Breathing in aromas rich in antioxidants — the agents in fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamins C and E — may be an option for good health, according to Kwang-Guen Lee, a researcher at the University of California at Davis. Lee distilled and extracted 30 chemicals to produce aromas from 10 plants, including soybeans, kidney beans, eucalyptus leaves and several types of spices, including basil, thyme, rosemary and cinnamon. Lee then tested the extracts for antioxidant levels and found them to be similar to those in vitamin E.
New research verifies what massage therapists have always known: massage eases chronic tension headaches (American Journal of Public Health, October 2002). The small study measured baseline values of 14 non-migraine, tension headache sufferers for four weeks, documenting frequency, duration and intensity of the headaches. Subjects then received two 30-minute massage sessions each week for four weeks, emphasizing the neck and shoulder area. After just one week of therapy, subjects reported significant reductions in headache frequency, which continued throughout the study.
Whenever I consider aromatherapy treatments for women who have been traumatized by painful sexual, psychological or physical traumas, I think of the supreme woman’s oil, Spikenard, and its angelic sister oil, Rose. These two oils are consummate healing agents with remarkable purifying powers. Together, they are spiritually uplifting and capable of encouraging pure love and true forgiveness. Where Spikenard is grounding and calming, Rose is angelic in its ability to help one rise above personal pain. These oils are powerful vehicles for healing women’s emotional wounds.
For soreness, aches and pains associated with exercise, some people use muscle rubs (often medicinal-smelling), aspirin or other over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, while others just tough it out. These remedies can be quite costly, as well as having unpleasant side effects. Fortunately, these are not the only options. Herbs and their volatile aromatic oils — essential oils — can be useful in relieving the aches and pains of inflammation. These remedies are simple to make, effective, without side effects when properly used, and in the long run are much less costly than OTC remedies.
Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), an ingredient common to many cold and cough remedies, can cause strokes in men and women ages 18–49 after prolonged usage, reported the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). PPA is included in many remedies because of its effectiveness at alleviating nasal congestion. However, the FDA is warning 200–500 strokes might be linked to the ingredient. In a related story, the herbal cold and flu remedy Aller Relief has been recalled due to the FDA’s warning the product contained small amounts of the cancer-causing agent aristolochic acid.
According to a study conducted by the University of South Carolina in Columbia, active men are less likely to develop a duodenal ulcer (ulcers that occur in the upper part of the small intestine) than those who are idle. The results, reported in the August 2000 issue of the Western Journal of Medicine, showed that in more than 11,000 subjects tested those who either walked or ran a distance of 10 miles a week had 1/2 to 1/3 the risk of developing an ulcer over 20 years.
Postmenopausal women may be able to reduce their risk of heart disease almost 30 percent by taking fish oil supplements.
Herbs like echinacea, gingko biloba and St. John’s wort can lessen the ability of sperm to penetrate ova, a necessary step in the road to fertilization. According to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study, published in OBG Management, other herbal supplements like kava kava and black cohosh also are targeted as herbs to stay away from when trying to induce pregnancy.
Natural remedies for menopause, such as soy, licorice root and black cohosh, have been prevalent for some time. Enter into the foray the Peruvian plant maca. Unlike the former, which all introduce phytoestrogens into the body as a relief agent, maca regulates the flow of estrogen throughout the body, according to biological researcher Gloria Chacon, Ph.D. Rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, protein, carbohydrates and vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E and some fatty acids, maca has been reported to assist with fatigue, mood swings and hot flashes.