just 7 evidence-based uses for lavender essential oil:

1. Relieve Anxiety

A German study confirmed that lavender oil is more effective than placebo in relieving anxiety in elderly patients. The researchers concluded that it would be an effective and well-tolerated alternative to synthetic drugs.

In another study of 90 anxious patients awaiting open-heart surgery, researchers had the patients inhale either lavender oil or distilled water for 20 minutes. Inhaling lavender reduced anxiety as well as cortisol levels. Questionnaires answered by the patients showed the lavender decreased anxiety by 10.8%. Blood testing revealed that cortisol levels dropped by a whopping 69.6%.

And in a study of 60 heart patients in a coronary intensive care unit (ICU) patients were given 2% lavender essential oil via inhalation every day. After 15 days, the patients inhaling lavender reported significantly less anxiety. Researchers concluded that lavender is a non-invasive, cheap, easily applied, and cost effective intervention for cardiac patients in the ICU.

2. Improve Sleep

Several studies show the effectiveness of lavender aromatherapy in sleep-related disorders. In one study of 158 new mothers, women were assigned to two random groups. One group dropped lavender oil on a cotton ball and inhaled 10 deep breaths before going to sleep. They also kept the lavender ball near their pillow until morning. They did this four times a week. A control group did the same thing with a placebo oil rather than lavender. After eight weeks, women inhaling lavender had a significant improvement in their sleep quality compared to the control group.

3. Ease Premenstrual Symptoms

It is estimated that 45% of women suffer from moderate to severe dysmenorrhea. This condition develops at the time of menstruation and can cause cramps, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, and headaches.

A lavender oil massage can help relieve dysmenorrhea. In one study from Turkey, 44 midwifery or nursing students administered a self-massage with either lavender oil or petroleum oil as a placebo. The lavender oil was found to reduce menstrual pain at a statistically significant rate.

In an Iranian study of 80 midwifery and nursing students, volunteers were randomly assigned to receive either a lavender oil massage or placebo massage during two consecutive menstrual cycles. Their level of pain was measured before and 30 minutes after the massage. The lavender oil massage caused a significant decrease in dysmenorrhea symptoms compared to the placebo.

The researchers noted that topical application of lavender oil relaxes the muscles, improves blood supply to the tissues, and increases elasticity. And the active compounds in lavender oil remain on the skin for about 90 minutes after the massage. In addition, the oil – after topical use or inhalation – is absorbed into the blood stream.

In addition to pain many women suffer with emotional stress during their menstrual periods. A Japanese study found that inhaling lavender can help. Researchers studied 17 women in their early 20s with mild to moderate premenstrual symptoms. The women inhaled either lavender or water. They found that inhaling lavender for just 10 minutes significantly increased the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system compared to the water. In addition, psychological tests showed that lavender significantly decreased feelings of depression/dejection and confusion as long as 35 minutes after inhalation.

4. Reduce Pain

Lavender is proven to relieve pain. In one study 106 patients undergoing peripheral venous cannulation (PVC) were divided into two groups. PVC is a procedure in which a tube is placed inside a vein to draw blood or administer fluids, medications, nutrition, chemotherapy, or blood products. One group of patients received lavender aromatherapy and the other received sham aromatherapy. After the PVC procedure, the pain scores of the lavender group were significantly lower than the placebo group. In addition, patient satisfaction was significantly higher in the lavender group.

Kidney dialysis is another painful procedure that can cause patient anxiety during the insertion of dialysis needles. In a study from Iran, 34 hemodialysis patients were divided into three groups. The first group received topical lavender essential oil during the insertion of their arterial needles for dialysis. The second group received no intervention and the third group received a water placebo. Pain intensity dropped 37% for the lavender group compared to the no intervention group, and dropped 31% compared to the placebo group.

And in a recent study in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine 100 patients aged 19-64 years with kidney stones were divided into two groups. One group received the standard treatment of 75 mg of diclofenac sodium, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The second group received lavender aromatherapy in addition to the diclofenac. Pain measured 30 minutes after the treatments was significantly lower in the group using lavender aromatherapy.

5. Lessen Stress

In addition to relieving anxiety and pain, lavender oil can help reduce physiological signs of stress. In a study of 20 healthy volunteers Thai researchers compared lavender to sweet almond oil. They measured the subjects’ blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and skin temperature to determine the level of stress in the autonomic nervous system. In addition, subjects were asked to estimate their mood responses such as feeling pleasant or unpleasant, uncomfortable, sensual, relaxed, or refreshed.

