Taking care of adrenal glands: Notes from a presentation by Laurie Langfitt

Laurie Langfitt has a PhD in clinical nutrition and is a well-known proprietor of doTerra essential oils and products.  I personally use Spark Naturals products because their prices are more reasonable and their quality is comparable to doTerra.  I mention this because Ms. Langfitt mentions many blends and supplements sold by doTerra throughout her presentation.  When possible, I will add the comparable Spark Naturals blend.  No matter what brand of essential oils you prefer, there is a lot of useful information in Ms. Langfitt’s presentation.

ADRENALS NOTES from Laurie Langfitt’s presentation, March 2015

Who may suffer from adrenal fatigue?

-anyone who does not get enough rest or relaxation to enjoy life
-someone who is never satisfied, who is a perfectionist, or drives themselves relentlessly or is under constant pressure
-someone feeling trapped, helpless, overwhelmed, has repeated or continuous difficulties, has experienced sever or chronic emotional or physical trauma or illness

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Adrenal Glands:

-two little “napoleon”s that command powerful hormones to extend their influence throughout your bod and your life
-they’re no bigger than a walnut, weigh less than a grape and sit on top of your kidneys
-they significantly affect the functioning of every tissue,  organ, and gland in your body.  Attack, retreat or surrender, every cell responds accordingly and you FEEL the results.
-they’re designed to secrete various hormones and inhibit others in response to stress
-their function involves constantly balancing levels of two primary stress hormones: cortisol and adrenaline

When cortisol levels are deficient:

-heightened immune activity can’t be shut off once it is no longer needed, the off switch is broken
-when your immune system is always activated, your adrenals release even more cortisol in an attempt to counteract the situation and get things under control
-suppresses your immune system and is one of the primary factors resulting in chronic inflammation which leads to chronic disease

When stress is on-going…

-cortisol levels become chronically elevated. Your levels should be highest in the morning and decrease throughout the day.
-after producing excessive amounts of adrenal hormones in response to chronic stress, the adrenals can tire and produce inadequate amounts of hormones, a condition known as adrenal fatigue.
-excessive cortisol damages brain function causing memory problems and much more.

Chronic Stress

-chronic stress keeps you revved up and hyper vigilant, making it harder for you to rest, replenish, and nourish your body
-research shows that chronic stress can shrink your brain
-chronic stress lead to many of the health challenges we have been discussing in this presentation

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Do you have pain or discomfort that is not relieved fully, no matter what type of care you receive?

-ligaments and tendons are supposed to be the primary joint stabilizers.  With adrenal fatigue, ligament laxity develops and muscles must take over the job of joint stability.  This constant enlargement of the muscle fibers leads to: spasms, strains and sprains, loose joints, tmj, headaches, neck and upper bac pain, lower back instability and pain and then on to fibromyalgia, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, etc.

Adrenaline

-adrenaline also called epinephrine.  Epinephrine and norepinephrine are two hormones produced by the adrenals.
-sympathetic nervous system= fight or flight response, parasympathetic is activated when body is relaxed.
-adrenaline has a direct and immediate effect on your heart and can give you temporary superpowers! Can also be related to an increase in strokes and other heart problems.

Factors affecting the adrenals

-life issues: financial issues, death of a loved one, emotional stress, unwanted unemployment, marital stress, psychological stress
-lifestyle: smoking, lack of sleep, lack of or excessive exercise or over exertion, lack of relaxation
-toxins: poor eating habits
-negative attitudes and beliefs: fear
-body issues: allergies, infections both acute and chronic, prescription drugs, wound healing
-diet: caffeine, lack of good food, white four products, sugar

Our recovery

-contingent upon what we eat, drink, the thoughts we feed our minds, and the beliefs we base our very lives on

Addicted to stress?

-we can get addicted to the highs and lows of hormone rushes produced by trauma, tragedy, crisis, or chaos
-Drama Queens/Kings are addicted to chaos or crisis

Action Points

-adopt an optimistic attitude to help you respond better to situations and people that contribute to your stress.  Expect good things to happen, not bad!  Speak about what you want instead of complaining about what you got.
-honestly examine what part you play in creating your stress and change it
-avoid people that stress you out.  Mend or end toxic relationships.

