Archives for posts with tag: Essential oil

National Geographic001

Whether you call yourself a mysophobic, germaphobic, microphobic ( lists them all), or simply OCD, you’re going to have a reaction to the information in the January 2013 National Geographic. Here’s a way to help you process this information in a safe and natural way that will optimize your health.

The article starts: “When we inhale, our nostrils capture…a teeming community of bacteria and viruses. A few types may trigger allergies or asthma. Far more rare are inhaled pathogens that are themselves the agents of diseases, such as SARS, tuberculosis, and influenza.” But, the article continues, you can“…breathe easy: Most of the microbes in the air do us little or no harm, and some almost certainly do us good. The truth is, we still understand precious little about them”(Nathan Wolfe “Small Small World: They’re invisible. They’re everywhere. And they rule.” National Geographic. January 2013. p. 138).

The article goes on to describe an enormous ecosystem residing inside our bodies whether we like it or not. The mass weight of all these microbes weighs more than our brain (about 3 pounds in the average adult). We don’t want to keep them out or destroy them because we would die. In fact, when we tamper with this natural ecosystem we risk all kinds of health catastrophes.

They help in digestion, nutrient absorption, vitamin creation, anti-inflammatory protection, and immune protection. They keep our skin from cracking, the bad bacteria from taking over, and allergies from developing. They help regulate our weight and keep our intestinal walls clean, healthy and protected. Dealing with the invisible bad critters in our ecosystem is like controlling some dangerous predator in the forest ecosystem. To destroy one dangerous species allows another to take over and cause havoc.

For example the Staphylococcus aureus or (S. aureus) is typically a harmless bacterium if it is kept under control in a healthy body by other bacteria. About a third of us have it in our nostrils. But it can turn deadly if it’s allowed to run wild. When it moves into other parts of the body like the skin, it can be as simple as a pimple but as dangerous as a life-threatening infection such as a flesh-eating disease, or it can create toxic shock syndrome.

What makes microscopic predators so dangerous is their resistance to antibiotics that we’ve taken from prescriptions but more importantly from the antibiotics in our food and water from fattening animals to bring them to market early. One of the reasons people choose organic meats and dairy is to get away from too many unnecessary antibiotics.  Helpful, life-sustaining microbes get caught in the crossfire between antibiotics and the microbes they’re trying to destroy. You’ve heard of superbugs, MRSA and the like. These predators gone wild can do a lot of damage, infecting even intravenous catheters and other hospital equipment.

So … back to the people with germ phobia or those who are OCD. What can you do to keep this mass of living things in your body in healthy balance and feel comfortable in your own skin? First of all, you can start shaking hands and eating raw vegetables again without worry. Populating yourself with a large diversity of microbes actually helps you stay healthy. You’ve perhaps heard of the teachers who appear to develop immunity from all the colds the children bring into their classrooms. Maybe they’re just populating their ecosystems. Throw away the wipes and limit the use of germicidal products. Maybe you need people sneezing on you to help you stay healthy if you are already healthy and don’t already have a compromised immune system.

Here are some other ideas:

Keep antibiotics to a minimum

Eat organic to avoid antibiotics in your meat and learn how to use immune boosters like medicinal mushrooms and Vitamin D3, especially when you’re healthy.

Use essential oils

When you get a cold or another type of infection, find safer, natural ways of dealing with the out-of-control microbes. Dr. Daniel Penoel insists that in his 30+ year medical clinical career he has never seen essential oils used as antibiotics upset the microbial ecosystem of the body or create a “superbug.”

I’ve personally used them for over a decade for everything from disinfecting scratches and calming food poisoning symptoms to dealing with strep throat and bronchitis. Unlike prescription antibiotics that only target bacteria, essential oils take on viruses and fungi as well as bacteria. They’re not as powerful or as many antibiotics, but that is their tremendous advantage. They preserve the natural balance in the body so at the end of a cold or bacterial infection, you’re more energized than you would be if your body’s microbial world had been assaulted by antibiotics.

The National Geographic article claims that as much as forty percent of children who take broad-spectrum antibiotics react with antibiotic-related diarrhea. That is a symptom of an upset microbial ecosystem. And the article continues to tell us that antibiotics used early in life have long-lasting effects on our microbial ecosystem.

“We know how to disturb a [microbial] community,” says Katherine Lemon of the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, MA and clinician at Boston Children’s Hospital. “What we need to learn is how to coax it back into a healthy state.”

Coaxing your microbial ecosystem into a healthy state is other tremendous advantage of essential oils. Unlike a pill or a shot, essential oils can be taken internally, topically, and by breathing them from a cold-air diffuser. When you learn to use them safely, according to a few simple rules found on, you can have experience profound cleansing and balancing of the body—actually restoring your microbial ecosystem for healthier immunity and more optimized health.

Create your own probiotics and prebiotics

Then there are probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics, especially those you get from affordable and easy-to-create-at-home fermented foods like kefir, home-cultured yogurt, and fermented vegetables like home-fermented sauerkraut and kimchee are your best sources of a broad spectrum of microbial balancing. Probiotic capsules restore only a fraction of what you get from homemade foods. The capsules are measured in the millions whereas the foods are measured in the billions and even trillions of live cultures. There is a thriving online community that shares recipes and success stories.

