Essential Oil of the Month: Petitgrain – The Stress Relieving Aphrodisiac!

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium bigaradia Rutaceae) translates to small grains. It comes from the immature bitter orange.

Stem distilled from Twigs, leaves and stems.

It has a sharp green, fresh orange, floral with a touch of woodiness.

Note: Top & Middle

Chakra: Root & Heart

Chakra Color: Yellow

Blends well with:

Basil, bergamot, coriander, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, mandarin, neroli, orange, palmarosa, rosewood, sandalwood and ylang ylang.

Properties:

It treats acne, fatigue, oily skin, insomnia, and stress. It is an antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, antidepressant, deodorant, nervine and sedative substance. It encourages a balanced monthly cycle for women. This oil can help to release denial, avoidance and self judgment.

It is energizing, reassuring, stabilizing and uplifting. It is considered an aphrodisiac. It inspires strength and commitment.

Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops essential oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

How Stress Affects Your Skin!

Stress can affect your whole body, including your skin, hair, and nails.

♦In studies on mice at Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University, showed stress greatly increased skin cancer formations and weight gain when they were exposed to UV (ultraviolet) light. In another study¹, Yale University, found that people over their lifetime that had more stress than the norm or periods in their life of extreme stress prior to their melanoma diagnosis were more likely to have melanoma than people who did not have high levels of stress.

♦When you are stressed, you tend to break out more.

Why?

Stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, which tells your sebaceous (oil) glands to produce more oil than normal. This causes people to be more prone to acne and other skin problems. Cortisol is a powerful steroid which hinders your immune system. All the while increasing your sensitivity to allergens. Researchers at Stanford University examined the severity of acne at a college during the week of final exams. No surprise the more highly stressed a student was by their exams the worse the acne, while the less stressed students acne was minimal.

♦When under stress people have a tendency to frown more which increases the chance of developing frown lines around the mouth.

♦Stress can have negative effects on preexisting skin conditions, such as psoriasis, fever blisters, rosacea, eczema and cold sores. In one study, researchers examined students in three different scenarios: after returning from and during vacation when experiencing less stress and during final exams when experiencing high levels of stress. The results were that the skin’s normal functions were compromised, because the skin had become extremely dry and dull. This was caused by the skins outer layer to breakdown due to the lipids (ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol) between those cells dissipation and reduction in size of skin cells. A study from Japan was done on patients with atopic dermatitis (eczema – an itchy inflammation of your skin) they experienced a lessening in their symptoms after watching a funny movie. They were also exposed to the allergens that triggered symptoms and still had a reduction it was hypothesized that the laughter lowered levels of hormones related to stress.

♦Stress in a study by Yale University in 2006, showed that stress slowed down wound healing and inflammation.

♦When people are stressed they tend to be less strident in following their skin care routine, which can aggravate skin problems, thus causing more stress over the skin problem causing a vicious cycle. Habits that form when you’re stressed – such as rubbing, scratching and biting your fingers or lip – increase your chances the chances of injuring the skin.

 

1 – Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; January 2009, Journal of Investigative Dermatology

Make Your Hair Grow Faster!

How to make your hair grow faster

Everyone’s had bad haircuts, and they eventually “grow out,” we know. But it never gets any less painful, especially because our hair grows slower than an elderly snail, and that’s very, very slow. Yet this suffering hasn’t come without benefits: we’re now super knowledgeable of all the ways (proven or not) to make your hair grow faster, scoured from the depths of the Internet. We can’t make any promises, but our advice is deduced from the things that you should do to get healthy hair, and healthy hair is growing hair. So if you’ve ever found yourself wondering what you did to deserve such an awful haircut and how, save a weave, you can remedy the situation, look no further: we’ve got some tips.

Vitamins
It’s hard to be sure if vitamins specifically meant to make hair grow faster really work, but we can say with some confidence (i.e. our own tests) that vitamin deficiencies don’t help. So whether you go for a multivitamin, biotin or Viviscal, if you’re lacking any necessary nutrients in your diet, you’ll probably see a significant difference.

