Here's another podcast I'm proud to be a part of.
This one was created by my incredibly soulful friend Sofia Alvim, Creator of the Goddess Out Loud website and podcast. The podcast features amazing interviews with a variety of practitioners working with feminine energy to improve the world.
Don't know what that means?
Read all about it on Sofia's website - www.goddessoutloud.com and then listen to her podcast episode interviewing me about my journey to Integrative Medicine and the shifting paradigm in medicine.
Specifically, we discuss:
- how the paradigm of medicine is changing at large
- how I practice medicine from a more feminine, integrated perspective
- how the mind, body, connection can help us heal
- how can we be more aware in caring for our bodies
- dismantling orthorexia, the obsession with clean eating
- the simple things you can do to prioritize wellness & self-care
Recently, I took part in a 10-day food reset called "Shred10" with a physician friend of mine. Part of the Shred was to drink 2 smoothies a day using JuicePlus Complete Protein Powder. I had already been drinking one smoothie in the morning and loving it, so I had to get creative with my smoothie recipes.
If you know me, you'll know I LOVE chocolate, but not just any chocolate - smooth, creamy, delicious chocolate.
Here's what I came up with as my most favorite smoothie recipe:
- 1 scoop Juice Plus Complete Powder
- Get yours here
- 2 cups hemp or almond milk
- 1/4 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 small avocado
- 1/2 of a medium banana
- 1 teaspoon Brain Octane oil by Bulletproof
- Can get this on Amazon or from Central Market
- 1 drop therapeutic-grade Copaiba essential oil from Young Living for digestive and
- Get yours here as part of the Premium Starter Kit
- 1 cup ice
Add all the ingredients in to a blender (powder on the bottom is best so it doesn't fly everywhere).
And enjoy this rich, creamy, anti-inflammatory smoothie. The omega-3s from the avocado, hemp/almond milk and almond butter help your brain and heart function properly and help stave off hunger. The fats in the MCT oil in Brain Octane oil do the same, so you shouldn't feel hungry for a few hours after drinking this smoothie.
Using Juice Plus Complete Powder gives you multiple servings of fruits and vegetables that you may not be getting through your diet.
Truth is, only 1 in 10 Americans gets the recommended 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily!
And Juice Plus has been studied clinically for improving bridging this gap in nutrients - www.juiceplus.com/us/en/clinical-research/clinical-research.
Don't forget to let me know what you think of my recipe and/or your favorite smoothie recipe. I'm all ears! :-)
What is adrenal fatigue and how do I know if I have it?
Adrenal fatigue is a controversial diagnosis that many Holistic and Functional Medicine practitioners have come to know and address. It is basically dysfunction of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. This VERY important hormonal regulation system is the MASTER of our hormones and thus, of our health.
Here’s a simplified image of this system:
Source: http://open.lib.umn.edu/intropsyc/chapter/10-2-stress-the-unseen-killer/ Accessed July 17, 2017.
In my mind, the system works like a large ship.
The captain of the ship is the Hypothalamus. He/She gives orders (in the form of releasing factors) to the Pituitary gland (the Skipper) located centrally in our brain. The Skipper (aka pituitary gland) is generally in charge of constantly checking in with the crew members to see if they are doing their tasks correctly.
He/She is constantly giving orders to the hands-on crew whether to slow down, speed up or change the direction of the ship, according to the Captain’s orders. The pituitary does this by releasing or inhibiting a hormone called adrenocorticothalamic hormone (ACTH).
ACTH acts on the adrenal glands to secrete various hormones (cortisol, sex steroids (testosterone and estrogen) and epinephrine/norepinephrine) that tell the muscles and nerves what to do (I’d consider these the crew as they are at the bottom of the totem pole of command. However, the crew also plays a crucial role in spotting things that are out of control (a storm or iceberg) and alerting the Skipper, who alerts the Captain.
Obviously, this is just a simplified version of what actually occurs in our bodies. But I think it’s extremely important for all of us to understand that we are constantly in a state of checks and balances in our bodies.
So how does this affect my body?
When our stress levels or our bodies are under attack (think acute or chronic illness) are high, the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline (epinephrine and norepinephrine) are pumped out to provide instructions to every muscle and nerve in our body and a whole host of reactions occur. (For the sake of simplicity, I’ll leave that for another blog post.)
But when we are chronically stressed emotionally or physically (chronic or acute illness), our adrenals are on HIGH demand most of the day and sometimes at night. This abnormal response eventually “burns” our adrenals out and they become tired or over-reactive, secreting too much cortisol and adrenaline than is healthy.
