Essential Oils for the Winter and Holiday Seasons

It’s been awhile since I posted but that does not mean I have not been using my oils.  As a family we still use them on a daily basis and I am still, even after all these years, amazed by all that they do!  Below is a summary of my favorite oils to use for the fall, winter and holiday seasons.  Stock up now, before you need them.  I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.  (Sigh). 

 

Thieves 


A powerful blend of cinnamon, clove, rosemary and lemon oils.  You know when one person comes home sick and soon the rest of the family follows?  Wouldn’t it be super awesome if there was a way to stop that from happening?  At the first sign of a sniffle in the house I start diffusing thieves.  It helps the person that’s sick but it also helps to make sure the rest of us don’t get whatever they have.  Total win – win.  
 
Seasonal uses:
  • Feeling unwell?  Diffuse and rub on the bottom of your feet.  A couple of drops on each foot.  Repeat as needed.
  • Rub on a sore throat and/or you can gargle with a drop in a glass of water.  Thieves is strong so start with one drop and add or dilute with water as needed.  
  • My husband and I also put 3 or more drops in an empty 00 capsule and take internally.  Please note, I only recommend using Young Living Oils when taking them internally.

Other uses:

  • Oral care.  I have eased sore gums and sore teeth by applying thieves to the area that hurt. 
  • Diffuse to kill germs before anyone gets sick.  Get’em before they get you!
  • Rub on feet, kids and adults, during flu season as a preventative measure.

 

Peppermint 

It’s amazing how much I use this oil.  This is a must have all year long, especially if you live in the desert like I do. 

Seasonal uses:

  • Fever –  I find that a few drops on each foot help to bring a fever down quickly.  Peppermint is a natural coolant, which is why it is always in my water bottle during the hot desert summers.  
  • Stomach pain – Put one drop in at least 12 oz or more of water ( use glass or stainless steel – not plastic)  and drink (dilute with more water if needed).  You can also rub on the stomach to help relieve stomach pain, including indigestion, gas, bloating, etc.
  • Sinus relief -put one drop in the palm of your hand.  Rub hands together, bring them to your nose and inhale.  Whew, what a rush!  It opens sinuses and clears out the cobwebs in one fell swoop. 

Other uses for peppermint:  I keep an old glass juice bottle (about 32 oz) filled with water and 2 or 3 drops of peppermint in my fridge for the following uses…

  • As a natural appetite suppressant.  
  • It is great for digestion.  Too much turkey?  Have a glass of peppermint water.  It’s amazing how quickly it works.
  • Need a pick me up?  Have too much to do?  Peppermint is great to help clear the mind.  Inhale/diffuse if you need to have a bit more clarity or focus in your day.
  • Nausea – inhale as needed.

Lavender

This is another year round must have at all times oil.  I use lavender everyday and start to panic if I get a little low! 

Seasonal uses:

  • Use a drop or two on cracked hands.  If my hands get so dry that they crack/bleed I put on some lavender then layer with a salve.  Repeat as needed.
  • Cooking in the kitchen sometimes means getting a cut with a knife (my husband did this just last night) or a burn from the stove.  Run, don’t walk, and get the hurt area covered in lavender stat!  The faster you get it on the faster the healing will begin.  If it is a serious burn please seek medical attention.  I have used lavender on so many burns, cuts and bruises and each and every time I am stunned by how quickly the area heals.  
  • A natural antihistamine.  I never had allergies until I moved to the desert.  Once I figured out that I had them I took lavender in a capsule internally and my symptoms cleared up.  I also use it on my face, around the sinuses, being careful to avoid the eye area.  

Other uses:

  • Use on the face for blemishes
  • As a sleep aid
  • To reduce stress
  • Air freshener.  A few drops in a glass water bottle is a great way to freshen the air, sheets, bathrooms, car, etc. 

Peace & Calming

This is the oil that changed the way I looked at essential oils.  One night I watched as it transformed my almost 3 year old son from not wanting to settle down and go to bed into cooperating with us,  getting dressed and into bed and asleep in minutes.  It was miraculous!  I wanted to order a lifetime supply right then and there.  Peace & Calming is a blend of tangerine,orange, ylang ylang, patchouli and blue tansy.

Seasonal uses:

  • Stress & Anxiety.  The holidays are great but are also a time of year of added stress and anxiety.  Peace & calming soothes, calms and relaxes.  It works on adults as well as children.  
  • Sleep aid.  I would rub my kids feet with this blend before bed and they would easily drift off.  I would then have to wash my hands because if I didn’t I would find myself getting sleepy!   It is a great oil to have when you need to settle down and get a good nights rest and of course there are no side effects in the morning.

Other uses:

  • I know people that use Peace & Calming when they have a big presentation.
  • Anytime you want to ease a stressful situation.
  • I used it on my dog who gets stressed out when meeting other dogs.  Which stresses me out so it helped both of us!
  • Over active kid or kids.  Put it on yourself and walk around the kids to calm them down. 
  • Can be helpful for those with mental disabilities.

