Natural Xanax: No Prescription Needed!

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Stress…you don’t ever experience that, do you? I’m so glad. Me neither. Phew!! That was a short post. Y’all have a good day, now! Oh, wait, is that you furiously waving your arms in the distance? What? You feel like you’re stuck inside a pressure cooker sipping a cocktail of obligation, guilt and exhaustion?

BOY, DO I HAVE GOOD NEWS FOR YOU, OH STRESSED ONE!

I never really used to understand people who complained all the time, “I’m just so stressed out!”. Having a very laid back personality, I used to take things in stride. Go with the flow, if you will. That was back when I had hormones and life was good.

Now that I’ve quit my day job to pursue my own business(es), I should be on cloud nine, following the American dream, no boss but me. Well, let me tell you…I work harder now than I ever did playing office politics three days per week. I never stop working, or at least thinking about work. It’s all up to me now whether I earn a paycheck. On top of that, I still have 3 kids and a home to manage. And that is stressful!

Even though it’s my stress now and no one can tell me what to do, I still find myself needing a little help to unwind and be “still” so I don’t get snappy or overwhelmed. Since I’ve started on this Young Living Essential Oil journey, I’ve learned a thing or two about taming the inner tension and letting go.

TROPICAL VACATION IN A BOTTLE

What can you do when the world is on your shoulders and you feel like one more task will cause you to explode? I find relief naturally with STRESS AWAY. This is a little bit of Heaven in a bottle and one of my personal favorite scents that Young Living carries.

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Stress Away is an essential oil blend of: Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender.

Copaiba is an interesting oil from South America. It contains the highest know amounts of a compound called beta-caryophyllene of any essential oil. Guess what else has high amounts of this oil? Cannabis! Why do you think so many people reach for marijuana to self-medicate? Only, the great thing is that Copaiba doesn’t produce a high like marijuana. It has been shown in studies to act via a different pathway that helps relieve anxiety and depression. Win win!

Lime is not only invigorating and uplifting, but it is also well known for its ability to stimulate the immune system, aid in weight management and provide antioxidant support.

Cedarwood has a warm, woodsy aroma that is comforting and relaxing. I use this oil with Lavender in my diffuser at night to help with sleep.

Vanilla…well, vanilla just makes everything smell yummy!

Ocotea helps aid the body’s natural response to irritation and injury. Ocotea also has natural cleansing and purifying properties.

And then there’s Lavender. What’s not to love about Lavender? We’ll be doing a whole separate post about this one!

How do you apply Stress Away? My favorite method is to rub a few drops on my temples, behind my ears, and to my wrists any time I feel anxiety or tension creeping in. I then cup my hands over my nose and inhale deeply. Bonus: It smells so good, people will ask you what wonderful scent you’re wearing at the grocery checkout!

Stress Away is one of the 11 oils that comes with the PREMIUM STARTER KITNot only that, you get a free diffuser with your purchase, which makes the kit a steal! Diffusing is the #1 way to get essential oils into your system quickly. I run my diffuser 24/7 in my house, and I never leave for a vacation without it.

So how can you get some stress reduction in your life on the go without having to make time for meditaiton, yoga, and a nap? Check out this page to get started on your journey to a healthier, happier, and more relaxed life!

P.S.- If you’ve missed any of this series, start here and catch up! We’ll wait for you.

*If you are outside the U.S., please contact me, as your starter kit may vary.

Joy To The World…Or I May Keep It All For Myself and Give You the Recipe!

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Joy. Such a simple word. Yet it instantly paints a complex mental picture of all that is good in life. The first kiss; a bride’s smile on her wedding day; a baby’s laughter. What power is found in those three little letters! So how do you take all of those intricate nuances and weave them together in a scent?

So far in our essential oil education series, we have focused on science and physical health. Don’t get me wrong, those are vitally important in any discussion of alternative medicine. But what is often overlooked is the emotional component of health.

As someone who has suffered off and on for…well, pretty much most of my life…with intermittent depression, the mental aspect of health is HUGE. It doesn’t matter if my lab numbers are perfect or I look great in my size 4 bikini if I can’t figure out what my mood will be from one week to the next.

I’ve looked high and low for the “thing”. That thing that will finally make my moods even and reliable. Ok, so that thing is called Estrogen! But, that one is out after having breast cancer. So, what’s left?

I’ve struggled a lot with the loss of my hormones due to chemotherapy. A lot. Not with the hot flashes that so many women experience, or the joint pain. No, my struggle has all been in my head.

