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Dr. Z How To Buy Essential Oils

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Today, we’re excited to share with you a few of our best blog posts highlighting the Bible Health solutions you need to enjoy an abundant life…

Spotlight: Clean up your medicine cabinet FAST with these essential oil “cheat sheets” you can print or access from ANY digital device

Want to save yourself HOURS of going down the “Dr. Google” rabbithole?

If you want to expand your knowledge of essential oils, but you hate having to Google every little thing to make sure you’re using your oils correctly and safely…

Dr. Z’s brand NEW Essential Oil Profile database is for you!

Not only does it give you the full breakdown of 50 of the most commonly used essential oils…

Everything has already been researched and tested, so you don’t have to check your sources or wonder if you’re getting safe information.

Discover The Benefits, Uses, and Interactions of the Top 50 Healing Essential Oils With 92% Off Dr. Z’s Complete Essential Oil Profile Database!

Having a database like this in your back pocket is a big step towards more autonomy over what you put on and in your body when it comes to your health…

And, you can even print these profiles out to hang in your kitchen, bathroom, or to give to loved ones who are exploring essential oils, too!

Whether you want to become the go-to essential oils resource in your inner circle or you just want to have natural alternatives you can turn to in a pinch…


Just another day in the life with Bella, Baby Isaac and Baby Ruthie. It’s been so cute so see Bella take care of her ‘baby’ like we’ve been taking care of Isaac. She feeds her, changes her diaper and even hosted a home school baby shower yesterday because she said she’s going to have another baby soon. #TooPrecious #RaiseUpaChild #Prov22:6


Essential Oils for Respiratory Support

Spring pollen have you coughing? Learning about the most common respiratory diseases and how to protect yourself using essential oils for respiratory support can be the difference between getting sick and staying healthy.

Learn more on our blog.


Mama Z’s Carrier Oil Base

My wife helps keeps our growing family healthy with her special DIY & homemade EO preparations. Her secret weapon? Her carrier oil base! It’s almost as healing as essential oils themselves, and is great to have on hand!

Get the recipe on our blog.


Where to Buy Essential Oils

Knowing where to buy essential oils isn’t as simple as it may seem. Like choosing your doctor, you should be careful to not settle for anything but the best. This report will help you make that decision.

Learn more on our blog.


As always, praying that you experience the abundant life.

~ Dr. Z & Mama Z

The Negative Impacts of Refined Carbs on the Body

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Refined carbohydrates have become an unfortunate staple in the American diet. They are present in baked goods, pasta dishes, breakfast cereals and soft drinks — enough so kids and adults typically consume too many refined carbs daily.

People who eat too many refined carbs are up to three times more likely to get heart disease and more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and obesity.

The good news is that there are plenty of complex carbohydrate options that are not only more nutritious, but filling and energizing.

What Are Refined Carbs?

Refined carbohydrates are carbs that have undergone processing to remove their natural fiber, vitamins and minerals. This processing often results in simpler, less nutrient-dense food products with higher calorie content and lower nutritional value.

Simple carbs, which include white bread, pastas and baked goods, are more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, followed by a drop. This can lead to increased hunger and cravings and may contribute to weight gain, food cravings and various health issues over time.

Consuming whole, unprocessed carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, is generally recommended over refined carbs, as these foods contain more nutrients, fiber and have a lower glycemic index, providing longer-lasting energy and promoting better overall health.

Effects on Health

The consumption of refined carbs can have several negative effects on health, as they often lack essential nutrients and can contribute to rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Some of the potential health effects of consuming refined carbs include:

1. Weight Gain

Simple carbohydrates are often high in calories and low in nutrients, which can lead to overeating and weight gain. Their rapid absorption can also cause increased hunger and cravings, further promoting weight gain.

Research shows that a diet high in refined carbohydrates is associated with obesity, increased hunger and high cholesterol levels.

2. Type 2 Diabetes

Studies indicate that high refined carb consumption is associated with the prevalence of type 2 diabetes.

Frequent consumption of refined carbs can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, which can strain the pancreas and insulin production over time. This may increase the risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

3. Heart Disease

There’s a great deal of evidence linking high-carbohydrate diets with coronary heart disease. Diets high in refined carbs have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, as they can contribute to weight gain, inflammation, and elevated blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

One study found that an extra one to two servings of refined carbs per day can increase the risk of heart disease by 10 percent to 20 percent.

4. Metabolic Syndrome

Consuming simple carbs may increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels, which together increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

A 2022 report published in Nutrients found that “an uncontrolled intake of refined carbohydrates puts individuals at risk of developing metabolic syndrome and subsequently developing metabolic disease.”

5. Nutrient Deficiencies

Refined carbohydrates lack the vitamins, minerals and fiber found in whole, unprocessed carbohydrates. A diet high in refined carbs can lead to nutrient deficiencies and associated health problems.

Research suggests that excessive refined carb intake paired with a diet low in micronutrients can lead to inflammation and insulin resistance.

6. Energy Fluctuations

Refined carbs can cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar and energy levels, leading to fatigue, irritability and difficulty concentrating.

7. Gut health

A diet high in refined carbs and low in fiber can negatively impact gut health, potentially leading to digestive issues, such as constipation, bloating and an imbalance of gut bacteria.

Refined Carbs vs. Complex Carbs

Refined carbs and complex carbs are two categories of carbohydrates that differ in their nutritional composition, processing and effects on the body. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between refined carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates:

Refined Carbs

  1. Processing: Refined carbs are carbohydrates that have undergone processing, which removes their natural fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  2. Nutrient composition: Due to processing, refined carbs are often lower in essential nutrients and fiber compared to complex carbs.
  3. Glycemic index: Refined carbs typically have a high glycemic index, meaning they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing quick spikes in blood sugar levels.
  4. Health effects: Frequent consumption of refined carbs can contribute to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, low energy and poor gut health.
  5. Examples: White bread, white rice, white pasta, pastries made with white flour, sugary cereals, soda and candy.

Complex Carbs

  1. Processing: Complex carbs are minimally processed or unprocessed carbohydrates, retaining their natural fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  2. Nutrient composition: Complex carbohydrates are generally nutrient-dense, providing essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that promote better overall health.
  3. Glycemic index: They usually have a lower glycemic index, so they are absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream, resulting in a gradual and sustained release of energy.
  4. Health effects: Consuming complex carbs can help regulate blood sugar levels, support weight management and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  5. Examples: Whole grains (such as brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat bread), fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts.

Refined Carb Foods to Avoid

Refined carb foods with a high glycemic index include the following:

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • Pastries and baked goods, such as cakes, cookies and doughnuts
  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Soda and sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Candy and sweets
  • Snack foods, including chips, crackers and pretzels
  • Instant noodles
  • Processed and packaged foods: Many processed foods, such as frozen meals and canned soups, can contain refined carbs and added sugars.

Healthy Alternatives

The healthiest carbohydrates to eat are those that are unprocessed or minimally processed, nutrient-dense and high in fiber. These carbs provide essential nutrients, have a lower glycemic index and promote better overall health.

