Showing posts with label Grace Orosz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grace Orosz. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Nurturing Oils & Immune Support for the Autumn Season

By Grace Orosz, RN-BC, CCAP
Integrative Registered Nurse, Certified Clinical Aromatherapist

Honestly, I cannot really say which season I prefer the most. I do know that it’s NOT Winter! With autumn just around the bend, I look forward to my yearly drive up to the Catskills to see all the fall colors and go apple picking. I am hoping that nature will bring some vibrant reds, golds and rusts to paint the landscape for autumn! Especially after the rainy summer we have had.

There is a welcome crispness to the air, a freshness on the skin and a deep connection to nature while taking a hike through the woods. Plan to take a walk in the woods. “Just be” there and fully soak in and experience your surroundings. It will surely lift your spirits, clear your mind and enhance your immune system.

One of my fondest memories is the October of 2013, when my dear mother and I took a fall Foliage Cruise up the New England Coast to Halifax. It was really unplanned, a very spontaneous adventure. I rented a lightweight wheelchair, as she couldn’t walk long distances anymore and she tired easily. She didn’t like that chair, but was grateful that we had it anyway. We enjoyed all the fall festivities at each stop along the way. Indulging in many seasonal goodies like pumpkin and cinnamon treats, gingersnaps and hot apple cider. Who knew that would be our last trip together. I am forever grateful for the gift of that special time with her. My mom and I always baked, and that time of year I fondly remember the warming spicy smells that filled our home. It is amazing to me how a simple scent can change our moods and emotions in about 1/50 of a second. My spirit is filled with gratitude when a scent recalls those wonderful memories. Aromatherapy is truly magical!

My other memory of the fall growing up was a yearly case of bronchitis or upper respiratory infection. Like clockwork, at the end of September through mid-October my immune system crashed. The temperature shift of the fall season permits different groups of viruses, including influenza, to flourish. We need some extra immune support to stay healthy during this season. Many essential oils can help to keep you and your home environment healthy and happy.

Since I regularly diffuse essential oils in my home, I would like share with you some of the nurturing scents that warm and comfort my spirit during the fall season, these also provide great immune support. Thankfully, I am happy to report that I rarely get sick this time of year.

You will need an ultrasonic cool mist diffuser. Preferably, with an automatic shut off. Add water to the “fill line” on your particular diffuser. Generally they hold 100ml – 300ml.

- Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum verum): supports immune activity and provides powerful protection against viral infections and contagious diseases. (Do not apply on the skin.) You need only one drop of this oil in any blend you create or it could be overpowering.

- Wild Orange (Capparis mitchellii): Citrus in an incredibly uplifting and purifying scent. This can ward off any cold symptoms and support your immune system, especially with the change to cooler temperatures.

- Frankincense (Boswellia cartieri): is a strong immune stimulant and antibacterial. Traditionally, it has been used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. It also helps to warm and alleviate nervous tension.

- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Rosemary (chemotype 1,8- cineole) is highly recommended for any respiratory ailments. It also promotes clarity of mind and invigorates the spirit.

- Ravensara (Ravensara aromatic): This has excellent antiviral properties, particularly for influenza. A must have for the flu season.

- Ginger (Zingiber officinale): This is very warm and strengthening to the immune system. It is recommended for coughs and sore throats. The essential oil is NOT to be taken internally. For a ginger tea, use the whole ginger root.

- Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica): This has an intense warm, woody scent. Known for positive effects on respiratory system. It relieves chest congestion and serves as an expectorant. It can be comforting emotionally and promote calmness and a deeper sleep. 

Add 2-4 drops of any of these oils to the water in your diffuser. You can blend whatever combination brings you that warmth and comfort.

Be mindful of what your body, mind and spirit needs this autumn season.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Essential Oils for Seasonal Allergies

By Grace Orosz RN-BC, CCAP
Integrative Registered Nurse

When I was growing up in Chicago, I can vividly remember how I looked forward to the change of seasons -- ALL FOUR OF THEM! The mid-west was an open, clean, fresh place to live.  I spent most of my free time outdoors. We almost never played inside.  We had many wonderful forest preserves, lakes and hiking paths.  I loved being in nature.

At the time, I was unaware of how pollen and grasses affected people.  I never had a problem with any seasonal allergies.  However, I knew several people that did.  I would privately make fun of them, in my mind.  I just could not believe that people could be suffering so miserably with allergies, hay fever, sinusitis etc.  It seemed almost “too dramatic” for me.  However, I tried to understand how maybe it affected them and make an effort to be sympathetic.   They were always going for Sinus X-rays, CT Scans and using a plethora of antihistamines, decongestants and steroidal sprays and inhalers.

Then, about 27 years ago, I moved to the East Coast. Initially the seasons were pretty much the same, but not for long. Everything started to change.  Perhaps the unhealthy climate changes, our polluted environment and dramatic fluctuations in the barometric pressure contributed to my newly developing allergy symptoms: sinus pressure, headaches, congestion, sneezing, phlegm and an annoying cough. OH BROTHER, NOT ME, I thought!

I found myself in the same position as I mentioned above – blame KARMA!  There I was with a cabinet full of all the over the counter (OTC) allergy medications you could imagine, and pretty much addicted to Sudafed.  Then I just could not stand taking those chemicals anymore. They made me feel so crummy! Can anybody relate?

It was about that time that I had a personal and spiritual awakening, about my health and my life...  I knew I needed to be more mindful of looking for a natural and holistic approach to treating this condition, as well as in my life in general.

This is when I started using Essential Oils to treat my sinus and upper respiratory symptoms.  I use them religiously and have to say that I cannot remember the last time I took an OTC allergy medication.

Allergens trigger symptoms in the nose, throat, lungs, ears and sinuses.  Therefore, I thought perhaps you might like to try something a little different if you suffer with these symptoms. I diffuse essential oils in my home almost constantly.  I switch up my essential oil choices depending on the time of year and the symptoms I have. Here a few tips that might help you too!

First, find yourself a moderately priced diffuser with an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. They hold anywhere from 150 ml – 500 ml of water. Be sure to get one that has a timer and an automatic shutoff.

§  Lavender Essential Oil works as a natural antihistamine and possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties that will treat and relieve most allergic reactions.
§  Peppermint Essential Oil is strong, fresh and minty and opens clogged sinuses almost immediately. It also has anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and decongestant relieving abilities. It opens airways and relieves a scratchy throat.
§  Holy Basil Essential Oil reduces the inflammatory response of allergens, and supports our immune system overall. It has antimicrobial abilities and can remove toxins from our system, as well as clear airways.
§  Eucalyptus Essential Oil opens up the sinus and lungs, therefore improving circulation, which reduces the symptoms of allergies. It works as an expectorant, but also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
§  Lemon Essential Oil works as a natural antihistamine relieving excess mucous and cools down inflammatory reaction. It also helps with respiratory conditions. Lemon is also known for its anti-bacterial properties.  Its best used in a blend with Lavender and Peppermint.

Depending on the capacity of your diffuser, use 2-5 drops of any of these oils mentioned, in whatever combination you like. You could also use 1 drop of each of these oils on a tissue and just directly inhale deeply. Experiment to find the combination that gives you the most relief.

As a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, this affirms for me that this is the best treatment for so many ailments.  Here’s hoping that this information brings you some healthier options for relief this allergy season.