Tag Archives: tea tree

TOO MUCH PARTY IN THE COLD

I went to Sweden over the weekend to celebrate my daughters graduation. This event is always outdoors, which is fine when (if) the sun is shining – it wasn’t. At least the rain stopped in time. In cold, drizzly and gray weather I have stood outdoors dressed in a pretty summer-dress with only a thin jacket and a scarf – an entire day til late night. To make matters worse I slept by a wide-open window 2 nights in a row and then took the horror-flight (Skavsta-Hahn) home. Of course the week-end was party-time and I didn’t eat/sleep/exercise properly…but I had lots of wine and champagne! Once home my throat felt the way a bull-frog sounds and a cough had started. My head was aching, I had a fever, everything hurt – especially my throat – and I was exhausted.

Beautiful Stockholm…see how cold it was!

Immediate thing to do (should actually have been started already at first sign): Gurgle with Tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia). This oil is amazing on bacteria; you know when you have this disgusting taste in your throat/mouth? That’s bacteria, and if you start tea tree at the first tiny sign, it might not even break out! Then I went to bed and slept 16 hours.

I was so ill I couldn’t do more than the gurgling, and this is the problem with aromatherapy; it takes effort. When you feel horrid, you don’t have the energy to do anything except sleep and if you don’t have anybody to care for you, it’s easier to take an aspirin and hope for the best. Once I had slept I felt a little better; head-ache gone at least. I have a blend of pure essential oils that I use for colds; they can be mixed in oil or cream to be rubbed on chest and neck or used for inhalation. This is as close to simple as you can get with aromatherapy, and, trust me, it is a lot more effective over time than aspirin.

  • Thyme ct thymol / red thyme (thymus officinalis ct thymol) 20 drops
  • Benzoin (styrax benzoin) 15 drops
  • Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus) 20 drops
  • Lavender (lavandula augustifolia) 20 drops
  • Lemon (citrus limon) 20 drops

This makes about 5 ml of pure essential oil. Store it cool and dark and it will keep for up to two (2) years.  Mix 5-8 drops in 10ml (2 teaspoons) of cold-pressed vegetable oil for a rub. Use pure for inhalation. If you are really weak; stick to the gurgling of tea tree and sniff out of the cold-blend bottle. A blended veg. oil for rubbing will not keep for so long, so you need to make that up when needed.

Yesterday (day 2) I stayed in bed and did the gurgling + inhaling. Coughed a lot. Today my nose is a bit runny and I sneeze. Cough is almost gone, throat-ache as well. Am up and working. Tomorrow I will be back on track. The first days you can apply oils (gurgle, rub, inhale) once an hour until the mounting of symptoms stop (usually after day 1). Then continue with treatment 3-5 times/day until well. Stay warm and sweat a lot, that always help. Do not shower or get cold.

SWINE FLU & AROMATHERAPY

So now I am finally going to address this latest hysteria. I have been watching the development and the debates with raised eyebrows, wondering what all the drama was about. I also watched two of my children having the swine flu, and I must say I don’t get the fuss. It is an influenza, that’s all. There are other flues that hit a lot harder and kill a lot more people. I am now suspected of having it – the swine-flu; I have an insistent cough, sore throat,  muscle-ache and tiredness. I am told that I must not see people and that I am for the coming days a pariah to society – a walking killing-machine! I have seldom felt this healthy when I was sick. I had the bird-flu some years ago – now that’s what I call sick! That was the last time I was sick, so maybe I just pick up animal-diseases? I do not believe in vaccines, and I outright refuse the N1H1 vaccine. I believe that if you live according to health, you can handle disease such as flues. Besides which, I read a report that one of the side-effects (very small % mind you, but I wouldn’t want to be that %) is irreversible respiratory muscle collapse. On top of which, the company that has created this vaccine (and markets it after a less than minimum trial period) has been granted relief from all responsibility if there are negative side-effects – no law-suits for them! Now why would this be done? I leave it to you to figure it out. Please comment if you wish.

Today I would like to share with you my aromatherapy usage during this illness. It all started with a slight tickling discomfort in my throat that I recognized as that of an infection in the brewing. I quickly started my gargle-routine with 2 dr. of Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia) in luke-warm water. I did this morning and night for the first day, a bit more often for the second day and realized on the third day that I had been lazy and nonchalant in my self-treatment (being busy enjoying myself instead). So the third day I increased the gurgling to every 2nd hour. I also massaged a blend of oils on my throat: Red thyme (thymus vulgaris), Benzoin (styrax benzoin), Lemon (citrus limon) and Niaouli (melaleuca viridiflora) = 6 dr of each in 20ml vegetable oil. This blend is very soothing to an infected respiratory system. During the night I would wake up from coughing (3 times during the night); then I took 1 dr of Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus) straight; I put the drop on the back of my hand and lick it, washing it down with some water. This gave me wonderful, instant relief during my 12 hour sleep.

