Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil: Uses and Benefits 

Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil: Uses and Benefits 

Litsea seed essential oil (litsea cubeba) has a long list of uses and benefits that make it a great addition to your health arsenal.

Also known as May Chang, Litsea Cubeba is a small plant found in tropical areas of Japan and Taiwan The leaves are typically a vibrant green with a pleasant, lemony smell. It produces small, pepper-like fruits from which the essential oil is extracted.

Many data indicated that Litsea Cubeba essential oil possessed antimicrobial, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiparasitic activity, acute and genetic toxicity, cytotoxicity as well as being a potential cancer prevention agent (Wang et al., 1985; Gogoi et al., 1997; Luo et al., 2005; Ho et al., 2010; Wang and Liu, 2010; Wang et al., 2012; Huang et al., 2013).

While the thoughts of words like antiseptic and antimicrobial conjure up memories of offensive odors in institutional disinfectants, Litsea  has a pleasant smell that is more citrusy than Melissa, without the musty tones of lemon grass making it great to blend with Basil, Bergamot, Geranium, Ginger, Jasmine, Rose, Rosemary, and Ylang-ylang.

While humans, for the most part find the aroma calming, insects don’t.  In one study Litsea oil was found to be an effective Natural Insect Repellent which is why it is used in many “outdoor blends” of essential oils, which I can’t live without!

While it deters bugs it also has been used for years in Asian medicine to feature enlarged pores and help with oily skin… Yes Please! Just put 5frops of Litsea in 1tbsp of carrier oil and dab it on your face a couple of times a day.

The benefits don’t stop there.  In an article published by PubMed, one study showed that vapors from Litsea Cubeba have anti-cancer properties and were able to (through a series of biological responses) arrest cancer cells.  Which makes sense right, natural products help our bodies function naturally.

Uses For Litsea Cubeba

  1. Use as a natural disinfectant around your house
  2. Add to your deodorant recipe to fight the bacteria that cause body odor
  3. Use as a natural insect repellant
  4. Diffuse to boost immunity during cold and flu season
  5. Add to custom blend perfumes as your top note.
  6. Use aromatically to sooth your nervous system when going into stress inducing situations (I’m thinking public speaking…yikes).
  7. Dilute and apply to feet to prevent athletes foot.

So there you have it, I hope you find some uses for this little gem around your home.

Xo

S
Contraindications:  don’t use while pregnant or nursing, avoid exposure to direct sunlight when using topically for 12 hours after use.

Please note, I am not a medical practitioner and this is not meant to be a substitute for medical advise.

 

Why use Peppermint Essential Oil

Why use Peppermint Essential Oil

Ahhh Peppermint Essential Oil, it is one of my favorites.  It can do a plethora of things from helping cool your body to keeping ants and spiders out of your house.  Here’s the skinny on this fantastic oil and how I use it… what seems like daily.

Who came up with the bright idea to use this plant originally.   It came on the scene with the Romans and Greeks who would crown themselves with peppermint at their feasts.  It was also used by them to season both sauces and wines (I’m not entirely confident in their wine decisions, but I guess it’s too late to really tell them).  Although there is a little evidence that it was also used by the Egyptians, it was definitely used by the Roman and Greek Physicians in their medical practice.

In Greek Mythology, of course, it has a romantic somewhat tragic story.  Mint was once the nymph Menthe, whom Pluto had wondering eyes for because she was super hot.  Persephone, Pluto’s jealous wife, pursued Mentha gave her a smack down like no other, ferociously beating her into the ground.  Pluto then changed Menthe into a delightful herb, and she was no longer a problem for Persephone.

What is peppermint?  Peppermint (menthe piperita) is considered the “River of Creativity”, peppermint is a plant that grows from 1-3 feet in height.  The oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowers of the plant.

When do you use it?  Well if you’re me, every day.  I love the way that it smells, and it’s cooling affect on the body.  Historically it has been used in tons of medical treatments.  It is even the original chemical constituent that is synthetically reproduced in aspirin, “always use peppermint instead of aspirin“-Tisserand, 1977 p269.  Tisserand goes on to quote many essential oil scholars about the cooling affect it has on the body, the stimulation of the bowel, its ability to dispell nausea as well as its antiseptic qualities.  I never travel out of the country without it, as when traveling across Thailand in a train, or using public restrooms in Cuba, I need it to either help stave off motion sickness, or cover unbearable smells by rubbing it under my nose.

While Peppermint is also used to relive skin irritation or itching, for some, it can also be very irritating to the skin and should always be diluted to less than 1%, as over time the body can become sensitized to it and a sudden reaction could happen (Tisserand, 1977, p270).  It should also be avoided while pregnant or nursing. Tisserand also states that “when applied externally it relieves the breast of curdled or congested milk and prevents infection.  Internally it will discourage the flow of milk to the breast“. Which makes no sense to me after he says not to use it while breastfeeding or pregnant, but, hey I’m not one of the worlds leading experts in Essential Oils, so I’m not going to argue with him.

