Frankincense may infuse users with mild euphoria

Frankincense may infuse users with mild euphoria


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A group of researchers using hard science put frankincense to the test: Does this ancient, fragrant smoke give feelings of exaltation to the practitioners of the many religions in whose rites it has been used for millennia? Further, they asked, could extracts of frankincense or Boswellia be used by pharmacologists to create drugs that would fight depression and anxiety?

Another researcher published an article in October on anti-inflammatory and other health benefits of frankincense, a precious resin from the Boswellia tree that has been traded for more than 5,000 years . Both he and the researchers looking into the mental-health benefits say more study is needed.

“Taken together, our data support our original contention, namely that Boswellia resin may affect sensation and emotional states,” the research team wrote in a 2008 article in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology .

The researchers, including biologists, pharmacologists, chemists and behavioralists led by chemist and pharmacologist Arieh Moussaief of Hebrew University, concluded that a resin present in frankincense, incensole acetate (IA), warrants further study. They wrote of their research on the effects of frankincense on the mentation and emotions of mice:

“It is possible that IA augments the euphoric feeling produced during religious functions, due to both positive, presumably mild, emotional effects and the sensation of warmth. Thus the neurobehavioral effect of IA may provide a biochemical basis for the millennial and widespread use of Boswellia-containing incense. However, only direct human trials including the investigation of human dosage and dosage forms may give final, concrete proof.”

The Biblical magi bearing gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh (public domain )

The researchers administered IA to the mice and found that it triggered the protein TRPV3 in their brains. TRPV3 plays a role in the warm-blooded animals’ skin warmth perception. They concluded IA also may be an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety agent that leaves people feeling relaxed.

“We assumed that the spiritual exaltation caused by incense burning in religious ceremonies would be enhanced by putative pharmacological effects of its constituents, particularly on the conductors of the ceremonies, who presumably inhale large amounts of smoke.”

Another research team found that an extract of Boswellia serrata resin produced sedative and analgesic outcomes in rats. That team did not identify and isolate which chemicals were responsible, however.

Writing to Ancient Origins in e-mail, co-researcher R. Mechoulam cautioned: “Without well done clinical trials it is not possible to know whether incensole acetate is active in patients. Incensole acetate definitely has anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects (in mice). It may also be an anti-depressant.”

A bag of frankincense being sold at a market in Dubai (Photo by Liz Lawley/ Wikimedia Commons )

The article says many ancient texts mention Boswellia resin as the major or sole ingredient in incense. It was a precious commodity and was transported via caravan from sub-Saharan regions of Africa into ancient Egypt, Judea and Greece, where it was used in religious ceremonies.

The psychoactivity of Boswellia was already recognized in ancient times. Dioscorides (first century C.E.) writes that it causes madness. In the Jewish Talmud (300–600 C.E.), Boswellia resin is mentioned as a potion (in wine) given to prisoners condemned to death to ‘benumb the senses.’ In Ethiopia, where Boswellia trees are indigenous, it is believed to have a tranquilizing effect .—Mousaieff et. al .

A Catalan caravan atlas of 1375; caravans carried frankincense from Africa to the Mideast, Europe and Asia ( Wikimedia Commons )

In Catholicism, for example, during religious ceremonies the thurifer swings the censer, the smoke from which is believed to lift the prayers and intentions of the congregation up to God. Also, Michael the Archangel is considered the heavenly thurifer. He burns incense in his Seventh Heaven, and again, legend says the smoke lifts the prayers of the believers into God’s presence.

A censer with incense burning (Photo by Mark Miller)

Another article, this one from the October 2015 issue of the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences , says Boswellia extracts are known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and drugs have been produced with the extracts.

“The resin of Boswellia species (‘frankincense,’ ‘olibanum’) has been used as incense in religious and cultural ceremonies since time immemorial,” M.Z. Siddiqui of the Indian Institute of Natural Resins and Gums. “Its medicinal properties are also widely recognized, mainly for the treatment of inflammatory conditions, as well as in some cancerous diseases, wound healing and its antimicrobial activity. Despite its historical, religious, cultural and medicinal importance, Boswellia has not been thoroughly studied, and gaps still exist between our knowledge of the traditional uses of the resin and the scientific data available.”

Frankincense has been harvested for thousands of years in Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Oman, but now over-harvesting, livestock grazing and diversification of the economy challenge the future of this treasured incense. In these countries, it is used not only for religious and cultural ceremonies, it is used in perfumes, soaps, beauty products, and even to flavor ice cream. It is also valued for its medicinal properties. “Pregnant women chew it for the health of their unborn children and water infused with the resin is taken to treat colds and upset stomachs,” reports the Globe and Mail . But the trade in frankincense now has to adapt or become obsolete. The density of trees that produce the sap are in steep decline, and many are calling for a return to traditional harvesting techniques to keep the industry sustainable.


Understanding How Essential Oils Can Stimulate Creativity

Essential oils have been used throughout centuries for a variety of purposes. They evaporate very quickly, meaning that when they are inhaled they get into our bodies and brains easily and stimulate parts of the brain that have a significant effect on our mood, emotions, and creativity. Once someone begins using essential oils to stimulate creativity, the brain will come to associate their use as a trigger that will cause the brain to more immediately enter a state of creativeness.