The results revealed that inhaling lavender oil caused significant decreases in blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature. In addition, the lavender group said they felt more active, fresher, and more relaxed than the almond oil group.

6. Clear Vaginal Yeast Infections

About 75% of women experience a vaginal candidiasis infection at least once in their lifetime. The culprit in 85 to 90% of these cases is the Candida albicans fungus. Conventional medicine uses the drug clotrimazole to treat vaginal infections. It has side effects like increased liver enzymes, painful urination, and depression.

In a recent study researchers compared lavender essential oil with clotrimazole on the C. albicans fungus in the lab. After 48 hours the fungal cell count was lower for lavender than for clotrimazole.

7. Heal Mouth Ulcers

Lavender oil has been shown to help heal mouth ulcers. In a study of 115 patients with recurrent aphthous ulcers, subjects were treated with lavender oil or placebo. The lavender group had a significant reduction in inflammation and ulcer size. In addition, the healing time was faster by two to four days in the lavender group. And pain relief was noted from the first dose of lavender.

When buying lavender essential oil look for an organic, therapeutic grade product. Use it topically on the skin, full-strength or mixed with a carrier oil such as sesame or coconut oil.

You can also rub two or three drops of lavender essential oil in your palms and then inhale the oil. Or add a couple of drops to your washing machine. You can also add four to six drops to a spray bottle with about a cup of water. Mist your skin or room.

To learn more about natural, healing substances like Lavender Essential Oil, use the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard:

Originally published at greenmedinfo.com and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Sayer Ji
About the Author

Sayer Ji is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, and Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

For more, visit GreenMedInfo.com and Facebook.com/GreenMedInfo, or sign-up for GreenMedInfo’s free e-Newsletter.

© March 12th, 2018 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for their newsletter here.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

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Health

5 Health Powers Of Asparagus

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asparagus growing
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Mary West, Guest Writer

Exciting research is finding that asparagus is valuable for health in diverse ways, being beneficial for several medical conditions that plague many worldwide.

Perhaps most exciting of all is a new study that finds the vegetable may help prevent or treat a feared cancer that over 200,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with each year.

1. Asparagus found to have anticancer properties.

A new study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology found asparagus contains certain compounds that have substantial anticancer properties. Researchers tested the compounds, known as shatavarins, on test tubes of human breast, colon and kidney cancer, as well as on mice with breast cancer.

All the results showed that shatavarins had potent toxicity against cancer cells. Extract of asparagus administered orally in doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg body weight for 10 days caused a significant reduction in tumour volume and tumour cell count.

2. Asparagus may help prevent diabetes.

In addition to the anticancer properties of asparagus, it may have some anti-diabetic properties as well. Researchers at the University of Karachi in Pakistan found that high doses of asparagus extract had a positive effect on insulin output by the pancreas. The findings add to a 2006 study by the British Medical Journal that found the vegetable triggered an 81% increase in glucose uptake by body tissues. Therefore, asparagus can help diabetes by stimulating an increased production of insulin, in addition to enabling the body to absorb more glucose.

3. Asparagus may prevent a hangover.

Those who celebrate the New Year by drinking too much alcohol may prevent a hangover by taking asparagus extract. Chronic drinking can cause detrimental changes in the liver, as well as the unpleasant symptoms of a hangover. Scientists at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in Korea found the asparagus extracts “significantly alleviated” the cellular toxicity of alcohol, a benefit that translates to lessening of a hangover and protection of liver cells.

4. Asparagus offers up tremendous cardiovascular benefits.

This vegetable contains a compound called rutin that can help prevent deadly blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Moreover, asparagus is a good food source of folic acid, a nutrient that helps counter the bad effects of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood linked to increased cardiovascular risk.

5. Asparagus can help balance out your electrolytes

Adding to the list of impressive health properties are three more benefits. Asparagus is a rich source of potassium, a mineral that regulates fluid balance; so the diuretic effects of asparagus can reduce bloating in the tummy area that sometimes occurs after eating a big meal. The vegetable also has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.

Some Further Reading, If You’re Curious…
Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Mary West
About the Author

Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance overall wellness. Ms. West is the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies, and  the creator of alternativemedicinetruth.com, a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects.

This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter

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Coconut Oil Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

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Coconut Oil
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Mary West, Guest Writer

Coconut oil is much in the news these days, being used by the natural health community to enhance many aspects of health. Now, scientists have discovered yet another benefit of this valuable food – it may be a powerful ally in the fight against tooth decay.

