Category Archives: Healthy Living

Bladder Cancer & Vitamin D

Other than the already known benefits of Vitamin D, could there be yet another important benefit?  Our vitamin D intake is important, as low levels have been linked to a risk of bladder cancer.  These findings are coming from results presented recently at the Society for Endocrinology conference in the United Kingdom.

Evidence has already been shown that low vitamin D is detrimental to our health.  Some of it comes from a good diet, and good sources will include fatty fish and fish oil, dairy products, mushrooms, liver and egg yolks.  It is mostly synthesized when the body is exposed to sunlight.  It has been found that our dietary sources alone cannot normally provide sufficient vitamin D.

This particular vitamin helps our bodies to maintain healthy levels of calcium and phosphates and low levels are linked to a range of health problems.  If a child has low levels of vitamin D it can lead to bone deformities, such as rickets.  In time with age, a lack of vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women.  The low levels have also been linked to cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disease, cancer and autoimmune conditions.

This condition is common among people with limited exposure to sunlight and includes those populations from northern regions where winter days are short, and also those in climates where it is too hot to spend time outdoors.  Those who cover up or use sunscreen with a strong SPF factor to avoid sunburn or skin cancer are at risk of the lack of vitamin D.  Low levels also include those who cover their bodies for cultural or religious reasons, those who stay out of the sun to keep their skin pale and people with darker skin who are also more prone to low vitamin D levels.

Drinking those sugary drinks may also have an impact on their vitamin D levels.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States noted that between 2002-2006, about 8% of the population aged 1 year or over were at risk of vitamin D deficiency, 24% at risk of inadequacy, and only 17% met the desirable levels.  Less than 1% raised concerns about an excess of vitamin D.  About 1.4% of the men and women in the U.S. are expected to develop bladder cancer.  This accounts for 4.6% of all new cancer cases and responsible for 2.8% of all cancer deaths.  

Dr. Rosemary Bland from the University of Warwick and Coventry in the U.K. led researchers who wanted to know more about how synthesis of vitamin D might affect immune responses in specific tissues.  The team had a systematic review of 7 studies to investigate the link between vitamin D and bladder cancer.  They had 112 to 1,125 participants per study and some of the studies measured vitamin D levels before diagnosis, some during and some at the follow-up stage.

Out of 7 studies performed, it was found that 5 had a risk of bladder cancer going up when vitamin D levels are low.  The higher levels also correlated with better survival and outcome in those with bladder cancer.  They also examined the transitional epithelial cells that line the bladder and found these cells can activate and respond to vitamin D.  They can also synthesize enough vitamin D to trigger a local immune response by recognizing the abnormal cells before they develop further.  Their conclusions are that bladder cancer risk correlates with low serum (vitamin D) levels and if confirmed, administering supplementary vitamin D could be a safe and economical means of prevention. More studies are required to test this association.  

–Dr Fredda Branyon

 

Treating Pain Without Drugs

The United States released a federal report revealing that more than 54% of adults had some type of musculoskeletal pain disorder such as back, joint or neck pain in 2012. This is a leading cause of disability and major contributor to health care expenses and disability compensation, and a significant price Americans pay for pain. Those suffering from pain were significantly more likely to have used a complementary health approach compared to those without pain.

There was congressional testimony from the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) that stated Americans consume 80% of the pain pills in the world. More than 2,000 pain patients in the U.S. said they were taking a dangerously addictive opioid pain medication. It has been suggested by research that these drugs work for only about three months and make changes in your brain that may lead to increased feelings of pain, along with added emotional upset. Feelings of hopelessness and desperation can be included.

Many suffering pain have tried nearly every treatment that conventional medicine has to offer such as medications, injections, surgery and more, only to find their pain hasn’t gotten better and they are struggling with treatment-induced side effects as well. At this point, it’s natural that they begin to seek other options, like holistic, complementary or “alternative” health care options for some relief.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings evaluated several complementary approaches for pain relief as listed below:

· Acupuncture
· Massage Therapy
· Relaxation Techniques
· Exercise
· Medical Marijuana

The therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor. These receptors are in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more. It is known that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many body processes, including metabolic regulations, cravings, pain, anxiety, bone growth and immune function.

