Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Essential Oil Profile: Ginger Essential Oil a Top Pick for Winter

Ginger Zingiber officinale is a member of the Zingiberaceae family and is cultivated in many tropical and subtropical countries. Commonly called common ginger, Jamaican ginger, and ginger root, it should not be confused with galangal oil, Alpinia officinarum, which is also called ginger root.

Ginger oil is produced from dried, whole rhizomes, as well as peelings and shavings if used immediately. The oil has a green or yellowish color and a fresh, spicy, and pungent aroma. The aroma is long-lasting and adds a spicy sweetness to blends. Ginger blends well with essential oils like cedarwood, coriander, frankincense, grapefruit, lime, neroli, orange, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, and vetiver.

For a Winter Blah pick me up, try this essential oil bath salt blend:

Grapefruit Citrus paradisi essential oil: 6 drops
Elemi Canarium luzonicum essential oil: 6 drops
Ginger Zingiber officinale essential oil: 4 drops
Sandalwood Santalum album essential oil: 2 drops
Epsom salts: 1 cup
Sea or mineral salts: 1/2 cup
White clay: 1/8 cup

Mix all ingredients together in bowl and sift. Add 4 tablespoons to one full bath; add after the bath has filled. Essential oils can be added as either single oils or as blends.

Download more information about essential oils for winter from our post Essential Oils for Winter HERE.

*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, heal, or prevent disease. You should always consult with your primary care physician, a naturopathic doctor, or a Registered Aromatherapist before making any significant changes in your health and wellness routine. A skin patch test is always recommended.

Monday, February 14, 2011

ACHS Learning Vacations in Greece Offer Hands-On Art, Aromatherapy, and Herbalism Education in Relaxing Mediterranean Locale

American College of Healthcare Sciences is proud to announce its 2011 study abroad summer programs in Greece. Week-long expert-led study abroad programs include Watercolor Journaling in Greece (May 27-June 2) and Mediterranean Herbs and Essential Oils in Greece (June 4-9, 2011).

ACHS study abroad programs are scheduled to coincide with the flowering and harvest time of a variety of Mediterranean plants. Each program emphasizes the health benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle, including the Mediterranean-style diet, the health promoting properties of local plants and herbs, and the importance of relaxation. Programs include two meals per day prepared from fresh, local, nutritious herbs and produce. Programs are limited to 20 students.

“Immersing yourself in the fragrant aromas of Mediterranean plants while learning about holistic approaches to health and wellness,” says ACHS President and program leader Dorene Petersen, “is a fantastic way to study aromatherapy, herbalism, and art with a focus on total health.”

ACHS Watercolor Journaling in Greece with Jacqueline Newbold runs May 27-June 2, 2011 in Syros, Greece. This dynamic class will motivate artists of all skill levels to record their journeys in a creative and unique way using watercolor and mixed media. Students will explore ways to make their watercolor travel journal interesting and reflective of their experiences through painting the Greek landscape and the essence of the Greek lifestyle.
Open to students, faculty, alumni, and the general public. Registration deadline is April 1! For more information and to register, visit http://www.achs.edu/course-desc.aspx?pid=207&id=61

ACHS Mediterranean Herbs and Essential Oils in Greece runs June 4-9, 2011 in Syros, Greece. Led by ACHS President and Wellness Expert Dorene Petersen, Guerilla Distiller Robert Seidel and Aromatherapist Mindy Green, this program provides hands-on experience working with Mediterranean herbs and essential oils for therapeutic use, including: making preparations, harvesting cultivated and wildcrafted botanicals, essential oil distillation, and therapeutic blending of essential oils.
Open to students, faculty, alumni, and the general public. Registration deadline is April 1! For more information and to register, visit http://www.achs.edu/course-desc.aspx?pid=208&id=61

Monday, February 7, 2011

Natural Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Help Improve Health and Wellness

Live your life as if your health depends on it…because it does! Making healthy lifestyle choices is a conscious act. That means, everyone is responsible for the choices they make. Health does not happen automatically or because someone else wants you to make changes. We make healthy choices when good health is something we want and value.

How, then, do we promote good health once we recognize it as a priority? Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Food provides energy for performing the activities of life. Eating is not just something you do when you're hungry. Food fuels our bodies, because within the food itself (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) are the components our bodies use to generate energy, to grow and repair, and to fight invaders like toxins.

