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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

[1] Central Coast Lavender: Healing Power of Lavender
[2] Dr. Axe: How to Heal Cuts Fast
[3] Fox News: 5 essential oils that heal
[4] Dr. Axe: Top 4 Essential Oils for Headaches
[5] How Stuff Works: Can lavender treat skin problems?
[6] Organic Facts: 13 Surprising Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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