By necessity, I start my day very early. Many nurses do. Working a shift that requires you to be ready to work with people at 5:30am does not make you a morning person. I know, I encounter them every day - still sleeping on the shuttle, at the coffee pot, headphones in so not to have to interact, For some, I just know better than to say "Good Morning!"
If you have to hold yourself back when someone says "Good Morning" too early... this may be for you.
How we get our day started is sometimes crucial to how the rest of the day will go. It's easy to stumble into the day, waking up as we go - shower, dress, coffee... not necessarily in that order. That’s normal for most people.
What if there were ways to start your morning.. that eliminate the need to every remind anyone that you are not a morning person? a more pleasant way to wake? Would you be open to trying something new?
If you’re willing to change things up some, you may still be more of a nightowl than a morning person, but you may be able to experience morning in a whole new light. (wink)
In fact, you may wonder why you didn’t change things sooner! The following suggestions help, they may lead to an entirely enjoyable morning - believe it or not!
5 Steps to a marvelous morning!
Everyone deserves a Good Morning!
Inhale from a your hand:
1 drop Wild Orange
1 drop Peppermint
2 drops each Spearmint and Lime
In the shower:
3 drops Eucalyptus
3 drops Wild Orange
Cleaning can be such a drag! And it can feel like it sucks up all your time. But not with this little routine. You'll have things cleaned up in no time at all!
1. Throw Away the Visual Clutter - Clutter makes the home feel chaotic, complicated and less welcoming. So throw away what you don’t need and find a place for things you need to keep. Create a 5 minute habit of practicing this simple task each day.
2. Take the 12-12-12 Challenge - If you really want to declutter your home, use the 12-12-12 challenge
• Discover 12 items that need to be thrown away
• Track down 12 items to be donated
• Find 12 items that need to be returned to their proper storage place
3. When your home smells clean, it feels clean - As you tidy up, use this recipe to clean surfaces. It has a citrusy aroma that is refreshing and effective.
SPARKLY CLEAN HOME CLEANER
• 4 drops Lemon
• 3 drops Peppermint
• 3 drops Eucalyptus
Add Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus oils and water to a glass spray bottle. Spray on surfaces to clean. This recipe can be scaled to make more if desired.
BONUS: This recipe can also be used as a diffuser blend. Add oils to your diffuser to help freshen your home while cleaning.
Yes, Niaouli oil! This essential oil is used in medicinal preparations, in cough drops, vaporizer liquids, mouth sprays, gargles and to flavor toothpastes. Why is that?
The therapeutic benefits of Niaouli essential oil are amazing - this is one that belongs in every "medicine cabinet".. It's an excellent choice for use with respiratory concerns, skin infections and acne.
Niaouli is a large evergreen tree widely found in Asian countries. The trees have five-inch long leaves and yellow-tinted flowers that flourish in tight spikes at the ends of the branches. The flakey look of the tree gave it various nicknames such as paperbark or paper bark tea tree, and bottle brush. A relative of Tea Tree, Niaouli has a sweeter, yet woody aroma.
Niaouli Essential Oil is also known by its botanical name,Melaleuca quinquenervia. This is an essential oil that you want to pay attention to chemotypes -if you are using doTERRA essential oil, they have taken the guess work out of it. Some chemotypes of this same oil, Melaleuca quinquenervia can be high in 1.8 Cineole - a component that warrants a little extra caution for use in children, application to the skin.... This is what I love about teaching oils when we are talking about doTERRA - the safety margin allows for amazing therapeutic benefit with very minimal risk.
Niaouli essential oil has a stimulating aroma due to its eucalyptol content and composition of monoterpenes. It has been used in a variety of cosmetics such as lotions, creams and soaps. Due to its limonene content, Niaouli essential oil may help keep skin looking healthy. It may also be beneficial as part of a relaxing massage.
• Add one drop to an adult facial cleanser.
• Add to your favourite cleaning spray.
• Include as part of a soothing massage.
• Combine with Eucalyptus, Bergamot or Lavender essential oils in your dōTERRA diffuser.
It is known to be an excellent expectorant and it also has antiallergenic and anti asthmatic properties according to Kurt Schnaubelt,
DIRECTIONS FOR USE
Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of choice.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with a carrier oil to minimise any skin sensitivity. See additional precautions below.
PLANT PART: Leaf
EXTRACTION METHOD: Steam distillation
AROMATIC DESCRIPTION: Earthy, sharp, pungent
MAIN CHEMICAL COMPONENTS: Eucalyptol, α-pinene
Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 609.
