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June Issue of Natural Alternatives
June 02, 2017

Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health

June 2017
Hello, and welcome to this edition edition of my Natural Alternatives Newsletter!

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.

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“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” ~Hippocrates







by Kathy Wong, ND

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a branch of herbal medicine that uses the medicinal properties of the essential oils of plants and herbs. The use of plant essential oils dates back to the ancient times in Egypt, Italy, India, and China. French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse coined the term aromatherapy in 1937 when he witnessed first-hand the healing power of lavender oil on healing skin burns

Today, aromatherapy is widely practiced in North America and Europe. It is often integrated into holistic treatments and is used in spa treatments and products such as candles, massage oil, and other relaxation products.

The essential oils used in aromatherapy are plant volatile oils from the flowers, leaves, stems, buds, branches, or roots that have been extracted using steam distillation, water, and steam distillation or cold pressing.

How Aromatherapy Works

Essential oils can affect almost every organ system in the body. Each essential oil has a unique pharmacological effect, such as anti-bacterial, antiviral, diuretic, vasodilator, tranquilizing, and adrenal stimulating.

When an essential oil is inhaled, the molecules enter the nasal cavity and stimulate the limbic system in the brain. The limbic system is a region that influences emotions and memories and is directly linked to the adrenals, pituitary gland, the hypothalamus, the parts of the body that regulate heart rate, blood pressure, stress, memory, hormone balance, and breathing.

This makes the effects of essential oils immediate in bringing about emotional and physiological balance.

Uses for Aromatherapy

In alternative medicine, aromatherapy is often used for variety of health conditions, such as allergies, stress, bruises, burns, diarrhea, earache, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), energy, insect bites, relaxation, indigestion, headache, menopause, insomnia, nausea, bronchitis, colds, flu, sinusitis, sprains, wounds, shingles (herpes zoster), muscle and joint pain, arthritis, nervousness, restlessness, and scars.

Home Remedies Using Aromatherapy

Essential oils can be used at home by inhalation or topical application. Steam inhalation is often used for respiratory conditions. Steam inhalation involves adding 2-3 drops of essential oil of eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, or other oil to hot water and holding the face over the pot with a towel draped to form a tent.

A few drops of essential oils can also be added to baths, compresses, or massage oils.


Essential oils can be toxic when taken internally so they should only be taken orally under the guidance of a qualified professional.

In addition, some individuals may experience irritation when applying sandalwood essential oil to the skin. A skin patch test should be done before using any new essential oil. 

The oil should not be applied at full strength to the skin or used in excessive amounts. Pregnant women and children should consult their primary health care providers prior to using essential oils.

Using Aromatherapy for Health

If you're considering using it, make sure to talk with your doctor first to discuss the potential risks and benefits. Also keep in mind that self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.


Extra virgin olive oil, the essential oil, or the tasty olives – all of these are increasingly becoming a common part of our daily diet and lifestyle. But what about the leaves? Olive leaves have been used in traditional medicines to treat multiple conditions and, in general, for good health as well. And modern medicine has followed suit in utilizing these benefits.

The health benefits that will be elaborated here are mostly due to the phenolic content, specifically oleuropein, which is found in larger quantities in olive leaves than in any other form. Other bioactive compounds that contribute are secoiridoids and flavonoids. So what exactly are these benefits?

Health Benefits Of Olive Leaves

1. Reduce Blood Pressure And Hypertension

Olive leaves can prevent as well as regulate blood pressure. Animal studies have shown that supplementation of an olive leaf extract (OLE) either before or after the incidence of hypertension gave similar positive results. OLEs bring down the elevated blood pressure by reducing the production of LDL cholesterol.

This also improves the blood flow to the blood vessels in the heart. For those at the first stage of hypertension, OLE relieves tension and widens the blood vessels, which lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, this effect on hypertension might not be seen in overweight individuals.

2. Strengthen The Heart
Cardiac issues like heart attacks can strike anybody – there’s no age bar! Olive leaves can strengthen your heart, partly by regulating the blood pressure. But its main contribution is preventing atherosclerosis.

Arterial Health
The arterial wall is important for maintaining normal blood flow and pressure. In atherosclerosis (or endothelial dysfunction), plaque build-up on the wall hardens the arteries, which result in an obstructed blood flow. This is a common cause of heart attack and stroke. Olive leaves help prevent and cure this in multiple ways:

The polyphenols in OLE increase the production of nitric oxide and relax the blood vessels.

