Summer recipes!

Summer is in full swing here in Texas. Today I’m sharing some recipes that keep me cool and calm in the Texas heat.
I keep the Natural Outdoor Spray by the pool and use it when I’m in the pool on my head and hands to help keep annoyances away.  We keep a standing fan by the pool to help with this, too!
The Summer Hair Spritz is great at the beach or after a shower. Just spray, scrunch, and go–and your hair smells great all day.
I love the After Sun and Cooling Spray for when I’m outdoors in the Texas heat–especially when I’m camping or at the beach.  It really works to cool me off!
There is nothing like lemonade on a hot summer day, and this recipe for Lavender Lemonade made with real lemons and agave nectar is so refreshing. But I’ve decided that I may like the lavender limeade variation even better!
Note: these recipes are only for Young Living essential oils.  Many oils on the market are adulterated, not therapeutic grade, and not for ingestion
Enjoy the summer!

Natural Outdoor Spray Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz glass spray bottle
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 drops of Purification
  • 4 drops of Thieves
  • 4 drops of Peppermint
  • 4 drops of Lemongrass or Citronella
  • 4 drops of Eucalyptus
  • 1 squirt witch hazel
  • Fill to top with distilled water
  • (Adjust the ingredients to the size of the spray bottle; ie, double the ingredients for a 4 oz bottle.)

Directions:

  • Add salt to bottle, then add essential oils.
  • Add witch hazel, then either water 2 oz glass spray bottle. Shake well and spray as needed on body or even around home to avoid annoyances.
  • Purification also works well in a diffuser around the home, patio, porch and other areas where annoyances linger.

Sweet Salt Texturizing Hair Spritz  

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz spray bottle
  • 1/2 Tbsp Epsom Salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp White Sugar
  • 5 drops Lavender
  • 5 drops Lemon
  • 5 drops Cedarwood
  • 3 drops Rosemary
  • 1/2 Tbsp Spiced Rum (optional- helps preserve & avoid sticking)
  • 1/3 Cup Distilled Water (warm)

Directions:

  • Add the epsom salt and sugar to the bottle.
  • Add essential oils.
  • Add rum, then fill almost to top with water.
  • Place sprayer on bottle and tighten.
  • Shake well until all ingredients are dissolved.
  • Spray onto dry hair and scrunch until spray dries.

 

After Sun and Cooling Spray

Ingredients:

4 oz spray bottle

2 Tbsp (1 oz) Aloe Vera Gel

10 drops Lavender

10 drops Peppermint

Fill to just below top with Everclear or vodka (preservative)

Instructions:

Add aloe vera gel to spray bottle. Then add essential oils and the alcohol. Shake well to mix and spray on skin as needed.

Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients + Directions:

  • 7 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • 2 limes, peeled and juiced
  • 1 drop lavender oil (start with just one drop!)
  • 14 cups water
  • 1 & 1/2 cup agave nectar (or honey)
  • Mix all ingredients together and chill.
  • Add more water or agave nectar, depending on tartness  OR
  • Frozen concentrate lemonade. Make according to directions and add + 1 drop lavender
  • Variation: Simply Limeade ® + 1 drop of lavender

Not into making your own oil recipes? Young Living has made summer even easier with two new products for summer in case you are not into DIY!  A new EPA-registered insect repellent with all-natural ingredients, and Lavaderm After Sun Spray to soothe and cool.

Check them both out at https://yldist.com/janpatterson

http://mailchi.mp/ac28513ff90f/summer-is-here-new-essential-oil-recipes-for-those-sunny-days

 

Happy Fall, Y’all

Hello All!

Fall is in full swing here in Texas, although warmer than usual.
Fall is my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, the color, and especially the scents and the flavors. Pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, apple, cranberry, and more. We had a Fall Make and Take recently here in San Antonio, and featured some of these aromas in the take-home goodies.

Along with all those good things, it is also the beginning of flu and cold season. We made a Thieves Honey for to keep the immune system strong and supported through during the season. You can add a drop or two to tea, coffee, water, or your favorite drink.

The Warm Vanilla Room Spray features orange, cinnamon, and clove. It is lovely for a nice autumn scent and a natural deodorizer.

