Essential 7

Essential 7
The Name I Trust for Quality Essential Oils

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Aluminum Foil: Why It Should Never Be Used in Cooking

Aluminum foil has been a household name for decades. Many school lunches and picnic items have been carefully wrapped in it. Grilled foods are often prepared on it. Baking pans are lined with it to cut down on the clean-up. But all that glitters isn't gold, and everything about aluminum doesn't shine. 

Aluminum is harmful to the body; specifically the brain. Studies in animals have shown that aluminum is a neurotoxin. In other words, it poisons the brain and the nervous system of the body. This is big news, considering that the brain controls the rest of the body. Poisoning the brain is akin to hacking the mainframe computer. Things start to go haywire across the entire network when you do that. 

In fact, autopsies on Alzheimer's patients have revealed high levels of aluminum in the brain. Studies have also shown aluminum to be a residual toxin. The longer our brains are exposed, the more aluminum we accumulate.

So how do we protect our cranial computer neurocenters from aluminum? The first line of defense lies in our use of aluminum foil. Every time we heat up food on or in aluminum foil, some of the aluminum particles leach into the food. At times, our taste buds can even detect this occurrence. It registers on the tongue as a tang, similar to lemon. 

Speaking of lemon, adding lemon when cooking on or in aluminum foil is a bad idea. Lemon actually increases the absorption of aluminum in the body. For this reason, you should pass on the lemon in your tea. Tea leaves contain a certain amount of aluminum because of aluminum particles in the soil. The tea plant absorbs the aluminum, and transfers it to the leaves. The longer the leaves remain on the plant, the more aluminum they contain. Black teas are made from the most mature tea leaves. Green teas come from semi-mature leaves. White tea comes from very immature leaves. So opt for white tea, which contains the least amount of aluminum.

Now, I know what you are thinking. How did aluminum get into the soil? Was it from all of the aluminum foil that was tossed into landfills? That certainly is a factor. But much of the aluminum in the soil came from the atmosphere. Crop dusting with pesticides containing aluminum-based chemicals causes airborne aluminum particles to drift down onto fields, where they leach into the soil. Some conspiracy theorists will also tell you that aluminum particles are purposely being sprayed upward into our atmosphere to reflect the suns rays away from the earth, in an attempt to thwart Global Warming. Regardless of your beliefs, the soil samples don't lie. Aluminum is in there, and it is finding its way into plants. 

Unfortunately, there is not much we can do to protect ourselves from these social practices. But the individual focus should be on minimizing aluminum ingestion and exposure. Remember, aluminum is residual and accumulative. You may not be able to control "The Environment", but you can have some control over your immediate environment. 

If you use aluminum foil, only cover food with it. Do not cook on it. Do not wrap food in it. Aluminum cookware causes the same problems. Toss out your aluminum bakeware, pots, and pans, and replace them with stainless steel or cast iron. Interestingly, cast iron cookware infuses iron into the foods you cook in it. This can be beneficial, if you are diagnosed with anemia. Don't use cast iron if you are battling cancer, though. Iron acts like a fertilizer for cancer cells, causing them to grow faster and more aggressively.

If you don't want to throw away that huge roll of aluminum foil sitting on the shelf, there are some good uses for the stuff. Crumple large sheets of it into balls, and toss two or three in your dryer in place of a dryer sheet. The bouncing action inside the dryer will fluff up your clothes, and the aluminum content will eliminate static cling.

Make a parabolic shield for your Internet router. This directs your bandwidth exactly where you want it to go, instead of allowing it to disperse equally in all directions. Rather than making your driveway into a WiFi hot spot, push that signal toward your living space, increasing the signal strength inside your home. A simple piece of cardboard, folded in three, will make a nice stand. Cover both sides of the cardboard with aluminum foil, and place the stand behind your router to deflect the signal. Turn this shield in the direction you want to direct your bandwidth. It's easy to make, and it really works!

As you can see, aluminum foil has some really good uses. Just remember, never use it in cooking. Your brain will thank you!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Get Safe and Natural Relief From Allergies and Hay Fever

Allergy season is my least favorite season. The pollen in the air lands on everything, and eventually ends up inside my nose! I sneeze multiple times in a row while my family looks on with a mixture of amazement, sorrow, and disgust. After about a week of this, I am ready for either an oxygen mask or a bullet to the head. Well, that's an exaggeration. Oxygen masks make me claustrophobic (smile). 

I have tried many allergy relief medications over the years. The antihistamines made me feel creepy and sleepy. I felt like each hair on my head was standing at attention, while the rest of me was slowly sliding under the chair. The new non-drowsy formulas did absolutely nothing for me. I had resigned myself to misery.

Then my swollen and sticky allergy eyes were opened one day to the healing power of essential oils. What a revelation! I had discovered the proverbial "hair of the dog that bit me". I could use the distilled oils from plants to get relief from plant allergies (and other airborne allergies). My life was forever changed.