Schnaubelt K. Advanced aromatherapy. Healing Art Press, Canada, 1995
Plants have been used for centuries to help us maintain or restore health. The human body knows what to do with components found in plants. Essential Oils are components found in plants - we are more and more learning the benefits for health care.
One of the issues that I get asked about often is managing health blood sugar and helping to manage the effects of diabetes.
Coriander is known for digestive support. A study done in 2009 suggests that coriander may also help to reduce blood sugar levels by increasing insulin levels. Now, this was a study in rats, but it does give us clues. The study found that the beta cells in the pancreas were more active after using coriander seed oil.
Melissa (Melissa officinalis) essential oil may help people with high blood sugar levels, A study in 2015, found that topical application or even diffusing the essential oil helped glucose metabolism - again not a human study, not too many of those out there, unfortunately.
Clove essential oil is another that is known for preventing oxidative stress and helping to minimize cell damage throughout the body. Studies also suggest that the oil reduced levels of enzymes in the pancreas in a way that may help to manage health in those who have been diagnosed with "pre-diabetes" or confirmed diabetes.
Black pepper essential oil also is highly antioxidant and can be use internally, as well as aromatic and topical. A 2013 study showed that essential oil from a common kitchen spice, black pepper, might help manage or prevent type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Weight management is a key factor in controlling symptoms related to blood sugar. While being overweight does not cause every case of diabetes, it can increase the risk or make symptoms worse. Losing weight is a first-line treatment for many people with diabetes. This involves exercise and changes to the diet, but essential oils may help.
Helichrysum essential oil and Grapefruit essential oils have been studied in rats and the rats gained less weight and had fewer signs of inflammation and less excess insulin that the rats who did not take these oils as supplements. You could use these oils as a massage with a base oil that contains these oils - very relaxing and uplifting!
One that won't surprise you...
Cinnamon has been sited in many studies and found within the supplemental suggestions of diabetes educators. The essential oil also might improve insulin sensitivity and other features of diabetes. It's a great substitute for sugar in flavoring beverages and dishes as well.
Lavender essential oil oil has numerous uses in traditional and Western medicine, It is "ALL things calming". It has been found to help balance normal blood sugar levels and protect against oxidative stress, which causes complications in people with diabetes...and well, everyone.
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Inhaling and applying to the skin are the two main ways of using oils. receptors in the nose and capillaries of the lungs pick up the particles of many essential oils and carry them into the bloodstream.
Essential oils are not a replacement for what your health care provider recommends. They may help as an accompaniment to standard methods. If you are wanting more natural options, tell your doctor. Let your provider know your preference, your values and ask them to work with you. Don't expect your doctor to know about essential oils- you do the homework. If nothing else, remember too - there are many health benefits we get from essential oils - managing stress, decreasing oxidative damage, overall health - that would make trying them for more specific reasons worthwhile. Essential oils when used appropriately and in small amounts are safe and we have no evidence that any of the above mentioned oils are contraindicated with pharmaceutical approached.
If you have questions, feel free to reach out! I would be happy to give you more guidance on how to safely use essential oils to take control of your health - more naturally!
Helichrysumand Grapefruit: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2014.0088?rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&journalCode=jmf
Here is my Nurse's view of the Coronavirus.
I have received a few messages asking what my thoughts on the coronavirus are. How worried should we be? So, here are my thoughts - for a healthy level of concern.
CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). I share this so you don't get it confused with other reports of coronavirus.
Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 also has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan, but at this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States. This could change, it could change quickly - which is why health care leaders and government officials are moving into action. We have been through similar things before. The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe - it seems to be hitting adults harder than children.
For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the media creates fear around these threats that bring an unhealthy amount of panic over things that we have little to no control over. This causes an unnecessary stress, and that is not good for anyone. I would go as far as saying that these scare tactics may help ratings and the upcoming vaccination promo - but do more harm than good when it comes to health.
So, let me bring some reassurance - not that you won't ever get sick. But that you only can do what you can do to take the best care of yourself and your loved ones.
The coronavirus is a respiratory infection that spreads by droplets - exactly like the flu. So do all the things to be proactive every day - you are probably already doing them!. Here is what we can do, that will actually help - but not just right now, all year - whether we are aware of the name of a threat or not
Get the facts, but when the media begins to build up hype around anything. When you being to feel the fear - turn off the TV, get off google - celebrate how smart you are for not having to be full of fear because you are already doing the things, you are proactive! right? If you are not fist pumping right now and declaring "THAT"S RIGHT" - then we need to talk!
