Pine Needle Essential Oil

Author: Dr. Larita
September 2, 2014

pine needlesThe scent of pine is a favorite of almost everyone;. It brings memories of cold winter days and of holidays as a child. Pine has been used therapeutically for centuries by ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Arabians. It was used in religious ceremonies as well as  to treat conditions like bronchitis, tuberculosis and pneumonia. Native Americans used pine needles to make a brew to prevent scurvy. Scandinavians used pine branches in saunas and many cultures use pine needles to stuff mattresses in order to repel lice, fleas and other vermin.

Essential Oil Applications

  • For asthma, bronchitis, coughs (even smokers cough,) or sore throat, use 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation. You can also use 2-3 drops in a diffuser or 8-10 drops in bath water
  • For athletes foot, cuts eczema, psoriasis, sores or other skin irritations, use 2-3 drops in 1 ounce of sweet almond oil and massage on the area.
  • For cellulite, use 2-3 drops in a carrier oil and massage on the affected area often. You can also use 8-10 drops in bath water
  • For colds, flu sinus congestion and or sore throats, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser or steam inhalation. You can also use 8-10 drops in bath water.
  • For digestive problems, use 2-3 drops in a stema inhalation. You can also mix 2-3 drops in 1 ounce of liquid shea oil and rub on chest and lower back.
  • For sleepiness or nervous exhaustion, use 2-3 drops in a diffuser.
  • For hangovers, use 2-3 drops in a hot or cold compress. you can alos use 2-3 drops in a diffuser or 8-10 drops in bath water.

If you like blends, pine mixes well with cedarwood, citronella, clary sage, eucalyptus, frankincense, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, myrrh, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, tea tree and thyme.

Happy Labor Day

Author: Dr. Larita
September 1, 2014


Labor Day

Enjoy your day off on the day we honor workers!

Summer Skin Care

Author: Dr. Larita
August 29, 2014

When the heat is on, maintaining a regular makeup routine, in addition to using skin care products, gets frustrating, so streamline your beauty regimen. If your skin tends to turn into an oil-slick by the middle of the day, begin with a product to keep shine at bay.

Next, whether your skin is oily or bone-dry, follow with a light-weight moisturizer that contains SPF and is designed for your skin type.

Finally, skip the foundation and simply dot a long-lasting concealer over any problem areas and finish with a light powder to absorb shine.

Tea Tree Oil for Fungus

Author: Dr. Larita
August 28, 2014

A reader left a message after reading the Pretty Feet blog today. He said that he had toenail fungus for about 10 years and some very bad foot odor too. He read a previous blog about tea tree oil and smelly feet and he started to use the spray mentioned in the article for his shoes. He said there was great improvement in the shoe smell but his toenails were still thick because of the fungus.

He read that tea tree oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal so he started putting one neat drop of it on each nail every morning. He said that after about a week of daily use, he could see that his nails were less thick and there was less fungal growth. Toenails grow slowly so there is still some fungus there but he is beginning to see healthy nails growing in with no fungus. If he keeps that up, he will have pretty feet too, or should I say handsome feet?

Smelly Feet and Tea Tree Oil

Author: Dr. Larita
August 27, 2014

My cousin was complaining about her son’s smelly shoes and stinky feet. She said he takes a shower every day but it doesn’t help so I told her about the wonders of tea tree oil. To rid your shoes of those awful smells you can put 20 drops of tea tree oil in a plant spray bottle with one cup of water. Shake well before you spray inside your shoes. Use the same spray on your feet when you get out of the shower. Let your shoes dry before you wear them and of course, dry your feet after the shower but you don’t need to spray so much on your feet that they get wet enough to dry them again.

If you don’t want to use the spray, there is another way to use essential oils to sweeten the smell of your shoes. Put 2 teaspoons  of bicarbonate of soda into a small container, an egg cup from your last dozen eggs will work great. Add two drops of lemon, lavender, rosemary or tea tree essential oil and mix it as well as you can, then sprinkle it into then shoes and leave it overnight. Tap the powder out in the morning and your shoes will smell as fresh as new.

Chronic Back Pain Relief

Author: Dr. Larita
August 26, 2014

Chronic back pain can come from specific physical reasons such as a slipped disc, lumbago, sciatica, or fibrositis and there are often medical remedies for these types of back problems. More often, back pain is the result of the strains of daily life. It may come from lifting heavy boxes, gardening, sitting at a keyboard all day, bad posture or even from lugging in the groceries after shopping. Falls and whiplash can come back years later in the form of back pain too.

Essential oils can greatly relieve chronic back pain. They penetrate deeply into contracted muscles encouraging them to expand and they increase blood flow to the area and the muscle tissues needing to be repaired by the body. The best way to use essential oils for this purpose is in a synergistic blend although you can use any of the oils alone. All three of the following synergistic blends are wonderful for alleviating back pain.

