My Take on Frankincense Essential Oil

Although I’ve blogged about this before, my discussion on Frankincense was on my old blog and this essential oil is worthy of a revisit anyway. This oil is my favorite of all the essential oils I’ve tried and that is why it’s featured first on essential oils week.

Frankincense in pure form before processing into essential oil

Frankincense is one of the oldest and most powerful of the essential oils, some claim it even cures cancer! I use it for prevention, energy, clarity and concentration. It is the way I start most every day, a drop of this and Lemon in my water which I then sip on throughout the day, it wakes me up and gives me a pep in my step.

Essential oils such as Frankincense can be used in this way, or diffused in a diffuser or inhaled straight from the bottle. It can also be used topically with a little carrier oil like almond, coconut or jojoba and rubbed on age spots to lighten them, or the forehead to help with concentration.

Essential oils pass through the skin, making them transdermal, where they then enter the circulatory system and cells. This is what makes them so powerful and some compounds in essential oils have such small molecules, they can pass through the blood-brain barrier.

In addition, healing through the olfactory system is what is known as aromatherapy and therefore simply diffusing certain essential oils can help speed up getting over a cold or prevent it in the first place.

 Frankincense is one such oil. It is one of the ancient oils the wise men brought to Jesus as a gift along with Myrrh.

The highest quality essential oils are Organic, Therapeutic Grade Essential, 100% Pure oils and you want to make sure you buy from trusted brands recommended by your doctor or aromatherapist. I’m not allowed to go into brands I like here, but honestly, I have tried several different brands I know to be trustworthy and I have my favorite in all of them.

Because they are quality, they cost more, but you can’t take chances with your health, so buy from the best. I have personally had such a good experience using mine, I have come close to a panic when I run out!

When I first started using them 2 or 3 years ago, I did so to gain better health and help me in my weight loss efforts. Frankincense and Lemon EOs are my magic bullet, I don’t want to be without them.

More pep in my step meant I could exercise again, plus the added benefit of elevated mood, reduction of inflammation,  and getting over my depression meant I was able to get off my antidepressants. (Don’t worry, my doctors approved.)

Speaking of doctors,  Dr. Axe has a great book that is one of my go-to publications for info on EOs called The Kings Medicine Cabinet, which is where some of this info presented here today came from.  Along with a plethora of great information and history on essential oils, there are handy reference charts that show which oils are applied topically, whether or not you need a carrier oil and which ones are safe for internal use.

I can’t copy from the book, however, it is a free download and if you can’t get it,  email me and I’ll forward you a copy.

If you could have an oil with so many benefits to have in your arsenal, this would be my top choice. I do hope this inspires you to give it a try because really, it can only help.

Even if you don’t want to be as brave as me, get yourself a good diffuser, they are sold in most health food store and online, and some quality Frankincense, and tell me if in a few days, you don’t notice a difference in your mood, energy and spiritual awareness.   Also, please educate yourself by grabbing a copy of the book-I can suggest other resources as well, and let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you.

Day 157-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Reader Feedback

Today’s post was originally going to be called What To Eat Wednesday, where I would talk about foods I eat while following a Paleo lifestyle. After conferring with Miss Stephanie, however, I decided there is enough info out there in the blogosphere about food and recipes in general, and that I could do the most good and help more folks by talking about the health issues we share, and what can be done about them.

For instance, I have PKD- so maybe sharing details about it could help someone else with it.

Stephanie has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy called Friedreich’s Ataxia- I could explain some things about what she goes through and how that might help others.

My husband has recently been diagnosed with stage 1 Prostate cancer- again, I could talk about how we arrived at this and how early detection might save another man’s life.

You get the picture, however, I want your feedback so I know how to help you as well. It seems we all have something or know someone who has something that affects us on a daily basis. How do we best deal with it? What are the best ways to treat it? What do you want to know more about or what can you share with me that readers might benefit from?

Say you have diabetes or know someone who does. I want your questions about that. I want to know how I can assist you, or someone you love. Maybe through my research, we will all learn something useful about conditions we didn’t even know existed. Before I met Miss Stephanie, I had never heard of FA. Now I’m learning all about it. In her case, diabetes is a side effect. It is a mystery she herself is still trying to figure out and deal with. Together, we work on her diet to find out what works to keep her numbers low. She also has heart problems because of her disease, eye problems that make her vision “snowy” and loss of balance and coordination. Are there others out there that may benefit from knowing these details? Probably.

That’s why I need your help. You tell me what you want me to cover on the blog. What do you want to know more about, or what questions may I help you get an answer to?

So, with all that being said, today I will discuss some aspects of FA in an effort to explain what someone else might be noticing in their child, or just to know what Miss Stephanie deals with every day.