For a week or so I feel absolutely fantastic, on top of the world, able to leap tall mountains. I finally think to myself “This is it. I’ve beaten it. I can pursue all my plans.” And then, just as quickly as it came, it’s gone. I don’t fall into a dark hole very often, thankfully. I just get a bad case of the “blahs”. I lose my ambition, I no longer want to socialize or make plans for my business. It still catches me by surprise, every month. It’s as if my mind has forgotten that my body is no longer capable of having a monthly cycle.

When I took my first class about Young Living Essential Oils and signed up for my Premium Starter Kit, one of my biggest hopes was to find an oil or oils to alleviate some of these monthly ups and downs. I was impressed with how inhaling the oils sends them straight to the brain within a matter of seconds.

After a little bit of experimentation with my free diffuser, I finally hit on a combination that does wonders for my mood. I told you about my love affair with Peppermint oil in the last post. But…when you add the oil blend Joy to the Peppermint, then you’ve really got something!

What’s in that little bottle of Joy? Are you ready? Joy contains:

  • bergamot
  • ylang ylang
  • geranium
  • lemon
  • coriander
  • tangerine
  • Roman chamomile
  • jasmine
  • palmarosa
  • rose 

Remember when I told you in a previous post that Rose was one of the absolute most expensive essential oils because it takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals to produce one pound of rose oil? That’s right, it’s in Joy. And this comes as part of your Premium Starter Kit with 10 other oils to try.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not a big floral girl. Never have been. So, I wasn’t crazy about the smell of Joy at first. That’s right, I kind of poo poo’d the Joy. But let me tell you…it grew on me like ivy on Harvard! When that combo of Peppermint and Joy hits my brain, it doesn’t know what hit it! It is the best feeling I’ve had in a long time. It just plain makes me happier.

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So what is Joy good for?

  • sadness
  • sleep issues
  • emotional imbalance
  • hyperactivity
  • emotional pain/grief
  • defiance or occasional moodiness in children
  • bump up the romance (and I know a few ladies struggling with that one)

This smells so good to many people that they wear it for perfume on the wrists and over the heart. It is also great in homemade lotions and bath salts. Check out this recipe for an uplifting body cream:

HAPPY ALL OVER BODY CREAM

body butter plain

1 cup extra virgin unrefined coconut oil

1 tsp vit E oil (make sure it is not synthetic vit E)

5 drops Young Living Joy Essential Oil

10 drops Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil

Whip coconut oil with a mixer for about 3-5 mins until the consistency resembles icing.

Add in other ingredients and mix well.

Will fit in a half pint jar. Should last until it’s gone. Young Living oils never expire.

This smells Heavenly!!

To get started on changing your family’s health naturally and get some Joy of your own, check out this page.

I Can’t Get This Peppermint Monkey Off My Back!

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Ahhh, the smell of it! As I lean over the thick plume of fragrant water particles streaming from my diffuser, I feel a little silly. I draw it in slowly, deliberately, and I feel the familiar rush of exhilaration and endorphins hitting my brain, waking me up and energizing me. I can’t deny it any longer. I’m a Peppermint junkie!

In my last post, I talked about the powerful healing potential of Frankincense. Peppermint is another oil that comes as part of the Premium Starter Kit from Young Living. From everyone I’ve talked to on this journey, it seems to be the favorite. One whiff and you’re hooked!

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Some peppermint oils have an artificially sweet, or “candy cane” scent. While this may appeal to kids, if you’ve ever had an herb garden you know that peppermint shouldn’t smell like candy. If you pull a sprig off the plant and rub it between your fingers, it has a fresh, woodsy herbal smell with the hint of menthol. If you purchase essential oil with the “candy cane” aroma, you can be sure that it has been adulterated with synthetic fragrance.

So why does peppermint have this hypnotic pull? It turns out that there really is science behind it. Any time you inhale a volatile substance (pretty much anything that has a smell), it enters your body via the blood vessels in your lungs. At the same time, it affects the olfactory receptors in your nose, sending immediate messages to the brain about what you’re smelling. It has recently been discovered that humans can process one trillion scents. In the case of peppermint, it travels to the areas of the brain responsible for mood, cognitive function, and alertness. Voila! You just feel good when it hits you.

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I use peppermint in a couple of different ways. I diffuse it each morning with other “uplifting” oils when I need a boost to get going. I immediately feel brighter and more focused. I also rub a drop or two on my temples, forehead and the back of my neck for the invigorating skin sensation and for better absorption. Then I cup my hands over my noise and inhale deeply for a powerful “brain hit”. BONUS: It has a great cooling effect for the “hot” ladies out there!

