As winter storms recently buried the North, I thought of some of our friends in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Illinois and so on. Don't worry if your essential oils are delivered in cold weather, even if they have to sit outside for a good while. Dr. David Stewart writes, "even in the extreme, cold never hurt any oil - regardless of whether it is essential, expressed, absolute or a carrier blend. If your oils are ever chilled to the freezing point, don't apply any heat to thaw them out. Keep the lids on and just let them warm up gradually to room temperature, and they will be fine."
While I’m covering the temperature topic, we have friends in the deep south who want to know about the effects of heat on the essential oils. I try to protect my essential oils from excessive heat, yet I do realize that true essential oils are the product of distillation at temperatures well above the boiling point of water (212F or 100C). They prove themselves to be stable at these high temperatures or else they would not be worth much to us once the high temperatures separated them from the plant. The flash point of some essential oils is between 100-140F (38-60C), which means that the lightest oil components may temporarily separate, vaporizing in the sealed bottle. The good news is that, once the bottle has cooled back down, these components condense and become liquid again, leaving their chemical makeup unaltered. If your essential oils do get too warm, keep the lids on until they have cooled back down. If you must open a bottle that is too warm, the lightest compounds may escape and alter the balance of the oil. In that case, your oil will likely not be as effective as before the incident.
Expressed oils such as Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime (although our Lime is distilled) Mandarin, Orange and Tangerine, can be damaged by temperatures in excess of 100F (38C), and they need to be kept in moderate temperatures. Blends with these oils in them are included. We try to keep our citrus oils and blends that contain them in temperatures we feel comfortable in. If they have been subject to temperatures over 90F, allow them to cool down before removing the lids. If damaged, they will smell different than when they were fresh, and the damage will reduce their therapeutic value.
Absolutes fragrances, such as Jasmine, are destroyed by excessive heat (90F or 32C). They are slightly more sensitive to heat than expressed oils. Normal room temperatures help them maintain their delicate chemistry.
Carrier oils are typically cold pressed because heat makes them susceptible to undesirable alteration. When fatty oil molecules break down, we say they have become “rancid.” Blends that contain carrier oils, should be kept reasonably cool and will last longer if refrigerated.
Stewart, David Ph.D, D.N.M., The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple, 2005, pages 431-436.
A recent article by Serena Gordon from the HealthDay Reporter, quoted John McBride, M.D.: "I think we owe it to our patients and their parents to make it clear that maybe acetaminophen [Tylenol] is bad. And, if there are alternatives, people might want to use those alternatives until they know acetaminophen is safe. [S]ome researchers believe acetaminophen increases airway inflammation in people with asthma or a predisposition to the breathing disorder." McBride said that the evidence is stronger that acetaminophen exacerbates current asthma, but that there's also evidence that it may be a cause of asthma, too.
For more information about the dangers of using Tylenol:
Little Known Dangers of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) by Life Extension Magazine
Thankfully, essential oils offer a safe, natural and effective alternative to toxic drugs such as Tylenol. (The label on the box of Tylenol states that it is toxic to the liver.) We've found that just a few premium grade essential oils can be used for a myriad of common ailments.
• Arthritis - Pain-X, Peppermint or Birch applied topically as desired
• Back Pain - Pain-X, Muscle Relax or Peppermint applied topically as desired
• Earache - Lavender, Tea Tree or Cleansing, diluted and gently massaged around the ear and down the neck. Earache Relief blend has been very effective.
• Ear Infection - Ear Infection blend works well. A drop on a cotton ball in the ear opening eases the pain (never drop essential oils into the ear). Research shows that Basil is very effective for ear infection. Ear Infection blend combines Basil with the penetrating power of Helichrysum blend with Emu oil for a very effective remedy.
• Fever - Fever indicates that the body is working to defend itself from the invader. If the fever regulator allows it to soar too high, Peppermint applied to bottoms of feet may help to reduce it. This can be repeated every 10 minutes if necessary. Caution: Peppermint can reduce milk supply if used on a regular basis, and it's not recommended during pregnancy. If pregnant, don't apply to the abdomen.