Once this occurs, daily activities become difficult. People suffering from this level of chronic adrenal under or over production are either excessively tired (under production) or excessively wired (overproduction).
Adrenal dysfunction is being seen more and more in our society as we become more disconnected from nature and communities and more focused on technology and the latest newsfeed.
People suffering from this dysfunction often have:
Many of them live on coffee and sugar to decrease their fatigue, not knowing that consumption of these products is actually contributing to their dysfunction.
It’s a vicious cycle that people have a hard time side-stepping.
So what can I do about it?
I’m here to tell you, while chronic stressors affect ALL of us, the dysfunction or dysregulation of the adrenals CAN IMPROVE!
And we are ALL at risk of developing Adrenal Fatigue (Dysfunction). In fact, I, myself, and many of my colleagues, have struggled with this condition over the years. We now work to educate and help people navigate treatment through lifestyle changes, herbs and nutritional support.
My dysfunction was so severe that I quit my stressful job as an Academic Physician and spent 4 months not working to recover. The full recovery process actually took over a year as I’ve only recently been feeling more energized (1.5 years later) and have started pushing myself more athletically.
In short, I had to learn how to treat myself and I now LOVE helping my patients detect and treat their Adrenal Dysfunction.
I’d be honored to help you if you feel like your adrenals are dysfunctional.
Modern life is complicated.
We have the joy of information at the click of a mouse, luxuries of convenience delivered to our doorstep within 2 hours and the ability to communicate with people from around the world instantly. But, with all this technology, we are unfortunately exposed more and more to various toxins that can contribute to chronic illness.
Here is my Top 10 list of toxins to avoid (as much as able. No one is perfect!):
1) Negative Beliefs & Emotions and News Media
- I cannot stress to you how important your mindset and beliefs are for
your health and wellness. Basically, what you believe about yourself and
your health is what manifests. If you believe you are healthy, you will be.
Conversely, if you believe you are going to get sick, you will.
It's that simple!
- So...be kind to yourself and don't watch TV news!
2) Toxic Relationships - associated with #1.
- These relationships drain your energy and have you feeling negatively
about yourself. See a therapist or qualified professional right away to
learn how to manage/detach yourself from these relationships.
3) Phthalates – Found in plastics, vinyl flooring, building materials, personal
care products, fragrances, children’s backpacks & lunch boxes
- Associated with infertility, breast cancer, obesity and birth defects
- This is one of the toxins I avoid using when I make my own personal care
products or use those made with only the highest quality, therapeutic-
grade essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances - Get yours --> here
4) BPA – Found in canned foods (liner), plastics, baby bottles
- Associated with obesity, thyroid disease, asthma, increased cancer risk
and increased rates of anxiety, depression hyperactivity and aggression
5) Lead – Found in lead paint, leaded gasoline and in some lipsticks
6) Mercury – From dental amalgams.
- Neurotoxic. Have these removed ASAP by a certified biological dentist
7) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Found in paint, air freshener, new furniture/ car and carpentry (formaldehyde)
- Causes sick building syndrome, allergic reactions, asthma, respiratory
- This is one of the toxins I avoid using when I make my own personal care
products or use those made with only the highest quality, therapeutic-
grade essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances - Get yours --> here
8) Mold – Toxic to entire system if left untreated
9) Glyphosate – pesticide used to promote bigger yields in food
- Found in GMO foods and soil in which it's grown
- Associated with metabolic disease and cancer
10) Light/noise pollution
- Use ear plugs in noisy places, decrease volume of
earbuds and headphones and use your Night Shift phone setting while
watching TV or using the internet at night
- They decrease the exposure to stimulating blue light at night
The point of this post is not to overwhelm you. It is to EMPOWER you to make better decisions about food, products and services you consume everyday.
Please reach out with questions.
Photo credit: By Chhe (talk) - I (Chhe (talk)) created this work entirely by myself.Transferred from en.wikipedia, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18212592
Summer is officially here! And with that, come the bugs we all know and love so much! Hence, this month's oil is a practical one for summer - Citronella.
Most people have used Citronella, aka Pelargonium Citrosum, as an insect repellant. It comes in candle, spray and essential oil form. However, did you know the plant also has anti-microbial properties and has historically been used as a sanitizer and for deodorizing surfaces? It has also been used historically as a stimulant, which explains why I personally feel more awake after sniffing it throughout the work day. It has also been used to help rid the gut of unwanted visitors (think creepy crawlies we don't want or need)
And it has also been found to have "harmonizing" and relaxing effects on people as evidenced by this small pilot study.
