Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Coping Skills - Highly Underrated

You might think that when someone says, “I’m coping,” that it’s not such a big deal.

You would be wrong.

The skill of coping is highly underrated, and our inability to cope with difficult feelings can lead to major problems, including health problems, financial ruin, work procrastination, even death.

Not such an insignificant skill!

How can the lack of coping skills lead to death and other major problems? Well, let’s say that you’re bored and lonely, but don’t know how to cope with those feelings in a healthy way. You might try to avoid these problems with distraction, food, TV, smoking, drinking. I know, because I’ve done those things myself, many times. These aren’t such a big deal once in a while, but frequent use of these coping mechanisms will lead to eating way too much, smoking or drinking too much, inactivity (from watching too much TV or being online too much) … and these all can lead to long-term related health problems, like diabetes or heart disease.

What would be another way to cope?

If you’re bored, you might cope by learning something new, or tackling a new challenge. If you’re lonely, you might try to exercise, write, teach yourself a new skill, or meet new people. These are just a few examples, but you can see that these are much healthier ways of coping.

So how you cope can be the difference between a good life, and a sick one. We all have unhealthy coping mechanisms, and finding better ways of coping will help us procrastinate less, eat healthier, exercise, and be happier.

Self-Compassion As a Way of Coping

When you find yourself facing difficult feelings, your first reaction might be to avoid thinking about the feelings.

Let’s say someone close to you has gotten sick or died — you might not want to face the pain, so you cope with it by avoiding the pain, finding ways to numb the pain or distract yourself. This is running from the problem.

If you notice yourself doing this, it’s a good time to pause. Just say to yourself, “I’m avoiding.”

Now instead of avoiding, you have the choice to gently turn toward the pain, and say, “I’m hurting.” Or “I’m angry.” This is an acknowledgement of whatever you’re going through. And it’s OK to feel these things.

Next, you can deal kindly with the pain, with the boredom or guilt or grief or anger or loneliness. These are all very difficult, and it’s OK to feel them, and it’s OK to comfort yourself with kindness, compassion, love. Wish for an end to your pain, and wish for your own happiness.

Curiosity and Openness

You’ve given yourself some compassion, but what to do about these difficult feelings?

Stay with the feeling(s) you’re having, and be curious about what it’s like. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with a project, instead of avoiding the project and seeking distraction (procrastinating) … try staying with this feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s not a fun feeling, and you’ll want to run. But be curious — what’s it like to just feel overwhelmed without running?

Face the feeling with an attitude of openness. Be open to uncomfortable feelings, and as always, you’ll find that it’s not comfortable but you’ll be OK. You develop a trust that everything will turn out fine. It’s not pleasant, but it’s fine.

Curiosity means that we don’t instantly decide we know this is a horrible experience and try to run away … it means we decide we don’t really know what this will be like, and we’d like to find out more. It’s a learning stance, instead of one that assumes we know what things will be like.

It’s an approach of exploring new territory, and finding out what this new experience has in store for us.

The Benefits of Coping

This isn’t an easy practice, I’ll admit. But it’s worthwhile, because with this kind of healthy coping, you can find better ways of dealing with all kinds of things, including:

•Procrastination — instead of running from scary and overwhelming tasks, we can see what it’s like to feel afraid and overwhelmed, and still take action on these tasks. Writing a book, for example, is scary and overwhelming, but we can still write even with these feelings flowing through us.

•Anger and frustration — instead of wanting to lash out at people (or avoid them) when we’re frustrated with them, we can stay with these difficult feelings and just be curious what it’s like to feel them. And then, when we’ve stayed with these feelings (and given ourselves some compassion), we can see what it’s like to deal compassionately with someone who we’re frustrated with. To try to understand them instead of judging them.

•Unhealthy cravings for food, drink, smoking — we turn to these things for comfort when we’re feeling stressed, bored, lonely, sad … but we can stay with these feelings and be curious about them, and learn to do other, healthier actions instead, like taking a walk, doing yoga, meditating, talking with people, creating, learning, practicing a skill, and so on. These are healthier ways of coping, but we often avoid them because we don’t like to feel these feelings and want to stuff the hole in our hearts with comfort food, drugs, etc.

•Death and illness — when someone we love becomes sick or dies, the grief and sense of loss can be overwhelming and devastating. We want to comfort ourselves, and so we often turn to unhealthy ways of comforting. But instead, we can give ourselves compassion, stay with the powerfully difficult feelings, and be curious what it’s like to stay with these feelings. Really get to know these feelings, become intimate with them, and trust that we’ll be OK even if we give in to feeling them. We can deal, we can feel, we can get through this, because while it’s far from comfortable or pleasant, it’s doable. And temporary.

That’s just the start — as you learn to cope with self-compassion, staying, and curiosity, you will find that you can deal with anything life throws your way. And come out smiling.

Source: Zen Habits


Saturday, 5 December 2015

Vegetables and Other Protein Rich Foods

Animal protein is a storehouse of unhealthy saturated fat, high calories, and high cholesterol. A healthier alternative are vegetables rich in protein, which contain all essential vitamins and minerals required. By following a well-balanced diet, meeting the daily protein requirement should not be a challenge.

Vegetables Rich in Protein:

Artichokes are known as a great source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamins and dietary fiber. Artichoke contains the bioactive agents apigenin and luteolin. The total antioxidant capacity of artichoke flower heads is one of the highest reported for vegetables. These vegetables also score high when it comes to protein. One medium artichoke (100 g) contributes 2.89 grams of protein.

This tall, slender, green perennial is quite nutritionally dense. Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, selenium and protein, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. One half cup (100 g) of cooked asparagus contains 2.2 grams of protein.

Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowerhead is eaten as a vegetable. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means "the flowering crest of a cabbage".

Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Raw broccoli also contains moderate amounts of several B vitamins and the dietary mineral, manganese and protein. 100 grams of raw broccoli provides 34 calories and 2.82 g of protein.

Brussels Sprouts
These leafy green vegetables typically look like miniature cabbages. The Brussels sprout has long been popular in Brussels and Belgium, and most likely originated and gained its name there.

Raw Brussels sprouts contain excellent levels of vitamin C and vitamin K, with more moderate amounts of B vitamins, such as folic acid and vitamin B6; essential minerals and dietary fibre exist in lesser amounts. Each ½ cup (100 g) serving of cooked Brussels sprouts offers 3.38 grams of protein.

Brussels sprouts, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical under basic research for its potential anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of sulforaphane, steaming and stir frying do not result in significant loss.

The pea is the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Pea pods are botanically fruit, since they contain seeds and developed from the ovary of a (pea) flower. Peas are starchy, but high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, lutein and protein. A 100 gram serving of peas provides 9 grams of protein.

Spinach, along with other green, leafy vegetables, is rich in iron. A 180 gram serving of boiled spinach contains 6.43 mg of iron, whereas a 170 gram hamburger patty contains at most 4.42 mg. In a 100 gram serving, providing only 23 calories, spinach has a high nutritional value, especially when fresh, frozen, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and folate, and a good source of the B vitamins riboflavin and vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber. One cup of cooked spinach packs 5.8 grams of protein.

How to promote blog

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

A Brand New Day

Today is a brand new day.
A fresh start.
Replace any negativity with positivity.
Think happy thoughts.
Exercise. Drink lots of water.
Fill your body with fuel.
Healthy is happy.

Inspire yourself.
Create. Laugh. Play. Love. Learn.
Give someone a compliment.
Make a new friend.
Do a random act of kindness.
It creates good karma.
Take chances and finally start living life to its fullest.
But no matter what’s thrown at you today,
smile and remember,
tomorrow’s always a fresh new start.


Saturday, 3 October 2015

Mentally Strong People - Do's & Don'ts

1. They DON'T make the same mistakes over and over. (Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein)

    They DO self-reflect and accept full responsibility for past behaviors and are willing to learn from mistakes.

2. They DON'T dwell on the past; wasting time feeling sorry for themselves or their circumstances.

    They DO take responsibility for their actions and outcomes, having an inherent understanding of life. When a situation turns out badly, they are able to emerge with self-awareness and gratitude for the lessons learned.

3. They DON'T become complacent and stagnant.

    They DO embrace change and welcome challenge. An environment of change and even uncertainty can energize a mentally strong person and bring out their best.

4. They DON'T waste energy on things they can’t control. They don’t complain about such things as traffic, lost luggage, weather, or other people.

    They DO recognize that certain factors are beyond their control, and recognize the one thing they can control is their own response and attitude.

5. They DON'T become jealous or resentful of other people’s success.

    They DO have the ability to work hard for their own success, and possess the strength of character to feel genuine joy and excitement for other people’s success.

6. They DON'T give away their power to others to make them feel bad or inferior.

    They DO understand they are in control of their actions and emotions, knowing their strength is in their ability to manage the way they respond.

7. They DON'T people-please, or go out of their way to dis-please others as a way of reinforcing an image of strength.

    They DO strive to be kind and fair and to please others where appropriate, but are unafraid to speak up. They are able to accept the possibility that someone will get upset and will navigate the situation, wherever possible, with grace.

8. They DON'T feel the world owes them anything.

    They DO enter the world prepared to work and succeed on their own merits, throughout life.

9. They DON'T fear alone time, or depend on others to make them happy.

    They DO enjoy, even treasure, the time spent alone; using it to reflect, plan, and be productive.

10. They DON'T fear taking calculated risks or failure.

      They DO weight the risks and benefits thoroughly, fully assessing potential downsides and worst-case scenarios before taking action. They are willing to fail again and again, if necessary, as long as the learning experience from every “failure” can bring them closer to their ultimate goals. Every failure is a chance to improve.

11. They DON'T expect immediate results.

      They DO understand that genuine changes take time and know that they are in it for the long haul”. They apply their energy and time, celebrating each milestone and increment of success along the way.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Geranium Oil ❧

Common names include rose geranium, old fashion rose geranium, and rose-scent geranium. "Rose geranium" is sometimes used to refer to Pelargonium incrassatum or its synonym Pelargonium roseum – the herbal name. Commercial vendors often list the source of geranium or rose geranium essential oil as Pelargonium graveolens, regardless of its botanical name. Many plants are cultivated under this species name.

Pelargonium graveolens is an uncommon species native to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Pelargonium comes from the Greek pelargos which means stork. Due to the shape of their fruit, pelargoniums are also known as stork's bills.

Pelargonium graveolens is an erect, multi-branched shrub, that grows up to 1.5 m and has a spread of 1 m. The leaves are deeply incised, velvety and soft to the touch. The flowers vary from pale pink to almost white and the plant flowers from August to January. The leaves vary in shape and scent, which may be strongly rose-scented. Some plants are very strongly scented while others have little to no scent.

There are many cultivars which have a wide variety of scents, including rose, citrus, mint and cinnamon as well as various fruits. A lemony, citronella scented cultivar is meant to repel mosquitos.

