Goodnight: Sleep Elixir

Essential oils show you the way to a good night sleep

Hypnos the Greek God of sleep, was adored and respected all throughout ancient Greece for they believed that the sacred act of sleep was considered as a journey to the spiritual world and worked as a rejuvenating balm for the body, mind and soul. Hypnos had an iconography of a God with wings which allowed him to fly at night also being known to merge with Eros the God of love, these Gods were known to have a similar effect on humans. Love being very powerful and together with the power of sleep the qualities of them both was considered all conquering as they’d make you melt and loose self-control, and if either of these Gods paid a visit to you then there was no higher power on earth that could help you in resisting them.

Sleep being the key to accessing the spiritual world, it was a realm that could help refresh and restart all over again, as depicted in many Greek literatures how sleep had very religious overtones. In Christianity, there are theological debates whether the Gods sleep or not. However, the Greek Gods don’t have any sleeping disorders, unless something or someone is causing them to be perturbed mentally, then even the Gods suffered from insomnia.

The impertinence of Insomnia

The most common sleep disorder that affect more people than one can imagine is insomnia, which is the difficulty to fall asleep or staying asleep even though the body is willing. The ability not to do so leads to fatigue, low concentration, mood swings which reflects our lifestyle with zero performance in almost all areas of our lives. Primary Insomnia affects the person directly which is not associated with any other health condition, medication or substance use, unlike Secondary insomnia.

The three categories of which insomnia are classified are, Transient, Acute and chronic.

Transient Insomnia: Majorly caused by another disorder such as change of sleep environment, irregular sleep timings, depression or stress.

Acute Insomnia: Also known as short term or stress related insomnia, occurs when a person is unable to consistently fall asleep, this usually lasts for a period of less than a month. However, the sleeping regime being so erratic in these cases, the sleep which is poorly obtained is of very poor quality and not refreshing leaving the body and mind weak lethargic and completely at unease.

Chronic Insomnia: The worst of its kind, last longer than a month, which is related to clinical disorders and certain medications apart from the obvious causes such as high levels of stress hormones or shifts in cytokines. Cytokines being molecules that mediate and regulate immunity, inflammation and hematopoiesis (the process of creating new blood cells in the body) evidence shows that cytokines are involved physiological sleep regulation and other sleep regulatory substances. The side effects vary according to its underlining cause, such as hallucinations, mental fatigue and even double vision.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that around 30% of the general population is affected by some form of Insomnia. However, in 2002 The National Sleep Foundation poll revealed that 63% of women experienced symptoms of insomnia more frequent than the 54% of the men. By 2005 the NSF reported that more than half of the world was affected by symptoms of insomnia regardless of its categories. Benzodiazepines the most commonly prescribed sedative are potentially are addictive and can cause memory and concentration disorders and are usually never used for a long-term course of treatment for insomnia and personally facing these side effects myself, I would never recommend them.

Rekindling your love for sleep

According to Ayurveda imbalances of Doshas leads to poor nourishment of brain cells causing insomnia. Deciding upon the more obvious course of treatment such as maintaining a healthy diet, lifestyle, hygiene and even a strict de-stressing schedule does help, but what if you’re one of those that fall into the crazy odds such as myself where none of it worked. What then?

The hyperactive brain being the naughtiest reason to why our minds can’t find anything to soothe its anxiety is what I found to be the root cause for my insomnia. I can’t seem to stop thinking, even when I’m not thinking I ponder as to why. All the years I have spent understanding the true essence of Buddhas law of detachment, wherein I quote him, “Attachment is suffering”. Yes, we attach ourselves to emotions feelings worries and memories. Anything that no longer serves us that we emotionally cling onto causes us to suffer.

In my case, a completely unrest mind. When we talk about achieving inner peace the first cardinal rule in calming the senses is complete relaxation of the body mind and soul. I had learned to meditate, detach, exhilarate the senses by strengthening my own ability to control all negative emotions that would control my every tiny moment of serenity. Following a sincere routine of meditation does help, but in my case, recovering from spinal surgery didn’t work in my favour. I couldn’t meditate, concentrate or even try to see the positives of all I have learned while on my path.

So, how did I find my solace in my solitude which was constantly overpowered by my somewhat inconsequential thoughts and anxieties? Diversion.

Diversion, diverting the senses from what impediments it’s peace was the answer. Amongst the five senses, the sense of smell being the most powerful, as it has the ability to articulately evoke memories, positive thoughts, emotions and even allows the mind to detach from the dimension it currently inhabits. Smell, being linked to memories is also extremely emotive. Fragrances that we individually chose to love have a very intense impact on our emotions and feelings, from power, desire, love and relaxation.

