Tips For Healthy And Young Looking Skin.

Skin experts say that the best way to keep your skin healthy and looking young is to protect it from the sun and not smoke: and after that, taking care with how you wash, moisturize your skin and shave also help.

According to a British Association of Dermatologists survey carried out in 2008, many Britons are unaware that sun protection can keep the skin looking younger, believing instead that applying a daily moisturizer, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and having facial massages will suffice.

The Sun Awareness campaign officer at the Association, Maria Tabou, told the press at the time that such measures will have “nowhere near the anti-ageing impact of sun protection”.

Not only does exposure to UV increase a person’s risk of skin cancer, it also affects the elastin in the skin, which leads to wrinkles and sun-induced skin ageing such as leatheriness and blotchy pigmentation. Featured below are 5 tips for healthy skin..

Tip #1 for healthy skin: Sun protection

Ensure you protect your skin from the sun to maintain healthy skin

According to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, a non-profit organization with an international reputation, most of the changes seen in ageing skin are actually “caused by a lifetime of sun exposure”.

To protect yourself from the sun, they advise the following three methods (with maximum protection coming from using all three).

  1. Avoid the sun during high intensity hours: the sun’s rays do the most damage between 10 am and 4 pm, so limit the time you spend outside during this period.
  2. Wear protective clothing: wear long sleeved shirts, long trousers or pants and a hat with a wide brim. Remember that tight woven fabric (eg denim) offers better protection than loosely woven fabrics like knits.
  3. Use sunscreen: go for a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) higher than 15 and apply generously about 20 minutes before you go out and then every two hours. You will need to apply more frequently if you go in the water or sweat a lot.

Tip #2 for healthy skin: Don’t smoke (and watch the alcohol)

Research shows that smoking alone ages skin. In a study published in the Archives of Dermatology in 2007, researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbour, in the US, described how they examined the upper inner arms of smokers and non-smokers aged from 22 to 91 and found that after taking into account age and other variables, the number of packs of cigarettes that the smokers smoked per day was significantly linked to skin ageing. They looked at the skin on the upper inner arms to minimize the influence of sun exposure.

Indy Rihal from the British Skin Foundation told NHS Choices that smoking reduces the skin’s natural elasticity by promoting the breakdown of collagen and also reducing the amount that is produced.

Collagen, a protein that helps skin strength, gradually degrades with age, leading to wrinkles. Smoking causes this to happen sooner and also causes the tiny blood vessels in the skin to tighten, which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that the skin cells receive, which also reduces elasticity and accelerates ageing.

The Mayo Clinic also suggest that exposure to heat from burning cigarettes damages facial skin and that certain smoking behaviors contribute to wrinkles, because of the repetitive facial expressions that smokers make, such as pursing the lips on inhaling and squinting their eyes to keep the smoke out.

Drinking alcohol can make your body and skin dehydrated, leaving the skin looking old and tired. So if you are drinking alcohol drink plenty of water and stick to sensible amounts. Have a non-alcoholic drink like soda water or watery fruit juice in between the alcoholic ones to help your body re-hydrate.

Tip #3 for healthy skin: Clean your skin regularly and apply moisturizer

A British Skin Foundation survey published in January 2008 found that an astonishing 50 per cent of people who wear make up in the UK are damaging their skin by not removing make up before they go to bed.

The reasons for not cleansing the skin of make up before going to bed were also revealing in that most people were too tired to take it off, suggesting they were not getting good quality sleep which also affects skin health. A significant proportion also said they had had too much to drink or simply couldn’t be bothered.

Cleansing is an important part of skin care because it removes dirt and bacteria; and the key is to do it gently.

Use warm rather than hot water and limit the time you spend in the bath or shower to 15 minutes or less as too much time in hot water strips oils from your skin.

Also, use mild rather than strong soaps and avoid irritating additives such as perfumes and dyes, especially if you have sensitive skin.

When removing make up take care with the delicate skin around the eyes, and if you use waterproof make up you may need an oil-based product to make sure you get it all off.

When you have finished try to pat your skin dry so some moisture stays on it.

Moisturizing is important because it protects the skin from the weather and from drying up and looking dull. It helps your skin maintain its natural moisture levels too, say the Mayo Clinic experts, because it seals in the water already in the skin or slowly release water into the skin.

You may be surprised to know that according to the British Skin Foundation the price of a moisturizer is not a measure of how good it is: cheaper ones can be just as effective.

If you have dry skin avoid alcohol-based products and if you have oily skin avoid oil-based products (use water-based instead).

Some people with oily skin don’t need moisturizer: if your skin feels tight 20 minutes after bathing, then you probably do.

Tip #4 for healthy skin: Get enough quality sleep

Woman sleeping
Focus on quality sleep to keep your skin looking young and healthy

Sleep is essential for healthy skin. Not enough quality sleep will make your skin look tired and older, especially with bags under your eyes. Poor quality sleep can become a vicious cycle because lack of sleep makes you irritable, anxious and depressed, and that makes it harder to get good sleep.

Make sure you have plenty of physical exercise as this reduces stress and creates a healthy tiredness that helps sleep. Yoga and swimming are also good ways to improve sleep.

Aerobic exercise increases the oxygen circulating in your body which helps the skin stay vibrant and healthy.

Here are some more tips for getting a good night’s sleep

  • Try to keep to a regular routine at bedtime.
  • Have a warm bath to relax you.
  • Learn how to put aside the “worry list” that is in your head: write it down, keep a pencil and pad of paper by your bed.
  • Get a relaxation tape: don’t watch TV late at night or in bed as this can stimulate rather than relax you.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal late at night. Try to eat your last food for the day 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Drink plenty of water during the day rather than toward bedtime.
  • If you wake in the night get up and do something distracting until you are sleepy again rather than toss and turn and worry in bed.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. It should be a haven of peace and not a den of noise and stimulation.
  • Keep an eye mask and ear plugs handy.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine in the evenings: drink chamomile tea rather than cocoa to induce sleep at bedtime (but not too much or you will be up in the night for the toilet).

Tip #5 for healthy skin: Shave with care

People shave to make their skin smooth and hairless, but this can irritate the skin, especially if it is thin, dry and sensitive.

For a smooth shave the Mayo Clinic experts advise that you shave after a warm bath or shower (or press a warm wet cloth on your skin) to soften the hair, don’t shave dry skin, use a clean, sharp razor, and shave in the direction of hair growth.

Make sure you rinse well afterwards with warm water to remove soap and dead cells.

If your skin is irritated after shaving don’t use an alcohol based lotion even if it feels cool, it will make the irritation worse because it dries the skin out.

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Neroli essential oil is obtained from the flowers of the Seville orange trees. This essential is obtained by water distilling the orange blossoms since they are very fragile and, hence, cannot undergo the steam distillation process. The aroma of neroli essential oil has a lot of resemblance to bergamot. Neroli essential oil possesses an invigorating and typical, zesty fragrance with a sweet and flowery tinge. The flowers are usually collected manually during the period between late April and early May. Going by history, the late 17th century Duchess of Bracciano and Princess of Nerola in Italy, Anne Marie Orsini was the first to introduce the quintessence of the bitter orange tree as a fragrance to perfume her gloves and her bath. It is believed that ever since the term neroli was used to denote this essence.

It may be mentioned that the neroli essential oil is considered to be among the most valuable and pricey natural oils available in the market. While this natural oil is obtained from the aromatic white flowers of the Seville orange trees, it is one of the most expensive natural oils since several tons of flowers of this species is required to obtain just one pound of the essential oil. This essential oil possesses numerous aromatic properties and, in aromatherapy, it is used to treat as well as prevent several medical conditions. While neroli essential oil has a relaxing and soothing impact on the nervous system, its use also facilitates alleviating conditions, such as depression and fretfulness that are associated with mental stress or tension.