I have an aroma-fan in which I diffuse oils of; Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus), Cloves (eugenia aromatica) and Lavender (lavandula augustifolia). These oils are calming, anti-bacterial and cleansing in nature. The scent of cloves reminds me of Christmas so it does double duty as season-enhancer.

For my achy muscles I use a blend of Marjoram (origanum majorana), Black-pepper (piper nigrum) and Roman Chamomile (chamaemelum nobile) = 10 dr of each in 30ml vegetable oil. I use it in the morning and before bed at night.

As an all-round “pick-me-up” I use Orange (citrus sinensis) for the warm, light and happy feeling it induces.

I eat plenty of garlic, vegetables and fruit. I drink masses of water and herbal teas such as mint, fennel, chamomile, rose-hip and green tea. I rest a lot, read a lot, study texts I didn’t have the peace to study earlier and I use this time to focus myself on how I want to live my life. Except for this really irritating cough, I can’t say I am suffering.

KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION about essential oils

lemon_pepper_oilOne thing I keep coming across is the ignorance about aromatherapy and essential oils.  On top of this, essential oils are very easy to find and actually not too expensive. Everybody has heard of aromatherapy and essential oils, many are using them in a vague fashion to scent their homes or help with minor problems, which is okay if you know what you are doing, but if you don’t know, you might be creating all kinds of problems.

To start at the top:

  • Essential oils are mainly used by the food- cosmetics- and perfume industry. Therefore they are easily found on the market. There are no limitations or regulations on producing and selling essential oils, since they are so widely used, except for some oils that are obviously hazardous to health and prohibited for all use.
  • Essential oils are also used by the pharmaceutical industry since they are pharmaceutically active agents. (Vicks vaporub & other cold-remedies)

Here starts the first problem: Since essential oils are pharmaceutically active, they should be marked as medicine, and regulated as such (as is the case with all other pharmaceutically active substances), making them unavailable for any other use. This would mean that the food- and perfume-industry (and toiletries and…) could not use essential oils in any way. Since this would lead to political and economical upheaval, it is putting the essential oils in a kind of “nowhere-land” where it is best not to create too much discussion.

So anybody can buy essential oils everywhere. The manufacturers and distributors of essential oils can claim anything they want and give advice on how to use essential oils. (Sometimes the advice is on a clinical level and the essential oil should not be used in this way without extensive knowledge.)

Essential oil components

do you understand above list?

Next problem is this: In England, America, Scandinavia and Australia you can train exclusively to become an aromatherapist. This education is a state-approved professional training. In these countries there is much more information pertaining essential oils and how to use them, since there are professional therapists that can advice you. As a professional therapist you study basic medicine, biology, chemistry and botany to understand essential oils and what they can do (or not do.).

In Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and other countries in Europe you need to be a Heilpraktiker or a doctor before you are allowed to work with essential oils in a pharmaceutical way. If you are a Heilpraktiker, that means adding  a year of aromatherapy and essential oil studies to your existing diploma.  Since very few people want to do this, only doctors are really allowed to use essential oils for medical (healing) purposes. There are some doctors who do this in France. For the rest, aromatherapy is used for beauty or Spa-treatments, and the therapist has no right to claim any healing attributes to the oils.

essential-oil

This means that the overall knowledge about essential oils in much lower in most of mainland Europe creating all kinds of problems. Essential oils and aromatherapy is widely talked about and people use more essential oils here than in informed countries. There are hardly any warnings or advice. For example: Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) became all the rave a few years ago because it was said to be good against acne. People started using it indiscriminately, causing all kinds of skin-problems. In Germany and France the oil was banned for a couple of years. All because of ignorance.

tea-tree

Since I started working with aromatherapy I have worked on spreading information and trying to get past all the red tape around what is allowed to be said or not. Sometimes lack of information is the very source of the problem. At the end of the day the essential oils will continue to be accessible to everybody and the information about these substances need to be up-to-date as with any other available substance.

Essential oils can heal and provide well-being. But they can also cause harm when used wrongly.

As I said before; quality is what differentiates essential oils used for aromatherapy as opposed to industrial uses. Quality is also about re-planting, fair trade and cooperation.

handshake

TOOTH-ACHE AND AROMATHERAPY

800px-ClovesI was called by a friend of mine today, she was suffering from bad pain in her mouth after a tooth-operation. The doctor wanted to give her antibiotics and she was not happy with the idea so she called me.