The antioxidants reduce oxidation by salvaging the free radicals, which stops atherosclerosis at an early stage.
It suppresses fatty acid deposits on the arterial wall by preventing inflammation.

3. Regulate Diabetes
Food regulation is one way to keep blood sugar levels in check. And olive leaves can be a very good choice for a diabetes diet. OLEs reduce blood sugar levels and restrict the effects of any increase in sugar levels. This is how:

The extracts lessen the absorption of sugars from the intestine and increase the glucose intake by tissues.

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) can be a major cause of diabetes and other chronic conditions. Olive leaves are a natural source of AGE inhibitors, which protect tissues from AGE-related oxidative damage and prevent diabetes.

Insulin sensitivity defines how well your body accepts and responds to the effects of insulin. The polyphenols in olive leaves improve insulin sensitivity, especially in overweight individuals, making the body more receptive to foods and medicines for diabetes.11

4. Fight Cancer
There are multiple characteristics of olive leaves that fight cancers in different ways:

Antioxidative effect: Studies on OLEs show that they battle cancer at the early stages. The antioxidants prevent any damage to the DNA, which stops the formation of malignant cells.

Antiproliferative effect: The polyphenol oleuropein prevents the cancerous cells from replicating, moving and spreading, and taking over other organs; these effects are irreversible.

Anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor effects: The same polyphenol also prevents the growth of new blood cells and cancerous cells, thus curbing the growth of tumors. This is effective in almost all forms of cancer.

Anti-inflammatory effect: Olive leaf extracts also suppress inflammation, which is a common promoter of tumor growth.

Apart from preventing the growth of cancerous cells and tumors, the extracts also deal with the aftereffects of chemotherapy. The olive leaf deals with mouth ulcers caused due the therapy in the form of a mouth rinse. Oleuropein also protects the DNA, exhibits a toxic effect on cancerous cells, and causes cell death.

5. Prevent Cognitive Degenerative Disorders
Olive leaves help fight aging in multiple ways. They treat and reduce the severity of age-related neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Oleuropein protects the neurons, whose disruptive functioning causes most neurological disorders.

Tau isoforms are proteins in the neurons of the central nervous system that contribute to the formation of lesions in Alzheimer’s and similar diseases. Oleuropein is a natural inhibitor of Tau and thus prevents such neurodegenerative diseases.

6. Treat Arthritis
Anti-inflammatory medicines and foods decrease the swelling and pain in arthritis. Oleuropein reduces chronic inflammation and also heals damaged tissues. Also, traditional medicines have used olive leaves in treating gout. The reason for this might be olueropein, which curbs the enzyme that promotes the build-up of uric acid that cures the condition.

7. Strengthen The Immune System
Olive leaves and their extracts show natural antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial activities, which fight against viruses that cause infections like influenza. Because of its antiviral property, it’s also used in reversing the changes caused by infections related to HIV-1 virus.

8. Invigorate The Skin
Long exposure to UV rays, which is usually unavoidable, is a common cause of skin diseases. OLEs have been used in skincare products as a photoprotector to treat skin damage caused by UV rays. They also prevent carcinogenesis and tumor growth in UV-exposure related cancers by reducing the levels of specific enzymes.

Oleuropein helps by preventing free radicals from damaging the skin and also has an anti-aging effect. Traditionally, different forms of olives have been used as skin cleansers and as a balm for inflammatory wounds, but this isn’t without any basis.. Studies show that olive leaves are effective in healing wounds, especially inflammatory ones.

How To Use Olive Leaves

Olive leaves can be used in the form of a tea, powder, spray, or tincture for multiple purposes.

1. Olive Leaf Tea

Olive leaf tea is said to be useful in fighting conditions like blood pressure, diabetes, and infections. Here’s how you can make it at home:
Take fresh olive leaves and dry them. Boil about 1 tsp or 10–15 dried leaves in a cup of water for about 5 mins. Take if off the heat and let it infuse in the water for about 2 mins. Strain and add a little bit of honey if the taste is too bitter. Serve hot or cold.

Drink this tea instead of your regular dose of caffeine, ideally 2 cups a day.