Joy

This is the oil that started me using essential oils.  It is a blend of bergamot, ylang ylang, geranium, rosewood, lemon, mandarin, jasmine, Roman chamomile, palmarosa and rose.  I use this oil everyday and I love it.  Once I started using Joy I had to give away my best perfumes because I could no longer tolerate the synthetic chemicals in those products.

Seasonal uses:

  • Depression.  People don’t like to talk about depression around the holidays but it happens.  A lot.  There is so much going on.  This time of year demands more of our time and our finances which can be overwhelming.  Throw in some crazy family members and it can all be just too much.  A few drops over your heart, behind your neck, and or on your wrists will help to lift your mood.
  • Seasonal mood disorder.  The lack of sun can be a problem for some people and this oil can help ease those tough months.

Other uses:

  • I use this blend, with valor, harmony & white angelica everyday.  It’s my favorite combination of oils and I do believe it helps to support my emotional well being.  I often get comments of "You smell so good".  I will never forget the first time I actually noticed as it transformed someone before my eyes.  I watched as her face changed from scowling to relaxed and smiling after one whiff! 

 

Please note all of these recommendations are for Young Living Essential OIls.  If you chose to use another oil you may not get the same results.  Please do not take any oil internally unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to do so.  I only use Young Living Oils and  would personally never use or take any other essential oils internally.  

Essential Oils precautions -

  • Keep oils away from the eyes.  If an oil does get in your eye you can flush with olive oil if needed.
  • Use a fatty oil, like olive oil, if you need to dilute an oil.  Do Not use water.  Water pushes an oil in.  Fatty oils, dilute.
  • When essential oils are used wisely you will enjoy better health, naturally.

 

Francine Smith blogs about using Young Living Essential Oils at Young Living Life.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Isn’t it a Pyramid Scheme?

When some people hear that Young Living is a network marketed company they start shaking in their boots.   Basically they think it is a pyramid scheme.  It isn’t.  It never has been and never will be.  The problem is they are letting their fears and what they think they know about network marketing get in the way of using remarkable products. They deny themselves, based on misinformation, these products that have tremendous health benefits.

Not only is this video funny it will hopefully clear up any confusion on what network marketing really is.  

If you have any questions about how Young Living works, any of the products or how to get started you can contact me at younglivinglife@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

-Francine

 

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Enzymes, Hormones & My Skin. A Story.

In this story you will read about how giving birth, dealing with meltdowns and receiving salvation (for my skin at least) all come together with a happy ending!  

One of my first aha moments with Young Living came quite unexpectedly as I was getting a spa treatment a few years ago.  I was living in Brooklyn and  bought a groupon for a facial at a day spa in Tribeca.  I had recently re-discovered Young Living and I was using a few products mostly for my kids at bedtime.  One of the oils that I had on hand was Gentle Baby.  I will never forget how I used Gentle Baby one night when my son was over tired and hungry.  I was amazed as he transformed from a crying, screaming toddler having a meltdown to a calm child able to eat his dinner after I put a couple of drops of Gentle Baby on my hand and then on his head.  Even though the blend was developed for infants I had read in my Desk Reference book that it was also good for skin.  I have always loved the smell, very soothing and calming, and I hoped that just maybe it could also help my skin so it became part of my night time routine.

For me getting a facial is a treat.  However, whenever I did go I would usually get a small lecture from the esthetician.  She would tell me that my skin is dry, I had too many age spots and, of course, wrinkles….yada yada.  The last esthetician I saw, before my groupon,  did not even wait to get me on the table before she started to tell me how bad my skin was. Honestly, she wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know.  I knew that I wasn’t taking care of my skin at that time.  I had not found products that I liked, could afford, or had found to be effective so I wasn’t doing much to support having healthy skin and it showed.  When I got on the table, at my groupon spa,  and out comes the big scary bright magnifying glass I was ready for what was about to be said.  At least I thought I was.  But then the conversation went something like this….

Her (inspecting my skin) – Your skin looks good.

Me – What?  Wait.  Really?!!

Her – Yeah, nice elasticity, some age spots.  But overall it looks good.

Me – Seriously?!  Elasticity?  That’s not what I usually hear.  (Then I paused and pondered.)  You know I’ve been using this essential oil blend.  I think it might have helped my skin. 

Her – Could be.  What oil?

Me – It’s a blend called Gentle Baby….

Her (interrupting me) – I know Gentle Baby!  We’re going to start doing prenatal massage using Gentle Baby next month.  I love……

We then went on to talk about the oils we love and which ones are good for skin, like lemon & sandalwood.  It always amazed me that of all the day spas in NYC I found an esthetician that knew about and used Young Living herself.  I was also amazed at how an oil, that had helped me soothe and calm my kids would also be great for my skin!  How awesome is that?  Grand plans of ordering vats of Gentle Baby so that I could see a bit more "elasticity" in places where the sun doesn’t shine also crossed my mind, but sadly, never came to fruition.

