Essential Oils

What are the Essential Oils?

Essential Oils are the true essence or fragrant extract of the plants. The main components of Essential Oils are terpenes. Terpenes are volatile organic compounds produced by a plant to produce an aroma and to protect it from parasites. Many trees release strongly scented terpenes in warm weather. Each plant species has a unique combination of 100 or more terpenes, which makes the scent of that species-specific. It may be in any part of a plant like flowers, roots, leaves, bark, stem, or seeds.

Uses of Essential Oils

Essential oils are used to create perfumes and add fragrance to creams and cleaning products. They are also used as a flavoring in food and as medicines for common ailments. They were used in past for a wide range of ailments before medicine. They are highly concentrated, just a few drops are enough to get the desired effect. Essential oils are used for aromatherapy to balance, harmonize and promote the health of the body and mind. It may relieve stress or stimulate the body’s energy.

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What is the difference between a fixed oil and essential oil

A fixed oil is a natural oil obtained from plants and animals containing fatty acids, such as olive oil, or canola oil. They are used in cooking as they remain in a liquid state on heating while essential oils vaporize on heating. That is what makes them easy to inhale and effective for some ailments.

How Essential Oils are made?

Essential oil is prepared by distillation, cold pressing, solvent extraction, and hypercritical carbon dioxide extraction methods.

Distillation

Distillation is the process of using steam to break down the plant and capture the compound as they escape in the form of vapors.

Expression

Also known as cold pressing. The method is used for citrus plants, such as lemons, oranges, and bergamot. The expressed liquid is allowed to stand until the essential oils rise to the top, from where it is collected.

Solvent Extraction

Used for delicate flowers like Jasmine. First, a solvent (such as ethanol, hexane, or methanol) is used to draw out the plant’s terpenes, fats, and waxes of the plant. The substance that comes out is called concrete. The concrete is mixed with alcohol to draw out scented molecules. This is the final product called Absolute. It consists of an alcohol-based essential oil extract with about 5-10 parts per million of solvent. Absolute is used for Aromatherapy.

Hypercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction

This method uses pressurized Carbon dioxide. The essential oil produced by this method is ideal for making perfumes. The essential oil extracted by solvent and pressurized carbon dioxide extraction methods is more concentrated than regular essential oil.

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Side Effects of Essential Oils

Many people think that essential oils are natural, so they will not cause any harm. This is not true. Some oils are fatal if swallowed, others are known carcinogens or can cause allergies. The potential side effects of essential oils include:

  • Irritation and burning: Always dilute it with a carrier oil. Apply a small amount to an area of skin first to test for any reaction.
  • Asthma attacks: Some people with asthma may react to it.
  • Headaches: Inhaling essential oils may help to relieve headaches, but too much may cause headaches. Many are toxic and should not be taken by mouth unless advised by some health care person.

Tips for Using Essential Oils

  • Buy pure essential oils. Impure oil does not have the same benefits.
  • They last long. Store them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight in an airtight glass container.
  • They are highly concentrated, always dilute it with a carrier oil ( in a ratio of about 50 part carrier oil to one part essential oil) before applying it to the skin.
  • Use them only as directed.
  • See the label for safety during pregnancy.

Carrier oil

Mix a few drops of essential oil in a carrier oil for body massage. Carrier oils are refined oils made from vegetables, seeds, nuts, or fruits, for example, Olive oil, Sesame seed oil, Coconut oil, wheat germ oil, Macadamia oil, Jojoba oil, Hazelnut oil, Grape seed oil, Calendula oil, Avocado oil, Aloe Vera oil, argan oil, Evening Promise Oil.

How to use Essential Oils

Few drops can be added to a Humidifier, Diffuser, or Facial steamer. You can inhale it directly from the bottle for an immediate effect or put it on a piece of fabric or cotton ball. You can make your own organic perfumes, and add in Homemade soaps and cleaning products for fragrance. Some essential oils are good insect repellants. They can be applied topically ( mixed with a carrier oil) by massage, hot compresses, cold packs, in a bath, and sometimes directly on the skin.

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Scents categories are

Floral scents

lavender, Jasmine, Rosemary, geranium, ylang ylang, Bergamot, Honeysuckle, Tuberose, Lilly, Musk, gardenia.

Citrus scents

lemon, lime, Sweet orange, Neroli (bitter orange)

Spicy

Clove, cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, dill, Allspice, lemongrass, star anise, ginger, garlic, Thyme, oregano, fennel, fenugreek, Hyssop.

Herbs

Chamomile, Basil, Peppermint, Spearmint, coriander, Clary sage, rosewood.

