Category Archives: aromatherapy

If You Are A Regular Smoker of Tobacco You Are a Drug Addict

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Why has availability and use of tobacco continued in spite the medical evidence that it is a health risk?  It’s because Nicotine is a powerful drug and smokers of tobacco are drug addicts in exactly the same way that junkies that shoot up heroin are also drug addicts.  In terms of drug abuse, it is the same thing, legal or not.  If you are a regular smoker of tobacco, you are a drug addict.  End of story.

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The United States became  ‘addicted’ to the revenues produced by taxes placed upon tobacco products, which is why the fed has not stopped its production.  It is all about the money…..and if you continue to smoke, you are not only a drug addict, you are also contributing to corruption.   Gee, you must be SO proud of yourself!

  “As an instrument of financial policy tobacco is unique. It is not clear why this should be, but the tradition is now well established. In fact tobacco has two distinct functions, one as a consumable article and the other as a revenue earner, which at times appears to secure conflicting official treatment” (Akehurst, 1981, p15).

The dishonest tobacco industry has fought the professional medical studies, informed opinions,  and the interpretation of the data relating to health. They have established a set of strategies to counter the news from the medical community and, of course, druggies (tobacco addicts) do everything in their power to continue to help the tobacco industry along….BECAUSE THEY ARE DRUG ADDICTS.  Drug addicts love their drugs.  They will rationalize their drug addiction until the end of time, BECAUSE they are addicts.  They will downplay things by reminding us that like gun ownership, smoking is a personal choice.  Really?  I beg to differ.  Most drug addicts can’t just stop their addictions.  It costs big money to get off of drugs….and much more willpower than the typical smoker has.

The current anti-tobacco climate started with medical and scientific research that links tobacco use to a wide variety of health problems.   These health problems are often left as responsibilities to the smokers’ family members.  They count on family and friends to care for them when they get sick, and they bleed government resources because their illnesses are serious.  The first action of the tobacco industry after all of this negative information came out about smoking,  was, of course,  to dispute the research findings. They still do it….and the stupid smokers just keep on puffing….

The images conveyed is that tobacco industry leaders are these well educated, concerned professionals that cautiously examine all of the issues. They will not let hysteria or public opinion sway or cloud their judgement. “We also believe that until scientific research can establish what actually causes the diseases with which smoking has been statistically associated, it would be unfair to advocate any law prohibiting the sale of cigarettes” (RJ Reynolds, 1987).

Based upon the apparent definition of cause or proof none of the 40,000  (!!!) or so research studies on the tobacco and ill health link seem to live up to the definition of “harm” as defined by the tobacco industry leaders.  Smokers are just as bad.  The drug that is Nicotine enables them to safely deny…deny….deny….and one of the things that they deny is the fact that if they smoke, THEY ARE DRUG ADDICTS.

You can look at a picture of a heroin addict and see how horrible he or she looks, but for some reason, the addict never has an accurate idea of what THEIR drug addictions are doing to them.  Here are some ways in which smoking contributes to making people ugly:

Bags under the eyes

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If you smoke, you’re four times as likely as nonsmokers to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep, according to Johns Hopkins study. Nightly nicotine withdrawal can cause one to toss and turn while trying to sleep.

 Psoriasis

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To be fair, psoriasis is an autoimmune-related skin condition that can show up even if you never touch a cigarette……BUT   if you do smoke, your risk for the scaly skin condition goes up—a lot.  I know one smoker that uses an app called, Facetune” to erase all of her wrinkles because the smoking has ravaged her skin and she has to look better for her selfies.  I am assured by her roommate that she does NOT look all peachy in person.

According to a 2007 study, if you smoke a pack a day for 10 years or less, psoriasis risk goes up 20%; 11–20 years and your risk is 60% higher; and for those who pass the two-decade mark, the psoriasis risk more than doubles. (Even secondhand smoke during pregnancy or childhood is linked to a higher risk.)

