Essential Oils and Weight Loss

At one time or another, most of us have attempted to shed a few pounds. Essential oils can be very helpful if you’re trying to lose weight, but keep in mind that essential oils themselves won’t innately make the fat fall off. However, oils can support the overall process by helping to boost metabolism, curb appetite, balance hormones, regulate blood sugar, improve digestion, and promote detoxification.

When it comes to losing weight, there will never be a perfect diet, exercise regimen, or magic pill that works for everyone. It’s important that you understand your own body and what is causing the weight gain. If you have a hormone imbalance, simply trying to boost your metabolism won’t do a lot of good. That being said, here are some tips to deal with various health problems that often contribute to weight gain.

Boosting Metabolism

Speeding up your metabolic rate is one of the best things you can do to lose weight. This allows your body to burn calories faster and to convert nutrients from food into energy. It can also help you burn fat better during a workout. In order to increase your metabolism, add 1–2 drops spearmint essential oil to a glass of water, and drink it before you exercise or eat. For variety, adding some strawberries, raspberries, or other fruits along with the spearmint makes a naturally delicious flavored water.

Curbing Appetite

We have all experienced cravings and the sensation of being hungry all the time! Essential oils can help ease cravings and curb frequent hunger. If overeating is a problem for you, diffusing grapefruit and peppermint can help calm your cravings.

Balancing Hormones

Many people don’t realize that imbalanced hormones can cause unhealthy weight gain. But hormones regulate metabolism, blood pressure, appetite, and many other body functions. By balancing your hormones, you increase your ability to lose weight through exercise and healthy eating. Oils that can help balance hormones include rosemary and cinnamon. We encourage you to read more in Modern Essentials® to better understand hormones and the endocrine system.

Regulating Blood Sugar

Blood sugar imbalance can be caused by several factors, including stress. If you are overly stressed, your body will produce excess cortisol hormone, which produces elevated glucose levels, which can inhibit weight loss. First, you’ll want to find ways to de-stress and relax, and then use essential oils to help manage your blood sugar. Depending on whether you have high or low blood sugar—or episodes of both—you may need different essential oils. You can read more about these topics in Modern Essentials®. However, oils that are generally good for both extremes include cinnamon and On Guard®.

Improving Digestion

Inefficient digestion stems largely from what we’re eating. However, many factors play into efficient digestion since this process involves several organs. If you have a specific digestive problem, consult Modern Essentials®. In general, the following oils support the digestive system: peppermint, ginger, lemongrass, DigestZen®, fennel, and turmeric, among others.

Promoting Detoxification

Sometimes all your body needs is a little cleansing and detoxing to resume full functioning. Clearing toxins out of your body can take several days of consistently applying oils. Essential oils that aid detoxification are helichrysum, rosemary, juniper berry, and coriander. Dilute the oils as recommended, and apply over the liver area, intestines, and reflex points on the feet.

Keep in mind that every body is unique: what works for one person may not work for another. Weight loss may only come through trial and error to find the perfect balance for your body. And once you’ve found what works, you’ll need to be consistent in order to see the desired results. We recommend that you combine our essential oil tips with daily exercise and a balanced diet for the best results. If you’re not sure which area of weight loss advice to emphasize, consult your doctor for further direction.

Source: Modern Essentials®, 10th edition.

Essential Educators: Yoga Mini Tear Pad

“Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years as an exercise that focuses on the health of the body and the mind. Yoga has been shown to build strength and flexibility over all areas of the body.” The new Essential Educators “Yoga” mini tear pad is a beginner-friendly resource for enhancing anyone’s yoga experience with essential oils. It discusses how oils benefit a workout and offers quick ideas for both aromatic and topical application. Also included are instructions for a yoga mat cleaning spray and a quick yoga stretch (that you can do anywhere). Designed for class use or to share with samples, the “Yoga” mini tear pad contains 50 sheets—plenty to share with your team, contacts, friends, and family!

The yoga presentation also coordinates with our “Chakras” mini tear pad. This tear pad  introduces the seven chakras as energy centers in the body. It lists essential oils that help open and balance each chakra—and explains application methods. Finally, it illustrates four basic yoga poses for balancing chakras.

Since yoga is such a hot topic, we’ve linked all our previous yoga-related blog posts below so that you can learn even more about using essential oils with yoga!

Ready to get going? Check out our yoga and meditation products—full-size tear pads, books, DVDs, exercise apparel, and more. Click here to browse everything!

Lighten Your Hair Naturally with Essential Oils

Have you ever wanted that perfect sun-bleached hair color after spending the summer on the beach? Unfortunately, few of us actually have that kind of time to spend out in the sun. Lucky for you, we’ve found some natural ways for you to get lighter hair quickly without damaging your hair with harsh chemicals and dyes.

Many men and women today are dying their hair regularly in order to make it look lighter or give it some highlights. Others shy away from a change they may want because of the harsh chemicals involved in hair dye. However, there are natural ways to give your hair a lighter color without using hair dye. You may have heard of using hydrogen peroxide to bleach your hair, but this method comes with complications. Hydrogen peroxide bleaching strips the natural pigment from your hair, making it just about as damaging as hair dye. Lemons have long been known for their bleaching qualities, and the essential oil has been found to possess the same properties. Apple cider vinegar helps with lightening, but also leaves a shine and works to strengthen your hair. Rosemary and grapefruit essential oils help to protect your hair from damage in the sun and can help heal other pre-existing damage. Try out this hair-lightening spray to add some color and depth to your hair this summer!