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Woody

Balsam, fir needle, cedarwood, cypress, pine, spruce, juniper berry. sandalwood, birch, Agarwood, Neem, Citronella, Tea tree oil, Green tea, Eucalyptus, Tarragon, Marjoram, wintergreen, Angelica, yuzu, Amyris.

Earthy

Vetiver, Patchouli

Resins

Frankincense and Myrrh

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in the blood. It helps to build cell membranes, hormones, and other important molecules. The body needs cholesterol to function properly, but too much can lead to health problems. The liver produces most of the cholesterol in the body, and people with high cholesterol levels often have a hard time managing their diet and lifestyle.
It is essential for a healthy body and brain, but too much cholesterol can lead to health problems, including atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke. The number of people with high cholesterol has increased in the past decade, and it is a serious risk factor for those with diabetes.

High cholesterol is also a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Cholesterol is also found in foods like animal fat, butter, and eggs. So, there is no one food that is bad for your cholesterol levels. it is the amount of food that you eat and the amount of saturated fat, in particular, that can increase your cholesterol. If you want to learn more about what can increase cholesterol in your body, this article will help you gain more insight.

How to reduce cholesterol naturally

There are several ways to prevent cholesterol from increasing. These are the following:

Eating right

One way to do this is to eat right. If you think you might be eating too much sugar, try reducing the amount of sugar you consume.


The best diet for lowering cholesterol is a low-fat, high-fiber diet.

High fiber diets lower the total cholesterol levels in the blood by reducing the amount of saturated fat in the diet. Additionally, these diets reduce the levels of bad cholesterol by increasing the amount of good cholesterol in the blood. Try eating vegetables instead.

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Exercise

Another way to lower your cholesterol levels is to do exercise. Exercise can help you lose weight and reduce fat around your heart.

Reduce stress levels.

Some people find it difficult to reduce their cholesterol levels because they have a high-stress lifestyle. Long time stress increase cortisol level in the body causing increased cholesterol level. If you feel like you are under a lot of stress, try to reduce your stress level. You can do this by taking some time for yourself. Try yoga, meditation, or engaging in some useful activity or hobby to relieve anxiety and stress.

Silicone baking molds

Silicone molds have been recently introduced into bakeware. Many chefs are using them for baking. They are non-toxic, eco-friendly, FDA-approved, and food grade. They come in various shapes and sizes. They are versatile and can be used for many purposes besides baking like storing food and making ice cubes and desserts. Kids love eating small pieces of food of interesting shapes.

What silicone molds are made up of

Silicone molds are made up of silicone rubber. A mineral that is obtained by melting rocks. They can withstand a very high or low degree of temperatures up to -60 to 400 degrees centigrade. They are safe to use in baking but melt if placed directly on the fire.

Silicone molds

Tips for using silicone molds

  • Smaller size molds are better. Cakes baked in bigger molds tend to crake.
  • Always buy good quality 100 % silicone. Some cheaper quality manufacturers use fillers that are harmful. To check the quality stretch it or pinch if the color remains the same then the quality is good. Poor quality leaves white marks on pinching.
  • Check the suggested temperature on the product.
  • Don’t use sharp knives to clean them. Sock them in warm water and wash with regular dishwashing liquids.
  • They are non-stick, so there is no need to grease them before baking usually.
  • Use a metal tray or cookie sheet below to avoid spills while placing it in the oven.
  • Many recipes are found on the internet. Find a good one and be creative.

These molds available at Amazon are all made of high-quality silicone material, reusable, non-stick, and easy to clean. These can withstand temperatures from -60 degrees to 240 degrees Celsius and can be used in refrigerators, microwaves, and ovens.

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Advantages of using silicone molds

  • They do not stain and are oven safe and microwave, and dishwasher safe.
  • They are not very expensive.
  • Light and flexible. You can collect many of them of interesting shapes and sizes. Smaller molds are especially good for parties when bite-sized desserts have to be served.
  • Children love food of interesting shapes.
  • You can peel them right off, just flip them and take them out.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Usually, there is no need to grease them before baking. They pop out easily.

Home Remedies to Naturally Whiten Teeth

People having a bright and confident smile are generally perceived as more happy, intelligent, and trustworthy. Healthy teeth also support overlying tissue. When the teeth are missing, lips become thinner and cheeks can sink ruining the look of the face. There are many products available on the market from teeth whitening kits, whitening strips, toothpaste, or gels you can choose from. The best way you can get whitened teeth is from simpler ingredients that are available at home. Including them in your daily routine will save you from many teeth problems too in the long run.