 Ugly Teeth and Receding Gums

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The nicotine in cigarettes that can stain teeth and also contribute to receding gums. So in addition to the escalating costs of buying and smoking cigarettes,  add in the cost of tooth whitening. A professional procedure to clean your teeth costs an average of $500 to $1,000.  However, if your gums are also receding, as is the case with a certain smoker that  I know of, the whitest teeth in the universe won’t improve your appearance.

Sure, smoking gives you stinky breath. But did you know that, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), nearly half of all smokers will suffer from gum disease and that the preponderance of them will lose teeth by the time they’re 65? It’s true.  Oh, and have you heard that according to the American Cancer Society 90 percent of all the people who suffer from oral cancers (mouth, lips, tongue, throat) are smokers?   Yup….and the majority of time, their spouses, children and the Federal Government PAY for their care.  What a selfish, selfish thing to do to one’s family and country.  It is downright abusive and unpatriotic!

While both of those effects may take a while to manifest, the yellowing of your teeth becomes readily apparent. Here’s why. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that the 4,000 toxic chemicals found in tar deposit a “sticky residue” on the surface of your teeth. Couple that with the fact that the same chemicals coat your teeth with plaque and your (formerly) pearly whites don’t stand a chance.

Yeah, but surely those stains can be easily removed, right? Not completely. According to the ADA, the discoloration caused by tar and other chemicals in the tobacco are harder to remove than other stains because the smoke actually penetrates the tooth enamel.

If the fear of yellow (or no) teeth doesn’t propel you to quit, how about a hairy tongue? (That’s not a typo.) Hairy tongue or black tongue is a condition that arises in heavy smokers when the cells on their tongue stop their normal shedding patterns. It results in an overgrowth of bacteria and the appearance of dark hair-like growths that are a combination of fungi and old skin cells. Enough said.

Premature Wrinkles and Aging

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 Experts agree that smoking accelerates aging, so that smokers look 3-5  years older than nonsmokers, on average.  Why the wrinkles?  Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, which deprives your skin of oxygen making it lackluster and dull. Also, nicotine, (the addictive troublemaker that it is) restricts blood vessels, which slows down blood, oxygen and nutrient flow to your skin leaving it sallow and dry. And, to make matters worse, because smoking damages your lungs and other body parts, most of your body’s vitamin C supply is dispatched to help try and repair the harm to those parts leaving little, if any, left over to fix your skin, which is a lesser man on the totem pole.

Thinning Hair

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Experts agree that the chemicals in smoke are so toxic that they wither/damage hair follicles. And Dr. Wilma F. Bergfeld, head of clinical research in the department of dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic, says that smoking also constricts blood vessels and hampers circulation, which prematurely ages those same follicles. The result? Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to have thinning strands. Add in the fact that smoking also increases the levels of DHT (a hormone that is a major contributor to hair loss) and you may be shopping for Rogaine before you know it.

Ok….now about stopping….

The best essential oils for quitting smoking

I am an advocate of using natural healing remedies for many, many different things.   More and more evidence is accruing that suggests the effectiveness of essential oils.   There are certain essential oils that are shown to be quite effective when trying to stop smoking.  One of the most scientifically substantiated options is the essential oil of black pepper.  This is the one to use for those horrible cravings that cause you to fail time after time, when you attempt to stop.   Black pepper actually simulates the feeling of smoking, which in turn curbs your cravings.

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In fact, there have been studies showing that black pepper essential oils effectively helped smokers decrease their cravings. One study in particular investigated the effects of a cigarette substitute providing a vapor of black pepper essential oil. A few details from the study:

  • 48 cigarette smokers took part in an overnight deprivation session.
  • There were three conditions where participants smoked the following out of a device: black pepper oil cartridge, mint/menthol cartridge, and an empty cartridge.
  • Cigarette cravings were greatly reduced in the black pepper condition.
  • Symptoms of anxiety were also lessened in the group that inhaled the black pepper essential oil.

In another study published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20 nicotine users (including cigarettes, snuff, and chewing tobacco) were asked to try aromatherapy instead. Those who inhaled the black pepper oil  went significantly longer without a craving than those who did not partake in the oil.