Neroli essential oil is rejuvenating in every sense and, hence, it is a beneficial element in several skin care products, particularly those that are meant for treating dry skin and associated problems, such as acne, dermatitis and inflamed skin conditions. In addition, neroli essential oil is also a wonderful remedy for mature skin (skin of the elderly people), stretch marks and scars. It is known to tone up the complexion of the skin as well as soften wrinkles. Neroli essential oil also has industrial use and is often used in the manufacture of colognes, perfumes, and toilet waters. Like in the instance of most other essential oils, using a little amount of neroli essential oil will sustain for a prolonged period. This natural oil obtained from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree is not only versatile in use and utility, but also blends easily with almost all other essential oils.

As aforementioned, neroli essential oil is obtained from the flowers of the bitter orange tree and is considered to be very pricey natural oil. The blossoms of the bitter orange tree are petite, whitish and highly scented. It also needs to be mentioned again that neroli essential oil is not obtained by steam distillation, but by a method is known as solvent distillation using water. This is primarily owing to the fact that the blossoms of the bitter orange trees are very fragile and cannot endure steam distillation.

The essential oil extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange trees possesses several therapeutic properties and, hence, is used to treat a number of conditions or physical and mental disorders. This natural oil possesses sedative as well as stimulant properties that are beneficial for the nervous system. It can be used to treat most of the problems related to stress and tension having an emotional origin. In addition, neroli essential oil is widely used to treat conditions, such as heart palpitations, diminish nervous anxiety and cure insomnia or sleeplessness. Deep inhaling of the aroma of neroli essential oil as well as massaging a few drops of this natural oil blended with jojoba oil on the solar plexus helps to soothe and comfort the body and the mind. The same effect is experienced when one uses this as a natural perfume or diffuses the oil in little quantities. In fact, in aromatherapy, neroli essential oil is believed to be among the most vital aromatics while treating depression and nervousness caused by tension and anxiety.

Neroli essential oil is also considered to be one of the most beneficial oil for women, especially for the skin care of elderly women. For treating mature skin, this natural oil needs to be blended with rose Otto and clary sage oils for utmost benefits. The oil’s relaxing characteristics are passed on to the cells, which are rejuvenated. In addition, use of neroli essential oil is also useful for people having sensitive skin. Most importantly, the essential oil extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange trees has been proved to be beneficial for the female reproductive system, especially in providing relief from menstrual cramps. When using this oil for this particular therapeutic purpose, add neroli essential oil to your bath or bring down its concentration to around 10 per cent by adding it to apricot kernel oil and massage the blended oil on the abdomen. This will help to provide relief from menstrual cramps immediately.

neroli-oilThe essential oil obtained from the flowers of the bitter orange trees possesses anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic properties. These properties of this natural oil help it to treat intestinal problems. In order to cure intestinal disorder with neroli essential oil drop a few drops of the oil in your bath or dilute it and massage the oil on the abdomen. In addition, massaging diluted neroli essential oil on the abdomen is very useful in treating stomach problems caused by stress and mental tension.

Neroli essential oil has varied use in aromatherapy. It has been reported that the fragrance of this essential oil is effective in successfully treating conditions, such as shock and nervous depression. Use of this natural oil also helps in relaxing the body and the mind and alleviates certain conditions that may appear to be critical. Neroli essential oil is known to provide relief from several hopeless situations related to mental disorders. In aromatherapy, the essential oil extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange trees may be used in burners and diffusers to increase the atmosphere in a room. Its use in this manner helps to bring in an air of peace and comfort.

As has been discussed earlier, neroli essential oil possesses several therapeutic properties and is, therefore, used to treat different conditions. Below is a brief account of the condition specific utilities or benefits of this natural oil that may benefit you. Just go through the list and you may find it suitable for treating some medical condition you might be enduring.

  • In case you are suffering from depression and nothing seems to be working to alleviate this pathetic condition, it is advisable that you try using neroli essential oil. Used in aromatherapy, this essential oil not only helps to cure depression but also results in a happy feeling and uplifts your mood. This attribute of neroli essential oil makes its use widespread in aromatherapy.
  • In the instance of getting a wound or a cut and the physician not being readily available for administering an anti-tetanus injection, you may apply neroli essential oil, of course in a diluted condition, on your wounds or cut. The antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties of neroli essential oil will help to shield your wounds from becoming infected and tetanus. It has been proved that the oil obtained by solvent distillation of the blooms of the bitter orange trees is effective in healing as well as protecting wounds from getting infectious. Once you have applied this oil on your wound or cut, you can afford to visit your doctor at your leisure.
  • Owing to its anti-bacterial properties, neroli essential oil is very effective in eliminating bacteria – it is also known to be bactericidal. Bacteria are responsible for certain ailments and conditions, such as typhoid, cholera, food poisoning and some specific skin disorder and using this essential oil helps to cure all such diseases and conditions.
  • Another important characteristic of neroli essential oil is that during cold climates, its usage helps to keep one warm and does not allow him/ her to catch a cold or suffer from a cough. It facilitates the body to fight against these conditions caused by infections. In addition, the oil also possesses some expectorant properties that help in checking production of excessive mucus by the body and ensures that you breathe freely and have a sound sleep even during the winter months.
  • Neroli essential oil possesses the characteristics to heal wounds by forming scars on them (cicatrizant property). It has been established that this particular feature of neroli essential oil works much more effectively compared to any other anti-mark lotion or cream. In effect, neroli essential oil forms an important ingredient of several herbal anti-mark lotions or creams. Using neroli essential oil or lotions and creams containing this oil facilitates in erasing spots, blemishes and after-marks caused by boils, acne, chickenpox and other similar conditions.
  • Use of neroli essential oil encourages the growth of new cells as well as helps to maintain the health of the existing cells in the body. In other words, using this oil on a regular basis helps one to grow bigger, more powerful and healthier.
  • The antiseptic property of neroli essential oil not only helps to disinfect the body but also makes the surroundings germ free. When taken internally, the essential oil obtained from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree helps to heal various types of contagions – including those of the kidneys, colon, prostate and the urinary tracts. In addition, this oil is also effective in curing skin infections and also protects the body from all new contagions.
  • The aroma of neroli oil helps to shoo away all types of foul body odour. While you may choose to use this oil as a body perfume, it can also be used as room fresheners or vaporizers to clean the atmosphere of all foul odours. Doing this not only helps to make the room scented, but also sterilizes the place.
  • The anti-spasmodic property of neroli essential oil is effective in treating spasms and providing relief from coughs, cramps and aches due to spasms. It also helps to cure spasmodic cholera and relax the muscles alleviating pain.
  • At the same time, neroli essential oil obtained from the bitter orange trees is also stomach and beneficial for all types of stomach disorders. Use of neroli essential oil encourages digestion as well as enhances appetite.
  • Neroli essential oil also possesses sedative properties which help it to alleviate mental disorders, such as distress, nervous anxiety, depression and anger. Using this natural oil on a regular basis helps to relax the body as well as the mind.
  • Many herbalists often recommend neroli essential oil treat colitis (inflammation of the colon), neuralgia (acute spasmodic pain caused by damage to or failure of a nerve), fat cracks and diarrhea. Moreover, use of neroli essential oil also helps in losing unwanted weight.
  • As mentioned earlier, neroli essential oil is highly beneficial for the skin. Topical application of this natural oil on the surface of the skin makes the skin smooth, protects it from all types of infections and helps to make it appear fresh and healthy adding glamour. Use of neroli essential oil facilitates in sustaining the appropriate amount of moisture in the skin and also balances the oils present in the skin.
  • The essential oil extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange trees is responsible for maintaining the overall health of an individual. Its use ensures that the correct rate of metabolism and proper blood circulation are maintained by the body. In addition, neroli essential oil also helps to strengthen the immune system helping us to fight against various ailments.