[recipe title=”Hair-Lightening Spray” servings=”Yield=8 oz. (250 ml)” time=”5 minutes active; 1 hour inactive” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. (25 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 30 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • Water
  • 8 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Place the apple cider vinegar with the essential oils in the spray bottle, and shake to combine. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water, and shake again to combine.
  2. Spray the mixture through your hair, or in desired locations for highlights. The amount you use will depend on the length of your hair and the intensity of color desired.
  3. Lie out in the sun for 30 minutes, check the color, spray again, and return to the sun until the desired color is reached. Some hair may take multiple exposures to reach the desired color, as this is a very gradual process.
  4. Once you finish lightening your hair, wash your hair out thoroughly, making sure to apply plenty on conditioner to rehydrate your hair.

This recipe is created as a general rule of thumb for most hair colors. This should not be used on dark hair, as it can cause brassy colors or damage to your hair. If you have a strong pigment in your hair and the color isn’t taking quickly, you may need to increase the amount of lemon oil.

Make sure to keep an eye on how your hair is reacting in the sun. Some hair colors and pigments may lighten faster, while others could take much longer. Don’t get discouraged if it’s a slow process; it can take a few exposures to show extreme differences.

[/recipe]

While you’re waiting for the lightening spray to work its magic, you can lie out in the sun with a good book or simply get some yard work done. Whatever you do, just don’t forget sunscreen!

 

Lavender Sunburn Ointment

Nobody likes getting sunburned, but we do love soaking up the sunlight during the summer. Sometimes you can’t control how you skin will react to the sunlight, even if you wear sunscreen; but you can treat it properly to relieve the pain. This ointment was designed to help alleviate your sunburn while helping to hydrate and regenerate your skin. You’ll love how soothing this ointment will feel on your burned skin, and it can even help prevent peeling. Give it a try so you can enjoy your summer again!

This ointment can also double as a burn ointment for regular first-degree burns.

[recipe title=”Lavender Sunburn Ointment” servings=”Yield=3 Tbsp. (45 ml)” time=”5 minutes” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Fill the acrylic bottle until almost full with aloe vera gel.
  2. Add the essential oils to the aloe vera, and use a chopstick or skewer to combine. The mixture will become cloudy when combined.
  3. Pump the mixture until it begins to come out. Apply to sunburned skin, and allow it to soak in and provide soothing relief!

If you’d like, you can also combine the aloe vera gel and essential oils in a bowl and use a funnel to transfer the mixture to the lotion bottle or another bottle of your choice.

[/recipe]

Essential Oils for a Better Night’s Sleep

iStock_000018171637SmallInsomnia is defined as a persistent inability to fall or stay asleep when the opportunity for sleep is presented. Insomnia can cause irritability, depression, anxiety, difficulty focusing, increased errors and accidents, tension headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, and a myriad of other issues (mayoclinic.org).

Most of us have experienced brief periods of insomnia at times when we may have a lot on our minds or when we are dealing with a particularly stressful situation; but when the stressful situation is resolved, the insomnia tends to go away. Long-term, chronic insomnia, however, can occur as a reaction to long-term stressors. Insomnia can be caused by a lot of different factors, but some of the more common ones are anxiety, long-term stress, medical conditions, some medications, eating too much before going to bed, an irregular sleep schedule, and caffeine (mayoclinic.org). As insomnia persists, it can really start to interfere with a person’s health, mood, and well-being.

Many people have found that essential oils can be very helpful in dealing with insomnia. Many essential oils are known for their calming abilities and can help a person relax before going to bed. It may be helpful to do a personal evaluation and consider what factors in your own life may be causing your insomnia. If stress is the issue, consider finding ways to better deal with stressful situations in your life and using essential essential oils that may help with stress management. Our blog post “Living a Stress Free and Healthy Life with Essential Oils” offers some great natural ideas for stress management. If the underlying cause of your insomnia is something else, try referencing the Personal Usage Guide of the book Modern Essentials for ideas on what oils are commonly used for specific conditions.

Insomnia

Modern Essentials offers some great general ideas for helping you sleep:

Blend 1:

Combine 6 drops Invigorating Blend with 6 drops lavender. Apply blend to big toes, bottoms of the feet, 2 drops around the navel, and 3 drops on the back of the neck (p.237).

Blend 2:

Combine 2 drops Roman chamomile, 6 drops geranium, 3 drops lemon, and 4 drops sandalwood. Add 6 drops of this blend to your bath at bedtime, and combine 5 drops with 2 tsp. fractionated coconut oil for a massage after the bath (p.237).

Essential oils commonly used for insomnia include lavender, orange, Calming Blend, Roman chamomile, cypress, ylang ylang, Invigorating Blend, marjoram, lemon, rosemary, sandalwood, clary sage, and bergamot. Diffusing one of these oils or diluting one of them and applying it to the feet and back of the neck at bedtime may be a great help in helping you unwind and relax before trying to sleep (Modern Essentials p.237).

We’d love to hear your feedback! What essential oils have you used to help with insomnia?

Sources:

Modern Essentials, 5th Edition, 2013

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/basics/causes/con-20024293