Turmeric contains curcumin, which has notable anti-inflammatory properties and has earned a reputation for being a multi-faceted healer. Essential oils for pain relief are: lavender, marjoram, chamomile, spruce, clove, ginger, sandalwood, fennel, wintergreen and frankincense.

Essential oils that help relieve RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) pain and inflammation include peppermint, orange, ginger, myrrh and turmeric.

Homeopathy is found to be effective for low back pain, and some common remedies include Aesculus, for dull pain with muscle weakness, Gnaphalium, for sciatica that alternates with numbness, Colocynthis, for weakness and cramping in the small of the back, Amica Montana, for pain as a result of trauma, Lycopodium, for burning pain, and Rhus toxicodendron, for stiffness and pain in the small of the back.

Your life can quickly be sidelined if you are in severe pain or struggling with chronic pain. Seek the help of a pain specialist who is familiar with alternative treatments. By identifying the underlying causes of your pain, a knowledgeable practitioner can help you to relieve your pain in the short term while healing the cause.

— Dr Fredda Branyon

 

Sugar Has Many Names

Sugar is supplied to our bodies from natural sources in our fruits and vegetables. Combining this with additional fiber, vitamins and minerals, natural sugar is processed slightly differently than the refined white sugar, or sugar by other names, to disguise sugar in your food. It’s difficult to avoid those foods that are laced with sugar, unless you have switched to a diet of nearly exclusively whole foods. Processed foods quite often come with the addition of sweeteners to tempt our palates.

Sugar can trigger an addiction that’s hard to break, and is one of the most damaging substances to your body. Sugar addition is unchecked in adults and children and defined as a specific “bliss point” for products by manufacturers, that bring customers back for more. The junk food industry doesn’t want us to know that sugar has significant and deadly effects on your health, therefore the label may not even list sugar as an ingredient.

About 45 grams of sugar was consumed every five days for people in 1812, which would equal the amount of sugar in one can of soda. Americans were consuming sugar in 2012 to the equivalent of 17 cans of soda every five days. That’s a jump that can have disastrous effects on our lives. Hiding sugar under names we aren’t aware of can have devastating effects.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) put out new Dietary Guidelines for Americans along with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that limit the amount of sugar to 10% of your total daily calories. If you consume a 2,000-calorie diet this amounts to 10 to 12 teaspoons, which is over the amount of sugar in one 12-ounce coke. It is estimated by the National Cancer Institute that the average American consumes 15 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Not only is sugar in candy and sweet treats, but also those condiments, salad dressings, canned goods and drinks in addition to sodas.

You may not know by the labels of what sugar is contained in your foods, as they may be listed as sugar, sucrose, fructose, Dextran, Ethyl Maltol and Panela. Some companies are reducing their sugar content in some foods.

Some of the sugars may be described as syrup or with an “ose” at the end of the word, such as galactose or fructose. Following is a list of some sugars under unknown names: blackstrap molasses, buttered syrup, cane juice crystals, evaporated cane juice, caramel, carob syrup, fruit juice, honey, fruit juice concentrate, brown rice syrup, corn syrup solids, Florida crystals, golden syrup, maple syrup, molasses, refiner’s syrup, sorghum syrup, sucanat, treacle, turbinado, barley malt, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, diastatic malt, ethyl maltol, glucose, glucose solids, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, d-ribose, rice syrup, galactose, maltodextrin and castor.

The liquid sugar is even more dangerous to our health than any other form of sugar. Fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar as other sugary drinks, even though they are marketed as healthier choices. They have the same negative effects on your body as other drinks with added sugar.

The other bad news is that cancer has a sweet tooth and thrives on sugar. Researchers have found through a study that sugar developed pancreatic cancer. Other research tells us cells thrive on sugar and don’t burn other fuel as effectively, and cancer cells rely on sugar to maintain cell function. Some strategies can help you to reduce or eliminate your intake of added sugars as: knowledge in power, reduce your net carbs, eat real food, read labels, use safe sweeteners, increase your healthy fat intake at meals, include fermented foods in your nutrition plan and try turbo tapping.

Remember that it’s up to each and every one of us to take control of our health and do everything possible to avoid the risk of cancer. Starting with our diet is an extremely important step.