Ok so what does any of this have to do with enzymes, hormones and my skin?  Hang on I’m getting there.  I was having more break outs at 43 than I did at 13.  Ugh.  I knew my hormones were out of whack but I didn’t know what to do about it.  Essential oils like lemon & lavender helped to ease the break outs but what I was needing was something that could stop them from starting in the first place.  That’s when I read a a post on Gary Young’s blog mentioning that enzymes could help with hormones.  Really??!!  I was surprised to read how many of us, especially women who have given birth, need more protein enzymes in their diet to support hormone health.  I had been a vegetarian from the age of 14 until just before my daughter was born when I was 35.  I’m still not much of a fan of meat, unless, of course, it’s bacon (I know, I know) so my diet definitely lacks in animal proteins.   Now, and this is where the Gentle Baby story comes in, I had used YL products long enough and had experienced enough surprise benefits that I was willing to give the enzymes a go.  Even though I had not researched or had heard any other mention of enzymes supporting hormone health prior to reading that blog post.  

 

Results?  I am most happy to say my skin is looking faaaabulousss!  Once I started using the essentialzyme-4 and the ART skin care system I noticed an almost immediate improvement.  What had been an escalating problem of break out after break out just stopped.  One word – AWESOME!!!!!   I have been using both products for a couple of months and my skin not only looks better to me but also feels better.  I only just recently had a couple pop up and I think I know why.  I ran out of the essentialzyme-4 ( my husband also discovered the benefits of enzymes so now I have to share :)  )and I think the lapse in using them made a difference in my skin.  As a note, Young Living has two different enzymes that sound similar.  Essentialzyme & essentialzyme-4. I prefer the essentialzyme-4.  I can’t tell you what the formula difference is between the two only that I like the essentialzyme-4 better for me.  I usually just take it once a day, at night because that’s when I remember and I also read that taking enzymes after a big meal will help you sleep better (one more awesome benefit of these awesome enzymes).

I know that in the scope of things having bad skin is a minor problem but this was something that caused me stress and discomfort.  Not only that but it was also a clear indication that something else was out of balance.  I just love that I was able to take care of my health, and hormone health is very important, naturally.  Once again Young Living had an answer to a problem I had no idea I was going to have. Awesome, seriously awesome.

Francine Smith blogs about using Young Living Oils for better health, naturally.  You can find more posts at www.younglivinglife.com.  You can contact her at younglivinglife@gmail.com.

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Dr. Mahmoud Suhail on Frankincense

 

Below is a new video from Young Living that features Dr. Mahmoud Suhail discussing  his current research using Boswellia Sacra.  Young Living is the only essential oil company that bottles Boswellia Sacra (as Sacred Frankincense).  

About halfway through Dr. Suhail cites two different cancer cases from pre-clinical trials happening in Oman and Northern Africa.  The results are very exciting.  In one case the carcinoembryonic antigen was 210.  A reading of 10-20 is high (mostly likely that you would have cancer).  A reading of more than 20 would indicate metastases for certain.  Carcinoembryonic antigen went from 210 -18 in less than 21 days and the primary tumor disappeared in an additional 3-4 weeks!   So many people are affected by cancer.  Please watch this video and share it with others.  

-Francine

 

 

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Head Lice…….Eewwwww!

Head lice – eewww, yuck, gross.  The only thing nice we could say about head lice is that it’s not dangerous and it’s an equal opportunity pest.  Lovely.  We could also say that it’s disgusting and annoying.

Now that school has begun, it is just a matter of time before head lice start making the rounds.  Our school year started one month ago and there have already been a couple of cases of lice reported, which prompted me to do a little research.  I know that there are chemical-laden products that I can buy at my local drugstore but that’s not really my style.  Since getting rid of lice usually takes repeated treatments I do not want to use harsh chemicals over and over again on my kids’ heads.  I’ve read that the over-the-counter treatments don’t always work.  Parents are then left with using an even stronger prescription chemical to kill the lice called “lidane.”  I came across this article that contained this quote: “According to the FDA, lidane products can cause serious side effects for many reasons, even when used as directed.”  And we all know that everyone reads and follows directions very carefully, so no worries there.  I also thought this was interesting…..

The pesticide [lidane] has been targeted for worldwide phase-out since 2009 by the Stockholm Convention, a global treaty that targets some of the world’s deadliest toxins. The U.S. has not ratified the treaty , and has no imminent plans to ban lidane for head lice.

Since 2006, lidane can no longer be used here on crops or cattle, or for any other purpose regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. A so-called “second line” treatment – meaning it’s only to be used if other methods fail – for head lice and scabies, lidane has been linked to cancer, seizures and deaths, according to the FDA.

 

We can’t use lidane on cattle but the FDA says I can use it repeatedly on my child’s (developing) head.  No thanks.  There have got to be better alternatives than that.

When we lived in Brooklyn, I heard about this woman who calls herself the Ladybug .  She has a booming business but she never advertises. She gets the job done and she doesn’t use over-the-counter pesticides.  Here is a NYT article about her.  But what if you don’t have a professional nit-picker in your neighborhood and you don’t want to use pesticides?

