It’s that time of the year again where the mosquitos are the uninvited guest to our BBQs and we’re the main course.
Most people are very conscientious about using harmful chemicals on their bodies and stay away from products that are linked to endotoxins such as DDT and DEET. Essential oils have taken center stage as a great product to use for keeping our flying foe at bay.
Here’s a tip for those of you who like to garden, some plants are natural repellants to mosquitos and that includes lemongrass and citronella plant. If you have a patio that has great sunlight, you can take advantage of this fact and plant some lemongrass and citronella plants around your area.
If you are a weekend warrior or feeling the aches and pains of growing older then you may be using a lot of muscle creams. These rubs work great to help decrease the muscle pain associated with aging, exercise, or both.
The environmental working group is always on watch for which products can be toxic to our health and if you are choosing which chemicals to put on your body then you should know what’s in these creams.
Most creams use some sort of chemical combination that is similar to aspirin with the idea being that they will decrease inflammation in the area.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is caused by an increase in temperature, red color, and swelling. These changes to the muscle tissue will cause irritation of the nerve which leads to pain. When the brain receives the signal from the tissues that they are irritated then the brain will stop whatever activity is causing the problem.
The blood and fluid rush to the area to help provide new materials to repair whatever is broken, whether it is tendons, ligaments, or muscle.
Inflammation that stays too long can become problematic. Usually this is caused by other issues and I suggest you read up on dietary changes, and supplements to help relieve chronic inflammation.
If you have short term, normal inflammation then applying a gentle muscle cream will alleviate just enough inflammation to help you get on with your day.
DIY: Muscle Cream
1 cup carrier oil
4 drops Ylang ylang oil
4 drops peppermint oil
3 drops spearmint oil
2 drops frankincense oil
Mix together and store in a glass container
Apply to sore area, be sure to stay away from sensitive reproductive tissue, eyes, mouth, and nose.
Essential oils are quite simply the oil that comes from a plant when you press it extremely hard. You can extract this oil from herbs, flowers, and roots. There may be others but these are the most common. Using plant essential oils has been around as long as there have been plant and human interaction.
Before the most recent craze of using essential oils for everything from toe fungus to hair serums, we were using essential oils and not even realizing it. Chewing gum for instance was originally flavored with peppermint or spearmint essential oil.
Many shamans, natural medicine healers, and early doctors used essential oils quite often to help heal their patients. You might think that we have come a long way since then and why should we go back?
Using Plants in Modern Medicine
Today many great discoveries in medicine are still found using natural plants. There are many botanists, pharmaceutical botanists, medical doctors, and researchers who are looking all over the world for natural cures to diseases and infections. If nature made it, then surely nature can kill it?
Once a plant, flower or herb is discovered then they bring it back for testing and to learn about its chemical composition. Let’s say for instance that a plant or herb is very good at curing disease Z, but this plant only grows for 1 month each year on a high up rock in one deserted part of a far away country. Well then, it only seems natural that we would figure out what makes it so helpful and try to recreate it in a lab. This would save the natural environment from unnecessary exposure to trucking, development and other unpleasantries.
Since the advent of “modern medicine” this has been the standard practice. Find something useful and recreate it in a lab for mass production to help as many people as possible.
The Problem with This Solution
There’s always a problem, isn’t there? When we mimic plants and herbs that we find naturally occurring we end up making mirror images of their chemical composition and this doesn’t always mesh the same with our systems.
As the saying goes “nothing like the real thing”. So while, for some very expensive, hard to grow plants and herbs it makes sense to do our best with the chemical copy, when we have the opportunity to grow the ‘real thing’ then we should of course take advantage of this.
The reason this wasn’t always so popular was due to the fact, that making the artificial version has always been more ‘cost effective’ shall we say?
Due to this fact, the corporations making these products decided to go with the artificial version instead and they have been putting some other less desirable additives into these products that we’re consuming as well.
There are so many great website that track this information. My personal favorite is www.ewg.org . The environmental working group is committed to providing the general public with the information what is in the products that we are consuming. I think this a great resource for anyone who is concerned.