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Surprising Benefits Of Aromatherapy You Shouldn’t Miss

Surprising Benefits Of Aromatherapy You Shouldn’t Miss

Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils has been documented for thousands of years; from the Chinese and Egyptians, to the Indians, Greeks and Romans. There are many well known benefits and uses of essential oils and aromatherapy. They can alleviate stress and headaches, help you sleep, aid digestion and inspire you. Some people study and practice this craft and become experts in the field. Aromatherapy is now a thriving profession. However, it doesn’t have to be that complicated and you can easily use aromatherapy and essential oils in your every day life and reap the advantages of their well known properties and the not so well known ones too. Whether you are a novice or a long time user, you just have to think outside the square and learn how to experiment with what they can do for you and how to use them.

You do have to be careful when experimenting as they can be quite potent and many oils for example, shouldn’t be used whilst pregnant. It’s always helpful to consult a professional if you are unsure and use them sparingly. Just a couple of drops is enough and never blend more than two to three at a time. Always use carrier oils if you are using them topically or directly on the skin and never use on small children or babies. It is also good to invest in good quality, pure essential oils rather than the cheaper synthetic ones. Real oils usually have their botanical name written on them and are a little more expensive.

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Here are 5 benefits of aromatherapy that will surprise you:

1. Get rid of bad smells

I love burning oils around the house daily. You can get rid of cooking smells that although smell appetizing in the moment, can linger for days. I often cook with garlic for its well known health benefits, but it can get a bit smelly. Same with cooking fish. Once everyone has eaten and the dishes are cleared up I will blend a couple of oils in an oil burner and let the aroma waft through the whole house. I like to use oils from common cooking herbs for this purpose such as Basil, Rosemary or Ginger. Just a couple of drops of each and the garlic smell is gone. I also do this in the bathroom to get rid of nappy and toilet smells. Oils such as Lemongrass, Lime and any type of citrus can have disinfecting effects and smell amazing. You can bring the garden into your home with floral scents such as Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender and Rose. It’s a wonderful way to create ambiance in your home if you are having guests over or potential buyers if you are selling.

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2. Kill bacteria

You can use aromatherapy oils to kill bacteria and germs around the house. I soak any dishcloths that are starting to smell in warm water and a little bleach and to that I add a couple of drops of my favourite oil. The aroma goes through the kitchen as I wipe down the benches. I make sprays with a spray bottle, some water and a few drops of oils and use this to spray the atmosphere or surfaces and wipe them down. I also do this in the bathroom. Oils such as Pine, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Lemon are great disinfectants. If anyone has been sick I will put a couple of drops of Lavender in the wash with the fabric softener to kill any germs that are still lingering. I wash sheets and towels after a bout of flu this way. You can also use Peppermint and Tea Tree oil to prevent head lice. Just a couple of drops in a water spray bottle and spray it on the kids’ hair before combing it through. Using Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oil in a vaporizer can clear up stuffy noses and chests too.

3. Set the mood

We often get so distracted that we forget to tantalize our senses. Aromatherapy oils can be used to calm you down, elevate your mood or get you in the mood. You can use an oil burner, candles, soak in an aromatic bath, put fragrance on a pillow by sprinkling a few drops or making up a room spray. For romance why not try some Rose, Sandalwood or Ylang Ylang to set the mood. If you are feeling lethargic or have been feeling under the weather, Lemon is very energizing. For relaxation Roman Chamomile is perfect. There is real scientific evidence about how aromatherapy works and you can read about it here.

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4. Repel insects

You want to enjoy the great outdoors, but there is nothing worse than being bothered by mosquitoes and worse still, you don’t want creepy crawlies like cockroaches coming into your home, especially near your food. Making an insect repellent spray is very simple. Just fill a spray bottle with some distilled water and witch hazel, add a few drops of Citronella and spray it on your body before you go outside. Getting rid of insects like cockroaches and moths is easy. Just a few drops of Peppermint on some cotton rounds placed strategically in cupboards, drawers and pantries and the critters stay away.

5. Wear it

I love wearing aromatherapy oils like perfume. Some of them are intoxicating alone or absolutely divine when combined with others. Once you get the knack for mixing oils; woody scents with floral tones, citrus bases with sweet compliments, you’ll be able to create unique and signature perfumes that will compete with any celebrity fragrance. You can wear essential oils topically on your skin when they are combined with a carrier oil such as Almond, Rose Hip or Avocado. These oils have their own properties and benefits. Rose Hip is fantastic as a face moisturizer to minimize dry skin around the eyes and mouth and is effective for reducing the appearance of scars. Jojoba is fantastic for scalp care and dandruff. It also leaves your hair feeling silky smooth and repairs damage from over styling. Carrier oils are great for massage also. Just add a combination of aromatherapy oils to the carrier oil and massage the stress away from sore feet, a stiff neck or a tight back. You might have to recruit someone to help you or better still book yourself in for a professional aromatherapy massage. The best oils to wear as perfume are Rose, Jasmine, Geranium and Lavender.

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You can discover aromatherapy and essential oils for yourself. The best part of it is experimenting and using the scents that you are attracted to and that you enjoy. You can find different recipes and guides about how to blend oils. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be blending original combinations yourself and it’s a great idea to write down the combinations you come up with so that you can refer back to them in the future. Note the purpose of your recipe and how the scent made you feel and start your own aromatherapy recipe book. You’ll never look back.

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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