General Properties

  • antispasmodic
  • antitoxic
  • aphrodisiac
  • sedative
  • slightly hypnotic
  • tranquilizing
  • uplifting

Blends Well With

Blends well with any essential oil but especially with citrus oils such as lemon and sweet orange

  • chamomile
  • clary sage
  • frankincense
  • geranium
  • patchouli
  • rose
  • sandalwood
  • ylang-ylang

General uses

  • aging skin
  • anorexia
  • anxiety
  • broken capillaries
  • bulimia
  • childbirth
  • colitis
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • fear
  • flatulence
  • frigidity
  • grief
  • high blood pressure
  • hysteria and panic
  • impotence
  • indigestion
  • insomnia
  • nervous dyspepsia
  • nervous tension
  • over-sensitivity
  • palpitations
  • rejuvenation
  • shock

Precaution

Neroli essential oil obtained from the aromatic flowers of the Seville orange or the bitter orange trees should never be used by patients undergoing chemotherapy for treating any type of cancer.

Aloe Aftershave Gel.

This alcohol-free gel is suitable for men and women because it refreshes and is safe for sensitive skin. See if you don’t love it as much as anything you can buy.

Aloe vera gel is available in health food stores or you can scoop it out of the leaves of a plant.

1/2 cup aloe vera gel

1 1/2 tablespoons distilled water

1 tablespoon witch hazel

10 drops essential or fragrance oils of your choice

1. Combine all the ingredients in the container you’ll store the gel in. Stir until well mixed. Cover container with a tight-fitting lid.

2. Keep in a cool, dark location. Should keep indefinitely.

Aromatherapy Ylang – Ylang.

Cananga odorata

Ylang ylang is basically a tropical tree indigenous to Asia, especially Indonesia. The blossoms of this tree are used to prepare an essential oil that is widely used in manufacturing perfumes as well as in aromatherapy. The ylang-ylang essential oil is extracted by steam distilling the highly fragrant flowers of the tree. Ylang-ylang flowers have a profound and sweet aroma something akin to that of jasmine and in many cultures, they are scattered on the beds of the newly married as a sign of good luck or wishing fertility. For a long time, the essential oil obtained from ylang-ylang flowers was regarded as an aphrodisiac, denoting that its aroma stimulates the desire for sexual activities.

Ylang ylang essential oil possesses other therapeutic properties as well. It is comforting and soothing oil that brings about a general feeling of wellness. In addition, this essential oil is also said to be effective in lowering blood pressure, especially when the condition is a result of tension or shock. Since this essential oil has a very potent aroma, it remains for a longer period and even has the aptitude to suppress other comparatively lighter fragrances. As the fragrance of ylang-ylang is enduring, it works fine as a fixative in several perfumes. In fact, when ylang-ylang essential oil is combined with other suitable aromatic oils, it becomes all the more potent. This oil is also used in the manufacture of skin care products, especially those meant for treating oily skin as well as stressed skin.

The ylang-ylang trees bear blooms that vary in color – pink, cream, mauve or yellow. These flowers have a potent, unusual and flowery scent. Owing to its potent aroma which is similar to that of jasmine (botanical name Jasminum officinale) – an expensive flower, ylang-ylang is often referred to as ‘the poor man’s jasmine’.

Generally, the ylang-ylang flowers are collected in the morning for flowers picked during this time of the day are best for preparing essential oil through steam distillation. In fact, the aroma of ylang-ylang flowers is most potent during the morning and afternoon. Normally, the essential oil obtained by steam distilling the flowers collected in the morning are of superior quality in the first distillation, while the latter distillations are somewhat lesser in excellence. The lesser quality ylang-ylang essential oil is sold as Cananga instead of ylang-ylang.

As discussed earlier, the ylang-ylang trees produce flowers having extremely sweet and floral scent. In the Malayan language, the term ylang-ylang actually denotes ‘flower of flowers’ or a superior quality flower. The ylang-ylang essential oil was used as an active element in the well-known Macassar hair oil during the Victorian era. Both men and women widely used the Macassar hair oil with a view to encouraging glossy hair growth. Presently, ylang-ylang essential oil is extensively used to manufacture floral perfumes.

Generally, ylang-ylang oil is considered to be warming and stimulating oil which also possesses aphrodisiac properties. The use of this essential oil has the aptitude to cause relaxation as well as inspire and inculcate a feeling of wellness among people. Ylang ylang essential oil is excellent for comforting the nerves, especially during stress, and also alleviates restiveness and tetchiness. A few drops of this essential oil added to bathwater or watered down for use as massage oil helps in promoting sound sleep. In addition, ylang-ylang essential oil is also said to be highly effective in treating rapid breathing and palpitations or tremors. This essential oil is also helpful in alleviating premenstrual tension and depression. The other therapeutic properties of ylang-ylang essential oil include its effectiveness to combat typhus, malaria and other types of fevers.

It may be noted here that ylang-ylang essential oil is frequently used in the form of candles, in baths or in oil burners to create a romantic setting or to work as an aphrodisiac prior to making love. In addition, this essential oil may also be diluted in suitable carrier oil and used for massage. The ylang-ylang blooms possess a potent flowery scent that invokes the feelings of the tropics. Using this essential oil as a dab in a cotton ball endures for several hours.

Like in the case of rose and jasmine, ylang-ylang flowers too must be picked early in the morning and prepared immediately for steam distillation. In fact, ylang-ylang flowers are processed by steam distillation infractions. In other words, this means that the steam distillation of the ylang-ylang flowers is stopped at various stages of the process and the oil is collected during the intervals. After the oil is collected, the distillation process is started once again.

As in the case of all other essential oils, even the quality of ylang-ylang essential oil also differs from one distillery to another. In addition, the quality of this essential oil also varies depending on the crop condition for a particular season and the time selected for harvesting the flowers and distilling them. In fact, very little proficiency is required on the part of the distiller as this wonderful oil can be obtained without much effort. The fact that ylang-ylang essential oil is quite inexpensive denotes that there is little or no room for the distillers’ art to produce this oil.

In fact, there are three fractions in the process involving preparing the ylang-ylang essential oil by vapor distillation. In other words, the distillation process is halted thrice. The first distillation of ylang-ylang flowers yields the highest quality of the essential oil and is believed to be possessing maximum insubstantial fragrance. This quality of ylang-ylang essential oil is highly prized by the perfume manufacturers. In fact, the different stages of steam distilling ylang-ylang flowers are determined according to the principle that cannot be easily described. Nevertheless, the distillation stage is split by the time taken to distil each fraction of the process.

While Ylang Extra is the most costly quality of essential oil obtained from the ylang-ylang flowers, Ylang I, II and III as well as Ylang Complete are also the complete distillation of this essential oil with no fractions or breaks during the process.

Ylang ylang is a superior variety of sesquiterpene (any specific terpene whose molecules contains 1.5 times as many atoms as a normal terpene). Ylang ylang III is the final fraction of the essential oil obtained by steam distilling the flowers of the plant and it is collected during the final hours of the distillation process. This variety of ylang-ylang essential oil is somewhat viscous, cruder and not as sweet oil as the other varieties of this essential oil. This variety of ylang-ylang essential oil is also more or less wholly made of sesquiterpenes. It may be mentioned here that sesquiterpenes are basically a category of chemical substances naturally present in higher plant and also found naturally in different alcohols. It may also be noted that sesquiterpenes are hardly present in volatile or unstable aromatic oils. When sesquiterpenes are extracted from the plants, these chemicals are known to invigorate the liver and endocrine glands. In fact, the potent antispasmodic and sedative properties of the ylang-ylang essential oil are attributed to the presence of sesquiterpenes.

Inhaling ylang-ylang essential oil is beneficial for overcoming fear as well as nervous tension. In fact, ylang-ylang essential oil should be considered foremost among all essential oils when an individual requires help to regulate as well as balance his or her nervous system. This essential oil is effective in facilitating one’s respiration for slower and more rhythmic breathing and is useful for treating panic attacks. Findings of several types of research have demonstrated that ylang-ylang essential oil invigorates the central nervous system and facilitates alleviating depression.