Dr Fredda Branyon

 

Increase Vitamin E

How about tossing in some whole eggs to a colorful salad? According to research from Purdue University this will boost the amount of Vitamin E . Vitamin E is the second-most under consumed nutrient in the average American diet. This is problematic because this fat-soluble nutrient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition science. His belief is that by adding eggs to a salad with colorful vegetables, it will improve their diets.

Vitamin E absorption was 4 to 7 fold higher when three whole eggs were added to a salad, according to a study from Purdue’s Department of Nutrition Science. The study measured the absorption of Vitamin E from real foods, rather than supplements, which contain a mega-dose amount of Vitamin E.

Dietary fats and Vitamin E are absorbed and also found in oils, seeds and nuts. Amino acids are found in the nutrient-rich food, eggs. The research also highlighted how one food can improve the nutrition value of another food when they are consumed together. These findings are published in The Journal of Nutrition and are supported by the American Egg Board’s Egg Nutrition Center, National Institutes of Health and Purdue Ingestive Behavior Research Center.

This particular study is an extension of a study that Campbell and Jung Eun Kim, a postdoctoral researcher in Purdue’s Department of Nutrition Science, reported in June 2015 showing that by adding eggs to a salad there was an overall increased absorption of the vegetables’ carotenoids.

A previous study that was conducted by Campbell and Ferruzzi, a professor at North Carolina State University, has shown that more carotenoids are absorbed when one large salad is consumed at a meal, compared to smaller salads consumed at two meals during the day. The research also focused on understanding how dietary protein and exercise influence adult health as people age.

Dr Fredda Branyon

 

Craving Ice, an Iron Deficiency?

We all crave that cold, refreshing ice on a hot summer day to relieve the heat, but if you are craving it frequently, there just might be something more it’s telling you. The craving to eat something non-nutritional is called pica, and chewing ice is a symptom of this.

Most often pica is seen in children, but the addiction of chewing ice crosses all age boundaries. Usually this non-nutritional substance craving is related to a nutritional deficiency. Iron deficiency or anemia may be the case in some instances. To fit the addiction to chewing ice, or pagophagia, a person must persist in chewing ice for one month or more. Some people who are addicted to chewing ice will even go to the point of eating freezer frost to meet their needs. Not that’s just being desperate.

There is a complex interaction between nutritional requirements and behavior. Just simply supplementing with iron may fix the problem for many who are craving ice. Our iron levels can create significant problems when too high or too low, and it’s important to understand the process and monitor your iron levels.

A study evaluated the behavior of 81 patients who suffered iron deficiency anemia and found pagophagia was a common form of pica. About 16% of the participants who experienced pagophagia exhibited relief from the symptoms faster with an iron supplement rather than the recovery of their hemoglobin levels may have indicated. Physicians should look closely for chronic blood loss in those patients who exhibit pica behaviors. It may be an indication of slow blood loss and iron deficiency. Anemia is caused when your level of red blood cells is lower than normal and reduces the amount of oxygen your body can deliver to your cells. Without oxygen, your body is unable to function effectively.

Chewing ice can damage your teeth and jaws and there is less damage than from those side effects of addiction to chemicals, such as tobacco, drugs or alcohol, but

it may cause dental damage, and lack of treatment of the anemia can cause heart damage. Some of the gastrointestinal symptoms of an iron deficiency are a sore tongue, dry mouth, altered sense of taste, difficulty swallowing and mouth sores. Other symptoms of iron deficiency and anemia are fatigue and exhaustion that can affect the cognitive skills and ability. Chewing ice may trigger changes in the brain’s vascular system that could lead to an increased amount of oxygen delivery.

Some effects of iron deficiency anemia can be gastrointestinal polyps, chronic heavy menstrual periods or chronic bleeding stomach ulcers. If you feel you are iron deficient, have a simple blood test called a serum ferritin test to measure the molecule in your blood that carries iron. A healthy range is between 20 and 80 nanograms per milliliter. Your iron level can be boosted by consuming beef, ham, lamb, turkey, chicken, veal, pork, shrimp, clams, scallops, oyster, tuna, spinach, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, string beans, beet greens, kale, watermelon, dates, figs, raisins, prunes, tomatoes, dried peas, lentils, dried beans, molasses and tomato products.

