Frankincense

10 Surprising Facts About Frankincense and Frankincense Essential Oil

We use frankincense essential oil in a few of our essential oil blends, so we wanted to highlight a few unusual things about it.

1. Some Believed it Was Protected by Dragons

Perhaps to keep others from encroaching on their livelihood, those who grew the Boswellia trees were happy to spread the rumor that their land was protected by dragons. Ancient Greek writer Herodotus (5th century B.C.) wrote: “Arabia is the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia, and cinnamon…the trees bearing the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors.”

Because it was more valuable than gold at one time, legend had it that the trees from which frankincense came were guarded by dragon-like creatures that were happy to fend off any intruders. According to Appleton’s Popular Science Monthly, published in 1896, so precious was frankincense that “the old Sabaean merchants invented marvelous stories of genii and dragons guarding the trees and of the woods exhaling deadly odors, in order to protect them from too curious and enterprising trespassers.”

We can relate. There are days that we don’t want to share our chocolate and feel tempted to warn people that there are cockroaches in our desk. But that’s beside the point…

2. The Resin is Edible

Whether in its hardened state or as oil, frankincense is edible. Ancient cultures chewed it like gum, and used it to treat digestive ailments and to boost the immune system. Edible versions are supposed to be “pure,” meaning of translucent color, with no dark-colored impurities.

3. It Contains a Compound That Kills Cancer Cells

In 2009, for instance, researchers found that frankincense oil activated genes that suppress cancer cell growth and kill cancer cells. Yet it didn’t harm normal cells. “Frankincense oil might represent an alternative intravesical agent for bladder cancer treatment” the researchers wrote.

A more recent study found that a chemical compound in frankincense (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid or AKBA) had the potential to destroy ovarian cancer cells—and that even cells resistant to chemotherapy were more sensitive to this compound. Other studies have shown it to have similar characteristics against colon, prostate, skin, and breast cancer cells.

4. It’s a Natural Bug Repellent

Frankincense has long been used to drive away mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects. Mosquitos don’t like it.

Burning it keeps these bugs away, which is especially helpful in areas afflicted by malaria. The Egyptians fumigated wheat silos and repelled wheat moths with it. In addition to burning it, you can also apply it directly to skin.

5. It May Help Ease Your Anxiety

A 2008 animal study found that burning frankincense activated areas in the brain that helped alleviate anxiety and depression. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, after administering a constituent of the resin to mice, found that it significantly affected areas in the brain known to be affected by current anxiety and depression drugs. We still need human studies to see if the affects are the same, but it’s an intriguing area of research.

Try adding a few drops to your warm bath to relieve stress, or burn a bit of incense in your office.

6. Women Used it to Make Eyeliner

Think makeup is only a modern-day invention? Think again. Ancient Egyptian women used frankincense to create their famous heavy black “kohl” eyeliner. They charred it first, and then ground it into a powder that they applied to their eyelids.

They believed it not only helped them look beautiful, but also protected their eyes from the sun, and improved vision.

7. It’s Great in Toothpaste.

Frankincense was used historically to treat halitosis (bad breath), and chewed to protect the teeth. You can still find frankincense in toothpaste today.

Studies have found that it is an effective anti-inflammatory, and is great for keeping your gums healthy.

A 2011 study, for instance, found that the extract lead to a “remarkable” decrease in inflammation in those with gingivitis. “Frankincense,” the researchers wrote, “a safe and low-cost herbal medicine, may be feasibly applied to improve inflammation-based disease of gingival as an adjust to the conventional mechanical therapy.”

So if you’re making your own DIY toothpaste, consider using some frankincense essential oil in it!

8. It May Stimulate Your Memory

Feel like your memory is slowing down? This oil may help. So far, we have only a few studies, but researchers believe the anti-inflammatory action may be what’s creating the results.

A 2015 animal study, for example, found that rats with impaired memory, after receiving frankincense extract, had improved memory retrieval compared to those who received a placebo.

An earlier human study on patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) found that those taking frankincense as a capsule (300 mg twice a day) experienced improvements in visual-spatial memory.