If you’re already eating a balanced diet, some people have still claimed results-Viviscal reviews range from glowing to almost certainly impossible, but the people in the middle usually see a decrease in shedding, and an increase of about a quarter-inch per month. Slow going, but better than nothing. Biotin has about the same effect, with many users commenting on noticeably longer nails and eyelashes, as well.

Healthy Diet
If you just want to cover all your bases or would rather not go down the vitamin road, try incorporating more protein into your diet. Most lean meats, dairy and whey have enough protein to give you your fill, at least a serving per day. Make sure to add in some sources of Vitamin C and A as well; Vitamin C is found in most citrus-y foods, while Vitamin A is in eggs, carrot and kale, among other things.

Minimize Stress
Stress is a known cause of hair loss, in extreme cases even leading to alopecia. So it follows that with less hair loss, you’ll notice more hair growth-it’s an “ipso facto” situation. Either way, no one likes stress; worst-case scenario, your hair will grow at its normal rate.

Cut Back on Heat Styling
Similar to stress, frequent heat styling weakens and damages hair, and can lead to breakage, which definitely doesn’t help growth. Healthy hair is the goal-and less breakage means more hair, which is the end game that the goal is for.

Don’t Put Unnecessary Stress on Hair
Although we don’t know who’s still getting cornrows these days, if there’s anyone left, try to lay off. Same goes for super-tight ponytails, because both put stress on the follicle, which needs to be healthy to grow.

Frequent Trims
Ah yes, the old standby. While it may feel counterintuitive to return to the place that’s caused you such pain, frequent trims do have some merit: by getting rid of split ends as soon as they form, hair growth is kept beneficial instead of dead-end. Pun intended.

Via StyleList

8 Diet and Exercise Mistakes That Age You

From The Editors of Prevention

 

Eating too much sugar certainly isn’t wise for your waistline, but did you know that overindulging in dessert can add years to your face? And even if you do strenuous cardio workouts each week, you’ll be missing out on potential anti-aging body benefits if your schedule doesn’t include yoga, weight training, and rest.

 

“Good nutrition is a fundamental building block of healthy skin,” explains Leslie Baumann, MD, a Miami Beach dermatologist. The natural ingredients in whole foods such as romaine lettuce and strawberries help increase cell turnover, and boost production of collagen fibers to help keep skin smooth and firm. Conversely, foods with little-to-no nutritional benefits, like sugar-packed doughnuts, can actually damage the collagen and elastin that keep skin firm and youthful. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

 

Even if your diet is wholesome, you could be making exercise mistakes that age you as well. For example, if you only do cardio at the expense of other types of exercise, like yoga and strength-training, you could be missing out on skin-protective benefits.

 

Find out if you’re making one of these 8 common aging diet and exercise mistakes, and get smart prevention strategies that can keep you slim and youthful for years to come.

 

The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. To prevent this natural process from careening out of control, Naila Malik, MD, a derm in Southlake, TX, sticks to low-glycemic carbs like whole grains; they’re naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen. If you want to sweeten up your tea or oatmeal without making your skin look older, try all-natural stevia.

 

English: Stevia rebaudiana flowers

English: Stevia rebaudiana flowers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It’s an easily digested herbal sweetener that doesn’t trigger glycation, according to board-certified dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD, an adjunct professor of medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

 

Taking your work angst out on the Spinning bike or treadmill might make you feel better for a little while, but incorporating yoga into your fitness routine regularly may help you look younger and prevent breakouts while whittling away stress. Sounds like a winning workout to us! “Yoga moves like Child’s Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, and Sun Salutations improve circulation–the boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow,” says Hema Sundaram, MD, a Washington, DC – area dermatologist. New research finds regular yoga practice may reduce the inflammation and stress that speed skin aging. If you need another reason to om away your stress: High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis. “Controlling stress keeps your skin calm,” says Annie Chiu, MD, a derm in LA.

