Notes from the Naturopath
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Wednesday, 1 March 2006
Balancing Female Sexual Hormones
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: "She's A Woman," by the Beatles
Topic: Women's Health
My previous blog entry regarding the various choices in hormonal replacement therapy discussed several options available to us. Generally speaking, our choices lie in three areas--synthetic, bioidentical, and natural.

It is good to note that choosing to use conventional hormone replacement therapy in which synthetic hormones are used, does not necessarily preclude the use of herbs. Herbs can still be used to compliment conventional treatment, and can help reduce side effects and prevent some of the problems which synthetic hormones may cause.

These three areas of choice face us in other areas of the female hormonal experience, not just in times of menopause, but throughout our entire experience of being a woman. Hormones are an issue from the time we first need a bra until the time we're wearing them hanging down close to our shoes!

Hormones regulate our whole entire sexual and reproductive function as women. (Men, of course, have hormones, too, and MUCH of what I will say, also pertains to men! However, in the not too distant future, I'll write an entry aimed spefically towards their concerns.)

Balancing hormones is a key factor in regulating periods, breast development, premenstrual tension, birth control, fertility issues, pregnancy, milk production, libedo...everything having to do with the entire reproductive process, right on up to and including desire!

Hormone secretion is controlled by the pituitary gland, so any herb which nourishes the pituitary, ultimately, is good for hormonal balance, because it enables the pituitary to better do what it is designed to do. Kelp, gotu kola and ginseng are three herbs that work to that end.

Hormonal function and balance are very complex in women, far moreso than in men. There are three phases to a woman's cycle...the follicular (before ovulation), luteal (brought on by ovulation), and menstrual (which is when menstruation occurs), and a different hormonal substance is secreted during each seperate phase.

There are numerous herbs which have been historically used to help balance the female sexual hormones. Vitex-Agnus Castus (Chaste tree berries) is my herb of choice for purposes of balancing hormones.

Phytoestrogens are chemicals found in some foods and herbs which reduce overall estrogen activity when estrogen levels are high, but increase estrogen activity when these levels are low. It is comming for this reason to find the same plant recommended for conditions pertaining to an excess of estrogen (like premenstrual tenstion) as well as to conditions of estrogen deficienciency (such as menopause and menstrual dysfunction).

There are some 250 plants known to be phytoestrogen plants, including such herbs as licorice, flax seed, black haw, black cohosh, pomegranate, fennel, alfalfa, red clover, and squaw vine. There are many, many more of these herbs.

Herbs work to nourish and balance the body. When this is accomplished, a myriad of good effects occur. These are "natural" effects. (Thus, the term "natural health.")

So when considering an herb like alfalfa, we have to take into account that alfalfa is one of the absolute most nourishing herbs that there is, because it's roots are so long. It picks almost all of the minerals up...all except for idodine, which is found in abundance in kelp, which was also mentioned above. Do you see what I'm getting at?

When the body is properly nourished and balanced, which is what herbs are geared to do, then everything in the body works better, and the overall state of the whole entire body's improved.

Take the example of licorice. Licorice root has long been used for many things. It is an antiinflammatory agent, for one. It also stimulates production of interferon which helps protect the immune system. Licorice has anti allergic properities, nourishes the adrenal glands, is a great acts in many ways and is a very valuable herb, in addition to it's ability to treat menstrual problems and problems with menopause. It is a sexual stimulant, too.

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) is an herb more commonly known for use in balancing hormones, and has been used in this way for thousands of years. Dong Quai has been historically used to balance female hormones, restore menstrual regularity, reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause, dissolve blood clots, help with endometriosis, and is said to be an excellent blood cleanser and purifier, as well as helping with blood sugar and plood pressure problems, internal bleeding and bruising, muscle cramps, migrain headaches and calming the nerves, as well as to help prevent anemia.

Evidently, Angelica sinensis may not actually be a phytoestrogen plant as has been thought, but it does have a very long tradition as a being a female tonic, and is referred to as the "female ginseng," due to its balancing or adaptogenic effect on the female hormonal system. It is considered the herb of choice for female problems by many.

Probably the most well-known herb of recent years for balancing hormones is Wild yam root. The value of this herb was brought to the forefront by Dr. John R. Lee, who wrote a number of best-selling bookson the subect.

Many factors can affect hormone balance. Diet, level of stress, exercise, etc. Herbs can play a major role, and can be used in many ways besides having a direct effect on hormonal production. For instance, it can be beneficial to nourish and cleanse the liver, and to nourish the thyroid gland, for these play a role in hormone balance, as well. Milk thistle is an herb which has been used to benefit the liver historically, and kelp, with its high iodine content, is very good thyroid food.

Herbs can be helpful in preventing pregnancy, too, as a part of a natural plan.

One word of warning, however! When balancing hormones, your reproductive system just might do what it was designed to do! Many a couple using herbs to prevent pregnancy, or even those previously thought to be infertile, have been known to conceive!

One combination said to be useful for helping a woman conceive is equal parts black haw, squaw vine and heloniasis made into a tincture. The usual dose is one tablespoon of the tincture three times a day. This formula has been in use for years, and many babies can attest to its worth! (Of course, this only works if hormonal imbalance is what's causing the problem, and even then, there are no guarantees.)

Be careful when using herbs during pregnancy, however. Some herbs are used to abort. It is always best to seek professional guidance when using any kind of medicine...even natural...during that most delicate time.

Happy Hormonal Health!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

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The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 9:02 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006 9:47 AM EST
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Friday, 24 February 2006
Synthetic, Bioidentical, or Natural - The Choice Should be YOURS!!!
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: "Only Women Bleed," by the Rolling Stones
Topic: Women's Health

I was just came across this letter from Dr. Christine Northrup in regards to an attempt by Wyeth Pharmaceutical Company to have the manufacture of bioidentical hormones completely banned. (See letter below.) The Food and Drug Administration is considering the proposal right now.

This is, indeed, an extremely important issue. It is important because it deals with a woman's right to choose for herself. This is happening so often to us.

It is important because it is one more instance of the most powerful industry in the whole world trying to take control of our health and seize a monopoly on the way that "God" cures.

It is important because for women who have had their organs removed, there is no longer the option of producing these hormones themselves, and therefore they are forced to replace them with something, and they are trying to limit the choices available to us.

This is a PLOY to make us dependent on them!!! Don't let them do it to US!

Using bioidentical hormones is indeed a much, much, MUCH better decision in my mind than using synthetic hormones. A person's health care choices should be their own, and as for myself, I would never consider any kind of drug therapy to be an option for me. I believe drugs are contrary to health, and hormones play too much of an important role in my bodily functions for me to want to directly apply side effects.

