I love when I have a customer come into my store asking tough questions. It causes me to do a fair bit of research and to access the dusty recesses of my mind in order to come up with a sound and reasonable answer. In this case it was about the use of Ylang Ylang essential oil and its effect on reducing blood pressure typically caused by stress.

I have to admit, I knew Ylang Ylang as an aphrodisiac, which made me think that it would increase blood pressure… not by it’s effect on stress, but simply by revving up the system, if you know what I mean… nudge nudge wink wink!

Well, as it turns out, Ylang Ylang does indeed decrease blood pressure due to it’s calming effect on the parasympathetic system. That’s our “relax and chill” system. Kind of like the ying and yang to sympathetic system, which is our “fight or flight” system.

This information is actually backed up by a study done by the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Srinakharinwirot University, Nakhon-nayok 26120, Thailand. tapanee@swu.ac.th and published in the US Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

According to that study, upon topical application of Ylang Ylang essential oil on 40 healthy individuals. Physiological parameters recorded were skin temperature, pulse rate, breathing rate and blood pressure. The study found that although skin temperature increased, blood pressure decreased. There was also a feeling a deep relaxation among the subjects.

Okay, so all this scientific stuff aside, how would I recommend using Ylang Ylang essential oil to decrease blood pressure and help reduce stress? I would use a therapeutic dose of Epsom salt in a nice warm bath. I would add 10 drops of the EO to the salt prior to the bath and then just relax and inhale. Allow the heady aroma of the oil and the warm water surround you as in a warm cocoon. Just writing this, I’m feeling myself relax. Enjoy!

When I was in massage college, one of my favourite courses was hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is the therapeutic use of water and what you either do with the water or put into it, in order to cause an effect. Hopefully, a pleasant and positive effect.

We often preached to our massage therapy clients to take Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt, AKA magnesium sulfate is awesome for the body. Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body and is responsible for hundreds of positive chemical reactions from creating strong teeth and bones to having a healthy vascular and cardiovascular system and cellular efficiency. Sounds pretty impressive, right?

So then, how are we supposed to use the Epsom salt bath in order to have a therapeutic effect? I have seen various suggestions from throw a handful into the tub to five cups. That’s quite the swing!

How do you know what’s right for you and the right amount to use? Well, it all depends on the reason for using the Epsom salt. For instance, if you would like to use it as a carrier for your essential oils to be put into the bath, usually a handful is enough. You can simply put 10 drops of your favourite essential oils into the salt, mix and let it run under the tap. If on the other hand, you want the Epsom salt to reach its full therapeutic potential, I recommend 5 cups per bath. If you’re thinking that’s a lot of salt, you’re right! But, there’s a reason and this is why:

It’s called osmotic potential. Osmotic whaaaat? Do you remember back in high school when they taught chemistry that if you take a high solution of salt, water will follow the salt? So, if you saturate your bath water, meaning put in so much salt that you can’t dissolve any more, when you get in, the osmotic potential, or “pull” from the salt water on your body, helps draw out and move toxins.

Have you ever been sore after a workout? It’s generally lactic acid that causes the soreness and a therapeutic Epsom salt bath helps to draw out that metabolic waste. It’s science but it ain’t rocket science.

In light of the recent Johnson and Johnson baby powder 72-million-dollar verdict, I thought it would be a good idea to look at some better alternatives for baby. Just because a product states that it’s “made for baby” does it mean it’s safe for baby or for anyone. If you’ll recall, Johnson and Johnson just lost their case against a woman who lost her life due to ovarian cancer which was directly linked to the talc that they used in their product.

For years, these companies have thrived on that baby powder scent and used it in the powder as well as the oil. The oil, by t he way was mineral oil. That’s the same stuff that is extracted out of the ground as cruse oil and then refined, much like car oil, to be used on baby’s delicate skin. Ummmm, no thanks!

So, why not try this recipe instead:

.5 Cup Calendula Oil

10 drops each: organic lavender and tea tree essential oils

Yup! That’s it. Pretty simple, huh? The calendula oil is amazing for its healing benefits, especially eczema and irritated skin. The lavender and tea tree are both safe to use (diluted) on baby and are not only antibacterial, but also antiviral.

This oil can be used to treat diaper rash, or for toddlers, to help with cuts and scrapes.

You can find how to make calendula oil on our Blog post http://www.evocativeessentials.ca/#!Make-Your-Own-Calendula-Herbal-Oil/c24o2/5617de8a0cf2c6c6436c32f5

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