To Help Reduce Related Smoking Cessation Stress-

Rub Lavender Oil or Doterra Grounding Blend on back of neck or rub on feet.
Put a drop of Lavender Oil on pillow before going to bed.
Diffuse Calming Oil Blend in the air or rub Grounding Blend on the bottom of your feet. Since it’s on your hands, cup your hands over your mouth and breathe in deeply.

Now….STOP SMOKING!  Stop being a drug addict, smoker!  You won’t regret it!

Best thing for Aches and Pains

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This stuff is great. It contains all natural essential oils and works very quickly for minor aches and pains such as pulled or strained muscles. I recommend it to all my friends, who, without fail, sing its praises after using it.  It smells heavenly, too.    It is expensive..$29 a container….but worth every penny.  I assure you.     CLICK HERE to buy your own from Ajhan Life. 

Lavender for Migranes

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Lavender has been studied recently for several purposes including treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as a number of other things. Its analgesic effect, however, its painkiller effect, is one of the widely studied properties. Surprising, then, that there hasn’t apparently been a single documented clinical trial to study lavender for the treatment of migraine headaches that affects tens of millions of Americans every year. Until now: “Lavender Essential Oil in the Treatment of Migraine Headache: A Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.”

Migraine sufferers were asked to—at the early signs of headache—rub 2–3 drops of the lavender essential oil onto their upper lip and inhale its vapor for a 15-min period of time and score the severity of their headache for the next two hours. In the control group they did the same thing except they used drops of basically unscented liquid wax. Neither group was allowed to use any painkillers. In the lavender group 74% of patients had an improvement in their symptoms, significantly better than placebo. Though in the study lavender wasn’t directly compared to more conventional treatments, lavender appears to stack up pretty well compared to typical drugs. Lavender helped about three quarters of the time, high dose Tylenol only works about half the time, and Ibuprofen 57% of the time. The #1 prescription drug, generic imitrex, is effective 59% of the time, and then the hardcore treatment they use in emergency rooms where they inject you under the skin, 70%. All of these work better than the original migraine therapy, known as trepanning, where doctors drilled a hole in your head to let the evil spirits escape.

Conclusion: The present study suggests that inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.

You can buy pharmaceutical grade lavender for $21 HERE.

Protected: Alternative to Dryer Sheets

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Day #16- Clean

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Let’s Get Physical! (and smell better!)

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Between yoga and visits to the Green Gym, my energy levels have really gone up and I’m feeling very good, particularly after a largely sedentary winter or heavy school and work/work.   All of my senses have sharpened, which is but one of many benefits of increasing physical exercise. But this leads to a less pleasant aspect of working out.

Body odor. 

When I was at the gym this morning, I had to exit the treadmill because the man lifting weights next to me STANK so badly!  I’m not a prima dona.  It’s a gym. You’re SUPPOSED to break out into a sweat….but this particular man smelled so vile that I could not stand it….

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Which leads to this:

Since that nasty smoking vice was outlawed in  clubs and other public places, customers began to complain about unpleasant smells, such as body odors.  This prompted researchers in Europe to try to find ways to cover them up. They measured the effects of peppermint, for example on dancing activity,  and asked people to rate their energy levels from calm and quiet to fervid and frenzied…. and indeed people felt more cheerful, danced more.   So environmental fragrancing, such as the essential oil diffusers that I keep writing about,  may be expected to have a positive effects on future club revenue.   I recently read that some  innovative nightclubs are already inviting aroma jockeys to smell the places up.  Good move, so long as pure essential oils are used, and not heavy, ugly perfumes.

The business community caught whiff of this and thought, “Perhaps  we can get our secretaries to type faster.”

And it worked!

Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with the administration of peppermint odor. They also used an electronic memory device to measure memory, Milton Bradley’s Simon game.  Do you remember that?   I loved that game…BUT…the experiment didn’t work.