Now first of all I am sceptical about the antibiotics-bit since she doesn’t appear to have an infection. The operation-site has become inflamed; red, swollen and painful to the touch, I think that to use antibiotics is to overkill, better to save that for real heavy-duty infections. She took painkillers which helped momentary, but each time they wore off she was in so much pain.

My aromatherapy treatment:

  • I mixed 10 drops of essential oil of Cloves (Eugenia caraphyllata or syzygium aromaticum) with 30 drops essential oil of Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) in a small bottle.
  • Vegetable oil blend: In a 30ml bottle I mixed Calendula- and carrot-macerations with Jojobaoil.

Instructions:

  1. 1 drop neat of the essential oil blend on a moist q-tip and dab onto sore spot / tooth in mouth. This helps to anaesthetize the pain and has an antibiotic effect.
  2. 2 drops of the essential oil blend in 1/2 glass of luke-warm water and gurgle for at least 1-3 min. Spit out.
  3. 3-5 drops of the essential oil blend in 5ml (1 teaspoon) of the vegetable oil blend and massage onto the cheek. If you suffer from sensitive skin, use only 1-3 drops.

For the first 1-3 days – the acute phase – this can be done every hour. After that administer the treatment 3-5 times/day or as needed.

CAUTION: Essential oil of Cloves should be used with care and never undiluted. It contains 60-90 % eugenol which is a powerful skin-irritant. This is why I blend it with Tea tree for spot treatment in the mouth, and vegetable oil for use on the skin.

Cloves has a long history of use in dentistry.

AROMATHERAPY TRICKS FOR EVERY DAY

OilDropThere are plenty of stuff for which you can use essential oils in a very easy way. First of all I need to point out: Essential oils should never be used undiluted on skin, so don’t try these tips with any other oils than those I tell you about. Make sure to keep them away from eyes, so wash your hands when you have been touching essential oils. (don’t want to accidentally rub them in your eyes – that really hurts and can cause severe problems.)

Do not use essential oils on children unless you have first spoken to an aromatherapist.

Make sure the materials you have are good quality, otherwise you will not get the results you want.

There are 3 oils which can be used undiluted on skin for specific problems; Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia), Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus). Vegetable oils for mixing the essential oils in should always be cold-pressed.

vegetable oils

  • Fresh small wounds and bi-stings: 1-2 drops of Lavender directly on the area. Cover with a band-aid or compress. Or put 1 drop on the band-aid and put on.  Warning: If this process is repeated too often, or during some time there is a risk that the wound grows bigger. Lavender is an essential oil, and they are very strong. This is a one-time acute treatment. After that Lavender must be diluted in vegetable oil or cream for ointment: 5 dr. of lavender to 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil/cream.
  • Burns: Cool the area with cold water and Aloe Vera, put 1-2 drops of Lavender on the burn and cover with ice-bag until heat is gone. When cooled down, use an ointment of 5 dr. Lavender in 1 tablespoon Aloe Vera gel. Tips: Make sure you have an Aloe Vera plant in your house. When needed, you cut a piece of the leaf and rub the gel onto the wound. Aloe plants are hardy and easy to keep.

aloe-vera-plant

  • Sunburn: Rub Aloe Vera (fresh or gel) onto the burn and let it dry. Then anoint with 5 dr Lavender in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  • Infected small wounds with pus: One drop of Tea tree on a band-aid or compress. Leave it on the wound for min. one day. If still infected with pus, repeat the treatment. Tea tree is amazing at “pulling out” the pus from a wound. Once the pus is gone, use a lavender ointment for healing.
  • Acne: Dilute Tea tree in water; 2-5 drops to 1 tablespoon (15 ml). Shake and use cotton-wool to wash the face with the tea-tree-water. This can be done as often as you wish during the day. Note: Do not use pure tea tree since it will irritate the skin and worsen the condition. When acutely infected pus-filled acne, dab on pure tea tree with the help of a moist q-tip.
  • Colds, sore throat: Gurgle with Tea tree or Eucalyptus; 2 drops in some tepid water. Gurgle at least 1 min. Repeat 3 times/day. When acute stage up to 5 times/day. Rub lavender oil into the base of your skull. Rub 1 drop neat eucalyptus oil into the sole of each foot 2-3 times/day. Use Eucalyptus as an inhalation to clear airways. ( 3 drops in a basin of hot water, cover head and basin with a towel and breath deeply, keep eyes closed. NOTE: Not for asthma sufferers) Make an ointment of 2-5 drops Eucalyptus in vegetable oil or cream and rub on chest, throat and upper back.
  • Headaches: Lavender and/or Eucalyptus rubbed into the base of the skull and the temples.
  • Tiredness: Eucalyptus on a tissue for inhalation or as a room-scent.

herbal-inhalation