Both true species and cultivated plants may be called rose geranium – often called geraniums. These plants have great importance in the perfume industry. A modern analysis listed the presence of over 50 organic compounds in the essential oil. Commonly known as geranium oil, sold for aromatherapy and massage therapy applications, it is cultivated on a large scale and distilled for its scent. They are also sometimes used to supplement or adulterate more expensive rose oils. The essential oil is an ingredient used in a "natural" hemorrhoid treatment. As a flavoring, the flowers and leaves are used in cakes, jams, jellies, ice creams, sorbets, salads, sugars, and teas. It is also used as a flavoring agent in some pipe tobaccos.

The Meskwaki (Mesquakie) Indians brewed a root tea for toothache and for painful nerves and mashed the roots for treating hemorrhoids.


Geranium oil's fresh aromatic scent helps balance mind and body, one of the most preferred in aromatherapy because it slows several skin conditions such as acne, eczema and blemishes, helps maintain overall health of the body and is less sensitive on the skin.

Geranium oil is used in herbal medicine because of its astringent properties, a substance that causes contraction of the tissues and stops bleeding. Geranium oil has the capability to make gums, muscles, blood vessels and skin tissues contract, which is why it is used in numerous anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle creams.

Acne/Anti-Aging - Geranium oil has excellent astringent properties which contract tissues due to its astringent properties, helping to keep skin young and healthy. Regular use of geranium oil on your skin is effective in fading scars and blemishes. It improves blood circulation in skin cells, helping to eliminate the appearance of scars and dark spots and equally distributing melanin.

Anxiety/Stress - The sedative property of geranium oil reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Use by massaging on the body, or inhaling the vapor of this oil. A drop of this oil, added to your bath water, provides a soothing effect on your skin, making it glowing and healthy.

Arthritis/Rheumatism - Geranium oil is a mild analgesic. Used as a massage oil, it has proven to be extremely effective in reducing pain and inflammation, relieving aching muscles. Mix with a carrier oil and apply topically to the affected area(s).

Cuts/Burns - Geranium oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties which helps to speed up healing of wounds by inducing blood clotting, making it an excellent remedy for treating cuts and burns, as well as a variety of other skin problems. It also keeps toxins from reaching the bloodstream through open wounds.

Deodorant - The variety of scents make geranium oil an effective deodorant, as the fragrance is long lasting. Properties that regulate sebum production and antibacterial properties, contained in geranium oil, help to eliminate body odor and bacteria.

Detox - Use of frankincense increases the rate of urination and eliminates toxins from the body, making it useful for detoxification. It also aids in digestive function and helps inhibit excess gas in the intestines.

Eczema/Athletes Foot - Geranium oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties making it excellent for treating eczema and fungal infections, such as athletes foot. To treat athlete's foot, add five drops of geranium oil to warm water and sea salt (keep in a dark bottle). Massage on feet twice daily.

Fever - Geranium oil works as an antibiotic to reduce fever, lower body temperature, and fight infection from viruses and bacteria, such as flu. It also reduces toxicity of the body through perspiration, cleaning out glands of any foreign toxins that can result in a variety of skin conditions.

Hemorrhoids - Add 1-2 drops of geranium oil to a small jar of cold cream or one teaspoon of wheat germ oil for treatment of hemorrhoids.

Insecticide - The terpene content of geranium oil makes it a natural insect repellent. It can also be used to relieve itching from insect bites.

Insomnia - For an excellent night’s sleep, as for anxiety and stress, use of geranium oil for its sedative properties, relaxes muscles and releases tension.

Menopause - Geranium oil aids in stimulating the adrenal cortex and is often used to balance the generation of androgens during menopause.

Menstruation – As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, geranium oil can alleviate pain due to menstruation. It also helps regulate the production of thyroid hormones and the release of ova.

Oral - Geranium oil's antiseptic qualities help strengthen gums, prevent bad breath, cavities, toothaches, and canker sores.

Pain - Geranium oil, used as a massage oil, reduces pain and inflammation to relieve aching muscles.

Sore Throat - With frankincense oil’s astringent, tonic and antiseptic effects, it is used to treat sore throat.


Geranium oil is generally safe and said to have few side effects when used properly. In some rare cases, geranium oil may cause skin sensitivities and one may experience certain side effects. When used in massage, geranium oil should not be applied directly to the skin, but diluted with a carrier oil such as olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, or sweet almond oil.

Performing a skin test before use is recommended. Put a drop of geranium oil on a small portion of your skin and wait 24 hours.  If any sign of skin irritation occurs, discontinue use.

To prevent undesirable health results, one should seek a doctor’s or natural holistic practitioner's advice before orally taking any type of essential oil.

As with other essential oils, geranium oil should not be taken during pregnancy, or by infants and children under the age of six.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Frankincense Oil ❧

Flowers of the Boswellia sacra tree

As one of the highly sought after oils, frankincense is used in many Christian and Islamic faiths mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants, initiates, and members entering into new phases of their spiritual lives.

Frankincense, (also called olibanum), is an aromatic resin used in incense and perfumes. It is obtained from four species of the Boswellia. The English word is derived from Old French "franc encens" (high quality incense). Resin from each of the four species is available in various grades, which are dependent on the time of harvesting.

The essential oil of frankincense is produced by steam distillation of the tree resin. It has a balsamic sweet fragrance, while the Indian frankincense oil has a very fresh smell.

Frankincense is mentioned in the Bible as one of the three types of gifts the wise men gave to baby Jesus of Nazareth. Exodus 30:34-36 - Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.

The lost city of Ubar (sometimes identified with Irem), rediscovered in the early 1990s, is believed to have been a center of the frankincense trade along the recently rediscovered "Incense Road".