9. It’s Super for Skin

Herbalists prize Frankincense for its healing abilities. Combine it with lavender to treat cuts, scrapes, and burns, and use it on its own to help fade scars. It may also help relieve the itching of some insect bites.

Because it’s a natural antiseptic, it’s also a good option for those with acne—simply dab some on stubborn spots at night before bed to wake up with clearer skin. Combine it with a carrier oil to help moisturize and make fine lines less visible. Some also say it helps to get rid of skin tags and warts—apply several times a day directly on the affected area until they’re gone.

10. It May Ease Your Pain

Chronic, low-level pain is something many Americans suffer from on a daily basis. It may come from joint problems, back pain, fibromyalgia, and more.

Many essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help, and frankincense is a standout in this respect. It’s been used for centuries to treat a wide range of painful conditions, and new studies have been so positive that in Europe, the extracts have been labeled as drugs for reducing swelling in specific clinical settings. Some studies have found them to be just as effective as our modern-day non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin and ibuprofen), without the side effects on the stomach.

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The Ultimate Beyonce Playlist for Glam Fitness

Whichever phase of Beyoncé’s diverse career is your favorite, you’ll find it represented here. In addition to her own chart-topping singles, this workout playlist features Bey singing with (then future) husband Jay-Z, tearing it up with Destiny’s Child, remixed for the dance floor by Dave Audé, and collaborating with Lady GaGa. In other words, you’ll go from warm-up to cool-down without skipping a single track!

Beyoncé & Jay-Z – Crazy in Love – 99 BPM

Destiny’s Child – Survivor – 81 BPM

Beyoncé – Run the World (Girls) – 127 BPM

Beyoncé – Countdown – 84 BPM

Destiny’s Child – Lose My Breath – 118 BPM

Beyoncé – Get Me Bodied (Extended Mix) – 98 BPM

Beyoncé – Single Ladies (Dave Audé Remix) – 127 BPM

Lady GaGa & Beyoncé – Telephone – 122 BPM

Destiny’s Child – Jumpin’, Jumpin’ – 89 BPM

Beyoncé, Bun B & Slim Thug – Check On It – 83 BPM


To find more workout songs, check out the free database at Run Hundred. You can browse by genre, tempo, and era to find the best songs to rock your workout.

-Via Shape.com

11 Surprising Causes of Anxiety

“Awful situations aren’t the only things that make us walking balls of nerves. What we eat and drink can affect our moods and irritability levels as well. Here are a few causes of anxiety that you may not have thought were triggers. Once you’ve identified all the things that get you stressed out, you may finally be able to relax!” ~ by Ian Landau 

Anxiety

1. Food additives: Aspartame, food coloring, dyes
Many people report mood swings and anxiety after ingesting man-made sweeteners, like aspartame and high fructose corn syrup, food dyes (including Red #40 and Yellow #5) and flavorings like MSG. Direct links between artificial food additives and mood are still under investigation though they’ve been implicated as a cause of ADHD and autism in children. The fact is that dyes and artificial sweeteners are neurotoxins that can disrupt normal nervous system function, leading to increased symptoms of anxiety.

2. Over the counter drugs and supplements
Medicines that contain caffeine, including several headache and migraine relievers, some cough medicines, decongestants, asthma medications and weight-loss supplements that includes stimulants, can lead to increased heart rates and a spike in feelings of anxiety. Popular herbal remedies and supplements like St. John’s Wort, ginseng and kava kava may also cause or increase unease.

Food sensitivities
Symptoms of food sensitivity can range from digestive issues like stomach pain to difficulty breathing. While both of these problems can cause anxiety, there’s also increasing evidence that food sensitivities affect mood directly as well. Gluten, soy, dairy — even chocolate — can impact hormones levels and other key chemicals in the brain, upsetting the delicate balance needed to keep the body and mind in control of anxiousness.

