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7 Healing Uses For Lavender Essential Oil

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Photo Credit: Chris Seba, Sime

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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Awareness

Group Drumming Synchronizes Heartbeats And Increases Teamwork, Research Shows

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Group Drumming Synchronizes
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Nikki Harper, Guest Writer

If you’ve ever sat in a drumming circle or even just been moved to dance by a particular rhythm, you’ll already understand something about the power of drumming. Research is ongoing into the therapeutic and healing benefits of drumming, and into the way in which drumming can help to prolong and maintain cognitive health too. New research this year has also revealed how drumming in a group can lead to the synchronizing of heart rhythms – which in turn can lead to better group performance on other unrelated tasks.

In this latest research, scientists at Bar-Ilan University and its Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center joined forces with the department of music to explore how drumming can contribute towards group cohesion and teamwork. The study, published in May in the journal Scientific Reports involved 51 groups each with three participants, whose heart data – including the time interval between individual heart beats (IBI) was continuously monitored [1].

Each member of each group participated through a drumming pad as part of an electronic drum set shared with the other group members. They were asked to match their drumming to a rhythm which was played on speakers. Half of the groups were given a steady and predictable tempo to match, while the other half was given a constantly changing rhythm to work to. This meant that researchers could analyse the synchronization efforts between group members, while reviewing changes in IBI during the experiment, which were found to synchronize.

Each group was later asked to improvise drumming together, and it was found that the groups who had shown the highest levels of synchronization during the original task also showed greater co-ordination and synchronization during the improvisations – to a statistically significant level, beyond what one might expect randomly [1].

The researchers hypothesize that drumming together, and the behavioural co-ordination this requires, contributes to the bonding of a group, and thereby enhances their ability to perform well together as a cohesive whole. This may have important implications for human co-operation and teamwork on a larger scale [1].

Meanwhile, research elsewhere has found links between drumming, intelligence, good timing and problem-solving abilities. Neuroscientist David Eagleman conducted research with professional drummers, which took place at Brian Eno’s studio [2] – Eno having previously suggested that drummers’ brains worked differently to those of other people. Apparently, he was correct – the research showed a ‘huge statistical difference’ [3] between the brains of the drummers versus control subjects.

Could this new knowledge be used to help counter cognitive decline? Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart thinks so. He has been collaborating with the University of California on a project to create a drumming app which he hopes can be used to help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s [4].

Meanwhile, we know that previous research has found numerous physiological benefits from drumming, including reducing stress levels, boosting the immune system, helping to alleviate chronic pain and even increasing cancer killing cells.

In many ways, drumming is a universal language, and almost a primal instinct. By appreciating and taking part in drumming, it seems that we can also enhance our understanding of other rhythms in life, such as human co-operation – while also keeping our brains active and healthy, and supporting our emotional instincts [5]. What’s not to love about that?

Sources
  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-65670-1
  2. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/04/25/the-possibilian
  3. http://www.openculture.com/2020/01/neuroscience-of-drumming.html
  4. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2018/mickey-hart-alzheimers-awareness.html
  5. https://project-resiliency.org/resiliency/the-benefits-of-druming/
About the Author

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and Wake Up World’s editor.

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3 Powerful Indigenous Herbs From North America

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3 Powerful Indigenous Herbs From North America
Photo Credit: Getty

Nick PolizziGuest Writer

Growing up, I was fascinated by the hundreds of interesting plants that grew in the forests behind my childhood home in rural Connecticut. We would wander down old forgotten trails for hours, lost in the greenery and enchanted by the timelessness of the place.

I would later come to realize that these old woods are home to one of the most extensive systems of indigenous medicine in the world.

We now know that the original inhabitants of North America were extremely advanced, far beyond what our textbooks and cowboy movies would have us believe. One need only examine the hundreds of gigantic temple mounds that still stand, from the southern Mississippi Valley all the way up into the Great Lakes region, to understand the hidden capability of these cultures. According to respected archaeologists, the first of these mind boggling earth works was constructed 1,000 years before the Great Pyramids of Egypt!

Perhaps the clearest window into the highly evolved technologies that Native American communities possess is their back-of-the-hand familiarity with the medicines of the forest. In fact, the early explorers of the new world relied heavily upon indigenous herbals and would not have survived without them.

Known for unprecedented generosity to strangers, tribal elders often shared this knowledge with European trappers and frontiersmen with little to no expectation of compensation. Plant wisdom was not seen as a possession to be hoarded or leveraged for personal gain. One’s intimate understanding of both plant and man came with a built-in responsibility to use these tools for the benefit of all – even the odd pale-skinned newcomers from the east.

A far cry from our patent-crazed The Big Pharma System of today right?