Some of the healthiest carbohydrate sources include:

  1. Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, farro, millet, buckwheat, teff, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta
  2. Fruits: Apples, berries, oranges, bananas, cherries, kiwi, melon and more
  3. Vegetables: Both starchy (sweet potatoes, squash and peas) and non-starchy vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli and bell peppers)
  4. Legumes: Beans, lentils and chickpeas
  5. Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, hemp seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds
  6. Whole grain cereals: Steel-cut oats, muesli or bran flakes
  7. Tubers: Yams, turnips and beets

Incorporating these healthy carbohydrate sources into your diet can provide sustained energy, support weight management and promote better overall health.


  • Refined carbohydrates are carbs that have undergone processing to remove their natural fiber, vitamins and minerals. This processing often results in simpler, less nutrient-dense food products with higher calorie content and lower nutritional value.
  • Refined carbohydrates to avoid include white bread, white pasta, white rice, sodas and sugary drinks, baked goods made with white flour, and sugary cereals and candies.
  • Instead of eating refined carbs, choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and tubers.
  • Remember to consume carbohydrates, even those that are complex, in moderation, and balance them with lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables for a well-rounded diet.

~ Dr. X

Top Tea Tree Oil Uses and Benefits

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Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca, is well-known for its powerful antiseptic properties and ability to treat wounds, which is why it’s one of the top antibacterial essential oils.

Tea tree is a volatile essential oil derived mainly from the Australian native plant Melaleuca alternifolia. It’s been widely used throughout Australia for at least the past 100 years, and for over seven decades, it’s been documented in numerous medical studies for its ability to kill many strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Tea tree oil uses are numerous — it can be used to make homemade cleaning products, diffused to kill toxic mold that’s growing in your home, and applied topically to heal skin issues and treat skin infections.

I use this powerful essential oil in my tea tree oil for acne recipe and many other DIY recipes that have become part of my daily routine.

Tea tree oil is becoming an increasingly popular active ingredient in a variety of household and cosmetic products, including disinfectant sprays, face washes, shampoos, massage oils, skin and nail creams, and laundry detergents.

Research shows that tea tree’s natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory actions make it one of the most beneficial essential oils that should included as part of your natural medicine cabinet.

What Is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree oil is a volatile essential oil derived from the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. The Melaleuca genus belongs to the Myrtaceae family and contains approximately 230 plant species, almost all of which are native to Australia.

Tea tree oil is an ingredient in many topic formulations that are used to treat infections, and it’s marketed as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent in Australia, Europe and North America. You can also find tea tree in a variety of household and cosmetic products, like cleaning products, laundry detergent, shampoos, massage oils, and skin and nail creams.

What is tea tree oil good for? Well, it’s one of the most popular plant oils because it works as a powerful disinfectant and is gentle enough to apply topically in order to fight skin infections and irritations.

Tea tree’s primary active ingredients include terpene hydrocarbons,  monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. These compounds give tea tree its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity.

There are actually over 100 different chemical components of tea tree oil — terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol are the most active — and various ranges of concentrations.

Studies indicates that the volatile hydrocarbons found in the oil are considered aromatic and capable of traveling through air, pores of the skin and mucus membranes. That’s why tea tree oil is commonly used aromatically and topically to kill germs, fight infections and soothe skin conditions.


1. Fights Acne and Other Skin Conditions

Due to tea tree oil’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it has potential to work as a natural remedy for acne and other inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.

A 2017 pilot study conducted in Australia evaluated the efficacy of tea tree oil gel compared to a face wash without tea tree in the treatment of mild to moderate facial acne. Participants in the tea tree group applied the oil to their faces twice a day for a 12-week period.

Those using tea tree experienced significantly fewer facial acne lesions compared to those using the face wash. No serious adverse reactions occurred, but there were some minor side effects like peeling, dryness and scaling, all of which resolved without any intervention.

2. Improves Dry Scalp

Research suggests that tea tree oil is able to improve symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, which is a common skin condition that causes scaly patches on the scalp and dandruff. It’s also reported to help alleviate contact dermatitis symptoms.

A 2002 human study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology investigated the efficacy of 5 percent tea tree oil shampoo and placebo in patients with mild to moderate dandruff.

After a four-week treatment period, participants in the tea tree group showed a 41 percent improvement in the severity of dandruff, while only 11 percent of those in the placebo group showed improvements. Researchers also indicated an improvement in patient itchiness and greasiness after using tea tree oil shampoo.

3. Soothes Skin Irritations

Although the research on this is limited, tea tree oil’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties may make it a useful tool for soothing skin irritations and wounds. There is some evidence from a pilot study that after being treated with tea tree oil, patient wounds began to heal and reduced in size.

There have been case studies that show tea tree oil’s ability to treat infected chronic wounds.

Tea tree oil may be effective in reducing inflammation, fighting skin or wound infections, and reducing wound size. It can be used to soothe sunburns, sores and insect bites, but it should be tested on a small patch of skin first to rule out a sensitivity to topical application.

4. Fights Bacterial, Fungal and Viral Infections

According to a scientific review on tea tree published in Clinical Microbiology Reviewsdata clearly shows the broad-spectrum activity of tea tree oil due to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

This means, in theory, that tea tree oil can be used to fight a number of infections, from MRSA to athlete’s foot. Researchers are still evaluating these tea tree benefits, but they have been shown in some human studies, lab studies and anecdotal reports.

Lab studies have showed that tea tree oil can inhibit the growth of bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosaEscherichia coliHaemophilus influenzaeStreptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae. These bacteria cause serious infections, including:

  • pneumonia
  • urinary tract infections
  • respiratory illness
  • bloodstream infections
  • strep throat
  • sinus infections
  • impetigo

Because of tea tree oil’s antifungal properties, it may have the ability to fight or prevent fungal infections like candida, jock itch, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. In fact, one randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded study found that participants using tea tree reported a clinical response when using it for athlete’s foot.

Lab studies also show that tea tree oil has the ability to fight recurrent herpes virus (which causes cold sores) and influenza. The antiviral activity displayed in studies has been attributed to the presence of terpinen-4-ol, one of the oil’s main active components.

5. May Help Prevent Antibiotic Resistance

Essential oils like tea tree oil and oregano oil are being used in replacement of or along with conventional medications because they serve as powerful antibacterial agents without the adverse side effects.

Research published in the Open Microbiology Journal indicates that some plant oils, like those in tea tree oil, have a positive synergistic effect when combined with conventional antibiotics.

Researchers are optimistic that this means plant oils may help prevent antibiotic resistance from developing. This is extremely important in modern medicine because antibiotic resistance may lead to treatment failure, increased health care costs and the spread of infection control problems.

6. Relieves Congestion and Respiratory Tract Infections

Very early in its history, the leaves of the melaleuca plant were crushed and inhaled to treat coughs and colds. Traditionally, the leaves were also soaked to make an infusion that was used to treat sore throats.

Today, studies show that tea tree oil has antimicrobial activity, giving it the ability to fight bacteria that lead to nasty respiratory tract infections, and antiviral activity that’s helpful for fighting or even preventing congestion, coughs and the common cold. This is exactly why tea tree is one of the top essential oils for cough and respiratory issues.