The essential oil obtained by steam distilling the flowers of ylang-ylang plant is a wonderful natural treatment for comforting tachycardia (rapid heart rate) as well as high blood pressure or hypertension. Ylang ylang essential oil is frequently used in massage oil lubricants and is reputed to provide relief from throbbing muscles and pains. This essential oil is beneficial for treating symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood swings. In addition, it is also an effective remedy for lessening emotional blockage or congestion in the region of the heart.

Ylang ylang essential oil is specifically feminine or yin oil and is said to be obsessive and alive with sensations. You may try using this essential oil at times when you require integration as well as healing the shadow elements of the Divine Feminine. Ylang ylang essential oil helps to activate the Divine Feminine’s inexplicable magnetism as well as an aptitude for living life completely. The essential oil obtained by steam distilling ylang-ylang flowers invigorates sensations of delight and self-confidence. It can also be effective in prevailing over performance nervousness.

This oil is regularly used in fragrances meant for men and is said to be a therapeutic oil for men. Ylang ylang essential oil endorses a man’s relation and expression of the womanly and instinctive part of his nature. You may consider combining ylang-ylang essential oil with petitgrain, bergamot or any spice or wood oil to diminish the intoxicating flowery quintessence of ylang-ylang essential oil. At the same time, ylang-ylang essential oil has the aptitude to facilitate counterbalancing protective coping approaches that are able to result in aggressive types of the communique. In fact, ylang-ylang essential oil helps to coordinate the mind and emotions. At the same time, it mitigates present attitudes, mental approaches as well as opinions. It also encourages straightforward communication with other people. You may use ylang-ylang essential oil to comfort the nerves in stressful circumstances.

Ylang ylang is beneficial for the functioning of the kidneys as well as the adrenal gland. In addition, this essential oil is excellent for people with feeble knees and suffering from loss of bladder control.

Traditionally, ylang-ylang essential oil has been used for beauty and skin care since the hormones of this plant encourage the renewal of the cells. Using this essential oil bring in a balance in moisture retention by the skin, which is effective for maintaining the natural sebum production by the skin. This particular attribute of ylang-ylang essential oil makes it an appropriate remedy for different types of skin – sensitive, oily as well as dry mature. In addition, ylang-ylang essential oil promotes the growth of healthy and lusty hair and may perhaps also be beneficial for people enduring split ends. To obtain the utmost benefit, add a few drops of this oil to your preferred hair conditioner or shampoo and use it on your scalp.

In aromatherapy, ylang-ylang oil is primarily used for its potent antiseptic properties that help to comfort, soothe, balance as well as work as a tranquilizer. In addition, ylang-ylang essential oil is also beneficial as a stimulant for the reproductive system and has the aptitude to heal sexual problems of an individual. The other therapeutic properties of this essential oil include treating problems, such as insomnia or sleeplessness, hyperactivity in children and tension. Moreover, this essential oil is effective in alleviating problems associated with oily and arid/ dry skin. It is effective for most types of skin care. Ylang ylang essential oil also supports hair growth.

Ylang ylang is an effective essential oil that soothes as well as provides comfort. This attribute of ylang-ylang helps to alleviate nervousness, depression, shock, insecurity, anger as well as obstinacy. When you use this oil it will facilitate in overcoming all such problems. In addition, similar to the essential oil obtained from rose (botanical name rosa Damascena) and sandalwood essential oil (botanical name santalum album), the oil extracted from steam distilling ylang-ylang flowers also acts as an aphrodisiac. Moreover, ylang-ylang essential oil often forms an active element of several perfumes and cosmetics. It is also used to flavor foods and beverages.

General Properties:

  • antiseptic
  • aphrodisiac
  • relaxing
  • stimulant

Blends Well With:

  • bergamot
  • jasmine
  • lavender
  • lemon
  • patchouli
  • rose
  • rosewood
  • sandalwood

General Use:

  • anemia
  • anorexia
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • boils and carbuncles
  • colds
  • coughs
  • dandruff
  • depression
  • flatulence
  • fluid retention
  • glandular fever
  • gout
  • immune system
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • low blood pressure
  • mouth infections
  • myalgic encephalomyelitis
  • nervous exhaustion
  • poor circulation
  • poor memory
  • rheumatism
  • rhinitis
  • scabies
  • sinusitis
  • ulcers
  • urinary infections
  • whooping cough
  • wounds and sores

Precautions:

Be careful, high concentrations of ylang-ylang essential oil can cause nausea or a headache.

Bath Cookies; Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath; A Scented Bath Powder..

Bath Cookies

If you like experimenting with recipes in the kitchen, you’ll get a real kick out of making these “cookies” for the tub. Bakers will recognize the steps in dough-making, rolling, and baking, but there’s a twist!
Make one batch for yourself and another for friends.
2 cups fine sea salt
1/2 cup cornstarch, plus more for rolling dough
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon dried, chopped lavender or sage {optional}
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil {if necessary, break open several capsules}
8 drops essential oil or perfume oil of your choosing
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine salt, cornstarch, and baking soda. Stir in chopped herbs, if using. Stir in eggs, vegetable oil, vitamin E oil, and essential oil and keep stirring until you form a dough.
2. Rub cornstarch on a rolling pin and spread some on a work surface. Roll the dough out to about 3/4 inch. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters or a biscuit cutter. Place your “cookies” on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1-inch apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and store in a tight-topped cookie tin in a cool, dry place.
3. When ready to use, place one to two of your bath cookies into the tub as the water runs.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath.

Mixing up this pleasantly scented bath will give you a double benefit. You’ll gain as much pleasure making the concoction as you will from soaking in it. The combination of powdered milk, oatmeal, and cornstarch will leave you feeling silky and soft. The cinnamon will gently warm you and offer up a soothing aroma.
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and whirl to combine. Transfer into a clean, tightly covered, moisture-proof container, where it will keep indefinitely.

2. Add about 1/2 cup of the Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath to a full tub of warm water and enjoy the soak.

Delicately Scented Bath Powder.

This variation provides a lightly scented powder suitable for adults.
While alum is used as an antiperspirant and deodorant for adults, it is best to use a simple sprinkle of cornstarch on baby’s skin.
2 tablespoons crumbled dried chamomile flowers
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon orris root
1/2 teaspoon alum
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let stand a few days.

Calendula Oil.

Marigold has much value today and in traditional cultures as a homeopathic remedy, but the oil extracted from the flowers, called calendula oil, is not far behind in providing benefits. Learn more about this oil distilled from the petals of the pot marigold or Calendula officinalis, and how you can harness its health and practical everyday uses.

What Is Calendula Oil?

Marigold is a genus of about 15 to 20 species of plants in the Asteraceae family. This flower is native to Southwestern Asia, as well as Western Europe and the Mediterranean. The common name “marigold” refers to the Virgin Mary, to which it is associated in the 17th century.

Apart from being used to honor the Virgin Mary during Catholic events, marigold was also considered by ancient Egyptians to have rejuvenating properties. Hindus used the flowers to adorn statues of gods in their temples, as well as to color their food, fabrics, and cosmetics.

Pot marigold or C. Officinalis is the most commonly cultivated and used species and is the source of the herbal oil. “Calendula” comes from the Latin word “calendar,” meaning “little calendar,” because the flower blooms on the calends or the first of most months. It should not be confused with ornamental marigolds of the Tagetes genus, commonly grown in vegetable gardens.

Calendula, with fiery red and yellow petals, is full of flavonoids, which are found naturally in vegetables and fruits and are substances that give plants their lovely bright colors.

Calendula oil is distilled from the flower tops and is quite sticky and viscous. It has a very strange smell described as musky, woody, and even rotten – like the marigold flowers themselves. This smell does not readily appeal to many individuals, even in when used in a remedy.