What a win-win!
Practical and uplifting! Does it get better than that?
HOW TO USE CITRONELLA OIL:
1. Topically - Dilute 1 drop of essential oil with 1 drop of a carrier oil (get that here) and apply to skin.
Or you can make your own insect-avoidance spray using the following recipe with:
* 5 drops of Lavender
* 5 drops of Purification (a blend of Lemongrass, Citronella, Rosemary, Lavandin, Myrtle, and Melaleuca essential oil)
* 3 drops of Peppermint
Top off a 5 mL roller bottle with sweet almond oil or fractionated coconut oil. Shake and roll on!
2. Aromatically - Diffuse for up to 30 minutes 3 times a day or directly inhale.
To learn more about the benefits of Citronella and other potent essential oils, see my essential oils website - https://yldist.com/amaltz/ - or join my Let’s Get Oily Facebook group here.
Let's face it...when we're born, we aren't given a manual for owning our bodies nor souls. If you're anything like most Westerners in the world, you live a very fast-paced life filled with lots of chatter, loud music, long to-do lists and constantly putting the needs of others before your own.
But what if there's another way to be?
What if there's a way to help both your body and soul thrive in world? And for you to feel less exhausted and depleted? And for you to feel less exhausted and depleted?
I'm talking about Self-Care - the kindest and most revolutionary act(s) of love you can commit.
Here are my top 3 tips on Self-Care (and what I teach my patients every day):
1) Take a deep breath. In fact, take lots of them!
With every breath, we are literally bringing new life (oxygen) in to our body and exhaling toxins (carbon dioxide). During this extremely complex chemical exchange, we get a new opportunity at life. A new way of being, a new way of seeing things, a new chance at life!
I have studied many forms of breath work over the course of my life. The one I love the most was taught by Dr. Andrew Weil during my 2-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship with the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ.
It is called the 4-7-8 breath and it’s quite simple! It’s done by breathing deeply so that the belly expands on the in breath and deflates on the out breath. You breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and then slowly breathe out to the count of 8 seconds.
This process is repeated 4-6 times depending on the level of experience with breath work. I advise only doing 4 rounds if new to deep belly breathing, as this technique will create a noticeable drop in blood pressure and heart rate, possibly leaving you a little light-headed. More advanced students can do more rounds. But like with most things, start low and go slow.
I truly love this technique because it works quickly, it’s free and it’s portable. I often do it while sitting in traffic or when I’m running late for an appointment (obviously, I keep my eyes open when driving and recommend you do too!). It truly drops me back in to my body and back in to the calmness of life. Ahhh....
2) GET MORE SLEEP!!!!
I can’t stress this enough!
In our modern times, most people I meet are sleep deprived...and suffering! We seem to think that because electricity and light bulbs were invented that we should stay up beyond our natural sleep times...just because we can!
Unfortunately, humans have not yet evolved to not need sleep. In fact, perhaps nighttime sleep has helped us evolve over millennia?
I will never claim to be an anthropologist, but I definitely know that so many important processes occur during sleep, we are amiss to dismiss it!
What I remind my patients is that humans have not evolved much over the past 1000 years, but our environment has dramatically changed. So, fortunately/unfortunately, we must shift with it.
This means, TURNING OFF YOUR SCREENS AND BRIGHT LIGHTS AT NIGHT TO SIMULATE DARKNESS. This means, preparing to get to bed around the same time every night and waking up around the same time every morning. This also means saying no sometimes to habits that disrupt these boundaries. It may even mean relaxing with a soothing bath every night and creating a ritual to help you fall asleep more easily.
Truth is, when we stare at brightly lit screens at night, it interrupts production of melatonin, an extremely important hormone secreted from the pituitary gland at sundown. This hormone is an immune booster and deficiencies in it have been linked with breast cancer and metabolic syndrome.
So please, I beg you, sleep more! If you have trouble sleeping, please reach out to Integrative Medicine doctors like myself to help. I have MANY tricks up my sleeve that can help.
3) Be kind to yourself.
You are human. Therefore, you are fallible.
No one is perfect in any way, even though we all love to paint a picture for others that we are.
Why do we tell ourselves we don’t deserve happiness or joy or love?
Would we ever say these things to a friend? How about to a stranger?
Quite frankly, No, we wouldn’t! Because we know how harmful words can make people feel. So why do we constantly berate ourselves for things that either happened in the past or cannot be changed? It is just part of the human experience to be flawed and to make mistakes.