Every drug has side effects...all of them...everything synthetic entering into the natural realm has side effects of this kind of that. Only natural matches natural, vibrationally...In other words, on the level of LIFE.

However...While YES! I completely agree that it is extremely important for women to make whatever choice they prefer, and YES! I agree that the chemical drug industry is and has always done a terrible injustice to us with their harmful drugs. But as "bioidentical" as bioidentical hormones may be, they cannot identically duplicate LIFE.

That does not necessarily mean that they are not a good thing. But it does mean something important to us...It means:


Nature alwaysprovides!

What? Okay. Let me try this again. Only God can make a tree.

Consider this for a moment please. Our medicine comes from the earth. Our bodies were designed and programmed to heal themselves, when not overly burdened with contaminants, and when given the proper tools.

What the body needs to be well is to be as free as it can possibly be of toxins and exposure to things that are detrimental to it, and to have proper nourishment, adequate sleep, fresh clean and pure water, clean air, and a number of other things that are basically free, like sunshine and laughter and love.

So even if the worst happens, which it very well might, and this proposal goes through and yet another natural door is closed to us once more...I refuse to be afraid. I think this issue is important because of choice, not because of the bioidenticalness of what is being refused.

I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Northrup, and there is incredible merit to what she is saying. But my opinion is different from hers when she says bioidentical replacement therapy is the best option there is.

In my opinion the very best option for balancing hormones is something that nature provides in a pure and natural form. There are a lot of herbs which work toward balancing hormones within the body, and also to promote the production of them by nourishing the organs involved. I believe in using herbs to support the body in producing its own hormones, unless of course that is impossible now, due to removal of organs. Then bioidentical, in my opinion, is the ABSOLUTE best!

Hmmmm...I guess they do have us there. This seems to happen so much.

Anytime a part is removed, there is something that the body can no longer do. I would MUCH prefer, if I had to find a way to work around the removal of organs and provide for the body what it can no longer provide for itself, to have something as close as I could possibly get...I would DEFINATELY want what I gave it to be bioidentical to what it would be producing itself!

BUT, for those of us who still do have our parts still intact...(They tried to take mine recently, quite insistently, too. I'm nearly healed from doing it my own way right now...with herbs and prayer. Had I done things their way, I'd be recovering from surgery at this very moment, and I don't even want to think about that. I don't do surgery so well, and so I've decided....I don't do it at all. Again, this is just for me...CHOICE is what it's all about!)

You may be thinking, "Well, sure she can do it, she's a doctor of naturopathy. I don't know about any of that." Well....


Are you starting to understand what I mean?

It is my belief, through faith and through evidence...whether personal, anecdotal, history, discovered through research or something I learned in a book...that the solution to any problem, INCLUDING ILLNESS, is always available and close at hand. We just don't always know what it is.

I also believe that there are many cures to any given condition in life, depending upon where and how the problem occurs and with whom. The solution to every problem is dependent on the exact nature of the problem, with various aspects concerned. The solution can't be exactly the same for everyone, but nature always provides. The particular situation is only relevant to what the cure is, not whether or not one exists. MULTIPLE cures exist for every problem in life. That's how good God is to us.

Herbs work to balance and nourish the body. The particular herb I favor the most over all other herbs for hormonal balance is Vitex angus-castus (Verbenaceao), or Chaste tree berries, as it is commonly called.

Chaste tree berries have a distinct hormonal effect upon the body, augmenting progesterone production. Progesterone production within the body itself is the ideal situation. That's what I'm explaining here. Bioidentical is only identical, but producing the real thing is real.

There are other herbs which are also progesterogenic in nature, including dong quai, wild yam, alfalfa, black cohosh, sarsparilla, and blessed thistle. But as I said, for this purpose, agnus castus, in my opinion, is the superior choice.

www.allnaturalhealthworks.comUsing herbs in this way will support the body in its natural attempt to do what it was meant to do. Unlike drugs, the herbs don't do it...they help the body to do it itself.

Chaste tree berry affects the pituitary glad and the hypothalamus, and the effects may take some time to take hold. Herbs do not usually produce an immediate action like drugs, but rather a gradual process of nourishing the body is what is taking place.

I like to illustrate this with the example of Popeye. Life isn't really quite like it is in cartoons, at least most of the time it is not!

My example is this: We all know spinach is good for us, right? But we cannot expect to just pour the contents of a can of spinach down us and expect muscles to pop out of our arms! Brutus looks like maybe he's been eating spinach for a very long time...That's a little more close to the truth. (I might have to wonder what's in Popeye's spinach, to make him get strong so fast!)

That's a funny example, but that will show you how it takes time. Herbs are food. Chaste tree berry is used to NOURISH the glands...It is not a hormone itself. It is an excellent herb for this purpose, and it can help regulate the menstrual cycle and alleviate problems associated with premenstrual syndrome. It can also effectively eliminate many of the symptoms of menopause, such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and mood swings. It's use has also been known to help women conceive in cases where infertility is due to low progesterone levels.

The preferred method of using this herb is in tincture. A tincture is a liquid herb remedy which results from extracting the plant's active constituents, making a relatively stronger concentration of herbs to that of infusions and even decoctions, plus they can be preserved for up 3-5 years when prepared in a glycerine base.

Pure Vegetable Glycerine is the extracting agent that I prefer to use. 100 Proof Vodka is another option, as is Apple Cider Vinegar. Alcohol is the universal extracting agent, but I still prefer glycerine, due to the fact that it is non-alcoholic, it tastes better, and it has fabulous healing powers in and of itself. (If using an alcohol based tincture, the alcohol content may be burned off by warming pryer to use and allowing it to evaporate.)

In using glycerine, the proportions are 1 part pure vegetable glycerine to 2 parts distilled water. Distilled water is the water of choice because it acts as an extractant, too.

The mixture of glycerine and water is what's known as the "menstruum," in naturopath talk!

Take one part of dry herb, or 2 parts of fresh herb, and mix it with 4 parts of menstruum. When putting herbs into a menstruum, make sure they are cut in very small parts prior to this, exposing more of the plants surface so that the constituents can more easily dissolve. Then place the mixture in a glass jar and put it on the windowsill where the sun's energy can do it's work. Different herbalists have different practices, but this is the way I do mine. It is the way I was taught, and it makes the most sense to me.

Then every day, for two weeks, shake the jar vigorously at least one or two times a day. At the end of two weeks, pour it into a blender and mix it some more to make it more potent. Strain it and bottle it then, and place it in a cool dark place. Refrigeration is not necessary, but it is best to keep it in there where it's nice and cool and dark. (Or at least I think it is dark. I don't really know, after I've closed the door!)