My research into essential oil allergy relief revealed lavender to be my best weapon. I then began to apply lavender oil to my facial sinuses every morning and evening (being careful not to get any in my eyes). I sprinkled several drops of lavender oil on my pillow each night, and I placed a few drops in the palm of my hand so I could breathe it in for aromatherapy. Months passed, and my allergies began to subside. 

I continued this regimen even after I found relief, as I was afraid of having a relapse. Allergy seasons came and went, and my sinuses remained calm and unaffected. I felt like I had been cured!

Then I turned the corner from winter to spring this year, and the old, familiar sneezing pattern re-emerged. My family stopped and did a double-take. I casually passed it off as a fluke. But days gave way to weeks, and I could deny it no longer. The hay fever was back with a vengeance!

I went back to the books to do more research, and again I was directed to essential oil of lavender. But this time the treatment was a bit more extreme, and yet a little more simple. I placed one drop of therapeutic-grade lavender oil on the tip of my index finger, and I pressed it gently into the center of my tongue. Letting up after a few seconds, the perfumey taste permeated my mouth. It is definitely an acquired taste (which I have yet to acquire), but I am willing to swallow raw garlic to avoid a cold, so I pressed on in the name of allergy relief. Sure enough, a few minutes later, my sneezing stopped and my sniffling subsided. 
Every time I felt my symptoms coming back, I pressed another drop of lavender oil into the center of my tongue. Soon, I was noticing hours of relief between treatments. Then it was days. Then it was weeks. 

I still keep the lavender oil handy. It has so many great uses that go beyond allergy relief. It's a wonderful calming agent, a soothing balm for bug bites, cuts and burns, and an anti-itch remedy for rashes and skin irritations. 

The most important thing to remember is that all essential oils are NOT created equally. Many low-grade, cheap oils are tainted with potentially harmful substances that are used to dilute them. Always shop for pure, steam-distilled therapeutic-grade oils from a reputable merchant. I recommend essential7.com. They have been in business for many years, selling high-quality oils at a fair price.

Don't let pollen, pet dander, and other airborne allergens get the best of you. Let lavender oil be your shield and your source of relief!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How to Naturally Treat an Ear Ache or Infection Without Antibiotics

Ear aches and ear infections seem to plague some infants, kids, and even adults. This condition can become chronic, in which case, the use of antibiotics turns to overuse. Flooding the body with antibiotics too often can kill all of the good bacteria in the gut. This leads to poor digestion and a lowered immune system. Isn't it ironic that the very drug intended to heal the body of infection can set the stage for more infection or illness? It seems a bit like job security, doesn't it?

Fortunately, there is a natural remedy for aching ears. Nature has its own antibiotic agents that work against the bad bacteria without killing off the good. One of these miracle plants is garlic. Garlic is a wonderful natural antibiotic, and it is very gentle on the body. That makes it safe for infants, kids, adults, and seniors. 

As the Boy Scouts will tell you, it is always best to be prepared. So don't wait until your little one is tugging at his ear to mix up your natural remedy. It's a very easy recipe, and it only takes minutes to set up. However, it does take some time to infuse.

All you need is some olive oil, fresh garlic (please refrain from using store-bought minced garlic), and a glass storage bottle (dark, colored glass is best). Fill your bottle half-full with olive oil, and peel a clove or two of garlic. A 4-ounce bottle should only need one clove. Use this ratio to make a larger batch.
Slice the peeled garlic clove into chunks just small enough to fit into the bottle. Don't cut the garlic pieces too small. You don't want garlic chunks getting into the ear dropper. 

Now place the garlic pieces into the bottle, and fill the remainder of the bottle with more olive oil. Close the bottle tightly, and place it on a shelf in a dark, cool place. If your room temperature is warm (above 70 degrees), place the bottle in the refrigerator. The oil can become rancid if kept too warm.

Over the course of weeks and months, the garlic will infuse into the oil. The chunks will sink to the bottom, and the garlic oil will be at the top. Use a glass ear dropper to extract the oil as needed. Make sure the dropper does not reach the bottom of the bottle. Remember, you don't want the garlic chunks; only the garlic oil.

At the first sign of an ear ache, have the patient lie on their side, and place a few drops of garlic oil in the sore ear. Allow the oil to penetrate for as long as the patient is willing to lie there. Small children don't usually comply with this method, so you may need to dose them more frequently throughout the day. 

Continue this procedure multiple times per day until the pain is gone. Besides smelling like an Italian restaurant, there are no side-effects to this treatment. Garlic and olive oil are both safe, non-toxic, and natural. Even pets can benefit from this simple, yet effective remedy.

If you cannot wait for your own garlic oil to infuse, commercial recipes can be purchased at many health food stores. Drugstore.com also carries garlic oil, if you have time to allow for shipping. "Ear's" to your health!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Natural Cure for Diarrhea

I realize that diarrhea is not a common topic among friends. The subject is enough to make most people squeamish and uncomfortable. But the truth of the matter is, diarrhea can be serious if left untreated. 