The jasmine flower is written into the stories of ancient China, Persia, and Egypt. This amazing flower was revered by royalty in China and traded along the Silk Road. Additionally, jasmine was an important part of perfumery in the times of Cleopatra and Louis XVI. In Hinduism, jasmine holds a place of honor as the “perfume of love.”

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It may be the aphrodisiac properties that placed jasmine oil in such high demand throughout history. Jasmine essential oil was used in healing and religious ceremonies because of this compelling quality. In China, jasmine oil was used in sick rooms to make the air fragrant, but it was also thought to clear the air of pollutants even before the discovery of bacteria. Ancient Egyptians used jasmine oil for headaches, nervous disorders, and to promote restful sleep.

Today, jasmine tea is popular all over the world. The tea is produced by layering jasmine blossoms with tea leaves, infusing the tea with the fragrance. In some cases, the flowers themselves are dried and included as jasmine pearls which expand and appear to blossom in the tea.

The jasmine plant genus has around 200 species, native to warm, temperate climates. Many are vines and climbers. Out of all of these, only two are used in the creation of jasmine essential oil.

Jasminum officinale/grandiflorum

Most essential oil suppliers refer to the Jasminum officinale, variety grandiflorum species as traditional jasmine. The horticulture trade seems to consider the officinale and the grandiflorum to be two separate varieties, but in essential oils, the reference is Jasminum officinale/grandiflorum.

This plant is a deciduous vine. The sturdy vine can grow up to 15 feet tall in many areas, including western China, India, Nepal, Europe, parts of the United States, and the West Indies. This is a day-blooming jasmine, picked first thing in the morning as it opens for the first time so light and time don’t diminish the scent. It grows easily and quickly.

All jasmine varieties have a distinctive scent, but there are slight differences in the varieties. Jasminum officinale/grandiflorum is considered a very warm, rich fragrance which creates the base or longest-lasting note in perfume blends. Like wines and cheeses, this oil is sometimes aged to attain a fuller, heavier scent.

Jasminum sambac

Jasminum sambac is known for its heady, greener scent. Its country of origin is thought to be western China and Tibet in the Himalayas. It is often referred to as Arabian Jasmine, even though it is not really grown in ancient Arabia. It thrives in many regions with warm, humid climates.

The plant is a smaller shrub, ranging in height from one and a half to nine feet tall, and is everblooming and evergreen. Its flowers open in the evening and stay open until early morning as they are pollinated by night-flying moths.

This variety has the same therapeutic qualities of the Jasminum officinale/grandiflorum but is considered more sensually powerful as an aphrodisiac. While this floral oil might seem less sweet than traditional jasmine, it has a more energetic profile, with a touch of herbal or citrus tones.

Floral Oils

Unlike other essential oils, floral oils like jasmine are very expensive. The only part of the plant harvested for therapeutic or perfumery purposes is the flower. Flowers are small, delicate and begin to lose their aroma as soon as they are picked. Depending on the variety, the buds or flowers are picked by hand at night or first thing in the morning.

It can require as many as 8,000 flowers to make one gram of essential oil. A talented picker can pick 10,000–15,000 flowers per night. These freshly-picked gems are rushed to processing to retain as much of the valuable essence as possible. All of these factors make jasmine oil among the most costly of essential oils.

Processing

Traditionally, most of the growing and processing of jasmine for oil took place in the south of France. The floral oils cannot be processed as other, sturdier herbals can. In the past, floral oils were produced by a process called enfleurage, rarely used anymore because of the high cost. Flower petals were laid on a layer of fat spread on a glass chassis. The floral scent diffused into the fat over one to three days.

The petals were removed and replaced with fresh ones, intensifying the scent picked up by the fat. The process was repeated until the fat was saturated with the scent of the flower. The fat was then soaked in alcohol, drawing the fragrance into the alcohol and separating it from the fat. The alcohol was evaporated, leaving just the absolute essence of the flower.

Modern Extraction

Today, the essence is produced through a process called solvent extraction. The flower petals are placed on trays and immersed in a drum of solvent, sometimes hexane or ethanol. The racks rotate the petals through the solvent, releasing the fragrance molecules into the solvent. The longer the flowers remain in the solvent, the more fragrance oil can be removed.

At some point, the solvent will begin pulling non-fragrance molecules from the petals, affecting the true scent of the jasmine. When the perfect saturation point is reached, the solvent is distilled off. The resulting product is a highly-fragranced, waxy product called a “concrete.” In this form, the jasmine scent can be stored and transported without loss of quality.

The concrete can be used to make solid perfumes, but the second phase of solvent extraction is required to produce an essential oil. Grain alcohol is added to the concrete to remove the color and wax. With the wax gone, the alcohol is distilled off, leaving the aromatic jasmine absolute.

Absolutes are the most concentrated and truest form of the original jasmine scent. These absolutes are then diluted in various percentages with pure carrier oils to produce essential oils for use by therapists and consumers.

With Cost Comes Imitation

With all this work: large quantities of flowers, processing, and transportation, perhaps you can begin to understand why jasmine oil is one of the most costly of all oils. But that cost is worth it with jasmine’s beautiful scent and therapeutic functions.