Uses of Calendula Oil

Here are three classifications of calendula plant and oil uses:

  1. Health and wellness – It has tonic, sudorific, emmenagogic, and antispasmodic properties, but it is mainly used for skin care and treatment. It has great anti-inflammatory and vulnerary action, making it helpful for stubborn wounds, acne, ulcers, bed sores, varicose veins, rashes, eczema, and related conditions. It addresses sore, inflamed, and itchy skin conditions.Calendula massage oil also greatly heals, soothes, and softens skin, making it a good addition to massage oils or when preparing a carrier oil blend.
  2. Cooking – Since the Middle Ages, the petals of marigold have been used as “the poor man’s saffron” for coloring cheeses, butter, and dishes. During the Elizabethan era, both petals and leaves were used in salads, although the latter showed to be very strong. The petals flavored soups and stews.
  3. Practical uses – Marigold has been used as a dye. Dried petals can also be added in potpourris.

Composition of Calendula Oil

In a study, calendula oil was obtained in low yield (0.3 percent) by steam distillation with cohabitation from flowers and whole plants. Identified by the researchers were 66 components, mainly sesquiterpene alcohols. α-cadinol was the main constituent, about 25 percent. The essential oil from the whole plant was found different from that of the flowers through the presence of monoterpenes hydrocarbons aside from the alcohols.

The principal constitutes of calendula essential oil are flavonoids, saponoside, triterpene alcohol, and a bitter principle. The useful components of calendula itself include a volatile oil, carotenoids, flavonoids, mucilage, resin, polysaccharides, aromatic plant acids, saponins, glycosides, and sterols.

Benefits of Calendula Oil

Calendula oil is traditionally used for abdominal cramps and constipation. It’s your skin that will receive a good bulk of the benefits, thanks to the oil’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and related properties. Here are some of the promoted benefits of this oil:

  1. Skin dryness or chapping – Calendula oil is a great moisturizer for dry skin and for severely chapped or split skin. It soothes the area and reduces the pain.
  2. Inflammation – It works well on swelling sprained muscles or bruises; its anti-inflammatory action helps lessen swelling from injury. Calendula oil also helps treat spider veins, varicose veins, leg ulcers, and chilblains.
  3. Baby care – The oil helps relief diaper rashes, which can extremely irritate an infant.
  4. Minor cuts and wounds – The antiseptic and antimicrobial action of the oil help speed up healing of wounds and minor cuts, and also benefit insect bites, acne, and bed sores.
  5. Skin issues – Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other skin problems can be soothed using calendula oil, applied topically. Calendula oil’s antifungal action is also great for treating athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch.

How to Make Calendula Oil

Calendula oil is extracted by steam distillation. There is almost no way to obtain 100 percent pure calendula essential oil, so this makes calendula essential oil an infusion and not a pure extract. In order to get the oil from the flower, the petals are steeped in oil, preferably olive oil. The oil left over when distillation is done is calendula oil, which should be a golden orange color.

You can create homemade calendula oil using the following instructions:

What you will need:

  • Dried calendula petals
  • Carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, or sunflower oil are some great options)
  • A clean glass jar with a lid

There are two methods to infuse the oil:

  • Cold infusion method – This is the usually preferred techniques because it protects the delicate calendula from heat damage.
    1. Put your desired amount of dried calendula petals in a clean, dry glass jar.
    2. Fill the jar with your carrier oil of choice to cover the petals by an inch.
    3. Put in a sunny place to infuse for four weeks.
    4. Drain the petals from the oil and store the oil in a container with a lid for up to one year.
  • Hot infusion method – This method is much quicker than the cold infusion method but won’t have the same strength because of the presence of heat.
    1. Put your desired amount of dried calendula petals in a clean, dry glass jar.
    2. Fill the jar with your carrier oil of choice to cover the petals by an inch.
    3. Dump the entire contents of the jar (the petals and the oil) in a small saucepan or slow cookers. Heat on low for four hours, stirring occasionally.
    4. Let cool. Drain the petals from the oil and store the oil in a container with a lid for up to one year.

You can use the homemade calendula oil as an after-bath body oil, salve, baby oil, lotion, or home remedy for dry skin, inflamed areas, or rashes.

How Does Calendula Oil Work?

Calendula oil is used in various products, oftentimes as a great base for lotions, salves, creams, several natural cosmetics and personal care products, and herbal ointments. It also very commonly works as a base oil in aromatherapy. Furthermore, you can use calendula oil in an all-natural herbal hair color recipe.

You can create an infused oil by filling a jar with the dried flowers, which you cover with a carrier oil. You can get more out of these flowers by macerating the mixture in a blender. Leave it infused for two weeks or more to extract the flowers’ beneficial properties. When ready to use, filter the oil through cheesecloth, and use it directly in a balm or as part of a homemade cream or lotion.

Is Calendula Oil Safe?

Calendula oil is generally safe for use, but I advise you to heed the following safety guidelines and considerations:

  1. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should generally avoid using calendula oil. Do not take calendula by mouth, as there is a concern that it might cause a miscarriage. Avoid topical use as well.
  2. An allergic reaction may occur in individuals who are sensitivity to ragweed and related plants, such as marigolds, chrysanthemums, and daisies. Before using calendula oil, check with your doctor if you have allergies.
  3. Combined with medications used during and after surgery, calendula use might cause too much drowsiness and should be stopped at least two weeks before surgery.

Side Effects of Calendula Oil

If you are not pregnant, nursing, allergic, or about to undergo surgery, you can use calendula oil with likely no side effect. It is best, however, to consult your healthcare provider, especially for therapeutic use.

Remember, though, that sedative medications or CNS depressants interact with calendula. The plant extract might cause sleepiness and drowsiness, and taking it with sedative drugs might result in excess sleepiness. Some sedative drugs include clonazepam, (Klonopin), phenobarbital (Donnatal), and zolpidem (Ambien). I advise you to also explore safe, natural ways to get a good night’s sleep.

What is Aromatherapy?