• Headache - Peppermint, Headache Relief or Pain-X applied to temples (avoid the eyes) and back of neck. A drop of Peppermint on the tongue and held to the roof of the mouth is also effective.
• Menstrual Cramps - Woman Ease blend has helped many with this issue.
• Migraine - Lavender, Peppermint, Basil, Headache Relief or Migraine Relief applied to temples (avoid the eyes) and back of neck. A drop of Peppermint on the tongue and held to the roof of the mouth is also effective.
• Muscle Aches - Peppermint, Birch, Pain-X or Muscle Relax blend are all soothing and effective.
• Sinus Issues - Myrtle can be swabbed in nostrils, Respiratory Relief is effective topically and in a diffuser or inhaler and Nasal Rescue can be added to a nasal rinse with a neti pot.
• Sore Throat - A drop of Plague Defense in a glass with just enough water added to gargle. Gargle (avoid getting this on the lips) and swallow. Apply Plague Defense to the bottoms of feet and diffuse. Alternatively, Tea Tree can also be gargled.
• Toothache - Clove or Plague Defense on the gum. Pain-X (may need to dilute) on the jaw.
This list covers some common acute health issues where people have reached for Tylenol. For chronic issues where long-term use is desired, please consult your heath care provider.
Click here for the most common health care topics that we are contacted about and testimonies using essential oils as alternatives. Testimonies are perhaps the best way for others to find the answers they are searching for. If you have testimonies you'd like to share, we'd love to add them.
Heritage Essential Oils' Sweet Birch is grown and distilled in the Adirondack region of Canada, while much of the Wintergreen on the market is from China. It is our understanding that true, steam-distilled Birch essential oil is no longer produced commercially on a large scale because it is not economically feasible to compete with other products such as Wintergreen oil which, in terms of chemistry, is practically identical.
Recently though, we located some amazing quality Adirondack Birch essential oil that is produced by a family distillery on a very small scale, and, to our knowledge, it is the only authentic Birch oil known to be on the market today.
The quality of this oil is amazing. True Birch essential oil is expensive because the bark has to be macerated and soaked in warm water for 10-12 hours minimum before it can be distilled. The yield is very low, and the oil is technically more difficult to collect from the distillation because it's more dense than water, so the oil layer sinks to the bottom of the collection apparatus instead of floating on top like most essential oils.
Be aware that most "birch oil" on the market is synthetically produced in a laboratory and is not safe in my opinion and in the opinion of many health care professionals. Much of the literature that speaks of the harm that might come from so called "birch oil" speaks of that produced in a chemical laboratory. It is not referring to pure, unadulterated Birch essential oil, which is whole and balanced as the Lord intended it to be. The scientific testing is done on the main component of birch oil, methyl salicylate, which is isolated, and when tested on animals might very well be harmful. But, when methyl salicylate is left in balance with the other minor components found in Birch, it has proven to manifest healing properties without causing harm.
When we tested Wintergreen and our Adirondack Birch essential oils side-by-side, we preferred Birch 100% of the time over Wintergreen. We asked others to test the two, and again, Birch was the winner by a 100% margin. It is an excellent choice for joint stiffness and pain, inflammation, gout, skin issues and much more. For more information about using Birch essential oil, click here.
A few years ago I learned about some research done by Gerard Judd, Ph.D, a chemist and researcher who proposed the following:
- Teeth remineralize when clean and brushed with a bar of soap [Just to be clear, I do not suggest that anyone use a commercial bar of soap - I don't even use commercial soap on my skin, let alone in my mouth!]
- Glycerine (in all tooth pastes) coats the teeth with a sticky film inhibiting remineralization.
- Bar soap does a perfect job in cleaning the teeth. The enamel thickens and becomes less sensitive. [Again, I wouldn't use commercial soap for this - homemade soap with pure ingredients would be fine.]
- Plaque, a poorly formed crystal stuck to the bottom on the enamel, is prevented and eventually removed by brushing with bar soap.
- Prevention of plaque retards gum pockets.