Just be aware, as with any essential oil, that less than honorable suppliers will substitute synthetic scents in order to sell lower-cost oils. With essential oils, you often get what you pay for, so know your oil supplier. Synthetic scents do not have the therapeutic capability of the true essences, and in many cases can cause adverse reactions in sensitive clients.


Impacts of gum-resin harvest and Lantana camara invasion on the population structure and dynamics of Boswellia serrata in the Western Ghats, India

Assessing the effects of harvesting on the population dynamics of important non-timber forest products (NTFPs) species is important for informing species conservation options, guiding sustainable harvesting practices and offtake and supporting local livelihoods. However, harvesting is rarely the only pressure on NTFP populations, and it is vital that the effects of interactive pressures be considered. This applies to Boswellia serrata, an NTFP tree species which is widely harvested for gum-resin used in religious practices. However, in many settings populations are in decline, presumably due to heavy harvesting, but other factors may play a role, such as altered fire regimes and invasive species. Here we report on the effects of harvesting and invasion by Lantana camara on B. serrata populations in three protected areas in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in southern India. We considered tree and juvenile density, size class distribution, and growth, mortality, and recruitment rates in harvested and unharvested populations over two years. Generally, tree density was higher in harvested populations. The negative effects of harvesting were most apparent at the site with the greatest harvesting pressure, with only limited effects at the other two sites, as reflected in the size class distribution and mortality and recruitment rates. Increasing cover of L. camara was associated with declining densities of B. serrata juveniles and, to a lesser extent, adult trees. The impact of L. camara cover was generally higher than that of gum-resin harvest. The results show that the viability of B. serrata populations is negatively affected by both harvesting and Lantana invasion, and that appropriate management intervention needs to be considered to address these.


Cannabis Medical Dictionary

Psychoactivity refers to the mental effects of some medications. Subjective experiences of being “high” on marijuana may seem as varied as the persons who report them, yet there are some commonalities. Typically, the psychoactivity of cannabis is unobtrusive first-time users frequently fail to notice any difference in their perceptions. With repeated use, the psychoactive effects are learned.

There have been many literary descriptions of cannabis intoxication, both graphic and poetic. [i] A heightened sense of mental flow is almost universal. Psychoactivity seems to turn up the “volume” or “brightness” of the mind’s internal dialogue. Sensory perceptions are heightened as the nervous system becomes subtly charged with an added intensity. Intuitive understanding becomes more easily accessible. Unbridled hilarity and a pronounced sense of innate profundity may infuse the mind with compelling expressions.

The psychotropic effects of cannabis vary widely with differences in dosage, potency, method of ingestion, individual difference in metabolism, and relative experience of the user. For one who is familiar with the effects, a few puffs of smoke can pleasantly blend perception and experience in a clear and cohesive associative understanding that may not be obvious to a nonuser. On the other hand, a very large dose orally ingested by an inexperienced subject can result in temporary panic or induce mental confusion, usually followed by deep sedation. THC intoxication can sometimes induce mild visual imagery to swirl and dance behind closed eyes. Although sensations can be intensified to an uncomfortable level by psychoactive excess, true hallucinations or radically altered perceptions are extremely rare and easily averted.

The mild mental stimulation of a normal dose of cannabis can be useful in increasing the attention span and mental concentration. That same mental stimulation can cause an undisciplined mind to wander aimlessly. One might become more absorbed with a project or task using normal doses of cannabis. A much larger dose might induce the same individual to abandon the task and drift into contemplation. While contemplation may be intuitively invaluable under some conditions, associative musings can certainly prove detrimental to students at test time.

Marijuana can exaggerate and intensify preexisting moods. A tired person might feel sleepy, but a more rested person might feel mentally stimulated by the same dose of marijuana. External variables also contribute to the subjective effects. Timothy Leary stressed the value of “set and setting” in the psychology of psychoactive drug experiences. In group use, marijuana tends to increase a person’s susceptibility to the moods of other people, enhancing social harmony. [ii]

Physiological symptoms such as increased heart rate may correlate with the mental and sensory excitement often experienced immediately following administration. This mild increase in heart rate is generally self-correcting within 20 to 40 minutes, and mental excitement steadily diminishes accordingly.

Trace elements of cannabinoids are absorbed by and stored in the fatty tissues of the body. Although detectable by various drug testing methods for several weeks following ingestion, these metabolized trace elements are definitely not psychoactive. [iii] Although some occasional users may report a mild “hangover” the following day, all notable effects of cannabis wear off within a few hours following administration. [iv]

Deeper understandings and a deeper appreciation of art and music are frequently ascribed to cannabis use. Artistic expression is also said to be heightened, which can be interpreted as an increase in associative rather than linear thought patterns. Some researchers have occasionally noted mild episodes of psychoactive déjà vu. The link between cannabis and associative thinking is also indicated by the discovery of cannabinoid receptor sites located in the right frontal lobe of the brain, which governs memory and emotion. [v]

Chronic users, such as patients who consume one or more grams per day over a period of many months or years, universally report that the psychoactive effects of cannabis diminish in proportion to continued use. With continued exposure, the mental stimulation experienced by occasional users is gradually transformed to an overall sensation that may be expressed as a glow of warmth or comfort insulating the patient from a general or specific pain or discomfort. When cannabis is used as an analgesic, patients frequently report that their pain fades away or becomes more distant. These subtle effects contrast greatly with the complete sensory suppression characteristic of opiate narcotic pain killers.