A dosage of one teaspoon of this formula two or three times should be enough to suffice. Your body will let you know how much is the right amount for you. Herbs do not tend to have side effects, but your body may feel different when taking them, and sometimes it might react in a most unpleasant way, depending on the herb and the dose. These effects are not side effects, though. They are do to different bodily responses which are signaling something to you. Remember, herbs are not drugs, they are food.

In the case of chaste tree berry, for instance, your body will let you know when you need to back off and lessen your dosage a bit by creating a sense of what's known as "formication," which is having the sensation as of insects running over or into the skin. This is not harmful, nor is the plant. It's just nature's way of sending an unmistakable signal to you.

Think of it as your assurance that you are taking the correct dose. Formication is not that common. and you shouldn't have any problems with these dosage recommendations. If you do, simply cut your dosage until this is not a problem for you.

Menopause is not meant to be hell, nor should be the remedy. The body just needs some support to get through this very normal time in the life of every woman. It is not a disease, it won't make you crazy, and it does not require drugs.

No disrespect intended to Dr. Northrup, nor to Dr. Erika Schwartz, who first alerted Dr. Northrup to this. In fact, I admire them both for the remarkable work they have done in making so many people aware of the benefits of natural health! I just prefer to get even closer to the source of where natural begins, and make my own remedies, simply, the way nature intended. It simply is not that hard!

Everyone does not hold the same opinions and values as everyone else, and so that's why it's so important to stand up for our right to free choice regarding our health care. We can make our own decisions, and our options should not be limited in such ways as banning products that are not drugs. I urge you to take action, please, and help protect everyone's choice! This is not just a women's issue, because when freedom starts eroding away, it erodes for us ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you and bless you in your quest for improved health and enhanced living through the principals of natural health! As long as there's breath in my body, I give thanks that God gave me so many choices in LIFE.

Make a Difference Today!"

Sincerly Yours in Good Health,

Image hosting by PhotobucketVibraceous, ND

Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

Image hosting by Photobucket

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Letter from Dr. Northrup:

Dear friend,

Recently, Dr. Erika Schwartz, author of several books including "The 30-Day
Natural Hormone Plan" sent an important message to her e-mail community
entitled "Your Right to Choose Bioidentical Hormones Is Under Attack!"

Currently, the FDA is reviewing a proposal submitted by Wyeth, a
pharmaceutical company trying to ban the production of bioidentical

This is ridiculous!

Unlike synthetic hormones such as Premarin or Prempro (both manufactured by
Wyeth) which have been proven to be unsafe, bioidentical hormones are far
safer in individualized doses.

In addition, numerous studies have shown that they are effective at
relieving menopausal symptoms and providing the estrogen that many women
need to feel their best in the second half of life.

(Note: not all women need hormones. But for those who do, bioidentical
hormones are the best way to go-and I have recommended them for many years
with great results.)

Dr. Erika has made it easy for your voice to be heard.

Simply go to
and complete a brief, electronic form. Please take two minutes to support
this important effort, so you can and others can get the benefit of
bioidentical hormones for years to come.


Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup
P.O. Box 199
Yarmouth, ME 04096

If you received this e-mail message from a friend and would like to receive
Dr. Northrup's e-letter on a regular basis, visit:
Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Northrup, Christiane Northrup, M.D., and
Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom are all registered trademarks of Christiane
Northrup, Inc. All rights reserved.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 6:44 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 21 April 2006 1:36 PM EDT
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Sunday, 1 January 2006
Welcome to Our New Administrative Director!
Topic: General Info
Kimberly Castle,
an ordained minister and licensed social worker from Southaven, Mississippi, has been sent to us from Heaven above! We are pleased to announce that we have contracted with Kim to act as Administrative Director for All Natural HealthWorks! She has already contributed MUCH! Kim came to us through, an online community of people sharing ways to care for the world. She is one of the co-hosts of the two groups that we sponsor. You are encouraged to visit them both!

We are very grateful to Kim for her contributions to the work we are doing. In addition to her wonderful administrative, ministerial, and social work skills, Kim is also a gifted Reiki practitioner, and she is the best true aromatherapy candle maker around! Kim is also an EXCELLENT friend, and a wonderful teacher of natural health. Kim is a true believer in the work that we are doing here. She's very compassionate and wise. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding any of the educational programs, services, or products we offer, you can contact Kim at Please join me in giving her a very warm welcome! We’re very glad she’s on board!!!

Vibraceous, ND
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP
Executive Director

All Natural HealthWorks!
Holistic Education and Research Unlimited...


Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 30 June 2008 4:24 PM EDT
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Thursday, 1 September 2005
What ARE Glyconutrients and What DO They Do???
Mood:  hungry
Now Playing: "Sugar, Sugar!" by the Archies
Topic: Glyconutritients

(Please set your browser to accept Pop-Ups from us, so we can get more information to you!)

What ARE Glyconutrients???

Glyconutrients are NUTRIENTS! Just like vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, etc. They are a class of nutrients in and of themselves. Just because you're getting the others, your body still has a need for these, just as when you have vitamins, you still need amino acids...They are not one in the same, and they are both needed. The same holds true for ALL nutrients, and glyconutrients are no exception to that.

Let me start out by saying that I am going to share information with you that can have far-reaching effects on your health. I want to make clear, however, that it is the body which heals itself, not the nutrients which are ingested. Nutrients simply give the body the materials it needs to do what it is designed to do. The body is designed to be healthy and whole, given the proper support. I am making no claims for curative powers regarding the nutritional science I am presenting to you. However, when the body is provided with what it needs, wonderful things can occur...and quite often, they do!

So why do our bodies need glyconutrients? What do they do? Well, they do some verrrrrrrrrry important things! Consider how fabulously the various parts of the body work together as a whole unit. All you have to do is to think about wiggling your toes and decide to do it and that message gets all the way down to your wiggly toes. How does it do that? The cells must communicate with one another in order for phenomena like this to occur.

Cells have to communicate to do all sorts of things, including identifying whether they're healthy or not. The immune system depends upon intercellular communication in order to do it's job and destroy unhealthy cells. This communication is essential to health. Glyconutrients are what makes up the code that allows cells to send signals back and forth to each other. They form the "alphabet," so to speak.

Glyconutrients - "Glyco" is the Greek word for "sweet." Glyconutrients are nutrients which come from a sugar. Certain sugars will attach themselves to proteins or lipids, forming the glycoproteins needed for cells to convey messages to other cells. Eight specific sugar molecules have been identified which behave in this manner, and if any are missing, it is like when letters are missing from words--the meaning becomes rather unclear. The entire message must get across for communication to be complete.

Something else quite phenomonal that glyconutrients have been discovered to do, is to provide the body with the proper nourishment needed to promote stem cell production. In fact, it has been estimated that by taking about a teaspoon of Glyconutritionals daily, ONE adult alone can produce more stem cells than all the research embryos currently in all of North America combined! There are numerous free floating stem cells in your blood that are available to be assigned to do "stem cell therapy" wherever it is most needed in the body These stem cells are ACTIVATED and enabled to do their work by Glyconutrients.  All this debate about using embryos for stem cell research could be better addressed by helping people to produce and use more of their own stem cells naturally.