According to The National Geographic news, a research study done by the University Hospital Mannheim in Germany, proves certain smells influence emotions in your dreams, so sweeter the smell, sweeter the dreams.

Goodnight, the sweet essence of sleep

Blend of essential oils for sleepIt was definitely an honour being the guinea pig for this most interesting experiment, that was truly to understand for the first time how effective can a precision perfect blend of particular essential oils can help work miracles in tackling a very frustrating ailment. Been suffering from Insomnia for months now, which was majorly brought on by stress due to an illness I was suffering with for four years. I tried to lead a very healthy lifestyle, eat right, exercise enough and of course think positive thoughts. However, once night would come, owls would shy away in embarrassment at my incredibly disastrous ability to stay up wide eyed all night and loose myself in absolutely ridiculous thoughts till sunrise. Yes! it was that bad, until I discovered the mystical excellence of Aromatherapy. So, how exactly did this sleep elixir work?

The miracle blend of these five essential oils, truly works its magic in unison.

Lavender, known to help in calming nerves is extremely effective in alleviating anxiety and sleeping disorders.

Vetiver, most popularly used in Aromatherapy in alleviating emotional stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and insomnia. Further studies have also proved that Vetiver is similar to Diazepam (benzodiazepine) which is prescribed to treat anxiety apart from other medical conditions. The earthy fragrance of Vetiver activates the senses and surges into a state of calmness and tranquillity.

Frankincense, this essential oil is believed to have the power to transmit messages to the limbic system of the brains, which influences the nervous system. Inhaled this truly remarkable herb reduces heart rate and blood pressure, which is useful in lowering depression, levels of stress and anxiety. The natural grounding fragrance helps opening breathing passages allowing your body to reach the perfect sleeping temperature, to achieve serene peaceful slumber while healing any pain that might keep you awake.

Ylang Ylang, known to work with cardiovascular, endocrine and hormonal systems, also helps in maintaining an emotional and spiritual balance. Most commonly used in alternative medical treatments for Insomnia as well as hypertension and depressions this oil calms the nervous system and lowers the heartbeat and respiration rate making is brilliant for those suffering from high blood pressure. The unique fragrance of this herb has an ability to assist us in connecting with own sense of inner peace, which helps people tremendously to subtly flow into a peaceful slumber. Popularly used in meditation and holistic healing practices, Ylang-Ylang is loved for the powerful affect is has in conquering the stressful and emotional mind.

Wild Orange, the citrusy fragrance of this very energising oil works brilliantly to elate the troubled mind and elevates physical energy. Used a lot in spiritual cleansing therapies in mediation, the citrus aroma has the ability to open the mind and activate the heart chakra allowing a very positive flow of goodness to surround them, with its stimulating and purifying qualities is extremely effective as an antidepressant, lowering anxiety and even an aphrodisiac. Widely recommended to be blended with Frankincense and lavender for a perfects night’s sleep.

Goodnight, a myriad of brilliance in its perfect blend, is what I first experienced when I dabbed it on my pillow. My mind surrendered to its enchanting aroma, that very subtly captured my every turmoil laden thought and eased it away. Unknowingly, subconsciously leading me to a fantasy world of surreal and serene imagery that perhaps I did concoct with my own inner desires, or perhaps there were already there and I just didn’t know how to connect with them at the right moment.

A sense of calmness, happiness and yes, intoxication began to stealthily manoeuvre its way into my senses, diverting my mind from all that troubled it. Holding onto our every little burden, exploits our inner sanctum. We all struggle to learn to let go, especially to our worries. What I realised is that, we all have our own conjured up happy place in our fantasy world that is our private retreat during stressful hours, which is ignited by, either music, meditation, therapeutic massages and in my case with Aromatherapy.

The Greeks were right, sleep is a journey to a beautiful spiritual world that works as a rejuvenating balm for the body, mind and soul, all we need to realise is how to find a way to get there at any given time, even if it’s with a gentle nudge in that direction, and in my case, I found it in a bottle labelled, Goodnight.

Happy Healing Ya’ll!!!

The sublimity of essential oils

Home Remedies, what makes you trust them.

