Hi Folks! Emily here. I wanted to share with you an amazing remedy that I have had the opportunity to use today. It’s that time of year where bugs are becoming a big problem. Well yesterday morning I woke up with a massive spider bite on the back of my left thigh. It was swollen and red and hurt like crazy with a deep throbbing pain. I slapped some lavender and peppermint on it to deal with the itching and pain and I went on with my busy day, only giving it thought when it began to hurt again. By the end of the day the bite had swollen and reddened nearly my entire thigh. I applied some lobelia tincture topically (which took away the pain immediately) and took some anti-allergy tincture that I keep on hand and went to sleep. In the past that had always taken care of problems like this. Not so this time. When I woke up this morning I had a mild fever and the redness and swelling had not diminished noticeably. So my trusted standbys had helped the symptoms but not effected a cure. I hustled to the shop and grabbed an herb that I really should have had all along.
I made a tea out of the leaves and after steeping the leaves for 10 minutes, applied the wet leaves (still warm) to the area of the bite. I kept those on for 5 or 6 minutes and then applied them again every 10 or 15 minutes for an hour (normally I would wrap this poultice in gauze and leave on for several hours but I was in a hurry). I then discarded the leaves and for the rest of the day I have been dipping a washcloth in the tea and applying it to the spot every half hour or so. It is 3:51 pm as I write this and the swelling and redness has gone down so that my entire leg is back to normal, the fever is gone and there is only a little red spot to mark the original site of the bite or sting or whatever got me. Comfrey has proven its worth to me and from now on I will make sure to always have some on hand!
The definition of Essential oils is: a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.
I want to break down this definition of essential oils to see what is an essential oil?
“A natural oil typically obtained by distillation” Most essential oils are obtained by steam distillation. This process breaks down the plant to obtain the volatile oil. Now you may be thinking “what is a volatile essential oil?”. A volatile oil by definition is: a (substance) easily evaporated at normal temperatures.
The second half of the definition: “and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted” Another common process for obtaining an essential oil is by cold pressing. This is usually used to get the oils from a citrus peel.
Now that I have answered what is an essential oil, I want to focus on how to use the essential oil.
Some people consider essential oils the essence or life force of a plant, and thought to have therapeutic properties which allows them to be used in aromatherapy. Essential oils are molecularly structured to be absorbed by the skin, or lung tissue. This allows the properties of the oil to be absorbed by the blood stream and assimilated by the body’s organs. The properties of each essential oil varies based on the plant or source it is taken from.
There are a few ways we suggest using essential oils. The first is by diffusion. We carry (in -store) a nebulizing diffuser. This blasts the oil into particles that are lighter than air filling a 900 sq foot room in minutes with the oils’ properties. This is the most efficient and cost effective way to diffuse essential oils. We also carry ionic diffusers that use sonic vibrations to create a mist that combines water and essential oils.
Another way to use the oil is by using it topically through absorption on the skin. Since our essential oils are pure and can be quite potent, we suggest always using a carrier oil when doing a topical application, this will help alleviate any skin irritation that using the pure oil could cause. What is an essential oil carrier oil? A carrier oil is a base oil that “carries” essential oils for application on the skin. Some of the most common carrier oils include Sweet Almond oil, Coconut oil, Argan oil, and Jojoba oil.
One of the most common uses for essential oils are in massage. Lavender essential oil mixed with coconut oil is typically used in an aromatherapy session. This combination is frequently used by our partner Main Street Health and Wellness in their aromatherapy massage sessions.
Through dedication, research, and care we try to provide you with the information for helping you pursue wellness naturally. We welcome any feedback or questions you might have about what is an essential oil, and what to do with them.
#whatisanessentialoil #aromatherapy #essentialoils #essential #oil #natural
Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) has several properties that give it many uses in our lives. It is said to be antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral as well as antifungal. One use that I have found for Tea Tree oil is for acne remediation.