Glycobiology is receiving a great deal of attention from the medical and scientific communities. EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF THIS AMAZING SCIENCE! What you learn could save your life or the life of someone you love! Click On These Links to Learn More!





















Dr. Rayburne Goen - BA and MD degrees (1939) University of Colorado: (Phi Beta Kappa, and Alpha Omega Alpha, Honor Medical Society). Lt. Col. Medical Corps. Army of US, WW II; Diplomate American Board of Internal Medicine; Fellow American College of Physicians (FACP); Fellow American of College Cardiology (FACC); Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, Tulsa; Past Chairman Medical Section, St John Medical Center and of St. Francis Hospital; past Vice-President Medical Staff St. John Hospital; past President Medical Staff St. Francis Hospital. Dr. Goen urges his peers to review the new science of glycobiology. He has written his observations in an open letter to the public describing what he refers to as, ”the most significant health discovery of the century.”

If Glyconutrients Occur Naturally, Why Supplement? Foods do not have the same nutritional content as they did long ago, therefore it is extremely difficult to get what we need in our regular diets.

Consider this: The 1992 Earth Summit Report indicates that the mineral content of the world's farm and range land soil has decreased dramatically, thereby significantly decreasing the nutrient value of food. North America 85% * South America 76% Asia 76% Africa 74% Europe 72% Australia 55% *Some US farms are 100% depleted and some are 60% depleted, the average is 85% depletion as compared to 100 years ago. This is worse than in any other country in the world because of the extended use of fertilizers and "maximum yield" mass farming methods.

Glyconutrition has incredible potential for health benefits, and is beneficial in the presence of many diseases. The use of these nutrients does not cure anything, as stated before, but they do give the body a better chance at curing itself, which is what it was designed to do. The nutrients must be replaced, however, because they are simply not available in large enough quantities in our diets today to have truly optimum wellness.

Glycoproteins are crucial for health. These sugars can all be derived from many food sources. However, it would be virtually impossible to obtain enough of these nutrients from diet alone. As pointed out, the soils just don't have the minerals they used to have, which is imperitive to the nutrient content of food. Another point to consider is how often today food is harvested before it is ripe. It is in the final stages of ripening that the nutrients enter the food. If it is picked early and allowed to ripen off of the vine, or worse yet, chemically ripened, it will not have the same beneficial effects on our health.

It is also best to avoid genetically modified products when using foods toward the end of good health. To ensure adequate amounts of glyconutrients into your system on a daily basis, it is best to administer them in the form of a supplement. People usually find that they receive better results when using glyconutritional products more than one time a day...Spread out the dosages, morning and evening, or even three times a day. You can't take too much. People should be more concerned with eating too much candy, pop, potato chips and processed foods than about taking in too much nutrition! Glyconutritional products are not drugs, they are food! Please feel free to contact us if you would like help in establishing the use of glyconutrionals into your daily health care regime. We can also help you in finding ways to help reduce your expense. Thanks and May God Bless You with the Sweetest of Health! Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.


Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 1:53 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007 4:33 PM EST
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Monday, 8 August 2005
Unlocking the Secrets to A Healthier Heart
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," Words by Beth Slater Whitson, Music by Leo Friedman
Topic: Circulatory System

Meditation for a Healthy Heart

Exercising for a Healthy Heart
(Patient Education Institute) Also available in: Spanish

Heart Disease and Diet: Recommendations

Becoming Heart Attack Proof

Heart Disease: Using Food Instead of Drugs for Health

Dietary Supplements that Support Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Potential Benefits

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Prevention-management of Cardiovascular Disease

Heart-smart herbs: tonics to keep your ticker in tip-top shape

Aromatherapy for the Heart and Circulation

Visit our Products Page to select fine quality products to offer support to your heart!

And don't forget that the BEST way to keep your heart healthy is to always keep it open to LOVE!!! Give of yourself and accept the love that others are giving to you!

Molti baci!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 9:58 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 8 August 2005 7:14 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 2 August 2005
Learn the Ways of the Farm
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Theme from Store Wars
Topic: Healthy Eating
Not long ago, in a supermarket not so far away...

Join the Organic Rebellion Today!

Brought to you by the
Organic Trade Association

Go Organic! It's the really smart thing to do!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP
American Board Certified Traditional Naturopath

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 1:14 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005 6:27 AM EDT
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Sunday, 31 July 2005
It Was 20 Years Ago Today!
Mood:  lucky
Now Playing: "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," by the Beatles
Topic: Addiction
Today is a reeeeeeeeeal special day in my life! Today makes 7300 days in a row that my alcoholism has been in a state of arrest! (In other words, it's been 20 years since I drank! That's when the band learned to play!)

20 years without drink? What's up with that? I'll bet you're wondering why that's such a good thing??? Well, trust me...For me it's a VERY good thing! It has been 7300 days since I've had a blackout and not remembered what I said or did, or what happened to me the night before. It's been 7300 days since I've thrown up at a party. It's been 7300 days since I've been the victim of a violent crime due to the fact that I was incoherent. It's been 7300 days since I have believed myself hopeless. It's been 7300 days since I've had a hangover. It's been 7300 days since a whole lot of things I am happy to just leave behind!

I never thought I would have a problem with alcohol. I was a really good kid! But I had an extremely bad trauma happen to me when I was just turning 17, and I turned to the wrong things for relief.

The thing about alcoholism is that it has physical characterics. I don't just mean from the after effects of over-drinking...I mean the whole entire make-up of our chemistry. There are factors involved which predispose about 10% of the population to problems in the way that their (our) bodies process the substance of alcohol. It isn't just a matter of will's a matter of a physical need. In any randomly selected group of Americans, 10 to 15 of every 100 people either are alcoholics or will become alcoholics. Ten million Americans are alcoholics, and another 10 million are problem drinkers who may be on their way to becoming alcoholics.

We will talk more in the future about specific ways to help deal with cravings naturally. There are many things that can help, such as changes in diet, supplying needed nutrients, making sure the body is in balance and not over abundant in yeast...there are many natural approaches which can be used to help reduce alchol cravings. Exercise is also beneficial, in many ways. Even brain exercises are good! We'll talk more in depth about all of this. Today I want to celebrate, and I could spend hours writing on a topic as complex and important as this!

Let me just say that recovery is a process. It's not an event...It's something that occurs every day. Recovering from alcoholism, or any addiction, is like walking up a down escalator...You have to keep walking or you'll end up at the bottom again. It's a lot of hard work, but it's worth it, for sure! It's a lot easier than living a life of alcohol induced lunacy!