What are some other uses for Peppermint?

  • Research has shown promise in using peppermint oil for IBS.
  • It can be used to relieve nausea and stomach discomfort. Are you going through something that causes a lot of nausea? Thus could be a great ally.
  • It helps to relieve muscular tension and discomfort.
  • Some studies have shown it to be excellent for hair regrowth.
  • It may repel ants and other pests, as they detest the scent of peppermint.
  • It can be used in recipes and teas.

See 21 Benefits of Peppermint Oil with links to scientific research.

When I had an Essential Oils 101 class in my home recently, I made several items to raffle off so people could experience how to use their oils. One of the favorite items is Bath Salts, for everything from relaxation to detoxification during illness. Peppermint is an invigorating addition to the bath which will stimulate the senses, clear your sinuses, and get you moving. Want to TRY SOME? Here’s the RECIPE:

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DETOX BATH SALTS

1/2 cup Epsom salts

1/4 cup baking soda

3 drops Young Living Peppermint essential oil

3 drops Young Living Lemon essential oil

This makes enough for a half pint jar or one bath. Shake well to distribute oils, dump in bath, ENJOY!

Go ahead, you know you want some! Besides, it’ll make me look better if you’re huffing Peppermint beside me.

Next Up: get ready for Thieves

Why The Three Wise Men Were on The Frontier of Medicine

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You know the story. It was a star-lit night in Bethlehem, no room at the inn. The Christ child was born in a manger, and the three wise men came to honor Him bearing gold, myrrh and frankincense. What you don’t know is that they may well have been the forefathers of alternative medicine!

In ancient times, Frankincense was considered more valuable than gold, with Egyptians reportedly saying that it was good for everything from gout to a “broken head”.

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Frankincense is more commonly known as Boswellia, which is highly prized as a supplement for its anti-inflammatory properties. There are 3 kinds of Frankincense, and Young Living carries all of them:

1) Frankincense (Boswellia carteri): otherwise known as “Frank”, this variety is grown and harvested in Somali land, and 2,000 kilos per day are distilled in Dubai.

2) Frereana Frankincense (Boswelli frereana): This was the variety given to the baby Jesus and still serves as a symbol of Christ and is burned during prayers by Egyptian Coptic Christians. The resin is also made into the most expensive chewing gum in the world, which is offered to guests in the Arab world after meals. This variety of Frankincense is harvested over a 9 month period.

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3) Sacred Frankincense (Boswellia sacra): A close relative of #1, this is considered the rarest and most valuable type of Frankincense. It can only be found in Oman, where it grows wild in limestone near the ocean and in the mountains. Frankincense collectors in the region have been harvesting the resin the same way for over 5,000 years in a painstaking process.

Once harvested, the resin can’t be exported by anyone but an Arabian prince. To date, Young Living is the only company that has been given permission by the Omani government to harvest and distill Sacred Frankincense. The company now distills 36 kilos in 2 days without harming the original trees, which are allowed to “heal”.

While all that is certainly fascinating, why do you need to care about a tree that grows in the Middle East? As a breast cancer survivor (or just as someone who is looking to prevent a cancer diagnosis), I am always looking to the research for how I can improve my odds of staying healthy. This one definitely needs to be part of your immune and cellular health arsenal! I use 2 drops on each breast area daily with coconut oil. I also take this one internally, 2 drops in an empty vegetable capsule daily. The scientific evidence is exciting, and I’ll link to it at the end of the post if you’re interested.

Another unexpected benefit of Frankincense? It is incredibly good for your skin! It has anti-aging properties and improves the appearance of scars. I’m going to share my own picture with you now because I feel like it has made a drastic improvement in my mastectomy scar.

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When I noticed the results above, I replaced my moisturizer with a blend of whipped virgin coconut oil, lavender, and frankincense. My facial skin is smoother and softer these days!

What are some other uses for Frankincense?

  • ease back discomfort by applying directly on the spine
  • diffuse to uplift mood an help combat sadness and anxiety
  • apply on temples and wrists to relieve stress
  • apply on neck and throat to soothe irritation and coughing
  • apply on dry, itchy skin to soothe irritation

It’s very exciting that this oil is included in the Premium Starter Kit as one of the 11 oils. I have personally gone through 3 of the 5ml bottles. I think it’s time to upgrade to the big bottle!