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Still, the researchers figured that if the scent of peppermint can increase typing performance, it might be able to do the same with athletic performance…..so the researchers threw some collegiate athletes onto treadmills and exposed them to  different smells.  The ones that were exposed to peppermint reported feeling less fatigued, more vigorous, less frustrated, and just felt they performed better. But did they REALLY perform better?

The first study was just about the psychological aspects of athletic performance. This study measured actual performance, and participants were able to squeeze out one extra pushup before collapsing and cut almost 2 seconds off a quarter mile dash with an odorized adhesive strip stuck to their upper lip. Interestingly there was no significant differences in basketball free throws. They think the reason is that free throws actually require some skill, and all the peppermint can do is really improve athlete’s motivation. If an athlete does not have the skill to make the free-throw, increasing the level of motivation will merely result in a more motivated athlete who still does not have the skill to make the free-throw.

Unfortunately follow-up studies were not able to replicate these results, showing no beneficial effect of smelling peppermint on athletic performance…… so how about EATING peppermint?  Well….the effects of peppermint on exercise performance, measured before and after almost 2 weeks of drinking bottles of water with a single drop of peppermint essential oil in them. And all their performance parameters shot up, churning out 50% more work, 20% more power, and a 25% greater time to exhaustion!!  Wow!  Powerful stuff!   With improvements across the board in all those fancy physiological alphabet soup parameters that all the exercise geeks love, indicating increased respiratory efficiency. They attribute these remarkable results to the peppermint opening up their airways, increasing ventilation and oxygen delivery.

A word of caution, however.   You can actually overdise on the stuff. However, a few drops are ok and shouldn’t be toxic. I’d rather see folks blending fresh mint leaves in water rather than using peppermint OIL….sort of like a mojito without the rum and sugar.  The bad news is that may lower one’s libido. There are studies out there of men drinking four or five cups of day of spearmint or peppermint tea and losing their sex drive.  Then again, as any good coach will tell you,  THAT  may improve athletic performance even more.  Because of the antiandrogenic, researchers decided to try it out on hairy women, and in a matter of just 5 days were able to drop their free testosterone levels by about 30% with two cups of tea a day.

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There’s actually a syndrome called PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can result in abnormally high testosterone levels in women, which can successfully be brought down with mint tea.

So there ya have it.

Go to the gym.  Do yoga.  Drink tea.  Chew peppermint gum.  Use deodorant.  Any questions?  🙂

References:

H N J Schifferstein, K S S Talke, D J Oudshoorn. Can Ambient Scent Enhance the Nightlife Experience? Chemosens Percept. Jun 2011; 4(1-2): 55–64.

S Barker, P Grayhem, J Koon, J Perkins, A Whalen, B Raudenbush. Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with administration of peppermint odor. Percept Mot Skills. 2003 Dec;97(3 Pt 1):1007-10.

B Raudenbush, B Meyer, B Eppich. The effects of odors on objective and subjective measures of athletic performance. North American Journal of Psychology, 2003, Vol 5 No 2 181-192.

B Raudenbush, N Corley, W Eppich. Enhancing athletic performance through the administration of peppermint odor. JSEP Volume 23, Issue 2, 156-160.

P Pournemati, M A Azarbayiani, M B Rezaee, V Ziaee, P Pournemati. The effect of inhaling peppermint odor and ethanol in women athletes. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2009;110(12):782-7.

A Meamarbashi, A Rajabi. The effects of peppermint on exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 15.

S S Nath C Pandey, D Roy. A near fatal case of high dose peppermint oil ingestion- Lessons learnt. Indian J Anaesth. 2012 Nov-Dec; 56(6): 582–584.

M Akdogan, M N Tamer, E Cure, M C Cure, B K Koroglu, N Delibas. Effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism. Phytother Res. 2007 May;21(5):444-7.

M Akdogan, M Ozguner, A Kocak, M Oncu, E Cicek. Effects of peppermint teas on plasma testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels and testicular tissue in rats. Urology. 2004 Aug;64(2):394-8.

P Grant. Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2010 Feb;24(2):186-8.