Alcoholism is a perfect example of a disease or condition which responds best to a holistic approach. Physical needs must be met...deficiencies corrected, the body balanced. Emotional needs must be met, as well. Emotional growth is arrested when alcoholism takes over. Emotions become distorted, plus the alcoholic lifestyle sets us up for emotional hurt. Mentally, it's a lot of hard work to recover! Old ideas and thought patterns must be completely revised, and new ways of thinking developed. Behaviorally, habits have to be changed...who we hang out with, what we do for fun, how we cope with problems we have. It can have financial, sexual, and occupational ramifications. It can affects family relations, marital relations, how a person relates with friends and everyone else in the world. There are oftentimes legal consequences which must be faced. And spiritually...Every alcoholic needs spiritual healing, because most alcoholics are bankrupt in this regard, and don't even believe there is hope. Forgiveness, gratitude and humility are needed for recovery to occur at deep enough levels to bring true relief. Serenity is a spiritual thing.

How have I stayed sober for 7300 days? By applying the principles of Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness to the best of my ability one day at a time, for 7300 days in a row, just like anyone can!

We'll talk a lot more about this. As for now, have a great day, and if you drink, please drink responsibly. (And that means if you're alcoholic or have a high risk for developing alcoholism, the safest thing to do is not drink at all. If you do decide to experiment, please proceed with caution and be as honest as you can with yourself, and if you can't control your drinking, get help!) There is no shame in needing help. Alcoholism is a disease.

Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent program to help recovery in the social, behavioral, and spiritual realms. AA is a fellowship of men and women with a desire to stop drinking who offer each other support. They endeavor to follow a program of recovery as set down in their basic text.

The founders of AA also realized the benefit of nutrition to recovery efforts, although this is not set down as a part of the program. I think it should be, and so did Bill Wilson. There is no doubt as to the relevance of nutrition to recovery from alcoholism, or any other addiction. I highly suggest adding a nuttional component to any program of abstinence to increase the chance of success.

Some people are resistant to the spiritual focus of the AA program, or the particular flavor it takes. That's okay...There are other programs out there to try. AA is good, but it's not the only program there is! The important thing is to begin recovery of some sort, before you become the next statistic and end up in jail, a psychiatric institution, or dead.

I thank God I am alive and I can look at the world today through clear eyes! I'm grateful to just be able to show up for life! But for the Grace of God...that drunk on the corner that makes us all cringe could be me. I could be homeless, without any loved ones, with nothing but misery and pain. Or I could be the woman sitting alone at the end of the bar, with too much make-up on over too many wrinkles, in a black dress at 8:30 a.m. Or that could be me in jail, or locked up as insane...Or like so many people I've met, and loved, that could be me lying dead. But for the Grace of God, it could be any of us.

We'll talk more about this sometime soon. Have a really good day today!

Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

It was 20 years ago today,
Sergeant Pepper taught a band to play!

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 11:51 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005 6:26 AM EDT
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Saturday, 30 July 2005
Of Life and of Love, and of Letting Go...On to Life's Next Beautiful Song
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: "Free as a Bird," by the Beatles
Topic: Reflective

I hope this morning finds everyone happy and well.

My morning didn't start out very well. There was a death in the household. My lovebird, named Jo. She was murdered by an innocent dog.

I'm going to miss her. Jo used to sit here by my desk while I typed and she kept me lots of good company.

It's hard when death comes around. Letting go is not easy sometimes. That seems to be a theme in my life right now. I'm working through a few things.

You know, everyone has issues and problems. When we are the ones facing them, they seem like the biggest things in the world, but they're not. Everything is so relative to our perspective in that moment in time. I'm sure, in fact, Jo is happy somewhere right now flying high in another dimension with Bruce...the other half of the pair, who left her too lonely too long when he died last year around this same time.

LIfe's full of hardships, losses, and disappointments. It's also full of so much love and wonderful, wonderful things. Challenges can't be avoided. I try to just enjoy working through whatever life brings along. It means I'm still alive.

Sometimes it can be tiring, though, when we think we're all out of strength. That's when I turn to my inner resources...that presence inside I call God. Not just in me, but in all of life...That Power that makes everything work out just right in a much bigger plan than I know.

Anyways, enough reflection for right now. I have a lot of work to get done! I'll cry again later, when I tell my daughter, and then later again at the funeral, which the dogs will attend.

They're starting to understand...Toto chased a rabbit out into the road awhile back and saw it get hit by a car. Then we had a funeral for it, and Toto was really upset for awhile. I've noticed a difference in his attitude towards life since that time. I think he understands why we always tell him not to go in the road. I think he understands danger and death a bit more.

Unfortunately this time it was the other dog. Dorothy. She is still learning. She's very gentle with cats, but evidently not so much with birds. God forgives Dorothy, though, because she is covered in grace and didn't know any better than that. (I guess I will forgive her, too.)

So...Ritorno a vita! Return to life. The website isn't near finished, and I want to get the word of healing to you!

Exciting things are in the works with All Natural HealthWorks! There will be LOTS of good things coming up!

For one thing, we have lots of good people who are available for a variety of services! These sections aren't done yet...It takes time to get all of this posted, and I want to do it right now! (That's one of my frustrations in life...I want what I want right NOW! Hahaha!)

But if anything we have to offer catches your eye and you would like to know more, please feel free to write us an e-mail and ask! We're ready to serve you, we just don't have the info out yet.

There will be MORE good things coming up soon! Look for news of our Grand Opening celebration to be held this fall! It will be lots of fun packed with good eats, and great learning, and wonderful old and new friends!

Here's some really good news Ihave to share!...(Ta-Da!!!) It's called Dancer's Delight! :-D

One of the things that I have been so busy with which has kept me from writing to you is that I've been working on putting a website up for my daughter, to help her raise money for dance!

The part which might interest you...(not that ALL of it isn't fun!) the section on . (And remember...we are ALL dancers at heart!)

Actually, YES!...The whole website might interest you! In fact, if you ever shop at Toys 'R Us, Amazon, E-bay, Muscian's Friend...if you ever wear Hanes or use make-up or want a hairpiece...if you want to send a Vermont Teddy Bear to a friend, or a PajamaGram, or balloons...if you like to take pictures and need a camera or need them developed, or if you want to put photos on T-shirts or coffee cups or mousepads...if you like to sew and need fabric or anything else from JoAnn's...if you need airline tickets, hotel, car rental services...if you need luggage or tickets to a concert, football game or Broadway show...PLEASE visit my daughter's site!!! It will help keep her in dancing shoes! We've got lots of cool products, so please be sure to visit us there! :-D

Show you care, send a Bear!(Yes...I just did an ad, but come on! It's a good cause for a very, very good kid!!!)