Here are some scientific articles to peruse:

Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells

Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity

Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydrodistillation of Boswellia sacragum resins induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures and in a xenograft murine model

To find out more about ordering your own kit, check out my Essential Oils page.

Next Up…Why You’ll Huff Peppermint Oil in Dark Alleys!

How To Use Essential Oils For Health and Longevity

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As we continue our essential oil education journey, I’m going to take you from a closet oil sniffer when nobody’s looking in the health food store to a full-fledged oilista! We’ve been over what essential oil is, why you would want to use it, and why it’s vitally important to get therapeutic-grade oil. Now we’re going to visit the how.

There are essentially (get it, snort snort) 3 ways to get the health benefits of your oils:

DISCLAIMER: Anything I discuss from this point forward is only relating to Young Living Oils. Please don’t run up to the health food store and try this with cheap oil. You can seriously harm your body.

Now let’s talk oil!

1) TOPICALLY:

When you apply oils to your skin, they are absorbed into the bloodstream through the pores and follicles. Which means, guess what? So is ANYTHING ELSE YOU APPLY TO YOUR SKIN! Once in the bloodstream, the oils are carried to the organs and every cell in the body within 20 minutes.

For the quickest and most efficient absorption, apply where the skin is the thinnest and the blood vessels are closest to the surface. Examples would be the wrists, temples, inside the elbow, behind the knee, and the back of the neck. Surprisingly, the bottoms of the feet are excellent for absorption, and many of the oils can be used here at bedtime.

Some oils are a little warmer for sensitive skin and can be diluted in a carrier oil such as extra virgin olive oil. The dilution guidelines will always be on the back of the Young Living label.

TRY THIS AT HOME…

stress away rollon

Your Young Living Premium Starter Kit will come with a roller ball attachment that fits on to any of the bottles. One of my favorite uses is to attach the roller ball to the Stress Away (which comes in the kit) and carry it in my purse. When the kids are really pressing my last nerve, or it seems that the whole state of Florida has gone out for a Sunday drive in front of me, I roll it on my wrists and my temples. It smells Heavenly, with a clean burst of lime and vanilla, and it eases tension like nobody’s business!

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Suffer from Seasonal Pollen Challenges? Another great use is to combine a few drops of lemon, lavender and peppermint and and apply either straight or diluted with a carrier to the forehead, temples, and throat. Ahhhh, breathing is good!

2) INTERNALLY:

Even with the highest quality, not all oils can be ingested. With Young Living, oils that are safe for internal use will have white Supplement labels and precise instructions on how they are to be taken. Always read your labels!

TRY THIS AT HOME…

a) Put a few drops of essential oil in an empty vegetable or glycerine capsule (available online or in some health food stores) and take with water like a vitamin. I do this daily with Frankincense to maintain my cellular health, and I’ll be going over that oil very soon.

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b) I love to put a couple drops of the citrus oils in water each morning, such as lemon or citrus fresh. They are very refreshing and detoxifying to the body and contain substances which are crucial for healthy immune function. You can also put a drop of peppermint in tea or even in brownies.

Many of the oils available can be safely used in cooking. Choose from Basil, Cilantro, Lime, Taste of Italy, and others. Since they are so potent, just a toothpick dipped in the oil imparts the flavor to the whole dish.

3) AROMATICALLY:

This is where that awesome Diffuser comes in that you get free with your kit. It breaks up the oil into nanoparticles that can be dispersed evenly throughout the air. But these oils don’t just mask odors. They actually change the structure of odor-causing molecules and neutralize them. In addition, they increase oxygen availability, produce negative ions, and release natural ozone. Anyone heard of “ozone therapy” ? Look it up.

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Here are just a few of the health benefits that come from diffusing essential oils: reduce bacteria and mold, relax the body, relieve tension, clear the mind, help with weight management, improve concentration, alertness and mental clarity, stimulate neurotransmitters, improve digestion, improve hormonal balance, and more…

TRY THIS AT HOME…

Since chemo and radiation, I struggle with mood, focus, and memory. My favorite daytime mixture is JOY and PEPPERMINT. I swear to you, it makes a huge difference in how I feel and in my ability to focus. I love it! And it smells divine.

Also, I have some issues occasionally sleeping through the night. My favorite nighttime mixture is THIEVES (for immunity), LAVENDER, and STRESS AWAY. I also put lavender on the bottoms of my feet. Sleep…accomplished!

Now that you know how to apply and use these oils, we’re going to get started with the most versatile oils and go over their individual benefits and a few DIY recipes to get you started.