While law enforcement officially incorrectly classify marijuana as a hallucinogenic drug, established medical literature accurately classifies marijuana as a euphoriant. [vi] Many cannabis users feel a heightened sense of self-awareness contributing to a greater feeling of well-being—the literal definition of euphoria.

Related sections: Analgesia, Anxiety Attacks, Cerebral Effects, Stress Reduction, Tolerance.

[i] Grinspoon, Marijuana Reconsidered. 3 rd ed. San Francisco: Quick American Archives, 1971

[ii] Rossi, Kuehnle, and Mendelson, “Marijuana and mood in human volunteers.” Pharmacological Biochemistry and Behavior, Vol. 4, pp. 447-453, 1978, Source: National Library of Medicine, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

[iv] Zimmer and Morgan, Marijuana Myths: Marijuana Facts. New York: The Lindesmith Center, 1997

[v] Mathew, Wilson, Coleman, Turkington, and DeGrado. “Marijuana intoxication and brain activation in marijuana smokers.” Life Science, Vol. 60, No. 23, pp. 2075-2089, 1997


Using An Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet With Your Favorite Oils

If you're a die-hard essential oil lover, then you can appreciate it when I say that I start to feel a little stressed when my oils are not within reach. I’ve got my favorites for dealing with stress, the perfect trio to help me sleep, a few custom blends that I use on my essential oil diffuser bracelet , and my go-to faves for an afternoon pick-me-up.

There are a lot of very strong opinions on the "best" oils, the safest, and the most cost effective. While I have my favorite source, I'm not here to convince you that one company is better than another. That’s up to you to decide for yourself – just do a little research, buy from a reputable source, and use the oils that you love!

BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS

OK, so let's talk about the many amazing ways to use your essential oils. From my own personal experience and those of my friends and family, I believe essential oils are wonderful tools to add to your wellness tool kit.

Plants have been used for thousands of years and while my scientific brain was certainly skeptical at first, I’ve been happily using oils to help with stress, ease a tummy ache, soothe my tired muscles, help me drift off to sleep, and keep the pesky mosquitoes away in the summer months.

For example, one of the most well-loved essential oils, lavender, is known for its calming properties – not only does it help soothe you to sleep, but it’s also soothing for skin irritations. Peppermint oil is wonderful for indigestion and can ease those pesky stress headaches.

Citrus oils – including lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit – are instant mood boosters, help freshen up any room in your house, and are excellent natural cleaning alternatives. Frankincense, one of the most prized oils throughout history, is beneficial for the skin (especially when added to your moisturizer) and can give you extra immune support during the winter months.

There are lots of methods to use and apply your favorite oils - you can sniff them straight from the bottle, diffuse them in your home with a diffuser, dilute them with a carrier oil (like coconut oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil…and many more) in roller bottles and apply them to your body, use them to clean and deodorize your home, and so much more.

But did you know that you can also wear them right on your wrist without having to dilute them? Yes, you can take your oils on the go with essential oil diffuser bracelets!

HOW DO ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER BRACELETS WORK?

All essential oil diffuser bracelets have one thing in common – a porous stone or material that easily absorbs essential oils. Lucky for us, there are a number of options out there – lava stone, wood, leather (or faux leather), and clay are some great examples. While they’re each made of very different material, they’re all fabulous at absorbing essential oils and slowly releasing the scent throughout the day.

You can find diffuser bracelets made simply of braided leather (or faux leather), some with just lava or wood beads, and others like the bracelets we make, combine natural gemstones with black lava stone or wood beads. Wearing bracelets with natural gemstones has an added bonus – you can choose stones that have a special meaning to you .

For example, in a lava rock diffuser bracelet, the lava rocks are known as stones of grounding and protection. They help in finding your focus, bringing balance to your life, and grounding scattered energy. And Amazonite gems are wonderful balancing stones – they promote kindness and confidence and soothe your worries and fears.

HOW DO YOU APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS TO A DIFFUSER BRACELET?

No matter which brand of essential oils you use with your diffuser bracelet, applying them is quick and easy. Simply choose your favorite single oil or blend, add a drop to the porous material – whether it’s lava stone, wood, leather, or clay – and rub gently to encourage the oil to absorb. Now you’re ready to take your favorite scents on your wrist while running errands, hitting the grocery store, or dropping the kids at school!

I’m often asked how long the scent lasts and it really depends on the oil. After trying lots of oil combos, I’ve found that cinnamon and minty oils tend to last a bit longer, sometimes the whole day, while the citrusy scents have to be refreshed after a few hours.

OUR FAVORITE TIPS & TRICKS FOR USING ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER BRACELETS

1 – Replace perfume with your favorite essential oil or oil blend.

