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Peppermint Essential Oil

peppermint

I have been experimenting with Peppermint Essential Oil for headaches and as a pain reliever. It has really worked wonders on my headaches and for my daughter’s motion sickness. This child can’t ride in a car for 30 minutes without being nauseated. She hasn’t had any problems since I created a blend for her.

Peppermint has been cultivated since ancient times, with evidence of peppermint having been found in Egyptian tombs, dating back to 1,000 BC!

Here’s just a few of the benefits you may get from Peppermint Essential Oils:

Skin Care: Acne, dermatitis, ringworm, toothache

Respiratory & Immune: Asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, colds, flu, fevers  (Great used in steam inhalation. Add a few drops to a hot cup of water covering head and cup with a towel, breathing deeply for a minute then repeating.)

Circulation, Muscles and Joints: Muscular pain, palpitations

Digestive: Colic, cramp, flatulence, nausea (Use topically mixed with carrier oil on stomach or abdomen.)

Nervous: Fainting, headache, mental fatigue, migraine (Use topically mixed with carrier oil on temples, forehead, or back of neck.)

Want to try peppermint oil? Get yours here – Simply Aroma

peppermintbenefits

As with any essential oil, do not ingest this oil.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita): relieves nausea, analgesic for muscular aches and pains, relieves/reduces migraines, energizing, antispasmodic, do not use on children under 30 months of age

The following information is courtesy of  the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

NAHA Safety Note for Peppermint Essential Oil:

- Avoid use on children under 30 months of age. The nasal mucosa is an autonomic reflexogen organ, which has a distance action to the heart, lungs and circulation and may lead to sudden apnoea and glottal constriction.

- Direct application of peppermint oil to the nasal area or chest to infants should be avoided because of the risk of apnea, laryngeal and bronchial spasms, acute respiratory distress with cyanosis and respiratory arrest. (The Longwood Herbal Task Force)

- Do not apply undiluted peppermint essential oils to the feet, particularly on infants and children under the age of 12.

- Inhalation of larges doses of menthol may lead to dizziness, confusion, muscle weakness, nausea and double vision. (Natural Standard Research Collaboration, Peppermint oil. Evidence based monograph 2005; Medlineplus)

The information below has been taken from the European Medicines Agency: ASSESSMENT REPORT ON MENTHA X PIPERITA L., AETHEROLEUM

- When used orally, it may cause heartburn, perianal burning, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. Heartburn is related with the release of the oil in the upper GI tract, which relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter, facilitating the reflux. The same occurs in the cases of hiatal hernia. This particular undesirable effect is minimized by an appropriate pharmaceutical formulation.  **Peppermint essential oil should always be in an enteric-coated tablet or capsule for internal use although even with enteric-coated capsules, anal burning, rashes, headache, muscle tremors, diarrhea, and ataxia have been reported. (AHPA Botanical Safety Handbook)

- People with gallbladder disease, severe liver damage, gallstones and chronic heartburn should avoid the intake of peppermint oil.

- Menthol and peppermint oil caused burning mouth syndrome, recurrent oral ulceration or a lichenoid reaction, by contact sensitivity in the intra-oral mucosa, in sensitive patients.

- When applied on the skin, it may cause allergic reactions, as skin rashes, contact dermatitis and eye irritation.

- Use in infants or children is not recommended, when inhaled, taken by mouth or if applied on open skin areas, on the face or chest, due to the potential toxicity of the product.

- Peppermint oil should be used with caution. Doses of menthol over 1 g/Kg b.w. may be deadly.

Introducing my essential oil blends

LHWPBlends

Hi everyone! I have started creating my own blends of essential oils. These have really worked wonders for us and I decided to make them available to you too! I will be adding more as time goes by, so bookmark my site!
http://livehealthywithpatty.com/blog/my-essential-oil-blends/

I have been using my “Chillin’” blend on Cody, who was diagnosed as ADHD and being on the autism spectrum. I have been applying it to his feet every night at bedtime and first thing in the morning since Sunday night. Wow!!! The difference has been amazing! He’s calm, focused, and no meltdowns! I used it last night too and I have never slept better! Full night’s sleep! I’m loving this!!!

FOODS FOR ANXIETY DISORDER

anxiety

There is no one magical food that will cure anxiety, particularly in people who suffer from a severe anxiety disorder. But a balanced diet can help alleviate symptoms, and certain foods may have a calming effect. A nutrition research group in the U.K. surveyed 200 people and found that people tend to reach for all the wrong foods when they are stressed and that junk food can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety. Healthy eating choices led to an improvement in mood in 90 percent of cases.