7. Helps Treat Head Lice

Tea tree oil has insecticidal effects and can be used to get rid of head lice, which are small, parasitic insects that feed on human blood. A lab study conducted in Italy investigated the efficacy of tea tree oil against lice and its eggs.

Tea tree was used alone and in combination with nerolidol and tested at different ratios against 69 head lice and 187 eggs over a six-month period. Researchers found that tea tree oil alone was more effective against head lice, with treatment resulting in 100 percent mortality after 30 minutes of exposure.

A higher concentration of tea tree oil was able to induce the failure of 50 percent of the eggs to hatch. When tea tree oil was combined with nerolidol at a 1:2 ratio, the two substances caused the death of all head lice within 30 minutes and the abortive effect of lice eggs after five days of treatment.

8. Helps Treat Scabies

A common question is: Can tea tree oil get rid of scabies? The answer, according to lab studies, is yes.

A study conducted at Flinders University in Australia found that 5 percent tea tree oil and its active component terpinen-4-ol were highly effective in reducing the survival of scabies mites. Tea tree works as a natural treatment for scabies because it has powerful antimicrobial properties, giving it the ability to treat scabies on top of and beneath the skin.

9. Improves Bad Breath

Bad breath comes from bacteria that is found in your mouth, especially the back of your tongue, throat and tonsils. Because tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that can kill this bacteria, it works as a natural remedy for bad breath.

An in vitro study also shows that tea tree oil acts as an effective antiseptic agent against oral pathogens, including Candida albicans, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. This tea tree oil benefit can be extremely helpful after oral surgery, like a root canal, that increases your risk of developing a bacterial or fungal infection.

Keep in mind that tea tree oil should not be used internally, so if you are using it as a mouthwash to kill oral germs, make sure to spit it out afterward and rinse your mouth with water.


Tea tree oil can be used to make natural beauty, health and cleaning products that are free from dangerous chemicals. It can be used in the following ways:

  • Aromatically: Diffuse tea tree oil throughout your home using an oil diffuser. You can also directly inhale the oil by sniffing it right out of the bottle.
  • Topically: Tea tree oil can be applied to the skin topically, but you should always dilute it with a carrier oil (like jojoba oil) in a 1:1 ratio before applying it.
  • NOT for internal use: According to the National Poison Center, tea tree oil is known to be poisonous if swallowed. Tea tree oil should NOT be taken by mouth for any reason. If you are using tea tree for foul breath or oral health, make sure you spit it out afterward to prevent potential side effects like digestive issues, hives or dizziness.

Here are some basic ways that you can use tea tree oil at home to transform your health.

1. Natural Acne Fighter

One of the most common uses for Australian tea tree oil today is in skin care products, as it’s considered one of the most effective home remedies for acne.

You can make a homemade gentle tea tree oil acne face wash by mixing five drops of pure tea tree essential oil with two teaspoons of raw honey. Simply rub the mixture on your face, leave it on for one minute and then rinse it off with warm water.

2. Improve Psoriasis and Eczema

Tea tree oil may help relieve many types of skin inflammation, including being used as a natural eczema treatment and for reducing psoriasis. Simply mix one teaspoon of coconut oil, five drops of tea tree oil and five drops of lavender oil to make your own skin improving lotion or body soap.

3. Boost Hair Health

Tea tree oil has proven very beneficial for the health of your hair and scalp. It has the ability to soothe dry, flaking scalp and remove dandruff.

To make homemade tea tree oil shampoo, mix several drops of tea tree essential oil with aloe vera gel, coconut milk  and other extracts like lavender oil.

4. Natural Treatment for Lice

To get rid of head lice naturally, combine three tablespoons of coconut oil with one teaspoon each of ylang ylang and tea tree oils. Apply this mixture all over the scalp, massaging it in thoroughly.

Then comb through the hair with a fine-tooth comb, cover the head with a shower cap and let it sit for two hours. Comb through the hair again, and rinse out the oils.

Next, combine two cups of apple cider vinegar and one cup of water, and apply the mixture with a spray bottle until the hair is completely saturated. Then rinse the hair, and comb through it again.

The last step is to apply a light application of coconut oil and leave it in. This process needs to be repeated every five to 10 days for a couple of weeks to ensure that all lice and eggs are killed.

Continue to comb through hair with a fine-tooth comb, leaving the oil in as a leave-in conditioner.

5. Natural Household Cleaner

Another fantastic way to use tea tree oil is as a household cleaner. Tea tree oil presents powerful antimicrobial activity that can kill off bad bacteria in your home.

To make a homemade tea tree oil cleanser, mix five to 10 drops of tea tree with water, vinegar and five to 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Then use it on your countertops, kitchen appliances, shower, toilet and sinks.

You can also use my homemade bathroom cleaner recipe that’s made with a combination of natural cleaning products, like liquid castile soap, apple cider vinegar and baking soda.

6. Laundry Freshener

Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties, so it works great as a natural laundry freshener, especially when your laundry is musty or even moldy. Simply add five to 10 drops of tea tree to your laundry detergent.

You can also spot clean cloth, rugs or athletic equipment with a mixture of tea tree oil, vinegar and water.

7. Fight Toenail Fungus and Ringworm

Because of its ability to kill parasites and fungal infections, tea tree oil is a great choice to use on nail fungus (onychomycosis), athlete’s foot and ringworm. Put two to five drops of undiluted tea tree oil on the affected area using a clean cotton swab.

For stubborn fungi, consider mixing it with natural antifungal oil of oregano. Tea tree oil has also proved beneficial for treating and removing warts, so simply put a few drops of tea tree oil directly on the area for 30 days once or twice daily.

8. Improve Foot Odor

Here’s another example of how tea tree oil’s antibacterial activity is super beneficial. If you’re dealing with stinky feet or you need to get a funky smell out of your shoes, tea tree oil is a great remedy.

For foot odor, combine about half a teaspoon of jojoba oil and two to three drops of tea tree oil, and massage the mixture into your feet.

You can also try my exfoliating foot scrub recipe that will leave your feet smooth and odor-free.

To remove shoe odor, add five to 10 drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle filled halfway with water, and spray the inside of your shoes. This works for sports equipment too.

9. Kill Mold

A common problem many people experience in their homes is mold infestation, oftentimes without even being aware of it. Sometimes, people even begin to experience black mold symptoms when they are exposed to this toxin in their homes.

Consider buying a diffuser and diffusing tea tree oil in the air around your home to kill mold and other bad bacteria. Also, you can spray tea tree oil all-purpose cleaner onto shower curtains and into your laundry machine, dishwasher or toilet to kill off mold and other bacteria.

10. Natural DIY Deodorant

Another great reason to use tea tree oil is to eliminate body odor. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that destroy the bacteria on your skin that cause body odor.

You can make homemade tea tree oil deodorant by mixing a few drops with oil from coconut and baking soda.

11. Protect Wounds and Cuts

Tea tree oil is the perfect ingredient in a homemade wound ointment because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Just make sure to clean a cut first with water and hydrogen peroxide if necessary. Then put on one to three drops of tea tree oil, and cover it with a bandage to help fight off infections.