Here are the things you should already be doing:
SO, bottom line - don't panic, there are simple things that you can do - all day, all year - to prevent illness, We can't do anything about the more global situation, so leave that to the Health Organizations - that is their job. You already know where you can find them if you feel you need to check in and see how it's going. You don't need a fancy emergency preparedness plan. You can still move about, enjoy time with friends and family... with really, the same level of concern you should have every day.
Rest and Manage Stress
If you get sick, stay home.
Let me know your take aways! Drop a comment - questions? comments? I would love to hear from you!
I hear this said every day at work by Anesthesia providers as they explain what their role is in making this experience more tolerable. Years ago, i discovered essential oils - which brought new meaning to organic chemistry.
Did you know a group of essential oils classified as esters may be a solution - research has found it to be so- to one of the top 3 health concerns mentioned in every one of my classes, and polls I’ve taken among my fellow nurses. .
Stress, in itself, is not a bad thing. Unmanaged stress is a problem. Nurses (people in general really) are experiencing an unhealthy constant level of unmanaged stress.
There are many safe, natural stress management tools - that don't require advanced skill or a large budget. There are very common tools that are popular today - that have somehow gained value in our culture, despite their cost to long term health as well as the hit financially that adds up over time. Just one, and maybe one of my favorites - essential oils. Better living through chemistry.
One class of chemical compound, Esters are not just important for beer flavor - Essential oils high in esters are antispasmodic, often sedative and some are analgesic
Common esters found in essential oils are methyl salicylate, linalyl acetate. These are found in lavender, clary sage, Roman chamomile, bergamot, helichrysum, and for methyl salicylate-we have wintergreen and birch.
Essential oils are amazing tools for managing stress.
My favorite "reset" stress management tool - combining Frankincense with Wild Orange for the uplifting qualities with one of my favorite Esters - Lavender. One drop of each in a personal inhaler, applied to aromatherapy jewelry or even just in the palm of my hand - rubbed together, applied to the back of my neck or chest... breathe it in.
There are many ways manage stress, meditation is one that honestly surprised me in the impact it made once I was practicing daily - and for only 10 minutes each day. The National Institutes of Health reports studies show us that meditation practice may reduce stress, blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, while increasing feelings of happiness and well-being.
Meditation can be intimidating for some, others think its all a bunch of hocus pocus that works as much as you believe it does. Science is telling us otherwise and if it helps to reframe the story about it.- think of it more like a discipline, an exercise for the brain.
What is meditation anyway?
According to Psychology Today, meditation is the act of turning your mind away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment. The practice can involve turning your attention to a single point of reference, focusing on the breath, bodily sensations, or for some, a mantra, a quote, or Bible verse.
How is it done?
One of the biggest barriers to meditation is that people don’t know where to begin. I suggest starting small - maybe even just 2 minutes, then 5, work up to 10 and if you love it - keep going. If all you ever do is 2 minutes every day, I believe you will still see a difference that makes it worth it. And of course, if you want to power boost this discipline - add in essential oils to help your brain and all those neurotransmitters get the right signals out to your body - to relax, everything is going to be ok.
Ok, here are some tips:
One of my favorite tips is to just go to headspace.com or download the app. I have learned tons of science and tips on mediation for various goals and seasons here. I love it! Just do the free trial... and then start out with a 3-5 or 10 minutes every morning. By the time you have completed the free trial, you will see the difference it makes and can decide if you need a guide or not.
Essential Oils known for their value in meditation: Frankincense, Lavender, Neroli, Sandalwood, Eucalyptus (great for clear breathing). Any essential oil can be great for meditation though. I don't think you can choose the wrong oil.
A couple other tips I learned from other nurses:
Hinoki Essential Oil is sometimes referred to as Japanese Cypress Essential Oil or Hinoki Cypress Essential Oil.
Hinoki Essential Oil is steam distilled from Chamaecyparis obtusa, a conifer that is native to Japan. Hinoki Essential Oil is available in limited quantities as a wood oil, root oil and needle (leaf) oil. The chemistry and actions are somewhat different depending on what part of the tree the essential oil was distilled from.
