Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy

Your One Stop Aromatherapy Shop since 1997

Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC Newsletter Vol 136

September 22, 2010

In this issue:

Physical Ailment

Lyme Disease – the Great Imitator.

by Penny Keay

Not sure how much you know about Lyme disease but here is what we know and how essential oils might help.

Lyme disease is caused from a type of bacteria called a spirochete. The name of this nasty little germ is Borrelia burgdorferi.

As you know it is spread by a tick bite from a specific type of tick commonly called the Deer tick.

For more detailed information about the disease and its symptoms see the Wikipedia page: or type in any search engine for current Medical websites that can fill you in with the specifics. One of the best websites is

As you will see Lyme Disease can mimic many other syndromes and illness. Such as Chronic Fatigue syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, joint and muscle diseases, and various forms of mental illness.

Because Lyme disease can imitate so many other conditions it can be very elusive for the medical community to diagnose and give proper treatment.

Even modern day testing for Lyme disease is not 100% reliable. Without a doubt Lyme disease is a very complicated illness.

Many of you may already know that our youngest son, now 35 years old, has had it for nearly 25 years. He will have it for the rest of his life.

As long as he is fairly healthy and is not under too much stress he does fine. He has learned over the years the signs when the Lyme disease is about to give him another ‘battle’.

It affects him in his joints and back and if he ignores it eventually it will affect him mentally causing irritability and depression.

Fortunately he has been able to keep it under control and seeks another ‘go round’ of antibiotics. (We have encouraged him to use essential oils on a continuing basis.

He was not around much when we were starting to use and learn about essential oils. So although he knows they have been working for Al and I he isn’t “IN” to aromatherapy and the use of essential oils as we are.)

The terrible thing about Lyme disease is the bacteria that are the culprits is one that is extremely difficult to eliminate because it likes to ‘bury’ itself in connective tissue like joints.

Joints don’t have a good supply of blood. This makes it harder for the bodies immune system to get in there and fight it.

Unfortunately the body will put up an inflammatory response and it then acts like arthritis or other joint ailments causing lots of pain and discomfort.

Of course the bacteria can settle in many other parts of the body and in some cases results in an untimely death when it attacks the kidneys or heart.

Unfortunately once the bacteria has gotten itself established, which happens rather quickly (usually with in just a few days) there are not any antibiotics or even essential oils that can completely eliminate it from the body. You then resort to treating the symptoms to get relief.

Worse yet is the fact because it mimics other illnesses folks won’t or don’t seek early treatment. The first symptoms of Lyme disease are often similar to the flu. Headache and other body aches along with fever.

So what do you do? Stay in bed for a few days or treat the headache with over the counter meds. Or if you are fortunate enough to get the ‘bulls eye’ rash will you recognize it as a tick bite and seek treatment?

The delay in time gives the bacteria a good chance of getting into all those nifty little ‘hide away’ places where antibiotics and medications just can’t get.

Now we’ll look at essential oils that may help with this affliction.

Before we proceed please be cautious of anyone that says they know essential oils will eliminate the Lyme disease bacteria from the body.

This cannot be proven even by the usual palliative medicine used by the Medical community. This bacterium is just too elusive and once it’s in the body it lays dormant, it just waits to reawaken and cause problems.

As stated above the best we can do is to help alleviate symptoms the bacteria causes and build up your immune system. Essential oils can be used to help with joint pain and muscular discomforts.

Mentally, essential oils may be able to help with confusion and memory and of course with any feelings of sadness or mild forms of depression.

Diffusing essential oils or using in massage blends may be one of the best ways to get help.

Essential oils that have great antibacterial properties include: Oregano, Thyme, Cinnamon leaf and Rosemary. These should definitely be used in a diffuser.

Then for aches and pains use some of them in a massage oil. One of our Premixed Muscle or Joint rubs (these are blended fresh for the customer at the time of purchase) may be your easiest choice.

Some of these will include Eucalyptus globulus, Peppermint, Helichrysum or Basil, all of which have been known to help with muscle and joint discomforts.

And for any type of mental issue such as confusion, depression etc any of our synergy blends such as Concentration blend There are other synergy blends that can be mixed and used with massage oils or just diffused.

Definitely, any one with Lyme disease should be diffusing ‘Four Robbers and Pure Cleansing’ blends on a continuing basis (at low levels) to help keep the immune system from being taken under attack by unknown viruses, etc.