You will also find on her website easy ways to earn money, if that's something of interest to you!

Family is so important. Children, of course, but yes...animals, too. That's the way we see it, at least.

Having a pet is a great responsibility. It is a true lesson in love. I've had pets all my life, so I know. Having pets has has helped me to see the oneness in has helped me to be less selfish, and to understand the meaning of life comes from giving love.

Animals are truly amazing. Even the tiniest ones are able to give love in return. I've had pets all the way down to the tiniest, too, so I know. I'm going to miss my bird, Jo.

You know what, though? I've made a decision. I'm not going to put anymore birds inside cages again. I have Henry, my canary, upstairs in my room in a very big cage, but from now on if I want a bird, I'm going to put a bird feeder by my window right here by my desk instead. I think it's only fair to the bird. I dedicate that decision to Jo and to Henry and Bruce, and all the other birds I have loved!

My mom, who just turned 90, has a cockatiel named Snookie she loves. Snookie loves Granny, too! He keeps my mom from being lonely. She lets him out of his cage (no dogs or cats) and he follows her around everywhere, and takes a nap right next to her every day! I really think, more than anything else, that bird is what keeps her alive. There's an incredible healing power to pets. It is the healing power of LOVE.

So, I will bless Jo on her journey, and thank her for spending this time with my children and I. She has brought beauty and joy to our home, and we will remember her always with smiles!

Thank God for the beautiful gifts of color and song that birds bring, and also their sweet gift of love.

And so life goes on and on. There's a bird now chirping in the tree outside my window right now, as if to say, "I am here!"

Thank you for being a part of my life! Have a beautiful day!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 1:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 31 July 2005 9:19 AM EDT
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Sunday, 24 July 2005
What is a Naturopath?
Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: "Doctor, Doctor!" by Robert Palmer
Topic: Naturopathy


Naturopathic doctors are trained specialists in a separate and distinct healing art which uses non-invasive natural medicine. They are not orthodox medical doctors (M.D.s). Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) are conventionally trained in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, counseling, dietary evaluations, nutrition, herbology, acupressure, muscle relaxation and structural normalization, homeopathy, iridology, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy, oxygen therapy and thermal therapy. Some practitioners are also trained in additional specialties such as acupuncture or natural childbirth.

Naturopathic doctors tailor the healing modality to the needs of the individual with methods which are effective for both chronic and acute problems. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all branches of medical science, referring individuals to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.

In practice, naturopathic doctors perform lifestyle analysis, laboratory testing, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis and other evaluative procedures. They are trained to use a wide variety of natural methods which involve the individual in the healing process. Naturopathy is based upon a belief in the body's innate God-given natural ability to heal itself when given an appropriate internal and external healing environment.

Naturopaths are not involved in the practice of medicine and do not use drugs or pharmaceuticals, nor do they perform abortions or surgery (other than minor first aid). They have traditionally been referred to as "drugless doctors." In reality, naturopathy deals with wellness and relief from conditions which are the result of stress whether from mental, nutritional, environmental or physical factors.

Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) have participated in a specialized course of study and received degrees in naturopathy. Some states license naturopaths and regulate the profession. In those states, the naturopaths must also have passed a national or state board examination and their practice is subject to review by a State Board of Examiners. Several naturopathic, professional organizations also require the candidate to pass a proficiency test in naturopathy in order to join their organization or to become certified.

NATUROPATHY: A Brief History

Dr. Benedict Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York City and graduated its first class in 1902. A number of other schools were organized and by the 1930's there were more than twenty naturopathic colleges and over 10,000 practitioners.

The allopathic medical schools, which had the backing of the pharmaceutical industry, flourished with large endowments and the political clout which comes with wealth. Due to lack of funding, naturopathic education began to decline and only recently has the disenchantment with pharmaceutically trained doctors led people to once again begin exploring and embracing natural, God-given, simple, effective remedies found in naturopathy.

Naturopathy promotes health through education and non-invasive natural agents. The Naturopathic Philosophy advocates a number of principles:

1. Do no harm
Primum non nocere is taken from the Hippocratic Oath. Certainly anybody who is sick does not need any therapy or treatment which can harm him/her. Since prescription medication has such a potential to make a well man sick, many wonder how it can be expected to make a sick man well. Traditional naturopathy embraces only therapies or procedures which are designed to enhance healing and produce wellness.

2. Recognize the healing power of nature
Vis medicatrix naturae. The human body is created with the capacity to heal itself and to maintain homeostasis. There is a healing power in nature and this principal is the basis for all of naturopathy. Naturopathy is a system designed to work in harmony with nature in the restoration and support for the inherent natural healing systems of the body.

3. Identify the cause
Tolle causam. In allopathic medicine the name of the disease is actually the name of the symptom in Greek. For example, the term "arthritis" is made up of two Greek roots "arthro" which means having to do with the joint and "itis" meaning pain or inflammation. Allopathic doctors seek to treat the joint pain by reducing the joint pain. This can be done with the use of pain killers, nerve blockers or any number of procedures. Naturopaths are committed to removing the joint pain by finding and removing the cause. Perhaps this may prove to be a calcium and/or mineral deficiency caused by either a primary or secondary nutritional deficiency. Or perhaps the cause could be from an injury, or possibly from an over acid condition in the body. For naturopaths, the correction of the cause is the most plausible way of eliminating the symptoms and restoring health to the person.

4. Involve the total person
Naturopathic doctors are aware that a person can have a physical, spiritual or emotional illness. The chosen therapy is determined by what kind of problem the person is experiencing. You can not be well or healthy if you have a spiritual or mental problem even if you appear perfectly fit. Naturopaths use various counseling, stress management and bio-feedback techniques for those experiencing emotional or spiritual problems. Most naturopathic practitioners are capable of also using Biblical counseling as restorative therapy. Reading the writings of the fathers of naturopathy, you will find they were Godly people who recognized the Creator and gave Him the honor for all healing.

5. Teach rather than treat
Naturopathic philosophy places the responsibility for wellness with the individual. Man is the steward of his body and the doctor is the teacher or advisor to the individual on how to maintain health. One recognizes that a headache is not an aspirin deficiency but rather the result of some imbalance within the body. Some principle of health has been violated and the body is responding with pain. Naturopaths should evaluate the connotation and advise or teach their clients what lifestyle, nutritional, emotional or dietary changes should be made to alleviate the condition. The condition is alleviated by the clients making those changes and not by some outside agency.