You can also make my homemade drawing salve that will help to heal skin inflammation, insect bites, boils and splinters.

12. Natural Toothpaste for Oral Health

Because of tea tree oil’s ability to kill off bad bacteria and at the same time soothe inflamed skin, it’s a perfect ingredient in homemade toothpaste and mouthwash. It may help reduce the bleeding of gums and tooth decay, too.

To get rid of stinky breath and improve your oral health, simply mix a few drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil and baking soda for an amazing homemade toothpaste.

13. Natural Insect Repellent

Not only does tea tree oil work as a natural insect repellent, but it also helps soothe bug bites. Because bug repellents typically contain toxic chemicals, using a natural option like tea tree oil is gentler on your skin.

Simply add two to five drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle filled halfway with water, and spray it on your skin. You also could combine two to five drops of tea tree with a teaspoon of coconut or jojoba oil and rub it into your skin before going outside.

If you do get a bug bite, add two to three drops of tea tree to a clean cotton ball, and apply it to the affected area.

14. Cough Reliever

To relieve a cough that’s caused by the common cold or another respiratory condition, simply diffuse five drops at home, inhale tea tree oil directly from the bottle, or combine one to two drops of tea tree with a half-teaspoon of coconut oil and rub the mixture into your chest and back of your neck.

Related: Blue Tansy Oil Benefits for Skin & Beyond (+ How to Use)

Risks and Side Effects

Tea tree is generally considered safe when used aromatically and topically, and it typically doesn’t cause side effects. However, if you have sensitive skin, it’s possible that you might experience a reaction.

Keep tea tree oil away from your eyes, contact lenses, inner nose and sensitive parts of your skin.

This essential oil possesses a sharp camphoraceous odor followed by a menthol-like cooling sensation, which can make your skin feel like it’s slightly burning if you apply too much.

Remember that tea tree oil should not be consumed, and if you are using it for oral health, it needs to be spit out so none is swallowed. When used in topical products at a concentration of 5 percent to 10 percent, it normally doesn’t cause allergies or skin rashes, but stronger concentration have been reported to cause dermatitis reactions.

It’s always a good idea to do a small skin patch test first on your arm or leg.

When you buy tea tree oil, always look for 100 percent pure essential oil. Ideally look for oil that’s therapeutic-grade and organic.

Light, heat, exposure to air and moisture all affect oil stability of essential oils, so keep your oil stored in dark, cool, dry conditions, preferably in a glass container.


  • Tea tree oil is a volatile essential oil derived from the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. It is commonly used in household and beauty products because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Some of the top benefits of tea tree oil include its ability to fight acne; soothe skin irritations; combat bacterial, fungal and viral infections; treat nail fungus; and get rid of lice.
  • You can use melaleuca in a number of DIY recipes, including a natural household cleaner, natural laundry freshener and natural acne fighter.

~ Dr. X

Oregano Oil Benefits for Infections, Fungus & Even the Common Cold

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Designed specifically for fighting bacterial infections, antibiotics are one of medical doctors’ favorite tools for treating many health issues. There’s another underutilized natural “medicine” that many doctors don’t tell their patients about: oregano oil (also called oil of oregano).

Oregano oil has proven to be a powerful, plant-derived essential oil that may rival antibiotics when it comes to treating or preventing various infections. In fact, it contains properties that are antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal.

In addition, oregano essential oil is unlikely to cause many of the harmful side effects that are commonly attributed to high use of antibiotics — such as increased risk for antibiotic resistance, poor gut health due to destroying beneficial probiotic bacteria, reduced vitamin absorption and leaky gut syndrome due to damage of the gastrointestinal tract’s lining.

Meanwhile, oregano oil benefits extend beyond just controlling infections. What else is oregano essential oil used to treat?

Common examples of conditions that oregano oil can help manage include:

  • Athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
  • Common colds
  • Gingivitis
  • Earaches or toothaches
  • Digestive problems, such as heartburn and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

What Is Oregano Oil?

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is an herb that is a member of the mint family (Labiatae). It has been considered a precious plant commodity for over 2,500 years in folk medicines that originated across the globe.

It has a very long use in traditional medicine for treating colds, indigestion and upset stomachs.

You might have some experience cooking with fresh or dried oregano leaves — such as oregano spice, one of the top herbs for healing — but oregano essential oil is far from what you’d put in your pizza sauce.

Found in the Mediterranean, throughout many parts of Europe, and in South and Central Asia, medicinal grade oregano is distilled to extract the essential oil from the herb, which is where a high concentration of the herb’s active constituents are found. It takes over 1,000 pounds of wild oregano to produce just one pound of oregano essential oil, in fact.

The oil’s active ingredients are preserved in alcohol and used in essential oil form both topically (on the skin) and internally.

When made into a medicinal supplement or essential oil, oregano is often called “oil of oregano.” As mentioned above, oregano oil is a considered a natural alternative to prescription antibiotics.

Oil of oregano contains two powerful compounds called carvacrol and thymol, both of which have been shown in studies to have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Oregano’s oil is primarily made of carvacrol, while studies show that the plant’s leaves contain a variety of antioxidant compounds, such as phenols, triterpenes, rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid and oleanolic acid.

Oregano Oil Benefits

What can you use oregano essential oil for? The predominant healing compound found in oregano oil, carvacrol, has widespread uses ranging from treating allergies to protecting the skin. The Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Messina in Italy reports that:

Carvacrol, a monoterpenic phenol, has emerged for its wide spectrum activity extended to food spoilage or pathogenic fungi, yeast and bacteria as well as human, animal and plant pathogenic microorganisms including drug-resistant and biofilm forming microorganisms.

Carcavol found in oregano essential oil is so potent that it has been been the focus of over 800 studies referenced in PubMed, the world’s No. 1 database for scientific evidence-based literature. To give you a sense of how multi-functional and impressive carvacrol is, it has been shown in studies to help reverse or reduce some of these common health problems:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Inflammation
  • Allergies
  • Tumors
  • Indigestion
  • Candida

Here’s a look at the top health benefits of oregano oil:

1. Natural Alternative to Antibiotics

What’s the problem with frequently using antibiotics? Broad-spectrum antibiotics can be dangerous because they don’t only kill bacteria that are responsible for infections, but they also kill good bacteria that we need for optimal health.

In 2013, the Wall Street Journal printed a fantastic article highlighting the dangers that patients may face when they repeatedly use antibiotics. In the author’s words, “Recent studies have shown that doctors are overprescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics, sometimes called the big guns, that kill a wide swath of both good and bad bacteria in the body.”

Overuse of antibiotics, and prescribing broad-spectrum drugs when they aren’t needed, can cause a range of problems. It can make the drugs less effective against the bacteria they are intended to treat by fostering the growth of antibiotic-resistant infections, and it can wipe out the body’s good bacteria (probiotics), which help digest food, produce vitamins and protect from infections, among other functions.

Unfortunately, broad-spectrum antibiotics are very commonly prescribed, often for conditions in which they have no use, such as viral infections. In one study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, researchers from the University of Utah and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 60 percent of the time when physicians prescribe antibiotics they choose broad-spectrum types.

