Best Essential Oils and Their Health Benefits

An Essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile – at normal temperatures – chemical compounds from plants. The term ‘essential‘ does not mean ‘necessary‘ or as with the terms essential amino acid or essential fatty acid which are so-called since they are nutritionally required by a given living in contrast to fatty oils.

Before the discovery of distillation, all essential oils were extracted directly from biomass (the bark, flowers, fruits etc.). They have been used therapeutically for thousands of years by Greeks Romans and Egyptians to remedy everything from skin conditions and injuries to fever and so many other diseases.

Extraction

Egyptians and Phoenicians Jews and Arabs, Indians and Chinese greeks and Romans and even Mayas and Aztecs all possessed innovative extraction processes, maceration, alembic distillation, etc. Hydrodistillation of fresh plant material is the most used technique to isolate essential oils.

Hydrodistillation

Hydrodistillation is an ancient technique for the extraction of essential oils, it is still being applied in several sectors such as food cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry.

Raw plant material such as flowers leaves wood bark roots seeds and peels are extracted by water distillation whilst soaked and boiled with water in a distillation apparatus for hydrodistillation. The mixture is heated and volatile materials are carried away. Most oils are distilled in a single process. One exception is ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) which requires a purification step through fractional distillation.

The recondensed water (plant water essence) may be sold as another fragrant product.

Other techniques

Other methods have been developed and introduced to extract Essential Oils :

Mechanical/Cold expression

Solvent extraction

Ethanol is the most common bio-solvent obtained by the fermentation of sugar-rich materials such as sugar beet and. Its outstanding feature is the easy manipulation of the dielectric constant value of water that can be made to vary over a wide range just by changing the temperature and pressure. Ethanol is used to extract fragrant compounds from dry plant materials as well as from impure oils or concretes that have been produced firstly by organic solvent extraction expression or enfleurage. For instance, the extraction yield of essential oils from Japanese citrus was increased by 44% compared to the traditional extraction methods <fn>https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6154587/</fn>. Problems of the traditional extraction techniques such as steam distillation lie in the huge quantities of plant material which are required to extract essential oils on a commercial scale.

Florasols extraction

Essential Oils production

According to various economic analyses, growth will continue and by the 2020s production is expected to reach 370,000 tonnes annually and be valued at more than $10 Billion USD (current dollars) <fn>https://www.intechopen.com/books/potential-of-essential-oils/essential-oils-market-and-legislation</fn>

World production of essential oils (000 t; 000,000 USD). Source: EFEO, ISMEA.
World production of essential oils (000 t; 000,000 USD). Source: EFEO, ISMEA.

Best essential oils and their health benefits

Whichever oils you choose to use ensure that when purchasing said oils, you get the ones that are organically produced and that they don’t include chemicals obtained during processing. Here’s a list of 10 popular essential oils whose benefits are mostly centered on disease prevention. <fn>Web site: https://draxe.com/essential-oil-uses-benefits/</fn>

  • Peppermint: Used to boost energy and help with digestion.
  • Lavender: Used for stress relief.
  • Sandalwood: Used to calm nerves and help with focus.
  • Bergamot: Used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema.
  • Rose: Used to improve mood and reduce anxiety.
  • Chamomile: Used for improving mood and relaxation.
  • Ylang-Ylang: Used to treat headaches, nausea and skin conditions.
  • Tea Tree: Used to fight infections and boost immunity.
  • Jasmine: Used to help with depression, childbirth, and libido.
  • Lemon: Used to aid digestion, mood, headaches and more.



Jon Brower Minnoch The fattest 6,35 tons-man in Human History

Jon Brower Minnoch (born September 29, 1941 in Bainbridge Island, died September 10, 1983) is an American who holds the record of the man who has lost the most weight in the world. He is also the record holder of the fattest man in human history. He lost 419 kilograms from his highest weight (estimated at 635 kg) 3 to his lowest weight (215 kg).

Jon Brower Minnoch
Jon Brower Minnoch

At the age of 12 he was already weighing 132 kilograms. And at the age of 22 (September 1976), he measured 1.85 meters for 178 kilograms.

Suffering from respiratory and cardiac disorders, Minnoch was admitted to the Seattle University Hospital (Washington). According to the calculations of Dr. Robert Schwartz, an endocrinologist, he weighed more than 635 kg, a weight largely due to water retention. After following a diet limited to 1,200 calories a day for almost 2 years, Minnoch went down to 216 kg. By October 1981 he had regained more 90 kg and was again hospitalized.