POULTRY Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, contains tryptophan, an amino acid which increases levels of certain chemicals in the brain that help create a sense of well-being and relaxation, reports the Mayo Clinic.

DARK, LEAFY GREENS “Psychology Today” reported that a study by the U.K.-based Food and Mood Project found that an increase in vegetables in the diet can reduce stress. Dark, leafy greens are packed with B vitamins, which maintain nerves and brain cells and help convert food into energy. A B vitamin deficiency can increase symptoms of stress, according to the psychology magazine.

BANANAS Bananas contain both B vitamins and tryptophan and are easier to transport than many other food options. When people are stressed, they tend to eat high-fat and high-sugar junk foods that make stress worse, according to research by the Food and Mood Project. Nutritionists recommend that people who are prone to stress purchase healthy snack foods, such as bananas and nuts, to have on hand when symptoms of anxiety flare up.

MILK AND CHEESE Milk and cheese are good sources of tryptophan, the Mayo Clinic reports. They also contain tyrosine, an amino acid that helps cells synthesize proteins. According to a report in “Psychology Today,” tyrosine can improve memory function and may also alleviate symptoms of anxiety.

WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD According to the Mayo Clinic, an increase in carbohydrates can cause elevated levels of serotonin in the brain, leading to an improvement in mood. People with anxiety should choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain bread, over simple, processed carbohydrates, such as sugar. A study conducted by Australian physicians published in the “American Journal of Psychiatry” in 2010 found that people who consumed a diet high in whole, non-processed, “traditional” foods were at a lower risk for anxiety and depression than people who consumed a diet high in processed, fried or refined foods.

FISH The B vitamins in fish can reduce stress and also help the body fight disease and infection, produce energy and maintain a healthy metabolism, according to the American Dietetic Association. Fish is also a source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart.

Nutrients And Natural Treatments For Anxiety

anxiety

Dr. Michael Cutler | Nov 04, 2013

In this article you’ll learn the safe and effective natural medications for the treatment of anxiety. I’ll also review the benefits and drawbacks to prescription drugs. The natural substances should be used in combination with non-drug interventions I previously wrote about here, here and here.

The Prescription Drugs

Doctors frequently hear complaints about anxiety. Most sufferers of anxiety come in seeking fast relief of their symptoms without regard for what has caused it. What can a doctor do for a patient with such a request within just a 10- to 15-minute appointment time slot? Prescribe a drug, of course! Like any medication, these are best used to reduce symptoms while you address the underlying causes. I’ll explain the main prescription drug options along with their pros and cons.

  • Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium): These are the classic sedating anxiolytic drugs that will surely make you feel good, relaxed, happy and care-free. However, these are quite common drugs of abuse because they are very effective and addictive. They easily cause drowsiness similar to drunkenness. And if combined with alcohol, they are potentially lethal. (You may stop breathing.) Withdrawal symptoms are terrible: Severe anxiety (the opposite of its treatment effect) can always be expected when discontinuing them abruptly after one month or longer of consistent use, even to the point of seizures.
  • SSRI antidepressants (Lexapro, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.): These are usually a first choice by physicians because they are not sedating, but getting past the first few weeks of side effects is the challenge for many patients. They often require four weeks’ of treatment until you see the desired effect. Side effects are less common after the first two weeks. When side effects occur, they commonly include insomnia, feeling “zoned out” emotionally (but less anxious), reduced sexual function and even weight gain. Almost all patients feel increased anxiety, confusion or dizziness if they go off the medication suddenly. (A two-week taper is best.) Children and adolescents using these reportedly have had increased risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, although the scientific literature indicates otherwise in recent studies [1] [2].
  • Other antidepressants (Anafranil, Desyrel, Wellbutrin): Similar in efficacy to the SSRIs, these other antidepressants each have their typical side effects. Anafranil (like the other tricyclic antidepressants, or TCAs) can be sedating and may also cause dry mouth, blurred vision, urinary retention or constipation. Desyrel is known for causing sedation. (I used to prescribe it as a first-line treatment for insomnia). A rare side effect is cause priapism (sustained painful erection). Wellbutrin does not cause sexual function decline, but commonly causes insomnia and dry mouth.
  • Buspirone (aka BuSpar): This is a mildly effective non-sedating anxiolytic that works by enhancing brain serotonin levels. (It is a natural, feel-good neurochemical.) Common side effects include nervousness (the opposite effect than intended!), dizziness, nausea, headache or insomnia.
  • Beta-blocker antihypertensives (Inderal, Tenormin): These block the effects of adrenaline that causes the fight-or-flight response to stress, especially performance-anxiety effects like racing heart, muscle tension and trembling. Side-effects are often fatigue and sedation and sometimes depression.
  • Alpha-blocker antihypertensives (Minipress, Catapress): These are used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially to reduce nightmares. Beware of dizziness due to low blood pressure at first. Other side effects include dry mouth, headache, nausea, sedation, constipation or weight gain.
  • The antihistamine hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril): This is very sedating, so it calms anxiety quite quickly. However, the sedation and the typical dry mouth effect make it less valuable for treating chronic anxiety.
  • The anticonvulsant gabapentin (aka Neurontin): This works fairly quickly for anxiety, but is mainly used to treat nerve pain. It is a GABA analogue and, therefore, stimulates GABA receptors somewhat like benzodiazepines (see natural GABA supplementation discussed below), so it can be sedating. The other anticonvulsants such as Topamax, Lamictal and Depakote have too many serious side effects for my comfort level.
  • Antipsychotics (Risperdal, Zyprexa): I would use these only as a last resort because of the small possibility of causing horrible side effects such as irreversible tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements) or neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

