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The Healing Oil: A Complete Guide To Lavender Oil

The Healing Oil: A Complete Guide To Lavender Oil

Lavender has long been used to scent fragrances, soaps, and shampoos, but did you know this striking purple plant also has the power to heal some of your most common ailments?

There’s a reason why essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil are making a resurgence in popularity. People who are dissatisfied with common, modern medical practices are taking a more natural stance and discovering that remedies like essential oils can deliver the healing benefits they need without the side effects of medications.

What are the benefits of lavender essential oil?

Lavender’s distinct colorful flowers and floral scent make it easily recognizable for most people. But what isn’t as obvious are the many potential benefits this natural gem can offer.

Before World War I, people used lavender to disinfect wounds. Hospitals would use the plan to sterilize tables and equipment. Farmers would stuff lavender in their hats to avoid headaches and sunburn. Those who had trouble with digestion or sleeping would seek relief by using lavender.

But now that modern medicine has evolved into supplements, prescriptions, and doctor visits, natural ingredients with proven powers like lavender have fallen by the wayside. But this lack of understanding does not mean that lavender’s healing powers no longer exist.

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1. Soothe your mind and body to help promote sleep

Lavender’s calming fragrance can soothe your mind and body to help you get a more restful sleep. Lavender may slow the functions of the nervous system to help promote sleep, while improving mood and concentration, and reduce anxiety.

2. Take away your stress to prevent depression

Just as it treats sleep troubles, lavender’s ability to relax busy minds can help take away your stress. In one study, participants who were given lavender orally experienced significant improvement in depressive symptoms.[1]

3. Clean cuts and scrapes to reduce healing time

Lavender contains antibacterial properties and has been widely used to clean cuts and sterilize equipment.[2] You can put it directly on bites, stings, cuts, and scrapes to reduce healing time.[3]

4. Cure headache without harmful side effects

Headaches occur from a variety of triggers, such as stress, hormonal changes, spinal subluxations, and allergies, to name a few. Using lavender essential oil for headaches helps eliminate the use of medication that might have harmful side effects, regardless of what is causing the headache.[4]

5. Cleanse pores of acne-causing bacteria

There isn’t much scientific data to back up the claim that lavender helps acne, but that’s primarily because there hasn’t been many studies on this.[5] However, given the fact that lavender has been used as a disinfectant in the past is a good indicator that it can also help to cleanse pores of harmful, acne-causing bacteria. It also acts as an astringent that tightens your pores.

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6. Move food easily to solve digestive issues

Lavender has been widely used as a natural digestive aid in the past because of its ability to move food easily and quickly through the intestines.[6] It also promotes a production increase of gastric juices to help ease indigestion and stomach pain.

Are there any side effects to using lavender essential oil?

Just because a remedy is all natural does not mean that there isn’t some risk or possibility of side effects.

Some people might discover they are allergic to lavender oil, which would make their skin irritated or broken out.

Others who take lavender orally might experience constipation, headache, or an increase in appetite.

It should not be used by pregnant women or young boys who have not reached puberty, as it could negatively impact hormonal changes.

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How should you use lavender essential oil?

Essential oils in general can be used in several ways, depending on why you are using the oil.

For lavender essential oil, you can massage the oil into your skin if you are hoping to treat acne or other skin conditions, or if you have a headache or muscle aches.

You can also use a few drops in other mixtures to create a room spray or bug repellent. Spray a few spritzes on your pillow to help you drop into a restful sleep, or use in a diffuser to calm the atmosphere in your home.

For headaches, dizziness, or motion sickness, you can place a small drop of lavender oil on the tip of your tongue or behind your ears to quiet the symptoms.

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Where to find lavender oil near you?

Lavender oil is one of the most common essential oils, and isn’t hard to find. You could order a bottle online from an e-commerce giant like Amazon, or opt for a retailer that specializes in essential oils like Rocky Mountain Oils. Popular home party business like Young Living and doTerra also provide a variety of oils, including lavender.

You need to store your oil in a cool, dark place away from sunlight or heat. You should also keep it in its original bottle, as dark colored bottles help to keep out UV rays.

Why you should choose lavender oil over other solutions?

Granted, lavender essential oil is not considered a “miracle” plant by many people, mainly because there are other products out there that do similar things. People can easily take melatonin to help them sleep, Tums to help with indigestion, creams and cleansers to control acne, aspirin for headaches, rubbing alcohol for cuts, and Xanax for anxiety. Truth be told, there are dozens of options that can treat a variety of symptoms that lavender also alleviates.

So why use lavender essential oils?

Remember that lavender essential oil is a natural alternative, whereas most solutions, like the ones listed above, might contain harmful ingredients or create side effects. In addition, this one single product can replace a whole medicine cabinet of alternatives, keeping your costs low and freeing up valuable space in your home.

And, last but not least, what we consider the secret benefits of using lavender essential oils were not secrets a hundred years ago. It was the norm, the go-to for people who didn’t have the internet to research benefits. They just knew it worked, just like generations before them.

Lavender continues to provide the same benefits today as it did a hundred years ago. That will never change, but hopefully the number of people who know about lavender’s healing powers might.

Reference

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Alli Hill

Freelance Writer and Marketing Consultant

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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