4. Skipping meals
In our harried, stressful world, skipping a meal here and there is all too common. What’s more, many people who are anxious and stressed may feel they have no appetite or simply lack the desire to eat. But for most people used to regular meals, skipping meals causes a drop in the body’s blood sugar levels. If prolonged, this drop may lead to increased feelings of anxiety and irritability. Other anxiety-provoking effects of low blood sugar are dizziness, light-headedness, confusion and weakness.

 A 2009 study at Tufts University found a clear link between hydration and mood. The study found that student athletes who were just mildly dehydrated reported feeling angry, confused, tense and fatigued. Staying hydrated is essential to keeping the body’s physiological functions running smoothly, including speeding the healing process and removing toxins. Drinking enough water daily may be one of the easiest ways to help the body control its nerves.

5. Caffeine
Millions of people rely on a regular caffeine fix to jump start their day or to perk up when their energy nosedives. But too much is no good. “Caffeine-induced anxiety disorder” is actually a recognized condition found in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the “bible” used by mental health experts throughout the United States. As most people are aware, too much caffeine can cause a racing heartbeat, which can trigger a panic attack. And while a little caffeine can improve one’s ability to focus, too much may increase nervousness and a host of anxiety symptoms, like sweating palms, ringing in the ears, even feelings of impending doom.

6/7/8. Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
Relying on smoking, drinking or using drugs to feel calmer can backfire. Nicotine is a stimulant that studies have shown can raise blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke also may cause breathing problems that the body responds to as if it’s suffocating, increasing the likelihood of panic attacks. As for alcohol and drugs, people suffering from an anxiety disorder are two to three times more likely to abuse these than the general population, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Both alcohol and drugs can lead to panic attacks and their disruptive effect on the central nervous system limits the brain’s ability to calm the mind and body.

9. Nutrient deficiencies
Make sure you eat your vitamins! B complex, C and E vitamins play important roles in nervous system function, and B vitamins particularly affect mood and metabolism. Magnesium is known to help relieve stress, thus a deficiency in this mineral may lead to irritability and apathy. Selenium, an antioxidant essential to the efficient function of neurotransmitters in the brain, helps control mood. And according to a 2006 study, people with lower levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were also at increased risk of anxiety.

10. Age
As we age, we face multiple stresses that can bring on bouts of anxiety. Life events such as health changes, memory problems, the death of a spouse or even a seemingly happy change like retirement, can all be stress-provoking. The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation estimates that 10-to-20 percent of older adults suffer from anxiety, although many go untreated because they may not recognize the symptoms.

11. Negative thinking
Many therapists stress that persistent negative thinking really does have a harmful effect on our emotional well-being. Ever hear of automatic negative thoughts (or ANT’s)? These are quick, unconscious, off-the-cuff criticisms that the mind churns out when faced with stressful situations. “Why did I do that?” “Why am I so dumb?” and other negative self-criticisms wreak havoc on your emotional state. The good news is that a therapist can help you identify these ANT’s and reduce the power they have on your psyche.

 

 

English: An anxious person

A Healthy Diet to Beat Anxiety (dominicspoweryoga.com)

Operation Urban Farming: Grow Veggies from Kitchen Leftovers

I’m in love with the tips in Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps

The premise? Grow your own veggies from your cutting board remains! 

Grow your own celery from your celery remains. Just chop off the base and plant. One week of growth shown in photo to the right. 

One week of celery growth from https://www.facebook.com/GrowingOrganicEatingOrganic

One week of celery growth. Source:Growing Organic Eating Organic

“Magic and wonder hide in unexpected places — a leftover piece of ginger, a wrinkled potato left too long in its bag, a humdrum kitchen spice rack. In Don’t Throw It, Grow It! Deborah Peterson reveals the hidden possibilities in everyday foods.

Peterson, former president of the American Pit Gardening Society, shows how common kitchen staples — pits, nuts, beans, seeds, and tubers — can be coaxed into lush, vibrant houseplants that are as attractive as they are fascinating. With Peterson’s help, a sweet potato turns into a blooming vine; chickpeas transform into cheery hanging baskets; the humble beet becomes a dramatic centerpiece; and gingerroot grows into a 3-foot, bamboo-like stalk. In some cases the transformation happens overnight!