A great time to use Peppermint essential Oil is during meditation as it helps you to truly remain present.  It is also said that it can help you get in touch with your subconscious and deep inner feelings, with peppermint in the diffuser make sure you take some time to journal, as it will be a very effective journaling session.

Complimentary stones to use in combination with Peppermint for any spiritual practice would be Apache Tears, Orbicular Jasper, Orthoceras Fossil, Elestial Crystal, Time Link Crystal (Limbo 2016, p173-174)

Where is Peppermint grown?  Well if you know anything about gardening, you know that it grows just about everywhere and invades into flower beds often taking over where you don’t want it to. Many gardeners consider it a weed and fight like hell to keep it contained.  I have felt a lot like Persephone while trying to keep my peppermint in check, only to eventually rip it all out and limit its growth to containers.  Despite how lovely it looks and smells, I just don’t want all my flower beds to be peppermint beds.

Despite it’s current day affliction to growing everywhere you don’t want it to, it is cultivated in Italy, parts of the US including the Pacific Northwest (shout out to the #PNW ), Great Britain and Japan as well as in the Mediterranean where it originated.

The doterra peppermint is actually sourced from the Pacific Northwest in the most sustainable way possible.  Here is a video on the sourcing of Peppermint Oil that I love.  I really enjoy hearing from the second and third generation farmers that have learned this trade that has passed down through their family.  It is also of considerable note that Dr. Pappas, the worlds leading expert speaks to this brand of Peppermint Oil in the video.

 

Why do I use peppermint?  Well I use it because it takes me back to Christmas time as a child and those sugary candy canes.  It also calms my stomach and keeps me awake in the middle of the afternoon when I’m dying for a nap.  I love to use it with Lemon and Lavender when their are all sorts of pollens in the air.  It is truly just a delicious smelling oil.

Another reason I use it is because of it’s cooling qualities.  I will roll some on the bottom of my feet before going into a hot yoga class.  While I find it cooling there are some that find it warming, which is the body responding and heating up in response to the cooling qualities of peppermint. In this way it has been used both for treating disorders of heat or cold, such as influenza, fevers or chills (Tisserand, 1977 p269).

I have always loved peppermint tea, and I love it diffusing in my house.  I love the taste of peppermint and when I make brownies, which is not often, I put 4 drops in with the brownie mix before baking to have the best peppermint brownies on the planet.

Recently because it is spring I have been getting tons of questions about natural insect repellents.  Here is my recipe that I spray in the corners and wipe my baseboards down with to keep the spiders at bay:

Natural Spider Repellant

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 7 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil (spiders hate it)
  • 15 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (spiders Run from it)
  • 15 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil (it causes irritation to their legs)

Mix it all together in a spray bottle and shake before using.

To learn more about the most high quality essential oils that are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, click here and give me a shout.

Follow this blog, for weekly updates on Essential Oils, Healthy Living, Recipes and other Hippy Dippy stuff.  You can also check out my youtube channel at Essential Oils Gangsta and if you found this helpful or interesting please feel free to share it.

If there are specific blog posts you would like to see, comment in the comments section, or feel free to comment on your favorite use for peppermint essential oil.

Have a Great Day

xo

s

 

**Please note, I am not a medical professional and this information is not meant to diagnose, treat or prevent illness.  Always consult with your physician. These statements have not been approved by the FDA.

 

Manuka Oil…Benefits and Uses

Manuka Oil…Benefits and Uses

Manuka Oil Latin name Leptospermum Scoparium is a great oil, I wish we could have it in the United States but for the time being we will have to live vicariously through our friends down under.  It makes sense that it would be offered in New Zealand and Australia first since the Manuka bush is native to New Zealand.

In order to make the oil, all the parts of the bush are steam distilled including the flowers leaves and stems.  It generally grows next to kanuka bush and care must be taken to seperate the differing plant materials prior to distilling them.    History tells us that Manuka was the original tea tree and Captain James Cook, wrote back in the day that the plant has “a very agreeable bitter taste and flavor when the leaves are recent, but loses some of both when they are dried”.  It looks like this, and it is so beautiful that I would love to have it in my backyard. Maybe when I buy a vacation home in New Zealand.
Interestingly, I heard about manuka honey before the oil itself, because Manuka Honey is all the rage in the alternative health circles right now.  And the great thing is that it’s not even like humans are infusing the honey with plant parts. But the pollen of the manuka bush is so strong that they honey that the bees make from it, as tremendous healing benefits that researchers at New Zealand University at Waikato attribute to higher enzyme content in the honey.

So, thats what it is, but What can it do?

