Monthly Archives: December 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

New years Eve is coming up and party-time is upon us. Here are some “I-feel-great” party-blends for that razzle ‘n dazzle:

  • Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) + Grapefruit (Citrus paradisii) +  Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • Rose (Rosa centifolia) + Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) + Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
  • Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) + Black pepper (Piper nigrum) + Ginger (Zingiber officinale) + Sandalwood (Santalum album)
  • Petit grain (Citrus aurantium) + Mandarine (Citrus reticulata) + Bergamott (Citrus bergamia)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrah) + Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) + Rose (Rosa centifolia)

For body-scent use about 5-10 drops of a blend in 15-20ml veg. oil or unscented lotion. For perfume: 20-30 drops in 10ml jojoba-oil.

The day after (all that bubbly…) your liver might need some extra support: Start the day with lemon-water; Squeeze 1/2 lemon into a glass of warm (not hot) water and drink first thing. Blend 1 drop of rose otto in 5ml (1 teaspoon) of veg. oil and rub over your liver a few times during the day. The liver is situated on the right side of your body, under the lower ribs. Rub some of the blend into your temples as well 🙂

Beware of using Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) together with alcohol; it can give some negative side-effects. In the old days clary sage (the herb) was often blended in wine to create a slightly hallucinogenic and euphoric effect…usually followed by a massive headache.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL AND ENJOY!!!


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Eating Disorders on the Rise in Children

I just read this article that I would like to share with you. In this time of increasing obesity, much work has been done, especially in the USA, to spread awareness of the health-hazards connected with obesity. The message that kids are picking up is; “Fat is ugly, fat is bad” and this has created an ever-increasing wave of eating disorders among children under 12 years of age.

It takes information and knowledge to change the “obesity-habits” (i.e; nutrition and exercise) and not all people have enough awareness to be able to implement such changes, and the message gets screwed up, instead of “eat better” the message becomes “eat less”.

Here is a paragraph from the article:

“Overall, it is estimated that about 0.5% of adolescent girls in the United States have anorexia nervosa, that about 1% to 2% meet diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa, and that up to 5% to 10% of all cases of eating disorders occur in boys.”

Eating Disorders on the Rise in Children.

STRESS & PRIDE

One thing I have noticed time and time again is that many people seem to be very proud of their stress. They are forever listing all the things they have to do, and if you do not praise them they get upset. They are the people who always do more than anybody else. If you say you worked 16 hours in a row, they worked 24. Then there are the people who are forever complaining about their stress; how hard their lives are, how bad they feel and how nobody understands.

What I am hearing in these two groups is the same: Victimization. Stress is nothing to be proud of, it is a sign that all is not well. Most often it is a sign of not listening to yourself and lack of self-respect, no matter if you are boasting or crying about your stress. Both these groups are very difficult to deal with, because they will not accept change. When I make such people list their daily activities, much of what they do is pure rubbish or bad organization and when I point this out, they get upset and I become a “bad guy”. There are forever excuses to why change is not possible, even for such mundane things as changing curtains 3 times a year.

To some people this is part of their “make-up” or personality. It is who they need to be to feel important, to be seen. Victimization functions very well in our society which might be one of the reasons people so easily fall into this trap. (Hand on heart: We have all been there) There are always solutions to any dilemma but we carry the responsibility for our well-being. No matter what kind of person you are, stress will always kick you in the face at one point if you don’t make changes. Some people that I have worked with, become so upset with me that they walk away, only to be back at a later date when they are truly falling apart – usually by disease or unbearable pain. Each time it saddens me that people will allow things to go so far when the problem was quite easily rectified to begin with.

I repeatedly see this phrase in job-ads: “Needs to be stress-resilient”. What is this? Nobody is stress-resilient; some individuals can handle a lot for a long time before they break…but usually they break so much harder. What the job-ads should say is: “Needs to be self-aware”.

I work with health, not disease. My job is to keep my clients healthy and balanced. More often than not people come to me as the “last resort” when nothing else has functioned. From this very low point in their lives it is a long haul to get back to balance. I should be the “first resort”, before things get bad. In China doctors are “judged” by their ability to keep patients healthy and in balance. Maybe a concept that we, in the Western world, should adopt?