I searched the oil-testimonials.com website to see what worked for other people and found these testimonials on lice.  My essential oil desk reference recommends tea tree, lavender, peppermint, thyme, geranium, nutmeg, rosemary, cinnamon.   It also gave this recipe…

  • 4 drops thyme
  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops geranium

You may apply single oils or blends neat or diluted, depending on the oils that are used (thyme is “hot” so I would dilute).  Add 1 tsp. of oil diluted 50/50 to shampoo and massage onto entire scalp. 

  • Cover with a disposable shower cap and leave on for at least 1/2 hour.
  • Rinse well using 1 cup of Thieves Fresh Essence Plus Mouthwash massaged into hair and scalp.  Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing out.

I would also add combing the hair with a special nit comb.

Of course I also wonder if there is anything I can do to prevent lice?  There are no studies, which is not a surprise, but I am using lavender and peppermint on my kids daily.  One or two drops on my hands which I then massage into their scalps.  It certainly can’t hurt and it may make their hair inhospitable to lice looking for a new home.

As I have mentioned before, all essential oils are not created equal.  When you use an essential oil make sure it is a pure therapeutic grade oil.  If you purchase an oil from your health food store and it doesn’t work, don’t blame all essential oils, it may just be that brand.  If you really want to see results don’t waste time or money on oils that may be diluted and/or adulterated.  Essential oils are effective when they have been made well.  Just like many other things in life – you get what you pay for.  Invest in your family’s health; it will truly pay off.

Ready to get started using pure therapeutic grade essential oils?  See my “How to Order Young Living Oils” page or just go here.

-Francine

 

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A little cancer with your lipstick?

Personal care products are jam-packed with petrochemicals that can very possibly have serious health effects. These are products that many women and men use on a daily basis.  It is not that we are using just one product that could be harmful, we are using many different products simultaneously.  Sadly, it seems, we are human guinea pigs.  Of the 11 types of products listed in the illustrated photo below, 5 of them have possible hormone disruptors and 3 are linked to cancer.  Other possible side effects include infertility, rashes, headaches, and irritation of skin, eyes, and lungs, to name just a few.  It’s also shocking to note that there are 250 chemicals in perfume alone.  That just does not seem reasonable to me.  Why must our products be so toxic, not only to us but to those we love?  The answer is that they don’t need to be, they are made to be that way for one reason only: cost.  It’s cheaper to use many petrochemicals in these products than to use real, natural ingredients.  As consumers, we have a choice to make.  Do we continue to support companies that produce products that not only harm us but also harm our children?  I don’t think so.  By using essential oils and essential oil-based personal care products, we don’t have to worry about doing any harm to anyone.  We can use these products knowing that they are safe and enhance our well being and those around us.

I use the Young Living essential oil blend called Joy every day.  One day I walked into a very busy business where the woman at the desk is usually grumpy, not mean, just grumpy.  As I was standing there waiting for her to sort out my concern, she asked “What is that smell?”  Her coworker mentioned that she was wearing clove but that wasn’t it.  Eventually, I held out my hand, which still smelled of Joy and asked if this was the smell.  What I remember most is the way her whole face softened.  Suddenly, she did not look so grumpy anymore, she even smiled a bit.  I’m not sure how long it lasted but it was definitely to my benefit, and to hers!  Essential oils can touch many people in many different ways.  All without toxic effect.

If you want to learn more about how to get started using Young Living Essential Oils  see my “How to Order Young Living Oils” page for more details.

Francine Smith blogs about Young Living Essential oils.  You can find more posts at www.younglivinglife.com

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Young Living June Promotions

FREE NingXia Red and Peppermint!Free NingXia Red and Peppermint!

Place a single order of 180 PV* or more from June 1-30 and receive a 1-liter bottle of NingXia Red® and a 15-mlPeppermint essential oil free—a retail value of $78.29!

Give yourself a refreshing, revitalizing boost this summer. Fill a glass with ice. Add 2 ounces of NingXia Red, 1 drop of peppermint oil, and finish with sparkling water. Garnish with a mint sprig and enjoy! This delicious summer drink will energize your mind, and provide your body with vital antioxidants and phytonutrients.**

NingXia Red is a superfruit supplement specially formulated to energize, fortify, and replenish the body and mind. Its power comes from combining whole-fruit wolfberry puree with lemon and orange essential oils and a superblend of blueberry, pomegranate, apricot, and raspberry juices.

Peppermint has a long history of therapeutic use. It is valued for combating a variety of issues, including fatigue, minor head discomfort, and digestive concerns.**

Learn more about the products featured in our June promotions!

NingXia Red
Energize, Fortify, and Replenish Every Day!

This month’s expert speaker:
Marc Schreuder

Click this link to hear Marc Shreuder discuss the many benefits of Ningxia Red.