A similar study of children, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that when antibiotics were prescribed they were broad-spectrum 50 percent of the time, mainly for respiratory conditions.

In contrast, what does oil of oregano do for you that makes it so beneficial? Essentially, taking oregano oil is a “broad-spectrum approach” to protecting your health.

Its active ingredients help fight multiple types of harmful pathogens, including bacteria, yeast and fungi. As a study in the Journal of Medicinal Food journal stated in 2013, oregano oils “represent an inexpensive source of natural antibacterial substances that exhibited potential for use in pathogenic systems.”

2. Fights Infections and Bacterial Overgrowth

Here’s the good news regarding the use of less-than-ideal antibiotics: There’s evidence that oregano essential oil can help fight at least several strains of bacteria that cause health problems that are commonly treated with antibiotics.

Here are some highlights of the ways oregano oil benefits these conditions:

  • Dozens of studies confirm the fact that oregano oil can be used in place of harmful antibiotics for a number of health concerns.
  • In 2011, the Journal of Medicinal Food published a study that evaluated the antibacterial activity of oregano oil against five different types of bad bacteria. After evaluating the antibacterial characteristics of oil of oregano, it showed significant antibacterial properties against all five species. The highest activity was observed against E. Coli, which suggests that oregano oil could potentially be routinely used to promote gastrointestinal health and prevent deadly food poisoning.
  • A 2013 study published in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture concluded that “O. vulgare extracts and essential oil from Portuguese origin are strong candidates to replace synthetic chemicals used by the industry.” Researchers from the study found that after studying the antioxidant and antibacterial properties of oregano, Origanum vulgare inhibited the growth of seven tested strains of bacteria that other plant extracts could not.
  • One study involving mice that was published in the journal Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia also found impressive results. In addition to fighting bacteria like listeria and E. coli, researchers also found evidence that oregano oil may have the ability to help pathogenic fungi.
  • Other evidence shows that oregano oil’s active compounds (such as thymol and carvacrol) can help fight toothaches and earaches caused by bacterial infections. A 2005 study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases concluded, “Essential oils or their components placed in the ear canal can provide effective treatment of acute otitis media.”

3. Helps Reduce Side Effects From Medications/Drugs

In recent years, many studies have found that one of the most promising oregano oil benefits is helping reduce side effects from medications/drugs. These studies give hope to people who want to find a way to manage the horrible suffering that accompanies drugs and medical interventions, such as chemotherapy or use of drugs for chronic conditions like arthritis.

A study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine showed that phenols in oil of oregano can help protect against methotrexate toxicity in mice.

Methotrexate (MTX) is a drug commonly used to treat a wide array of issues from cancer to rheumatoid arthritis, but it’s also well-known to have dangerous side effects. After evaluating oil of oregano’s ability to keep these factors at bay, researchers believe it’s due to oregano’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Oregano was shown to work better than drugs that are ineffective at providing full protection against MTX’s adverse effects.

By evaluating various markers in the sciatic nerve in mice, it was observed for the first time that carvacrol decreased the pro-inflammatory response in mice being treated by MTX. Being a relatively new concept in the research world, it’s likely that there will be more studies testing these results because “groundbreaking” doesn’t even begin to describe the significance of this potential oregano health benefit.

Similarly, research conducted in the Netherlands showed that oregano essential oil can also “prevent bacterial overgrowth and colonization in the large intestine during oral iron therapy.” Used to treat iron deficiency anemia, oral iron therapy is known to cause a series of gastrointestinal issues like nausea, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and vomiting.

It’s believed that carvacrol targets the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria and increases membrane permeability, thereby causing depletion of harmful bacteria. In addition to its antimicrobial properties, carvacrol also interferences with certain pathways for bacterial iron handling, which helps lower side effects of iron therapy.

4. Helps Treat Athlete’s Foot

One study found that a combination of heat, salt and use of essential oils (including oregano) had inhibitory effects against mycelia of T. rubrum and conidia of T. mentagrophytes, bacterial strains that commonly cause the fungal infection known as athlete’s foot.

The researchers concluded that thermotherapy combined with essential oils and salt would be promising to treat tinea pedis in a foot bath. After testing the fungicidal activity of 11 essential oils against the bacteria known to cause athlete’s foot, oregano oil was found to be the most powerful (followed by thyme, cinnamon barklemongrass and clove).

5. Helps Treat Digestive Issues (Including SIBO and Heartburn)

Several of the active compounds found in Origanum vulgare can help aid digestion by relaxing the muscles of the GI tract and also helping balance the ratio of good-to-bad bacteria in the gut.

Thymol, one of oregano’s active compounds, is a similar compound to menthol, which is found in peppermint oil. Like menthol, thymol may help relax the soft tissue of the throat and stomach, which can help to decrease GERD, heartburn and discomfort after eating.

Because it helps balance bacteria and fights yeast overgrowth, oregano essential oil is also a popular natural treatment for candida and SIBO. SIBO is a common digestive problem that causes gas, bloating and intolerances to many carbohydrate-containing foods (especially FODMAPs).

Origanum vulgare hinders bacterial replication and can be used similarly to antibiotic medications, such as rifaximin (Xifaxan), for treating infections that affect digestive health and nutrient absorption.

A 2014 study published in Global Advances in Health & Medicine found evidence that use of herbal antimicrobials is just as effective as the antibiotic usually given for the treatment of SIBO. When 104 patients diagnosed with SIBO (via lactulose breath test) were treated either with rifaximin (1,200 milligrams) or herbal antimicrobials over the course of four weeks, the results showed that 46 percent of the patients treated with herbal antimicrobials experienced symptom improvements compared to only 34 percent treated with the antibiotic rifaximin.

Additionally, 14 of the 44 patients who still had SIBO after a course of rifaximin were then treated with herbal antimicrobials. Fifty-seven percent responded positively to the herbal treatment even after failing to feel better from the antibiotics.

6. Can Help Treat Parasites

One study found that when adults whose stools tested positive for enteric parasites (including Blastocystis hominis, which causes digestive distress) supplemented with 600 milligrams of oregano for six weeks, many experienced significant improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms.

Researchers reported a complete disappearance of Entamoeba hartmanni (four cases), Endolimax nana (one case) and Blastocystis hominis in eight cases. Gastrointestinal symptoms improved in seven of the 11 patients who tested positive for Blastocystis hominis, which tends to cause symptoms like nausea, gas, bloating and abdominal pain.

7. Helpful for Managing Inflammatory Conditions (such as IBD or Rheumatism)

Oregano retains its strong antioxidant capacity in both fresh and dry form. Due to its high concentration of antioxidants, oregano essential oil has been shown to help reduce oxidative damage and help in preventing mutagenesis, carcinogenesis and aging due its free radical scavenging activities.

Free radicals are believed to be a contributing factor to common chronic conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders and drug toxicity.

One study found that combined treatment with thyme and oregano essential oils helped reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and thereby may help attenuate colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease) in mice.

Other studies show that oregano oil is beneficial for treating reoccurring respiratory disorders, tumor growth and rheumatoid arthritis. Research from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina indicates that essential oil isolated from Origanum vulgare “presents antibacterial, antioxidant and chemopreventive properties and could be play an important role as bioprotector agent.”