What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants for healing. Although the word “aroma” makes it sound as if the oils are inhaled, they can also be massaged into the skin or — rarely — taken by mouth. You should never take essential oils by mouth without specific instruction from a trained and qualified specialist. Whether inhaled or applied to the skin, essential oils are gaining new attention as an alternative treatment for infections, stress, and other health problems. However, in most cases scientific evidence is still lacking.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants. Each contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mix determines what the oil is used for. Some oils are used to promote physical healing — for example, to treat swelling or fungal infections. Others are used for their emotional value — they may enhance relaxation or make a room smell pleasant. Orange blossom oil, for example, contains a large amount of an active ingredient that is thought to be calming.
What is the history of aromatherapy?
Essential oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years. The ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used them in cosmetics, perfumes, and drugs. Essential oils were also commonly used for spiritual, therapeutic, hygienic, and ritualistic purposes.
More recently, René-Maurice Gattefossé, a French chemist, discovered the healing properties of lavender oil when he applied it to a burn on his hand caused by an explosion in his laboratory. He then started to analyze the chemical properties of essential oils and how they were used to treat burns, skin infections, gangrene, and wounds in soldiers during World War I. In 1928, Gattefossé founded the science of aromatherapy. By the 1950s massage therapists, beauticians, nurses, physiotherapists, doctors, and other healthcare providers began using aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy did not become popular in the United States until the 1980s. Today, many lotions, candles, and beauty products are sold as “aromatherapy.” However, many of these products contain synthetic fragrances that do not have the same properties as essential oils.
How does aromatherapy work?
Researchers are not entirely clear how aromatherapy may work. Some experts believe our sense of smell may play a role. The “smell” receptors in your nose communicate with parts of your brain (the amygdala and hippocampus) that serve as storehouses for emotions and memories. When you breathe in essential oil molecules, some researchers believe they stimulate these parts of your brain and influence physical, emotional, and mental health. For example, scientists believe lavender stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala similar to the way some sedative medications work. Other researchers think that molecules from essential oils may interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes.
Aromatherapy massage is a popular way of using essential oils because it works in several ways at the same time. Your skin absorbs essential oils and you also breathe them in. Plus, you experience the physical therapy of the massage itself.
What happens during an aromatherapy session?
Professional aromatherapists, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and massage therapists can provide topical or inhaled aromatherapy treatment. Only specially trained professionals can provide treatment that involves taking essential oils by mouth.
At an aromatherapy session, the practitioner will ask about your medical history and symptoms, as well any scents you may like. You may be directed to breathe in essential oils directly from a piece of cloth or indirectly through steam inhalations, vaporizers, or sprays. The practitioner may also apply diluted essential oils to your skin during a massage. In most cases, the practitioner will tell you how to use aromatherapy at home, by mixing essential oils into your bath, for example.
What is aromatherapy good for?
Aromatherapy is used in a wide range of settings — from health spas to hospitals — to treat a variety of conditions. In general, it seems to relieve pain, improve mood, and promote a sense of relaxation. In fact, several essential oils — including lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, and others — have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression.
Several clinical studies suggest that when essential oils (particularly rose, lavender, and frankincense) were used by qualified midwives, pregnant women felt less anxiety and fear, had a stronger sense of well-being and had less need for pain medications during delivery. Many women also report that peppermint oil relieves nausea and vomiting during labor.
Massage therapy with essential oils (combined with medications or therapy) may benefit people with depression. The scents are thought by some to stimulate positive emotions in the area of the brain responsible for memories and emotions, but the benefits seem to be related to relaxation caused by the scents and the massage. A person’s belief that the treatment will help also influences whether it works.
In one study, Neroli oil helped reduce blood pressure and pre-procedure anxiety among people undergoing a colonoscopy.
In test tubes, chemical compounds from some essential oils have shown antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some evidence also suggests that citrus oils may strengthen the immune system and that peppermint oil may help with digestion. Fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary sage have estrogens-like compounds, which may help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause. However, human studies are lacking.
Other conditions for which aromatherapy may be helpful include:
  • Alopecia areata (hair loss)
  • Agitation, possibly including agitation related to dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation (with abdominal massage using aromatherapy)
  • Insomnia
  • Pain: Studies have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis, cancer (using topical chamomile), and headaches (using topical peppermint) require fewer pain medications when they use aromatherapy
  • Itching, a common side effect for those receiving dialysis
  • Psoriasis
Should anyone avoid aromatherapy?
Pregnant women, people with severe asthma, and people with a history of allergies should only use essential oils under the guidance of a trained professional and with full knowledge of your physician.
Pregnant women and people with a history of seizures should avoid hyssop oil.
People with high blood pressure should avoid stimulating essential oils, such as rosemary and spike lavender.
People with estrogen-dependent tumors (such as breast or ovarian cancer) should not use oils with estrogens like compounds such as fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary sage.
People receiving chemotherapy should talk to their doctor before trying aromatherapy.
Is there anything I should watch out for?
Most topical and inhaled essential oils are generally considered safe. You should never take essential oils by mouth unless you are under the supervision of a trained professional. Some oils are toxic, and taking them by mouth could be fatal.
Rarely, aromatherapy can induce side effects, such as rash, asthma, headache, liver and nerve damage, as well as harm to a fetus.
Oils that are high in phenols, such as cinnamon, can irritate the skin. Add water or a base massage oil (such as almond or sesame oil) to the essential oil before applying to your skin. Avoid using near your eyes.
Essential oils are highly volatile and flammable so they should never be used near an open flame.
Animal studies suggest that active ingredients in certain essential oils may interact with some medications. Researchers don’t know if they have the same effect in humans. Eucalyptus, for example, may cause certain medications, including pentobarbital (used for seizures) and amphetamine (used for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) to be less effective.
How can I find an aromatherapist?
While there are currently no boards that certify or license aromatherapists in the United States, many professionals are members of professional organizations. To locate a qualified aromatherapist in your area, contact the National Association of Holistic Therapy at www.naha.org. Many aromatherapists are trained in some other form of therapy or healing system, such as massage or chiropractic, and include aromatherapy in their practice.
What is the future of aromatherapy?
Although essential oils have been used for centuries, few studies have looked the safety and effectiveness of aromatherapy in people. Scientific evidence is lacking, and there are some concerns about the safety and quality of certain essential oils. More research is needed before aromatherapy becomes a widely accepted alternative remedy.

References

Atsumi T, Tonosaki K. Smelling lavender, and rosemary increases free radical scavenging activity and decreases cortisol level in saliva. Psychiatry Res. 2007;150(1):89-96.
Bagetta G, Morrone LA, Rombola L, et al. Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot. Fitoterapia. 2010;81(6):453-61.
Ballard CG, Gauthier S, Cummings JL, Brodaty H, Grossberg GT, Robert P, Lyketsos CG. Management of agitation and aggression associated with Alzheimer disease. Nat Rev Neurol. 2009 May;5(5):245-55. Review.
Bastard J, Tiran D. Aromatherapy and massage for antenatal anxiety: its effect on the fetus.Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006;12(1):48-54.
Burns E, Zobbi V, Panzeri D, Oskrochi R, Regalia A. Aromatherapy in childbirth: a pilot randomized controlled trial. BJOG. 2007;114(7):838-44.
Dunning T. Applying a quality use of medicines framework to using essential oils in nursing practice. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2005;11(3):172-81.
Edris AE. Pharmaceutical and therapeutic potentials of essential oils and their individual volatile constituents: a review. Phytother Res. 2007;21(4):308-23.
Fellowes D, Barnes K, Wilkinson S. Aromatherapy and massage for symptom relief in patients with cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD002287.
Fowler NA. Aromatherapy, used as an integrative tool for crisis management by adolescents in a residential treatment center. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2006;19(2):69-76.
Goel N, Kim H, Lao RP. An olfactory stimulus modifies nighttime sleep in young men and women. Chronobiol Int. 2005;22(5):889-904.
Hadfield N. The role of aromatherapy massage in reducing anxiety in patients with malignant brain tumors. Int J Palliat Nurs. 2001;7(6):279-85.
Herz RS. Aromatherapy facts and fictions: a scientific analysis of olfactory effects on mood, physiology, and behavior. Int J Neurosci. 2009;119(2):263-90. Review.
Hongratanaworakit T, Buchbauer G. Relaxing effect of ylang-ylang oil on humans after transdermal absorption. Phytother Res. 2006;20(9):758-63.
Hu PH, Peng YC, Lin YT, Chang CS, Ou MC. Aromatherapy for reducing colonoscopy-related procedural anxiety and physiological parameters: a randomized controlled study. Hepatogastroenterology. 2010;57(102-102):1082-6.
Hur MH, Oh H, Lee MS, Kim C, Choi AN, Shin GR. Effects of aromatherapy massage on blood pressure and lipid profile in Korean climacteric women. Int J Neurosci. 2007;117(9):1281-7.
Kim JT, Wajda M, Cuff G, et al., Evaluation of aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain: the pilot study. Pain Pract. 2006;6(4):273-7.
Krebs M. Promote wellness with aromatherapy. Adv Nurse Pract. 2006;14(5):41-4.
Kuriyama H, Watanabe S, Nakaya T, et al., Immunological and Psychological Benefits of Aromatherapy Massage. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005;2(2):179-184.
Kyle G. Evaluating the effectiveness of aromatherapy in reducing levels of anxiety in palliative care patients: results of a pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006;12(2):148-55.
Lee CO. Clinical aromatherapy. Part II: Safe guidelines for integration into clinical practice. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2003;7(5):597-8.
Lee IS, Lee GJ. [Effects of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia and depression in women college students]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006;36(1):136-43.
Lewith GT, Godfrey AD, Prescott P. A single-blinded, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula angustifoliate as a treatment for mild insomnia. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11(4):631-7.
Lin PW, Chan WC, Ng BF, Lam LC. Efficacy of aromatherapy (Lavandula angustifolia ) as an intervention for agitated behaviors in Chinese older persons with dementia: a cross-over randomized trial. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007;22(5):405-10.
Maddocks-Jennings W, Wilkinson JM. Aromatherapy practice in nursing: a literature review. J Adv Nurs. 2004;48(1):93-103.
McCaffrey R, Thomas DJ, Kinzelman AO. The effects of lavender and rosemary essential oils on test-taking anxiety among graduate nursing students. Holist Nurs Pract. 2009 Mar-Apr;23(2):88-93.
Mercier D, Knevitt A. Using topical aromatherapy for the management of fungating wounds in a palliative care unit. J Wound Care. 2005;14(10):497-8, 500-1.
Patricia M. Complementary therapies for children: aromatherapy. Paediatr Nurs. 2004;16(7):28-30.
Perry N, Perry E. Aromatherapy in the management of psychiatric disorders: clinical and neuropharmacological perspectives. CNS Drugs. 2006;20(4):257-80.
Rho KH, Han SH, Kim KS, Lee MS. Effects of aromatherapy massage on anxiety and self-esteem in Korean elderly women: a pilot study. Int J Neurosci. 2006;116(12):1447-55.
Setzer WN. Essential oils and anxiolytic aromatherapy. Nat Prod Commun. 2009;4(9):1305-16.
Tillett J, Ames D. The uses of aromatherapy in women’s health. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2010;24(3):238-45.
Thorgrimsen L, Spector A, Wiles A, Orrell M. Aroma therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(3): CD003150.
Williams TI. Evaluating effects of aromatherapy massage on sleep in children with autism: a pilot study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006;3(3):373-7.