Offer is valid from 12 midnight MDT June 1, 2011, to 11:59 p.m. MDT June 30, 2011.
Offer Details:

  • Limit of one free 1-liter bottle of NingXia Red and one free 15-ml bottle of peppermint essential oil per order.
  • Offer is valid on orders of 180 PV or more. Limit of five qualifying orders per month.
  • PV minimum must be reached in a single order. Partial orders placed throughout the qualifying month cannot be combined in order to receive the promotional product(s).
  • Offer is available to Young Living Independent Distributors, preferred customers, and retail customers.
  • Offer is valid on phone, Essential Rewards, and web orders only.
  • Offer does not apply to Essential Rewards point redemption orders.
  • PV is not earned for free product.
  • Customer is responsible for shipping costs associated with free product.
  • Offer is valid in the U.S. and all NFR markets, except where restrictions prevent promotional product(s) from entering your country.

Buy Ocotea and Get 50% Off Dorado Azul

Buy Ocotea and Get 50% Off Dorado Azul

Buy Ocotea essential oil from June 1-30 and receive 50% offDorado Azul essential oil. These oils are the result of Gary Young’s extensive research in Ecuador and offer unique therapeutic benefits.

Dorado Azul has high levels of beta caryophyllene to help support normal respiratory and digestive functions. Diffuse up to 30 minutes three times daily or apply to the skin to aid in soothing minor discomforts. Dilute 1:1 with V-6™ Enhanced Vegetable Oil Complex and apply to affected area as needed.

Ocotea essential oil is related to the cinnamon species but has a slightly different aroma and taste. Ocotea contains some of the highest known levels of alpha-humulene, which offers potent digestive support and can help balance the body’s response to irritation.*

Item No. 5390

Discounted pricing: Wholesale $48.25 / Retail $62.01 / PV 48.25

These oils were released at Young Living’s 2010 International Grand Convention and have quickly become best sellers. If you have not tried them, now is your chance!

Offer Details:

  • Item No. 5390
  • Offer is valid 12 midnight MDT June 1, 2011, to 11:59 p.m. MDT June 30, 2011.
  • No limit per customer.
  • Offer is available to Young Living Independent Distributors, preferred customers, and retail customers.
  • Offer is valid on phone, Essential Rewards, and web orders only.
  • Offer does not apply to Essential Rewards point redemption orders.
  • Offer is valid in the U.S. and all NFR markets, except where restrictions prevent promotional product(s) from entering your country.

If you want to learn more about how to get started using Young Living Essential Oils  see my “How to Order Young Living Oils” page for more details.

Francine Smith blogs about Young Living Essential oils.  You can find more posts at www.younglivinglife.wordpress.com

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Why Plants Are (Usually) Better Than Drugs

YES!  Below is an amazing article by Dr. Andrew Weil from the Huffington Post.  This article explains so beautifully why essential oils, which come from plants, are often more effective than modern medicine.  Plants and essential oils contain many chemical compounds.  When drug companies take only one chemical out of a plant then make that chemical into a drug, many healing chemicals are left behind.  Not so with essential oils.  The compounds in essential oils work synergistically to heal, something that modern medicine cannot offer.  YL tests every oil to insure that the chemical make-up meets its high standard.  If the key constituents (note the plural) are not up to par, that oil does not get bottled.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that  modern medicine is a real blessing.  If I, or someone in my family, needed emergency care, I know that I would have the best treatment that the medical community has to offer and I would be very appreciative of that care.  But for most of us, our health issues are mainly chronic degenerative conditions.  And for those conditions I would reach for oils first.  Why?  Because when you have pure therapeutic grade essential oils, you have natures finest medicines.  - Francine

Why Plants Are (Usually) Better Than Drugs by Dr. Andrew Weil

I have always been fascinated by the difference between plants and the drugs that are isolated from them. This goes back to my student days at Harvard in the 1960s, where I received my undergraduate degree in botany, and then went on to medical school. It’s rare — too rare, I have to say — for botanists to become doctors. The experience gave me a unique perspective on health and medicine.

For four decades, I’ve been skeptical of a prevailing belief in Western medicine: when a plant shows bioactivity in humans, we must attribute that effect to a single, predominant compound in the plant. We label that the “active principle,” isolate it, synthesize it, and make a pharmaceutical out of it. Then, typically, we forget about the plant. We don’t study any of the other compounds in it or their complex interactions.

This belief persists for two reasons. First, it makes research much easier. Single compounds can be manufactured in pure, standardized dosages, which simplifies clinical trials. (However, technology has largely solved this problem. Modern growing and processing methods make it possible to produce standardized, complex, whole-plant-based medicines. Clinical trials of these compounds have become quite sophisticated, especially in Europe.)

Second, and this is clearly the major reason, it makes drugs far more profitable for drug companies. Isolating and synthesizing a single molecule allows a drug company to patent that molecule. Making slight chemical modifications allows further patent potential. Such exclusivity can be worth billions, whereas a whole plant offers little opportunity for profit.

Expensive as it is to the consumer, this faith in “single-agent” drugs would be acceptable if they actually yielded better results. But the fact is, the natural, whole plant often has both benefits and safety that put the isolated compounds to shame.