The transport of the most obese man of all time was extremely difficult. He needed a dozen firefighters and emergency personnel, a specially modified stretcher for him, and a ferry to take him to the Seattle hospital. There, he was placed on 2 beds joinded together, and 13 people were chrged to change the linen (because he had to roll it on the bed).

The heaviest man in history left the hospital after 16 months of restrictive diet of 1,200 calories a day. He weighed 216 kilograms (he lost between 5 and 7 kilograms of superfluous extracellular fluid per week). He had lost 419 kilograms and became the world’s thinnest man at the same time (record validated by the Guinness Book of Records).

With his condition of edema still incurable and difficult to treat continuously, he died 23 months later, on September 10, 1983 at the age of 42 (he weighed 362 kilograms and had a body mass index of 105, 3). This is the most significant difference in weight within a married couple.

John had two children behind him, fruits of his union with his wife Jeannette, who weighed 50 kilograms.




Essential Oils for deep sleep

Essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid extracted from plants. It contains volatile chemical compounds which healing effects are ascribed to. Researchers have investigated a variety of health benefits attributed to these compounds and shown their big therapeutic implications.

Essential oils are among the undeniable natural remedies that help you to sleep thanks to their relaxing and soothing properties. They act in a holistic way and make it possible to restore our balance, which is essential for restorative rest and therefore our health.
If you are one of the 25% of Americans who experience acute insomnia, restless sleep, difficulty falling asleep, try a drug-free sleep solution, try essential oils.

Essential oils and sleep: which essential oil to choose?

Essential oils promote relaxation, and improve the quality of sleep. Our selection below will allow you to find the essential oil(s) that is adapted to your needs:

Noble camomile Essential oil (Roman camomile): soothing action, antispasmodic

Lemon Essential oil (Citrus Limonum): nervous calming
Geranium essential oil (Pelargonium asperum): balancing, relaxing, soothing

Fine lavender Essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia): muscle relaxant, anti-depressive, calming, rebalancing

Mandarin Essential oil (Citrus reticulata): relaxing action, sedative

Marjoram Essential oil (Origanum majorana): antispasmodic, rebalancing of the nervous system, sedative, used in particular against anxiety and hypertension

St. John’s wort Essential oil (Hypericum perforatum): calming, reduces tension

Neroli essential oilOrange blossoms (Citrus aurantium): sedative, antidepressant, soothing action, restores vitality and self-confidence, helps to fight stress and insomnia.

Orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis): sedative, nervous system rebalancing, spasmolytic, cardiac regulator, used in particular against insomnia and depression

Petit grain bigaradier essential oil (Citrus aurantium) calming, balancing, sedative, helps to fight against anxiety and anxiety, restless sleep, night awakening

Valerian Essential oil (Valeriana officinalis): calming, reduces tension, promotes sleep

How to use essential oils to sleep better

Diffusion: put 20 to 25 drops of essential oil into an electric diffuser and turn it On for 5 minutes before going to bed

Pillow mist: spray once or twice on your pillow before going to bed

Massage oil: put 4 to 10 drops of essential oil into a vegetable oil such as sweet almond, macadamia oil or St. John’s wort macerate. Simply massage the solar plexus before going to bed. If you have the possibility to have your feet, back, legs and stomach massaged.

Bath (adult): mix 5 to 10 drops of essential oil with a solvent (Solub HE, Neutral Base) or on Epsom salts (one glass) before adding them to the bath water just before going to sleep. Stay in the bath for 15 minutes and go to bed right away. For children’s baths, limit essential oils to 5 drops.

A soft piece of fabric with essential oils: Take a piece of cloth and soak it with 10 drops of essential oil. Then slide the fabric into your pillow cover before going to sleep.

Synergies of essential oils to sleep like a baby

You can make the following essential oil blends and use them for the above applications:

lavender essential oil (5 drops) + Marjoram essential oil (5 drops)
essential oil lavender (5 drops) + essential oil Camomile (5 drops)
lavender essential oil (5 drops) + Orange essential oil (5 drops)
lavender essential oil (5 drops) + Petitgrain essential oil (5 drops)

Children’s sleep – their favourite essential oils

Not sure which essential oil to choose for your child’s sleep? Let him choose! Let him smell 3 or 4 essential oils and use the one he has chosen. He will naturally choose the one he needs. Generally children like the following essential oils:

Fine lavender Essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia): muscle relaxant, anti-depressive, calming, rebalancing,

Mandarin Essential oil (Citrus reticulata): muscle relaxant, sedative

Neroli essential oil – Orange blossom (Citrus aurantium): sedative, anti-depressant, soothing action, restores vitality and self-confidence, helps to fight stress and insomnia.

Orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis): sedative, nervous system rebalancing, spasmolytic, cardiac regulator, used in particular against insomnia and depression
essential oil Petitgrain bigaradier (Citrus aurantium) with calming, balancing, sedative action helps to fight anxiety, restless sleep, night awakening

Organic Relaxing Massage Oil

Relaxing massage oil will help to relieve your tension and make it easier to fall asleep. This composition contains a synergy of essential oils that provide immediate psychological relief and help to rebalance the nervous system. Relaxing massage oil can also be used against children’s sleep disorders (restless sleep, nightmares).




Kudzu – a Plant for alcohol and tobacco detox

Kudzu is a plant originating from the semi-tropical regions of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and New Caledonia), it can reach several tens of meters long, it is characterized by petiolated leaves, dark green, 3- or 5-lobed, Yellowish beige cylindrical, fibrous roots.

The fruit is a pod containing black seeds the size of a bean. Its discharges ensure the stabilization of deforested soils.

History

The plant is used for food purposes, fresh tubers or leaves, in the form of porridges, cakes, tofus, etc., it is used in many culinary preparations.

Present in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia since 200 years BC, its Latin name Pueraria lobata means “always in a state of youth” (stink = child). Indian kudzu Pueraria tuberosa (Willd.) DC. is used in Ayurvedic medicine, it has androgenic and aphrodisiac effects, anti-inflammatory, it may become hepatotoxic when taken in high doses.

Parts used

Root and leaves

Components

  • Flavonoids: isoflavones: puerarin, daïdzein (or daidzein), daïdzin (or daidzin), genistein, formononetin
  • Coumarins
  • Beta-sitosterol
  • Triterpenic saponosides (soyasaponin and kudzusaponin)
  • Proteins, sugars, minerals, fibers
  • Arylbenzofuran: puerariafuran

Properties

  • Hepatoprotective action
  • Anti-oxidant action
  • Acts on alcohol metabolism and in alcoholic addictions by inhibition of ALDH2 (mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase) Antabuse effect, kudzu extract does not appear to increase the effects of alcohol
  • Pueraria root is effective on alcoholism by daidzin, which inhibits mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 necessary for the elimination of alcohol (disulfiram-like action) and by puerarin (isoflavones), daidzin inhibits the activity of the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH-2), selectively and reversibly.
  • One study showed that intraperitoneal injection of Pueraria lobata root extracts (1.5 g/kg/day i.p.) resulted in a decrease in alcohol intake of at least 50% in golden hamsters, an effect attributed to daidzin and daidzein
  • Estrogenic-mimetic effects
  • Prevents the occurrence of myocardial infarction by allowing an inflow of blood to coronary (puerarin), cardioprotective against ischemia-reperfusion processes
    Reduces peripheral, hypotensive resistance
  • Promotes memory and learning, increases brain glutamate concentration in the hippocampus
  • The active components of Astragalus membranaceus, such as those of Epimedium and Radix Puerariae, reduce cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease, have a neuroprotective effect by reducing iron overload in the brain, inhibit the accumulation of β-amyloids and can provide a new approach for the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Antimutagen effect

Kudzu Cleansing and ‘detox’ action

Some plants could naturally help you stop smoking, alcohol or other so-called “soft” drugs. they have already proven their effectiveness, such as Avena sativa, more commonly known as oats, St. John’s wort or Griffonia simplicifolia rich in 5-HTP, which increases serotonin levels in the body and therefore considerably improves mood. If you have already tried these plants without success, Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a highly recommended plant (pronounced “cudzoo”. Native to Southeast Asia). Kudzu was originally found in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and New Caledonia. It has been used in Chinese medicine for decades to cure allergies, migraines, and diarrhea. It is only in recent years that our Western pharmacopeia has been interested in this root to help alcohol and tobacco withdrawal.

Action against alcohol dependency

In Chinese, kudzu means “drunkenness dissipator”. Dr. David Lee had already observed that the northern Chinese drank kudzu tea to sober up and heal the hangover.

In 1991, Dr. David Lee conducted a study in China at Shin-Yanget University. He tested the effects of kudzu tea on laboratory rats that had been exposed to alcohol. The rats’ motor coordination was improved. They seemed less intoxicated.