The Hinoki tree and essential oil goes by several common names. It's always important pay close attention to an essential oil's botanical name, and that holds especially true for Hinoki Essential Oil. An essential oil steam distilled from Chamaecyparis formosensis and known as Taiwan Hinoki Essential Oil (and other similar names) is also available. The two essential oils should not be confused. Both botanicals are considered in the aromatherapy world to be endangered. This is another really fabulous reason of WHY doTERRA!
You don't have to guess and we can trust that if doTERRA is making it available, they have guarded sustainability.
For centuries, the wood of the Hinoki tree has been used to build shrines and temples across Japan, and is still used today in the timber industry. While Hinoki is a prized resource, its wood has been over-populating areas of Japan for years. Seeing an environmental and economic need, doTERRA has partnered with groups in Japan to use the timber industry’s by-product of Hinoki wood to create this beautiful essential oil. Through the Hinoki Co-Impact Sourcing effort, doTERRA not only contributes to Japan’s forest management programs, but also creates needed jobs across rural Japan—ensuring that this unique, premium oil continues to give back to the people of its native land.
Emotionally and energetically, the Hinoki Needle Essential Oil is uplifting, cleansing, comforting and opens the mind for new perspectives. [Musacchio, 2018)
JUST THE FACTS:
Botanical Name of Hinoki Essential Oil: Chamaecyparis obtusa
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled
Plant Part Typically Used: Needles, Twigs/Wood or Root.
Color: Clear to Pale Yellow
Perfumery Note: Middle
Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
Hinoki Essential Oil smells woody and sweet. The aroma varies between the wood, root and needle (leaf) oils.
Hinoki Needle (Leaf) Essential Oil Uses / Actions
Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Topical use: Apply 1 drop with 5-10 drops of a carrier oil to
minimize skin sensitivity.
For those of you still reading, we know a lot about our oils and how to use them by chemistry... Hinoki essential oil is complex, with many chemical components, mainly:
What you really probably want to know is... does it work? Try it and see!
Say it with me..... chamazulene! fun, right!
Now imagine every day, waking up an "painting" the bottom of your big toe - with BLUE TANSY! I have to admit, I thought this was really silly... but then is sounded fun too. Mental Clarity, more focus... it's worth a try! Love it! Why....
Chamazulene, besides being fun to say and being a beautiful blue color, it is a chemical component in Blue Tansy, It is what brings in the indigo color and is recognized for its skin soothing benefits. It is this component that is widely sought for its ability to calm overall body outrage. You know the kind that makes everything ache and no one can give you answers for so you jus live with it day in and day out....
So, what do you do with Blue Tansy?
Blue Tansy essential oil, which comes from the annual yellow-flowered Mediterranean plant, is high in chamazulene and sabinene. An important oil in the doTERRA Deep Blue blend, Blue Tansy is soothing to mind and body.
At the same time, the main chemical component Sabinene helps diminish the appearance of blemishes. Uplifting to the mood, Blue Tansy provides a sweet aroma to fill any room. It’s perfect for massaging into skin with fractionated coconut oil or lotion after a long day of work or intense exercise to aid the body in the natural recovery process.
It does go on blue, but you won't be blue for long! (pun intended)
It is not an oil that you can take internally, you can use Blue Tansy in a variety of ways both topically and aromatically.
The characteristic indigo color of the oil may stain some surfaces, fabric, and skin. For this reason, it may be a good idea to purchase child-resistant caps to keep children from accidently spilling the oil on a surface where it won’t come out. However, when it comes to using it with the moisturizer in your skin care routine or diluting it in Fractionated Coconut Oil for a massage, it is unlikely to leave any trace.
Evidence Based Essential Oil Therapy to Support the Urinary System
Scientists have been investigating the interaction of essential oils and various pathogens for a long time now and they are publishing some promising work, clues to help us support our health with natural solutions.
UTIs develop when a person has an overgrowth of bacteria in their urinary tract, Nearly 85% of UTI are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli). To address a UTI, we have to have a solution that has the potential to kill this type of bacteria..
The following essential oils are represented in recent studies:
Bergamot Citrus bergamia
- actually many of the citrus oils are mentioned often in the literature.
Clove Eugenia caryophyllata
A 2016 study suggests that clove oil may help to kill E. coli, particularly when the bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics.
Oregano Origanum vulgare
A 2012 study found that oregano oil could slow or stop the growth of E. coli and other bacteria. The bacteria strains used in the study resisted other treatments, which means oregano oil may also kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A 2015 study that compared the effectiveness of oregano and lavender oils found that oregano had higher antimicrobial properties, suggesting that it can fight bacteria such as E. coli.