What we must cultivate is a practice of self-compassion, a term that means showing empathy and caring towards ourselves as we would show another human being. Why is this important for our health?
Well, because the mind and body cannot tell the difference between ourselves or someone else saying mean things about us. The same stress hormones get secreted when we berate ourselves versus if someone else were to do it. But unfortunately, many of us live with a looped recorder in our heads constantly saying mean things about ourselves. This leads to chronically elevated stress hormones and decreased levels of “feel good” neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin.
I personally see a pandemic of self-hate and self-flagellation in our culture and I absolutely know, without a doubt, that it contributes to medical illness on a regular basis. If we told ourselves loving, nurturing things about ourselves, wouldn’t we also want to take care of our bodies? Wouldn’t we want to help those in our communities take care of their bodies? And on and on.
I believe lack of self-love is a public health threat beyond anything we have ever measured. And, of course, it is immeasurable.
Bottom line: Love yo’self every day. No matter what!
Reprinted with permission from Naturally Nourished Cookbook by Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE.
Avocados and chocolate? Naturally, it doesn’t sound like the most pleasing combination, but don’t knock it till you try it!
This is one of my most favorite decadent treats! Not only does it fulfill my chocolate craving needs, but the healthy fats in avocados are incredible for protecting against various cancers and heart disease! Plus, there is more potassium in avocados than bananas and they are a great source of vitamins E, K and folate.
1/2 cup of dates (Madjool)
3-4 tablespoons of 100% raw organic cocao powder
1-2 tablespoons of vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. Scrape the sides with a spatula and continue to blend until smooth. Top it off with sea salt and serve with fresh fruit.
Paired with strawberries, this Avocado Chocolate Mousse will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Find Ali's cookbook with many delicious and nutritious recipes here.
Photo credit: Young Living blog - http://www.dgaryyoung.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/FrankincenseTree11.jpg
Oh the wonders of Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)!
Once considered to be more valuable than GOLD, this oil has been cultivated over centuries for it’s emotional, spiritual and healing properties for centuries. It’s value came from the reputation as the oil “used to treat every conceivable ill known to man”. This plant oil is mentioned in the Bible and there are records of it’s use dating back to the 16th Century B.C.E.
That’s all wonderful, but how does this serve me in modern times?
For one, it’s smell is extremely grounding, so it is a fantastic way to calm down and focus when my monkey mind gets caught on overdrive. (the monkey mind is a term coined to describe how the mind tends to overthink when not disciplined by meditation and grounding practices.) The oil (and the resin from the oil) are known to increase spiritual awareness, promote meditation, improve attitudes and uplift spirits.
There are also many healing effects from this oil, thus it is treasured by many natural health enthusiasts. It is currently being studied for it’s many powerful health effects and may eventually lead to potent medications to combat illness. What exciting time for this plant and for human health in general!
HOW TO USE FRANKINCENSE OIL:
My favorite use for the oil other than meditation and grounding, is topically on the skin. I just add a drop to my daily moisturizer and enjoy the way it makes my skin feel rejuvenated and fresh! It is touted as an anti-aging oil; who doesn’t need that!?
The oil is extremely potent, so I do recommend diluting the oil in either vegetable or jojoba oil and using it as a night-time anti-aging serum and immune booster. (P.S. - use at nighttime may help you sleep more soundly due to it’s calming effects!)
To learn more about the benefits of Frankincense and other potent essential oils, see my essential oils website - https://yldist.com/amaltz/ - or join my Let’s Get Oily Facebook group here.
Something stirred in me after reading a quote in an online Integrative Medicine newsletter I occasionally peruse. The quote was made by an Integrative Medicine practitioner I have never met somewhere in a far off land, however, it completely resonated with me and I want to share why.
Here’s what Roger Jahnke, OMD said, "No matter whom your doctor, what your health challenge, what medicine you are taking — always lead with self-care. You are the primary health care provider on your case."
When I read this, I thought, “Yes! Yes! Yes! He gets it! This is what I’ve been trying to say!” I mean, how incredible is this teaching?
For so long, people have been under the illusion that doctors, medications, pharmacies and healthcare institutions will save or fix them. We have come to the conclusion that “they (the powers that be) must be right, and we (the lowly individual) must be wrong”. In doing this, the locus of our control has been completely externalized to these institutions and the individual self has mostly been led to believe that they are powerless when it comes to health and healing.