Synergistic Blend I

  • 10 drops of rosemary
  • 10 drops of marjoram
  • 10 drops of sage
Synergistic Blend II
  • 10 drops of lavender
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus
  • 10 drops of ginger
Synergistic Blend III
  • 10 drops of peppermint
  • 10 drops of rosemary
  • 10 drops of basil
Dilute the 30 drops of your synergistic blend in 2 tablespoons of your favorite carrier oil. Massage eases any kind of back pain although you may need to get a friend to do it for you. If no one is available to help, you can massage your lower back on your own but the upper back is more difficult although it can be done. Ice massage is very helpful for treating lumbago, sciatica and fibrositis which are often caused by sitting in one position for too long (that’s where my pain is coming from!) You just need to freeze several Styrofoam cups with water, freeze them and then cut the cup down so there is about 2 inches of ice protruding. Massage in a circular pattern over the sore areas in your back.

Natural Skin Tightening

Author: Dr. Larita
August 22, 2014

Sagging skin causes wrinkles. Wrinkles cause us to look old. What woman wants to look old? Firm up your skin naturally and retain your youthful look.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case you can prevent or delay additional sagging by avoiding too much exposure to damaging UV rays. Exercise also helps because it increases blood circulation which strengthens skin. For extra fighting power use skin tightening facial products, such as tightening masks and moisturizers before bed.

blackheads Blackheads are ugly and can easily become infected. Blocked sebum become blackheads when surface cells develop sulphides that turn black when they come into contact with oxygen. When you remove them and the opening just fills up again with more sebum; this condition is related to seborrhea, overproduction of the sebaceous glands. Even people with dry skin can develop blackheads, especially on the nose or chin but blackheads can develop practically anywhere on the body, as well as on the face. Wherever they develop, the treatment for blackheads is the same, they need to be removed.

To remove blackheads, get a bowl of steaming hot water with 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar added, put 1 drop of lavender essential oil on the water and cover your head with a towel, being sure to close off the sides too and steam your face for 10 minutes, coming up for air every 3-4 minutes. Rinse the face with 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar mixed in a bowl of hot (but not boiling) water. If the blackheads are loose, squeeze gently taking care not to damage the skin. Then splash the face with a mixture of 2 ounces of mineral water, 2 teaspoons cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon witch hazel, 2 drops each of bergamot and cypress essential oils.

After patting the skin dry, massage the following oils into the skin. This will help to prevent blackheads from coming back and also loosen the ones that are already there:

  • Lemongrass - 8 drops
  • Lavender - 5 drops
  • Clary-sage - 2 drops
  • Thyme - 5 drops
  • Jojoba oil - 5 drops

Use this massage mixture morning and night. When you wash your face, take care to use a pure natural soap. You can use eye makeup if you like but avoid face makeup and powder.

Sciatic Relief

Author: Dr. Larita
August 20, 2014

sciaticaSciatica is often erroneously referred to as pain in the lower back. However, the correct meaning is pain at any point along the sciatic nerve caused by pressure on the nerve. This nerve begins in the pelvic area and moves  below the sacroiliac joint to the buttocks, behind the hip joint, down the thigh and then divides at the knee into two branches which end up in the foot. Sciatic pain can happen at any point along the nerve’s pathway and can be caused by a bulging spinal disc, poorly designed chairs or even just poor posture. I think it may even be caused by jobs that require sitting for long periods of time.

The pain we have (yes, I do have it too) from sciatica is a symptom of some underlying problem so treating the symptom alone is not a good enough treatment. You must discover the cause of the pain and treat that too.  An osteopath may be able to help you as well as using better posture and getting yourself more supportive furniture. You might think massage would be helpful but I did not find that to be true. I almost jumped off the massage table when the masseuse touched my sore spot.

The best thing to use is a cold compress to which you have added a drop of chamomile or lavender essential oil to reduce the irritation and lessen the pain. I have even used an ice pack for 20 minutes when the pain was really bad. Gentle massage (which I do for myself because I’m the only one who can tell how much pressure I can take at that point) can be used at times when the pain is not too extreme. You can also use Lavender or chamomile essential oil in a warm, not hot, bath for relief too.

How to Use a Hot Compress

Author: Dr. Larita
August 19, 2014

hot compressYesterday we talked about using cold compresses so today we’ll discuss using hot compresses. Use a hot compress to draw out infection from cuts and wounds. The water in the bowl for a hot compress should be hot but not intolerable to the touch. Put the essential oil drops onto the water’s surface and then lay the piece of cloth over the oils as described for cold water compresses. Immediately remove the cloth and gently wring it out. Place the hot compress to the wounded area for about 20 minutes. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times in a row to draw out the infection. Again, if the injury is acute, seek medical attention. Below are some essential oil blends that will work well for hot compresses.

Synergistic Blends for Hot Compresses

  • For grazes and scratches: 3 drops tea tree and 3 drops frankincense
  • For deep infected cuts: 3 drops myrrh and 3 drops manuka
  • For boils or infected pimples: 3 drops bergamot and 3 drops ravensara


September 2014
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