Frankincense olibanum resin
Frankincense is tapped from the trees by slashing the bark, which is called striping, and allowing the resin to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. There are several species and varieties of frankincense trees, each producing a slightly different type of resin. Differences in soil and climate create even more diversity of the resin. Boswellia sacra trees are considered unusual for their ability to grow in environments so unforgiving that they sometimes grow out of solid rock. The initial means of attachment to the rock is unknown, but is accomplished by a bulbous disk-like swelling of the trunk. This growth prevents it from being ripped from the rock during violent storms. The trees start producing resin when they are about eight to 10 years old. Tapping is done two to three times a year with the final taps producing the best tears due to their higher aromatic terpene, sesquiterpene and diterpene content. Generally speaking, the more opaque resins are the best quality.

Fine resin is produced in Somalia, from which the Roman Catholic Church purchases most of its stock.

Recent studies have indicated that frankincense tree populations are declining, partly due to over-exploitation. In addition, burning, grazing, and attacks by the longhorn beetle have reduced the tree population. Conversion (clearing) of frankincense woodlands to agriculture is also a major threat.

Frankincense essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the dry resin and is characterized by a balsamic-spicy, slightly lemon, fragrance, with a conifer-like undertone. It is used in perfumes, aromatherapy, and as an ingredient in some skincare products.

Frankincense resin is edible and is used in traditional medicines for digestion and healthy skin. For internal consumption, it is recommended that frankincense be translucent, with no black or brown impurities. It is often light yellow with a (very) slight greenish tint. It is often chewed like gum, but it is stickier.

In Ayurvedic medicine frankincense, commonly referred to in India as dhoop, has been used for hundreds of years for treating arthritis, healing wounds, strengthening the female hormone system and purifying the air. In Somali, Ethiopian, Arabian, and Indian cultures, it is suggested that burning frankincense daily in the house brings good health. Frankincense oil can also be used for relief from stings such as scorpion stings.

The health benefits of frankincense oil are attributed to its anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, carminative, disinfectant, digestive, diuretic, and expectorant (loosening mucus from the lungs) properties.

Frankincense oil blends well with carrier oils such as basil, jojoba, sweet almond, avocado, patchouli, rosemary, sage, and any of the citrus oils.


Massage Oil/Cream (for every-day use) - Heat equivalent amounts of coconut oil and lanolin, gradually adding warm rose water. Beat the mixture thoroughly, and add a tablespoon of frankincense to create an invigorating massage cream.

Chest Rub - Heat 1 ounce olive oil in a small sauce pan. When the olive oil is warm, add 2 teaspoons of beeswax pellets, stirring until melted. Add 4-5 drops of frankincense oil, blending completely. Pour the mix in a tiny jar and allowed to cool just before putting the lid on and store at room temperature. Add vitamin E oil to the mixture for longer shelf life.

Toner - Frankincense oil can be added to water and used as a toner or refresher. The oil will float on top, shake well before using it.

Liniment – Combine 1/2 cup coconut oil, 2 teaspoons beeswax pellets, 5 drops frankincense oil, and 5 drops of a citrus oil. Melt the coconut oil and beeswax together in a small saucepan on the stove for 1-2 minutes, turn the burner off (can be heated in microwave, or a double boiler). Add the coconut oil and beeswax. Stir until melted. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes, add frankincense oil.

Put in a container and allow to cool completely. When it is completely cooled it will be a solid (but when applied to warm skin it will liquefy again). Makes it perfect for massaging onto sore muscles and joints. Keep in the fridge for a longer shelf life. Also, adding vitamin E oil to the mixture helps to preserve it.

Bath Soak - Add 3-5 drops of frankincense oil towards hot running water. Soak sore muscles and aching joints. It will also open respiratory cavities to assist in cold and flu relief.


Acne, Fine Lines and Wrinkles - Frankincense oil is an alternative solution to chemical based products, for skin problems such as acne, stretch marks, and reversing the signs of aging skin, promoting healthy cell regeneration. When used on a regular basis, your skin is healthier and mild acne will fade away. Frankincense oil is rich in natural healing properties helping to prevent cell oxidation and keeping oils in the skin naturally balanced, while decreasing skin inflammation.

Anxiety & Depression – As an inhalant frankincense oil in a vaporizer or nebulizer (also can add to shirt collar, or massage behind the ears) is very effective as a sedative that induces relaxation to assist in relieving anxiety and stress, giving one a feeling of comfort and peace.

Arthritis & Rheumatism - Frankincense oil helps to prevent cartilage tissue breaking down, inhibiting inflammation. Mix with a carrier oil and apply topically to the affected area(s).

Cancer - Frankincense oil offers a natural solution to fighting infection and curing diseases. Researchers have discovered cancer-killing properties of frankincense oil and its ability to target cancer cells in late-stage ovarian cancer. Frankincense oil contains various active agents, which support the immune system, making it highly beneficial in destroying cancer cells.
Frankincense is also a potential treatment for other cancers such as prostate, colon, brain, beast, pancreatic, and stomach cancers.

To be effective, use 100% pure therapeutic grade quality essential oils.

Cold & Flu - Frankincense oil breaks up phlegm and can relieve bronchitis-related congestion. Use frankincense oil in a diffuser or nebulizer to treat colds and respiratory blockages. You can also inhale the scent by adding a drop or two onto a cloth, or add to bathwater, or applied as a chest-rub.

Cuts - Use frankincense oil to prevent infection by diluting (using distilled water and 4-5 drops of frankincense oil) and applying to the affected area, to stop bleeding and speed up healing (also for insect bites and boils).

Digestion - Frankincense oil acts as a stimulant to speed up gastric juices, acids, and bile, allowing food to pass properly through the intestines.