 

Understanding Herbal Hair Care.

People have been using herbs for their hair care and, over and again, they form vital ingredients of many shampoos, conditioners as well as rinses. As far as hair care is concerned, rosemary is the herb that is highly valued and has the repute of being an excellent common conditioner which makes the hair glossy, silky, aromatic and somewhat darker. In fact, there are two more herbs, sage, and chamomile, which have also been prized highly over the centuries. While sage is valued in the form of a hair conditioner and darkener, it is believed that chamomile possesses the aptitude to make fair hair brighter and, at the same time, make all types of hair softer. In addition, the golden flowers of mullein are also thought to exaggerate blond highlights.

Traditionally, it has been claimed that parsley helps to make the hair dense as well as enhance its color. Similarly, the herb called southernwood augments hair growth, while the burdock roots regulate dandruff and the herb stinging nettle works as an excellent conditioner while also assisting in curing dandruff. Precisely speaking, there are numerous herbs right from kelp to yarrow that is believed to help in arresting hair loss and, simultaneously, encourage hair growth. However, it is unfortunate that there is no herb that has been scientifically proved to be effective in hair care. There are some more herbs which just help to make the hair pleasantly fragrant.

Like in the instance of preparing cosmetic formulations using herbs, the recipes discussed in this article are just the preliminary ideas intended to illustrate the manner in which you are able to use herbs to prepare hair care products. In fact, it is advisable that you should try and experiment to discover the most excellent combination of herbal constituents to prepare the most suitable hair care product for you. All the ingredients mentioned in this article are either familiar plants or domestic items.

It is worth mentioning here that the state of your hair is considered to be an excellent sign of your overall health as well as nourishment. When an individual is exhausted and shabby and also ailing or miserable, his or her hair is likely to be devoid of its shine. In addition, various aspects, such as the sun, the wind, chlorine, chemical treatment of hair as well as hormonal changes also have the potential to have an effect on the health of your hair. It needs to be underlined that a nutritious diet is necessary for attractive hair and, hence, you need to ensure that your diet comprises lots of vitamin A, vitamin B, essential minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, iodine, silica. In addition, you also need to intake appropriate amounts of essential fatty acids and proteins.

Moreover, the type of shampoo you are using is vital. Several commercially available shampoos mainly comprise alkaline detergents that eliminate the natural oils from your hair as well as scalp. It is advisable that you should not wash your hair too often since this may stimulate the scalp excessively and, thereby, augment the hair’s oiliness. It is preferable that you opt for a natural bristle brush because using nylon brushes actually harm the hair and results in the splitting of the hair ends.

Shampoos:

There are numerous herbs that make excellent natural shampoos, which nourish your hair and make it healthier. Some of the herbal shampoos that you may prepare yourself at home are bouncing bet natural shampoo, herbal Castile shampoo and quick herbal shampoo. The recipes for these are given in brief below.

BOUNCING BET NATURAL SHAMPOO

As the herb bouncing bet forms foams, it is often referred to as the soapwort. In the event it is available, you may also replace bouncing bet with more leathery dried root of bouncing bet. In order to get a variation, you may also substitute chamomile with rosemary, lavender, southernwood or even sage to get a darker hair complexion. You should use more of this shampoo prepared with indigenous herbs and should expect to see a lesser amount of lather compared to the commercially available shampoos. It may be noted here that unadulterated quality borax is commercially available in your neighborhood drugstore.

  • Three tablespoonfuls of dehydrated bouncing bet herb
  • One teaspoon of unadulterated quality borax
  • One-and-a-half tablespoonful of dehydrated flowers of chamomile
  • Two cups of steaming water

To prepare the bouncing bet natural shampoo, you need to put all the above-mentioned ingredients – bouncing bet herb, borax and dried chamomile flowers in a jar that is heat proof or any other container which can be sealed firmly. Add two cups of boiling water to these ingredients and stir it thoroughly. Allow the mixture to permeate, cover the container loosely till the solution becomes cool. Subsequently, cover the container tightly and shake the mixture thoroughly. Allow the mixture to hold for a couple of days and keep shaking it at intervals of once every few hours. Next, filter the liquid and apply it on your hair when necessary.

HERBAL CASTILE SHAMPOO

This natural shampoo is prepared to form castile soap which is based on olive oil. This is one herbal shampoo that creates as much lather as any other shampoo sold commercially and also cleanses thoroughly, washes off without any difficulty and is much gentler. Make use of unadulterated castile soap, either in the crumbling or powdered form or even grated from any solid soap bar. It may be noted that generally peppermint or other constituents are incorporated into the liquid Castile soaps. In case you have light hair, you may also use chamomile. Alternately, if the complexion of your hair is dark, you may add sage. You are also at liberty to include one tablespoonful of stinging nettle, southernwood or any other herb that is traditionally used for hair care. Alternately, you may also add any fragrant constituent, for example, orange peel or lemon.

  • Two tablespoonfuls of dried up leaves of rosemary
  • One-fourth cup of dried up flowers of chamomile or one tablespoonful of dehydrated leaves of sage
  • One tablespoonful of dehydrated peppermint
  • Two ounces of castile soap
  • 2 1/4 cups of distilled water
  • Two tablespoonfuls of vodka and three drops of either peppermint or eucalyptus oil

To prepare herbal Castile shampoo, you need to put all the dried herbs mentioned above in a weighty saucepan, pour in the distilled water on them and bring the mixture to boil. Lower the heat after some time and seethe the mixture for about 10 minutes. Subsequently, cover the container and steep the herbs for approximately 30 minutes. Filter the resultant liquid in a mixing bowl; compress the herbs with a view to extracting the entire liquid before throwing them away. Next, place the castile soap in a saucepan and pour in the liquid containing the essence of the herbs. Allow the soap and the herbal brew to bubble over low heat till the entire soap liquefies completely while continuing to stir the mixture using a wooden spoon. Allow the mixture to cool and when it cools completely, it ought to be thin as well as buttery. Now, blend the drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil with vodka and keep whisking it into the shampoo mixture. Now the shampoo is ready. Pour it into a clean jar and seal it firmly. Place the jar containing the mixture in a warm place and allow it to stand for about four to five days prior to using it.

QUICK HERBAL SHAMPOO

The name of this herbal shampoo is an indication of the fact that it is one herbal shampoo that can be prepared very easily and quickly. All that you need to do to prepare the quick herbal shampoo is to blend a potent infusion of any herb used for hair care with any mild or baby shampoo that is available commercially.

  • one-fourth cup of any baby or any other soft shampoo
  • one-fourth cup of boiling water and one heaped teaspoon of dried up rosemary sage or stinging nettle. Alternately you may also use one tablespoon of dried flowers of chamomile

To prepare this herbal shampoo, add any of the above-mentioned herbs to boiling water and put off the heat after some time. Allow the mixture to steep for about 30 minutes, filter the herbal brew and, subsequently, blend it with the baby or mild shampoo. The quick herbal shampoo is now ready for use.