Medicinal plants contain a wide array of chemical compounds. At first, this looks like chaos, but more investigation reveals a distinct order. Natural selection pressures push a plant to “try out” variations on molecules to enhance the plant’s odds of surviving stressful environments. So, often, one molecule is present in the greatest amount and has the most dramatic effect in a human body — but along with it are variations of that molecule in the same plant.

For example, for several years, I did ethnobotanical study in South America, researching native uses for coca leaf, which most of us know only as the source of the isolated, problematic, addictive drug cocaine. For Andean Indians, whole coca leaf is the number one medicinal plant. They use it to treat gastrointestinal disturbances; specifically, for both diarrhea and constipation. From the perspective of Western pharmacology, this makes no sense. Cocaine stimulates the gut, it increases bowel activity, so obviously it would be a good treatment for constipation, but what could it do for diarrhea except make it worse?

However, if you look carefully at the coca leaf’s molecular array, you find 14 bioactive alkaloids, with cocaine in the greatest amount. While cocaine acts as a gut stimulant, other coca alkaloids can have precisely the opposite action, they inhibit gut activity.

This means that when you take the whole mixture into the body, the potential is there for the action to go in either direction. What decides it? The state of the body, which is a function of which receptors in the gut’s tissues are available for binding. During my time in Andean Indian communities, I collected many reports about whole coca’s paradoxical, normalizing effect on bowel function, and experienced it firsthand, as well.

Herbs like coca that can “tone” the body and bring it back to homeostasis are known as adaptogens, a term coined by Soviet physician and scientist Nikolai Lazarev in 1947. Examples include schisandra, reishi mushroom, eleutherococcus and ginseng. Asian ginseng, for example, has an array of active constituents known as ginsenosides. One of them, Rg1, can stimulate the nervous system, while another, Rb1, has been found to calm it. But even this is an oversimplification. Other constituent cofactors apparently increase the adaptogenic properties of ginseng, making the therapeutic whole more than the sum of its parts. Ultimately, this non-specific response boosts resistance to stress — whether the stress is physical exertion, infection, or some other problem.

So using whole-plant remedies is a fundamentally different — and, I would argue, often better — way to treat illness. In Western medicine, we typically give the body no choice. We use single compounds that, essentially, shove physiology in one direction.

Let me be clear — sometimes, that is very appropriate and valuable, if the body is dramatically out of balance and must get back on track very quickly. For example, during a case of anaphylactic shock, there is no time for the body’s receptors to select specific effects, so a drug such as pure epinephrine can be lifesaving.

But in many cases, particularly with the chronic, degenerative diseases of modern civilization, there is time to allow the body to participate, to choose just what it needs. As it slowly heals, it can develop a new balance; a dynamic equilibrium that helps it cope with stress in the future.

Human beings and plants have co-evolved for millions of years, so it makes perfect sense that our complex bodies would be adapted to absorb needed, beneficial compounds from complex plants and ignore the rest. This is an established fact in nutrition, but the West’s sharp distinction between food and medicine somehow blinds us to these properties when it comes to botanicals. The most successful medical philosophies make no such division — Okinawans, the world’s longest-lived people, believe that the food they eat is “nuchi gusui” which roughly translates as “medicine for life.”

So I will continue in my lifelong skepticism, and persist in my belief that plants are (usually) better than pharmaceutical drugs.

Andrew Weil, M.D. is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and is the editorial director of DrWeil.com. Dr. Weil invites you to join the conversation: become a fan onFacebook, follow him on Twitter and check out his Daily Health Tips Blog.

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If I say strep throat, you say…….

antibiotics, right?  Isn’t that what’s normally used to treat strep?  I know from experience that by not treating strep, complications can arise so it cannot go unattended.  Recently, I was having a busy week with a busy weekend coming up.  I woke up on Thursday with a bit of a sore throat and an achy head.  Thinking that it was allergies, I used some lavender by filling capsules and ingesting them.  The lavender helped a bit with the sinus issues but my throat and head were still bothering me.  The next day it was worse and, not wanting to admit that I was sick, I tried to brush it off.  I was determined not to let this, what ever it was, ruin my plans for the weekend.  By late afternoon, I began to realize that I did not have a choice.  I had a rash, I was tired, my throat hurt, my head hurt and I had a fever.  I was sick – Ugh!  Out the window went my weekend plans and into bed I went.

Strep is a bacterial infection.  I did not know that I had strep but I knew that my oils would help.  Essential oils have strong antibacterial (and antiviral) properties so I used a combination of oils which I applied on my throat and on my head.  I also diffused various oils and ingested them.  (If you have read any of my other posts, sorry for the repeat but….. ) I only recommend using and ingesting Young Living oils.  I say this over and over because it is really important for people to know that essential oils are not created equally.  It is important to know your supplier and their manufacturing practices.  You can see my “Why choose Young Living Oils?” page for more information about the quality of Young Living oils.

Please note that I am not a medical doctor and I am not prescribing a way to cure strep.  This is just what worked for me.

