WHAT IS DANDRUFF (i.e. DRY SCALP?)
Dandruff is a very common condition that can be cause for some embarrassment. By the age of 20, about 50 percent of Americans have suffered an outbreak. A small amount of flaking is normal as skin cells do die and flake off your scalp, but some people experience an unusually large amount of flaking, either chronically or as a result of certain triggers. Dandruff may also be accompanied by redness and irritation.
Dandruff is believed to be caused by a fungal infection, specifically a species called pityriasis capitis. Another yeast-like fungus, malassezia globosa, has also been implicated. The fungi live on your scalp, feeding on skin oils.
The malassezia globosa fungus uses enzymes called lipases to metabolize the oils, creating a by-product called oleic acid. The acid penetrates your skin and triggers skin cell shedding.
Grossed out yet? Me too.
The most commonly used treatments for dandruff and dry scalp are Selsun Blue or Head & Shoulders. In its basic formulation, these shampoos contain selenium sulfide as the active ingredient. Selenium sulfide is an anti-fungal agent which may be helpful in treating the skin yeast infection tinea versicolor, scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) and athlete's foot (tinea pedis).
Why would you look for a treatment besides Selsun Blue? While they can be affective at stopping dandruff, some of the harsh chemicals can cause more sensitive scalps to burn, itch more, and possibly result in chemical burn (some blog recommend overnight use of these shampoos which can definitely trigger an unwanted reaction).
AN EFFECTIVE, NATURAL SOLUTION
Here is a testimony where essential oils (Tea Tree & Lavender) were used to not only combat the symptoms of dandruff (dry itchy scalp and flakes), but attack the underlying issue as well. Results were immediate plus lasted longer in between shampoos than over the counter dandruff shampoos.
"Don’t let anyone tell you different, Dandruff is massively embarrassing. For about the last three years I’ve been struggling with a persistently dry and itchy scalp. You’ve probably detected I’m avoiding calling it what it is - DANDRUFF. It’s become both infuriating and highly embarrassing to constantly see specs of white on my shoulders or when I look in the mirror to see snowflakes in my hair.
The only treatment that worked for me was Selsun Blue, even Head & Shoulders regular shampoo wasn’t tackling it. The main problem I had with Selsun Blue was that it felt hot against my scalp to the point I felt a mild burning. And like crack cocaine, once you started you couldn’t use anything else, otherwise it would come back with a vengeance. Admittedly, the feeling on my scalp was quite nice, that cool burning sensation! That being said, one read of the ingredients in the treatment was frightening. We blindly put all kinds of crap onto our skin, or into our bodies especially when there doesn’t appear to be any alternative to it and I’m no different.
So when my wife came up with one of her “blends” I was excited if a little skeptical. I’m not sure why (I suppose a resignation that I would be using Selsun Blue for the remainder of my hair’s days) as I’ve born witness to the most amazing results with her blends, from anxiety to sleep disorder, and appetite suppressants. So unsurprisingly, it’s worked an absolute charm. I now use a combination of Tea-Tree oil and Lavender, with argan oil as a carrier oil and for additional moisturizing and rub into my scalp liberally after shampooing with a natural mild shampoo.
No oily mess or residue, and not so much as a flake has extracted itself from my head since. "
- Ward, age 39
What precious botanical oil requires around 1,000 pounds of handpicked flowers to be produced? I’ll give you a hint — its fragrance can be described as a deep, intoxicating mix of citrus and floral aromas.
Its scent isn’t the only reason you’ll want to read on. This essential oil is excellent at soothing agitated nerves and is especially effective at relieving feelings of grief and despair. Plus, you can actually reduce your blood pressure and cortisol levels just by smelling this wondrous oil. (1) Give up? I’m talking about neroli essential oil, which comes straight from the flowers of an orange tree!
Neroli Essential Oil Origins & Components
The interesting thing about the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium) is that it actually produces three distinctly different essential oils. The peel of the nearly ripe fruit yields bitter orange oil while the leaves are the source of petitgrain essential oil. Last but certainly not least, neroli essential oil is steam-distilled from the small, white, waxy flowers of the tree.
The bitter orange tree is native to eastern Africa and tropical Asia, but today it’s also grown throughout the Mediterranean region and in the states of Florida and California. The trees bloom heavily in May, and under optimal growing conditions, a large bitter orange tree can produce up to 60 pounds of fresh flowers.