In conclusion realize there is NO PROVEN research that tells us what essential oils will help specifically with or for Lyme disease.

We do know that essential oils can help the symptoms and discomforts this disease can cause.

Of course, if you know folks that have been properly and positively diagnosed by their doctor and have used essential oils and had good results, as you know, their good fortune should never be over looked.

Since ‘common use’ results is one of the ways we have of figuring out if some particular essential oil or blend MIGHT work for someone else.

As always we do warn you to use essential oils safely and properly. Never apply them to the skin undiluted.

Use blends and single note essential oils in diffusing and in massage oils to help alleviate common complaints. This will be the best for anyone so afflicted by Lyme disease.

As much as we would love to tell you there is a definite plan or group of essential oils that will ‘cure’ lyme disease – it just is not so. But then again, there is no guarantee in the allopathic medical arena either.

Again we reiterate, use them safely and properly to get relief. Always start by using the blends and essential oils to help with the symptoms the person has.

Most folks will find this will keep the Lyme disease bacteria under control so they can lead a fairly comfortable and normal life.

We feel for those folks afflicted with Lyme disease as it can be so devastating to those that have it.

In the meantime, until modern, ancient or alternative medicine, finds a ‘real’ cure just keep massaging and diffusing those wonderful essential oils.

As always, Prevention is the best medicine.

Keeping the potentially infected Deer Ticks off of you and from biting is the best way to avoid this devastating illness.

Using essential oils in repellent oil blends will help to keep them off but is not always 100% effective.

Always do a thorough bodies check after you have been outdoors in known Deer Tick infected areas. You need to do this year around as Deer Ticks do not ‘disappear’ when it gets cold out.

They just move really, really slow! Brush against a branch or twig that has one on it and they will quickly warm up to you and find a nice warm blood meal!

Enjoy the outdoors but be aware of the fact that deer ticks and Lyme disease (and other tick born diseases) are always something to watch out for.

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Emotional Concern

Are you a Cave Dweller? How the Seasons affect us Physically and Emotionally and how essential oils may help.

by Penny Keay

I hope this title caught your eye and made you curious!

We are asked year around for help with sleeping and behavior disorders which may be due to the lack of proper rest.

The age doesn’t seem to matter. We are asked for help for the young and old and everyone in between.

To help clarify my question as to if you are a “Cave Dweller” and what this all has to do with aromatherapy and your health - you will have to read on.

To start, here is a simple questionnaire for you to see if you are a “Cave Dweller”. Mind you most of these questions are being directed to folks in the USA or Canada.

If you are reading this from around the world you can use a world map and follow the longitudinal lines to see if they may apply to you.

Likewise those in the southern hemisphere – turn the map upside down – just kidding. Simply relate how far you are from the Equator. Actually as you read the article you will know if this applies to you.

Do you live in the Southern half of the USA, especially in areas where the daytime temperatures are over 100 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks on end?

Do you live in the Northern half of the USA or Canada where you only have daylight hours in the winter for less then 10 hours a day? Or the Temperatures are so cold you can’t be outdoors without becoming a human popsicle?

Do you get up and go to work in the dark and come home in the light? Or Get up and go to work in the dark and come home in the dark?

Do you spend hours each day indoors with artificial lights?

If you say yes to any of those questions then you are most likely a Cave Dweller. These are folks that typically don’t spend much time outdoors in natural sunlight.

Or when they do get to see the sun it is late in the afternoon. This may be anyone that works in offices or goes to school. Many buildings or offices do not have windows and breaks aren’t allowed outside the buildings.

As most of you know and have heard there is a world of folks that are now being diagnosed as deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is known as the Sunshine Vitamin. That’s because the body, when the skin is exposed to sunlight, turns cholesterol and other fatty acids into – Vitamin D.

Deficiency in Vitamin is not a surprise really when you consider the amount of time the majority of humans spend indoors or when they are outdoors use a lot of sunscreen.

The Sun is there to help us live. Any biologist will tell you that without the sun most life on earth would not exist. There are a few exceptions but the vast majority of life on earth needs the sun.

So not only does the sun help the body make Vitamin D it is also the triggering mechanism for your ability to fall asleep at night and get a good nights rest. Here the mechanism is not through your skin but through your eyes.

The first bright sunlight you get early in the morning helps to release certain hormones that will help you to fall asleep about 14-16 hours later.