8. May Help Improve Cholesterol Levels

Research published in the Journal of International Medical Research suggests that adding oregano oil supplementation can improve cholesterol levels.

For the study, 48 patients with mild hyperlipidemia were given lifestyle and low-fat dietary advice. Thirty-two of the patients (study group) were prescribed 25 milliliters of oregano distillate to be taken after each meal for three months, and the remaining 16 patients were the control group.

After the three-month study period, those in the study group showed significantly greater increases in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and significantly greater decreases in low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol compared to the control group.

How to Use

Oregano oil can be used topically, diffused or taken internally (only if it’s 100 percent therapeutic grade oil). Ideally, you purchase 100 percent pure, unfiltered, Certified USDA Organic oregano oil.

It’s also available as oregano oil soft gels or capsules to take internally.

Before using oregano essential oil on your skin, always mix it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. This helps reduce the risk for irritation and adverse reactions by diluting the oil.

To use it topically, mix three drops of undiluted oregano oil with a small amount of your carrier oil, and then apply topically by rubbing into the skin over the affected area.

Oregano oil uses:

  • Natural Antibiotic: Dilute it with a carrier oil, and apply it topically to the soles of your feet or take it internally for 10 days at a time and then cycle off.
  • Battle Candida and Fungal Overgrowth: For toenail fungus, you can make a homemade antifungal powder that can be applied to your skin. Combine the ingredients with about 3 drops of oregano oil, stir and then sprinkle the powder onto your feet. For internal use, take 2 to 4 drops twice daily for up to 10 days.
  • Fight Pneumonia and Bronchitis: For external infections, apply 2 to 3 diluted drops to the affected area. To prevent internal bacterial overgrowth, ingest 2 to 4 drops twice daily for up to 10 days.
  • Fight MRSA and Staph Infection: Add 3 drops of oregano oil to a capsule or to the food or beverage of your choice along with a carrier oil. Take it twice daily for up to 10 days.
  • Fight Intestinal Worms and Parasites: Take oregano oil internally for up to 10 days.
  • Help Remove Warts: Make sure to dilute it with another oil or mix it with clay.
  • Cleanse Mold From the Home: Add 5 to 7 drops to a homemade cleaning solution along with tea tree oil and lavender.

How much oregano essential oil to take internally:

  • Your oil of oregano dosage will depend on the condition you’re treating. In capsule form, oral supplementation of emulsified oregano is typically around 600 milligrams daily. (Either taken in one or two doses.)
  • A traditional use of oregano leaves is making digestive-aid tea. You can buy pre-made oregano tea or make your own by steeping 15 grams of oregano leaves in 250 milliliters of water for at least five–10 minutes (or longer to make a stronger herbal infusion, up to 24 hours).
  • Because oregano oil might interfere with other medications, always ask your doctor if it’s safe to take internally depending on your specific situation.

Risks, Side Effects and Interactions

You may be asking: What limits does oil of oregano have? At this point, it’s not perfectly clear.

I personally take oregano essential oil internally for a maximum of two weeks in most cases because it’s so powerful. When taking oregano oil internally, it should always be diluted with water or mixed with coconut oil.

I find it’s helpful to combine oregano oil with olive oil in capsules to avoid burning the throat. To prevent negative skin reactions from oregano application, it’s recommended that you perform a small patch test first and always use a carrier oil.

The dried herb oregano is typically fine for pregnant women, but generally speaking, it’s not considered safe to use oregano oil during pregnancy. When using oil of oregano, pregnant women should use caution and only use if instructed by their physicians to do so.

If side effects such as nausea, dizziness or an allergic reaction are ever experienced, stop using oregano oil right away, and consider seeing a doctor.


  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is an herb used to make oil of oregano, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
  • Oregano oil health benefits include fighting bacterial infections, fungal infections, digestive problems, inflammatory conditions and tumor growth.
  • Oil of oregano can be used on the skin (such as to treat athlete’s foot or nail fungus), diffused or taken internally (such as to aid digestion and help promote gut health).

~ Dr. X

10 Lavender Oil Benefits for Major Diseases and Minor Ailments

By Uncategorized

Lavender essential oil is the most used essential oil in the world today, but the benefits of lavender were actually discovered over 2,500 years ago. Because of its powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, sedative, calming and antidepressive properties, lavender oil perks abound, and it’s been used both cosmetically and therapeutically for centuries.

The Egyptians used lavender for mummification and as a perfume. In fact, when King Tut’s tomb was opened in 1923, there was said to be a faint scent of lavender that could still be detected after 3,000 years.

Early and modern aromatherapy texts advocate for lavender’s use as an antibacterial essential oil. The leaves and stems of the plant were used to prepare decoctions against digestive system diseases and rheumatism, and lavender was valued for its cosmetic purposes.

Research shows that the Romans used lavender oil for bathing, cooking and purifying the air. In the Bible, lavender oil was among the aromatics used for anointing and healing.

Because lavender oil contains such versatile properties and is gentle enough to use directly to the skin, it’s consider a must-have oil, especially if you are just getting started with using essential oils for your health. Science has only recently started to evaluate the range of health effects that lavender essential oil contains, but there’s already an abundance of evidence that points out the amazing capabilities of this oil.

Today, lavender is one of the most popular essential oils in the world — and for good reason. People are beginning to catch on to lavender oil benefits for your body as well as your home.

Lavender Oil Benefits

1. Antioxidant Protection

Free radicals, like toxins, chemicals and pollutants, are arguably the most dangerous and most common risk factor for every disease that affects Americans today. Free radicals are responsible for shutting down your immune system and can cause unbelievable damage to your body.

The body’s natural response to free radical damage is to create antioxidant enzymes — especially glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) — that stop these free radicals from doing their damage. Unfortunately, your body can actually become deficient in antioxidants if the free radical burden is great enough, which has become relatively common in the U.S. because of poor diet and high exposure to toxins.

Thankfully, lavender is a natural antioxidant that works to prevent and reverse disease. A 2013 study published in Phytomedicine found that it increased the activity of the body’s most powerful antioxidants — glutathione, catalase and SOD. More recent studies have indicated similar results, concluding that lavender has antioxidant activity and helps prevent or reverse oxidative stress.

2. Helps Treat Diabetes

In 2014, scientists from Tunisia set out to complete a fascinating task: to test the effects of lavender on blood sugar to see if it can help reverse diabetes naturally.

During the 15-day animal study, the results observed by researchers were absolutely amazing. In a nutshell, lavender essential oil treatment protected the body from the following diabetes symptoms:

  • Increased blood glucose (the hallmark of diabetes)
  • Metabolic disorders (especially fat metabolism)
  • Weight gain
  • Liver and kidney antioxidant depletion
  • Liver and kidney dysfunction
  • Liver and kidney lipoperoxidation (when free radicals “steal” necessary fat molecules from cell membranes)

Although more research is needed to understand the full capacity of lavender for the prevention or reversal of diabetes, the results of this study are promising and indicate the therapeutic potential of the plant extract. To use it for diabetes, use it topically on your neck and chest, diffuse it at home, or supplement with it.