If you’re trying to keep those toxic chemicals and synthetic fragrances out of your beauty routine, replacing them with an essential oil is a wonderful idea. Buy a ready-made blend from your oil company or use the tips below to create your own custom blend. Wearing your favorite essential oils instead of perfume is a great way to keep unhealthy chemicals off your skin.

2 – Create a custom diffuser stack.

Re-creating your favorite home diffuser blend on your wrist can often be tricky if the blend includes several oils. Adding more than two drops of oil to one diffuser bracelet can get messy. Of course, we love a great stack of bracelets on our wrist and you can create your own custom diffuser stack with two, three, or more bracelets. Simply choose 2-3 different oils and add one drop of each oil on a different bracelet. All those home diffuser blends you love so much can be used for an on-the-go diffuser stack.

3 – Keep the bugs away.

During the summer months, your essential oil diffuser bracelet can become your best friend. When my family and I took a trip to Mexico a few years ago, the guys and the kids in the group applied those drugstore bug sprays all over themselves to keep the mosquitoes away, while I happily added a few drops of essential oils to my lava rock diffuser bracelet and ankles (with a roller bottle).

Everyone complained about getting lots of bites, while I managed to get bit just a couple times the entire week. About halfway through our vacation, everyone was begging me to share my bug oil with them!

If you don’t already have a favorite bug blend, try this combo during your next trip to a tropical (or humid!) spot. Add equal amounts of Citronella, Lemongrass, and Geranium essential oils to a small dropper bottle – add a drop or two to your diffuser bracelet before you leave home – re-apply as needed.

4 – Let your oily team know how much you appreciate them.

Reward your hard-working oil team with an essential oil diffuser bracelet to use with all their favorite oils. Whether you’re celebrating their birthday, cheering their promotion to the next business level, or gifting a small token of appreciation at Christmas or a special event - not only will they love your thoughtfulness, but they’ll have a fun and stylish way to take their oils on the go!

5 – De-stress, motivate, focus, and relax.

When your day is extra stressful from doing all the mama or business things, or you need extra motivation and focus to power through your to-do list, reach for your favorite oils and add a drop to your diffuser bracelet . Oils are my #1 tool to keep me motivated or lift my spirits after a long day. Here are a few of my favorite oil combos you can try when you need to get through the afternoon or mid-week slump:

  • Lemon + Peppermint
  • Lime + Spearmint
  • Orange + Bergamot
  • Just about anything mixed with Lemongrass (such a mood-booster!)

6 – Boost your yoga or meditation practice.

There is certainly lots of research out there that shows that yoga and meditation can improve your quality of life. From personal experience, both yoga and meditation have changed my health and my attitude. And essential oils can be a great addition to your practice.

Simply add a drop of oil to your essential oil diffuser bracelet right before your practice and enjoy the wonderful scent throughout your meditation or yoga session.

7 – Introduce a friend to the amazing world of essential oils.

I still remember when a dear friend shared her experience with oils and got me interested in trying them for myself. And let me say that diving into the essential oil world as a newbie was completely overwhelming – which oil do I use for what? How do I use a diffuser? What the heck is a carrier oil?

My friend sent me a box filled with bottles, books, and supplies that showed me how to get started, how to dilute and diffuse oils, and helped take away the overwhelm. Several years have passed, but I remember how happy I was to get that box of goodies in the mail and I appreciated the kindness behind that one small gesture.

Sharing a few of your favorite essential oil samples along with a lava rock diffuser bracelet is a simple way to share oils with a friend and help her learn how to add them to her everyday routine. What I love most about our essential oil diffuser bracelets is that each one has a special meaning behind it to let her know how much she means to you.

Be Fierce Bracelet | African Turquoise - Wood Diffuser Bracelet

ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS FOR YOUR DIFFUSER BRACELET

Need a few ideas to create your own custom blends for your diffuser bracelet ? Here are some of our favorite blends to get you started. When creating a blend for your bracelet, you can either mix the essential oils in a small glass dropper bottle and apply one drop of your new blend to your essential oil diffuser bracelet or use tip #2 above to create your own custom diffuser stack.

Fall-Inspired Essential Oil Blends

Holiday-Inspired Diffuser Blends

Rosemary, Lavender, and Bergamot Essential Oil Blend

A Summer Essential Oil Blend

There is hardly a day that I don't have at least one essential oil diffuser bracelet mixed into my bracelet stack. They've become a regular part of my everyday routine and make it so easy and quick to apply my favorite essential oils on the go. But they don’t just serve as a tool for my oils our bracelets are unique in that each one has a special meaning behind it to remind me of what I cherish most.

When I apply my oils throughout the day or glance at my wrist when I hear the bracelets jingle, I’m reminded of my perseverance, my strength, and my love for family and community. The bracelets aren’t just jewelry – they’re my everyday reminders that every day matters.

Here are a few of my favorite everyday reminders that keep me focused on what’s important and make the sweetest gifts for the lovely gals in my life.


Crowd favorites

There are hundreds of Essential Oils to know and love, this section covers some of our foundational favorites

Click the image below to learn several ways to use Lavender essential oil .

Diffuse in the evenings

Clear the air and calm your mind with the light, floral aroma of Lavender essential oil. The mild, soothing scent is perfect for settling down in the evening or whenever you need comforting rest.