Manuka has been a part of the Mouri medical system or, Rongoa Maori.  Rongoa Maori is a holistic approach to health that predates New Zealand’s British collinization, and along with some of their native Mauri arts, this health system is still alive today.   One of the plants featured in this system is Manuka, of which the essential oil that is widely used to heal cuts, infections, burns, scrapes, sores and topical problems of all kinds. Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, Manuka has been intensively studied by scientists for its first aid applications, for which it is highly effective as was written in this Fox News article.  ( disclaimer, I do not usually use Fox News as a reference because I don’t agree with most of what is on the network, but this article was actually good.) And in a 2014 study Manuka was effective in batteling 2 types of candida, staph and e.coli, so it’s a pretty baddass oil.

What does it smell like you ask?  Well it has a very rich spicy herbaceous scent that is calming and grounding.

Benefits of Manuka Essential Oil:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-histamine (think about the antihistamines you take for allergies)
  • Natural cough reliever
  • Reduces scaring on skin (cicatrisant)
  • Cytophylactic (helps regeneration of cells)

10 Uses for Manuka Essential Oil 

  1. Put a drop on a bee sting or insect bit to get relief
  2. Use it in diy deodorants to keep your pits smelling delightful
  3. It helps wounds heal and has been administered to patients after surgery to promote healing
  4. Put a drop in your moisturizer to help with dry skin
  5. Put a drop in your shampoo to help with dandruff
  6. Apply with lemongrass to relieve sore or achy muscles
  7. Mix with water and spritz in sneakers to freshen the smell
  8. Massage on feet daily to zap toe fungus and athletes fut
  9. Diffuse in your home to calm your heart and your mind
  10. Zap a zit.  Manuka helps fight acne because of it’s antibacterial qualities

It really doesn’t have any warnings which is awesome, but I still wouldn’t recommend drinking a bottle of it or anything,  Use your common sense.
Heal Your Heart Diffuser Blend

  • 2 Drops Roman Chamomile
  • 2 Drops Frankincense
  • 1 Drop Manuka
  • 1 Drop Red Mandarine

Red Mandarine Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

Red Mandarine Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

I am so freaking excited.  I just ordered my mothers day trio of spanking new, never been released before oils from doTERRA.  Included in them is Red Mandarine, Kumquat, and Sunny Citrus Blend.  In my world, this rocks.  So while I am trying to get ready for their arrival with the anticipation of someone waiting for the stork, I thought I would share all my preparatory research.

WTF is Red Mandarine is my first question, and other than I citrus fruit being my first inclination I have no idea.  Thank god for the inventor of the internet.   Red Mandarin Essential Oil is sweet, and  floraly, it smells a little like orange blossoms. Red Mandarine and Tangerine have the same scientific species name, but tangerine is an american term for the red mandarine, they are the same thing but as the variety of the tree was spread across the world, the nutrients in the soil have yielded surprisingly different tasting fruits, with different chemical constituencies.  So one must look at both the latin name of the plant, and the sourcing location.  I have emailed doTerra to find out exactly where theres is sourced and will update ya’ll when I hear back.

 

What I do know is that like other citrus, Red Mandarine is high in d-limonene, and let me tell you d-limonene is our friend.  Sounds silly but that d-limonene has been shown to reduce cholesterol, among other things like fighting off cancer cells as explained in this Alternative Medicine Review.  Ummmm Yes Please!!!!!

 

Benefits of Red Mandarine Essential Oil

  • It has a soothing and balancing energy.  that makes it great for yoga or to add to any of these meditation blends.
  • It has superior anti-spasmodic properties and can be used in massage blends to soothe the muscles and relieve tightness.
  • It is great for your skin.  Historically it has been used to clear acne, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and scars
  • It reduces pain and anxiety when used aromatically
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • circulatory
  • cytophylactic (stimulates generation of new cells)
  • depurative (a.k.a detoxifying and purifying)
  • digestive
  • hepatic (good for your liver)
  • nervous relaxant
  • sedative

Uses for Red Mandarine Essential Oil

  • Put a drop  in your nighttime facial moisturizer to reduce acne, and improve cell regeneration while your body is resting.
  • Instead of drinking orange soda try putting a drop of this in your soda water for a delightful tasting bubbly water.  Make sure you use glass as oils deteriorate plastics and you don’t want to drink that.
  • blend with lemongrass and coconut oil to massage on sore muscles
  • Add 4 drops to a diffuser during your meditation or yoga practice
  • Make a room spritz and deodorize rooms that have stagnant air

 

Red Mandarine Diffuser Blend That is Spicy Grounding and sweet

  • 3 Drops Red Mandarine
  • 1 Drops Basil
  • 1 Drops Black Pepper

 

And just in case you think I’m a freak,,,, check out this guy… I love this song, and even more, this parody.

 

If you haven’t started on Your Essential Oil Journey yet, I’d love to get you started  Visit this page to get started

 

That’s it for now

xo

s