What causes teeth discoloration?

Enamel, the outer covering of teeth is translucent bluish-white or slightly yellower and dentin underlying enamel is yellow. Stain can be over enamel ranging from white streak to yellow or brown spots. Sometimes the stain is due to dentin. Enamel stains can be removed with various whitening techniques however, staining due to dentin is more stubborn requiring cosmetic treatment.

Teeth can get discolored due to multiple factors including Aging, staining, chemical damage, diseases, or genetics. The most common causes of teeth staining are:

Food and beverages

Any food which has pigment like tomato sauce, tea and coffee, colored fruits, and juices can stain teeth. Acidic substances like carbonated drinks also erode enamel making it easier for the pigment to enter teeth. To avoid staining teeth straw can be used while taking beverages or brushing teeth afterward.

Smoking

Smoking has a very bad effect on gums and teeth. Teeth are also porous-like skin. Yellow stains of nicotine seep in through the enamel causing yellow staining. Tar causes dark spots. These stains are very hard to remove by normal cleaning. It needs professional whitening treatment. Tartar ( hardened plaques) build up and nicotine and tar stain them more yellow. Gums recession and inflammation lead to teeth loss.

Poor dental hygiene

The mouth harbors a population of commensal micro-organisms which normally are controlled by keeping oral hygiene. If oral hygiene is neglected then they multiply in plaques (sticky deposits on teeth) and can cause orange or green discoloration.

Certain Medications

Certain medicines can cause teeth discoloration as their side effects. Such as Tetracyclines associated with dentin discoloration, especially in children. Some drugs used for blood pressure and antipsychotics cause teeth discoloration.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay can result in white, yellow, brown, or black stains.

Aging

With aging, enamel wears away displaying yellower dentin.

Genetics

Some people are predisposed to teeth staining due to their genetic makeup.

Teeth injury

Clipped, broken teeth can get discoloration.

Natural Home Remedies to whiten teeth.

Baking soda.

Baking soda is a popular ingredient in commercial toothpaste. It is a mild abrasive so it removes plaques and stains. Additionally, baking soda is alkaline so it prevents bacteria from growing.

How to use baking soda

  • Make a paste by mixing with one spoon of water and brush teeth. Brush twice a week and then every 1-2 weeks as frequent use can harm the gums. You can also mix baking soda with toothpaste.
  • Add one teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water and then rinse your mouth 2-3 times per day.

salt

Salt had been utilized as an excellent cleaning agent for ages. Brush teeth with a little salt on the toothbrush or mix with little baking soda and brush. Use less frequently as too much use can harm gums and enamel.

Lemon

Lemon has citric acid. Lemon juice and lemon peel both are good for teeth whitening. In lemon juice, you can add a little salt and baking soda too for good results.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties and it kills germs. Soak the toothbrush in the hydrogen peroxide solution and brush your teeth. You can mix it with toothpaste and then brush. Hydrogen peroxide available at drug stores comes in different concentrations. Use 1.5-3% solution. Strong concentration and overuse can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. To make a 1.5 % solution mix with an equal amount of water. Use alternate days for 1-2 weeks. It can be mixed with an equal amount of water and used as a mouthwash.
Many commercial whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide. It is also used commonly as a disinfectant.

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Get plenty of calcium in your diet

Calcium-rich food such as milk and cheese protects teeth from enamel erosion.

Regular dental cleaning and flossing

Toothpaste gently rubs away stains and flossing removes plaques in difficult-to-reach areas between teeth.

Activated Charcoal

Open a capsule of activated charcoal and brush your teeth with it twice daily or mix with toothpaste. Activated charcoal is utilized in purifying water.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix in an equal amount of water and then soak the toothbrush in it and brush. You can brush your teeth with apple cider vinegar daily. As it is an acid so always mixed with water. You can use it as a mouthwash. Store the remainder for later use. It will also help in the healing of inflammation of gums or mouth ulcers.

Fruits and vegetables

Certain fruits such as apple, pineapple, strawberries, and bananas are claimed to have whitened teeth. Because of their tannin content and astringent property.

Basil

Dried basil powder is good for cleaning teeth. Mix with toothpaste and brush your teeth.

Prevent tooth staining before it happens

Limit teeth-staining food and beverages such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks. Brush and floss daily. Use toothpaste and mouthwashes which have fluoride in them. Fluoride strengthens the enamel.

Decrease sugar intake

Cut back on your sugars. Brush teeth after sugary food. Frequent intake of sugar causes the proliferation of bacteria in the mouth which leads to dental decay.