Skin soother

Applying Lavender essential oil to your skin may help cleanse and soothe minor skin irritations.

Relaxing Routines

Add Lavender essential oil to your favorite moisturizer to reduce the appearance of blemishes and enhance the appearance of a youthful complexion.

Linen Spray

Freshen your linen closet, mattress, or car by combining a few drops of Lavender with water and/or witch hazel in a spray bottle.

Pillow time

Rub a few drops of Lavender on pillows and bedding. Lavender can also be added to wool dryer balls for a fresh-scented, eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets or fabric softener.

Click the image below to learn several ways to use Thieves essential oil blend .

Cleaning Power

Add a few drops to your Thieves Dish Soap or Thieves Automatic Dishwasher Powder to eliminate odors and boost cleaning power.*

*In markets where available.

Freshen Up

Refresh musty carpets by adding 5 drops of Thieves to a cup of baking soda. Combine well and let sit overnight until the oil is absorbed. Sprinkle over carpets and vacuum thoroughly.

Foot Rub

Apply to the bottoms of your feet before bed to absorb this powerful blend’s benefits.*

*We encourage the consumer to always check their label for appropriate use in their market.

Diffuse

The clean fragrance of Thieves helps neutralize strong airborne odors in your classroom or playroom.

Click the image below to learn several ways to use Lemon essential oil .

Cleaning House

Mix Lemon with your cleaning products for powerful cleansing. Lemon cuts through grease, grime, and is wonderful at removing adhesive. Try using it to remove labels from things like glass or dishes.

Keep it fresh

Dilute a few drops of Lemon in water in a spray bottle to freshen your room or linens with a few sprays.

Eternal Sunshine

Add Lemon to skin care products at night to help reduce the appearance of blemishes.

Lighten the mood

Keep Lemon on hand for its energizing and invigorating aroma. Diffuse it to create a more focused environment.

Use Lemon’s aroma to create an uplifting atmosphere.

Click the image below to learn several ways to use Peppermint essential oil .

Peppermint essential oil cools fatigued muscles after physical activity.

Peppermint essential oil’s main constituent, menthol, is responsible for the cool, tingling sensation it leaves on your skin. It’s also found in sports creams. Apply Peppermint topically to experience this soothing sensation after hard physical activity.

Find your focus

Get in the zone at the office by diffusing this crisp, cool oil before settling in for the workday.

Create revitalizing and soothing steam

With a few drops on a cloth in your shower, Peppermint helps create a revitalizing and soothing aromatic steam.

Workout boost

Get a cool burst of energy before a big workout by applying Peppermint to your chest or inhaling it directly.

Click the image below to learn several ways to use Frankincense essential oil .

Quiet Moments

Turn a boring nighttime routine into a luxurious getaway with Frankincense essential oil. Play some soft music and enjoy a momentary escape to soothe your skin and balance your spirit. The complex aroma of this deluxe oil provides a lush end to any day.

Spiritual Practices

Frankincense’s aroma has calming properties that can support spirituality and inner strength. Try diffusing it or applying it to the temples and the back of the neck during yoga, meditative practices, or spiritual study.

Bath Booster

Frankincense is known for its sweet, warm, balsamic aroma. When used aromatically, Frankincense promotes feelings of peace, grounding, and relaxation. Try adding a few drops of Frankincense oil to your next bath.

Skin Care Upgrade

Use Frankincense in your daily beauty routine by adding it to your unscented face lotion, toner, and/or face wash to support the appearance of healthy-looking skin.


6. The 20 best essential oils for lucid dreams

Getting a deep sleep is ESSENTIAL for lucid dreaming, as reaching the REM stage of sleep supports comprehensive, vivid and detailed dreams.

This is why essential oils can effectively aid to a lucid dreaming as well as to better sleep.

The 20 best essential oils for dreams are:

1. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage will gently calm your body and provide a restful night’s sleep. It is one of the most popular essential oils in aromatherapy for relaxation. Furthermore:
  • it can stop the key indicators of stress
  • normalize high blood pressure
  • promotes deep relaxation
  • It is used as an anti-anxiety and anti-depression aid
  • promotes a general feeling of wellbeing
    improve your visualization abilities

2. Mugwort Essential Oil

Mugwort is a potent dream herb, aiding in the remembrance of altered states of consciousness. It is also known as a lucid dreaming oil.
  • used for out-of-body and mystical experiences
  • keep you longer in a conscious dream state (REM sleep)
  • promotes relaxation
  • effective agent to de-stress and soothe your tense, anxious nerves
  • an effective tool if you are looking for something that can relax you mentally
  • boost your memory levels

3. Rose Essential Oil

Highly recommend before bedtime, since it helps you feel grounded, centered and relaxed.
  • it has calming properties
  • helps to soothe emotions
  • promote relaxation before sleep
  • can be useful to people that suffer from depressive symptoms
  • relieves anxiety and stress

4. Lavender Essential Oil

This is incredibly popular oil has all kinds of benefits. It increases slow-wave sleep, in which the heartbeat slows and muscles relax. Also, it is an effective treatment for insomnia. What is more:
  • the floral scent can help people to unwind and rest
  • mild sedative
  • promotes deep sleep
  • helps to decrease heart rate and blood pressure