- Removal of fluoride from drinking water, pastes or gels saves the enzyme adenosine diphosphatase so it can deliver phosphate to calcium at the tooth surface, resulting in a beautiful, semi-flexible enamel.
- Plaque and receding gums disappear when soap is used for brushing and vitamin C is taken as in the Gum Rescue recipe.
I took Dr. Judd's findings and to pure, homemade soap added essential oils that I knew were helpful for oral health, including infection, such as Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark and Eucalyptus. I added GSE (grapefruit seed extract), which is a potent, broad spectrum anti-pathogenic compound and called the blend Tooth Suds. We've experienced amazing results by switching from typical toothpastes with glycerine, to using Tooth Suds. Positive testimonies continue to be shared with us, all of which carry similar encouraging messages: Tooth Suds works! Click here to read numerous testimonies or for more information about Tooth Suds.
A few Testimonies about Heritage Tooth Suds:
1. After using Tooth Suds and the Heritage Mouthwash for just a month, I had a "glowing" report from my hygienist on my teeth and gums. When I opened my mouth she said, "Wow, your gums look great! What have you been doing?" After poking around a bit, she exclaimed, "I feel guilty taking you money, I can't find a thing to clean! Whatever you are doing, keep it up."
2. I have to tell you how amazing your Tooth Suds are! A family member let me try this product, and from the beginning I liked the fresh taste it gave my mouth and the long-lasting 'clean feel' it imparted to my teeth. This is so different from any toothpaste I've used, and believe me, with life-long issues with sensitive teeth and bleeding gums, I've tried them all!! Not thinking much about it, I began using the Plague Defense Tooth Suds. For the first time in my life, I began to look forward to brushing my teeth, using it consistently twice a day. One morning, just 3 weeks into using your Tooth Suds, I suddenly realized my gums weren't bleeding at all when I brushed my teeth. And, unlike usual, I couldn't feel even one sensitive spot anywhere in my mouth. My teeth and gums are feeling 'strong and normal,' for the first time in years! Then recently, for about 10 days, I was doing a lot of traveling and in a hurry I took along regular toothpaste. Wouldn't you know, in that short period of time, my gums starting acting up again! Hallelujah! Blessings to you for such a simple and health-building product. I would recommend your Tooth Suds to anyone and am about to pass some on to another family member. I hope to never be without this product again!
3. I don't have any plaque buildup at all anymore, and my gums feel tight and healthy for the first time in many years.
I recently read a book by Ramiel Nagel: Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition - Limit and Avoid Dental Surgery and Fluoride [Second Edition, 2010]. I was quite surprised at the amount of information I learned and held captive by Nagel's insights, which definitely filled in some gaps in my understanding of dental health.
Despite all these good reports we've received with our Tooth Suds and Mouthwash, a close family member that I know is careful with diet and teeth cleaning, continued to get small cavities along her gum-line. Reading Nagel's book fills in some of the gaps for what might be missing in the equation for her. Nagel took a courageous leap proposing that instead of drilling, your teeth can actually heal themselves with nutrients from nutrient dense foods such as grass-fed dairy, pastured eggs, bone broth, liver, seafood and a supplement of fermented cod liver oil. Best of all, he explains in simple detail what foods contribute to tooth decay issues.
Nagel also explained how overall metabolic health, such as thyroid and pituitary function, can affect how the body regulates where minerals are deposited. He offers practical and specific advice for healing tooth decay, and he avoids condescending remarks or rigid suggestions.
As I read his book, I commented to my family that he didn't waste a moment of my time. Each sentence was worth highlighting; I had to be very selective!
For more information about Cure Tooth Decay, see Nagel's official website.
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, commonly referred to as MRSA ("mur-sa"), is a pernicious monster bacteria birthed by anti-biotics (which literally means "against life") and antibacterial mediums. As man concocts more aggressive antibiotics to fight against these increasingly destructive bacteria, the more formidable and resistant they become. These more potent antibiotics can also prove lethal to the patient and are rarely found effective against MRSA.
Consider this: If drinking too much beer causes one to become drunk, should he then drink vodka to solve his dilemma? We can see that this would be absurd. Why then would one think that using more powerful antibiotics will cure our Frankensteinian bacteria dilemma?