The following year, Dr. David Lee suggested to researchers at the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies in North Carolina, an additional study: to see if kudzu helps wean rats that have a genetic tendency to like alcohol. The researchers found that administering kudzu to “alcoholic” rats calmed their drinking tendency.

In 2011, following these encouraging results, Harvard University researchers tested the efficacy of kudzu against placebo in a group of men and women who regularly drank 3 or 4 pints of beer per day. They discovered two interesting phenomena:

  • Members who had taken kudzu had significantly less desire for alcohol than those on placebo;
  • Members cared for in kudzu felt the effects of alcohol more quickly. As a result, they needed to drink less to achieve an equivalent level of happiness.

This plant not only limits the impulses but also reduces the damage that these toxic substances have caused to the body over time. By stimulating the activity of certain enzymes, Kudzu root helps to fight oxidative stress produced by the consumption of cigarettes and alcohol and thus limits their harmful effects. In China, the herbal tea of this plant is also used to limit the harmful effects of alcohol. Thus, taking kudzu could reduce the famous “hangover” of the next morning.

Active substances in Kudzu

recent studies have revealed that the roots of kudzu are rich in isoflavones of the flavonoid family: daidzein, known as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent. The daidzein that acts against cancer. Genistein, which is an anti-leukemic agent. But above all, kudzu is the only source of puerarine.

All these isoflavones are antioxidants and reduce alcohol-related damage.

Studies have shown that these isoflavones stimulate the brain’s natural “opioids”. They act on neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA and glutamate.

The common factors of addiction (alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sugar…) bring you peace and well-being. This involves increasing the production of dopamine in your brain.

Action on addiction

Kudzu isoflavones help to relieve addiction. They are involved in the reward system. They stimulate the production of dopamine instead of your favorite “drug”. You are then more relaxed, and your attention turns away from the object of your addiction. You no longer feel the need to have another drink, another cigarette or yet another square of chocolate.

Kudzu compensates for the pleasure you get from your usual “drug” and helps to relieve your addiction. The most important thing is that kudzu itself is not addictive. In fact, several clinical trials have confirmed its safety. However, isoflavones are not recommended for breast cancer.

Thanks to kudzu, you can gradually replace your “drug” and slowly accustom your brain to receiving less strong dopamine impulses.

Kudzu also contains saponosides that prevent cell damage and protect your liver.

Beyond the kudzu in cures against addictions, kudzu is reputed to be effective against stress in general. It soothes, which makes it easier to sleep.

A calming and soothing action

Kudzu root contains highly active substances such as daidzin, daidzein, and puerarin, which are grouped under the term isoflavones. These substances, also present in soya, have a calming and soothing action by acting on the central nervous system and thus make it possible to feel less the desires and impulses towards these toxic substances. The studies, which have been carried out so far in animals, should soon be confirmed in humans. However, the experiments already carried out on average smokers have given very good results in just a few days. Even the patches bought “as a backup” at the pharmacy were not used! No feeling of lack, no irritability, everything goes smoothly and without side effects.

How much and when?

Orally. Up to 500 mg of standardized kuzu extract in tablets containing at least 8% isoflavones, three times a day. 60 drops of fluid extract in a glass of water, 3 to 6 times a day. 3 g kuzu root in a glass of water

Gargle. Make gargle with 100 ml of warm water containing 10 to 15 g of dried flowers, i.e. 1 ml of fluid extract (1/100 dilution).

Inhalation. Inhale boiling water vapours in which 3-10 g of flowers have been infused for several minutes.

For heavy smokers or heavy drinkers, double the doses and distribute them throughout the day.

Duration?

The program should be continued for at least one month, in synergy with B-group vitamins. Usually, the effects are quickly felt.

Formal contraindication

women who are pregnant or who wish to become pregnant. Never consume any plants in this case without the advice of a physician.

A beneficial action against cardiovascular diseases

Its use has also been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure, improving blood circulation and reducing inflammation, making it a supplement of choice for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases (angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and high blood pressure).

Possible positive effects for diabetics

Action on the pancreatic metabolism and the oxidative stress: In rats, experiments have shown the protective effect of puerarin on certain cells of the pancreas responsible for insulin secretion. It inhibits the programmed death of these cells, stimulates insulin secretion and finally, inhibits the production of free radicals by increasing the activity of catalases and superoxide-dismutases (SOD).