3. Improves Mood and Reduces Stress

In recent years, lavender oil has been put on a pedestal for its unique ability to protect against neurological damage. Traditionally, lavender has been used to treat neurological issues like migraines, stress, anxiety and depression, so it’s exciting to see that the research is finally catching up to history.

There are several studies showing the plant’s effects on stress and anxiety levels. A study from 2019 found that inhaling Lavandula is one of the most powerful anxiolytic oils, as it reduces peri-operative anxiety and can be considered a potential sedative for patients undergoing surgical procedures and anesthesia.

In 2013, an evidence-based study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice found that supplementing with 80-milligram capsules of lavender essential oil help alleviate anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression. Additionally, in the study there were no adverse side effects, drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms from using lavender oil.

The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology published a human study in 2014 that revealed that Silexan (otherwise known as lavender oil preparation) was more effective against generalized anxiety disorder than placebos and the prescription medicine paroxetine. After treatment, the study found zero instances of withdrawal symptoms or adverse side effects.

Another study published in 2012 involved 28 high-risk postpartum women and noted that by diffusing lavender in their homes, they had a significant reduction of postnatal depression and reduced anxiety disorder after a four-week treatment plan of aromatherapy.

Lavender has also been shown to improve PTSD symptoms. Eighty milligrams of lavender oil per day helped decrease depression by 33 percent and dramatically decrease sleep disturbances, moodiness and overall health status in 47 people suffering from PTSD, as shown in a phase two trial published in Phytomedicine.

To relieve stress and improve sleep, put a diffuser by your bed, and diffuse oils while you sleep at night or in the family room while you’re reading or winding down in the evening.  You can also use it topically behind your ears for similar results.

4. Supports Brain Function

The neurological benefits of lavender don’t stop at its ability to treat depression and boost mood. Research also shows that it serves as a potential natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies conducted on rats and mice show that inhaling the oil’s vapors can help reduce brain oxidative stress and improve cognitive impairment.

Also in 2012, the Swiss journal Molecules printed the results of an animal study suggesting that lavender is a viable treatment option for neurological dysfunctions such as stroke. Researchers believe that lavender’s neuroprotective effects are due to its antioxidant properties.

To support the nervous system with lavender oil, diffuse it at home, inhale it directly from the bottle or apply it topically to the temples and back of neck.

5. Treats Burns and Cuts

Widely known for its antimicrobial properties, for centuries lavender oil has been used to fight various infections and combat bacterial and fungal disorders. In fact, almost 100 studies have been conducted establishing this benefit of lavender over and over again.

Research shows that it speeds the healing of burns, cuts, scrapes and wounds — and a big part of this is because of its antimicrobial compounds.

A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine evaluated how Lavandula’s antimicrobial ability is enhanced when it’s blended with other essential oils, like clove, cinnamon and tea tree oil. Researchers relayed that a 1:1 ratio of these oils was found to be the most effective in fighting against Candida albicans and Staph aureus — two common causes of many fungal and bacterial infections that lead to respiratory pneumonia and skin fungi.

A 2016 study conducted on rats found that lavender oil promoted wound healing in the early phase by accelerating the formation of granulation tissue (tissue from the healing surface of the skin) and promoting collagen synthesis. The area of wounds treated with lavender oil was significantly decreased compared to the control group.

For burn relief and to treat cuts, scrapes or wounds, mix three to five drops of lavender oil with ½ teaspoon of coconut oil, and apply the mixture to the area of concern. You can use your fingers or a clean cotton ball.

6. Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair

Most likely due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics, Lavandula mixed with a carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba or grapeseed oil) has profound benefits on your skin.

Using lavender oil topically can help improve a number of skin conditions, from canker sores to allergic reactions, acne and age spots. Research indicates that its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help ease skin conditions and reverse signs of aging.

To use lavender oil for skin health, combine three to four drops with ½ teaspoon of coconut or jojoba oil, and massage the mixture into the area of concern. You can also add lavender to your face or body wash.

Try mixing lavender oil with frankincense and applying it to your skin first thing in the morning, right after you shower and right before bed. This will help to reduce inflammation and signs of aging, like dark spots.

Studies also show that lavender oil, along with other essential oils like thyme, rosemary and cedarwood, can significantly improve alopecia areata and hair loss when massaged into the scalp daily.

7. Relieves Headaches

If you are one of the millions of people struggling with tension or migraine headaches, lavender oil may just be the natural remedy you’ve been looking for. It’s one of the best essential oils for headaches because it induces relaxation and relieves tension.

It works as a sedative, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and calming agent.

A study published in European Neurology found people struggling with migraine headaches saw a significant reduction in pain when they inhaled lavender oil for 15 minutes. The difference between the control group and lavender oil treatment group was statistically significant.

Of the 129 headache attack cases, 92 responded entirely or partially to the treatment.

One of the most effective natural headache remedies is combing two drops each of lavender with peppermint oil and rubbing the mixture into the back of the neck and the temples. Diffusing lavender or inhaling it directly from the bottle can also help relieve headaches.

8. Improves Sleep and Insomnia

Because of Lavandula’s sedative and calming properties, it works to improve sleep and treat insomnia. A 2020 study indicates that Lavandula is an effective and reliable approach to enhance sleep quality in patients with life-limiting illnesses.

A 2015 study involving 158 mothers in their postpartum period were divided into the control or intervention group. The intervention group inhaled lavender oil before bed four times a week for eight weeks.

Researchers found that the women using aromatherapy treatment displayed a significant improvement in sleep quality when compared to the control group.

There are several studies, just like this one involving mothers, that demonstrate the sleep-inducing, calming effects of lavender oil. Inhaling lavender has shown to reduce sleep disturbance, improve quality and duration of sleep, fight insomnia, and improve overall well-being.

Plus, unlike most sedative drugs, lavender does not cause any unwanted side effects. It actually promotes general mental and physical health.

To improve your quality of sleep, diffuse lavender oil in your bedroom before or during sleep. Also, you can rub three to five drops directly on your neck, chest and temples.

Taking a healing bath by adding 15 drops of lavender and one cup of Epsom salt to the bathtub is another effective way to use lavender oil to improve sleep and relax the body.

Making a mixture of lavender oil, Roman chamomile and magnesium oil is the best combination for improving sleep. Just rub this mixture into the back of your neck and wrists to induce a calm, peaceful feeling.

9. Relieves Pain

Several studies have found that Lavandula helps as a natural painkiller. Simply rubbing it into the area of concern can reduce inflammation and pain intensity, helping alleviate the symptoms of many health conditions.

A 2015 study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine indicates that topical application of lavender oil decreases moderate intensities of pain during the insertion of dialysis needles. Researchers point out that lavender may be an option to reduce the pain of inserting dialysis needles, which causes constant fear and anxiety for many hemodialysis patients.

Another study, published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that a combination of lavender, marjoram, peppermint and black pepper essential oils improved neck pain when applied to the affected area daily.

And yet another study proved that lavender oil, when massaged into the skin, can help relieve dysmenorrhea, which is associated with menstrual pain and cramping in the lower abdomen. The results of this study suggest that lavender oil can be used as a natural remedy for PMS and menstrual cramps.

