Essential oils can remedy these 7 common ailments, naturally and toxin-free!

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Because of their concentrated property, essential oils can have benefits that are up to 100 times more powerful than their dried herb counterparts. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they can do incredible things to heal your aches, skin and even psyche!

As we noted previously, most essential oils are high in antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties, making them very suitable replacements for cleaners, wound treatment and salves big and small. They also have a small molecular size, which means they are absorbed well by the skin. Adding them to your lotions and salves induces healing, softening, and nourishing. However, if you’re worried, they do not accumulate in the body over time – they simply offer up their healing properties and then pass on through.

Essential oils are definitely an investment money-wise, so to make sure you’re getting the best effects out of your essential oils, be sure to reference our guide before buying out the store.

Despite their higher cost, they are well worth it. Check out this list of common health issues that we all face; there is an essential oil to counter each of them!

Sore Muscles:

Arthritis, rheumatic, sciatica and lower back pain have met their match. Black spruce oil can ease muscle tension. This is an evergreen extract that is getting a name for itself for soothing soreness and reducing inflammation. Historically, the Native Americans used spruce for medicinal, spiritual and practical reasons. They used it for protection and capturing the universal energy here on earth the earth plane. Now, it’s an effective remedy for your post-workout soreness or recurring muscle aches.

Cough or Cold:

Eucalyptus is a powerful antispasmodic, antiviral and antibacterial oil that is ideal for coughs and colds. Adding a few drops to a basin of steaming water to inhale, or a vaporizer, can help disinfect and clear both the nasal passages and lungs. Some eucalyptus on a handkerchief is a handy way to inhale the powerful oil throughout the day, and regular use during cold season may help prevent a full cold.

Fatigue:

Ever taken a whiff of peppermint? You feel fresh and peppy after just smelling your mint tea or peppermint latte! Simply inhaling the peppermint scent usually has this great energizing effect. Take advantage of it by adding a few drops to massage oil or an aromatic diffuser (a device that spreads the scents of essential oils). It’s thanks to the menthol in peppermint that brings on an intense cooling feeling. However, when you put it on your skin, make sure it’s diluted first, as its concentrated form can be a bit overwhelming for your sensitive skin.

Stressed Out:

Lavender oil is just the cure you’ve been looking for. If you’ve never indulged in a sweet lavender bath, you’ll never go back! Just add a few drops to a hot bath; you’ll melt with relaxation in the tub. Do this relaxing ritual before bed, and you’ll knock out like never before. How it works: when inhaled, the tiny molecules of essential oils from the lavender family have been shown to affect the limbic system, which influences emotions, behavior, breathing and stress.

Skin Woes:

Lots of acne? Scars? Aging skin? Add a little rosehip seed oil into your daily facial scream to help oxygenate and heal skin, as well as slow the signs of aging. Rosehip seed oil is high in unsaturated fatty acids, which can help regenerate cell membranes, minimize age spots and wrinkles, reduce scars and treat sun damage.

Out of Focus:

There’s a bit of research being done that shows that the scent of vetiver oil might help you with concentration and memory (if you’re a student, this could come in handy while studying for finals!). It comes from the roots of a perennial grass. Just dab some oil on your temples or the base of your neck when you’re facing distraction or about to head into a concentration-heavy situation.

Wounds:

If you or a family member receive a cut, infected wound or scrape, use melrose oil. Melrose will help prevent infection, especially in open wounds. It is an excellent antiseptic and tissue regenerator. To use, dilute it in a 50/50 ratio (one part essential oil: one part of vegetable oil). Then, you can apply several drops (2-4) to cuts, burns, rashes or wound.



Why Do We Sleep? For More Reasons Than You May Think

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Most of us spend about a third of our lives asleep, despite not really having an answer to the question, ‘why do we sleep?’ Now neuroscientists are realizing that sleep is more important than previously thought. They’re also realizing that the worn-out platitude, “you can sleep when you die,” is terrible advice, as that day will undoubtedly come sooner if you short yourself on a good night’s sleep.

You need to be getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night — there’s really no other way around it. And if you think you can healthily get by on less than that, there’s an almost 100 percent chance you’re fooling yourself.

Why is Sleep Important?

While the exact mechanisms of sleep are still being studied, neuroscientists like Matthew Walker, have discovered some interesting learnings about our bodies’ ability to function; what happens when we deprive ourselves of sleep; and the impacts sleep can have on society as a whole.

When we’re awake, Walker says that essentially, we’re causing low-level brain damage. By this he is referring to the build-up of the sticky, toxic junk in our brain, known as beta-amyloid. This accumulation of beta amyloid has been found to correspond with the onset of Alzheimer’s, among many other negative health effects correlated with a lack of sleep.

And sleep is beneficial as more than just a reparatory function, it also replenishes spent resources, and regulates hormone levels that dictate our appetite, cognitive function, and motor skills.

The two hormones that dictate whether we are hungry or full, leptin and ghrelin, have been observed to flare in the opposite direction when we are deprived of sleep. This inevitably leads to an increase in hunger, but even worse, it leads our bodies to crave unhealthy and fattening foods; those with heavy carbs, and less greens. In fact, people who run on four to five hours of sleep per night, tend to eat 200 to 300 more calories per day.

For men, sleep is an important regulator of hormones, most notably testosterone. Sleep deprived males can have the same virility and strength of a man 10 years their senior. For women, a lack of sleep can lead to a significantly increased risk of breast cancer and drops in immune hormones.

According to Walker, just introducing a single night of four-hours sleep among a normal eight-hour sleep schedule, can bring about a 70 percent drop in natural cancer killing cells; the immune assassins that target malignant carcinogens.

Every day our bodies produce these cells and others to fend off disease and maintain our health, and while a cat nap might make you feel refreshed, it won’t make up for the loss of these cells.

 

Listen to Kat Duff talk about the importance of a good night’s sleep on this episode of Open Minds:

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