Choose your foods wisely and be sure to include the above foods in your diet to help keep your body and that of your family, healthy.

–Dr Fredda Branyon

 

Castor Oil Benefits

The castor oil seed has a very unique chemical composition.  The seed plant is native to India and 90% of its composition is ricinolete acid.  This is a fatty acid that is thought to be responsible for castor oil’s healing properties.  In Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Persia and 17th Century Europe and the Americas, it was used for medical reasons.

There are many uses for castor oil besides medical such as food additive, flavoring agent, mold inhibitor, ingredient in skin care products and cosmetics, used in the manufacturing of plastics, rubbers, synthetic resins, fibers, paints, varnishes, lubricants, sealants, dyes and leather treatments.  In WWI it was used as an aircraft lubricant.  

Besides being used in the industrialized world, were you aware that castor seeds could be deadly?  The toxin ricin is made from a protein in the castor seed and if ingested, gets into the ribosomes of your cells where it prevents protein synthesis that kills the cells.  Mash that is left over after processing castor seeds into oil, makes the ricin.  Just 1 milligram of ricin is fatal if inhaled or ingested and eating just 5 to 10 seeds would be fatal.

There are modern medical uses for castor oil like topical applications for a variety of skin conditions like keratosis, dermatosis, wound healing, acne, ringworm, warts, other skin infections, sebaceous cysts, itching and hair loss.  More importantly it shows some promise in treatment of cancer.  The American Cancer Society reports that early clinical trials suggest that ricin, when combined with an antibody to confine this poison to malignant cells, will shrink tumors in lymphoma patients.  

Castor oil has also been used to treat multiple sclerosis, arthritis, epilepsy, appendicitis, colitis, Parkinson’s Disease, Migraine and other headaches, liver ailments, cirrhosis, AIDs, eye irritation, cerebral palsy, cholecystitis, scleroderma, detoxification and gynecological problems.

Castor oil can be used as topical massage oil and the castor oil packs can improve the function of your thymus gland and other components of your immune system.  

Some side effects, such as taking orally, may alleviate constipation but can irritate your intestinal lining causing digestive discomfort, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal side effects.  If you have cramps, irritable bowel, ulcers, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, colitis, prolapses, or have recently had surgery, you should avoid castor oil due to the adverse effects.  It has been known to stimulate labor in healthy pregnant women and there have been reports of it causing nausea.

–Dr Fredda Branyon

 

CANCER FIGHTING PINEAPPLE ENZYME

Cancer Fighting Pineapple Enzyme

CANCER FIGHTING PINEAPPLE ENZYMERelying on chemotherapy, conventional cancer treatment has proven a dismal failure in the United States. Chemotherapy is extremely toxic and works against your
body’s natural ability to fight cancer by destroying host immunity instead of supporting it. Healthy cells throughout your body are destroyed right along with the cancer cells that
often lead to faster death and not healing.

There are a handful of natural compounds that have been discovered that exhibit an effect called “selective cytotoxicity.” Meaning, they are able to kill cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells and tissue unharmed. This is the most intelligent way to treat cancer and will not result in the death of the patient from the chemo “collateral damage.”

One of the compounds is bromelain, which is an enzyme that is extracted from pineapple stems. The Planta Medica study research found that bromelain was superior to the chemo drug 5-florauacil in treating cancer. The property cytotoxicity is found only among natural compounds and no chemo drug has yet been capable of this effect. Other compounds that have been found to kill cancer cells without harming healthy ones include:

❖ Vitamin C
❖ Eggplant extract
❖ Turmeric (Curcumin Extract)

Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that digests proteins. In the study it was injected directly into the abdominal cavity getting the enzymes from the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. Enzymes are susceptible to denaturing and must be helped to survive the highly acidic environment in the stomach. Through research it has been shown they can pass through your intestine intact and into the bloodstream and lymphatic system, where they can deliver their services to the rest of your body.

Some ways proteolytic enzymes can be helpful in the fight against cancer are:

❖ Boosting cytokines, particularly interferon and tumor necrosis factor, which are very important warriors in destroying cancer cells.
❖ Decreasing inflammation.
❖ Dissolving fibrin: Cancer cells hide under a cloak of fibrin to escape detection. Once unlocked they can be spotted and attacked by your immune system. Fibrin
also is thought to make cancer cells stick together which increases the chance for metastases.
❖ German studies have shown systemic enzymes increase the potency of
macrophages and killer cells 12-fold.