Stephanie at home, showing off her new hair color
Stephanie at home, showing me that beautiful smile!

Friedreich’s Ataxia is named is named after the German physician that first discussed it in the 1800’s. It is an autosomal recessive inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system. It strikes approximately 1 in 50,000 and manifests in initial symptoms of poor coordination such as gait disturbance. It does not affect cognitive function but can lead to heart disease, scoliosis, and diabetes. Stephanie has all of these problems which require her to use a wheelchair, she also needs assistance with feeding, dressing and bathing, making her totally dependent on others to function.

The Ataxia of FA results from the degeneration of nervous tissue in the spinal cord, in particular sensory neurons essential (through connections with the cerebellum) for directing muscle movement through the arms and legs. The spinal cord becomes thinner and nerve cells lose some of their myelin sheath ( the insulating covering that helps conduct nerve impulses). In Stephanie’s case as well as others, symptoms began early in life, between 5-15, and began with muscle weakness in the arms and legs, loss of coordination, vision and hearing impairment, slurred speech, curvature of the spine, a deformity of the feet called pes cavus- or high plantar arches and carbohydrate intolerance (diabetes), though about 10% of those diagnosed develop type 2 diabetes). The heart disorders are atrial fibrillation and resultant tachycardia (fast heart rate) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

It presents before 22 years of age with progressive staggering and frequent falling. Lower extremities are more severely involved. The symptoms are slow and progressive and after 10-15 years with the disease, patients are usually wheelchair bound and require assistance with all activities of daily living.

So, if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to get medical assistance. It is not their fault, they are born with this genetic problem. They cannot help it if they are stumbling or suddenly lose the ability to hold a spoon and feed themselves. You will require the assistance of many doctors, including but not limited to a pediatrician, cardiologist, nutritionist, neurologist, optometrist, ophthalmologist, and other specialists to deal with all of the conditions it causes. You will also need help from therapists, aides and caregivers, since managing all of these issues can be stressful on the family as a whole.

Since the cognitive function is still in tact however, patients can and do get involved in the treatment process, attend school, manage their social life, use the computer, watch television, read, and otherwise interact with caregivers and parents, doctors and aides, attend church and other places, go to the store, enjoy cultural events and even go on cruises! Stephanie is witty, funny and charming, loves almost everyone she meets and is loved in return. She deals with a lot of problems but remains strong in her faith and is thankful for what she can do and doesn’t focus on what she can’t.  She helps with running the blog set up by Camp Craig Allen, an organization who provides a place where children and adults with disabilities can go for fun, and therapeutic activities.

Stephanie put herself through college and managed for many years on her own, however, she had to move back in with her parents when the disease progressed to the point she could not function without 24/7 care. They reached out for assistance through a government agency called CLASS, who helped with issues like obtaining caregivers and medical equipment.

My hope is that the information I’ve shared here can help someone else who may be dealing with issues like Stephanie’s, and if you have questions, feel free to ask them. What I don’t know how to answer, Stephanie can fill in the blanks. She is extremely knowledgeable and wants to help others learn more about her disease.

For more information see MDA.org and NORD-National Organization for Rare Disorders

 

 

 

Day 85-Family Matters

It’s only Monday and the tone has been set for the next two weeks! Family medical issues became the focus as fast as you can say party time….is over! First, I took Dad in to get his catheter removed, he was so exited to have that done! Tomorrow, however, we go in for some tests to determine if his bladder is just weak, or shot. If the latter, he may have to have it put back in and/or learn how to self-cath. What a bummer. We will get it all figured out, of that I’m confident.

Then, I got news from my beloved, that his week ain’t shaping up that well either. His PSA, prostate specific antigen, which marks for prostate cancer, was a point higher than two months ago. On top of that, he had his consultation with the surgeon that is going to work on his eye. See, he had basal cell carcinoma removed about a year ago from the inside corner of his eye. Sad part is, they didn’t get it all. So, he has to have the rest of it removed. Next Thursday. All day. My sweet Stephanie understands and I’m so glad her family is there to help her when I can’t be. I’m hoping we can get through the surgery on his eye before they want to do a biopsy on his prostate. Please say an extra prayer for my guys, they mean the world to me!

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade! Luckily, I’m able to help take Dad to appts. and I will be there to take my hubby to get his surgery done. If there is a scheduling conflict, hopefully my oldest son or my brother can help me out. I’m praying all goes well for both my guys, and we can get back to our normal shenanigans around here-you know, knocking back cold ones and playing round after round of pool. If by cold ones you mean iced water with lemon and flavored iced teas that is 😉

In the words of George Micheal and then later Limp Bizquit, you gotta have faith!