Archive for the ‘Essential Oils’ Category

Growing our immunity !!

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Last month I was lucky enough to attend a hands on  work shop entitled “Growing your Immunity” and  hosted  by James Duke, author of  “The Green Pharmacy”.  Now in his late 80’s he has a lot to share !

The 2 things he spoke most about was Elderberry and Camu Camu – he had even written a song about them both !

Camu Camu is a small fruit grown in the Amazon priced for its high Vit C content amongst other things.  I have been taking it for years so was pleasantly surprised to hear Mr Duke talk so highly of this amazing little berry!

I was especially interested in learning how to make Elderberry Syrup which Mr Duke suggests taking daily this time of year  to strengthen the immune system.

It is so easy to make and I have even added some  ingredients of my own   Camu Camu, essential oil of Lemon and Cinnamon – making it a really potent tonic taken daily during the winter months to strengthen the immune system.


Elderberry Syrup recipe:-

1/2 cup dried elderberries, preferably organic  –  can be purchased here

1 cinnamon stick

5 cloves

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

3 cups filtered water

1 cup honey – preferably raw

Put elderberries in a saucepan with water, cinnamon stick, ginger and bring to the boil: turn down heat to simmer and cover until water has reduced in half – about 30 – 45 mins.

Mash the berries and then strain into a bowl with a fine strainer or a hand mill.

I use the hand mill and have to then put it through a fine strainer to get the final lumpy bits out.

Add 1 cup of honey to the now warm mix and stir until dissolved.  Pour syrup into a sterilized mason jar.

Store in the refrigerator for a couple weeks up to a couple months – can be consumed right away!

1 tablespoon a day as a preventative, 1 tablespoon an hour as an anti-viral when sick.

Amount can be adjusted for children, ages 1 – 6  – 1 teaspoon a day and 1 teaspoon an hour when sick,  ages 6 -12 – 2 teaspoon.

When making this I usually double or even triple the above recipe, as the whole family takes it daily and it goes fast !

I have refined this recipe to add the following if desired:

4 oz elderberry syrup

5 teasp Camu Camu

20 drops organic essential oil of lemon  (10 drops if for children)

5 – 7  drops of essential oil of cinnamon (1 – 2 drops if for children)

Blend the above ingredients together with a hand blender and bottle, keep refrigerated.  Take daily as you would the Elderberry Syrup – see above.

The above is not recommended for children unless you cut way back on the lemon and cinnamon – which I do for my 2 and  5 year old.


When I took my son for his 2 year old check up in June his Paediatrician recommended I start to supplement with Elderberry and quality Vit C – to boost up his immune system to be ready for the winter months.

The year before he had been diagnosed with “reactive airway disease”  which basically meant that whenever he caught a cold – which seemed like every other week ! it went to his lungs  and had to be nebulized with prescription drugs to keep his airways open.

Organic Elderberry Syrup is expensive to buy ! esp when I have been giving to my son daily since June !  I was so happy to learn how to make it at home, it is not only simple to make but you will save a lot of money !  and blending in the Camu Camu as I have it has served the purpose of using both things the Dr recommended – and my son loves the taste – he calls it his “juicy” – I mix it with some water and 1 drop of stevia.

And I am happy to report as of the end of November 2013, so far my son has had 3 little stuffy/runny nose episodes ,  cleared up within a few days, no Dr visits needed  and no cough – Yeah !



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Oil of the month – Eucalyptus globolus

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

With the sniffles and sneezes coming around the corner I always ensure that I have some Eucalyptus on hand at home or the office.

Gentle enough to use on my 2 young children yet strong enough to be effective for my clients with respiratory issues.

Extraction method/origin:- Steam distilled from the leaves/ Australia and Brazil

Historical uses :- Australian aborigines used the eucalyptus leaves to bind up serious wounds.  This would not only prevent infection but also expedite healing.

Modern uses primarily to affect the Respiratory System.

A couple drops in the bath or shower to produce a moist inhalation for sinus issues/colds.

When my young children get colds I always apply eucalyptus with a carrier oil on their chests at night.  Also apply to the bottom of feet then apply a thick base cream and put on a thick pair of   wool socks – as the feet keep warm at night the oils will continue to be absorbed and effect the respiratory system.

With clients it is usually one of the oils of choice when respiratory issues or sinus infections come visiting the office! Applying along each side of the neck and around the ears, along the clavicle – I then create and infusion chamber with the sheet by bringing  it  up and over their heads and have them breathe normally for  a few minutes.


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oil of the month – cinnamon bark

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

This oil is among the most antiseptic of essential oils.  It has been produced in Sri Lanka for over 2,000 years!

Extraction method/ Origin :- Steam distillation from the bark – Sri Lanka, India and Madagascar.

Historical uses :- this is the most ancient of spices and was included in just about every prescription issued in ancient China.  It was regarded as a tranquilizer, tonic for the stomach and as being good for depression and a weak heart.

Modern day uses discuss the use of cinnamon as an effective blood sugar stabalizer  for those dealing with type 2 diabetes.

This oils fights viral and infectious diseases, and testing has yet to find a virus, bacteria or fungus that can survive in its presence – it is why I chose this oil to add to my home -made Elderberry Syrup- recipe in “Health related articles”


It is a very hot oil so caution must be taken when applying to the skin or ingesting it – a little goes a long way.  It is generally regarded as safe and approved as a food additive by the FDA.  Dilute 1 drop oil is 2 teasp honey or 8oz beverage (rice milk or milk/water).  You may need to increase the dilution even more due to this oil’s potential for irritating mucus membranes.