If you don’t get that sunlight first thing in the morning but instead get it late in the afternoon, your circadian rhythm will be out of sync and your body won’t know that it’s suppose to go to sleep until – you got it- 14-16 hours later. Which is when, you know, about the time you are supposed to be getting up to GO to work!

Yikes! You are thinking insomnia. Well maybe you just need to reset things.

Okay, we’ve mentioned a couple things about the sun but the sun is also important to help the body convert many of our bodies working elements into a variety of hormones and other chemicals we need to support life.

The list is extremely long for all the chemical reactions that the body and brain react to each day. But break or make a ‘cut’ in the sequencing of any of these and soon your body may not be able to repair itself.

Your physical health will also be reflected in your mental and emotional states.

Did you ever notice how you feel on the weekend or when you have days off and you can go outside and enjoy the sun? How it warms your face, your heart or soul? How you feel better, happier on days when you can be in the sun?

How about how you feel when it is cloudy every day or you are stuck inside? How down you feel? (Not really a true depression but just sad.)

The above is why ‘Cave Dwellers’ are more apt to have problems with S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder.

When you don’t see the sun or it is limited, none existent or at the wrong time of the day your sleeping and mental health will be affected.

Now is the time – between the extreme seasons for you to start a new routine to get things back in the correct rhythm before the extremes happen.

Well, not everyone can have an outdoor job but everyone can usually find some time each day, preferably first thing in the morning to get some sun.

You don’t need a lot but you should try to get 15-20 minutes each day. Mind you this is only a small amount and some folks may need more each day. **

This helps to make the hormones and chemicals you need to be healthier.

So how can Aromatherapy and essential oils help? First you need to be able to fall asleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed.

There are any number of essential oils that when diffused 15 minutes to 1 hour prior to bed will help you get over the first hurdle, that of falling asleep.

We usually suggest Lavender. Lavender normally works for every age, babies, children, adults and seniors. Occasionally though we may need to add other relaxing and sedative type essential oils Roman Chamomile would be the next essential oil of choice that works well for babies and children.

With adults and seniors we have found that adding Bergamot and Ylang-Ylang may be the additions to the Lavender that will put you to sleep and keep you asleep until morning.

Now if these don’t work don’t despair there are still a few others to try. Valerian is the most potent of all the essential oils used to help induce sleepiness but as many of you can attest it is not one of the most pleasant smelling essential oils.

In fact personally I think it stinks. BUT it does work. Al and I have to be careful when he is pouring this as we do get very sleepy ourselves. He tries to rebottle this at the end of day so we don’t have to feel so tired when we still have lots to do.

Now our “Cave Dwellers” often feel more sadness, blue, down and even mildly depressed. Essential oils can certainly help you feel more alert and energetic. They can help you to focus and concentrate.

S.A.D. is very common in areas when folks spend a lot of time indoors, and where they are forced to stay in due to extreme heat or extreme cold. Of course getting some sunlight – sunshine will help but adding a few essential oils to your living spaces will help you be alert when you need to and fall asleep when you want to.

Not getting proper sleep can disrupt your eating and exercise regimens. Pretty soon your whole immune system becomes more susceptible to viruses and other germs.

Here again essential oils can help your immune system stay strong. Diffusing any essential oil will have varying degrees of antimicrobial action against bacterial and viruses. Choosing the best one for your immediate needs will vary.

We have many synergy blends that can be used for multiple actions. Realize that although a “name” of a blend is suggestive of the health or emotional application it may be used for, most of our synergy blends can be used for ‘other’ situations or health concerns.

Don’t be afraid to diffuse any of our blends or use them in the bath or shower. Mix them in massage lotions or oils. Wear them on jewelry.

So although we don’t list a blend for S.A.D. or Cave Dweller know that you can probably use any blend that are relaxing or calming, uplifting or energizing or for concentration to not only help you do just that but they can also help you with promoting your health by building your immune system and building your defenses against viruses and other germs.

Being exposed to essential oils on a daily or nightly basis will help you to get the rest you need, help you with your mental energies and fight off ‘nasties’ to help you keep healthy.

So whether you are a Cave Dweller or not there are many essential oils that can help you have a healthier and happier life.

Use them often, use them properly and safely. But most of all “Enjoy them” as nature intended them to be used for our health. And remember, sunshine was needed to grow them too. The plants know how important sunshine is – now us humans need to remember that too!