 

Research suggests that green and black tea contain protective compounds–like EGCG and theaflavins–that help prevent skin cancers and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.

 

Following a regular strength-training routine that creates better, more supportive muscle tone will help you firm sagging skin from the neck down. “I am religious about strength-training, and I always tell patients to do it more as they get older,” says Patricia Farris, MD, a dermatologist in Metairie, LA. “It’s like adding volume to the face with fillers, except on your body,” says Dr. Farris.

 

“Hormones in traditionally produced dairy, poultry, and meat may contribute to acne,” says Katie Rodan, MD, a dermatologist in the San Francisco Bay area. She says that her patients who eat those less frequently–or at least choose grain-fed beef and poultry and organic dairy–often notice their skin looks better.

 

When your exercise routine is so intense that you’re tired all the time but can’t sleep at night, you’re setting yourself up for overuse injuries–not to mention dark circles and bags under your eyes from those sleepless nights. These symptoms could be a sign of overexhaustion, says Ryan Halvorson, personal trainer, IDEA Health and Fitness Association expert, and author. Other clues that you’re working out too much include extreme muscle soreness that persists for several days, unintended weight loss, an increased resting heart rate, interruptions in your menstrual cycle, or decreased appetite. “Plan your rest as well as you plan exercise,” says Polly de Mille, RN, a registered clinical exercise physiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. “If there is no balance between breakdown and recovery, then the muscle is in a state of chronic inflammation and what may start as a simple case of soreness after a hard workout can turn into an actual overuse injury.”

 

When your diet isn’t balanced, your skin, hair, and nails will suffer. Cutting calories can deprive your body of certain nutrients that promote healthy cell division, cell regeneration, and overall skin tone and texture, explains David E. Bank, MD, FAAD, director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY. “The skin also requires essential fatty acids–which the body can’t produce on its own–to maintain hydration. A diet that’s too low in fat could cause dry skin, hair loss, and brittle nails.” Other key youth-boosting nutrients include vitamins A, C, and E. Being deficient in A can cause acne, dry hair, dry skin, and broken fingernails. Get your daily vitamin A fix by eating five baby carrots each day. A lack of vitamin C can affect collagen synthesis (the “glue” that binds our ligaments, bones, blood vessels, and skin), impair wound healing, and make you more likely to bruise. Incorporate vitamin C – rich foods in the form of citrus fruits, brussels sprouts, peppers, and leafy greens. Low levels of vitamin E can result in easy bruising and cause chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to flare up. Get more vitamin E in your diet by eating almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach, and fortified cereals.

 

Kimberly Snyder, a Los Angeles nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution, says she sees a big improvement in her clients’ skin and hair when they eat more alkaline-forming foods, such as parsley, almonds, kale, pears, lemons, and apples. “If your body is too acidic, which can happen when your diet is unbalanced, it leaches the alkaline minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, that allow us to have strong, healthy bones, teeth, and hair,” Snyder explains.

 

The Effects of Stress on Your Skin!

The Effects of Stress on Your Skin | Yahoo! Health.

Stress Wreaks Havoc on Your Skin!

These days, it’s hard to avoid stress. Between work, family and our overall busy lives, we’re all being pulled in a million directions. But have you ever stopped to think about the effect that stress is having on your skin? If you’re experiencing dryness, dullness or breakouts, stress may be to blame.

The Stress Hormone

When we are stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released and wreaks havoc on our bodies. Research has found that it leads to a dangerous accumulation of fat around our organs, and too much cortisol has an effect on our skin as well. Caused by lack of sleep and other stress, here’s the lowdown on the connection between cortisol and our skin.