Interactions

All of these drugs will potentially (and do) interact with other prescription medications. That’s because these are all unnatural to your body and they go through your liver’s detoxification system, creating more unnatural metabolites. Who really knows how much unnatural metabolites stay in your body tissues (mostly fat) and how much you eliminate? Patients are known to release unnatural chemicals during deep-cleanse sauna treatments, indicating that most all of us are still holding unnatural chemicals in the body known as xenobiotics, which are likely major causes for chronic inflammation that goes largely unrecognized. You can read in greater detail about these prescription medications here.

Nutrient And Herbal Supplements

Now that you know the pros and cons of prescription medications used for anxiety, you should know the safe and effective nutrient and herbal options that are available. Remember that nutrients and herbal supplements have natural metabolites in your body that pose little if any long-term health risk. They can decrease or increase prescription medication effects.

  • GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid): The main neurotransmitter in the brain that blocks nerve excitability and, therefore, has anti-anxiety and nerve-calming effects. At 750 mg twice daily, it helps lower anxiety and can also help block nerve pain. There are many natural and prescription medications that have “GABA-like effects.”
  • L-theanine An amino acid derived from green tea (Camellia sinensis) known to reduce the emotional and physical response to stress [3]. The usual dose is 200 mg once or twice daily.
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): An antioxidant herb that can help reduce anxiety, panic attacks, phobia and depression. In one study, ashwagandha for five days had anxiety-relieving effects similar to the benzodiazepine medication lorazepam and antidepressant effects similar to the TCA antidepressant medication imipramine [4].
  • Kava kava (Piper methysticum), valerian root (Valeriana officinalis), and passionflower (Passiflora incarnate): Herbs that are relaxing and sedating. They have GABA-like effects. They are used to treat both insomnia and anxiety.
  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis):  At 600 mg daily, lemon balm has been shown to improve mood and calmness in one 2004 study. [5] In another study, it lowered anxiety when combined with valerian root. [6]
  • Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): An herb that supports your ability to handle stress.

A study using 300 mg daily for 12 weeks in elderly patients without dementia reduced anxiety and improved cognition. [7]

  • Tryptophan: An essential amino acid precursor to 5-HTP (5-hydroxy-tryptophan) which, in turn, is a precursor to serotonin, the known neurotransmitter that calms mood in the brain. Niacin helps this conversion process.
  • Magnesium: Deficiency of this mineral within the standard American diet (SAD) is a growing concern. Magnesium deficiency is a known cause of anxiety. Magnesium 500 mg daily is a safe starting dose. At higher dosages it will induce diarrhea.
  • Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6 and B12: These support the process of serotonin production in the brain. Low vitamin B is linked to anxiety, restlessness and emotional instability. Therefore, vitamin B complex supplementation is recommended, especially if you do not eat animal meat.
  • Essential oils: A calming, safe and effective option. [8] Choose from these: lavender, sweet marjoram, chamomile, sandalwood, ylang ylang, neroli, bergamot, frankincense and vanilla bean extract.
  • Teas: You can calm anxiety with brews made from chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm, kava kava, passionflower or valerian root.
  • SAMe or St. John’s wort: If your anxiety is related to depressed mood, consider these. Use 750 mg twice daily of SAMe (an amino acid) or St. John’s wort (herb).
  • Adrenal extract (natural cortisol) and the supportive herbs L-theanine and lemon balm: These support adrenal health. Eventually, worry and anxiety will lead to adrenal fatigue.

In summary: Fear, worry and stress responses are causes of anxiety disorders. You can unlearn the fears and stress responses that cause the physical symptoms of anxiety. There are mental strategies and other techniques to do this. And you can use prescription or natural medications to reduce anxiety.