Stay Tuned!!

Check out this tab when you’ve made up your mind to go for it.

Pardon Me, Can I Have Your Immune System?

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What if I told you that you could harness the incredible power of a healthy immune system that didn’t even belong to you? Kind of like a rent-a-cop for your white blood cells? Um, yes please!

Well, the good news is that you can, without harvesting organs or taking anyone hostage. Because your new healthy immune system would go to waste in prison, or at worst be traded for cigarettes.

The Guards Have Left the Building 

As many of you reading this blog know all too well, a body assaulted by chemotherapy and radiation doesn’t fight infection very well. You become incredibly familiar with your dwindling “White Blood Cell Count” as you trudge to your next appointment and cross your fingers.

What you may not know is that your immune system had a glitch long before you were ever diagnosed, while you still looked and felt “healthy”. A properly functioning immune system has white cells that function as “guards at the gate”, kind of like the ones you see at a military base entrance.

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Surprise! Everybody Has Cancer 

I hate to break this news, but we all have rogue, or “cancer” cells floating around our bodies all the time. When our physiology is functioning normally, our immune cells, those “guards”, recognize the cancer cells as enemies and promptly mount an attack to get rid of them. When something breaks down in that process, the cancer cells are able to gain a foothold and multiply out of control.

So when the doctor tells you, “Congratulations! We got all of the cancer.” or, “You’re cancer-free”, that is a fairy tale. There’s no way to guarantee that one of those “bad cells” didn’t survive the treatment. As a matter of fact, it’s almost a certainty that it did.

Excuse Me, Mr. Plant, I Need To Borrow Your Immune System

What can you do to prevent cancer or keep it from coming back? There’s no one, simple answer to that question. Just as there were multiple factors that allowed cancer to invade your body, there are multiple things you must do to keep it in check and co-exist.

One of the most powerful weapons I have in my anti-cancer arsenal is my Young Living essential oils collection. Why?

Inside every plant, shrub, tree, or flower is a source of energy, life and healing compounds. The essential oil is like the blood and immune system of the plant. In the plant, it seals cuts and heals wounds, provides nutrients and oxygen for cellular regeneration, and guards against unwanted harmful invaders.

The essential oil is 200-10,000 times more powerful than an herb from the same plant. Therefore, it has incredible medicinal power and a little goes a long way.

In 20 seconds, the oil can penetrate the tissues of the skin and get into the bloodstream, and it is one of the few substances with particles small enough to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. This is how certain oils affect brain inflammation, emotions, focus, and concentration.

Essential oils are among the most powerful anti-oxidants on earth. Some are antibacterial, some are antiviral. In addition to supporting the immune system, they benefit the body in many ways: relaxing muscle, helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels, soothing aches and pains, aiding digestion, promoting sleep, slowing aging, etc.

I Don’t Have Time To Squeeze Oil Out of Plants!

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That’s quite a picture! You in your secret basement lab wringing out some poor peppermint leaves into a jar. Let’s not go there.

How do they get the essential oils out of the plants?

Essential Oils are extracted in many ways, but the primary method is steam distillation. But there are a number of ways that the oils can be grown and extracted that are very cost efficient and produce large amounts of cheap oil, such as:

  • Using Chemical Solvents. These mix with the oil in the final product and leave behind chemical residue which doesn’t have to be listed in the ingredients.
  • Diluting the pure essential oil with another oil or a synthetic substance (think perfumy) to make it go farther. Again, this won’t be on the label!
  • Steam distilling the same batch of plants over and over again. This would be like using the same coffee grinds to brew six pots of coffee. That sixth batch would be pretty weak and useless.
  • Spraying the crops with chemical pesticides to increase crop yields.

Young Living doesn’t use any of these methods. They sell only the first distillation, and no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are ever used. As a matter of fact, they use their own oils as pesticides, and most weeds are still picked by hand. Pretty rare for a large corporation!

Young Living Lavender Fields, Utah

Young Living Lavender Fields, Utah

Interested in the science? I’ll link to a few abstracts below for you to peruse:

1) Anti-Cancer activity of essential oils: a review

2) Immunomodulatory activity of geranial, geranial acetate, gingerol, and eugenol essential oils: evidence for humoral and cell-mediated responses.

3) Anticancer activity of essential oils and their chemical components – a review

If any of this strikes a chord in you, and you want to get started with your own oil journey, check out the Essential Oils tab on my home page to sign up.