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A selection of articles and documents aromatherapy research.

Turmeric may guard against childhood leukemia

THURSDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDayNews) — Earlly diet may play an important role in protecting against childhood leukemia, according to new Loyola University Medical Center research.

Rates of childhood leukemia in Asia are much lower than in Western countries, according to Loyola researchers, who say this may be due in part to the protective effect of turmeric, a spice that's common in Asian cooking.

"Some of the known risk factors that contribute to the high incidence of childhood leukemia are the interaction of many lifestyle and environmental factors," Loyola professor Moolky Nagabhushan said in a prepared statement.

"These include prenatal or postnatal exposure to radiation, benzene, environmental pollutants and alkylating chemotherapeutic drugs. Our studies show that turmeric — and its coloring principle, curcumin — in the diet mt mitigate the effects of some of these risk factors," Nagabhushan said.

The research was presented Sept. 9 in London at a conference on childhood leukemia.

Another study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found regular consumption of oranges and/or bananas during the first two years of life was associated with a reduced risk of childhood leukemia.

That association is believed to be due to the high vitamin and mineral content of both oranges and bananas.

-- Robert Preidt, HealthDayNews

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HYDROSOL SCHEME RUNNING OUT OF STEAM

It's been a week full of victories! One year after the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) launched the Coming Clean Campaign to establish strong labeling standards for "organic" cosmetics, the Organic Trade Association's Personal Care Task Force (PCTF) rejected a scheme of counting ordinary water as "organic" in body care products. In a 13 to 2 vote on Saturday (3/6) at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, the task force of natural body care companies condemned the practice of counting as "organic" water added during the steaming of botanicals to make hydrosol water extracts. The task force subsequently voted 10 to 5 to not count any amount of hydrosol water extracts as organic until the minority percentage of water from plant material versus added from steam can be determined. The OCA will continue to drive this campaign ahead, until meaningful organic standards are established for body care products.

For more information ~

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Original publication: Lucks, Barbara; Sorensen, J.; Veal, L.

Vitex agnus-castus Essential Oil and Menopausal Balance: A Self-Care Survey, "Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery". Volume 8, Number 3, Pages 148-154. Elsvier Science, London. August, 2002

Possible side effects from use of Vitex agnus castus

a.. Headache
b.. Nausea
c.. Rash or sensation of ants crawling on skin
d.. Increased hot flashes or night sweats
e.. Nightmares
f.. Emotional crises, exacerbation of depression, suicidal ideation
g.. Unwanted or unexpected vaginal bleeding
h.. Reduction of the efficacy of birth control pills

Known & Possible Interactions relating to use of essential oil Vitex agnus castus:

NOTE: This list should not be assumed to be comprehensive or conclusive, as information regarding response to the essential oil is relatively new and derived in most cases from non-clinical data. The author has listed herb/drug interactions that are noted in referenced texts, or that have been suggested by information from the case studies. It should also be noted that action of a whole herb and action of the essential oil do differ from time to time.

a.. Any form of progesterone, either natural or synthesized, when used in combination with e.o. vitex, may potentiate activity and lead to elevated progesterone levels. Breakthrough bleeding was consistently noted when these substances were used in combination.

b.. Oral contraceptives. Possibility that use of any form of the herb can reduce efficacy.

c.. Hormone replacement therapy. See note above regarding progesterone. Case studies indicate several instances of successful combination of estrogen (either plant derived or animal derived) with e.o. vitex. Any such use should be professionally managed.

d.. Neuroleptic medications (haloperidol, thioridazine) may weaken or block effects of the herb or oil. Research strongly suggests that the oil acts as a dopamine-receptor agonist. Additionally, a few reports both from the case studies and more informal communication indicate a possible positive effect on seizure-type disorders.

Practitioners should be aware of potential for the following:

· Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
· Exacerbation of depression (esp. if estrogen levels fall dangerously).

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Orangutan spa: Apes treated with aromatherapy

DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- The Denver Zoo's four orangutans are smelling pretty good these days -- they're getting daily aromatherapy treatments.

Read the full article...

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The Dangers of Talc: TV's One-Minute Warning
By Nancy Evans

Scarcely more than a sound byte, a recent television news clip reported that a new study has shown a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

The all-too-brief announcement featured a gynecologist, who stated that, despite the latest research, she wouldn't tell women not to use talcum powder on their genital area. Such a practice can only be seen as the "drop dead" theory of epidemiology: If you don't drop dead next to the poison container, it must be safe.

The Journal of Epidemiology published the newest study showing the link between ovarian cancer and the frequent use of talcum powder on the genital area. In 1992 Obstetrics & Gynecology published the results of another similar study. In an analysis of epidemiological studies between 1982 and 1994 in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, researcher Bernard Harlow concluded that it is "plausible" that any genital application of talc increases the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 80 percent. Yet mainstream media fail to pay much attention (perhaps because of advertiser pressure?); consequently, many if not most women are unaware of the inherent risks.