Improvement of glucose tolerance:

Puerarin, which is rapidly absorbed by the intestine, increases glucose tolerance in people with type II diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels and increasing the storage of glucose as glycogen in the liver and heart.




5 Tips to help you reduce Stress

Stress is defined as a situation of excessive nervous tension, psychologically, a state of disruption caused by an attack.

Initially, stress was defined as a physiological response of the body to an exhausting, dangerous or distressing situation. The body then produces specific hormones. This notion was later extended to any state of disruption caused by a confrontation with danger, a physical or psychological threat, a difficult environment.

Here 5 tips to help you reduce your stress… in less than 5 minutes!

1. Analyse an image

Get a nice-looking image with several small details, which you can hang near your desk, for example. When you face a stressful situation, take 5 minutes to fix the image by spending several minutes contemplating the details it in an extremely precise way.

2. Guided relaxation (meditation)

Guided relaxation plays an important role to help you relax and relieve stress. For example, I recommend Gabrielle Bernstein guided meditation which offers a variety of small relaxation exercises of only 3 or 4 minutes.

3. Breathing

Breathing really influences stress and reduces its symptoms. By simply taking a few moments for a deep breath, you will be able to calm down quickly. Make sure that you are in a quiet place, place one hand on your stomach and inhale deeply through your nose, slowly counting to four. Then exhale through your mouth, always counting to four. Feel the air entering your lungs, focus on the breath in your mouth.

4. Walking

Go out for 5 minutes to get some air. However, the exercise doesn’t stop there: you will have to walk quietly, paying attention to all the sensations that stimulate your senses, such as the heaviness of your steps, the wind on your face, the fabric of your gloves on your hands, the singing of birds or the small rocks on the sidewalk.

5. Visualization

Visualization can be used in all situations. In this case, you will most likely be able to reduce your stress level by visualizing a place, real or imaginary, in which you feel totally comfortable. The important thing is not necessarily to see images in your head, but rather to try to feel the sensation of relief and well-being that this place gives you. Do this visualization regularly, for 5 minutes, even in quiet moments. This will help the effects to be done more quickly when you feel the need.

Above all, don’t despair: it is really possible to overcome stress, by taking the time, changing certain habits and using the right tools, and being patient.

Read more: Tips to reduce the stress of a completing project




How L-Tryptophan helps you sleep better

Natural L-tryptophan is an amino acid that promotes sleep and reduces stress. It is used by our body to manufacture serotonin, which promotes deep sleep. Serotonin also helps to manage stress and reduce mood disorders. Then melatonin, the sleep hormone, essential for the proper functioning of the internal biological clock.

L-Tryptophan Structure
L-Tryptophan Structure

L-tryptophan is one of the eight essential amino acids our body needs. L-tryptophan is therefore not manufactured by our body and must be provided by our diet. Natural L-tryptophan allows better assimilation by the body. It requires essentially the presence of vitamins B3 and B6 and carbohydrates for its transformation.

Metabolism to Melatonin, the Sleep Hormone

Metabolism of natural L-tryptophan leads to the production of endogenous serotonin and melatonin. The presence of carbohydrates, such as oats, in the presence of L-tryptophan results in a high concentration of L-tryptophan and its passage through the blood-brain barrier of the brain. This is where L-tryptophan is transformed into serotonin, then into melatonin, the mediators of sleep. This transformation requires the mandatory presence of vitamin B6 in sufficient quantity.

In the human body, according to its traditional metabolism, natural L-tryptophan is also used, and at 95%, for the synthesis of vitamin B3. This is why a nutritional intake of vitamin B3 is essential to occasionally reverse this ratio to allow the development of the Serotonin – Melatonin synthesis pathway.

Serotonin organises the structure of our sleep and its continuity. It induces sleep and entry into the phases of deep sleep and REM sleep essential for proper physical and nervous recovery. Serotonin is then transformed into melatonin, the sleep hormone, which ensures the proper functioning of the circadian rhythm or biological rhythm.

Recommended daily intake

According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 5 mg/kg body weight/day of L-Tryptophan for adults 19 years and over.

Top Foods high in Tryptophan (Trp)

The table below shows the content in g of Tryptophan/100 g of food.