Thinking Outside the Box
The original remedies to man's health issues were dried herbs, infusions ( plant material extracted with a fatty oil) and, by the first century, essential oils derived from whole plants. Essential oils are the volatile liquids that are distilled from various parts of plants, including seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers and fruit. They are highly concentrated and far more potent than dried herbs.
Essential oils help fight infection, contain hormone-like compounds and aid regeneration. Research has shown that they possess potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
Essential oils have their own individual character or "blueprint"- an absolute unique identity. They are very potent and can be used in small quantites for beneficial and effective results. Each oil has an ingredient list that reads like a laboratory report - a perfectly balanced blend of complex chemicals created by the sun's energy, soil and air. It is this combination of elements that gives each oil its individual fragrance along with its particular beneficial and healing properties. Most importantly, it is impossible to synthetically produce an essential oil in its exact form, and man's attempts to isolate specific components from plants and produce their supposed "perfected" medicines in their laboratories have caused much harm on many fronts and created the MRSA monster.
Bacteria can easily crack the "code" to man-made medicines because the medicines are reproduced with laboratory exactness, whereas this same bacteria will never "crack the code" or become resistant to an essential oil because essential oils are too complex and variable from batch to batch, year to year, crop to crop. For example, although a crop of Lavender will always produce the same ensemble of components, the relative proportions of the innumerable components comprising it will vary as it is subject to the vagaries of weather, temperature and so on. These vagaries are our Creator's way to ensure their remarkable healing benefits.
Also, the molecules of essential oils are relatively small, giving them the ability to easily penetrate our cells. When topically applied to the soles of the feet or elsewhere, essential oils can travel throughout the body in a matter of minutes. Although many essential oils are recognized by the FDA as "GRAS" (Generally Regarded as Safe) for oral ingestion, we have found them to be perhaps more effective applied topically with proper dilution to avoid skin irritation.
An Effective Alternative
In 2004, the University of Manchester tests showed that Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) and Geranium killed MRSA and E.coli, as well as many other bacteria and fungi, within two minutes of contact. Based on this study, we created the blend we call MRSA-X.
In a series of laboratory tests for MRSA at the Young Living Laboratory and Weber State University in Utah, Lemongrass essential oil and a blend of oils we call Respiratory Relief completely inhibited all MRSA growth on the test plate.
These pure essential oils/blends can be used topically (dilute if necessary ~ extra virgin coconut oil is a good choice*), on location or applied to bottoms of feet. They can be added to natural lotions and rubbed on hands for protection or used in disinfecting sprays for those who visit hospitals, nursing homes, gyms and other public places. Since MRSA is typically picked up on contact instead of airborne, applying essential oils to hands may help create an invisible antimicrobial "glove" of protection.
Click here for detailed information about the essential oils mentioned or to read testimonies about treating MRSA with essential oils.
Linda's Favorite Hand Sanitizer Gel
2 oz pure aloe vera gel
10 drops essential oils
1 drop GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) optional
(Refrigerate when not in use to increase shelf life)
University of Manchester, Essential oils have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria Medical Research News Published: Tuesday, 21 Dec 2004 Medical Research News
Inhibition of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) by Essential Oils in the Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 23:444-449, (2008). This journal is published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
*Virgin Coconut Oil is used effectively internally and externally. It is antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial. Used internally, it helps your body detoxify, which is important with MRSA because it not only affects your skin, but it also poisons the blood.
The use of pure essential oils is commonly called "aroma-therapy." High-quality, pure essential oils are natural, plant-based oils that are grown without pesticides and distilled carefully with health or "therapeutic" benefits in mind. Many of these essential oils have exquisite aromas that are not only pleasant to smell, but beneficial to one's health as well.
Synthetic fragrances, on the other hand, are made from chemicals in a laboratory to imitate the smells they are supposed to represent. These are not "therapeutic" oils and should not be confused with pure, natural essential oils. Because some of the chemicals used to create synthetic fragrances are considered toxic, they should never be applied to the skin, which is the largest organ of your body.