I have had mild acne flare-ups since adolescence and am approaching 30. I have also tried the western medicine approach of various salves, creams, lotions, and soaps. They all seemed to help, but they also dried out my skin. In addition, I have mild Rosacea and the active ingredient in most of the acne treatments in a 5% Benzoyl Peroxide. This ingredient is not very kind to Rosacea sufferers and did make my Rosacea much worse. In contrast, the Tea Tree oil does not affect my Rosacea. Granted, the Tea Tree oil did take two weeks longer to see results in my acne, but my Rosacea has stayed at bay!!
There is a study concerning the use of 5% Tea Tree Oil compared to 5% Benzoyl Peroxide. In this study they tested 124 patients and found no significant difference between the use of Tea Tree oil vs Benzoyl Peroxide. Either treatment worked and the Tea Tree oil resulted in fewer side effects. (Baaset IB, Pannowitz DL, Barnetson RS “A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoylperoxide in the treatment of acne” *The Medical Journal of Australia* [1990, 153(8):455-458]).
Any 5% solution of Tea Tree oil can be created from the essential oil we sell in the shop and one of the carrier oils. Stop on by for help and advice. Keep in mind a 20 part carrier to 1 part Tea Tree oil will create a 5% solution.
It’s a common fact that living in America means eating healthy and avoiding toxic food is a daily struggle that most of us face. With all of the ready-to-eat prepackaged foods and high-fat fast foods available, it is much easier to choose foods that have next to no nutritional value but are fast and cheap than it is to spend the time and money necessary to provide our bodies with the vitamins and minerals that we need. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 68.8 % of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. That’s 2 out of 3 people!
There are many different supplements that people use in attempts to lose weight. Many of these supplements are packed with caffeine and diuretics and can cause rapid, superficial weight loss that just comes back as soon as you stop taking them. Our goal is to get our bodies to a healthy weight and maintain that weight in a healthy way. No one likes to hear it but healthy diet and consistent exercise are the best way to lose weight, but still sometimes we need a little extra help.
My favorite weight control aid is our Weight Control Tea. It is a nutritive blend of chickweed, corn silk, hawthorn, sarsaparilla, green tea, ginger, yerba mate, spearmint, rose hips, and hibiscus. This tea not only excites the metabolism, it also has a vast array of vitamins and minerals. A lot of times when people are having trouble losing weight it is because their diet excludes one or more specific vitamin or mineral so their body holds on to everything it takes in, causing toxins and fat to build up. It is the same thing that happens when people starve themselves in attempts to lose weight. It is counter-intuitive because they are teaching their bodies to store calories instead of expending them.
The Weight Control Tea is packed with nutritive herbs, providing the body with a lot of the vitamins that an average American diet may lack, allowing the body to release the things it doesn’t need. Along with diet and exercise the Weight Control Tea is a valuable tool in helping achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Generally I like to drink a couple of cups a weeks unless I am doing a detox or short term diet where I will up it to 3-5 cups a day. With a sweet, fruity flavor it is a tasty addition to any diet.
A lot of people are working toward living a healthier lifestyle and a big part of that for most is cutting out
caffeine and sugar. There are several substitutes you could use to help tame those cravings and my favorite is Rooibos Tea.
Rooibos is a red bush native to South Africa. Technically it is not a tea as it is not a member of the Camellia
sinensis family but should actually be considered an herbal infusion. Rooibos differs from green tea in the
fact that it naturally has no caffeine, has 50% more antioxidants and a denser nutrient load. Rooibos tea is so nutritious that it often is used in place of milk for colicky babies and to aid pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Rooibos is a powerhouse of nutrients and minerals that work together to aid the body in absorption of vitamins and minerals from the food we eat and is considered safe and beneficial for nearly every age, race and gender.
It is even considered not only safe for animals, but truly beneficial! I like to brew up a cup of rooibos and pour it over my dog’s food once or twice a week. They apparently don’t mind the taste and I have noticed they are much calmer throughout the day when they’ve had it.
For people who are looking to get off of coffee, Rooibos is a great choice. Though it does not contain caffeine, the vitamins in Rooibos provide a feeling of wellness that causes many people to feel more alert without negatively affecting sleep patterns. As far as cutting back on sugar, a lot of people have found that our flavored Rooibos Teas provide the sweetness they are craving without any added sugar. A popular favorite is our Crème Au Caramel Rooibos or our Belgian Chocolate Rooibos.
