Strong as Cedarwood

The wood from cedar trees is known for its resilience and its ability to repel pests like moths. Funnily enough, Cedarwood oil has a similar effect on life circumstances, helping to support and boost confidence in the midst of challenging situations, creating resilience and repelling pests in the events of life.

spring

I am back at school at the Aromatic Wisdom Institute in Selinsgrove. It’s my last week here, when I will graduate with my certification as an aromatherapist.

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flowers

Spring is in full swing, and the area is beautiful. I am so blessed to get to spend time from here, where it’s so peaceful and pretty!

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As I’ve been taking in this gorgeous scenery, I am pondering both challenging and celebratory events going on in my life right now. I am reminded that in nature we see the ongoing cycle of changing circumstances, renewal, and new life. God in the Bible confirms this, that the world goes round and things change. But He promises that He will always stay the same – constant, supportive, and resilient.

town and bridge

I am so thankful for this strong, grounding hope. I am thankful that we can experience it in something as simple as oil from the cedar tree, enduring, grounding, and calming.

Cedarwood oil also helps removes excess mucous from respiratory system for those seasonal allergies, and also kills insects. It is dependable, it is protective, it is resilient.

And when the Bible says that creation bears witness to the glory of God, I can see what it means, even in a thing like cedarwood.

town with flower

Have you ever tried cedarwood oil? How was it beneficial for you?

Let me know!

Roses are Red (for when you are blue)

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For centuries the rose has been associated with love and “happy thoughts”. They are popular in gardens, at weddings, and as gifts, probably more popular than any other flower.

Though this might seem more like a fashion or cultural fancy, the reality is that rose (absolute) oil actually has a wonderful affect on health. Not only is it refreshing, invigorating, and good for skin, it is also good for a variety of deeper physical and emotional needs.

Rose is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and great for helping the skin heal. It’s also a natural antidepressant, helpful for calming strong emotions like anger and grief, soothing the heart and renewing good feelings.

Because it’s good for the skin, rose oil can be added to water and sprayed all over the body for a refreshing, uplifting, and simple treatment. It can also be added to oil blends for massage. I love to spray rose water around my room and to freshen up after a long day. It brightens the mood and cleanses the skin!

With all this in mind, isn’t it interesting how roses have been a symbol of love and happiness throughout the ages? Somehow before the scientific effects were known, people gravitated toward the flowers as a source of happiness, comfort, and health. How much more can we take advantage of these wonderful properties today!

Have you ever used rose oil? How did it affect you?

What do you think of rose’s ability to positively affect mental health?

Let us know in the comments below!

“Home Herbal” by Penelope Ody

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When a friend first lent me this book nearly twenty years ago, I was in awe. So much knowledge in a small, easy to read book!

Home Herbal looks at health needs according to age, herbs that can be used medicinally for all manner of maladies, practical ways to use and prepare herbal remedies, and common complaints with instructions on how to treat them. Through beautiful pictures and expert advice, my knowledge was expanded. I got so excited! Mullein and St. John’s wort and calendula and arnica and licorice! Tinctures and infusions and emulsions and ointments!

This book helped me learn to treat my chronic bronchitis (with mullein) and set me on a road to looking at health and medicine differently than I ever had before. I got my own copy and I still keep it as a reference for using herbal remedies. Check it out yourself; you won’t be sorry! It’s an invaluable tool for anyone wanting to learn more about holistic health. Click the picture below to find it on Amazon for a penny!

Have you ever read Home Herbal? What do you think?

What resources have been invaluable to you in your journey towards healthful living?

Essential Oil Safety: Less is More!

Less is More

Let’s say you’re allergic to peanuts (maybe you are). Say it’s a mild allergy – you experience some discomfort when you ingest peanuts, but it’s not life threatening, just a little tickle in your throat and some nausea that tell you you’re allergic to peanuts.