Search for alternative treatments to fight cancer and bypass those toxic chemotherapy treatments that can destroy your immune system and eventually take
your life.
–Dr Fredda Branyon

Humor Therapy Helps Cancer Patients

Humor Therapy Helps Cancer Patients

The Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center at Montefiore Hospital hosted a hilarity session for the cancer patients, some even with advanced stages of the illness. Fox News published an article in November of 2008, revealing the results of humor on the cancer patients.

This was the hospital’s monthly “Strength Through Laughter” therapy. This is only one of several types of laughter or humor therapies being offered by medical facilities around the country for patient diagnosed with cancer or other chronic diseases. These programs all feature joke sessions, funny movies and even clown appearances. They are still waiting on a verdict on whether laughter plays a roll in healing, according to the American Cancer Society and other medical experts, but they say it does reduce stress and promotes relaxation by lowering the patients’ blood pressure, improving breathing and increasing muscle function.

About two dozen patients at the hospital even arrived in costume to “spook cancer” one day before Halloween. A breast cancer patient now in remission reported that the session makes her feel better. Incidentally, she came disguised as a security officer and said she felt healthy when she laughed. A warmth was generated among the group by the laughs that was palpable, particularly when this same lady changed into an angel costume and went around offering a red rose and a hug or kiss to each of the other participants. This woman truly is an angel!

The senior oncology social worker and facilitator, Gloria Nelson, started the session five years previous to help cancer patients focus on living, instead of dying. She also reported on their amazing strength even though it’s a constant challenge of the fear of it coming back, and how to go on living knowing you have cancer. Each time they laughed, it was like kicking cancer right out the door, while taking control themselves.

Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday review wrote in his book “Anatomy of an illness”, claiming that a combination of laughter and vitamins cured him of a potentially fatal illness. He made a discovery that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect. Some people are so overwhelmed with their diagnosis that they are unable to participate in laughter and other complementary therapies, even though they can help to relieve the anxiety brought on by the disease.

Some patients practice laughter sounds like “he-he, ha-ha and ho-ho”, and greet each other in this regard in lieu of jokes, and engage in games until laughter overtakes them.

A big challenge of being diagnosed with cancer is preserving your dignity. Especially when told to don a gown where the back half is missing and everyone’s examining you and asking about bodily functions.

The Rx Laughter’s participation in two of the large medical studies discovered that patients who watched funny videos during certain painful procedures were more relaxed and tolerated the pain longer. Cancer patients also had less pain and slept better after such entertainment. Any comic entertainment can get us through very stressful times and save us the cost of psychotherapy that many people cannot afford. Maybe we all need to use this humor activity to lessen the stress in our own everyday lives.
–Dr Fredda Branyon<

Inherited Salt Perception

Inherited Salt Perception

Some people who find they have an enhanced bitter taste perception are almost twice as likely to consume too much sodium as those with less acute tasting ability. Gene variations that allow people to taste bitter more intensely may also taste salt more intensely and enjoy it much more, which can lead to sodium intake, according to researchers.

This inherited difference in taste perceptions may help to explain why some people tend to eat more salt than what is recommended. This is offered through a preliminary research that was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016. Lead author Jennifer Smith, B.S.N., R.N., a Ph.D. student at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing said “Genetic factors in taste perceptions that influence taste aren’t necessarily obvious to people, but they can impact heart health by influencing the foods they select.”

According to the authors, previous research has shown that people who have one of the two most common variants of a gene (TAS2R38) that enhances bitter taste perception, are likely to avoid heart-healthy foods with bitter properties, such as broccoli and dark leafy greens. They sought to determine if that bitter-enhancing genetic variation would also influence other food choices. The diet habits of 407 people (average age of 51, 73% female) who have two or more heart disease risk factors and were participating in a cardiovascular risk-reduction study in rural Kentucky were analyzed.