2. Balance your plate. Finding a healthy balance of food (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) may be easier than you think. Split your plate into three sections. Then, fill half your plate with vegetables and salad; fill one-quarter of your plate with your protein (poultry, fish, beans, etc.); and fill the rest of your plate with whole grains (barley, pasta, etc.).

3. Eat frequently. Skipping meals can lead to increased production of hormones that cause muscle loss. Eat frequently. Three small meals and 2-3 snacks daily are recommended.

To read the full-length article, Natural Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Help Improve Health and Wellness, click HERE.

How to Use Essential Oils to Help Reduce Risk of Viral Infection

Essential oils can be used in the home as antiviral cleaning products. A diffuser used with essential oils like eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus, lemon balm Melissa officinalis, peppermint Mentha piperita var. vulgaris, or thyme Thymus vulgaris may reduce the airborne viruses in a room.

Essential oils can also be added to hand creams to help reduce the spread of viruses by contact. Of course, these should be used in addition to the common sense CDC recommendations to wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth and nose with your arm when you sneeze, and to stay home if you are sick.

Winter can be a challenging time because there is the potential for many people to be sick with a cold or flu at the same time, but we can use natural support options, such as essential oils, to keep us healthy.

To read the full-length article "The Antiviral Activity of Essential Oils", click HERE.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, heal, or prevent disease. Always consult with your primary care provider for a proper diagnosis if you think you may have the seasonal flu or the H1N1 flu, and follow their recommendations.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Health Benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract

BY ACHS Student Emily Stein, Diploma in Holistic Health Practice

The grapefruit originated in Barbados with documentation of its growth dating back to 1750. Known for its high vitamin C content and body-cleansing properties, grapefruit can help the body maintain homeostasis. Though less well-known, grapefruit seed extract (GSE), also known as Citricidal, has been used by healthcare professionals for decades.

How GSE works is somewhat of a mystery. GSE seems to disorganize the cytoplasmic membrane of the pathogens which prevents uptake of amino acids. Leakage of cellular content contributes to the inactivation of the pathogens which eventually leads to their destruction. What is puzzling, however, is that viruses do not have a cell membrane yet GSE acts as an antiviral remedy. Virtually no toxicity to the body coupled with immune support makes GSE “the smallest portable medicine chest in the world,” according to Shalila Sharamon and Bodo J. Baginsky in their book The Healing Power of Grapefruit Seed.

Another advantage to GSE is its alkalizing effect on the body. As many people today suffer from acidification, which encourages pathogen growth and proliferation, GSE is an easy and gentle way to increase body pH and is proving itself to be of widespread use. GSE is an easily digested liquid that is concentrated, making it cost effective. It is generally hypoallergenic, which is advantageous to people who suffer from food allergies, even citrus allergies.

Read the full-text article in the February 2011 issue of the ACHS newsletter, The Reporter, HERE.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Essential Oil Profile: Cinnamon Essential Oil Warming in Winter

Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum has a long history of use. For example, did you know the Egyptians used cinnamon in their mummification process? Historically, cinnamon was also used as an ingredient in a medicinal tonic called "hippocras," and was blended with ginger and cloves. Today, cinnamon is most commonly known as a culinary flavoring. But, cinnamon essential oil has many health promoting properties worth exploring.

The active constituents in cinnamon essential oil include aldehydes, which are antifungal [1,2], antimicrobial, and antiseptic, as well as the oxide 1,8 cineole, trans-cinnamic acid, and terpenes, among others. Traditional uses include: slow circulation, colds, cough, gums, infection, influenza, lice, intestinal parasites, stomach cramp, and stress, to name a few.

Aromatically, cinnamon has a spicy, slightly woody scent, which can be warming in colder months. Cinnamon blends well with benzoin, frankincense, myrrh, orange, peppermint, and ylang yang.

Download our Cinnamon Air Purification Blend from our post Essential Oils for Winter.

1. Lima EO, Gompertz OF, Giesbrecht AM, et al. In vitro antifungal activity of essential oils obtained from official plants against dermatophytes. Mycoses 1993;36 (9-10):333-336.

2. Viollon C, Chaumont J-P. Antifungal Properties of Essential Oils and Their Compounds upon of Cryptococcus neoformans. Mycopatholgia 1994;128 (3):151-153.

*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. You should always consult with your primary care physician, naturopathic doctor, or Registered Aromatherapist before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.