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Small but Mighty

Essential Oils pack a healing punch



Until a month ago my only exposure to essential oils had been at a fancy spa. I lay prone on a heated massage bed while new age music burbled softly in the background. The masseuse wafted numerous tiny amber bottles of fragrant (and not so fragrant) oils beneath my nose and asked me to respond to each one. My reactions went something like this: “... nice ... very nice ... so-so ... not bad ... ewww!”

And finally, an enthusiastic, “Yes, that’s the one!” It was jasmine oil. And inhaling it made me deliriously happy.

Our sense of smell can instantly trigger childhood memories and is highly emotive. So why did I respond so strongly to that particular scent? It reminded me of my grandmother who always wore a perfume with an undertone of jasmine and I was propelled back to a happy time, when I felt safe and loved.

That experience stayed with me. Recently, when I had the opportunity to attend a seminar led by herbal expert Gina Fasser, I was intrigued. I learned that essential oils were mankind’s first medicines and have been used therapeutically for over 6,000 years to heal, soothe, and ease discomfort. They have long been prized for their fragrances as well as their health-giving properties, and were routinely used in religious ceremonies, food preparation, and beauty treatments in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures. Not surprisingly, there are 188 references to essential oils in the Bible, the most notable being the magi’s gifts of frankincense and myrrh to the newly born Jesus.

Essential oils can have powerful psychological and physiological effects. Smell is one of the five senses directly linked to the limbic lobe, which is essentially the brain’s control center. The limbic system helps to regulate our blood pressure, stress levels, heart rate, breathing, memory, and hormones. Therapeutic oils, while not a cure-all, are thought to be effective in relieving insomnia, migraine headaches, stress, and sinus infections. Some claim that they can rebuild your immune system, calm a toothache, tame motion sickness, and brighten your mood.

But what are they exactly? Essential oils are extracts derived from aromatic plant species and their parts—including flowers, fruit, roots, stems, bark, seeds, and leaves. After they’re distilled, what’s left is the highly concentrated oil or potent “essence.” For example, it would take 28 cups of peppermint tea to equal one drop of peppermint oil. These oils can be utilized therapeutically in a variety of ways: applied topically, inhaled, diffused in the air, and ingested. They can also be blended with other oils to maximize their effectiveness.

However, the industry is not well-regulated, so if you’re comparison-shopping on Amazon or eBay, don’t be dazzled by bargain-basement prices. Not all brands of essential oils are created equal––some have been found to have as little as five percent of the purported oil. Dis- reputable manufacturers cut corners by using chemical solvents, high temperatures, and rapid processing. So do your research and aim to find the purest-quality essential oils with labels that state they are “therapeutic-grade.”

For the uninitiated, a good place to start is with a universal oil such as lavender, known as the “Swiss Army Knife of essential oils” because of its versatility. A drop or two can help relieve motion sickness (one drop on the end of the tongue, behind the ears, or around the navel); heal cuts (two to three drops can help stop bleeding, kill bacteria, and clean the wound); reduce itching and swelling of bee stings and insect bites (one drop on the affected area); heal cold sores (one drop on sore); decrease the pain of a minor burn (two to three drops); and ease hay fever and allergy symptoms (inhale deeply).

When applying oils topically, you need to check whether they can be applied undiluted, or must be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut, grape seed, or sweet almond.

When diffused, essential oils can purify stale air and destroy bad odors (lavender, lemon, sweet orange, balsam fir, and hyssop to name a few),or be used in an office environment to encourage greater focus and mental alertness (peppermint, rosemary). Experiencing generalized muscle pain? There’s an oil for that. Marjoram and peppermint are the most effective. Certain essential oils can be used on babies to resolve ailments like teething, diaper rash, and cradle cap.

The list of uses for essential oils is almost endless, and while they will never replace Western medicine, they do have demonstrable therapeutic properties. In addition to smelling wonderful, they are a less toxic option than some treatments.

I never forgot my powerful emotional reaction to jasmine oil. I now wear it every day and feel enveloped in memories of my elegant grandmother. 


Essential Oils Home Cures

›› Diaper Rash
1 drop German chamomile + 1 drop lavender + 1 drop whole milk. Add to bathwater and swish. Bathe baby keep- ing oils away from baby’s eyes and face.

›› Teething
1 drop Roman chamomile or lavender + 1 tbsp carrier oil. Gently massage the outside of the face along the jawline

›› Insect Bites
1 drop of frankincense or lavender reduces swelling, itching, speeds healing

›› Hot Flashes
2 drops peppermint oil on the outside of each ankle. 

›› Brain Fog
1 drop peppermint on tongue, hold tongue to roof of mouth, breathe deeply.

›› Mice
Put several drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and leave in affected area.

›› Freshen Clothing
Add a few drops of lavender to wool dryer balls or a wash cloth and add near end of drying cycle.

›› Ticks (for dogs not cats)
1 drop Rose Geranium oil on each shoulder blade and at the base of the tail but avoid face and nose. 

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August 2018

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

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Cost: free

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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
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The traveling National Geographic exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” opens at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, on June 2, 2018. Featuring the work of National Geographic...

Where:
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1 Museum Dr
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
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Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The traveling National Geographic exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” opens at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, on June 2, 2018. Featuring the work of National Geographic...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The traveling National Geographic exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” opens at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, on June 2, 2018. Featuring the work of National Geographic...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The traveling National Geographic exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” opens at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, on June 2, 2018. Featuring the work of National Geographic...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The traveling National Geographic exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” opens at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, on June 2, 2018. Featuring the work of National Geographic...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The traveling National Geographic exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” opens at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, on June 2, 2018. Featuring the work of National Geographic...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Stamford EMS and Safety4Kids (S4K) are teaming up to present an important summer safety event: a Bike Safety Roundup on Saturday, August 18th at Chelsea Piers from 9am – 10am.  ...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Chelsea Piers Connecticut
1 Blachley Road
Stamford, CT  06902
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Sponsor: Stamford EMS and Safety4Kids (S4K)
Telephone: 203-968-1118
Contact Name: The Loft at Chelsea Piers Connecticut
Website »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The Lewisboro Library’s Nightclub Concert Series has a special treat on Saturday, August 18 – a “Beatles Night” featuring a Beatles tribute band and a Beatles Trivia...

Cost: $30/per person

Where:
Lewisboro Library
15 Main Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: Lewisboro Library
Telephone: 914-875-9004
Contact Name: Liz Gabriele
Website »

More information

The traveling National Geographic exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” opens at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, on June 2, 2018. Featuring the work of National Geographic...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Show More...
Show Less...

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