Here are my golden rules when using essential oils:

  1. Use what you have.  I used what I had on hand which was thieves, frankincense, melrose, panaway and a few others.  If I had oregano I would have used that as well.
  2. More is more (at least that is my philosophy with oils).  Throw everything you can at an illness as soon as you can.  I waited a bit too long to get started.  Next time I’m showing no mercy!
Thieves is your very best friend when you are sick or when you think you might be getting sick.  This is the blend you always want to have on hand.  I gargled with thieves, I diffused it, rubbed it on my throat and I ingested it.  If you want to make your own home remedy kit, this oil should be at the top of the list.  Actually, all the oils in the Everyday Oil Kit would make the list but if I had to narrow it down to just a few, thieves would be the chosen one.  Thieves contains clove (used by the dental industry for years to numb pain), cinnamon, rosemary & lemon.  It’s a highly antiviral, antibacterial blend.  Don’t even hesitate – just get it and, this is key, USE IT.  A friend of mine has a gland issue every so often that she regularly treated with a trip to the Dr. and a prescription of antibiotics.  After learning about thieves, I gave her a bottle which she quickly put in the back of a drawer (probably thinking it would never get used).  Months later, when her glands were acting up she dug it out and used it because she didn’t want to deal with being sick.  She was in the middle of a very important project and did not have the time to go to the doctor and then wait for the antibiotics to kick in.  Much to her surprise thieves did the trick!  You can use the link to see her testimonial.
I also used frankincense to help boost my immune system.  I put a few drops of thieves and a few drops of frankincense together in a capsule with a drop of extra virgin olive oil which I took 3-4 times per day.
Melrose is also very good for sore throats.  It has melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) and rosemary.  I gargled with melrose as well as used it on my neck.
Diffusing is really helpful when you want to make sure you don’t share what you have with other family members.  By diffusing thieves at night, I was able to inhale the oil while I slept.  Diffusing thieves also kills airborne germs.  On a side note, I love the Therapro diffuser, by far the best diffuser I have ever owned!  What’s even better is when you buy a Therapro from Young Living, you get a bottle of Thieves free – awesome!!!!!!  It is great to use a diffuser to scent your home but when you are sick or when you want to stop something before it gets bigger a diffuser is imperative.  When my kids look a bit rundown I add a bit of thieves to the diffuser and turn it on when they are watching t.v.  And if they are sick they get it in their room at night.  It always helps and it really is an important tool when using essential oils.

Of course, I got plenty of rest and drank lots of water.  I also took lots and lots of vitamin c as well as vitamin D, omega blues, Ningxia Red, and Life 5 probiotics.  The best part of having therapeutic oils on hand is that you don’t have to wait to go to a doctor in order to feel better.  When I realized I was sick early Friday evening, it was not a great time to see a doctor but I was still able to help myself start to feel better over the weekend.

Unfortunately, we can’t just run out to the store if we are sick and pick up a bottle of pure, therapeutic grade essential oil.  To find the best oils you have to go to the internet.  To find the very best, from a company  that is dedicated to quality and that has a large variety of singles and blends as well as personal care products and supplements then you have to order from Young Living.  If you wanted a good start for home remedies, my first choice would be the Everyday Oils Kit.  See my 3 part post starting with “A Natural Apothecary with Young Living Oils – Part I”.  The oils in that kit can be used for fevers, headaches, muscle pain, allergies, bug bites, bruises, burns, stress, sore throat, and as a sleep aid.  And those are just some of the uses for the oils.

If you want to learn more about how to get started using Young Living Essential Oils  see my “How to Order Young Living Oils” page for more details.

Francine Smith blogs about Young Living Essential oils.  You can find more posts at www.younglivinglife.com

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Young Living April Promotions

Get Di-Gize and Life 5 FREE!Get Di-Gize and Life 5 FREE!

From April 1–30, 2011, when you place a single order of 180 PV* or more, you’ll receive a 30-count bottle of Life 5™ and a 15-ml bottle of Di-Gize™ essential oil blend absolutely free!That’s a retail value of $74.68!

Although we typically think of the gastrointestinal tract as the place where food is digested and then discarded, good digestive health is also very important in order to maintain a strong immune system and a lean body. In fact, the bowel in particular is known to be the source of core health and vitality. This is where the all-important transfer of nutrients to the bloodstream takes place. Therefore, if the bowel is not working properly, optimal health is impossible and the body is vulnerable to myriad conditions.

Learn more about the products featured in our April promotions! This month’s audio file:

“The Digestion-Health Connection” is a discussion of the benefits of Life 5, Di-Gize & Detoxzyme  with Doug Corrigan, VP of Product Marketing, Marc Schreuder, Director of Product Development and Jason Giles, Product Manger of Essential Nutrition.  Click here for the link

Life 5

Probiotics are a beneficial form of bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of microflora in the intestines. This “good bacteria” reduces the growth of harmful bacteria and promotes a healthy digestive system. Young Living’s Life 5 provides a daily boost of five of the most clinically proven and advanced probiotics, including three super strains that represent the most health-promoting strains ever prepared in a supplement.*

  • Probiotics, especially the super strain LA-14, have been shown to be a tremendous support to immune function.
  • New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that probiotics may enhance weight-loss programs.
  • Probiotics have been shown to assist the body in manufacturing important B vitamins and improving nutrient absorption, therefore naturally increasing energy.
  • Take two to five capsules daily as needed for intestinal health and comfort and to support immunity.

