Change Your Ingredients, Change Your Life!

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November 08, 2015 By Louise Camilleri

 Change Your Ingredients, Change Your Life!

By Louise Camilleri IPHM



     You’ve heard it before.  It’s a simple phrase amongst all the catch phrases roaming around the Health & Wellness industry these days but it’s one that a lot of people might find hard to believe.


As a Reflexologist, Aromatherapist, Holistic Skin Care Formulator and Natural Perfumer, I know for a fact that this old adage holds a great deal of truth.  On a daily basis I use a substance, during all of these activities, that has ingredients that are beneficial to my wellbeing inside and out.


Enter one of nature’s best, The Essential Oil.  Rosemary Essential Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis) for example.  A flowering herb from France, Italy and Spain.  After these flowering tops have been steam distilled you have a true miracle in a jar.


     For your health it is a #1 heart tonic.  It improves blood circulation, is an anti-inflammatory, aids with asthma and bronchitis, gets rid of fluid (edema), helps with sprains, and is a general stimulant.  For your mental wellness it acts as an anti-depressant, is uplifting, helps with mental fatigue, and clears the mind and memory.  For your natural beauty just dilute it with water and you have a natural skin astringent then use it on the scalp for hair loss.  To gain all of these affects from the inside out, use a sprig of this herb in your cooking.  You know an ingredient is great when you can eat it!


     An example of the power of Lavender e/o (Lavandula augustifolia) is about women who received Lavender aromatherapy* after undergoing cesarean surgery that had less postoperative pain, decreased heart rate and greater satisfaction with their pain management as opposed to women who received a placebo form of aromatherapy, according to recent research**.  It also makes a lovely and aromatic beauty tea when the dried buds are steeped.


     Changing your ingredients to change your life is all part of what I call The Conscious Living Lifestyle.  Where we as active participants in our healthcare regime source all the information we can to make the right decisions in a conscious state of awareness about our quality of life.  Gone are the dark ages of blind taste tests, of not reading a label to know what was in a product that was going on our skin and into our body.  Today, there are regulations that require disclosure of ingredients on labels or at the very least there are companies that share the research they have on a commercial product.


     Just as we do with our cars on a regular maintenance schedule, or with our homes seasonally, it’s a good idea to take a mental and physical check of ourselves and do a little cleaning or shake things up with a change to our health, wellness and beauty regime.


   I challenge you to research an essential oil that you may have heard of, like the smell of, or might know well.  This could be Bay oil or Oil of Oregano, which both have fabulous properties.  Find out if it comes in a food grade and add it to your next recipe.  Find a lovely Citrus oil like Mandarin (Citrus reticulate) and blend it with Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) on a handkerchief to replace the dryer sheet in your next load of laundry.  This tip is especially good for people who have allergic reactions or sensitivities to the chemicals or synthetic fragrance in dryer sheets.  You’ll find this to not only be economical but uplifting, calming, and soothing with a bit of the aphrodisiac effects thrown in, (laundry will never be the same!).  Finally, for those who are a bit more daring look for a natural, raw, Shea Butter and mix in some Rose (Rosa damascena) or Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) essential oil to make a lovely body butter that will soothe the skin and rejuvenate the cells.


     What a beautiful thing nature has supplied for us in these pure botanical oils that are chock full of natural compounds to aid our health, wellness and beauty.  They provide the most effective, safe and natural ingredients we can use to change our lives for the better.


**Department of Anesthesiology, Golestan Hospital, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran; and Barij Essence Research and Development Centre, Kashan, Iran. Originally published in 2013 in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, 3(1), 203-207.


*Aromatherapy for pain relief rests primarily on the topical application of high-quality, potent essential oils. Layering oils onto the back allows for increased access to spinal nerves connected with dermatomes and organs. Increasing the area of application allows for more global pain-and-inflammation reduction. Applying friction to the back stimulates the skin's nerves and dermatomes. (A client presenting with acute internal pain should be referred to a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment.)