Hair Growth - Frankincense oil is wonderful for the hair as well, fortifying roots and combatting dandruff or dry scalp. When combined with various other essential oils, frankincense oil can boost hair growth, relax the mind and reduce stress. Massaging frankincense oil, heated with coconut oil, assists in strengthening weak roots as well as encouraging hair growth.

Menstruation - Frankincense oil can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle of premenopausal women and regulate estrogen, reducing the risk of uterine cancer.

Oral - Frankincense has antiseptic qualities that can help strengthen gums, prevent bad breath, cavities, toothaches, mouth sores, and other infections.


Frankincense oil is generally safe and said to have few side effects when used properly. In some rare cases, frankincense oil may cause skin rashes, nausea, and stomach pain. To prevent undesirable health results, one should seek a doctor’s or natural holistic practitioner's advice before orally taking any type of essential oil.

Before ingesting edible frankincense oil, it should be diluted with coconut oil, a teaspoon of honey, or a glass of water. A drop or two can also be placed under the tongue.

Performing a skin test before use is recommended. Put a drop of frankincense oil on a small portion of your skin and wait 24 hours.  If any sign of skin irritation occurs, discontinue use.

As with other essential oils, frankincense oil should not be taken by individuals with a history of bleeding disorders (may increase the risk of abnormal bleeding), during pregnancy (may cause bleeding), and children under the age of six.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Exiting The Comfort Zone ⛅

"The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears." ~Dan Stevens

Life is meant to be experienced; it's meant to be LIVED. Life is where we learn, love and grow; and we can't grow if we remain in a state of disengagement. As Eleanor Roosevelt so aptly put it, "Life is meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive." But for many of us, we tend to become complacent in our situation of feeling a quiet pleasure or security. We enter the comfort zone, a state of mind, where we feel at ease and in control; a sense of familiarity. We feel that scarcity, uncertainty and vulnerability are minimized.

What keeps us from moving forward to new experiences and the adventures of living life? What keeps us in our mind-made prisons?

Whether it is consciously or unconsciously; it may simply be conditioning – learned behavior, a sense of unworthiness – perceiving failure or rejection. The bottom line is FEAR – that's the hideous monster that keeps us from stepping outside the box and moving forward in a new direction, towards a new goal.

Fear and anxiety are emotions induced by a threat that is perceived as uncontrollable or unavoidable. It may be in response to a specific stimulus happening in the present, or to a future situation, which is perceived as a risk to health or life, status, power, security, or, anything we hold valuable.

Fear can be learned by experiencing or watching. Fear is not just a matter of personal history; a person may learn to fear regardless of whether they themselves have experienced it or not; or if they have observed the fear in others.

Fear of the unknown is one of the reasons that people don't make an effort to move forward. Many people are afraid of the unknown, which can branch out to many areas such as the next ten years, tomorrow, or even the hereafter – afraid to take the path they want, because of what may lie ahead. Many people would rather remain in a familiar situation they know than to move on to something new; even if the current situation is unhealthy, such as an abusive relationship. People will make excuses, trying to convince themselves that what they currently have is good enough – they settle! Their way of life is known and familiar, but this can lead to procrastination, keeping one from moving forward to a healthier life situation.

Fear isn't always a negative entity. Of course, stepping out of our comfort zone raises anxiety and generates a stress response, but the result is an enhanced level of concentration and focus. A fear response can generate an appropriate behavioral response, causing a change in our brain chemistry and ultimately changing our behavior, thus serving our survival.

Take a look at this cute little video of a goat who stands up to the bull. The goat has no sense of unworthiness, nor is he experiencing any fear in this moment. I'm not sure what lead up to the confrontation, but it is no doubt the goat has decided to take the bull by the horns, so to speak!

We, too, must first make the decision that we are tired of being where we are, and to do this we need to strip away what we have been taught.

It wasn't something I was conscious of at the time, but looking back over the years, I can see where my life had been a series of stepping out of comfort zones. At first, there was great fear, and I would continually walk around the idea in my mind for quite some time, before I wholly desired to take that leap of faith and make a change.

I was an extremely introverted child; shy and withdrawn. I became the scapegoat for everything that seemingly went wrong in the world. No matter how hard I tried, I never felt that I had a place in my family. Other than school, and the occasional babysitting jobs my parents would commission me for, I would spend my time in my room listening to music, reading and daydreaming of better times ahead. My sense of unworthiness would carry me into a dark world of depression for years after. I couldn't take it any longer, and by the time I was fourteen, my overwhelming sense of unworthiness, of course, caused me to become too fearful of failing and making things even worse for myself. By the time I was sixteen, I had made the decision to leave. I was going to get out come 'hell or high water'. This decision opened me up a little more and brought me out of my little world of self-protection. I spent months planning, and just after my seventeenth birthday, I escaped!

I did return back to my family after a year or so, but soon realized this was a mistake. It would be years later that I would come to the realization that I was carrying this sense of unworthiness with me into every situation and relationship thereafter. However, each time I stepped through the fear and doubt and moved forward into the unknown, it would become easier and it changed who I once was. Later, when I was in my late twenties, I left an abusive relationship of eight years. This is when I finally woke up and came into my true self!

There is no longer a sense of feeling less than anyone else. I make the decision immediately before getting entangled in a situation of how I am to be treated. There is no longer a need to escape anything.

Now, following a spiritual path, I turn toward grace with a knowing that everything has been given me for my growth.

With lessons of forgiveness and a healthy dose of self-love, looking back, I am truly grateful for all of the lessons life has brought to me. If it wasn't for each person and each situation, I undoubtedly wouldn't have realized the courage that existed within me. I have grown with each scenario passing through my awareness; gaining knowledge and strength on the journey.

"Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions." ~Hafiz

Comfort Zone

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn't fail.
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much.
I said I didn't care for things like diamonds and furs and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.

If you're in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile; success is there for you!

~Author Unknown~

"Dan Stevens." Xplore Inc, 2015. 30 May 2015.


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Bergamot Oil ❧

Bergamot oil is a cold-pressed essential oil produced by cells inside the rind of a bergamot orange fruit. It is common in perfumes. Earl Grey tea is a type of black tea that contains bergamot essential oil as a flavoring.

Bergamot oil is a major component of the original Eau de Cologne composed by Farina at the beginning of 18th-century Germany. The first record of bergamot oil as fragrance ingredient is 1714, to be found in the Farina Archive in Cologne. One hundred bergamot oranges will yield about three ounces (85 grams) of bergamot oil. The scent of bergamot essential oil is similar to a sweet light orange peel oil with a floral note.

The slow-folding process (sfumatura) was the traditional technique for manually extracting the bergamot oil. A clear liquid (sometimes with a deposit consisting of waxes) in color from green to greenish yellow. Chemically it is a highly complex mixture of many classes of organic substances, particularly for the volatile fraction terpenes, esters, alcohols and aldehydes, and for the non-volatile fraction, oxygenated heterocyclic compounds as coumarins and furanocoumarins. Linalyl acetate and linalool are qualitatively the most important components of the bergamot oil.


Bergamot oil is widely used in cosmetics such as perfumes, lotions, suntan oils, and soaps and as a flavoring in foods. It has beneficial active chemicals, which are effectively used in a bath or as an inhalant to help reduce stress; or applied topically to soothe pain, insect bites and treat fungal infections and other skin irritants. It can also be ingested to reduce fever. It has been used as an insecticide to protect the body against lice and other parasites. Inhalation (aromatherapy) of bergamot oil is sometimes used to reduce anxiety during radiation treatment.

Bergamot oil blends well with sage, frankincense, jasmine, cypress, geranium, lavender, nutmeg, sandalwood, rosemary, and ylang-ylang oils, and is complementary with other citrus oils.

Age Spots & Acne Scars - Applying bergamot oil to the skin can diminish age spots and scars, and other skin disorders, such as acne, by distributing pigment and melanin uniformly. Apply directly to the discolored area(s) at bedtime, leaving it on the skin overnight, and washing it off in the morning.

Anxiety & Depression - Bergamot oil is powerful on neurological and mental conditions. Used in vapor therapy, bergamot oil’s stimulating properties provide relief from stress by improving blood circulation and stimulating hormonal secretions, boosting the digestive and respiratory systems.

Cholesterol - Bergamot oil carries polyphenols which possess statin-like principles. It scrapes off excess cholesterol and dramatically improves overall health of the cardiovascular system.

Deodorant - Bergamot essential oil’s refreshing aroma and disinfectant properties make it an excellent and effective deodorant. The antibiotic and disinfectant components of bergamot oil effectively prevent skin infections (inhibiting growth of virus, germs, and fungi), if used regularly in a bath or in soaps.

The powerful citrus aroma can overcome or eliminate many odors, making it a great room freshener in a diffuser or as a spray.

Digestion - Enhances and quickens the digestive functions by stimulating the digestive acids and enzymes. Also, eases hiccups, colic, constipation and flatulence. For treatment of gas, indigestion, and flatulence, use bergamot oil, mixed with chamomile oil, to massage the abdominal area.

Fever - Bergamot oil works as an antibiotic to reduce fever, lower body temperature, and fight infection from viruses and bacteria, such as flu and malaria. It also reduces toxicity of the body through perspiration, cleaning out glands of any foreign toxins that can result in a variety of skin conditions.

Headaches/Migraines - Diffuse aromatically to relieve pain or massage into the temples, and/or base of neck. It is also useful on muscle aches and sprains when massaged on the affected area.

Insecticide - Bergamot oil is used as a natural mosquito and black fly repellant, and works well as a salve for insect bites.

The bergamot plant, whose roots have a potent odor, is grown as a companion crop near vegetable gardens to repel pests.

Insomnia - The sedative properties of bergamot oil release serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin, helping to sooth and calm, relieving tension and anxiety to induce sleep.

Intestinal & Oral - The bacterial effects of bergamot oil can also be used as a mouthwash to kill oral germs, speeding up the healing process for cold sores, mouth ulcers, and herpes (cankers), or applied on infected teeth to protect teeth from development of cavities. Bergamot oil has similar antibacterial effects on shingles and chickenpox, which are caused by the herpes virus. It is also effective for curing infections in the colon, intestines (kills intestinal worms), urinary tract and kidneys.

Muscle Pain - As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, bergamot oil relaxes nerves and muscles, giving quick relief for cramps, convulsions, and painful contractions. There is also evidence that it assists circulation and aids muscular tension.

Respiratory - Bergamot oil can also be used as a tonic to tone the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and nervous system, as well as skin and muscles. As a decongestant, it is used in a vaporizer to loosen phlegm and mucus brought on by colds and respiratory infections.

Skin Irritants - The disinfectant and antibiotic properties of bergamot oil make it a good antiseptic, promoting fast healing of wounds; cracked, dry skin and heels; ulcers; eczema; and itching. It not only treats and heals, but inhibits reoccurring infection. Simply use a few drops of bergamot oil diluted in olive oil, massaging around the affected area, or soak in a bath for immediate relief.