I tread very lightly on this sacred topic out of deep respect for the richness of each native tribe that lives, or has lived on this continent. Each group has their own distinct medicine tradition and too often they are lumped together under one homogenized label. We never share indigenous herbal knowledge without the express permission of the healer and their community to do so.

Also important: Because of over-harvesting and deforestation, many North American herbs including American Ginseng, are now endangered in certain regions. When seeking out these powerful plants, please make sure to source them from a conscious and sustainable outfit. For more information on how to safely harvest and protect the precious herbs of the world, visit the hard working community at United Plant Savers (www.unitedplantsavers.org)

Without further ado – the three Native American herbs below were shared with foreign settlers centuries ago and are still widely used because of their effectiveness. They are shining examples of the extraordinary contribution that the native civilizations of North America have made to herbal and clinical medicine.

“All plants are our brothers and sisters.

They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them.”

— Arapaho Proverb

American Ginseng: Panax quinquefolius

When many of us think of ginseng our minds immediately leap across the Pacific Ocean to Asia, but an equally potent version of this plant has been used here in North America for thousands of years. The Seneca celebrate American Ginseng as one of the five most valuable plant medicines, and are not alone in their sentiments.

Like so many other herbs, French traders in Quebec quickly recognized American ginseng for its medicinal value and began purchasing large quantities back in the 1600 and 1700s.

What it’s good for:

Unlike the Asian variety which warms and stimulates the body (promoting the “yang” – or masculine forces within us), American ginseng does quite the opposite. Known for its cooling properties, American ginseng is often used to stabilize fever, reduce swelling, and flush out the digestive tract.

The Cherokee, Mohegan, and Potawatomi often dried the herb and brewed it into therapeutic teas. Known as a robust adaptogen, it has been shown to reduce many types of stress – both physical and mental.

“Panax”, the first word in its latin name, comes from the Greek word for panacea, meaning “all healing”. High praise is built right into the title!

Goldenseal: Hydrastis Canadensis

Called the “universal herb” for over 300 years, the goldenseal is a perennial that thrives in the forests of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia – particularly in the Appalachian region. It was most likely introduced to early colonists by the Iroquois and its use as a medicinal has spread like wildfire since then.

What it’s good for:

True to its reputation as the “universal herb”, goldenseal was used in a wide variety of applications. It was highly favoured as a diuretic, liver cleanser, and was commonly infused in cold water to treat sore or itchy eyes. The Catawbas boiled the root and drank its tea to alleviate jaundice, stomach ulcers, and cold sores.

If you’re feeling adventurous – the Cherokee were known to grind the root into a powder and mix it with bear grease to create an insect repellent. The bear grease can be substituted with other vegetable based oils!

Black Cohosh: Actaea racemosa

Also known as “black snakeroot”, the black cohosh is a tall, white flowered plant that is quite common in the woodlands of the Lake Ontario region all the way down to Georgia. The word “cohosh” comes from the Algonquin term for “rough”, which is a reference to the plant’s gnarled root structure. This subterranean portion of the plant, or rhizome, is where the medicine is in this herb.

What it’s good for:

The black cohosh has been a go-to remedy in women’s health for centuries. It is used by Native American healers to treat menstrual cramps, sooth hot flashes, and alleviate post-menopausal depression.

Lately, black cohosh has become a popular herbal supplement in health food stores and many claim it has even broader applications, although these have not been scientifically proven yet.

Interesting fact: Both goldenseal and the black cohosh are in the buttercup family!

I hope you find the herbs above to be of benefit to yourself and your loved ones. Again, we carry a deep respect for the native cultures who brought us this vital knowledge and are honoured to be in a position to pass it along to you.

Stay curious,

Nick Polizzi – Founder, The Sacred Science

Recommended Articles by Nick Polizzi
About the Author

Nick Polizzi has spent his career directing and editing feature length documentaries about natural alternatives to conventional medicine. Nick’s current role as director of The Sacred Science documentary and author of “The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World” stems from a calling to honour, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the world.

For more, visit www.thesacredscience.com.

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How Stress Impacts Your Body – And How To Fight Back

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Kate Harveston, Guest Writer

When you feel overwhelmed, your thoughts start racing through every conceivable scenario. You grow irritable, and little things that previously didn’t bother you begin to drive you crazy.

You know how too much tension affects your mind and mood, but what about your body? As it turns out, stress can have multiple adverse effects and even shorten your lifespan. Here’s what you need to know, as well as techniques to help you calm yourself. 

How Stress Impacts You Physically

You go for a hike, and you see a bear. Automatically, several physiological changes take place. Your eyes send a message to your amygdala, which then cries SOS to your hypothalamus. That gets your central nervous system in gear and triggers your adrenal glands to release adrenaline, soon followed by cortisol. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase to supply critical oxygen to your muscles to prepare you for fight or flight. This process all occurs before you start tiptoeing backward.

