Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Breath of Life



"The simple act of nurturing the senses
might well do far more
for healing of the world
than all our programs and inventions."

~ Cheryl Sanders



In the past I published a short newsletter focusing on aromatherapy. Here is one from November 2001 focused on respiration.


THE BREATH OF LIFE - RESPIRATION

In clinical trials essential oils have proven to be highly effective in prevention of dis-ease in the body as well as combating infection. All essential oils to a higher or lesser degree are antibacterial. Some are natural antibiotics, some are anti-fungal agents and others exhibit immuno stimulating properties. The essential oils which work most effectively on the respiratory system often stem from the leaf of a plant. Interesting to note that if you place two leaves side by side they look very much like the lungs! Essential oils produced from woods and resins are generally used for more chronic conditions. For the purpose of this newsletter we focus on the following essential oils: Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Peppermint, and Sandalwood. When these oils are combined with other anti-infectious oils such as Lavender, Tea Tree and/or Lemon, one can anticipate a powerful affect. These substances are strong medicines and should be used with extreme mindfulness and care, especially with children, the elderly, and pregnant women. During the cold & flu season these precious substances can be utilized to disinfect a room, enhance our immune system and uplift the spirit. I have found this to be especially true of Lemon. The most effective and therapeutic way of diffusing oils into the air is by using a glass neubulizer. A 4 oz spray bottle with 15 drops of essential oil and water is an easy and effective alternative. Make sure you shake and spray at the same time. I also suggest using essential oils in the bath. For an adult use 8 to 10 drops and for a child 4 to 5. A combination of different essential oils will always give you a much more powerful affect than using one single note on its own.
This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe. For serious medical conditions consult your health practitioner.

* Cedarwood (Juiperous virginiana) or (Cedrus atlantica) Helpful for asthma, bronchitis, and coughs, used by Native Americans for respiratory conditions.
* Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) Effective for respiratory catarrhal and congestion.
* Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) The green leaves of the Eucalyptus tree are prized as strong antiseptics aiding with asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, and all types of colds.
* Peppermint (Mentha piperita) These green leaves are rich in "menthol" often used in chest
balms and inhalants. Excellent for clearing colds, particularly within the head or sinuses, flu
and laryngitis.
* Sandalwood (Santalum album) The moisturizing properties of this oil make it useful in treating
dry and irritated conditions such as laryngitis, chest, throat and lung infections and dry coughs.
* Other oils which support the respiratory system include: Cajeput, Cypress, Ginger, Niaouli, Pine, and Thyme. I recommend contacting a qualified Aromatherapy practitioner for a specific blend or synergy.

Be mindful that not all essential oils are created equal. Many of the amber bottles found on store shelves may be a synthetic product labeled as an essential oil, have chemical adulterants mixed in or have been lab created to produce a "Nature Identical". Some store bought oils may or may not contain the therapeutic constituents mentioned in this article. For the best results I recommend purchasing from a professional Aromatherapy practitioner.

Below are a few tips on incorporating essential oils into a daily routine and further creating an aromatic lifestyle.

Steam Inhalations
- Inhalations help clear congestion in the lungs & sinuses as well as cleanse
the skin simultaneously. Add 2-3 drops of an essential oil or an essential oil synergy to a bowl
with 1 pint of hot steaming purified water. Drape a towel over your head and with eyes closed
inhale steam for 2-3 minutes. Jan Kusmirek suggests breathing through the nose for nasal
congestion and through the mouth for sore throats.

Localized massage to chest & back
- Add 8 drops of an essential oil or an essential oil synergy to a carrier, such as almond oil
and massage into chest and or upper back. If possible repeat, for a total of three applications.
- This can be taken a step further by adding an infused oil of ginger, or making a healing
chest balm.

Compresses
- A hot or warm compress to the chest and back can help loosen congestion. Add 6 drops essential oil or essential oil synergy to a small bowl of hot water. Place a wash cloth on the surface of the water, wring out and place on the chest or upper back.

Diffusers
- Neubulizers are the top choice by professionals for the most effective and therapeutic affect. Add drops of an essential oil or an essential oil synergy to the glass neubulizer and diffuse.
- Mix 2-10 drops an essential oil or an essential oil synergy with 1 ounce of water in a plastic mister bottle, shake well and spray.
- Add a drop or two of an essential oil or an essential oil synergy. to a hot light bulb.

Resources:
Tips and information in this article have been researched from a variety of books, publications and personal experiences. Aromatherapy by Jan Kusmirek and Salvatore Battaglia's The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy are excellent resources. I also highly recommend Jade Shutes Courses and her book Aromatherapy for Bodyworkers.

The East West School for Herbal & Aromatic Studies

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™
Roxana Illuminated Perfume™ at Etsy

Image at top ©Greg Spalenka, spalenka.com

2 comments:

fringe said...

What excellent and valuable information, Roxana. I know I will refer back to this again and again until I have it memorized. Thank you so much!

xo

Roxana said...

Thank you so much beauty. I'm glad it was helpful. I'll do one more specific to headaches, since that is a common theme that so many suffer from. Hugs.