Urinary infections - Bergamot oil can produce positive results against bacteria such as urinary tract infections, bacteremia, endocarditis, and meningitis. Add bergamot oil to a sitz bath to help prevent the spread of bacterial infections from the urethra into the bladder.


The use of bergamot oil is generally safe; however, one should always take precautions when using essential oils. Before adding any new elements into your health regimen, it is advisable to speak to a health professional about mixing essential oils with any present medications or conditions.

Bergamot oil has several active chemicals that, when used topically, can make the skin sensitive to sunlight. When bergamot oil is used along with medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight, could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on exposed skin. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.

As with other essential oils, bergamot oil should not be taken during pregnancy or while breast feeding. Bergamot may lower blood sugar levels, affecting people with diabetes.

Bergamot oil is possibly unsafe for children ingested in large amounts, with serious side effects, including convulsion and death.

Taking bergamot oil orally is also not advisable for individuals with existing potassium deficiency, depleting potassium stores in the body causing muscle cramps and twitching.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Cedarwood Oil ❧

Cedarwood oil, also known as cedar oil, is an essential oil derived from the foliage, and sometimes the wood and roots, of various types of conifers, most in the pine or cypress botanical families. It has many uses in medicine, art, industry and perfumery, and while the characteristics of oils derived from various species may themselves vary, all have some degree of bactericidal and pesticidal effects.

Although termed cedar or cedarwood oils, the most important oils of this group are produced from distilling wood of a number of different junipers and cypresses rather than true cedars. A cedar leaf oil is also commercially distilled from the Eastern arborvitae, and similar oils are distilled, pressed or chemically extracted in small quantities from wood, roots and leaves.

Cedarwood oils each have characteristic woody odors which may change somewhat in the course of drying out. They find use (sometimes after rectification) in a range of fragrance applications such as soap perfumes, household sprays, floor polishes and insecticides.

Today, cedar oil is often used for its aromatic properties, especially in aromatherapy; it can also be used to renew the smell of natural cedar furniture. Cedar oil is used as an insect repellent, both directly applied to the skin and as an additive to sprays, candles and other products.

In India, oil from the deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara, a true cedar) has been shown to possess insecticidal and antifungal properties and to have some potential for control of fungal deterioration of spices during storage.

Cedarwood oil is a mixture of organic compounds considered generally safe by the FDA as a food additive preservative. The oil is used as an antibacterial and fungicide.


Cedarwood can be used in a blended massage oil, or diluted in the bath to assist with asthma, bronchitis, respiratory problems, catarrh, cystitis, painful joints, oily skin and dandruff. Care must be taken that it does not cause irritation to the mucus membranes.

When diluted in a cream, cedarwood oil is of great value for combating oily skin and related problems, as well as dermatitis and psoriasis, while bringing relief to the scalp from dandruff.

Oils such as Bergamot, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Juniper, Jasmine, Lemon, Lime, Lavender, Rose, and Rosemary blend well with Cedarwood Oil.

Acne - As an astringent, cedarwood oil creates a protective shield, as a treatment against oily skin, a skin tightener, protecting from toxins and bacteria.

Antispasmodic -  Relieves spasms and related ailments, including spasms that affect the respiratory system, intestines, muscles, heart and nerves. People that have trouble sleeping due to restless leg syndrome, respiratory seizures, asthma, and other spasmodic conditions also find relief from the soothing properties of cedarwood oil.

Astringent - It tightens loose muscles and gives a feeling of firmness, fitness and youth. This property can also be used to cure diarrhea, by tightening the muscles of the digestive system and contracting those spasm-prone muscles. As an astringent, cedarwood oil is also a useful tool for protecting the skin from toxins and bacteria. Astringent substances also cause skin proteins to coagulate, where they then dry and harden, forming a protective shield on the applied area.

Antiseptic - Cedarwood oil is used as an ingredient in herbal antiseptic creams. It’s antiseptic properties can protect wounds from tetanus germs. The cedarwood oil relieves the white blood cells and immune system of the extra stress.

Arthritis & Rheumatism - Cedarwood oil has anti-inflammatory effects on arthritis, rheumatic disorders, as well as the accumulation of toxins in muscles and joints. The inflammation of the joints and tissues that results in such debilitating pain or discomfort can be somewhat lessened by the inhalation or topical application of the oil on the skin.

Cold & Flu - Cedarwood oil alleviates irritation from cough, and cold related symptoms. It efficiently removes phlegm from the respiratory tracts and lungs, relieving congestion. It also gives relief from headaches and red and watery eyes.

Diuretic - As a diuretic, it stimulates metabolism, increases the frequency of urination, which works to remove fat, excess water and toxins like uric acid from the body.

Eczema (Seborrhoeic) - Cedarwood oil can be beneficial in treating inflammation and reduce peeling skin.

Fungicide - Inhalation of cedarwood oil protects against various types of plant, animal, and human fungal pathogens, both external and internal.

Insecticide - Repels and resists moths, mosquitoes, cockroaches, silverfish and mildew. It can be used in a vaporizer or spray, to ward off mosquitoes, flies and other insects in a large area around the house. Mix 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel with two tablespoons of olive oil, and add 20 drops of cedar essential oil. Mix it thoroughly and put in a spray bottle (8 oz). Mixture can be applied to your skin or clothes.

Insomnia - Its medicinal soothing and calming properties make it a good sedative, while relieving tension and anxiety to induce sleep. In aromatherapy applications, the scent can induce the release of serotonin, which is converted into melatonin, inducing fatigue and calm. Cedarwood aromatherapy is recommended for people with chronic anxiety, stress, and depression as well.