True aromatherapy is the use of pure plant essences to improve health, and this is not possible with synthetic chemical fragrances. In 1986 the National Academy of Sciences targeted synthetic fragrances as one of the six categories of chemicals that should be given high priority for neurotoxicity testing. The report states that 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum and are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.
Synthetic fragrances are impossible to metabolize, difficult to eliminate and are cited as triggers in asthma, allergies, migraine headaches, concentration difficulties and even muscle and joint pain. Laboratory-birthed fragrances have been found to accumulate in adipose tissue, are present in breast milk, and some are suspected of being hormone disruptors, which are linked to abnormal cell reproduction and may result in tumor growth.
Even if you can "tolerate" synthetic fragrances, that doesn't mean that you are not being negatively affected by them. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found several areas of concern:
- 76% contained ingredients that are allergens
- 16% of the products they reviewed contained ingredients that may cause cancer
- 5% may contain harmful impurities linked to cancer or other health problems
- 18% contained penetration enhancers that increase exposures to carcinogens and other ingredients
- 13% posed other potential health concerns
Pure, high-quality essential oils provide a safe alternative to synthetic fragrances that wreak havoc on the immune system. Consider your perfumes, colognes, cosmetics, room fresheners, hand and laundry soaps, deodorants, dryer sheets, household cleaning products and so on. You make a wise, healthy choice when you eliminate the use of synthetic fragrances that gradually accumulate in your body as toxins that lead to disease and you opt instead for pure, plant-based essential oils that not only have wonderful aromas but effectual health benefits as well.
Heritage All-Natural Lotion
Essential Oil Perfume
Create Your Own Natural Perfume
Other Skin Care Components to Avoid
Acrylamide - found in facial creams - linked to mammary tumors
Dioxane - hidden in ingredients such as PEG, polysorbates, laureth, ethoxylated alcohols - easily absorbed into the skin, carcinogenic
Mineral Oil, Paraffin and Petrolatum - coat the skin like plastic, clog pores allowing toxins to build up, slow cellular development, are implicated in a cause of cancer and disrupt hormonal activity
Parabens - used as preservatives - hormone-disrupting qualities mimic estrogen and may disrupt endocrine system, may cause cancer
Phenol carbolic acid - may cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.
Propylene glycol - may cause dermatitis and skin irritation, may inhibit skin cell growth and is linked to kidney and liver issues
Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS or SLES) - break down skin's natural moisture barrier, easily penetrate skin and allow other chemicals easy access as well; SLS combined with other chemicals may become a "nitrosamine," which is a potent carcinogen
Toluene - made from petroleum and coal tar and found in synthetic fragrances - repeated exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, may affect developing fetus
Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace (Report by the Committee on Science and Technology. US House of Representatives, Sept. 16, 1986) [Report 99-827]
Excerpt from "Fragrance: Emerging Health and Environmental Concerns", an article accepted for publication in Flavours and Fragrance, Copyright 2002 published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
If household pests are a problem, consider diffusing an essential oil to deter them. Palmarosa and Citronella Java essential oils are naturally high in geraniol, which makes either a great insect repellent. Our Citronella Java's aroma is fresh, sweet and slightly woody, and it is an inexpensive oil to diffuse. Palmarosa has a fresh, flora/citrus aroma.
One effective method we use to deter and eliminate household insects such as ants, spiders and roaches is this:
Fill a 22 oz plastic sprayer with water
Add 10-20 drops of essential oil (we alternate what we use because we like the variety, but recently we've used Lemon Myrtle or Fresh Citrus)
Add a few drops of liquid soap (we use Castile)
Add a TB of ORGANIC ONE, which is a safe, natural and an incredibly effective insecticide that dries to a powder on the surfaces sprayed.
This spray kills small insects on contact, and the powdery residue will kill any that come along at a later date! There are no harmful components, so you don't have to worry about poisoning your children or pets (unless you have an insect for a pet!) This is not poison. It punctures the insect's exoskeleton, and then the powdery residue absorbs the pest's body fluids causing them to die quickly of dehydration.
Click here for more information about the various uses of ORGANIC ONE