Check out the recipes below and on www.yldist.com/janpatterson

Happy Fall and Happy Oiling, Y’all!
Jan Patterson MD MS

warm-vanilla-spray-blog-nov-16

Warm Vanilla Room Spray
Add to 2 oz glass spray bottle:

2 Tbsp vanilla extract
6 drops orange essential oil
5 drops cinnamon essential oil
5 drops clove essential oil
Fill to top w distilled water and add spray top.

thieves-honey-blog-nov-16

Thieves Honey
Add to 2 oz glass spray bottle:

5 drops Thieves essential oil
5 drops Lemon essential oil
1 to 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Add ~2 oz raw honey to fill to top.
Replace dropper.
Add 1-2 drops to tea, coffee, or water for immune system support

 

drjanpatterson.com

I’ve started a personal website. I needed a place to pull together my academic work, interest in essential oils, grief experience, and writing to communicate with others.  So, I’ve started

www.drjanpatterson.com

Here I’ll have a Calendar of Events that will list training and speaking events, and will post information about infectious diseases, Wellness Aromatherapy educational posts, grief resources, and a link to my blog.

After 30 years of doing academic writing, I’m longing to share information about all the tools that are helping me get through this life, as well as current information about emerging infections.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

 

Sifting through Memories

My sister and I recently had the responsibility of preparing our deceased parents’ house for sale. My dad had moved to long term care after my mother died, but all of their things were still in the house after having lived there for 25+ years. And, everything from their previous households had moved there with them, so there was quite a bit of “stuff.” Boxes in the attic contained dolls from my childhood and my siblings’ childhood, as well as our baby clothes. We even came across an outfit that my dad (born in 1919) had worn as a toddler in some of his early photos.

I never knew my sister Zee Ann because she died in a car accident at 3 years old, before I was born. When going through the boxes from the attic, we found a child’s red train case with the name “Zee” painted on it. Inside were my deceased sister’s baby things—a small pink rattle, baby bracelet from the hospital, a lock of hair, tiny hair curlers. My heart ached, knowing the heartbreak my mother would have felt as she put these things in the case.   All of the baby things associated with hope and promise for the future, and yet she had to close them away in a case and put them in the attic.

Zee Ann's case
Zee Ann’s case

We smiled when we reviewed her Abilene High School annual and found her full page photo labeled “Most Friendly” from the Class of 1936. There were so many kind notes from her friends. “Swell” must have been a word used often back then–maybe kind of like “awesome” is used now.

I had such mixed feelings about letting their things go. It was clearly not practical or helpful to keep too many “things.” Just the fact that we were having to sort through so many items was reason to let go. And yet so many items were tangible reminders of my childhood. I had to tell myself that the memory itself is what matters. I selected a few items to keep, lots of photos to scan, and pulled away from the house.

IMG_4409

My heart ached for the tribulations my parents had to suffer—my brother’s developmental disability, my sister’s death. I wished life had been easier for them. I thought about this on the drive back home from Fort Worth to San Antonio. Unfortunately, the traffic was horrific that 4th of July weekend. I keep my lavender essential oil and Joy essential oil blend handy when I’m driving. I used some in my car diffuser, on my neck and forehead, and just inhaled some from the bottle. After 20 minutes I was less sad, more calm, and breathing easier.

I remembered that am grateful for an upbringing full of love and care from my parents. And we had happy times as a family. I hope they felt love from my sister Lyn and me at even a fraction of the love they gave us.

Jan and Lyn, circa 1959
Jan and Lyn, circa 1959
Lyn and Jan, 2016
Lyn and Jan, 2016

 

Summer Strategies

It is summer here in Texas which means HOT. Being an outdoor person, I’m using tools in the toolkit to stay cool while still enjoying the outdoors. Here are some strategies:

  • Get in the water. We are fortunate to have a pool in the back yard, so I get in the pool after work and have something cool to drink. It is a good way to exercise in this heat, and it makes me feel cool the rest of the evening. I can do water aerobics in my backyard pool. For some serious exercise, I do laps in our neighborhood pool. A great way to cool down and work in a new exercise at the same time.
  • How much water should you drink in a day? The 8 X 8 rule is easy to remember and a good place to start—Drink eight 8 ounce glass a water each day. But with heat and exercise, your body needs more. A good way to determine if you are well-hydrated is to pay attention to the color of your urine when you urinate. If it is dark yellow, your urine is very concentrated and you need more hydration. Work on keeping your urine clear to very light yellow. Also, remember that caffeine and alcohol dehydrate your body, so drink less of these when trying to stay hydrated.
  • Stay in the air conditioning during the hottest times of the day. I love being outside and during the summer I still go outdoors, but in the early morning and late evening. We took a recent hike in Palo Duro Canyon in July – but we started the hike when it was 68 deg F at 7:00am, and finished our hike a little after 9:00am when it was already 90+ deg F.
  • Use essential oils support – Since I’m still outdoors some in the summer, I make use of essential oil blends to stay cool and keep the bugs away.  Below is my recipe for citronella-based outdoor spray to stay annoyance-free. I add some peppermint for the cooling effect on the skin. See my blog post (Mosquito Strategy) for more tips on keeping the mosquitos away. Cooling spray is great for skin after being in the sun, or just to help cool your body down. It contains lavender, which soothes skin and peppermint, a natural cooling agent. I add aloe vera, witch hazel and water.
  • Wear a hat.  It’s been said “He who wears a hat lives a long life.” I’m not sure who said it, but this makes sense. A hat protects from the elements in the cold and the heat. In summers, a wide-brimmed hat protects your face and neck from the sun. I wore one when I hiked at Palo Duro Canyon recently.