When applying to the skin it is best to dilute with a carrier oil or use layering technique :-  With clients  I sometimes will add 1 drop of cinnamon and 1 drop of peppermint to the area of concern – usually a trigger point around the shoulder area or insertion of the Levator Scapula –  massage in and mix carrier oil as needed – this oil has a high phenol count which is why it can seem sensitive to the skin- so ensure a carrier oils is readily available if needed.With the cinnamon being a hot oil and the peppermint being a cooler oil it produces a warm/cold effect when applied to the skin.


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Oil of the month – Marjorum

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Marjorum was known as the “herb of happiness” to the Romans and “joy of the mountains” to the Greeks.  It was believed to increase longevity. I usually use this oil daily with my clients, not with my prenatal massage clients though.   It works wonderfully with Basil on contracted muscles or active spasms – I often use a hot moist pack on top of layering the oils as this oil is known as a warm oil and will comfortably warm the area that it is applied to.

Extraction Method/Origin ; Steam distilled from the leaves/ France

Medical Properties; Antibacterial, antifungal, lowers blood pressure, promotes intestinal peristalsis, expectorant.

For info on quality oils – have a look at Young Livings website – a wealth of information

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Oil of the month – Lemon

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Lemon is an oil that I use more at home than the office.  Its fresh smell and antiseptic properties makes it a great choice to have in the kitchen and bathroom.

EXTRACTION METHOD/ORIGIN -Steam distilled from flowering top – France, Idaho and Utah.

PROPERTIES – Antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, invigorating, refreshing and tonic.


  • Add 2 – 3 drops of Lemon oil to water and spray counter tops to sterilize them.
  • Add a drop or two of lemon oil to your dishwasher before the wash cycle
  • Use a paper towel soaked with several drops of lemon oil to sanitize bathroom fixtures.

Using essential oils that have been grown, harvested and distilled in a manner to ensure the integrity the oils  chemical constituents is key.

Lemon oil in particular as with the other citrus oils is cold pressed from the rind so it is even more important that the source be organic – otherwise whatever chemical was sprayed on the fruit will be processed into the oil at the time that it is cold pressed.  For more information on the purity of essential oils please visit  – click on the “about Young Living” for a wealth of information.

Any questions let me know!






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Oil of the month – Lavendar

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Lavendar is a universal oil that has traditionally been know to balance the body and to work wherever there is a need.  If in doubt, use Lavendar. Its a wonderful calming oil and like peppermint is one I usually use on most clients.

Great for headaches when used is specific spots on the body.  Gently eliminates a  headache that a client may come in with in 99.9% of cases!

Safe to use during pregancy, may help calm nerves or emotions for mom – to -be, and help with sleep disturbances.

EXTRACTION METHOD/ORIGIN   –  Steam distilled from flowering tip – France, Idaho, Utah.

PROPERTIES ; Analgesic, Anti-coagulant, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, sedative, skin regenerative, ant-inflammatory.

One of my fellow therapists mentioned that she puts a drop of lavendar in her mascara bottle to thin it out and get more shine from eye lashes.

I do not use mascara so cannot say either way , if you do  give it a try !


Aside from always having a bottle at the office I also do at home.   Using it neat on cuts, burns and scrapes, it can help to dissinfect a sore area, and speed the healing process on burns.  Also great for stopping bleeding on major cuts – I cut my thumb badly headed straight for Lavendar and was amazed at how instantly the throbbing and bleeding stopped – I went on to have 7 stitches and did not need to take any of the pain killers as I just applied Lavendar every time it started throbbing.

NOTE:  Lavendar oil is one of the oils that is adultarated the most often with a cheaper hybrid called lavendin – it smells just like lavendar and is hard to tell apart with smell alone.    The chemical constituant of Lavendin is very different though – I would not advise putting Lavendar oil directly on a cut or burn unless you KNOW it is pure Lavendar oil – otherwise it will burn.

For the purest of oils please visit – click “about Young Living” tab for a wealth of information


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Oil of the month – Peppermint

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Peppermint is one of my favorites to use in my office with my massage clients. I dont use it on my pregnant clients but save it if I perform an induction massage with them.  It is a cool, invigorating oil.   A must for home and office.

EXTRACTION METHOD/ORIGIN     – Steam distilled from leaves, stems, and flower buds        –         North America

PROPERTIES    – Great as an analgesic (pain relief), anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic .

HISTORICAL USES -For centuries, peppermint has been used to soothe digestive difficulties, freshen breath, relieve colic, gas, headaches, heartburn and indigestion

MY FAVORITE USES  FOR PEPPERMINT;   I use it daily with most clients, giving a wonderful cooling effect wonderful for tight neck and upper back, I use at the end of the session so clients dont feel cold during the session.

I put a few drops on some toilet paper and dangle it from  the face rest, when clients lie face down it helps to keep their sinses open.

When painting, peppermint is my favorite oil to use in the paint.  It effectively removes paint fumes and after smell.  Add one teasp of pure essential oil to one gallon of paint – stir vigorously and apply paint.  ( I sometimes take my oil to the paint store and add it to the gallon before they put it in the machine to mix it up – that way its all ready once you get home!)

I only use Young Living Essential Oils – they are the only company in this country that I am aware  of that uses the AFNOR European standard of quality for all of their oils.  The have their own organic farms throughout the US, France, Ecuador and Oman.

To learn more about Essential Oils  click on  “about YoungLiving” tab  it will give you a wealth of information about the use of essential oils.

Any questions about peppermint?   Please ask !

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Essential Oil intro

Friday, June 14th, 2013

I was introduced to the world of essential oils about 15 years ago by a client.  I immediately started to incorporate them into my massage practice and have gone on to train and study about their practical uses in every day life and how to blend them into my practice as a massage therapist ever since.

My goal is to have an oil of the month section on this blog.

I will choose an essential oil monthly and go into a little more detail of its origin, properties, uses and applications.


essential oils yelp









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