 

MAY CHANG

Time for a profile again; this is a wonderful, versatile oil with a lovely scent. It’s attractive to most people and one of those scents that is always appreciated when it comes to scenting spaces.

May Chang, Litsea (Litsea cubeba). Synonyms: tropical verbena, yunnan verveine. These names are a bit misleading, since it is not at all related to Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla). It belongs to the same family as the rosewood and cinnamon tree. Litsea is a small tropical tree with lemony-scented leaves and flowers. It produces little fruits shaped like peppers which gives the name cubeba. The tree is native to Asia, especially China where it is often planted as a wind breaker. China is the main producer, but it is also cultivated  in Taiwan and Japan. The oil was introduced to the West as late as in the mid-fifties.

The oil is steam-distilled from the fruits, the yield is high – the fruits contain 3-5% essential oil. On Java, Indonesia, small quantities of oil is distilled from the leaves, though it is considered inferior since there is less citral in it. (I would love to get my hands on some of that oil, since, in aromatherapy, we are not looking at isolation but rather wholeness, it would have different therapeutic properties ) The main component of the fruit-oil is citral, up to 85%. The scent of Litsea is sweet-lemony, fresh and fruity. It is reminiscent of lemongrass but lighter and sweeter without the sharpness and tenacity of lemongrass.

The major use of the oil is for the isolation of citral which is used for flavor and fragrance. The chemical industry uses it as a raw material for the synthesis of vitamin A and also converts it into a violet-like scent. International standards set the minimum citral-content at 74% for Litsea, the same as for Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) and both these oils are described in trade terms as “75 percent”.

Traditional uses in China are: indigestion, lower back pain, chills, headaches and travel sickness.

Essential oil of Litsea cubeba is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, carminative, sedative and calming. It is also used as an insect-repellent, though I find Citronella (Cymbogogon nardus) to be more efficient.

USES:

  • SKIN: Its antimicrobial properties make it excellent for oily skin and acne. It is astringent and gently cooling on the skin and makes a good tonic.
  • RESPIRATORY: Tonic. Has been used as a broncho-dilator and may be helpful with bronchitis and asthma. (In the case of asthma, I believe part of its usefulness is the calming and relaxing effect of the oil.)
  • HEART: Tonic to the heart; much research is being done in China on disease-prevention and cure of heart-problems. Recent research has shown Litsea’s ability to reduce arrhythmias in comparison with propranolol, a beta-blocker, antihypertensive and anti-angina drug. (Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1991 Aug;11(8):509-12.) Personal note: This ability might be of great help in stress-relief, especially when stress causes irregular heart-beat.
  • DIGESTIVE: Flatulence, indigestion and poor appetite.
  • NERVOUS SYSTEM: Calming and antidepressant. Useful for nervousness and depression as the oil is softly uplifting and strengthening (tonic). Use it together with Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) and/or Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) for sleeping disorders. This blend is deeply relaxing.

More: As a sanitary air-freshener when there is disease. Brilliant to use during those months of the year when colds and flu’s set in.

Personal experience: I have found Litsea to be one of the few oils that most everybody likes. I have used it successfully on clients with racing heart-problems from stress and for people suffering from anorexia.

Litsea can cause sensitisation in some individuals. Do not use neat on skin.

 

Robert Fisk: The crimewave that shames the world – Robert Fisk, Commentators – The Independent

Robert Fisk: The crimewave that shames the world – Robert Fisk, Commentators – The Independent.

This article is very long, and I read it all. The killing of women for “honor” is something we know about, it happens all over the world – even in the well-to-do western world. In the article crimes against women are listed; they are all to do with sexuality (even imagined) and freedom of choice. I ponder over this relentless need to control women – what is it really about; power? control? fear? Probably all of them.

Many years ago I met an African man who told me about his tribe; the children all carried their names from their mothers (… son of …) because, as he said, the mother is the only real guarantee to where you come from. There are also other tribes in Africa who condone honor-killings and female circumcision – where lies the difference between, sometimes, neighbouring tribes and why?

Female circumcision is another human rights crime. Again, what is it really about? And most of all; where does this blood-lust come from? This has nothing to do with religion, that is only an excuse.