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I have recently been gifted an aromatherapy diffuser for essential oils, together with an essential oil blend for relaxation. What essential oils do you recommend for health?
>> It can be very difficult to just choose from the thousands of therapeutic essential oils available. It is important to consider what you are wanting to use them for.
Most people tend to start with oils that have a wide range of uses and applications. These workhorse oils are a must for any first-aid cabinet. It is worth noting that it is useful to have a good quality cold-pressed carrier oils, floral water or hydrosol, and aloe vera gel on hand for use in combination with the oils. Lavender is a versatile oil that is not only effective with burns, scalds, headaches, insomnia, flu, depression, circulation, wound healing, and detoxification, it also smells wonderfully. It is often said that if you were to choose only one oil then this would be a wise choice. Lavender is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, and detoxifier.
Tea tree essential oil is from Australia, and is typically used for its powerful antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal qualities. It oil is extremely effective and gentle. Common uses include fungal infections, acne, sunburn, toothache, and household cleaning.
Eucalyptus is another Australian oil, this one is most commonly used to treat respiratory ailments as well as being an effective anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic, diuretic, analgesic, antiviral, and deodoriser. It also does a great job in removing residual ‘sticky stuff’ from labels and tape!
Lemon is an uplifting oil that is wonderful for concentration and has a general tonic effect. It works to purify water, treat insect bites, relieve headaches, balance the lymphatic system, and stimulates digestion. All of the citrus oils have similar properties and add a bright note to any blend.
German and Roman chamomile are soothing and can be used in preparations for irritated skin, particularly where eczema is an issue. Rose geranium is a great oil for women useful in helping with the symptoms of menopause, endometriosis, uterine and breast cancer, infertility and nervous disorders. Peppermint and spearmint essential oils may help with digestion, flu, migraines, and fatigue.
I am looking for a mushroom supplement that has powerful immune-boosting properties. Do you know where I can find it, please?
>> Oriental mushrooms, such as shiitake, reishi, maitake and cordyceps, have an adaptogenic effect on the body while providing thymus support. Adaptogens enable the body to cope more effectively by helping it adapt to stresses. Red reishi mushroom, (ganoderma lucidum) has been shown to help reduce inflammation, increase energy levels, regulate the immune system, protect the liver, and improve sleep quality. Reishi is a powerful adaptogen that acts very rapidly within the body, possibly due to the watersoluble polysaccharides and triterpenes which help to rapidly normalise body systems and processes.
Maitake (Grifola frondosa) helps with wound healing, is a powerful antioxidant, and been shown to protect against heart disease and diabetes.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is a powerful immune-supportive mushroom, used for cardiovascular health, to improve brain function, increase energy levels, reduce inflammation, and is actually used by oncologists in Japan to support cancer patients in post-chemotherapy recovery. Reishi extract has also been used in the treatment of drug-resistant cancers. Studies indicate that lung cancer cells respond to the herb much in the same way as they would react to chemotherapy drugs. Yet unlike chemotherapy drugs, which can be toxic to healthy cells, the reishi extract was only deadly to cancer cells not healthy cells.
A combination of three or more medicinal mushrooms is ideal, since it will help to increase the range of beneficial effects. Solgar combination Reishi Shiitake Maitake mushroom extract cost €31.34 for 50 capsules.