In a short-term crisis like the above, your body returns to homeostasis, or a normal resting state, once the threat passes. However, while you can beat a retreat before mama bear spies you, it’s more challenging to escape looming deadlines, micromanaging bosses and bill collectors. This prolonged stress keeps your cortisol levels high. 

Small doses of cortisol improve immune function and relieve pain, but your body gets used to elevated levels during periods of ongoing disquiet. As a result, the hormone loses its palliative effect and leads to inflammation. 

The current pandemic creates the perfect meltdown pot. Women, in particular, feel the crunch. While both sexes must adjust to the new reality, women tend to carry a greater sense of responsibility than their male counterparts. When it comes to juggling home-schooling the kids with telecommuting, the lioness is most likely to step up to the plate — and shoulder the burden of added stress. 

A prolonged stress response damages nearly every system in your body. Stress hormones directly impact your heart and increase oxygen demand through your body, making it pump harder. It can also interfere with the electrical impulses this organ relies on to function properly, which can lead to an attack or stroke. 

Stress also impacts your gastrointestinal system. You might recall a time when you got butterflies in your stomach before a performance review or the first day at a new job. People with autoimmune or inflammatory bowel disease often experience worsening symptoms when things grow tense. Researchers suspect this may be due to changes in your intestinal microbiota, or beneficial bacteria that inhabit the area.

Perhaps most frighteningly right now, stress can hinder your immune response. Studies in rats show that the number of T-cells, a critical type of white blood cell for fighting infection, decreases significantly when subjected to repeated tension over several days. If the mere thought of running out for groceries sends you into a paroxysm of fear about catching the COVID-19 virus, your emotions could ironically increase your chances of getting sick. 

What You Can Do to Manage Stress During Uncertain Times 

Getting a grip on your stress levels can benefit your overall health significantly. How can you do so, though, when so much uncertainty abounds, even among world leaders? Try these techniques to manage your emotions positively:

  • Meditate: You don’t need to spend a dime to learn how to meditate. All you need is a quiet space where you can sit and focus solely on your breath. As thoughts intrude, as they will, observe them neutrally. Then, let them go. Remember, the mere fact that you feel worried about something means it isn’t happening at present. If you prefer the guidance of a teacher, you can find ample meditation videos on YouTube for free.
  • Exercise: When you work out, your body releases endorphins, natural feel-good chemicals that help you to relax. For best results, keep your fitness time to under an hour. While moderate exercise decreases your cortisol levels, prolonged bouts can raise them. Save the marathon training for a less anxious time. 
  • Do yoga: Yoga unites your breath and body movement. It combines the mental benefits of meditation with the physical perks of exercise. You don’t need any equipment except perhaps a mat, and you can find ample free videos online. 
Lower Your Stress Levels and Improve Your Health

If you want to improve your physical health, it pays to start by getting a handle on your stress. By using natural, holistic techniques to tame the tension tiger, you can improve the length and quality of your years.

About the Author

Kate is a health and wellness journalist with an interest in holistic healing and all-natural living. If you enjoy her work, you can visit her blogSo Well, So Woman.

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Let Food Be Your Cosmetic: Coconut Oil Outperforms Dangerous Petroleum Body Care Products

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Artem Beliaikin

Sayer JiContributing Writer

What you put on your skin goes directly into your body. Indeed, human autopsy studies have shown that mineral oil widely permeates our internal organs; major moisturizer brands have been found to cause tumour formation in treated animals. All the more reason why we need healthy “food cosmetics” as alternatives to petroleum-derived body care products.

It boggles the imagination how most mass market body care products today are almost entirely composed of petroleum-derived chemicals, whose toxicity are thoroughly established. Take parabens as an example. These endocrine-disrupting, estrogen-like petrochemicals have been found at concentrations 1 million times higher than the estrogen (estradiol) levels naturally found in human breast tissue, leading to the highly concerning conclusion that human hormones are now being eclipsed by synthetic chemicals.

When we slather these chemical concoctions onto our skin, they enter directly into the lymphatic and circulatory systems, depositing in internal organs and body fat. And unlike things you ingest orally, there is no “gate keeping” liver there to protect you from these chemicals entering rapidly into your body through your skin. This is why, of course, you should never put on your body anything you cannot, or would not eat.

Unfortunately, major trusted brands have been found to be just as bad as more generic, cheaper ones in this respect, making it exceedingly difficult to avoid harm unless you are already wise to the issue and using completely natural body care products.