6. Identify the source
Man is fearfully and wonderfully made. Other than in trauma-type injuries, seldom does the body have isolated mono-factoral conditions, but rather experiences "dis-ease" as a consequence of a number of health debilitating events. Germs are considered the culprit for many conditions found by allopathic physicians. Naturopaths understand germs are a normal part of the economy of the earth and that they are put here by the Creator to destroy sick, weakened and devitilized tissues. Thus, germs are attracted to the depleted tissues in the body. In order to reverse the disease process, the body needs to have its tissues revitalized. This explains why when two people are exposed to the same germs only one person gets sick (the person with the devitalized tissues.

7. Prevent disease
It is admirable that there is an effective system based on natural restorative methods. However, it is preferable for the body not to experience imbalances and their resulting consequences. Naturopaths are prepared to advise clients on simple disease prevention principles which are designed to produce health and avoid the destructive consequences which occur as the result of violating those principles.

What to Expect

When you consult a naturopathic doctor for counsel, you will find a person committed to the holistic approach to health. The doctor will gather a medical history, inquire about your diet, discuss any stress you are experiencing, give various non-invasive tests designed to evaluate body conditions and advise you concerning your condition. What you will NOT get is a diagnosis! Naturopathic doctors deal in health, not disease, and they do not diagnose disease. They simply look to signs as to how the body is functioning in its normal day to day functions, and offer advice as to how this may be improved through natural means.

A naturopathic doctor never interferes with the advice of a medical doctor. The two can work side by side. They are not the same thing.

With a naturopathic doctor, you will experience techniques which are consistent with traditional naturopathy and its philosophy. These will enable your body to correct problems now and prevent them from occurring in the future.

In a society focused on an allopathic mindset, naturopaths can provide people with more options in the treatment of disease and pain. These options, along with being non-invasive, are all natural and, in actuality, are more historical methods in the pursuit of good health.

There are always choices in nature...Things that can make any situation better than it already is. People say naturopathy doesn't work because it's not always a perfect solution, but sometimes nothing will work. Naturopathy is as simple as breathing in a more efficient manner, eating nourishing foods, hydrating the body with pure clean water, using herbs, flowers and plants to our good, and getting the right exercise...Along with a wee bit of prayer, about the size of a mustard seed.

Have a naturally healthy good day!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 10:29 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 July 2005 11:09 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 6 July 2005
Essentials of Aromatherapy
Mood:  smelly
Topic: Aromatherapy

The last time we discussed aromatherapy...(see entry for 6/29/05)...I left off by explaining that Aromatherapy is the term we use for affecting our health in a positive way, by bringing balance to the system through scent, and that essential oils are the tools that we use in administering this therapy in a clinical way.

In other words, there are many, many, MANY health benefits to walking in nature and enjoy the scents. There are likewise many benefits to cooking with natural spices and foods and filling the house with good smells! BUT...It's hard to administer something like that in targeted doses to bring about specific results--that's why we use essential oils.

Concentrated, pure essential oils are very powerful and effective healing agents, when administered consistently in specific ways. They are not to be used indescriminately, because they do have very potent effects, but used with respect, they can be extremely powerful tools. They work to support the body in its own restoration by supporting, strengthening, relaxing, stimulating, tonifying or invigorating the systems, organs, cells, and/or the skin during the healing process.

Essential oils may be used in a number of ways, inhalation being just one.  When applied topically, plant constituents enter the bloodstream directly, taking it a step further than simple "aroma"-therapy.  This is the same technology which allows nicotine or morphine patches to work. Medicine often uses this way of administering a substance into our bloodstream.

While essential oils should be used with respect and with care, they still remain a very safe treatment and preventative aid. Fragrant oils have been in use for thousands and thousands of years In ancient scripture you'll read about people being annointed and healed with oils. They were even presented to Jesus upon his birth. There is evidence of the use of fragrant oils as far back as 7,000 B.C. The fragrance of perfumes (the early form of essential oils) could still be smelled when they opened up King Tut's tomb 3,000 years after his death!

Essential oils are produced through a process of distillation. This is the same process as used for many perfumes fragrant oils used for other purposes besides medicinal, but the medicinal oils are from the first distillation. (Plants are distilled a number of times, with each distillation a little bit weaker...sort of along the same lines as using one tea bag for more than one cup of tea.)

Essential Oils are to be taken externally, except under the supervision of somebody trained in the art. In France and other European countries where doctors practice medical aromotherapy, they often administer essential oils in pill form, in addition to through diffusion, or via the skin or by suppository. This is not, however, advisable in common practice. It is better for those not thouroughly trained to be very cautious.  It is much better to err on the side of caution and use them externally only.

It is important to note that although essential oils often have similar characteristics to the herbs from which they come, they do not act in the body the same way as herbs, because they do not contain proteins, carbohydrates or lipids, although they do have phytonutrient content.  Essential oils are highly concentrated substances containining volatile organic components. Each oil has its own unique, complex composition as is made up of approximately 250-300 different chemical consitituents of active molecules, and may be toxic if taken internally except as directed by a qualified professional.  They are not in the form of a whole plant anymore, and so in a sense, they are more of a natural "drug," whereas herbs are actually food. 

Also due to their strength, essential oils, when applied to the skin, should be diluted in a carrier base. NEAT is the term used for applying the oils full-strength, and the only two oils that are advisable to apply neat are lavender and tea tree oils. If you skin becomes irritated when applying any of these oils, you may relieve this with a good quality vegetable oil.

What is a good quality vegetable oil? You should only use cold pressed oils for any of your kitchen needs! Oils are meant to be nutritional food sources, not something to clog up our system. We need to be using oils that are in their natural form. Most oils on the grocery store shelf, unfortunately, are unfit for use, as they no longer are of nutritional benefit. These oils are processed with heat and chemicals (such as gasoline) which kill the nutritients and chemically alter the oil. We'll talk more in depth at a future time regarding the various benefits and dangers of using the right or wrong oil.

In regard to the topic at hand, it is likewise important to only use the best, most nourishing oils on our skin. Cold pressed virgin olive oil is my favorite oil for cooking, as it stands up to oxidation when heated the best, however, for purposes of Armotherapy, this is not the best oil to choose, although it is extremely good for the skin. The scent of olive oil, unfortunately, is considered too strong by many, as it may interfere with the scent of the essential oil. I do use it, however, in many of the blends that I make.  Make sure whatever carrier oils that you use are:

*Cold pressed - ensure that the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients are left intact, making it a therapeutic oil in itself.

*Free of sythetic ingredients.

*Light and non-greasy.


Some very nice oils include:

*Sweet Almond - Shelf life of 6-8 months. Contains glucosides,minerals, vitamins, and is very rich in protein. Good for all skin types. Helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness and inflammation.

*Grapeseed - Shelf life 3 months. Stands up the best to light of all the oils. Contains vitamins, minerals and proteins, and is good for all skin types.

*Hazelnut - Shelp life 6 months. Contains vitamins, minerals and protein. Good for all skin types. Has a slight astringent action.

