Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Aromatherapy for Headaches and Migraines

Headaches are on of the most common ailments.  They are not caused by a deficiency of aspirin or Tylenol.  There are many causes, but muscle tension in the neck, shoulders and sub-occipital muscles, are often aggravating factors.

Massage therapy can be very helpful.  Also, self massage with some essential oils can be soothing. 

• Fill a small glass, 1oz. jar or bottle approximately 2/3 full with Almond Oil or other carrier oil.

• 6 drops Lavender Oil
• 6 drops Clary Sage Oil
• Cover and shake. Check the fragrance of the oil.

To use: Apply to temples and areas of pain and tension. Massage lightly. 

Other aromatherapy oils for headaches:

• Peppermint
• Jasmine
• Eucalyptus

• Melissa
• Rosemary 

Feel free to use any other oils you find helpful.  If headaches are persistent, consider seeing a professional massage therapist or acupuncturist for more specific suggestions and treatments for your headaches.  Trigger points often cause headaches and a professional can treat them effectively.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Foods to Soothe Cold and Flu

It's that time of year and many people come down with the annual cold or flu.  In the spirit of "let food be your medicine" here are 3 delicious recipes  that will soothe your symptoms.  Of course, see your doctor if symptoms are severe.

Let's start with a variation on an old standby; chicken soup.  While it would be great to make it from scratch, when you are feeling under the weather, it may be easier to start with a can of organic chicken soup or broth.
Souped up Chicken Soup to Help Boost the Immune System
  • 1 can organic chicken soup
  • 3 slices of Astragalus.  If you can't find the raw herb you may be able to find Astragalus tea in a health food store.  Brew a strong cup of the tea and add it to the soup.
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • a few shiitake mushrooms 
  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger or a 1/2 tsp. of dried ginger powder
  • 1 to 4 cloves of garlic
  • simmer 30 minutes until the mushrooms are done

Dry Cough Pear and Almond Soup
  • 5 ripe pears
  • 2 quarts of water
  • honey
  • fresh mint leaves
  • 4 handfulls of almonds (chopped)
Cut pears in half and remove stems and seeds. Chop into small pieces. Combine pears, almonds and water in medium sized saucepan. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add honey and mint to taste. Drink one to two cups daily to enhance the Lung function and prevent dry coughs. 

Cold Relief Soup
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 chopped scallion
  • 1 Tbsp. miso paste
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
    Add all ingredients, bring to boil, simmer for 15 minutes. Drink 1 cup every hour. You will begin to sweat.

    Bon appetite'

    Sources: Chinese Home Remedies. Wang, L., New Page Books, 2005. Secrets of Healing. Ni, Dr. M., Avery Press, 2008.