Timing is crucial when it comes to creating neroli essential oil since the flowers quickly lose their oil after they’re plucked from the tree. To keep the quality and quantity of neroli essential oil at their highest, the orange blossom must be handpicked without being excessively handled or bruised.
Some of the major components of neroli essential oil include linalool (28.5 percent), linalyl acetate (19.6 percent), nerolidol (9.1 percent), E-farnesol (9.1 percent), α-terpineol (4.9 percent) and limonene (4.6 percent).
6 Impressive Benefits of Neroli Essential Oil
1. Lowers Inflammation & Pain
Neroli has been shown to be an effective and therapeutic choice for the management of pain and inflammation. Results of one study in the Journal of Natural Medicines suggest that neroli possesses biologically active constituents that have the ability to reduce acute inflammation and chronic inflammation even more so. It was also found that neroli essential oil has the ability to reduce central and peripheral sensitivity to pain. (2)
2. Reduces Stress & Improve Symptoms of Menopause
The effects of inhaling neroli essential oil on menopausal symptoms, stress and estrogen in postmenopausal women were investigated in a 2014 study. Sixty-three healthy postmenopausal women were randomized to inhale 0.1 percent or 0.5 percent neroli oil, or almond oil (control), for five minutes twice daily for five days in the Korea University School of Nursing study.
Compared with the control group, the two neroli oil groups showed significantly lower diastolic blood pressure as well as improvements in pulse rate, serum cortisol levels and estrogen concentrations. The findings indicate that inhalation of neroli essential oil helps relieve menopausal symptoms, increase sexual desire and reduce blood pressure in postmenopausal women. In general, neroli essential oil can be an effective intervention to reduce stress and improve the endocrine system. (3)
3. Decreases Blood Pressure & Cortisol Levels
A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine investigated the effects of using essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in 83 prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects at regular intervals for 24 hours. The experimental group was asked to inhale an essential oil blend that included lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram and neroli. Meanwhile, the placebo group was asked to inhale an artificial fragrance for 24, and the control group received no treatment.
What do you think researchers found? The group that smelled the essential oil mix including neroli had significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with the placebo group and the control group after treatment. The experimental group also showed significant decreases in the concentration of salivary cortisol. It was concluded that the inhalation of neroli essential oil can have immediate and continuous positive effects on blood pressure and stress reduction. (4)
4. Exhibits Antimicrobial & Antioxidant Activities
The fragrant blossoms of the bitter orange tree don’t just produce an oil that smells amazing. Research shows that the chemical composition of neroli essential oil has both antimicrobial and antioxidant powers.
Antimicrobial activity was exhibited by neroli against six kinds of bacteria, two types of yeast and three different fungi in a study published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences. Neroli oil exhibited a marked antibacterial activity, especially against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Neroli essential oil also exhibited a very strong antifungal activity compared with the standard antibiotic (nystatin). (5)
5. Repairs & Rejuvenates Skin
If you’re looking to buy some essential oils to add to your beauty routine, you’ll definitely want to consider neroli essential oil. It’s known for its ability to regenerate the skin cells and improve the elasticity of skin. It also helps maintain the right oil balance in the skin, making it an excellent choice for all skin types.
Due to its ability to revive skin at the cellular level, neroli essential oil can be beneficial for wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. Any skin condition caused by or related to stress should also respond well to the use of neroli essential oil since it has wonderful overall healing and calming abilities. It can also be useful for treating bacterial skin conditions and rashes since it has antimicrobial ability (as mentioned above). (6)
6. Acts as an Anti-seizure & Anticonvulsant Agent
Seizures involve changes in the brain’s electrical activity. This can cause dramatic, noticeable symptoms — or even no symptoms at all. The symptoms of a severe seizure are often widely recognized, including violent shaking and loss of control.
A recent 2014 study was designed to investigate the anticonvulsant effect of neroli. The study found that neroli possesses biologically active constituents that have anticonvulsant activity, which supports the use of the plant in the management of seizures. (7)
By Ty Bollinger, from The Truth About Cancer
A citrusy delight, lemon is a summer season favorite that typifies what it means to be a child — think neighborhood lemonade stands and warm, balmy days at the pool. But more than just a refreshing treat, lemon also contains a rich oil that science suggests could protect against certain types of cancer.