For so long, we have driven to a clinic, seen a healthcare professional of some sort, explained the symptoms we’ve been experiencing and then walked away with a pill or a procedure or something to “fix” the issue. We have externalized all of our power to authorities other than ourselves, even sometimes against our better judgment.
But yet, we’re still sick. In fact, Americans are sicker than they’ve ever been before, as measured by the birth of the first generation of children estimated to die earlier than their parents in the history of the U.S. We are literally being poisoned, if not by food, then by environmental toxins and toxic behaviors and thoughts.
But fortunately, there is an alternative way of living that is emerging. It starts with going inward and seeing our individual truth, beauty and love. It continues with trusting ourselves to do research into health and wellness and from there, we make conscious health decisions for ourselves and our family members. That empowerment then trickles down and ripples around to everyone we encounter and finally we are living on our own terms. Not those dictated to us by an outdated, paternalistic institution.
This does not mean that we don't need doctors, health experts, hospitals and researchers! WE DO! But, we each must take our lives and our health back in to our hands and stop accepting the status quo.
We must start growing our own food, creating vibrant communities that support us instead of deplete us and we must shower ourselves with self-love and self-care as frequently as possible. We must move our bodies more and live closer to nature in order to reap the health benefits of these health behaviors. And we must stop telling ourselves that we don’t deserve love and happiness. Because, we all do!
But let’s be realistic, we don’t live in a Utopian world (as much as I wish we did!). We live in a very stressful modern society and we need simple solutions to improve our lives and health.
So, here are some simple action steps you can take RIGHT NOW to take control of your health (or improve it if you are relatively healthy):
1) Turn off the TV, especially the nightly news!
The media has created a circus of entertainment for us to consume solely using ratings as a measure. They do NOT have your best interest at heart! Even worse, they profit off of your fears. So, if you’re a news or social media junkie, consider limiting your screen (TV and computer) time to 1 show per day (or 30 minutes) and see how much more free time you create in your life. Imagine what you could do with all that free time!
Also consider that a constant loop of scary news blasting through your head is not great for your overall mental health.
I’ve had numerous patients tell me they have chronic sleep issues and this is the first thing I tell them to do. Turn off the screens (the bright light shuts down melatonin production which causes irregular sleep habits), take a calming bath and get a good night’s rest (sans fear and worry).
2) Go outside!
Ok, now that the screens are off (or at least, they are no longer taking up as much of your time) I advise you GO OUTSIDE! See, as we have evolved in this country, we have built beautiful, sprawling cities as vast as you can imagine. And thanks to the internet, we have everything at our fingertips! But, what we unfortunately cannot replace is the nurturing and soul-nourishing time we need in nature. Yes, I said NEED!
Being in nature is actually not an optional thing for us. I try to encourage it as much as possible as there are actually scientific studies showing the benefits of being in nature. One study I recall measured cortisol levels (the hormone associated with the stress reaction of “fight or flight” induced when facing dangers) in people walking in a forest versus walking in a concrete jungle (the city). Link Nor surprisingly, the cortisol levels of those walking in nature were significantly lower than those walking in the city. Another study shows similar benefits in people engaged in forest “bathing” (defined as “taking in” the atmosphere of the forest) in Japan. Link
I mean, nature is healing in so many ways. Study after study shows that our more hygienic, less natural lives are causing a great deal of dis-ease or illness in society. This is likely related to our less diverse microbiomes (the bacteria that live inside and on top of us) that are no longer flourishing due to, among various factors, a lack of encounters with nature.
Thus, spending time in nature, IS ESSENTIAL!
I know what you Southerners are saying, “it’s too hot and there are
too many mosquitos”. These are definitely things to contend with
when stepping outside, but finding an early or late time of
day to go for a walk or swim during the long summer months can serve wonders for your health. And you can always make a homemade Bug Away spray with essential oils. (Find the recipe here) The benefits of being in nature FAR outweigh the risks of staying sedentary inside all day. Even a 20 minute walk does wonders for the nervous system!
3) Create LOVING community.
Of all of the actions I recommend to people for improving their overall health, this recommendation actually has the one with the most umph behind it. In fact, you can eat an impeccably healthy diet, exercise daily, never smoke, drink or take risks in your life and still be unhappy and unhealthy.
In fact, I’d say people who become vigilant about their health, actually tend to isolate themselves. This has implications in that, we as human beings, are social creatures. Therefore, we NEED interaction with others. Not only do we need interactions to thrive, we need LOVING interactions.