    Palo Duro Canyon
    Palo Duro Canyon and my Stetson from Herb’s Hat Shop – July 2016

See recipes below:

Natural Outdoor Spray Recipe

Ingredients

Pinch of salt

10 drops of Purification (Young Living blend)

8 drops of Thieves

8 drops of Peppermint

8 drops of Lemongrass or Citronella

8 drops of Eucalyptus (Lemon Eucalyptus if you have it)

1 oz natural witch hazel (preservative)

Add distilled water to almost the top of the bottle.

4 oz glass spray bottle (http://www.abundanthealth4u.com
 or Amazon)

Directions.  Add salt to bottle, and then add essential oils and witch hazel. Add water last, filling to almost the top. 
Shake well and spray as needed on body or even around home to avoid annoyances.

After Sun and Cooling Spray

Ingredients:

Pinch salt

2 Tbsp Aloe Vera Gel

1 tsp Everclear or vodka (or witch hazel) for preservative

10 drops Lavender Oil

10 drops Peppermint Oil

4 oz glass spray bottle (Abundant Health or Amazon)

Instructions:  Add aloe vera gel to spray bottle. Then add essential oils and distilled water. Shake well to mix and spray on skin as needed.  Avoid eyes.

Mosquito strategy

After the floods in South Texas, we are well aware of the mosquitos!  Mosquitoes detect the carbon dioxide we generate when we exhale. That is how they find us to get their blood meal. Since we can’t stop exhaling, we use strategies to confuse their sensor system or overwhelm the carbon dioxide detection to repel them.

Besides the bothersome itch and swelling of mosquito bites, mosquitos in the US can transmit West Nile Virus, and less commonly, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue fever, and other viral infections. There were 379 cases of West Nile Virus in Texas last year, and the first case has already been reported this year. Most people infected with West Nile Virus will experience no symptoms. About 20% of people will have fever, weakness, nausea and vomiting. Severe symptoms occur in about 1% of people resulting in fever and neurologic symptoms including weakness, neck stiffness, and disorientation resulting from brain infection. So, there is good reason to prevent mosquito bites!

We are using a multi-pronged strategy for mosquito control at our house.  1) Bug repellent.  The most effective ‘clinically proven’ and EPA-approved repellents include DEET (diethyltoluamide–at least 20%), and three other synthetic chemicals: picaridin (at least 20%), oil of lemon eucalyptus (at least 30%), and I3535. DEET has long been considered the most effective repellent, but Consumers Reports(R) did some testing and found that the picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus products performed better than DEET.  DEET can be neurotoxic if absorbed, so you can’t use it on the hands and face. Also, using more than 35% DEET is not recommended and only increases the potential for toxicity.  All of these should be used sparingly in children, and some cannot be used on infants or children under 3 years old.  Check the label.  Also, these synthetic repellents should not be used around food and hands should be washed after application.

Plant oils are considered “minimum risk” so commercial plant oil product claims are not evaluated by the EPA.  The commercial plant oil repellents did not last more than an hour in the Consumer Reports tests, but we don’t know all of the products that were tested, and what oil combinations were used.

Permethrin, a synthetic chemical similar to the pyrethrum produced by chrysanthemums, can be sprayed on clothes, tents and gear, and is effective for several washings.  It is not for use on skin. You can find these products at sporting goods stores and some drug stores. There are various brand names so you will need to read the labels to look for ingredients.

When I was in Africa for a photo safari two years ago, I used DEET for protection from mosquito bites. The mosquitos there carry the type of malaria that can kill people, so the benefit was worth the potential toxicity. I wish I had known about essential oils then so I could have put something natural on my face and hands!