Read the full article...

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History of Paraffin

The therapeutic and aesthetic values of paraffin can be traced to ancient civilizations. The Romans poured hot oil and waxes on the body as a heat-inducing prelude to massage.

The French brushed melted paraffin on wounds, while the British established paraffin as a modality for orthopedic disorders in the military hospitals of WW1. Today, the medical community, rehabilitation specialists, massages therapists and the spa industry embrace paraffin for its therapeutic qualities.

Doctors have long known that carefully applied heat is a great way to reduce muscle pain and speed healing. As heat is applied to the body, the blood vessels expand, allowing more blood to flow to the affected area and speed the healing process.

Paraffin therapy is a well-rounded thermotherapy (Meaning: the use of heat above 45°c to treat tissue or cells). It reduces pain and stiffness around joints by removing excess fluid from surrounding tissue whilst providing lubrication. Paraffin is especially beneficial in the treatment of arthritis, bursitis, tendentious, tennis elbow, overworked and fatigued muscle, scar tissue which restricts range of motion in joints and tendons, as well as being extremely beneficial for many types of sports injuries.

Paraffin not only effectively heats the tissues and muscles to provide pain relief, it also leaves the skin hydrated, soft and supple, invitingly ready for massage. Paraffin also provides relief from eczema, psoriasis and dehydrated skin. The medical community has acknowledged the benefits of paraffin in aiding the healing process mentally and physically. The beauty industry is making paraffin its top service in terms of industry growth because of paraffin's unsurpassed ability to help rejuvenate, hydrate and nourish, as well as increase circulation of the skin.

Amber's paraffin wax is the purist Paraffin wax on the market to date. This pure food grade paraffin is colorless (or white) tasteless and odorless and extremely heavy in molecular structure. This organic substance obtained from Petroleum Fractions (a by product of petroleum) has been refined by distillation, purified by boiling, chilled and pressed through a filter creating this heavy oil know to us as Paraffin Wax. Amber's paraffin wax is dermatologically harmless and is neither a primary irritant nor a sensitizer.

Paraffin needs to be heavy in molecular weight because after applying paraffin the heat increases the blood supply to the area being treated, moisture is drawn from the underlying layers of the skin, the moisture surfaces and mixes with the applied treatment oil or moisturizer. This fluid is unable to evaporate because of the paraffin glove. It is then infused back into the skin resulting in the most successful way to rejuvenate, hydrate and nourish the skin. As Amber Paraffin has a heavy molecular weight it is able to perform the above task successfully.

You can see why Amber's Paraffin Wax is the leading choice in paraffin for massage therapists for effective treatment applications.

The process of applying heated paraffin to the body is simple when using the right tools. Paraffin may be painted, draped or poured onto virtually all parts of the body with excellent results. Treatments are most often categorized as hand, foot, full body, or spot therapy treatments on specific body parts i.e. back or shoulder.

A great area for massage therapist to capitalize on paraffin is with Spot Therapy Treatments. This includes applying paraffin to specific areas of concern.

  • Shoulder to treat Bursitis
  • Knee due to Sports Injury
  • Neck due to Car Accident
  • Lower back due to back Injury

    As you can see Amber's Paraffin can be applied anywhere for any concern. The only area we do not recommend applying paraffin is the under arm region and heart.

    Elizabeth Myron Education and Sales Director
    For Amber Products

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    Camphor Curbs Asian Lady Beetles
    By Jesús García Camphor effectively repels the multicolored Asian lady beetle and could be a way to repel the insects as they attempt to overwinter indoors, Agricultural Research Service scientists report in a recently published paper.

    Read the full article...

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    Aromatherapy as a safe and effective treatment for the management of agitation in severe dementia: the results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with Melissa.
    Ballard CG, O'Brien JT, Reichelt K, Perry EK.
    Wolfson Research Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. c.g.ballard@ncl.ac.uk

    BACKGROUND: Behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia are frequent and are a major management problem, especially for patients with severe cognitive impairment.

    Preliminary reports have indicated positive effects of aromatherapy using select essential oils, but there are no adequately powered placebo-controlled trials. We conducted a placebo-controlled trial to determine the value of aromatherapy with essential oil of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) for agitation in people with severe dementia.

    Read the full article...

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    Sage Herb 'Can Boost Memory'
    Centuries-old theories that the herb sage can improve memory appear to be borne out by modern research. British scientists found that those given sage oil tablets performed much better in a "word recall test". Experts believe the active ingredient may boost levels of a chemical that helps transmit messages in the brain.

    Read the full article...

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