When I think about my childhood, the first memory of trust I remember is, my Mother. The magnanimity of their significance in our lives remains unparalleled. So naturally we feel secure around them and trust their every judgment, be it the values they inculcate in us or the little pearls of wisdom they impart, that we hold onto through the tospy-turvy journey of life. When I think of home remedies I am reminded of the quote by the famous French philosopher Voltaire. He quoted

“The art of medicine, Consists in amusing the patient. While nature cures the disease.”

And that couldn’t make more sense! However, we were treated, the course of nature would do its duty in healing us. The course of whatever medication was prescribed, we’d still have to detox ourselves and be as pure as we could. Our eating and living habits would dramatically change once we were dealing with any ailment.

No matter what minor ailment we suffered through when we were kids, Mothers would always know the quickest remedy using a mix of herbs and secret ingredients that were passed on from generation to generation through her mother and so on. The bases of this trust were entirely upon the knowledge of ancient herbs and their assured medicinal abilities to heal.

Nature does play a major role in these cures. Our bodies consist of self-healing abilities that get clouded by the impurities that surround us today. Home remedies have a huge history behind them. A clear example of herbal remedies that have moved through many lifetimes to reach us today are essential oils. The phenomenon of how quickly these aromatic healing oils have gained popularity throughout the world is no mystery nor it’s a new discovery.

For the love of Oils

The use of essential oils in healing practices earliest uses have been recorded about 5000 years ago in Egypt. They were renowned for their knowledge of cosmetology, ointments and aromatic oils. At the peak of its powerful Monarchy, it was only the high priests that had authority to use aromatic oils. They believed aromatic oils helped to cleanse and purify and was essential in the practice to be one with the Gods. Specifically made oils were dedicated and anointed for each deity.

Queen Cleopatra famous for her beauty that made the world’s most powerful emperor bow down to her ethereal grace, quite obviously took her beauty regime very seriously. It was known that her immense love for essential oils and knowledge for cosmetics pursued her to open her onw spa. Cleopatra also wrote a book called Cleopatra Gynaeciarum Libri around 50Bc, which unfortunately has been lost, though other references say that the book contained remarkable recipes for essential oil combinations as well as beauty products. The Pharaohs too had their own special blends of oils they diligently used for Meditation, War and Love.

Aromatherapie

During the Crusades, the Knights were responsible for passing the knowledge of herbal medicines to Western Europe. They had acquired the art of distillation and perfumes from Middle East. While researching the properties of essential oils, French Chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé coined the term “Aromatherapie”. His book under the same name was published in 1928 which details the healing capabilities of essential oils. With a positive response of using these essential oils, the popularity of the use of Aromatherapie grew throughout Europe.

Gattefossé stumbled upon the incredible healing properties of essential oils during a mishap in his laboratory. During an explosion, his hand got severely burnt and in the chaos, he quickly reached out to the nearest vessel that contained liquid and immersed his hand in it. To his astonishment, the burn soon healed with no scarring or infections. The miracle liquid that healed him was essential oil of Lavender.

And… the Romance continues

Essential oils have proven throughout history that they have tremendous healing affects not only when used topically but also for holistic healing. These one of a kind herbs have remarkable qualities that can heal mentally, physically and emotionally. Essential oils aren’t oils at all, since they lack fatty acids, they are highly concentrated plant components.

A large amount of plants are used to extract a small portion of essential oil, hence some of them can be expensive. The high quality therapeutic grade oils are pure, steam distilled and prove to be extremely medicinal. Apart from the obvious effects these oils have, here are a few unconventional yet tried and tested healing abilities these most popularly used essential oils embody.

Lavender Oil

Or Lavander in French derived from the Latin word Lavare meaning to wash. Perhaps it refers to the use of its infusions of plants. The ancient Greeks called the Lavender herb nardus after the Syrian city of Naarda. Lavender was one holy herbs used in the biblical temples to prepare holy essence. Being one of the most versatile of oils, Lavender is more popularly known for its relaxing effects.

The soothing fragrance calms the nerves by reducing the levels of stress hormones in your blood. Known to effectively to help with insomnia, adding a few drops to your bath water can help calm tight muscles and ease headaches and body aches. Spiritualist believe that the fragrance of lavender oil help create serenity within the body, mind and soul during meditation due to its calming effects and has also the power to induce lucid dreams when used at bedtime.

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary OilAccording to an ancient myth, it’s said that the Virgin Mary spread her blue cloak over a bush of white blossomed rosemary while she was resting and the flowers turned blue. The shrub was then christened as the “Rose of Mary” and was considered sacred to the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. In the middle ages, Rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies as it was thought to be a love charm.