Interacting with negative, predatory people is NOT a healthful choice
for anyone. And it is particularly debilitating when events occur with these types of people during childhood. Much damage can be done by interacting with these people as children and, unfortunately, the body and soul may hold on to such trauma for a lifetime. Link (Hence my belief in seeking adequate mental and spiritual support throughout the lifetime).
The power of loving, supportive community is being increasingly
recognized in medical research. In fact, it is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet that has been found to be one of the most healthful diets in the world. In Greece and coastal islands in the Mediterranean, people live a slower pace of life. They live with older and younger family members (intergenerational homes) and spend a lot of leisure time together. They grow their own vegetables, walk a lot and live more simply. They may attend church together and many of them also fast intermittently according to the Greek Orthodox calendar. These are some of the secrets to the success of the Mediterranean Diet with community being at the center.
Other examples of community creating power include the Seventh-Day Adventist community of Loma Linda, California and the elder communities of Okinawa, Japan. They, along with other communities around the globe live close to each other, share value systems and even check up on each other on a regular basis. All of these behaviors affect the mental health and longevity of the people living there. You can read more about them on the Blue Zones website.
In a recently published study of over 250 male Harvard students spanning 75-years, a team of Harvard researchers found that those men reporting loving personal connections and/or purposeful work rated the highest on happiness scales. And we all know that happiness spills over to physical and mental health.
There are many other action steps you can take right now to turn the tide of disease and suffering. However, for the sake of brevity, I will stop there. (The average American now has a very short attention span!).
What I really want to reiterate to everyone is that YOU ARE POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE! You, like everyone around you, has the ability to create a healthful body and mind. You don’t have to put up with toxic relationships, overwhelming work hours and toxic insults on your body in the form of food, drink and household products. You can create a new reality – one in which you feel energized and live with vitality!
So, how does Dr. Jahnke’s statement resonate with you?
P.S. – I do not mean to minimize the importance of seeking professional guidance from doctors, etc., for medical issues. Modern medicine is a gift to many and we are blessed to have it! However, it is my belief that our current healthcare system is not set up to manage chronic, underlying disease states and thus, we must be our own health advocates. The current medical system is useful and needed and many of the people involved in it are extremely altruistic and loving. They are my friends, teachers and colleagues. But, they too admit that we are in over our heads in terms of chronic disease management.
Thank you for reading!
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19568835 - accessed May 21st, 2017.
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18336737 - accessed May 22nd, 2017.
3. https://bluezones.com/2016/11/power-9/ accessed May 21st, 2017.
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27450581 - accessed May 22nd, 2017.
Lavender essential oil has long held the title of being the “Swiss Army knife” of essential oils as it has a multitude of beneficial effects on the body. It’s strong, yet gentle properties help with relaxation, inducing sleep and a calm state-of-being as well as with creating mental alertness and increasing concentration (Motomura, 2001, Diego, et al., 1998). The oil is also known to facilitate healing of cuts and wounds and to give skin a healthy glow.
According to Le Musee de la Lavande (the Lavender Museum), the word lavender come from the Latin root “lavare”, which means “to wash”, as it was used to scent baths in Roman times. It was also used to disinfect surfaces in homes and hospitals in Europe during times of viral outbreaks.
True lavender takes the scientific name Lavendula angustifolia. It’s plant cousin, Lavandin (Lavandula intermedia) is a hybrid plant used as a cheaper alternative to true lavender in many essential oil formulas, so, as with all essential oils, it is important to know your source and to try to obtain the highest quality oils available. This is why I recommend Young Living Essential Oils – insert link to my purchase page.
There are many ways to use lavender essential oil: 1) Aromatically - on a cotton ball, in a spray bottle mister or diffused through a cold water diffuser; 2) Internally - using empty vegetable capsules from the health food store and a carrier oil like almond oil or vegetable oil; or 3) Topically - diluted or neat.
I personally like to put some on my pillow at night for a good night’s rest. I also add it to my daily moisturizer routine (along with frankincense oil) to reduce formation of lines and wrinkles. Lavender essential oil is even gentle enough for kids and for pets. But, remember, a few drops of a therapeutic grade essential oil goes a long way.
How might you benefit from the use of therapeutic grade lavender oil in your life?
Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of therapeutic-grade essential oils? If so, comment below or contact me in the Contact section.
Dr. Maltz earned a Medical Degree and Master in Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX. She completed a combined Internal and Preventive Medicine Residency at UTMB in June, 2011. She then completed a 2-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, during which she simultaneously underwent an intensive 1000-hour curriculum created by The University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Program founded by Dr. Andrew Weil.