Prebiotics are the favorite foods of healthy microbes—raw fruits and vegetables with plenty of fiber. That may be one reason why a raw-food diet works for so many people.


“Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oils Versus Synthetics” This article will introduce you to a great website on the safe but effective in-home uses of essential oils.

“Vegetable Fermentation Further Simplified” is a good overview of fermentation. A Google search will lead you to multiple recipes.

“How to Easily and Inexpensively Ferment Your Own Vegetables” December 15, 2012. This will lead you to a whole series of great, well-researched articles on the health benefits of fermented foods.


December 2012 125

What is Epsom salt? Epsom Salt or magnesium sulfate, is best known for…

  1. Soothing and relaxing sore muscles
  2. Drawing toxins from the body
  3. A sedative and regulator for the nervous system
  4. It reduces swelling (great for soaking feet after a sprain)
  5. It’s a natural skin softener and helps exfoliate
  6. Studies have shown that the magnesium raises serotonin levels for calming and mood-elevation
  7. It lowers blood pressure as well as the negative, stressful effects of adrenaline
  8. When used at least three times a week, studies have shown that it can raise energy levels

For more information see the Epsom Salt Industry Council.

Why add a carrier oil

Coconut, jojoba or grapeseed oil are all great choices to add a light moisturizing effect to your bath salts. Depending on how dry your skin is, you’ll want to add more or less. You can even use a heavier oil like olive oil, but be careful not to add too much of any oil because you’ll deal with an oily ring around the tub. Only add a carrier oil if you have dry skin.

Why try Sea Salt

English: Salt deposits on the shore of Dead Se...

English: Salt deposits on the shore of Dead Sea in Jordan Français : Dépôt de sel sur les rives de la Mer Morte en Jordanie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s naturally higher in minerals and less processed than more highly processed table salt or the coarse Kosher Salt or Ice Cream Salt. These minerals can benefit the skin and body. Look for a brand that’s course ground not bleached. The minerals reflect the qualities of the sea they were taken from. The most famous are the Dead Sea Salts and Celtic Sea Salts. You’ll get better prices when you buy online and in bulk.

Why use table salt, Kosher salt or ice cream salt

It’s cheap and easy to find. The ice cream salt has attractive, large crystals that look expensive and decorative in gift bottles. Large crystals also take longer to dissolve in bath water. Put these crystals in the water early to allow them time to dissolve so you won’t be sitting down on rocks.

Why use baking soda

  1. It’s detoxifying and helps wash away oil and perspiration
  2. It neutralizes acids on the skin.
  3. Helps sooth skin rashes and even chronic problems like eczema and psoriasis
  4. Some claim that it helps counter negative effects of radiation (whether from sun, x-rays, cancer treatments, etc.)
  5. It helps drain the lymphatic system of toxins and infections (take a soda bath at the first sign of illness or after a massage that may have released toxins from muscles or lymph nodes)

Because of this last point, use two, three, or even four times the amount of baking soda in a detoxification bath salt.

Why try glycerin

Glycerin or glycerine is used in soap and candle making. It’s also a byproduct of some biofuels. In bath salts it’s effective for skin-softening. If you are making a bath salt mix that is particularly formulated for softening and conditioning the skin, glycerin is a good ingredient to include.

Why use ground oatmeal

Oatmeal is often used in bath salts for soothing itchy skin rashes like poison ivy, allergic reactions, or eczema. Make sure it’s ground very fine.

Why use therapeutic essential oils instead of cheap, synthetic fragrancesDecember 2012 079

Essential oils are highly concentrated, so they give a strong scent that will not dissipate too quickly. They don’t have the harmful effects that can come from cheap recreational essential oils, synthetic perfumes or scents. Your greatest benefit is to match an exact essential oil to the health benefit you’re after. For example, Lavender for relaxing bath salts. Peppermint or Spearmint are better for a cooling or energizing bath. Eucalyptus is perfect for respiratory issues. All you have to do is go through the product descriptions on  to identify the type of bath salts you’re making.

Be careful to use the right amount of essential oil in your bath salts, generally about 10 drops per bath. In the application instructions for each oil, you’ll read of those that are especially effective in a bath.  Be sure you read our safety guidelines on our website.

Why add dried flowers or herbs

These can make your bath salts appear to be more luxurious. Flower petals floating on the water may give your bath a feeling of greater beauty and indulgence, but they won’t add considerably to the therapeutic effect. That’s what the oils are for. Make sure the pieces are small enough that they won’t clog the drain.

Why add coloring … or notDecember 2012 084

Some essential oils will color bath salts a little, but most commercial products use synthetic coloring … not a good idea for an extra absorbent therapeutic bath. You may want to use herbs or spice powders to add color. Try using a fine ground parsley for a subtle green color, paprika for a peachy-pink color, or turmeric for a light yellow color.

For more information

Order a therapeutic essential oil online that’s perfect for your bath salts.

Learn more about therapeutic baths here.