** Please use common sense when it comes to the Sunlight and Sunshine a person needs each day.

Please quit being afraid of being out in the sun. Although many folks have been scared to think that ANY exposure to sunlight will cause skin cancer the body actually needs sunlight and sunshine to ward off MANY more types of cancers. And many other physical and mental illnesses respond favorably to proper amounts of sunlight.

Moderation is what is necessary for a healthy body and mental state not total abstinence. Think about it for a minute. Most of the World has daylight for more than 14 hours a day – which are our ‘waking’ hours. If man was not supposed to be exposed to sunlight why do we have this much sunlight each day?

Al and I, living in northern Minnesota and working indoors all day, do not get enough sunlight during the winter months. So although we try hard to get the early morning sun to keep our circadian rhythm on track Al still needs more sun.

For us, we do go get ‘artificial sun’ at the tanning salons. We go once a week for 20 minutes. This is very intense and for Al especially is necessary. We only get the artificial sun from October to April. The rest of the year and when we can be outdoors in the winter months we try to get those 20 minutes a day of natural sunlight.

We discovered several years ago that his body has a very hard time converting sunlight to Vitamin D. When he doesn’t get enough sun and Vitamin D his eczema flares up and he is more susceptible to upper respiratory infections. So besides taking nutritional supplements to help, he also uses the ‘artificial sun’ once a week to help keep him healthy.

If you or your loved one feels they are dealing with S.A.D. or depression they should consult with their health care provider and use aromatherapy and essential oils as a complimentary health modality while dealing with S.A.D. or depression. Please do not self diagnose these conditions. Seek medical attention and use essential oils as an additional help.

For previously written articles that may help you further to Sleep, be healthier and fight S.A.D. please

Are you SAD because it’s the Holidays or is it Seasonal Affective Disorder? Click Here

This Winter is Making me Depressed! or is it Cabin Fever? Click Here

Depression – Essential oils can help Click Here

Winkin’, Blinkin’ and the Land of Nod Click Here

Sleep, Sleep, Elusive Sleep Click Here

Tiredness Click Here

S.A.D. aka Seasonal Affective Disorder Click Here

What essential oils are Uplifting? Click Here

What oils have Anti-viral properties? Click Here

“Swine Flu”, Influenza and Essential oils Click Here

Immune building Click Here

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Recipes to try

Aching and Pain Reliever Massage Blend

Pine needle – 15 drops
Peppermint – 15 drops
Eucalyptus globulus -15 drops
Sweet Almond oil – 2 oz OR
Massage Lotion – 2 oz

Blend essential oils together then add to massage oil or lotion. Mix well. Use for massage of the painful or aching areas as desired. This is a very strong blend at near 4%.

You may want to dilute it further by adding more oil or lotion. You should be able to feel a nice warming sensation but some folks may feel it as a cooling sensation.

I’m not S.A.D. any more Blend

Coriander – 10 drops
Ylang-Ylang – 4 drops
Lemon – 3 drops
Neroli – 3 drops

Blend these essential oils together in a glass bottle. Then diffuse in any diffuser or use in a Personal inhaler.

Great to keep by your desk and use in a Terra Cotta Disc diffuser especially on those days when you may not get out to see the sun!

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Build me a Stronger Immunity Blend

Lavender -10 drops
Lemon– 6 drops
Eucalyptus globulus – 4 drops

Add these to your diffuser and diffuse daily.

Fight the Viral Bugs (in the air)

Orange - 15 drops
Cinnamon leaf leaf – 4 drops
Clove bud – 2 drops
Thyme – 1 drop

Blend these together in a glass bottle, then use in any diffuser to help fight viruses and other germs in the air.

Please let me Sleep Blend

Lavender – 10 drops
Valerian – 3 drops
Rose Otto – 1 drop

Blend these together in a glass bottle. Use ONE or Two drops only on a cotton ball or on Terra Cotta Disc. Place it near the head of your bed about 30 minutes BEFORE you are ready to head off to sleep. Do you normal bedtime routine to relax.

Because this is a strong smelling blend, you will want to remove the cotton ball or Terra Cotta Disc and place them in a glass jar for use the next night.

You can use additional essential oils that help to induce a peaceful and restful sleep along with this blend but you may not need more.

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All the products listed in the article are available at our Shopping Site - see link below.

© 2010, 2015 Penny Keay All rights reserved Worldwide.
Please do not use my information without my permission.

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