Native to the Middle East, lemon (or at least it’s modern variation), has gained considerable attention in scientific literature. It’s been used to make everything from simple lemonade beverages and lemon liquors to vinegar and fermented healing elixirs. But perhaps its greatest potential is in essential oil form, which is where lemon really shines.
Can Lemon Halt Cervical Cancer?
Long recognized as a remedy for cold symptoms and other respiratory ailments due to its high vitamin C and antioxidant content, lemon has more recently been identified as possessing a wealth of other nutrients that work together to target cancer cells. A 2010 review published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Researchidentified essential oil of lemon as possessing the capacity to stop human cervical cancer cells in their tracks.
Using hydrodistillation, Chinese scientists extracted lemon essential oil and tested it on a series of human cervical adenocarcinoma cell lines. They found that the oil not only blocked the cancer cell lines from spreading, but also inhibited oxidizing free radicals from harming healthy cells.
Lemon Essential Oil Offers Multimodal Benefits Against Cancer
A larger review of plant extracts and the various roles they play in preventing and treating disease revealed that essential oils, including that of the lemon, acts in multiple ways to target cancer. Lemon and other essential oils, a research team found, utilize multiple pathways and mechanisms to thwart cancer, including through cell cycle arrest, apoptosis (cell suicide), increased levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, and anti-metastasis and anti-angiogenic (stopping tumors from growing blood vessels) activities.
A mixture of lemon essential oil combined with eucalyptus, melaleuca, lemongrass, clove leaf, and thyme, in a 40 percent ethanol base, demonstrated anti-tumorigenic effects when administered to patients with metastatic tumorigenic ulcers. Cancer patients have also found relief from pain, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting by using lemon and other essential oils.
How Your Nose Can Help Stop the Spread of Cancer
Another study published earlier this year in the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics reveals that citronella terpenes in lemon essential oil stop the growth of cancers, including those of the liver, through olfactory activation. In other words, citronella terpenes activate certain smell receptors located throughout the body in order to prevent the spread of cancer.
“Terpenes can trigger signaling processes in cells by activating olfactory receptors,” wrote the authors of this study in a January press release. “Those receptors are mainly located in the nose, but they have been proved [sic] to occur in all types of human tissue, including skin, prostate and spermatozoa. Carcinogenesis and cancer growth are likewise significantly affected by terpenes.”
Sleep is probably the #1 topic parents of babies & toddlers, right? We wonder how to get them to do it, do it more often, do it longer. They usually figure it out and child rearing trundles along. But every now and then something really throws a curveball to the sleep arena that stumps even seasoned parents.
About five months ago our now 15mo old, previously a good sleeper, became a troubled, seemingly frightened, restless, and infrequent sleeper. He would fight going to sleep, cry at the slightest motion, resist napping not in a car, and worst of all - jerk himself awake with a scream. And the screaming would continue, eyes closed. Cosleeping, white noise, change in room & crib, temperature adjustments, nothing seemed to have lasting impact. When he would cry he wouldn’t reach out, which finally (after many fitful nights) led us to think maybe it was night terrors.
My brilliant hubby of course said “Is there an oil for that?” And after doing some research came up with a protocol to try. #ThereIsAnOilForThat And to say it worked like a magic bullet would be almost and understatement. 12 straight hours of uninterrupted sleep our little restless one had that night, 12 solid hours. That was a month ago. I wanted to wait until a decent amount of experiment time had passed to know if it was effective or a fluke. Two nights when we ran out waiting for our next order, we had the confirmation we needed. He quickly slipped back to troubled sleeping. Overnight FedEx charge was totally worth it. We will never be without his magic sleep oils ever again.
It is hard as a parent when you don’t know what to do to help your child. Pretty awful actually. Nothing our pediatrician could do (except drug him, no bueno); no book or “tactics” left to try. This was a humbling experience wrapped up in big gratitude. I am so overwhelmingly thankful to have strong, effective, & safe natural medicine for my boys in these YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS. In so many ways these oils and amazing company have changed our life, I should stop being surprised when they come to the rescue over and over and over again xx
#ApothecaryMama #TheWholeEssentialLife #NightTerrors #babiesandsleep #EssentialOilsForTheWin
THE PROTOCOL: Surrender (a blend of Lavender, Roman chamomile, German chamomile, angelica, mountain savory, lemon, and spruce) was the main oil, rolled on the bottom of the feet, neat and heavily. Layered a minute later with frankincense (or sacred frankincense when we ran out), finished with lavender behind the ears and on the brain stem xx