Thyme is always an oil that I think of first when considering protective properties. It's a little milder than Oregano as well.
Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Cinnamaldehyde, the chemical that gives cinnamon its flavor, may inhibit the growth
of E. coli. The oil and the spice may also help to prevent UTIs from recurring. In addition to using cinnamon oil, a person might consider adding powdered cinnamon to their diet.
Those of you who struggle with recurring UTI, add cinnamon to tea or coffee or favorite diffuse blends - it just may be what make the difference!
Lavender Lavendula augustofolia
Research suggests that lavender can kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, It may also act as an antioxidant.
Research published in 2015, for example, found that lavender and oregano oils, separately and in combination, may inhibit the growth of, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).
Tea Tree Melaleuca alternafolia
In his book, Medical Aromatherapy, Kurt Schnaubelt recommends two dorps of tea treee oil, internally, every twenty minutes ofr the first 4-6 hours. He also recommends Oregano oil as an option - one drop every hour, four times.
Authors of a 2013 study propose that some herbal oils are effective against E. coli and other bacteria. These include:
I love this because one of my favorite blends contains all of these oils! AromaTouch, is doTERRA’s proprietary massage blend. It is a combination of oils known to provide relaxing and comforting effects. It is so much more than that, AromaTouch combines our essential oils of Cypress, Peppermint, Marjoram, Basil, Grapefruit, and Lavender essential oils - all oils that are researched for their protective properties.
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus radiata
Eucalyptus oil may combat a wide range of bacteria. This makes it a good option when a person is unsure which type of bacteria is causing the infection.
A 2016 study identified compounds in eucalyptus oil that may explain its antibacterial properties. The researchers found that eucalyptus may kill or slow the growth of E. coli, S. aureus,
Cumin and Coriander
Cumin oil became even more effective when used in combination with some antibiotics, suggesting that it may be a complementary treatment. Like Cumin, Coriander oil was more effective when paired with antibiotics.
Good point to make here is that using essential oils, choosing natural solutions, is not an all or nothing choice. Essential oils can also work with our allopathic approaches - take the antibiotics prescribed - and add essential oils into your plan to address the root cause and support overall health.
Once you have chosen the oil you want to use - what do you do with it???
Essential oils can be used aromatically, topically or internally.
Many Aromatherapists will say not ever to use them without consulting an Aromatherapist - Well, I get to be that for you. Internal use is not to be taken lightly and really I can only speak for doTERRA essential oils because they are the oils that I know and trust. There may be other companies who offer pure oils, but I don't know of any who put the work into assuring quality and purity as doTERRA does.
In this case, I would begin with all three - topical application and an inhaled option as well as an internal option. Rememeber if you are also being treated by a Provider - full transparency about your preference to use essential oils is a must.
When applied topically, essential oils are best used diluted in a carrier oil. The usual recipe is 3 to 5 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil. Fractionated Coconut Oil is a popular choice. There are some oils that should should only be used if diluted (Oregano would definitely be one of those, it can be very hot on the skin).
Essential oils should not be applied to mucous membranes of the vagina or urethra. The mixture of essential oils you choose can be applied to areas around the inner thighs, mons pubis - the fatty tissue that lies just over the joint of the pubic bones. Diluted essential oils can also be safely used in a warm compress on skin near the affected area.
Another option would be to add a few drops of diluted oils to a bath may promote relaxation and provide temporary relief from pain. Remember that oil and water don't mix, oils will sit on the top of the water and then your skin and with some oils - that isn't going to feel good! So, Mix 5-20 drops of essential oil per ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) of your chosen bath base. Either use this amount for one bath, or make up a larger quantity for future use (Tisserand). You can safely use solubol, castile soap, shampoo, shower gel, vegetable oil - fractionated coconut oil, bath oils
A couple recipes:
Lavender - 5 drops
Marjoram - 5 drops
General rule with essential oils: It is best to use small amounts of high-quality essential oils diluted in a carrier oil, you cannot go wrong using doTERRA oils -the oils that I trust.
Now, when you have trouble - consider this and take this to your Provider and share your goal of minimizing antibiotic use when possible and ask that outcomes be measured to help you track the effectiveness of your chosen method of management. It is not advised to take matter into your own hands, you should seek medical advice from a provider who will listen and honor your preferences.... And consult with your Certified Professional Nurse Aromatherapist!
Wellness Advocate, BSN,RN