5. Sandalwood Essential Oil

It is high in sesquiterpenes, the chemical component that stimulates the pineal gland, increasing melatonin production! More impacts include:
  • relieve tension
  • helps to heighten one’s intuition, aiding in experiencing astral projections
  • promotes mental clarity
  • boosts memory

6. Rosemary Essential Oil

Excellent antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, as well as antiseptic oil.
  • beneficial for memory recall
  • helps people feel more relaxed
  • it also helps with learning and cognition

7. Peppermint Oil

It activates cold-sensitive receptors in the skin, which has relaxation properties. Inhale before bedtime for better sleep.
  • makes you feel relaxed and refreshed
  • can help with insomnia
  • increase concentration
  • reduce negative thoughts

8. Valerian Root Essential Oil

It allows the body to spend additional time in REM sleep stages evoking hyper-real and possible strong emotional responses from the dream.
  • used to induce lucid dreaming for centuries
  • creates more vivid and intense dreams
  • induce sleep onset more quickly

9. Jasmine Oil

It has a tradition of use in astral travel blends. Inhale jasmine’s scent before going to sleep for deeper, more restful sleep.
  • provides similar calming effects that lavender does
  • increase alertness
  • higher energy levels
  • effective at reducing anxiety

10. Clove Essential Oil

Use as aromatherapy by applying the oil to pillows at night for long-term inhalation, restful sleep, and positive impact.
  • ensures restful night’s sleep
  • antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • antioxidant
  • relieves anxiety when inhaled as in aromatherapy
  • has a positive impact on the psychology
  • soothes and stimulates to combat exhaustion and fatigue

11. Agarwood Essential Oil

Known also as oud, ” The Wood Of The Gods ”, Buddhists and Tibetan monks use it to convey energy to wind down the mind and spirit. What is more:
  • facilitates clarity of mind
  • used for emotional balance
  • evokes inner piece
  • calms the body
  • removes destructive and negative energies
  • provides higher awareness
  • enhances mental functionality
  • invokes a feeling of vigor and harmony

12. Blue Lotus Essential Oil

It invokes higher states of consciousness and provides a mild sense of tranquillity and euphoria.
  • altered sense of awareness
  • noticeable impact on the vividness of dreams
  • improved dream recall
  • induces a dreamlike sensation
  • more colorful dreams and lifelike

13. Frankincense Essential Oil

It is one of the primary oils recommended for naturally stimulating the pineal gland!
  • used as an antidepressant
  • spiritually uplifting medicine
  • have an impact on the clarity of dreams
  • improved ability to recall dreams

14. Angelica Root Essential Oil

It is said to help to strengthen the mind and spirit. It infuses a sense of calm when used to heal and release traumatic emotions.
  • also known as ” The Holy Spirit Root ”
  • protects from night terrors and nightmares
  • enhance clairvoyance
  • removes bad energy
  • known as a sleep aid

15. Chamomile Essential Oil

One of the best known natural sedatives, brilliant for sleep. Studies have shown that is effective in relieving stress and anxiety.
  • soothing effect
  • sleep inducing
  • provides vivid dreams
  • reduces insomnia
  • relieves depression

16. Lemon Balm Essential Oil

It promotes relaxation by increasing levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.
  • promote relaxation before sleep
  • induce more active dream states
  • calming effects for anxiety, sleep problems, and restlessness

17. Helichrysum Essential Oil

Creates a nurturing environment that promotes inner calm and fosters spiritual practice.
  • a good natural treatment for insomnia
  • strong antioxidant properties
  • good for wound healing, infections, and stomach aches
  • anti-allergenic
  • anti-inflammatory

18. Palo Santo Essential Oil

A soothing essential oil, known for help with stress and anxiety, as well as aiding a good night’s sleep.
  • calming and soothing qualities
  • beneficial for all sorts of inflammations
  • for those in search of spiritual awakening
  • keeps the mind free of worries
  • helps to get in touch with the inner self

19. Patchouli Essential Oil

Inhaling the aroma of patchouli essential oil may have sedative effects that could be useful in the treatment of sleep problems.
  • can relieve nervous tension
  • a soothing oil for meditation
  • ideal for your pre-bedtime lucid dream incubation routine

20. Anise Essential Oil

It has restorative properties of the licorice-like scent, which can both energize and calm.
  • used for nervousness, depression, and stress
  • sedative for anxiety
  • has a tranquilizing effect that can ease insomnia
  • helps to drift off to sleep faster and sleep better as well

21. #Bonus – Lucid Dream Inhaler

The essential oils used in this lucid dreams scent inhaler were chosen specifically for their benefits. It will help to increase visualization, improve dream recall, repel nightmares and promote intuitive insight. The ingredients are:
  • Clove essential oil: refreshes imagination
  • Anise essential oil: clears negativity
  • Clary sage essential oil: promotes intuition
  • Frankincense essential oil: opens the mind to meditation and enlightenment


Cacao

No, it’s not a typo. Yes, it’s related to chocolate. Cacao, or Theobroma cacao , is the name of the plant where cacao powder, cocoa, and chocolate all come from (if you’re curious about the differences, check it out here).