Tryptophan (Trp) content of various foods
Food Tryptophan
[g/100 g of food]
Protein
[g/100 g of food]
Tryptophan/protein [%]
Egg white, dried
1.00
81.10
1.23
Spirulina, dried
0.92
57.47
1.62
Cod, Atlantic, dried
0.70
62.82
1.11
Soybeans, raw
0.59
36.49
1.62
Cheese, Parmesan
0.56
37.90
1.47
Sesame seed
0.37
17.00
2.17
Cheese, Cheddar
0.32
24.90
1.29
Sunflower seed
0.30
17.20
1.74
Pork, chop
0.25
19.27
1.27
Turkey
0.24
21.89
1.11
Chicken
0.24
20.85
1.14
Beef
0.23
20.13
1.12
Oats
0.23
16.89
1.39
Salmon
0.22
19.84
1.12
Lamb, chop
0.21
18.33
1.17
Perch, Atlantic
0.21
18.62
1.12
Chickpeas, raw
0.19
19.30
0.96
Egg
0.17
12.58
1.33
Quinoa, uncooked
0.167
14.12
1.2
Wheat flour, white
0.13
10.33
1.23
Baking chocolate, unsweetened
0.13
12.9
1.23
Milk
0.08
3.22
2.34
Quinoa, cooked
0.052
4.40
1.1
Rice, white, medium-grain, cooked
0.028
2.38
1.18
Potatoes, russet
0.02
2.14
0.84
Tamarind
0.018
2.80
0.64
Banana
0.01
1.03
0.87

Sleep efficiency of the combination of natural L-tryptophan – vitamin B6 – vitamin B3

The “L-tryptophane-vitamin B6-vitamin B3” complex taken in addition to a high carbohydrate intake has shown a significant 39% increase in deep sleep time in people with difficulty of sleeping, however, these results were not found with synthetic L-Tryptophan.

INCREASED SLEEP TIME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT: 39,3% WITH NATURAL COMPLEX, 3,2% WITH PLACEBO.

A second study showed that taking milk proteins rich in natural L-tryptophan not only improves the quality of sleep but also improves the attention and intellectual performance of the next day.

L-Tryptophan also fights stress, overwork and mood swings

A lot of research provides evidence linking serotonin to stress and depression. This is particularly observed during dietary deficiencies in natural L-tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin synthesis.

Firk, in his double blind versus placebo clinical study, demonstrated that stress can induce a depressive episode, both in people with and without a family history of depression, and that this episode is exacerbated if there is food deprivation with L-tryptophan. This suggests the mediation of serotonin in stressful situations and particularly in people with a family history of depression.

Also, a dietary deficiency of L-tryptophan seems to provide less resistance to uncontrollable stress caused by noise in healthy volunteers than in the placebo.

Conversely, the intake of L-tryptophan would provide better resistance to stress. It is known that cognitive performance often decreases under chronic stress exposure. A clinical study, carried out in double blind versus placebo, shows that a diet rich in L-tryptophan significantly increases cognitive performance (better reaction time) in people sensitive to stress.

This study was confirmed by a second crossover clinical study, double-blind, versus placebo, which observed that a diet rich in L-tryptophan was beneficial in combating mood and stress disorders.

Natural L-Tryptophan VS Synthetic L-Tryptophan

Studies have shown a very good bioavailability of 100% natural L-tryptophan provided from milk proteins. Many foods are excellent sources of L-tryptophan, such as meat, poultry, and fish. But they also contain many other amino acids that compete with L-tryptophan and, therefore, limit its passage through the brain.

On the other hand, synthetic L-tryptophan has very poor bioavailability, making it ineffective and sometimes unsafe.

Milk proteins contain a high concentration of L-tryptophan compared to other amino acids, which allows a better blood concentration of L-tryptophan.

L-tryptophan, a very fragile essential amino acid

It is the least abundant amino acid in food and is very fragile. In particular, it is easily destroyed by cooking that is too long or too hot.

It undergoes a strong competition sometimes causing a lack for our body. Indeed, protein nutritional intakes also contain many other amino acids that compete with L-tryptophan and, therefore, limit its passage through the brain: a meal that is too rich in protein harms sleep because it can cause a higher blood concentration of tyrosine, an amino acid used to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with motor activity and aggression.

Finally, as we have seen previously, L-tryptophan is used primarily by our body to preferentially produce vitamin B3 to serotonin and melatonin. It is therefore essential to reverse this ratio to optimise the serotonin – melatonin synthesis pathway.

Foods Rich in L-Tryptophan

The nutritional composition table of food doesn’t detail the precise tryptophan levels. However, the following foods are the richest in tryptophan.