Parents will gladly receive word of this discovery, as the pain of tooth decay and the ensuing infections that sometimes occur often involve treatment with antibiotics, drugs that have adverse effects and can lead to antibiotic resistance. A common childhood malady, tooth decay affects 60 to 90% of kids in industrialized countries, as well as most of adults, according to researchers.

Coconut oil, a natural agent devoid of side effects, will be a welcome inclusion to the tools used to fight cavities. The findings were so promising that researchers suggest it could be added to dental care products like toothpaste and mouthwash to promote the health of our teeth.

Scientists Found That Enzyme-Modified Coconut Oil Is a Potent Killer of Mouth Bugs.

Scientists at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland evaluated the effectiveness of three different oils in attacking Streptococcus bacteria, acid-producing organisms that are common inhabitants of the mouth and a major cause of tooth decay. They tested natural coconut oil, olive oil and vegetable oil, in addition to the same oils treated with enzymes, simulating the digestive process. Only the enzyme-altered coconut oil displayed the ability to curtail the growth of most strains of the bacteria. It is believed that the breaking down of coconut oil by the enzymes release its components that fight bacteria.

Advantages of Using Coconut Oil in Dental Products

Lead researcher, Dr. Damien Brady said enzyme-altered coconut oil could be an attractive substitute for cavity-fighting chemicals currently added to dental care products. He points out its advantage of being effective at relatively low concentrations and emphasizes the importance of seeking alternative ways of fighting infections because of increasing antibiotic resistance.

Aside from the above benefits, another advantage is cost, as treating tooth decay can be very expensive in some regions. If the findings of the study hold up in further research, coconut oil could soon become an affordable means of preventing tooth decay.

The results were revealed at a recent meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Warwick.

Recommended Coconut Oil Based Toothpastes…
Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Mary West
About the Author

Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance overall wellness. Ms. West is the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies, and  the creator of alternativemedicinetruth.com, a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects.

This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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4 Ways To Know If Your Body Is Overwhelmed By Toxins

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4 Ways To Know If Your Body Is Overwhelmed By Toxins
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Mary West, Guest Writer

We live in a toxic environment, being exposed to an estimated 2.5 billion pounds of chemicals each year. Once these toxins accumulate in the body, they may manifest in an array of symptoms.

It is impossible to escape this continuous bombardment of harmful chemicals; we come into contact with substances that can negatively impact our system several times a day. We breathe toxic chemicals in the air, ingest them in our food and absorb them through our skin.

Synthetic ingredients are found in fragrances and lotions, and sodium laurel sulphates are present in some toothpastes, soaps and shampoos. And the chemical assaults in the home don’t end there.

Our homes are laden with the toxins found in household cleaning products, “air fresheners” and pesticides, and some clothing, furniture upholstery and carpeting are even treated with toxic, hormone disrupting flame-retardants.

And our food? Well, it’s no secret that our food is loaded with chemical additives such as MSG, dyes and sucralose, while food containers can contain BPA. OUCH!

Think you can cleanse with just a healthy dose of H2O? Think again. Water systems are contaminated with lead and have been treated with fluoride, chlorine and many other chemicals.

4 Signs of Toxicity
1. Constipation

Bowel evacuation is the body’s natural way of eliminating waste. If you do not have a good-sized bowel movement every day, toxins are being reabsorbed into the blood stream and affecting your health.

2. Bad breath

This problem can indicate that your colon and liver are not eliminating toxins well.

3. Extra sensitivity to smells

If you have strong reactions to smoke, perfumes and other smells, you may be experiencing toxic overload.

4. Overweight

Difficulty in shedding extra pounds can be due to eating the wrong foods, but toxicity can also play a role. Some toxins like dioxins and pesticides are stored in the fat cells. When the body is storing a large quantity of these harmful chemicals, it poses a greater challenge to weight control.

Symptoms of Toxicity

The maladies that can ensue from chronic toxicity are too numerous to mention, but here are a few. Toxic overload can cause headaches, joint pain and rashes along with difficulty concentrating, food cravings and acne. Diseases related to toxicity include cancer, depression and attention deficit disorder in addition to autoimmune conditions, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.