Even till today Holistic healers uses these herbs is healing with matters of the heart as the fragrance is said to help in energizing your heart chakra during meditation. In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s Rosemary, that’s for remembrance” Rosemary is believed to have powers to strengthen memory. Diffusing this essential oil or lightly inhaling the fumes form the bottle helps to sharpen the memory and the ability to learn.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Essential OilIn 1770, Captain James Cook while aboard the H.M.S Endeavor he landed at Botany Bay. He discovered natives brewing a concoction of viscous, camphor like leaves of the Melaleuca tree. The native Australians swore by the healing properties contained within the leaf and with scarcity of their own forms of the medicines the English were astonished to find that the poultice made of these crushed leaves fought infection and swiftly healed the wounds.

Throughout history Tea tree oil has been identified as having antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and preventive qualities.

Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass OilIt’s believed that lemongrass essential oil may have exported during the 17th century by the Philippines as distribution was limited the oil remained unheard of. In 1905 while researching on the properties of the Lemongrass plant, J.F Jovit from Sri Lanka learned more about the oil that the plant produced and soon word of its benefits spread around.

It was not until 1947 in Florida, Haiti that the first commercial cultivation of Lemongrass oil started. Apart from being effective in killing bacterial and fungal infections it has that ability to kill cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. The oil works wonders for relaxation during massages or holistic healing therapies. The calming and soothing aroma of lemongrass is becoming most popular today with treating sleeping disorders, stress and even depression.

The rich history behind these ancient herbal medicines proves that trust and faith in them ardently continues. The power to heal and energize your senses soothingly through Aromatherapie is soon being recognized as an effective and trusted remedy for many ailments the world over.

So, be reassured that no matter how you come to learn about essential oils, the history that began this legacy would forever continue. The people that have put their heart and soul into the trust they had for these herbs, is proof enough that their truly remarkable healing qualities have emerged unbeaten even till today.

Happy Healing Ya’ll!

Will essential oils help with alopecia barbae?

Alopecia Barbae

Alopecia Barbae also known as beard hair loss. Alopecia Barbae refers to patches in facial / beard hair. This mainly occurs when the immune system wrongly detects hair follicles as invaders and attacks them. This causes bald patches in the facial region. In most cases patches remain confined to small areas until treated for hair regrowth. However if this is due to genetics or family history then chances are that it cannot be reversed.

Though over the counter medications are available to treat alopecia barbae but they do come with their own side effects. Natural ways to cure this would be by massaging the effected area which stimulates blood flow and can revive the roots. You can take Jojoba oil or Almond oil and mix lavender essential oil in it. For example. You if you take 100ml of Jojoba Oil, you can add 2-3ml of Lavender oil in it. Mix well and leave it for a day to fully mix. Then apply everyday on the affected area and massage it well into the skin. Since jojoba oil is easily absorbed into the skin, this should not take more than 20 min to, after which you can wash your face.

Give this natural treatment a few months before you start seeing results.

Top 5 benefits of lavender essential oil

Lavender OilLavender essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils in India. What makes it so popular? It’s the versatility of the oil.

Lavender essential oil and it’s many uses!

Hair care: Lavender essential oil has been shown to be very helpful in the treatment of hair loss. A study reported that more than 40% of alopecia patients in the study reported an increase in hair growth when they regularly rubbed lavender essential oil into their scalp.

Skin Care: Because of its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics, lavender essential mixed with aloe or jojoba oil has profound benefits on your skin. Regular application of this oil can take off years from your face. It also helps with sunburn and wrinkles.

Good Night Sleep: A study on students found that using lavender oil improved the overall quality of sleep. This included length of sleep, time it took to fall asleep, restfulness. A couple drops of lavender oil to your pillow or in the oil burner at night can help you have a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep.

Non Toxic Room Freshener: Instead of using chemical artificial perfumes or room fresheners which are bad for you and the environment, why not make your own totally natural and non toxic room freshener? Add a few drops of the oil with water and then keep it in a spray bottle or add it to your oil burner to breath and feel healthy.

Get Rid of Headaches: There are millions of people in India who struggle from tension headaches and migraines and are searching for a natural alternative to medicines. According to a new medical research, lavender oil might just be that natural cure that you are looking for.

These are the top 5 benefits of lavender essential oil, have a look our video to know a few more.

A Word of Caution: Essential oils are highly concentrated and should be used with care. Though safe for almost everyone, in certain situations you might need to exercise caution, especially if you are a pregnant women.