Children are especially susceptible to dehydration, which can result after only a day or two of diarrhea. Our bodies are made up largely of water, so a sudden fluid loss can be life-threatening.

There are plenty of products on the market that help to quell diarrhea, and most of them seem to work. The problem is the effect they have on the liver and the brain. Many anti-diarrhea products contain aluminum-hydroxide, an ingredient that is known to cause constipation. An occasional dose of this substance is not likely to do harm, but aluminum and other metals are residual. This means that they build up inside the body over the course of time. Our bodies simply have a hard time flushing them out.

The liver is the biggest collector of residual waste products. Its function is to filter impurities out of the body, and like all filters, it can get clogged. An aluminum-clogged liver results in a bigger build-up of toxins. Picture a water filter that is gunked up with minerals and dirt. It is no longer effective in removing impurities. The same thing can happen to a human liver

Aluminum can also collect in the brain. It is not completely understood how this metal is carried to the brain, or why it likes to remain there. But autopsies done on Alzheimer patients revealed high amounts of aluminum in their brains.

The bottom line is, aluminum-laden products should not be ingested. Therefore, anti-diarrhea products containing aluminum should also be avoided. Of course, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers didn't use aluminum-hydroxide to treat diarrhea. They learned from their mothers how to calm the intestines with a natural remedy. 

Cooked rice has a binding effect that constipates the bowels. The bland nature of rice also soothes an irritated colon and reduces inflammation.

The best natural diarrhea remedy, however, is blackberry leaf tea

Raspberry leaf tea is also effective, and is easier to find on store shelves. I happen to live in an area where blackberries grow wild. Every year I pick some of the leaves and dry them. I store them in a clean, dry container with a tight-fitting lid. A glass canister works best. 

At the first sign of diarrhea in any of my family members, I boil some filtered water and pour it over the dried leaves. This can be done in a tea pot, or the leaves can be added to a pan full of cold water. Bring the water slowly to a boil. Then remove from the heat, and allow the tea to steep. Strong tea works best on stopping diarrhea quickly.

Have the patient sip the warm tea throughout the day. Several cups may be needed to accomplish the mission, but this remedy really works. Sweeten the tea with honey if it tastes too bitter to drink straight. 

Blackberry and raspberry leaves are gentle on the stomach and soothing to the intestines. They also have a hint of berry flavor, which is pleasing to the palate. And don't forget about the saving grace for the liver and brain!
As diarrhea remedies go, blackberry leaves are my cup of tea!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Safe and Natural Flea and Tick Prevention for Pets

Every spring, pet owners are faced with the same pesky problem - parasites! As the weather warms up, all pests become more active. But fleas and ticks are actively seeking a host, and your unprotected dog or cat looks very inviting. Like any problem, the solution is best handled as prevention, rather than cure. 

Tea tree essential oil is the best line of defense against fleas. Drop several drops down the spine of your dog, beginning at the nape of the neck and continuing toward the base of the tail. Cats only need a drop or two between the shoulder blades. Fleas will run for the hills!

Tick prevention is equally easy. Essential oil of lemongrass repels them better than commercial pesticides, but without all of the dangerous chemicals. Simply place a few drops on your pet's collar for a homemade tick collar. Or apply in the same fashion as the tea tree oil. If a tick does embed itself in your pet's (or a person's) skin, don't pull it out. Carefully apply a single drop of tea tree oil at the point of entry, and watch that tick back out with a vengeance! 

Bathing your dog regularly is a great way to prevent fleas. I like to mix up my own shampoo in an empty bottle. I squirt in a healthy dollop of shampoo, add a few drops of tea tree oil and/or lemongrass, and fill to the top with water. Shake well before using. The watery mixture spreads easily across your dog's coat, and the oils in the mix will not rinse away. This leaves behind a great-smelling pooch wearing a coat of flea armor. If your dog has skin allergies, try adding some essential oil of lavender to your shampoo mixture. 

Pet bedding is another favorite place for fleas to hide. To send them packing, mix about ten drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water. Spritz liberally on and around your pet's bedding. 

You can even safeguard your yard against fleas and ticks by mixing 10-20 drops of tea tree oil and an equal number of drops of lemongrass oil in a pump up sprayer. Fill to the top with water, and spray the entire yard. 

These prevention methods can be repeated as often as necessary, since the ingredients are harmless to the environment. I live in a warm climate, so I treat my dog once a month. I only treat the yard once per season, skipping the winter season when pests are less active.

Natural parasite prevention is safe for the pets, the kids, the yard, and the environment. It is also more economical than commercial flea and tick products. There is essentially no reason not to try it. Go to essential7.com today and order the best flea and tick prevention nature has to offer!