For instance, back in 2009, the Journal of Investigative Dermatology published a highly concerning study titled “Tumorigenic effect of some commonly used moisturizing creams when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice,” wherein branded moisturizers, including Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream (Eucerin), or Vanicream, were found to increase the rate of formation and number of tumours when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice.[1]

Chemical industry public relations spokespersons love to point out that we are not mice, implying that preclinical research like this should not throw up a red flag. Should we be made to wait for the very industries guilty of poisoning us to voluntarily fund multi-million dollar, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials to determine whether their products are not also causing cancer in humans? Short of a legal mandate, self-incriminating research like this will never be performed, and not only because such a study would be highly unethical (i.e. intentionally poisoning trial subjects), but because it will reveal a truth fraught with immense legal and financial liabilities. Needless to say, a logical approach would be to apply the precautionary principle so that when animal toxicological risk assessments show harm, instead of extrapolating an Orwellian “acceptable level of harm” to humans, we take the sane step of avoiding human exposure altogether.

Crude Awakening: Mineral Oil Contaminates Everyone’s Bodies

Sadly, the reality is that we are not only immersed in a sea of petrochemical products, but we bioaccumulate them in our bodies over the decades, carrying them with us to our early graves.

As we disclosed in a previous article titled “Crude Awakening: Mineral Oil Contaminates Everyone’s Bodies,” one of the only studies ever performed on the topic of petrochemical accumulation in the human body found that 48% of the livers and 46% of the spleens of the 465 autopsies analysed showed signs of mineral-oil induced lipogranuloma (a nodule of necrotic, fatty tissue associated with granulomatous inflammation or a foreign-body reaction around a deposit of an oily substance), indicating just how widespread pathological tissue changes associated with petrochemical exposure really are.

And why should be surprised? Petroleum is everywhere. We build and power our cars from it. We implant plastic into our breasts, and we coat our vegetables with USDA/FDA-approved ‘food grade petroleum.’ Our entire global food system is driven by nitrogen urea based fertilizers, pesticides and related agrichemicals which are all petrochemical in origin. Oil derived hydrocarbons form the basis for the molecular building blocks of many synthetic patent medicines, and even some of our vitamins (e.g. dl-alpha tocopherol). Our foreign policy is largely based on invading countries for ostensibly political/ethical reasons who just happen to be sitting on ‘our oil’ (i.e. War = Resource Procurement).  It is hard to imagine how we might escape our dependence on the petrochemical industrial establishment, given how vertically integrated it is into every facet of modern life, including the very fabric of our bodies.

But there are concrete steps we can take to improve the situation, starting with our own bodies. One of those is to bring back ancient ‘food cosmetics’ like coconut oil.

In a previous post, we discussed the 13 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil, but we did not mention its beneficial effects on hair and skin. While coconut oil has been used for millennium as food, medicine and cosmetic, only in the past few decades has scientific research emerged confirming its ancient uses.

Coconut Oil Is Superior to Mineral Oil for Treating Dry Skin

A 2004 randomized double-blind, controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis (dry skin) found that coconut oil performed equally well, as far as objective measurements, and better than mineral oil, as far as the subjective perceptions of those using it.[2]

Coconut Oil Is Superior to Mineral Oil at Protecting the Hair

A 2001 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that coconut penetrates the hair shaft while mineral oil does not. This difference was attributed to coconut oil’s higher affinity with hair protein. The researchers explained their findings further:

The results show that coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft while mineral oil does not. The difference may be due to the polarity of the coconut oil compared to the nonpolar nature of the mineral oil. The affinity of the penetrant to the protein seems to be the cause for this difference in their behavior. This study also indicates that the swelling of hair is limited by the presence oil. Since the process of swelling and deswelling of hair is one of the causes of hair damage by hygral fatigue, coconut oil, which is a better penetrant than mineral oil, may provide better protection from damage by hygral fatigue.”[3]

Coconut Oil Protects the Scalp from Fungal Infections

Another study published back in 1993 in the journal Mycoses looked at the use of various commonly used hair oil preparations in India. They found that coconut oil was effective at inhibiting the skin fungi known as dermatophytes, lending a possible explanation for why the fungal infection of the scalp, a condition known as tinea capitis, is so rare in India.[4]

Coconut Oil + Anise Beats Pesticide Spray for Lice

A 2010 study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics found that coconut and anise spray can be a significantly more effective than the highly toxic insecticide Permethrin as an alternative treatment for head louse infestation.[5]

Increasingly, science confirms the value of traditional folk medicine in disease prevention and treatment. After many years of vast misrepresentation, coconut oil has gained wider acceptance not simply as a wholesome food, but as a medicinal agent capable of both nourishing and healing the body in ways that xenobiotic chemicals by their very nature cannot.

Resources
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, osign-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.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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