At our recent “Make and Take” essential oils class we made some outdoor spray that I am able to use on my face and hands (about the only parts exposed when I’m in our swimming pool)!  It has made our time outside much more pleasant. It may need to be reapplied periodically.

In a 2 oz brown spray bottle add:

pinch salt

10 drops Purification

10 drops Eucalyptus

5 drops Lemongrass

5 drops Peppermint

5 drops Thieves

1 oz natural witch hazel

0.5 oz distilled water or carrier oil (sweet almond oil, frac coconut oil, other)

If you only have a limited number of oils, you can use

pinch salt

10 drops Purification

10 drops Lavender (avoid if you have bees)

5 drops Peppermint

1 oz natural witch hazel

0.5 oz distilled water or carrier oil

OR

pinch salt

10 drops Purification

10 drops Thieves

1 oz natural witch hazel

0.5 oz distilled water or carrier oil

2) We burn a stick of good quality incense (we get from Amazon). Recently we are using lavender or sandalwood. The smoke from the incense confuses the mosquito’s CO2 detection system. You can also use a candle (especially citronella) but it generates less smoke than incense.  These are only supplementary deterrents and likely will not work alone.

3) Empty all of your standing water–plant saucers, buckets, stagnant water collections in yard because these are breeding grounds for mosquitos. Most types of mosquitos in our area don’t travel far for their daily blood meal, so clearing the standing water in your yard can make a difference.

4) When you can, wear long sleeves and long pants when outside.

Another strategy is to keep a rotating fan near, and “blow away” the mosquitos.  We just visited with our relatives who are big into fishing and they gave great reviews of  Thermacell(R). It is a small portable device fueled by a butane cartridge that heats and diffuses allethrin, a synthetic version of the repellent in chrysanthemums.  It is said to produce a 15 X 15 mosquito-free zone.  Sounds like it could be another tool in the toolbox for mosquito strategy.

We are due for some more rain in South Texas. We could use your prayers for those families suffering losses and devastation in the floods.  God bless.

References

http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html

http://www.mosquito.org/about-amca

http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/mosquitoes/index.html

http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html

How to win the battle of the bugs.  Consumer Reports July 2015;80:34-37.

http://www.thermacell.com/mosquito-repellent/why-thermacell

 

Lavender – the Swiss Army Knife

 

Since I was introduced to the world of essential oils six months ago, I’ve been impressed with the flexibility, usability, and effectiveness of lavender.  Previously, I thought it was good for relaxing, especially in the bathtub.  But since joining the EO world, I’ve learned it can do so much more than that.  The word lavender comes from the Latin word “lavare” (to wash).  It is great in a bath–use lavender-infused Epsom salts so that the oil distributes throughout the water. The well-known relaxing effects can lead to decreased blood pressure and sleep quality.  It can also be used on burns, scrapes, sunburn, acne, or cold sores.  A famous story about the use of lavender on burns is about Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a French chemist in the early 20th century.  He sustained burns on his hands during a laboratory explosion. The hands quickly developed what he described as gas gangrene, an almost universally fatal infection at the time.  He applied lavender oil, and healing began the next day.  Gattefosse coined the term aromatherapie and wrote the first book with that title in 1937.

Studies as well as anecdotal experience have shown that massaging lavender on the abdomen can relieve menstrual discomfort and cramping.  I use lavender in combination with lemon and peppermint diluted in coconut oil as carrier for relief from allergies and nasal congestion.  This “allergy bomb” can be applied to the lower part of the back of the neck and over sinuses (be careful with the peppermint–make sure it is diluted enough if you get close to the eyes, and do not get oils in your eyes!).  I also dab a cotton swab in the mixture and swirl in each nostril.  I have never breathed more clearly!  I have heard many times from colleagues, and continue to hear, this combination is effective for relief of allergy symptoms.  Just today, a friend told me that she previously relied on antihistamines almost daily, and has not used any since using essential oils.

Scientific studies about essential oils’ effects on clinical problems are relatively rare, but precious when we find them. This week, I came across a study done in an animal model showing that inhalation of lavender essential oil suppresses allergic airway inflammation.  The authors determined this by showing lower lung resistance and less peribronchial inflammatory cells in the group that inhaled lavender vs.  the control group.  While it is an animal model study, it gives credence to our anecdotes and such studies may eventually lead the way to more essential oil clinical trials in humans.

In any case, lavender does indeed seem to be the Swiss army knife of essential oils and if I was stranded on a desert island and could only have one essential oil, I think it would be lavender!