Lines and Wrinkles

As soon as cortisol is released by the body, sugar levels in the blood increase. We know that sugar spikes are especially bad for diabetics, but increased blood sugar also promotes a process called glycation in our skin. Glycation damages our skin’s collagen, causing it to become rigid, which increases lines and wrinkles.

Dry & Damaged Skin

In addition to causing glycation, cortisol also decreases our skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid, which serves as a natural moisturizer for our skin. Even more, cortisol compromises the skin’s barrier, which allows even more hydration to seep out. And when skin is dehydrated, the enzymes in our skin that work to repair the damage done every day don’t work as well.

Poor Complexion

As if the effects of stress-induced cortisol weren’t enough, another byproduct of stress, epinephrine (or adrenaline) also works against our complexions. The result of our natural “fight or flight” response, epinephrine certainly helps us our when we’re in a dire situation, but it does no favors for our skin. When epinephrine is present, blood flow to the skin is decreased, which robs it of vital nutrients, including oxygen. Less oxygen and sluggish circulation in general leads to a dull, sallow complexion, and good circulation is essential for a rosy glow.

Cellulite

When blood flow is decreased, toxins begin to build up in the skin as well. These toxins can contribute to a lackluster complexion, and many doctors and scientists believe toxins also play a role in cellulite development, which causes loose, dimpled skin.

Reduce Stress, Save Your Skin

Although stress is unavoidable, there are ways to manage it better. The good news is that the steps are pretty simple, and they provide other benefits to your overall health.

Sleep

First and foremost, get some sleep! Adequate sleep will keep cortisol to a minimum and fight off lines, wrinkles, and dry skin. To help you catch more Zs, avoid eating late at night and try to establish a nightly routine that allows you to wind down before bedtime. And don’t take your cell phone to bed with you. (The light of the screen can disrupt your body’s sleep cycle.)

English: Effects of stress on the body.

English: Effects of stress on the body. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Physical Activity

Second to sleep, get some exercise. Not only does physical activity help you “blow off steam,” it also boosts circulation, which helps your complexion (rosy glow). Bonus effect: Exercise keeps you fit and wards off cellulite.

Relaxation

It sounds obvious, but people who lead stressful lives have to make a concerted effort to slow down and relax. Deep breathing, meditating, and other forms of “quiet time” will help.

Top 10 Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Massage!

  1. Relaxes you!
  2. Detoxifies your body!
  3. Stimulates your circulation enabling your immune system!
  4. Decongests your lympatic system.  A congested lympatic system (due to surgery, illness, injury, et cetera),  can cause soreness, puffiness, allergies, headaches, low energy, increased susceptibility to infection, aches, pains, and flu-like symptoms.
  5. Reduction in edema (an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body that produces swelling.)  Clearing areas of congestion such as swollen ankles, puffy eyes and swollen legs.  Treatment of lymphedema and other conditions arising from venous insufficiency.
  6. Regeneration of tissue
  7. Relief of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, some forms of constipation and insomnia.
  8. Help reduce cellulite
  9. Increases the metabolism
  10. Swelling relief following plastic surgery, promotion of scar tissue healing, torn ligaments and sprains.

    The lymphatic system, lymph vessels and lymph ...

    The lymphatic system, lymph vessels and lymph nodes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lymphatic system (lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and organs) has a vital role in the body by regulating the immune system, which protects the body against infection. Part of the body’s defense system, the lymph nodes remove microorganisms and other foreign substances. They act as a filtration system that keeps particulate matter, such as bacteria, from entering the bloodstream.  It transports nutrients to cells and eliminates metabolic wastes, toxins and excess fluids from the body.  Stimulating the lymphatic system through manual lymphatic drainage will activate all of the above functions as well as encourage fluid circulation and cell regeneration. Both actions promote detoxification, facilitate healing and support the immune system.  . Manual lymphatic drainage is also a very effective way of detoxing the body plus stimulating vital immune defenses. This is a powerful, deep cleansing treatment!

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