  • Whole grain rice
  • Meat and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Soya protein
  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Pulses
  • Chocolate
  • Banana
  • Almonds
  • Cashew nuts
  • Brewer’s yeast

Use of tryptophan

The nutritional recommendations are to consume 500 to 2000 mg of tryptophan per day for a healthy adult.




Fear of Poison

Fear of Poison or Toxicophobia may be defined as an overwhelming and debilitating fear (phobia) of being poisoned by contact or ingestion of ‘imaginary’ poisons or toxic products, in food for example (Garnier-Del. 1972). <fn>The genetic basis of panic and phobic anxiety disorders.Smoller JW1, Gardner-Schuster E, Covino J. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2008 May 15;148C(2):118-26. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.30174.</fn>

Causes

The origin of this specific phobia is not known, but like other types of phobia, a combination of environmental factors (trauma related to the object of the phobia) and hereditary factors should explain the occurrence of the phenomenon. Genetic epidemiologic studies have documented that these disorders are familial and moderately heritable<fn></fn>. Many specific phobias are primarily initiated by a stressful triggering event, such as a traumatic event in childhood, or the association of a personal tragedy with the object of the phobia.

fear of poison

Symptoms of Toxicophobia

The symptoms of toxicophobia are similar to the symptoms generally present for any phobia:

  • Anxiety, even anguish at the sight of the phobic object
  • Tachycardia caused by panic and fear
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling
  • A strong desire to get away <fn>https://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/anxiety-disorders/phobias</fn>

The specificity of this disorder is that it often concerns food, which is a daily need. Some foods or types of food are avoided (hence the possibility of some deficiencies, to be monitored), excessive cleanliness of the environment is often necessary for the patient (but not systematic), resulting in movements strongly influenced by phobia.

Toxophobia is similar to other phobias related to dirt, dust, diseases… except that the majority of cases the fear is about a deliberate poisoning. Patients following drug treatments, interacting with medical staff, objects such as syringes, etc., which can make it difficult to manage any associated depression and the main disorder with drug treatment.

Treatment

The treatment of poison phobias is increasingly being addressed by cognitive-behavioral therapies. The efficacy of exposure therapy, in combination with other Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) components, in the treatment of specific phobia gave good results <fn>https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685257/</fn>, other therapeutic trends based on a similar model (neuro-linguistic programming, virtual exposure) have also shown significant improvement.




Dried plant material used as home fragrance

Create your own natural and safe (non-toxic) home fragrance

To make your own home fragrance, you don’t need to be an apothecary or chemist. All you have to do is find the right products and choose the smell you prefer. Here are 3 recipes of dried plants that are 100% natural and safe for your health.

The best way to do this is to get away from the commercial home fragrances and use a homemade essential oil diffuser.

1. Alcohol + Essential oil + Water

Alcohol evaporates faster than water, making it a good choice for diffusing the aroma in large spaces. Combustion will not produce a slightly greasy smoke, unlike methods that use vegetable oil (as below).

  • Put 60 milliliters of hot water into a jar or vial.
  • Add 60 milliliters of alcohol.
  • Add 25 drops of the essential oil of your choice.
    Mixup.

2. Vegetable oil + essential oil

The proportion to be respected is 30% essential oil and 70% vegetable oil. You can try almond oil or safflower oil which have a very discreet scent. Add the essential oil of your choice and mix up.

Avoid mineral oils because they are made with petroleum.

3. Vegetable oil + essential oil + alcohol

In this case, use 60 milliliters of vegetable oil (almond or safflower) with 2 or 3 teaspoons of alcohol and a generous shave of essential oil, again respecting the 30/70% proportion.

Whatever mixture you choose, put your perfume into a pretty glass or ceramic recipient. Add diffusers or another dry vegetable tip that will help to raise the liquid upwards. Soak the tip for two or three hours and then turn it over. Every few days, you can add more essential oil to compensate after evaporation.

Which essential oil to choose?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Lemon, lemongrass, thyme (cleansing action).
  • Lavender, mint, cedar, jasmine, orange to give a positive atmosphere, and fight depression.
  • Eucalyptus and lavender to lower blood pressure.




Bananas and L-Tryptophan

The soothing effects of bananas may be explained by the presence of L-tryptophan in the fruit, an amino acid essential for the production of serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin. Tryptophan has been amply studied and its benefits for health are popularly known. A recent study showed that a diet rich in tryptophan, combined with an adequate supply of vitamin B6, favored serotonin production and reduced depression symptoms.