Juno MS et al. Effects of aroma massage on home blood pressure, ambulatory blood pressure, and sleep quality in middle-aged women with hypertension. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013;2013:403251

Ueno-lio T et al. Lavender essential oil inhalation suppresses allergic airway inflammation and mucous cell hyperplasia in a murine model of asthma. Life Sciences 2014;108:109-115

Dehkordi AR et al. Effect of lavender inhalation on the symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea and the amount of menstrual bleeding: A randomized clinical trial.  Complementary Therapies in Med 2014;22:212-219

http://roberttisserand.com/2011/04/gattefosses-burn/

 

 

Combating Antibiotic Resistance

You may have heard about the White House report released this week “National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.”  It is a victory that this issue is on our national agenda.  As an infectious diseases physician, I have seen the life-saving and life-improving capabilities of appropriate antibiotic therapies many times.  I have also seen, however, the emergence of drug resistance in bacteria occurring over several decades. It has accelerated such in the past decade that we now see patients with bacteria that are resistant to all our usual antibiotic choices, and have to resort to toxic antibiotics used in the past, or sometimes no antibiotic at all.  The CDC estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause two million illnesses and approximately 23,000 deaths each year in the US alone.  In case you haven’t read all 62 pages of the report, I am highlighting some of it here.

The goals of the National Action Plan (NAP) are:

  1. Slow the Emergence of Resistant Bacteria and Prevent the Spread of Resistant Infections
  2. Strengthen National One-Health Surveillance Efforts to Combat Resistance
  3. Advance Development and Use of Rapid and Innovative Diagnostic Tests for Identification and Characterization of Resistant Bacteria
  4. Accelerate Basic and Applied Research and Development for New Antibiotics, Other Therapeutics, and Vaccines
  5. Improve International Collaboration and Capacities for Antibiotic-resistance Prevention, Surveillance, Control, and Antibiotic Research and Development.

Our medical specialty of Infectious Diseases is thrilled to see this multi-pronged approach, and we have long advocated for judicious use of antibiotics and accelerated pathways for new antimicrobials.  As an essential oiler, I would like to focus on goals #1 and #4.

  1. Slow the Emergence of Resistant Bacteria and Prevent the Spread of Resistant Infections

While many of the multi-drug resistant pathogens we see are in the hospital, the bulk of human antibiotic prescribing in the US is done for outpatients.  It is estimated that 50% of antibiotic use may be unnecessary.  In 2010, 258 million courses of antibiotics were prescribed, or 833 prescriptions per 1000 persons.  The CDC’s campaign “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work” educates the public and health providers that antibiotics aren’t always the answer.  For many common illnesses like viruses and flu, antibacterials will not help and can have harmful side effects, in addition to increasing drug-resistant bacteria.  We in the oily community are already aware that antibiotics are not always the best answer, and we use essential oils that have been shown to have some antimicrobial activity to fend off impending infection and also use oils to relieve symptoms of infection when they occur.  The NAP calls for monitoring of antibiotic use to assure appropriate use in both outpatient and inpatient settings.  In addition to this, wouldn’t it be great for providers and patients to know about the benefits of essential oils?

Surprisingly, 70% of antibiotics used in the US are given to livestock and poultry.  While the plan falls short of adopting antibiotic-free meats, the plan does recommend that more is done to decrease the use of antibiotics important to humans in growth promotion for animals.  Kudos to Chipotle, Panera, and Chik-Fil-A for deciding to buy antibiotic-free meats, and to McDonald’s for plans to stop using chicken raised with antibiotics important to humans!  This is progress.

4. Accelerate Basic and Applied Research and Development for New Antibiotics, Other Therapeutics, and Vaccines

This is where goal #4 comes in.  While there will be emphasis on developing new antibiotics, the goal also aims to identify new therapeutics.  And get this (from page 44 of NAP):

“Examples of non-traditional therapeutic strategies include:……

      • Identifying natural compounds with antibiotic activity (e.g., phytochemicals, essential oils,

organic acids, animal-derived lytic enzymes, and small interfering RNAs).”

So you see, essential oils are mentioned in the National Action Plan to combat antibiotic resistance! And why not?  There is already in vitro (laboratory) data and we know of many anecdotes.  We are just lacking clinical trials to demonstrate effectiveness in humans.  I found this mention of the oils in the National Action Plan very exciting.  We oilers are ahead of the game!

New vaccines for pathogens that become drug-resistant are also included as a therapeutic strategy and this is important.  Vaccines are one of the most significant public health developments of the 20th century and the more we can prevent infections, the less we have to use antibiotics!