Here are the Rooibos Teas that we carry at Life Thyme Botanicals.
One of the biggest health problems in America is sugar addiction. I hear time and again, every single day
the same sentence: “I’ve been trying to kick sugar but I just can’t.” Sugar and many commercial sugar
substitutes (such as aspartame) are addictive and also the cause of many illness and chronic health problems. It is my personal belief that many diabetics became diabetic because they first consumed too much sugar, then in trying to get off sugar, switched to dangerous yet common sugar substitutes.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from many plants such as birch, corn, berries, oats and mushrooms. The
type that we use at Life Thyme is derived solely from non-GMO corn. Xylitol is just as sweet as sugar and can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio. The benefits are numerous. It has 1/3 fewer calories than sugar and almost no glycemic impact, making it a safer sweetener for diabetics.
Cavities and Tooth Sensitivity
The thing that astounded me most is that it has been shown to help prevent and even repair cavities! The bacteria in the human mouth cannot use xylitol as a source of energy thus that bacteria is hindered in causing tooth decay. Since I began using toothpaste that has xylitol in it (Xyliwhite), and started taking a spoonful of it every day, I have noticed that all of my tooth sensitivity has disappeared! Also, between the xylitol and oil pulling with coconut oil, two cavities that I had are completely gone. Granted, the effects were not instantaneous. It took about 1 week for the tooth sensitivity to go away and 2 months for the cavities to completely disappear. I am still amazed.
At Life Thyme we carry the following Xylitol containing products:
- Xyliwhite Toothpaste- With Neem and Tea Tree
- Xyliwhite Mouthwash- With Neem and Tea Tree
- Xyliwhite Kid’s Toothpaste- Bubble Gum Flavor
- Pur Gum- Cinnamon, Pomegranite Mint,
- Wintergreen, Coolmint, Spearmint, Peppermint
- Pur Mints- Peppermint, Spearmint, Polarmint,
- Mojito Lime Mint, Tangerine Tango
Yerba Mate Explained
It’s time to talk about one of the most controversial teas out there: Yerba Mate. Technically Yerba Mate is not “tea” as it is not in the Camellia sinensis species, its Latin botanical name being Ilex paraguariensis. Yerba Mate is an evergreen shrub in the holly family that grows in Central and South America. The Yerba Mate that we sell at life Thyme Botanicals is sourced directly from Argentina and processed by our supplier in California.
• Vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex
• Minerals: Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc
• Additional Compounds: Carotene, Fatty Acids, Chlorophyll, Flavonols, Polyphenols, Inositol, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, Tannins, Pantothenic Acid and 15 Amino Acids.
• Theophylline, theobromine, and caffeine (http://guayaki.com)
The controversy about Yerba Mate lies in the main beneficial chemical mateine which is structurally similar to caffeine so much so that it is considered by some to actually be a type of caffeine. As similar as these chemicals are, mateine provides an energy that unlike traditional caffeine is assimilated by the body like a carbohydrate which causes energy without the side effects of regular caffeine. There is about 85 mg of this “caffeine” per 8 oz cup which is more than the amount of traditional caffeine in green tea and less than in coffee.
Yerba Mate is beneficial in so many ways. It is higher in antioxidants than even green tea (196 active antioxidants versus the 144 in green tea). It is said to increase energy, mental clarity and cogitation, aid in weight loss and appetite suppression, help prevent and treat certain types of cancer and disease, and improves mood.
In South America, Yerba Mate is reported to be consumed on a daily basis by 90% of the population. Many people carry their Mate with them along with a thermos of hot water to refresh their Mate leaves all day. It is also served in a ritual ceremony that usually takes place at theof each day as a way for family and friends to come together.
Yerba Mate has a strong, earthy flavor and the leaves can also be roasted and used as a coffee substitute.