Conditioners:

A number of hair conditioners, as well as rinses, can be prepared with herbs at home. These conditioners and rinses are effective in nourishing your hair, making it appear healthy and attractive. In addition, they do not have any side effects as the commercially available conditioners and rinses. Some of the common herbal hair conditioners and rinses along with their recipes are discussed in brief below.

HERBAL CONDITIONING OIL

This herbal oil ought to be prepared at least a week before the day you plan to use it because this conditioning oil requires sufficient time for it to soak up all the herbal essences. While preparing this herbal conditioning oil you may feel free to replace any traditionally herb used for hair care or any of the plant oils, for instance, soy, sunflower, jojoba, corn and peanut. In case the scent of the olive oil is not too potent, you may even substitute this oil. However, it is advisable not to use the extremely potently scented sesame oil. When you have already discovered a combination that you prefer most, you may prepare this hair conditioning oil in double or even more quantities and store the additional conditioner in a sealed bottle for use when necessary.

  • One cup of safflower oil
  • Half a cup of dried up flowers of chamomile
  • One-fourth cup of dehydrated leaves of rosemary

To prepare this conditioner, place all the herbs in the top of a double boiler (any utensil having two pots) and pour the oil into it. Heat this mixture of the herbs and safflower oil for about 30 minutes and, subsequently, pour the blend into a jar having a wide opening. Next, wrap the mouth of the jar using a number of muslin layers put in place using a string or a rubber band. Place the jar in a warm place for about a week and keep stirring the mixture each day. When you find that the oil has acquired a distinct herbal fragrance, filter it into a spotless pot.

Depending on the texture and length of your hair, warm approximately one-third or half a cup of the oil over extremely low heat for some minutes. Then drench your hair with hot water and remove the water squeezing your hair. Subsequently, using your fingers spread the tepid oil all over your hair till the hair is completely covered with the oil conditioner. When you have applied the herbal conditioning oil thoroughly to your hair, cover the head using a shower cap or plastic bag and, if required, also pin it up. In order to maintain the oil warm, immerse a heavy towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and cover the damp hot towel firmly over the shower cap or plastic bag. If the towel becomes cool, wet it in hot water again, wring out the water and place it in the same position once more. Treat your hair using this technique for about anything between 20 minutes and 30 minutes. Eventually, shampoo your hair twice.

HERBAL EGG CONDITIONER

Herbal egg conditioner is a somewhat unique herbal hair conditioner, which is made up of herbal oils, egg and honey. This hair conditioner should be used in the manner described in the earlier recipe – the herbal conditioning oil. Alternately, you may just warm this hair conditioner and apply it directly to your hair and allow it to remain for about 15 minutes prior to shampooing.

  • One egg
  • Two teaspoonfuls of lemon juice
  • About two to three drops of rosemary oil
  • One-fourth cup of safflower or any other fine vegetable oil
  • One teaspoonful of honey

To prepare this unique hair conditioner, first add honey and the lemon juice to the egg and whip them together. Next, decant the blend in the top of a double boiler (any utensil comprising two pots) and heat it, while keeping on stirring, till the blend becomes warm as well as creamy. Then allow the mixture to cool and when cooled slowly add the vegetable and rosemary oils to the creamy egg blend and continue to whip it using a whisk to make it combine well. Instead of using rosemary oil and vegetable oil, you may also use one-fourth cup of herbal conditioning oil (see the earlier recipe) to prepare this hair conditioner.

Rinses:

Herbs that have been traditionally used for hair care may be used to prepare effective rinses at home quite easily. These rinses not only nourish and shine your hair but also make it healthy. Besides, they do not result in any side effects like those of the commercially available hair rinses, which are mostly prepared using chemicals. The recipes of some of these herbal rinses are given below.

BLOND HIGHLIGHTING RINSE

In order to obtain the optimum benefits, the blond highlighting rinse should be used on a regular basis and, subsequently, dry your hair in the clear sunlight. Prior to applying this rinse, you need to shampoo and wash your hair using plain water.

  • Two cups of water
  • Two tablespoonfuls of dried out flowers of mullein
  • Half cup of dried flowers of chamomile
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • One tablespoonful of orange flower water

To prepare this rinse, boil the water in a container and then reduce the heat. Add the dry chamomile and mullein flowers to the hot water and keep stirring using a spoon. Seethe the mixture for about 30 minutes and, subsequently, cover the container and allow the herbs to suffuse for many hours or during the night. Filter the resultant liquid, compress the herbs to take out the complete liquid. Next, whip the lemon juice and orange blossom water and add the herbal brew to it. Pour this blond highlighting rinse all over your hair many times. Once you have poured the rinse over your hair, collect the liquid in a bowl and reuse it several times.

DEEPENING RINSE FOR DARK HAIR

The deepening rinse for dark hair ought to be used in the form of a final wash following shampooing as well as rinsing properly using plain water.

  • Two cups of boiling water
  • One-fourth cup of dehydrated leaves of the herb sage
  • Two tablespoonfuls of dried up leaves of rosemary
  • Two tea bags of any common beverage tea
  • One tablespoonful of dried up stinging nettles

To prepare the deepening rinse for dark hair, you need to add water to the tea bags and suffuse them in a covered container for about 15 minutes. Subsequently, take the bags out and compress them to bring out the entire liquid. Heat the tea once again till it comes to a boil. Next, pour the tea over the dried herbs, cover the container and allow the herbs to soak in the tea for approximately 30 minutes to an hour. Filter the resultant liquid and pour it over your hair many times using it as a rinse. Once you pour the rinse over your hair, catch it in a bowl and reuse it several times.

HERBAL VINEGAR RINSE

The herbal vinegar hair rinses assists in bringing back the natural acid balance of the hair and, at the same time, facilitates in getting rid of the insipid morsels of soap. While the herb bergamot is best for preparing this hair rinse, you may also substitute it with any other aromatic herb belonging to the mint family if bergamot is not available. As a substitute, you may use herbs like peppermint or basil.

  • One-fourth cup of dried up bergamot
  • One-fourth cup of dehydrated leaves of rosemary
  • Two cups of clear cider vinegar

To prepare herbal vinegar rinse, place the dried herbs mentioned above in a jar with a wide opening. Next, heat the clear cider vinegar till it is on the verge of boiling and pour it on the herbs. When the vinegar cools down, cover the jar tightly. In case the jar has a metal lid, you should screw it using a few layers of plastic cover below the lid to ensure that the acidic vinegar does not react with the metallic lid of the jar. Allow the mixture to stand in a tepid place for about a week. In the meantime, shake the mixture thoroughly each day. Make use of a refined cheesecloth in a funnel to filter the vinegar containing the herbal essence in a bottle and cover it tightly. In order to use this herbal vinegar rinse, you may dilute the rinse by adding two to three cups of tepid water and pour the liquid over your hair once or twice in the form of a final rinse.

QUICK HERBAL RINSE

You may use any herb that has been traditionally used for hair care to prepare an infusion, which may be used in the form of a quick rinse. Allow the infusion to cool down to become tepid prior to using the rinse.

  • Two cups of boiling water
  • One or two tablespoonfuls of dehydrated rosemary, sage or even stinging nettle

Add the herbs to boiling water and put off the heat after some time. Let the mixture to suffuse for about 15 minutes and, subsequently, filter the resultant liquid and use it in the form of a hair rinse.

FLAXSEED SETTING LOTION

Flaxseed setting lotion helps in the growth of hair and makes it thick and healthy. The ingredients required to prepare this herbal hair setting lotion include a one-third cup of flaxseeds and one cup (250 ml) of water.

To prepare this flaxseed setting lotion, you need to squash the flaxseed using a spoon. Boil the water in a saucepan and, subsequently, lower the heat and whip the flaxseeds into the seething water. Use one teaspoon of flaxseed at one time and continue the process till the mixture becomes thick. Next, filter the seeds and dilute the mixture to the consistency level desired by you.