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Coffee Consumption

-acid based oil in coffee irritates the lining of the stomach which increases gastric secretions which spars/ignites adrenaline, which stimulates insulin production, which fuels hypoglycemia.  Your morning java increases cortisol output by 30%!
-end result=TENSION, mild rise in blood pressure, craving sweets 2 or 3 hours later, low energy, depressed mood
-coffee counteracts some medication taken for pain, obesity, hypertension, depression, and digestive issues
-coffee causes nutritional deficiencies, B1 in particular= fatigue, nervousness, aches, pains, headaches, and more
-damaging to the small intestine=more problems assimilating nutrients properly
-throws off the body’s ph balance=depletion of many minerals
-pesticides in coffee are one of the most significant sources of toxins in the US
-long term consumption taxes the liver causing congestion in this vital organ which leads to other problems
-lots of yeast, mold, and fungus in some coffee as well

If you must have coffee

-start by limiting yourself to one cup and use organic low acid coffee
-eat something before you consume coffee
-try to replace it altogether with healthy warm teas including sipping essential oils in just warm water and add ginger, which is very good for digestion and an immune system tonic.  Lime, lemon, or bergamot, a touch of honey or cinnamon essential oil as the sweetener and extra virgin coconut oil is good as well.

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Affordable and gentle detox/cleansing;

-Dr Hill recommends drinking or consuming in capsules 10-15 drops minimum of citrus essential oils daily
-grapefruit in particular to increase your bodies very own production of glutathione to combat inflammation naturally
-lemon, lime, orange, tangerine and even bergamot are okay to drink in water.  Do not drink in plastic bottles, use glass or stainless steel

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Support your liver and other organs:

-establishing normal bowel function helps strengthen your adrenal function.  Take a probiotic every day!
-as your adrenals begin to mend your liver can detoxify more rapidly
-fiber helps eliminate fat soluble toxins from your body

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Daily use of essential oils

-Balance blend on your feet in the morning
-start the morning with warm tea and ginger essential oil or a citrus oil.  drink or use in capsules citrus oils during the day for a gentle detox
-clove, rosemary in a roller bottle on your adrenals and apply a warm compress for intense pampering.  May add basil or geranium too.
-diffuse oils morning, noon, and night
-good workspace blend: 3 drops each coriander, balance blend, wild orange
-bergamot and lavender every night on your feet at bedtime.  Look for and try oils that say “addaptogenic” in the literature

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Adrenal-Thyroid Connection:

-hypothyroidism means your thyroid is underactive.  A lazy thyroid also can not properly stimulate the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and other adrenal hormones nor help your liver clear itself of cortisol.
-ashwagandha is good for thyroid
-lemongrass may be the most important oil for thyroid balance whether high or low
-thyroid meds aren’t working? consider adrenal fatigue
-iodine is essential to every cell in the body, low levels suppress thyroid function
-David Brownstein, MD has researched iodine for the last two decades and he has found that 95% of his patients at his clinic are iodine deficient
-“The Iodine Crisis” by Lynnee Farrow
-“The Coconut Ketogenic Diet” by Dr Bruce Fife

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Actively reduce stress and do things that restore your vitality:

-yoga
-acupuncture
-being out in nature
-prayer/meditation
-chiropractic care
-cranial sacra work, massage, etc
-emotional freedom technique
-neuro emotional technique
-play with your animals!
-regular exercise even if it’s gentle

Recommended books:

-“Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue” by Kathryn R Simpson. Includes great adrenal and thyroid symptom surveys.
-“Little Teal Book of Trust” by Jeffrey Gitomer
-All books by Louise Hay

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Essential Oil Remedies for Roller Bottles or Capsules

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Essential oils are wonderful for treating and preventing illness.  They can help boost your immune system and give you more energy.  Before ingesting any essential oil, make sure that you are using a pure oil that is safe for internal use.  Due to the potency of essential oils, never give children essential oils internally- use a roller bottle instead.

All of the roller bottle recipes are for a 10ml roller bottle, such as the one pictured.

Spark Natural's roller bottle is inexpensive- use coupon code PINTERESTINSPIRATION for 10% off.

Spark Natural’s roller bottle is inexpensive- use coupon code PINTERESTINSPIRATION for 10% off.

Capsules come in different sizes, and can be vegan or gelatin.  Most people prefer a 00 size capsule because they are easy to fill.

Capsules come in different sizes.  00 is the most preferred size because it is easy to fill.

Capsules come in different sizes. 00 is the most preferred size because it is easy to fill.

The best way to fill a capsule is to remove the lids off of your essential oils, pull the capsule apart, and use a glass dropper to fill the capsules.  Use a different dropper for each essential oil to avoid cross-contamination.  Glass droppers can be cleaned with alcohol, as oils repel water.

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SEASONAL ALLERGY BLEND:

Capsule: 2 drops each of lemon, lavender, peppermint.  Take 2-3x a day while symptoms persist.

Roller Bottle: would not recommend

STOMACH TAMER BLEND:

Capsule: 2 drops each of digest blend, peppermint, and frankincense.  Take up to 3x a day or until symptoms subside.