Pumpkin Pie Spice makes Everything Nice
‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, from lattes to deserts, and even personal hygiene products it seems like everything has been changed to pumpkin these days. For our pumpkin lovers, we have for you our wonderful Pumpkin Pie Spices. Our Pumpkin Pie Spice is certified organic, and salt free; it is a lovely blend of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and clove. There are many uses for its ingredients individually, but mixed together they make a wonderful addition to any treat. We wanted to share with you some of our favorite things to do with our Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Ideas
- Add it into our caramel popcorn to make a festive treat to share with family and friends for the holidays.
- Sprinkle a teaspoon of the spice on our coffee grounds just before brewing a pot of coffee, a lovely addition for any autumn day.
- We make Pumpkin Pie Spice lollypops at our shop. For when you can’t have pie on the go, this is the next best thing!
- And of course you can use it for the seasoning of your pumpkin pie. 🙂
We have shared some of our favorite things to do with this spice, we would love to hear what you use it for. Visit our Facebook Page and comment below this post and share your wonderful recipes.
Winter Colds and Flu
Well folks, fall is here and winter is coming on with a vengeance. We have seen several types of flu going around already and it is time to get prepared to ward off the illnesses that the changing of the seasons brings. Emily shares with you some of the ways that she stays healthy
There are two things that I personally like to use all winter long as a cold and flu preventative, Anti-Infectious (Thieves) Spray and Elderberry, Zinc and Echinacea Syrup. Our Anti-Infectious Spray is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary and is an incredibly strong antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal agent. I use it as a body spray, hand sanitizer, cleaner and disinfectant. The first thing I do when I get to work every day is to spray myself down, head to toe. When I have a customer that issuffering from cold or flu, I have them spray themselves down as well and use the spray to disinfect the air so other customers won’t catch the contagions. I think of the Anti-Infectious spray as the first step in not getting sick; kill the germs before they get to you.
Anti-Infectious Sprays and Syrups
As well as the Anti-Infectious spray works, I still want to make sure that my immune system is firing on all cylinders so at the beginning of fall, all the way through winter and into the middle of spring, I take Elderberry, Zinc and Echinacea Syrup 3-5 times a week. The instructions say to take 1 teaspoon 3 times a day, but I feel the effects of just 1 teaspoon a few times a week and to be totally honest, I will take as little of a supplement as possible if it still has a noticeable effect (I’m kinda cheap, ok?). There are a lot of other great herbs and supplements you can use to get through cold and flu season, and a lot that probably taste better than the elderberry syrup (I am not a fan of the taste) but this is a system that I find works for me time and time again.
What is Matcha Tea…
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? Well for those of you who haven’t hear about Matcha Tea, here is the low down.
Life Thyme Botanicals carries two varieties of Matcha Tea; we have Jasmine green tea, and Rooibos (red) tea. The green Matcha tea started out in China, but has since been adopted into tea ceremonies in Japan where most Matcha comes from today. The harvesting process is unique in that the plants are shaded 2-3 weeks prior to harvest. This process allows the plants to boost the production of Chlorophyll, and increase the L-Theanine levels. L-Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid in teas, which has the ability to stimulate and calm at the same time. The leaves are then dried, and ground into a fine powder using a Matcha grinder (Matcha grinders achieve a dust size particle). To make the tea, you use a teaspoon of the powder in a cup of hot (not boiling) water, and whisk it with a bamboo whisk until frothy.
Why is Matcha tea so beneficial? In contrast to most teas you drink where the leaves are steeped and then discarded; with Matcha tea you are drinking the entire leaf! It is said that 1 cup of Matcha green tea has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of brewed green tea put together. Along with having high antioxidant levels, some other benefits of Matcha tea are: metabolism booster, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, is high in fiber, and high in caffeine (without the jitters that coffee can give you) just to name a few.
Wow, this tea really packs a “healthy punch”! Rooibos Matcha tea has the same benefits as the green Matcha tea, but it is made from the rooibos plant which is naturally caffeine free. It is also processed the same way as the green Matcha tea.
While Matcha tea possesses many health benefits, Life Thyme Botanicals does not recommend Matcha tea being the staple of your tea and daily drink intake as there is a higher level of Lead naturally present in the Matcha tea. For more questions and tea options, please come in or call Life Thyme Botanicals.