Don’t Throw It, Grow It! offers growing instructions for 68 plants in four broad categories — vegetables; fruits and nuts; herbs and spices; and more exotic plants from ethnic markets. The book is enhanced with beautiful illustrations, and its at-a-glance format makes it a quick and easy reference. Best of all, every featured plant can be grown in a kitchen, making this handy guide a must-have for avid gardeners and apartment-dwellers alike.” – From Amazon [physical book]: http://amzn.to/TWz2tq [kindle version]: http://goo.gl/dn4P7

Thanks to these friends for the info: https://www.facebook.com/GrowingOrganicEatingOrganic,

Blue Corn 3-in-1 Cleansing Mask

My first product review video! The 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask from The Body Shop. It’s a cleanser, exfoliant, and mask all in one product.

 

I really love the fact that you can either cleanse (with a little), exfoliate (with a little more and some circular finger movements), or quickly remove impurities from your skin by using this product as a mask (apply to a wet, clean face and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing away).

It contains kaolin clay (a great purifier) and blue corn powder from the Santa Ana Pueblo near Albuquerque, NM. The Body Shop is always having specials so you can get this on sale 🙂

Fleurty Naturelle’s Whole Living Giveaway

Giveaway time! I use my blog to promote clean eating, healthy hair, herbal medicine, and natural beauty so the purpose of this giveaway is the same. The winners will receive either $50 Whole Foods gift card or a $50 Body Shop gift card.

The first phase of this giveaway involves using your Twitter account (if you do not use twitter, see below). To enter, follow me on Twitter @fleurtynaturel and retweet my giveaway announcement:

@fleurtynaturel’s #giveaway! Follow, RT & win a $50 giftcard to @wholefoods or @thebodyshopusa. (Details: http://wp.me/p37FVU-3R)

 The contest will begin on February 15, 2013 and end on March 1, 2013.

If you don’t have Twitter, you can enter via YouTube here (or embedded below). Just watch and follow the directions in the video description.

Let your friends on facebook, tumblr, youtube, and twitter know.

How to Effectively Apply Products to Low Porosity Hair

I’ve written about hair porosity in the past, so now I want to really cover exactly how to apply moisturizers to low-porosity hair effectively.

Curly Nikki says:

Low porosity hair is typically much harder to moisturize since it is more difficult for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. Prep time is paramount for low porosity curlies. Every step in your daily routine is important and will determine how healthy your hair is. Avoid moisture sapping products, including alcohol based gels, hairspray and mousse.

TIP: Shop for water based, liquid leave in moisturizers that will moisturize without heaviness. Also, make sure to add a natural oil to your regime. Opt for a light to seal your hair after moisturizing. I prefer jojoba oil since it most resembles the sebum produced in our scalp. Heavy oils will be harder to absorb and will simply sit on top of it and weigh it down.

So, my personal Fleurty Naturelle regimen includes these steps for effectively applying products to my low porosity hair:

  • Apply moisturizer to warm, damp hair – use a steamer to get the mositurizer to absorb, apply it in the shower, or apply it and then wear a plastic cap so the naturally escaping heat from your scalp will assist in absorption of the product.
  • Ensure even distribution – use a detangling comb or rake your fingers though each section of hair to make sure its distributed properly over your whole head.
  • Shake or Squeeze – to remove excess product and water and avoide the foamy look 😉
  • Rub it in – When you use a hair butter or curl cream and you have excess product, squeezing and shaking won’t get rid of it. So, smooth it into the strands by using the shingling method (Details/Steps/Photos Here, Video Here).

 

Low Porosity Hair Strand

Low Porosity Hair Strand

Fleurty’s New Amazon Store

Support This Site by Using Our Amazon Store :)

Support This Site by Using Our Amazon Store 🙂

To make shopping for the products and ingredients in my blog posts easier, I’m publishing the link to get to my personalized store within Amazon. I’ve found the best value and the best quality with the linked items.

Click Here for Fleurty Naturelle’s Amazon Store and it will open in a new window.

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...