When those with one or two of the TAS2R38 gene variants that enhances bitter taste perception was compared to those without this variant, they found people who taste bitterness more strongly were nearly twice (1.9 times) as likely to eat more than the minimum recommended daily limit of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum reduction of sodium to no more than 2,300 mg a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day. It is a risk factor for developing high blood pressure that can lead to heart attacks and strokes by consuming too much sodium. This excessive sodium is from processed, pre-packed and restaurant foods.

It was also found that the study participants who had the bitter-enhancing gene variants were no more likely to consume more of the recommended daily amounts of sugar saturated fats or alcohol, which can have a negative impact on heart health. This research does suggest that those who taste bitter more intensely may also taste salt more intensely and enjoy it more, which in turn increases their sodium intake. They may also use salt to mask the bitter taste of foods and again, consume more sodium.

Perhaps some day the information about genetic influences on taste perception might help people select heart-healthy foods they can enjoy rather than to try to fight against their inborn preferences. Identifying which gene variant a person has might help them to make better food choices through education that is personally tailored to them.

Other factors as age, weight, smoking status and the use of blood pressure medications was taken into consideration in the analysis. The study participants were mostly white, but the results are likely to be similar in other ethnic groups because more than 90% of the U.S. population has one of the two gene variants. The research will continue to work and will include an ethnically diverse group of participants.

The study was funded by the University of Kentucky Center for the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases, the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, the National Center for Research Resources and the National Institutes of Health Resources and Services Administration.

–Dr Fredda Branyon

Vetiver Oil The Soothing Grass Oil

Vetiver Oil: The Soothing Grass Oil

Vetiver oil is also known as khus oil and is a lesser-known plant oil offering a heavy, earthy fragrance that is reminiscent of patchouli, but with a touch of lemon. This oil is believed to give a grounding, calming and stabilizing result, and provides a range of essential oil uses and benefits.

The original name for vetiver oil is Chrysopogon zizanicides and is a perennial grass that belongs to the Poaceae family and native to India. This plant is known as khus in Western and Northern India. The name is derived from a Tamil word that means “hatched up” and grows up to 4.9 feet tall with tall stems and long, thin, rigid leaves.

The roots have particularly been used since ancient times. It is extensively utilized in perfumery for the body, room fresheners and coolers, as well as soaps, cosmetics and oils. It can also be a flavoring agent in beverages, sorbets and other foodstuffs.

Besides having an aromatic effect on the mind for grounding, calming and balancing, other uses are as antiseptic, antispasmodic, immune stimulating, warming and sedative to the nervous system. It also stimulates the circulatory system.

Benefits of vetiver oil are:
➢ Helps enhance libido and awaken sexual desire
➢ Helps speed up eradication of scars and other skin marks
➢ Helps provide relief from all types of inflammation
➢ Assists in rejuvenating the body and helps boost immunity
➢ Helps provide relief to insomnia patients
➢ Has antiseptic properties
➢ Helps improve and maintain good nerve health
➢ Helps heal wounds by promoting growth of new tissues

Some of the benefits of those suffering from insomnia, anxiety, absentmindedness, acne, arthritis, ADHD, depression, joint stiffness, menstrual cramps, mental fatigue, sore feet, tendonitis and vitiligo are also found in the use of vetiver oil.

The essential oils are extremely potent, so it is advised it should be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Start with 1 drop to 1 to 3 teaspoons of carrier oil. Use caution when increasing the essential oil. The oil works in vapor therapy and can address nervous complaints, dispel anger and irritability and relieve insomnia this way. Blend it in a massage oil or diluted in the bath. It can assist with mental and physical exhaustion, nervous complaints, rheumatism and arthritic pain and skin healing, when used this way. It can also be used in a cream or lotion in moisturizing and nourishing skin. It will benefit dry, irritated and dehydrated skin and helps to reduce wrinkles and stretch marks, but NOT recommended to be taken internally.

Vetiver oil is considered non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-toxic, and therefore is generally safe. Pregnant women should not take the oil and be sure to use extreme caution and consult a doctor before using it on children. Conduct a sensitivity patch test on the skin, prior to use.

Any possible side effects of vetiver oil are not known, according WebMD. However, it is unsafe for breastfeeding women to take vetiver, and might cause a miscarriage for pregnant women.

–Dr Fredda Branyon