Let’s say that, even though you know you’re allergic, you sort of shrug it off because you can live with the symptoms. It’s not like your breathing is cut off or anything. So, from time to time you indulge. You eat peanut butter cups, pb&j sandwiches, and even the occasional bag of roasted salted peanuts you get at the corner store for a dollar. You feel the tickle in your throat and the little stomach ache but it’s really nothing. Peanuts are healthy, you reason, a good source of protein. All your favorite bloggers have tons of earthy crunchy recipes with peanut butter in them, so it can’t be that bad.

One night, you get a craving for a nice big peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You go the the kitchen, make it up, and take a bite. You eat half the sandwich before you realize your throat feels tight. Maybe it’s just the bread. You stop eating to get drink of water and realize that the room is spinning. You really can’t breathe. Your skin is covered in hives. You end up spending the night in the ER from a severe allergic reaction.

This scenario is a scary one, and it happens often. What most people don’t realize, however, is that this very same thing can happen with essential oils.

Yep, even something that has the ability to help and heal a myriad of health issues can also be the cause of issues if you’re not careful. Essential oils are highly concentrated, so a drop of oil goes a long way. Less is more.

What’s more, oils and oil blends may have components you are allergic to without realizing it. At first your body may not react but tolerates it. However, just like a peanut allergy, the buildup of what your body perceives as dangerous eventually puts it over the edge, and it reacts strongly in very dangerous ways.

This doesn’t just happen with allergies. Too much of a good thing can be detrimental to anyone. Take water: it makes up 70% of your system and yet you can still drown. Natural does not always mean healthy, and healthy does not always mean healthy all the time. It takes research and patience to determine what is best for your body at a given time.

If you use essential oils, remember that less is more. A single drop of oil can help your system without taxing it. Always dilute oils in a carrier oil before you put them on your skin. Practice caution, and you will see that using less with enable your body to heal itself without being overwhelmed. (You’ll also safe a lot more money!)

How do you like to be safe when you use oils?
Have you ever had a massive reaction to something that was supposed to be healthy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

What is Holistic Health?

On this blog we talk a lot (and will talk a lot) about “holistic health.” But what does that mean?

What is Holistic

By definition, holistic means “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts” (merriam-webster.com).

Whereas mainstream medicine treats individual health issues as they pop up (say a cold), holistic medicine is concerned with caring for the entire body as well as the mind.

This is why aromatherapy is considered holistic – when I am consulting with someone who’d like an essential oil blend, I don’t just dump in a bunch of oils that are good for the common cold. I probe deeper. I ask the person if they have any allergies, if they’ve been going through a stressful time, or how their mood has been. All these and other factors affect how I treat what seems to be the simplest of problems – a cold.

This might sound exhaustive or even a little unnecessary, but think about it. Our bodies are a collection of systems working together to keep us alive and well. The respiratory system is not independent of the cardiac system, nor is the muscular system independent of the nervous system. They all work together and rely on each other.

It follows, then, that a health issue affecting one will affect the other. If the immune system is struggling, the entire body will respond in order to fill in the deficiency. This is why I believe a holistic approach is so important: a cold does not just affect your nose or your throat. The rest of the body doesn’t just let your nose fall of and say “well the rest of us are fine!” Your entire immune system is weakened, your mood is affected, and it’s harder to carry out everyday tasks as usual. Cutting off your nose would not make this better!

So I hope this helps clear up any misconceptions you may have about holistic health, or at least clarifies for you what it even is. Holistic medicine is a bit of a fad right now, and as such it is easy to think that this or that is what holistic health means. But really the concept is simple. How you practice it and how it plays out in your individual life will look different to different people.

And honestly, that’s the spirit of holistic health: everyone’s different, with different bodies and health needs and reactions. Medicine should help each individual body and mind the way that they specifically need it. If you believe that, then congratulations! You’re thinking holistically.

What comes to mind when you think of holistic health?

Does this post clear up any misconceptions, answer any questions, or spark more?

Let me know in the comments below!