PDF Product Information Page

Di-Gize

Keep your digestive system balanced with the targeted relief of Di-Gize. This unique blend contains therapeutic-grade essential oils that soothe and support proper digestion, such as peppermint, ginger, tarragon, and fennel.*

  • Massage two to four drops on the belly or apply as a compress to ease minor stomach discomforts.
  • Inhale directly to calm motion distress.
  • Diffuse Di-Gize during meditation to relax intestinal responses to stress.
  • For more focused results, place one to two drops in a vegetable capsule and take before each meal or as desired.

This April, whether your goal is to maintain a healthy weight or to maintain a healthy immune system, don’t miss the opportunity to get Life 5 and Di-Gize absolutely free!

OFFER DETAILS:

  • Limit one free bottle of Life 5 and one free 15-ml bottle of Di-Gize essential oil blend per order.
  • Offer valid on orders of 180 PV or more. Limit of five qualifying orders per month.
  • PV minimum must be reached in a single order. Partial orders placed throughout the qualifying month cannot be combined in order to receive the promotional product(s).
  • Offer available to Young Living Independent Distributors, preferred customers, and retail customers.
  • Valid on phone, Essential Rewards, and web orders only.
  • Offer does not apply to Essential Rewards point redemption orders.
  • PV not earned for free product.
  • Customer responsible for shipping costs associated with free product.
  • Offer valid in the U.S. and all NFR markets, except where restrictions prevent promotional product(s) from entering your country. (Digest + Cleanse will replace Life 5 in some areas.)

10% Off Detoxzyme

10% off Detoxzyme

Detoxzyme™ Capsules combine powerful vegetarian-based enzymes with essential oils to support digestion and general detoxification of the body. This formula facilitates optimal absorption of nutrients from food and supplements, helps to sustain energy levels, and regulates proper pH levels.*

Discounted pricing:
Wholesale $35.75 / Retail $47.07 / PV 35.75

Item No. 3203

 Offer Details:

  • Offer valid 12 midnight MDT April 1, 2011, to 11:59 p.m. MDT April 30, 2011.
  • No limit per customer.
  • Offer available to Young Living Independent Distributors, preferred customers, and retail customers.
  • Valid on phone, Essential Rewards, and web orders only.
  • Offer does not apply to Essential Rewards point redemption orders.
  • Offer valid in the U.S. and all NFR markets, except where restrictions prevent promotional product(s) from entering your country.

Get Panaway and Ortho Ease FREE!$5 Donation to Japan with Purchase of Longevity Softgels

During the past two weeks, Young Living has been following the terrible tragedy in Japan and assessing how we can make a big impact—both to the people in Japan who have suffered unimaginable losses and to our valued members in the United States and Canada who may be concerned about radiation leaks from the Fukushima nuclear reactors.

On March 14, Gary and Mary Young sent out a special eBlast outlining Young Living products that can be helpful in safeguarding you and your family. Those products include:

Item No. 4559 QuadShield
QuadShield combines four potent Young Living products that can have a synergistic, protective effect on your hormones and immune system. Includes the following items:

  • Longevity Softgels:  Take 1-2 capsules twice daily**
  • Melrose essential oil:  Add 6-20 drops to yogurt 1-3 times per day (or add to a vegetable capsule)
  • Super C:  Take 1-2 tablets daily
  • Thyromin:  Take 1 capsule 3 times per day

Other products highly recommend by Gary and Mary Young

Sales for these items have been increasing over the past week, which has inspired Young Living to donate a portion of these sales to help the Japanese people.
From Wednesday, March 23, through Friday, April 22, with every purchase of Longevity Softgels* (Item No. 3289), Young Living will donate $5 to a charitable organization that is actively helping the relief efforts in Japan.

  • Offer valid from 12:00 midnight MST March 23, 2011, to 11:59 p.m. MDT April 22, 2011.
  • Offer valid on all purchases of Longevity Softgels (Item No. 3289) during the promotional timeframe. It does not include purchases of Quadshield or DuoShield.
  • No limit per customer.
  • Offer available to Young Living Independent Distributors, preferred customers, and retail customers.
  • Valid on phone, Essential Rewards, and Web orders only.
  • Offer does not apply to Essential Rewards point redemption orders.
  • Offer valid in the US and all NFR markets, except where restrictions prevent promotional product(s) from entering your country.

Can’t wait to get started using Young Living Oils?  Great! See my “How to Order Young Living Oils” page for more details.

Francine Smith blogs about Young Living Essential oils.  You can find more posts at www.younglivinglife.wordpress.com

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