*Macadamia - Very, very nice oil! My favorite choice for use in creams. Shelf life 1 year.

*Apricot Kernel - Shelf life 6-8 months. Contains vitamins and minerals, and is particularly good for aged, sensitive, inflamed and dry skin.

*Jojoba - Doesn't get rancid! Should get solid in fridge if pure. Jojoba is not actually an oil, but a wax extracted from the bean of the jojoba plant. Contains protein and minerals. Mimics collagen. Good for inflamed skin, psoriasis, eczema, acne, hair care. Highly penetrative. Use in a 10% dilution. (There are more!)

Essential oils, then, may be mixed with these carrier oils and applied to the skin. Use about 15-18 drops of essential oils in 1 ounce of carrier oil. Close the container tightly, and tap gently on the heel of the hand 100 times to thoroughly mix. This process is called "succussion." Apply this oil liberally, but not so liberally that it does not soak into the skin.

Oil is not the only carrier which is suitable for aromatherapy use. Don't forget about breathing them in! Air is a good carrier, too! You may breath them in direct from the bottle, or put them in a diffuser which will carry the scent through the room. Mmmmm...What a wonderful way to feel good! :-D

For a very nice steam inhalation for general use, try this: 4C boiling water in bowl 2-4 drops of essential or citrus oil (eucalyptus smithii is a very nice oil for general use in this way) Cover head with towel and inhale, resting every few moments and then returning to inhale some more.

Water is also a carrier, and essential oils may certainly be added to bathwater. I do this every day! You may add them direct, or mix them in with whatever else you put in the tub, such as mineral salts, baking soda, botanical oils, or whatever else you may use.

Essential oils inthe bath are very nice for aches, pains, tension, stress....ahhhhh! Take me away!!! Fill the tub with water of a comfortable temperature. Use 7-10 drops of essential oil (5-7 drops for citrus oils) Sit in the tub for 10-20 minutes and just relax! Please don't use any synthetic soaps, gels, shampoos, etc., during this 10-20 minutes, as this is a therapeutic bath, and synthetic ingredients will greatly reduce the effects. (Although hopefully you are not using synthetic ingredients in your soaps, gels and shampoos anyway, as these are toxic to you!)

Compresses, poultices, baths, inhalations, massage oils...there are many ways essential oils can be used! I would recommend that you get a good basic book on aromatherapy and the use of essential oils.

There are many essential oils from which you can choose. I would recommend starting with a good basic set of oils, which might include the following:

*Lavender - This, in my opinion, would have to get the #1 Usefulness Award! Lavender oil can be used NEAT, making it top in convenience, and it has sooooo many practical uses. It can be used to relieve headaches, pain, tension, depression, insomnia, burns, scalds, cuts, wounds, naseau, acne, eczema, blisters, fevers, heart many things! It has a very nice fragrance, that almost everyone likes, and it is very safe for children and for the elderly. Psychologically, lavender imparts a sense of well-being.  PLUS...bugs don't like it so much!

*Peppermint - Peppermint oil has a real yummy smell, and it is very useful in so many ways! It mixes well with lavender, too. Peppermint aids digestion and helps to relieve nausea, flatulence, and indigestion. Being a hepatic, it is also very tonifying to the liver. Another characteristic of peppermint is that it will cool you down when you're too hot, and warm you up when you're too cold. It is cooling to emotions, making it useful to help relieve anger; and it is stimulating to concentration and thereby helpful in relieving mental fatigue. I like to carry it when traveling, as it provides good relief from air, car, or sea sickness, none of which make very fun traveling mates! Peppermint should be well diluted, especially when using with infants and children. It should not be used by nursing mothers, as it may inhibit milk flow. Peppermint oil is especially nice to use with inhalations, as it is a good decongestion, and helps to relieve dry cough and cold symptoms. It is not as good in the bath, because it tends to make one feel cold.

*Tea Tree Oil - There are hundreds of practical uses for tea tree oil! It's not necessarily one of the best smelling essential oils, but it is a very effective antiseptic, bactericidal, fungicidal, and anti-viral agent. It is appropriate for a myriad of uses, including cystitis, vaginitis, yeast infection, clods, flu, bronchitits, sore throat, skin absesses, gum problems, fungal infections, viral and bacterial infections, warts, acne...the list goes on and on!  Niaouli is an oil that is very similar to tea tree oil...even better, actually, just not quite as well known.

There are so many more very good oils you could choose!

Citrus oils are similar to essential oils, except that they are not obtained through steam distillation, but rather by being expressed. These are extremely nice oils to use, as they are very pleasant to smell, and they all have the quality of being anti-depressant aromas. They're known as the Happy Family of Oils!

Citrus oils should not, however, be taken lightly, as they are very powerful powerful and aggressive oils. It is also good to keep in mind not to apply them to skin that will be exposed to the sun, as the presence of citrus oil may cause brown spots on the skin, due to their photsensitivity to ultra violet rays.

The citrus oils are very detoxifying oils, and are very good for use in cleaning everything from livers to floors! Citrus oils and essential oils can be used in combination with themselves and each other, and in fact, the benefit of each oil is improved by their combined action. You should, however, limit it to only about two or three oils at a time.

Bergamot is a citrus oil, and is among my favorites for lifting my spirits! I like it in combination with ylang ylang and geranium, which are both essential oil which are very uplifting and balancing to the emotions as well. I just LOVE using these oils!

We'll talk about more ways to make good use of aromatherapy and essential oils. They have so many good uses, not only with people, but with animals, too. They can be used in so many products, like cleaning solutions, beauty applications, fat patches, pesticides, air fresheners, sore muscle rubs, love potions (it's true!), toothpaste, healing salves, and all sorts of really neat things!

In the beginning, it's good to just start with one oil, and become thoroughly acquainted with it. Close your eyes and breathe it in deep to begin, and then write down in descriptive words how it smells and any thoughts that it brings to you. This will help to imprint the memory of it on your mind! Then start using it in a number of ways, and take note of any results that you get. Then add another oil!

In thinking about how to advise someone who asks the best course of action to take when working with improving their state of well-being, my inclination is to begin by working with aromatherapy first for two weeks, before adding other components into the regime, unless more aggressive action is called for. Aromatherapy prepares the mind and the body for other modalities, if others indeed do need to be used. (Essential oils combine well with herbs and with flower essences, but they are not to be used with homeopathics, as they cancel each other out. As a matter of fact, essential oils should not even be kept in the same cupboard with homeopathy products! This is as I was taught.)

Aromatherapy is a very gentle, effective way of working with all aspects of being...physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits are all to be enjoyed. We'll talk more about the many uses of essential oils many, many more times! There are so many wonderful ways they are used! Have a very good time smelling and feeling real great!

Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008 7:33 AM EST
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