Bananas are high in L-tryptophan but also high in calories

Bananas are surprisingly high in L-tryptophan, rich in magnesium and potassium, Although potassium isn’t directly related to mood it’s needed to regulate fluid levels and keep muscles working properly which is important for feeling energized a key factor for a sunny outlook. Bananas are great for mental health, when you eat a banana you’ll notice a rapid boost from the fructose as well as sustaining energy from the fiber which helps prevent a blood sugar spike and the ensuing decline in energy and mood. Carbohydrates aid in the absorption of L-tryptophan in the brain and vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into serotonin.

Bananas are also high in calories compared to other fruit at around 89 Calories Per 100 grams. <fn>https://fdc.nal.usda.gov</fn>

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of bananas

  • Calories: 89
  • Water: 75%
  • Protein: 1.1 grams
  • Carbs: 22.8 grams
  • Sugar: 12.2 grams
  • Fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams

Read also: Bananas help you sleep better 




6 benefits of skin icing

Many people take care of their skin health. The skin is extremely exposed to a large number of factors that could cause premature deterioration. Discover here the benefits of skin icing.

Environmental toxins, sunlight and poor eating habits are just some of the reasons that can lead to premature skin aging.

Fortunately, the cosmetics industry has developed a wide variety of products and treatments that counteract harmful effects. These treatments form a protective barrier, however, the problem is that they are extremely expensive. Not everyone has the means to acquire them.

But many people are unaware that it is not always necessary to invest in these expensive products. Natural methods are becoming more and more popular, not only because they are very economical but also because they bring many benefits to the skin.

6 benefits of skin icing

A simple ice cube can be used as an alternative to commercial techniques, as cold makes it easier to close dilated pores and provides a feeling of softness. After the application, the skin is tighter. This makes the skin firmer, which helps to reduce flaccidity and wrinkles. To enjoy the benefits of skin icing without any problems, it is essential to cover them with a piece of fabric before applying them to the skin. A direct application can be aggressive for the skin.

Ice Cubes Reduce Wrinkles

This natural remedy has an interesting effect in constricting blood vessels under the skin. It helps to stimulate blood circulation and promotes better oxygenation of cells. Its temperature controls excess inflammation and minimises the effects of free radicals on skin tissue.

Applying ice cubes regularly to your skin helps to keep your skin firm and elastic, a key factor in preventing the appearance of fine, premature wrinkles.

The ice cube fights dark circles and bags under the eyes

The formation of dark circles and bags under the eyes is an aesthetic concern that we all want to avoid.

The causes of dark circles and bags under the eyes are as follows:

  • Circulatory problems
  • Fluid retention
  • Use of cosmetics
  • Poor rest

Fortunately, all these effects can be easily reduced by taking advantage of the anti-inflammatory effect that ice cubes provide. Simply massage the affected areas with an ice cube before bed and in the morning when you get up.

The ice cube reduces excessive fat

Ice cubes are excellent for controlling alterations in the activity of the skin’s sebaceous glands, which cause excessive fat production.

Its moisturising and astringent properties deeply cleanse pores. It also helps to remove the sebum residues that cause acne.

Ice Cubes Relieve Dry Skin

Applying an ice cube helps to prevent drought. It is useful to control oily skin, but it is also an excellent solution for those whose skin is too dry.

Its moisturising capacity counteract the natural loss of water from skin tissues. It helps to eliminate dead skin and retain moisture.

Since it doesn’t alter the skin’s pH, ice cubes are ideal to complete treatments against skin dryness.

Ice cubes relieve solar burns

Thanks to its cold temperature and moisturising action, this treatment effectively treats superficial burns caused by sunlight. Its application reduces the sensation of burning and itching and also stimulates cell activity.

Ice Cubes Prevent Acne

Since it cleanses the pores of the skin in depth, the application of ice cubes is an interesting method to prevent the formation of pimples and blackheads. If you use it every day, twice a day, you will stimulate the elimination of impurities and dead cells.

Instructions

  • Cleanse your face thoroughly first;
  • Wrap one or two ice cubes in gauze or other soft cloth.
  • When the ice begins to melt and moistens the fabric, apply it to the face.
  • Hold it on different areas of the face for 1-2 minutes.
  • Move the ice gently with circular movements. Go up along the chin and jaw, along the cheeks, along the forehead and nose. Pay particular attention to the area under your nose.
  • Complete the procedure with a toner, moisturiser or acne treatment.