Cacao has a strong history as an aphrodisiac. The Aztecs and Mayans used it as a drink, while today it comes in in many forms.

Well, a lot of people already know from experience that cacao and chocolate create feelings of pleasure and energy. Researchers think that part of the reason why is that cacao contains phenylethylamine, which is sometimes referred to as the “love molecule”. Phenylethylamine increases feelings of happiness, wellness, and pleasure. It increases the production of serotonin in the brain, a powerful neurotransmitter released during feelings of love, lust, and passion. Serotonin also causes an increase in heart rate, and mood – effects associated with love and euphoria.

Researchers also found that cacao naturally contains N-acylethanolamine, another compound which causes heightened sensitivity and feelings of euphoria . Combined with the effects of phenylethylamine, cacao has promise as an extremely powerful aphrodisiac.


What Not to Do

Contrary to what several essential oil companies recommend, the oils generally should not be swallowed, Power says. The body absorbs more this way, boosting the chance that they will interact with medications or cause an allergic or toxic reaction. Even continued exposure to small amounts (a few drops a day in a water bottle) can lead to fatigue and headaches. Taking in larger amounts of certain oils -- like tea tree oil, wintergreen, and camphor -- can lead to throat swelling, a racing heart, vomiting, and even seizures, says the Tennessee Poison Center, which saw the number of toxic essential oil exposures double from 2011 to 2015.

Meanwhile, essential oils like eucalyptus and peppermint contain compounds called phenol that can irritate the respiratory tract if inhaled, particularly in babies.

And recent research by scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that lavender and tea tree oils contain estrogen-like and testosterone-inhibiting properties that, if overused, could lead to abnormal breast growth in young boys.

“I would certainly advise teens and children not to use essential oils,” says Jessica Krant, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City.

For pregnant women, even oils used on the skin can enter the placenta and impact an unborn baby. And swallowing some rare oils, including pennyroyal, can lead to miscarriage. The safest bet during pregnancy: Work with a professional who knows how to use them or skip them altogether, Power says.

Many citrus oils contain furocoumarins, which can cause chemical burns when exposed to the sun’s UV rays.

Rachael Armstrong, a 44-year-old mother of five from Omaha, NE, learned this the hard way last year. After weeks of rubbing grapefruit oil on her feet as an appetite suppressant and spiking her water and laundry detergent with lemon oil, she developed a severe sensitivity to the sun that left her with blisters and welts after just a few minutes exposed to its rays. “I admit I was probably overusing them,” she says. “But I don’t think people are aware that even though they’re natural products, they can do real damage.”

Bailey, the dermatologist from California, has seen rashes on eyelids from essential oil droplets emitted by diffusers, around mouths from peppermint oil-infused mouthwash or lip balm, and dime-sized blisters on toes from using undiluted tea tree oil for toe fungus.

Overuse can also lead to lasting problems, as it did for Haluka.

“Once you become sensitized, you will forever be allergic to it,” Bailey says.

And because the FDA does not test oils for safety before they're sold, it’s critical for consumers to go with a trusted brand.

“There is always a concern that unlisted or hidden ingredients, or dangerous processing techniques leading to contamination, could be lurking,” Krant says.

Representatives from doTERRA, an industry leader with more than 5 million independent distributors or “wellness advocates” globally, say the company’s rate of bad reactions is almost negligible, with .0072% of users reporting them.

“Education and safety is a top priority for doTERRA,” the company said in a prepared statement. It hosts monthly safety training online for distributors and offers safety guides to consumers.

The company, which received an FDA warning letter in 2014 for making unsubstantiated claims about is products, said it is determined to assure its distributors do not overstate claims.

“In the most recent visit from the FDA, they recognized the huge efforts doTERRA has made regarding compliance and gave no recommended corrections,” the statement said.

The company dismisses concerns about essential oils disrupting hormones as based on “inconclusive testing.”

“Essential oils allow users to take ownership of their own health by providing safe and effective options for concerns they face on a daily basis,” the company said.

With all the risks involved, are they still worth a try?

Absolutely, say doctors, aromatherapists, and even Haluka -- who has just published a book, The Unspoken Truth About Essential Oils: Lessons Learned, Wisdom Gained.

Her advice: Study up on the different oils, their risks and benefits consult with a licensed aromatherapist, not just a distributor for a company and always read the fine print on the bottle or pamphlet about how to use them.

Sources

Rachael Armstrong, consumer.

Cynthia Bailey, MD, dermatologist, Sebastopol, CA.

Jessica Krant, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York City.

Joie Power, PhD, clinical aromatherapy consultant and neuropsychologist, Asheville, NC.

SPINS, market research firm, Schaumburg, IL.

Anesthesia & Analgesia: “Aromatherapy as treatment for postoperative nausea: a randomized trial.”

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: “Effect of Lemongrass Aroma on Experimental Anxiety in Humans.”

Psychiatry Research: “Smelling lavender and rosemary increases free radical scavenging activity and decreases cortisol level in saliva.”

Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy.

Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, director, Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, Tampa, FL.


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