Roller Bottle: 15 drops digest blend, 10 drops peppermint, 5 drops frankincense.  Fill remainder with carrier oil.  Apply to stomach area up to 5x a day or until symptoms subside.

COLD KICKER BLEND:

Capsule: 3 drops oregano, 2 drops thieves blend, 1 drop frankincense OR 2 drops each of oregano, thieves, frankincense, melaleuca, and lemon.  Take up to 3x a day until symptoms subside.

Roller Bottle: 15 drops thieves blend, 10 drops oregano, 5 drops frankincense OR 5 drops each of oregano, thieves, frankincense, melaleuca, and lemon.  Fill reminder with carrier oil.  Apply to bottoms of feet up to 5x a day until symptoms subside.

FLU KICKER BLEND:

Capsule: 3 drops oregano, 1 drop lemon, 1 drop clove, 1 drop thieves, 1 drop frankincense.  Take up to 3x daily until symptoms subside.

Roller Bottle: 10 drops oregano, 5 drops each of lemon, clove, thieves, and frankincense.  Apply to bottoms of feet up to 5x a day until symptoms subside.

SORE THROAT BLEND:

Capsule: 3 drops lemon, 1 drop oregano, 1 drop melaleuca, 1 drop thieves.  Take up to 3x a day until symptoms subside.

Roller Bottle:10 drops lemon, 5 drops each of oregano, melalueca, thieves.  Fill remainder with carrier oil.  Apply to bottoms of feet or on neck up to 5x a day until symptoms subside. (Do not expose skin to extreme sunlight immediately after applying lemon oil)

SINUS KICKER BLEND:

Capsule: 2 drops thieves, 1 drop each of black pepper, oregano, melaleca.  Take up to 3x a day until symptoms subside.

Roller Bottle: 5 drops thieves, 5 drops respire blend, 5 drops lavender.  Fill remainder of bottle with carrier oil.  Lightly apply over sinuses and around ears.  Avoid eye area.  Apply up to 4x a day until symptoms subside.

IMMUNE BOOST BLEND:

Capsule: 2 drops lemon and thieves oil.  Take up to 3x daily.

Roller Bottle: 20 drops thieves oil.  Fill remainder with carrier oil.  Apply to bottoms of feet up to 3 times daily.

UTI BLEND:

Capsule: 3 drops oregano, 3 drops thieves, 2 drops frankincense.  Take up to 4x daily.  In addition, drink 100% cranberry juice.

Roller Bottle: 15 drops oregano and thieves, 10 drops frankincense.  Apply over stomach area and bottoms of feet up to 3x daily.

ULCER BLEND:

Capsule: 2 drops each of digest blend, lemongrass, and frankincense.  Take up to 3x daily until symptoms subside.

Roller Bottle: 15 drops digest blend, 10 drops lemongrass, 5 drops frankincense.  Apply over painful area up to 3x daily until symptoms subside.

*PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT a doctor and I do not study medicine.  I believe that these remedies can help treat symptoms and possibly prevent illness.  In no way am I saying not to go to a doctor if needed.  If you are on prescription medication, use caution with essential oils.  Use your best judgment and listen to your body!

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How to Bake Pine Cones

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Pine cones make neat decorations.  Especially when they smell like cinnamon!  I love cinnamon pine cones, and decided to make my own this year.

Step one was to gather the pine cones from my yard.  My 5-year-old loved helping me with this part!  We gathered our pine cones into gallon Ziploc bags, and forgot about them for a couple of days until I decided what I wanted to do with them.

Step two was to get rid of the bugs living in the pine cones.  Boy, were there bugs!  I thought maybe a couple of days in a sealed Ziploc would kill them, but that was definitely not the case.  My pine cones had pieces of grass and twigs in the bags with them (I had a 5-year-old helper, remember?) so I sorted through the pine cones, placing them on the cookie sheet and leaving a bunch of seeds and grass and twigs behind.  Oh- and BUGS.  At least 10 bugs that I could see were left in the bottom of one Ziploc bag.  I quickly sealed them up.  Before I got the pan into the oven, one escaped and ran across my stove.  I tell you all this so that you will do as I say and not as I did- just dump the whole bag out onto the tray and shove that sucker in the oven as fast as possible!

When I think of pine cones, I think of fall and cinnamon.  That is NOT what real pine cones smell like while they bake in your oven.  (Just in case you’re wondering)

I chose not to cover my cookie sheet in foil, but if your pinecones may have sap on them, it might be a good idea to cover them.

Okay, so how long?

Bake your pine cones at 200 degrees for 45 minutes.  I found varying degree and time differences online, but this worked for me.  Too high of a temp or too long in the oven can risk burning your pine cones.