2. Olive Leaf Extract As A Powder And Tincture

While you can crush fresh leaves and make a powder, buying powders that are made using OLEs might be more effective for treating any health issues. Make sure you go organic to avoid adulterated products. The powder can be taken in multiple ways:

Experiment by sprinkling on foods. Use it to make juices or smoothies. Use it to make a herbal tea. Have it as is or with a little bit of honey.

The tincture is also easily found in markets. You can take up to 1–2 ml of the tincture up to 3 times a day for general health. Preferably, consult your doctor on the dosage for any of these as it depends on the condition you’re looking to treat.

3. Olive Leaf Spray

Modern medicines use olive leaf spray to relieve respiratory issues like blocked nose, breathing difficulties, and sinus issues. The spray is used depending on the severity of the condition, so consult your doctor for the dosage.

A Word Of Caution

If you naturally have low blood pressure, avoid using olive leaves in high quantities as it may cause dizziness due to further lowering of blood pressure. Extremely high or strong doses of olive leaf extract can cause stomach upset or diarrhea. Start off with small doses and see how it works for you.

If you’re diabetic or pregnant or both, make sure you consult your doctor before trying olive leaves in any form or quantity.

by Elizabeth Owen

Age spots. Liver spots. Acne scars. These are all forms of hyperpigmentation, which leave so many of us feeling a bit insecure about the overall appearance of our complexions. While the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology calls hyperpigmentation "a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin," anyone who's suffered from dark spots knows how distressing this common discoloration can be.

The AOCD explains that hyperpigmentation occurs when "an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin." This can be caused by factors such as sun damage and inflammation from skin-picking and acne scarring.

While there are many expensive dermatological formulas on the market to help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, there are also a lot of nifty natural remedies to try at home. Let's take a look.

1. Raw potato slices
According to Rapid Home Remedies, potatoes are chock-full of nutrients, including B vitamins, which facilitate skin cell renewal, as well as niacinamide, known for its skin-lightening properties. (Who would've thought something as ordinary as a potato could be so dynamic?) 

To combat the effects of hyperpigmentation, Rapid Home Remedies recommends rubbing a slice of raw potato over your face three to four times a day for up to 10 minutes at a time. If the potato feels too dry or abrasive, the site also suggest moistening the slice with water. Over time, you just may notice a reduction in your dark spots.

2. Plain yogurt
Is there anything better than treating problem skin with items already sitting in your fridge? This may sound a little funny, but Holistic Health Herbalist explains that "yogurt contains lactic acid, a gentle but effective natural form of hydroxyl acid that exfoliates, softens skin, and lightens dark spots." To give this natural remedy a shot, apply full-fat plain yogurt directly on your skin's dark spots for 20 minutes at a time.

3. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is better for more than just soothing sunburns: It also contains an enzyme that helps treat dark spots. The folks at Skin Disease Remedies report that, "Mucilaginous polysaccharides in the pure sticky aloe gel removes dead skin cells and enhances regeneration of new cells."

To treat hyperpigmentation with aloe vera, the site recommends peeling the skin off aloe vera leaves and using the gel-like substance underneath as a nightly mask. Skin Disease Remedies adds that you can also combine manuka honey with this aloe vera gel to effectively treat dark spots.

4.Apple cider vinegar
The folks at Health Ambitions report that apple cider vinegar is a multifaceted natural formula for clear, glowing skin (they note that even Scarlett Johansson swears by it). It's particularly useful for treating dark spots, too. Just apply directly to any affected areas on the skin using a cotton ball. Health Ambitions recommends doing this regularly for at least a month. And if your skin is sensitive and direct application stings, try diluting the apple cider vinegar with water.

5. Turmeric
Turmeric isn't just great for cooking; it may also completely revitalize your skin routine. Holistic Health Herbalist reports that "turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory" and that by wearing a face mask with just a couple dashes of the substance each week, you "will literally lift hyperpigmentation 'stains' right off."

Holistic Health Herbalist provides a great natural mask recipe that involves raw honey, full-fat yogurt, aloe vera and lemon juice. 


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Thank you for reading.

Brampton, Ontario, Canada

P.S. If you have a comment or suggestion, just reply to this e-mail. Your feedback is important to me.



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This newsletter is for educational purposes only. It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge, to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit, and for that of your family. You are the one responsible for your health. You must educate yourself in order to make decisions in all health matters. My views and advises are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changes in order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.

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