So, the National Action Plan is a step in the right direction and even suggests developing alternatives such as essential oils.  While we love the benefits of our oils, it is no shame to use antibiotics when we do need them.  It is about using all the tools available to you—and using the right one at the right time!

References for more information:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/national_action_plan_for_combating_antibotic-resistant_bacteria.pdf

Hicks LA, Taylor Jr TH. U.S. Outpatient Antibiotic Prescribing, 2010. N Engl J Med 2013;368:15

Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work.  http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/community/index.html

Chao SC, Young DG, Oberg CJ. Effect of a diffused essential oil blend on bacterial bioaerosols. J Essent Oil Res 1998;10:517-23.

http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/fwi/fwi_facts/fwi_facts.aspx

http://press.chick-fil-a.com/Pressroom/LatestNews/PressDetail/abf

http://marketing.panerabread.com/liveconsciouslyeatdeliciously/#!articles/antibiotic_free_answers

http://news.mcdonalds.com/press-releases/mcdonald-s-usa-announces-new-antibiotics-policy-and-menu-sourcing-initiatives-nyse-mcd-1179405

Dad’s Dementia

My dad has the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. More than 5 million Americans are affected and the number is growing due to the increase in the geriatric population. As with other kinds of mental illness, the person with Alzheimer’s is not the only one affected. It affects all of the family and caregivers.

At first, it was subtle. He couldn’t remember what he did with his billfold and forgot what he had been intending to do. As the disease progressed, he would forget things that happened just a few minutes ago and became irritable with caregivers that needed to help him after my mother died. Poor judgment threatened his safety, like the time he took off to get his riding mower fixed—on the riding mower on a major thoroughfare. We were finally able to get him into assisted living. His deterioration continues. He no longer remembers where we live and what we do—previous major topics of conversation. He no longer talks about his wife of 70 years. In fact when I last visited and reminded him it was her birthday, he said “Tell me about her.”

There are days when he tries to “escape.” He’s in a wheelchair now, but will try to open the doors to exit from the unit. The doors are alarmed, and he’s not really able to get through in his wheelchair, but it is very disconcerting to the staff and to us. I visited him the day after he had one of those “escape” days and reminded him he needed to stay so he would be safe and we could visit him. He responded “Well, I guess I shouldn’t try to leave, right?”

It’s hard to watch these changes in someone who was so bright, hard-working, and independent. It’s another one of those things in life that don’t make sense. Why do our loved ones have to go through this?

Essential oils help me in my everyday life, and there is accumulating data with their use in long term care and end of life care. Experience indicates there can be decreased weight loss, agitation, insomnia, and enhanced pain control with the use of essential oils in long term care patients, and essential oils can also improve clarity and effectiveness among the staff.

So, I took my dad some essential oils the other day: Peace & Calming (a blend of tangerine, orange, ylang ylang, patchouli and blue tansy) and Stress Away (a blend of copaiba, lime, cedarwood, vanilla, ocotea, lavender). Both of these have helped me calm and de-stress, so why not give it a try? My dad’s open-minded physician readily prescribed these “as needed” and the nurse commented on how wonderful they smelled. (Maybe they’ll help her too!). These oil blends, and some melatonin for sleep, seem to be helping my dad. Next I’m getting Tranquil (lavender, cedarwood, Roman chamomile) and Rutavala (ruta, valerian, lavender) for him. These are roll-ons so will be even easier for the staff, and they are blends of some of my favorite oils.

My prayers continue for my dad’s well-being.

http://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/archive/0714p30.shtml

http://www.best-alzheimers-products.com/aromatherapy-for-alzheimers.html

http://www.recreativeresources.com/aromatherapy.htm

http://birchhillhappenings.com/v1522012hospital.htm

Tools:  Family, Essential Oils, Faith, Medicine

Ouch!

bootSo proud of getting through the ski trip without a hitch–

Then went to Philadelphia for a meeting and SLIPPED ON THE ICE!  Foot twisted under me and sprained ankle and foot.  Ugh.  At least its not broken.  Got the CAM boot from my orthopedic friend so I can at least walk.  4-6 weeks slow down on the fitness just when I was getting more into it.  Will see what I can do with the upper body weight training….

But the meeting in Philly was good–meaningful work.

Oh, and yes I am using my anti-inflammatories on the injury.  Iced it and took ibuprofen the first couple of days.  Now using cycle of whirlpool, oils (frankincense, YL Deep Relief) and icing.  Doing much better.

Tools:  Function, Medicine, Fitness, Essential oils