I plan to scent mine, and will post another blog once I’m done.  What are your plans for your pine cones?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Why I use Spark Naturals versus DoTerra and Young Living

One of the most important qualities of any essential oil company is quality.  The essential oils that we use are absorbed by our bodies, so purity is an important factor.  Many people will advocate for one company or another, stating that their quality is superior than any other company.  While I don’t believe that all companies are created equal, I do believe that there are a handful of essential oil companies that are equally trustworthy.

When I began using essential oils, I started using DoTerra exclusively.  While I don’t have an issue with DoTerra, my bank account did.  Their oils are on the expensive side compared to companies that offer oils of similar quality.  A contributing factor to the high price of oils with DoTerra and Young Living are their pyramid sales design and all of the money that goes towards commission and, at least in DoTerra’s case, points that are earned and used toward free product.

Spark Naturals doesn’t have this sort of sales system, and it shows in their prices.  Along with more reasonable prices, Spark Naturals offers two sizes of essential oils- the traditional 15ml, and a smaller 5ml size.  Purchasing the 5ml size is a lot easier on my budget and allows me to acquire a wider variety of oils.

The other thing that I love about Spark Naturals is their selection of essential oil accessories.  They have glass spray bottles, glass roller bottles, containers for salves, and much more.  They offer books, diffusers, and a large selection of natural bath and body products.  It makes shopping for your essential oil projects super easy.

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Another great thing about Spark Naturals is their oil of the month club.  For only $15.99 each month, you get the featured 15ml bottle of oil shipped directly to you, and shipping is included in the price!

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Although Spark Naturals doesn’t have a pyramid sales system, they do offer an affiliate program.  The affiliate program allows someone the ability to offer 10% off of every order using a specific coupon code.  The coupon code is a win-win.  It gives the consumer 10% off and the affiliate gets a small percentage of commission on each sale.  This type of affiliate program allows Spark Naturals to avoid a costly pyramid sales system while still motivating individuals to use and advertise their product.

If you’re already loyal to a great essential oil company that you trust, stick with it.  If you’re not sure or are searching for an affordable, trustworthy company, I highly encourage you to try Spark Naturals!

Essential Oils for Back to School

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Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again!  I’ve begun school clothes shopping and have received the classroom supply list for the coming school year.  (Is it just me, or do these lists seem longer every year?)  In addition to all of the obvious back to school shopping, now is a great time to stock up on items that will make the transition into school easier.  Essential oils are a great way to boost your immune system, treat viral illnesses, calm anxiety, and increase attentiveness.  I get all of my essential oils and supplies from Spark Naturals.  They give you the option of purchasing a large, 15ml bottle or a smaller, 5ml bottle of their essential oils.  Check out my top 5 must-haves for this school year:

1. Jeddy’s Blend: used for ADD, ADHD, and anxiety

This blend was created by a mom for her son, Jeddy.  Many people have had success with this oil blend, and what a great alternative to medication!  This Spark Naturals blend consists of:  Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Ylang, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Spruce, Rosewood, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, Vetiver, Patchouli & Fractionated Coconut Oil.

Usage tip: Put this oil in a roller bottle for easy application.

2. Shield Blend: used for immunity support.  Also known as thieves oil, this blend of Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary has been used for centuries, dating back to the Great Plague in the 15th Century.

Usage tip 1: Combine a carrier oil with Shield in a 4ml glass spray bottle and use as a hand sanitizer.
Usage tip 2: Combine a carrier oil with Shield and Oregano in a 4oz glass spray bottle and apply to bottoms of feet when ill.
Usage tip 3: Diffuse into the air for a great aroma while purifying.

3.  Bliss Calming Blend: use to calm and relax.

Usage tip 1: Diffuse before bedtime or during times of stress to help in relaxation.
Usage tip 2: Combine a carrier oil with Bliss Calming Blend in a roller bottle and apply to feet before bedtime or a potentially stressful situation.

4. Respire Blend: a blend of essential oils to help open the sinuses and bronchial tubes during times of sickness and congestion.

Usage tip 1: Diffuse into the air while sleeping.
Usage tip 1: Combine a carrier oil with Respire in a roller bottle and apply to bottoms of feet or chest.

5. Lavender Oil: lavender is good for a variety of things, making this one of the most common essential oils used.  It can be applied undiluted to scrapes, cuts, and burns to both disinfect and soothe the skin.  Lavender is a natural antihistamine, so it works well when applied to insect bites. It can also be used for it’s aromatic calming properties.

Usage tip 1: Apply undiluted to cuts, scrapes and burns, as well as insect bites.  It works very well on burns, and the sooner you apply the oil the better it works.
Usage tip 2: Combine Witch Hazel and Lavender in a 4oz glass spry bottle, and use as an insect bite treatment.
Usage tip 3: Diffuse into the air for a calming aroma.

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