11 Easy Ways to Detoxify
  1. Drink green tea, which is a natural purifier.
  2. Drink plenty of filtered water to flush toxins out of your system.
  3. Eat foods high in fibre, which include fruit, vegetables and grains as well as nuts and seeds. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are especially helpful. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds per day is beneficial as well. Incorporate garlic, parsley and cilantro into your diet, as they are natural detoxifiers.
  4. Avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta. Get in the habit of reading food labels to avoid those that are high in additives.
  5. Exercise regularly to eliminate toxins through perspiration.
  6. Dry-brush your skin with a natural bristle brush or loofa sponge. Use brushing strokes that more toward the heart rather than away from it. If you need some dry brushing tip, check out this article.
  7. Practice deep-breathing techniques.
  8. Reduce alcohol intake and avoid taking unnecessary drugs.
  9. A 24-hour fruit fast is very beneficial for internal cleansing and eliminating toxins. In this type of fast you only eat only fresh raw fruits, instead of those that are canned or cooked.
  10. Fit for Life authors recommends a daily fruit fast by eating nothing but fruit and fresh fruit juices every morning until noon. It is a means of everyday cleansing.
  11. The use of a castor oil pack is a time-honoured method of detoxification.
Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Mary West
About the Author

Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance overall wellness. Ms. West is the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies, and  the creator of alternativemedicinetruth.com, a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects.

This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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8 Foods That Boost Your Immune System

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8 Foods That Boost Your Immune System
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Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

If you’re looking for an immune system boost, the right vitamins and minerals can help. Although diet gets little attention in conventional media when it comes to supporting the immune system, it is one of the most powerful methods for keeping colds and other illnesses at bay. Nutrition isn’t the only means of immune system support but it is one of the oldest and most reliable natural approaches.

The 8 Best Foods for Your Immune System

The majority of your immune cells reside in your intestines, so doesn’t it make sense to consume healthy foods for keeping your immune system top notch? Here are 8 foods you can eat right now to boost your immune system.

1. Bell Peppers

Reach for all the bell peppers you want because they can actually have twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. In addition, bell peppers are a great source of beta-carotene, which not only helps maintain healthy skin and eyes but studies suggest they could also provide an immune system boost. [1] [2]

2. Citrus

Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C. Believed to increase the production of white blood cells, C is essential for fighting off infections. Since your body doesn’t produce or store this vitamin, load up on citrus to help keep your immune system up and running. Supplementation with the vitamin may be helpful, but it’s always best to receive the vitamin from its natural source.

3. Ginger

Ginger is thought to work much like vitamin C in that it can even stop a cold before it starts. That said, it’s also a great food to reach for after you’re sick. Ginger can have a little heat due to the gingerol, a cousin of sorts to capsaicin—the stuff that makes chilli peppers hot. It’s the “kick” of the gingerol that can even act as a strong soothing agent. [3]

4. Turmeric

You can find this spice in many curries; it’s bright yellow in color, and a little bitter in taste, but it can definitely be pretty amazing for your health. While it’s already been used for its soothing capabilities for arthritis (among other things), a recent study suggests high concentrations of curcumin—what gives turmeric its color—could also reduce fever. [4] [5]

5. Spinach

With vitamin C, beta-carotene, and plenty of antioxidants, spinach is a perfect vegetable for your immune system. If you want to get the most out of it though, cook it as little as possible or even keep it raw. But don’t stop at spinach; a study suggests that other leafy green vegetables are good choices as well. [6]

6. Broccoli

Like spinach, broccoli is another great vegetable choice packed with antioxidants and vitamins. With vitamins A, C, and E, broccoli could easily be one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. Just like with spinach, cook it as little as possible to retain its nutrients.

7. Yogurt

If you like yogurt, make sure you’re getting the full health benefit by eating the kind with live cultures. Recent research suggests these cultures may strengthen your immune system. [7] Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, which can also help boost the immune system. [8]

8. Almonds

When your immune system needs a boost, vitamin E sometimes loses the spotlight to vitamin C, but both are crucial for a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, which means fat is needed in order for it to be absorbed properly. You can get almost all of your daily allowance of this vitamin by reaching for a half-cup of almonds. How easy is that?

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References
  1. Hughes, D. A. Effects of carotenoids on human immune function. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 58 (3).
  2. Chew, B. P. & Park, J. S. Carotenoid Action on the Immune Response. The Journal of Nutrition. 134 (1).
  3. Grzanna, R. et al. Ginger—An Herbal Medicinal Product with Broad Anti-Inflammatory Actions. Journal of Medicinal Food. 8 (2).
  4. Jagetia G. C, & Aggarwal B. B. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin.Journal of Clinical Immunology. 27 (1).
  5. Sultana, G. N. et al. Analgesic principle from Curcuma amada. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 163.
  6. Li, Y. et al. Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation. Cell. 147 (3).
  7. Meydani, S. N. & Ha W. Immunologic effects of yogurt. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 71 (4).
  8. Aranow, C. Vitamin D and the Immune System. Vitamin D and the Immune System.
Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centres his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

For more, please visit Global Healing Center.

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