Menstruation - It stimulates and induces menstruation, as well as regularizes cycle. Cedarwood oil can impact the hormonal function of various glands in the endocrine system, relieving pain, nausea, fatigue, and mood swings associated with menstruation.

Skin Irritations - Cedarwood oil’s relieves itching. Its astringent action is also great for acne, dermatitis, oily skin, as well as for hair and dandruff.

Tooth Ache - Cedarwood oil, used as an astringent, helps to relieve toothaches and strengthen gums.


Carrot seed oil is not toxic and said to have few side effects when used properly.

Cedarwood oil overdose may cause vomiting, nausea, and thirst, and extensive damage to the digestive system. To prevent undesirable health results, one should seek a doctor’s or natural holistic practitioner's advice before orally taking any type of essential oil.

As with other essential oils, cedarwood oil should not be taken by individuals with a history of epilepsy (may trigger overstimulation) or during pregnancy (may cause bleeding).

Performing a skin test before use is recommended. Cedarwood oil may cause skin irritations if used in high concentrations. Put a drop of cedarwood oil on a small portion of your skin and wait 24 hours.  If any sign of skin irritation occurs, discontinue its use.

Chamomile Oil ❧

Chamomile or camomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae that are commonly used to make herb infusion for various medicinal purposes. Popular uses of chamomile preparations include treating hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasm, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorder, and hemorrhoids.

The word chamomile derives, via French and Latin, from Greek, i.e. earth apple. The more common British spelling camomile, is the older in English, while the spelling chamomile corresponds to the Latin and Greek source.

The most commonly-used species include German chamomile or wild chamomile, Roman, and English or garden chamomile. The relaxing aroma of Roman Chamomile, sometimes described as having an 'apples and straw' aroma, is an exotic and rich. German chamomile has a sweetish-warm, spicy, herbaceous aroma.

Loose leaf chamomile tea

Chamomile has been used for inflammation associated with hemorrhoids when topically applied. There is evidence that chamomile possesses anti-anxiety properties and could be used to treat stress, anxiety and insomnia. Chemical components of chamomile extract have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, and anti-cancer properties. Chemical compounds present in chamomile has demonstrated chemo-preventive effects against cancer cells, and has been shown to have antiseptic properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and reduces pepsin secretion without altering secretion of stomach acid.

DRUG INTERACTIONS - Chamomile compounds may interact with other medications, exacerbating symptoms.

ALLERGIES - People who are allergic to ragweed (also in the daisy family) may also be allergic to chamomile, due to due to pollen found in chamomile preparations. It is recommended that pregnant and nursing mothers not consume Roman chamomile, it has been known to cause uterine contractions that can invoke miscarriage.

Anti-microbial – Chamomile has antifungal properties that inhibit growth of poliovirus and herpes virus, blockage of aggregation of bacteria found in the stomach (Helicobacter pylori) and strains of Escherichia coli. Chamomile oil was demonstrated to be effective against bacteria such as respiratory tract and skin infections, oral infections. Chamomile tea has been used to treat parasitic worm infections.

Anti-spasmodic/Anti-diarrheal – Chamomile has demonstrated antispasmodic effects, and chamomile tea in combination with other herbs (licorice, fennel, balm mint) was shown to be effective in treating colic in children. Flavonoids and coumarins found in chamomile are considered muscle relaxants.

Arthritis & Rheumatism – Chamomile is helpful for arthritis, rheumatic disorders, as well as the accumulation of toxins in muscles and joints.
Blood Thinner – Coumarin compounds in chamomile may have blood-thinning properties.

Cancer – Studies have shown that chamomile extracts have in vitro growth inhibitors on cancer cells in skin, prostate, breast, ovarian, prostate cancer cell lines with minimal effects on normal cells.

Cold & Flu - Chamomile has a beneficial effect on bronchitis and influenza, strengthening mucus membranes in the nose, throat and lungs. As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, chamomile can assist in boosting the respiratory tract, fever, and vomiting.

Digestion - Dilute one to three drops of chamomile oil in 4 oz. of water or 1 teaspoon of honey to take advantage of its healing properties for respiratory and digestive issues. Also eases hiccups, and flatulence. Various formulations of chamomile have been used to treat colic.

Hair Lightener - Chamomile is often used to condition and enhance the color of blonde hair.

Inflammation – Several components of chamomile possess anti-inflammatory properties. German chamomile is used on the skin to reduce swelling, gum inflammation, and cystitis. Chamomile is applied to the skin and mucous membrane for inflammations and skin diseases. It can be inhaled for sore throats, used in baths to soothe anal or genital inflammation, and used internally for stomach and intestinal spasms and inflammatory diseases.

Insomnia - People use Roman chamomile as a tea to treat sleeping problems.

Menstruation – Used to treat menstruation and as a tea for stomach cramps.

Moisturizer - Chamomile is frequently added to skin cosmetics to serve as an emollient.

Muscle Pain - As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, chamomile oil can assist with muscle pains. There is also evidence that it assists circulation and aids muscular tension.

Nausea - People use Roman chamomile as a tea to treat an upset stomach or menstrual pain.

Skin Disorders - Chamomile has been reported to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and astringent – heals abscesses, boils, and other skin disorders. It also revitalizes and tones the skin, helping in cases of dermatitis, eczema and rashes. It helps damaged skin like burns, wounds, cuts, scars. slow-healing wounds, abscesses, and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash. For these conditions, use chamomile in an infusion or bath, or as a tincture, which is a concentrated extract mixed with alcohol. Chamomile has been utilized as a skin wash to clean wounds and ulcers, and to increase the sloughing of necrotic tissue and promote granulation and proper healing.