10. Complementary Therapy for Cancer

A 2012 study published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines shows that aromatherapy, particularly using lavender oil, helps patients with cancer cope with stress, nausea, chronic pain and depression. Because lavender oil works to stimulate the immune system, boost mood, improve sleep and fight stress, it can be used as a therapeutic agent.

Massaging lavender oil into the back of your neck, chest, wrists and temples can induce relaxing and calming effects. If you are experiencing muscle or joint pain, or pain at the site of injections, apply two to three drops of lavender to the affected area.

To relieve stress and anxiety, and improve sleep, diffuse lavender, or inhale it directly from the bottle. This can be particularly useful before and after surgical procedures and chemotherapy treatment.

Related: Blue Tansy Oil Benefits for Skin & Beyond (+ How to Use)

How to Use

Lavender is one of the gentlest oils, making it a great option for beginners, and it’s versatile.

When shopping for a quality product, choose one that’s Certified USDA Organic, non-GMO and free of synthetic fragrances. Also opt for a product in a glass bottle that has a clear label and notes that it’s 100 percent pure grade. This will ensure that you get the best results.

Here are some common uses to get you started:

Natural Perfume

Do you want to smell good without using toxic perfumes? Lavender is a great scent for both women and men.

You can try adding pure oil directly to your skin, or you can dilute oil in water or with a carrier oil for a more subtle scent.

If you’d like to rub the oil right onto your skin, try adding 2–3 drops into your palms and then rubbing your hands together. Then rub it directly onto your skin or hair.

You can also try adding 2 drops to a spray bottle with about ½ cup of water. Shake up the spray bottle, and then spray whatever you’d like.

Consider combining lavender oil with other relaxing oils, like cedarwood essential oil or frankincense essential oil. My homemade lotion includes lavender, frankincense and peppermints oils, which smell great together and help reduce inflammation and improve the health of your skin.

Another great way to use lavender oil as a natural perfume is to add it to your shampoo or create your own, like I did with this homemade coconut lavender shampoo.

Non-Toxic Air Freshener

The same way you use lavender oil as a perfume, you can use it around your home as a natural, toxic-free air freshener. Either spray it around your home, or try diffusing it.

To create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom before you fall asleep, try spraying a lavender and water mixture directly onto your bedsheets or pillow.

You can try the same method in your bathroom as well and also on your bath towels. Before taking a relaxing bath or shower, spray your towel with lavender so its calming scent is waiting for you when you step out of the shower.

Natural, Chemical-Free Lip Balm

Lavender oil is excellent for preventing sunburns on the lips and also healing chapped, dried lips. Try adding a couple of drops of oil to shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil or another “carrier oil” and then rubbing it into your lips for protection whenever you will be in the sun.

If you have a sunburn in other areas on your body, try using the same method to heal the skin more quickly and prevent itchiness and pealing that can result after a bad sun burn.

My homemade lavender mint lip balm is nourishing and hydrates dry, cracked lips quickly.

Remedy for Stomach Discomfort

Many people find the scent of lavender to be soothing to the stomach. If you are feeling nauseous or know that you are going to be traveling in a car or plane and are prone to motion sickness, spray some on your skin and clothes, or rub it into your temples, neck and palms.

Secret Flavor Booster in Healthy Recipes

Lavender is a great flavor enhancer in things like grain-free muffins, teas and even salad dressings. It’s completely edible, but you will want to use a very small amount since the taste is very powerful.

You’ll also want to purchase only a high-quality, 100 percent pure grade oil from a reputable company.

Try adding 1–2 drops to your recipes for a surprising flavor booster. It’s is said to pair perfectly with things like dark cocoa, pure honey, lemon, cranberries, balsamic vinaigrette, black pepper and apples.

Try my vegan lemon lavender donuts that are made with gluten-free chickpea flour.

Related: What Is Linalool? Benefits, Sources + How to Use It

Risks and Side Effects

For most people, Lavandula angustifolia benefits are all that you’ll experience, and using its extract is completely safe. However, there has not been an extensive amount of scientific research done on lavender oil interactions with other medications or for its use in pregnant women, so there are certain situations where you will want to use caution.

  • Medication Interactions: If you are already taking any prescription medication for sleep-related disorders or depression, be cautious of the fact that Lavandula can increase the effectiveness of these medications. Even if you use an over-the-counter sleep aid or any type of sedatives (even cough or flu medicine), keep in mind that lavender makes many people sleepy and even somewhat drowsy, so it’s best to not combine lavender oil with other medications or sleep-related supplements. If you are planning on undergoing anesthesia in the near future, you will also want to avoid using lavender oil.
  • Pregnant Women: Research suggests that lavender is generally considered safe for women who are pregnant and nursing. Because it can have a relaxing effect on muscles and can also affect hormone levels, use lavender with caution in your third trimester. It’s best to speak with your doctor about use of any essential oils when pregnant, since it has not been guaranteed that these are safe at this time.
  • Children: Lavender oil is considered generally safe for children to use, although there is some concern that lavender’s effect on hormone levels could be harmful for boys who have not yet gone through puberty. Although there isn’t strong evidence for Lavandula being a hormone disrupter (only one or two very small studies were ever completed), parents are told to use caution if using lavender oil frequently on young children.
  • Ingesting Lavender Oil: Studies have primarily looked at the effects of using lavender oil topically on the skin or through inhalation. There have been no negative symptoms found when three drops of oil are mixed with a carrier oil and applied directly to the skin. A 2013 evidence-based article, however, highlighted that lavender can be ingested at a large dose of 80 to 160 milligrams without adverse effects, except for minor gastrointestinal symptoms. To avoid gastrointestinal irritation, keep internal use to a minimum, and be careful if you have a sensitive digestive system. There are no known food interactions of lavender oil at this time.


  • Lavandula angustifolia is one of the most well-known plants used for therapeutic purposes. Products containing lavender ingredients are often used for their calming effects, but there’s more to learn about this remarkable plant. It can help relieve pain, ease headaches and aid sleep, too.
  • Even if you’re new to essential oils, starting with lavender is a great idea. It can be used aromatically, topically and internally, if you have a very high-quality product.
  • Lavandula also makes for an excellent ingredient in DIY recipes, such as room sprays, bath salts, face serums and more.

~ Dr. X

Top 3 Essential Oils to Balance Hormones Naturally

By Uncategorized

I want to share with you how essential oils can help naturally balance your hormones and the specific oils that can benefit progesterone and estrogen levels, improve thyroid hormones, and help men naturally boost low testosterone. Which are the best essential oils for hormones? Keep reading.

3 Essential Oils for Hormones

Essential oils uses continue to amaze me, as they can be used to treat so many health illnesses and improve so many aspects of your health. For the sake of using essential oils for hormones and achieving balance, there are three main essential oils we’re going to cover: clary sage, thyme and sandalwood essential oils.

1. Clary Sage Oil 

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research found that inhalation of clary sage oil had the ability to reduce cortisol levels by 36% and improved thyroid hormone levels. The study was done on 22 post-menopausal women in their 50s, some of whom were diagnosed with depression, and at the end of trial the researchers stated that “clary sage oil had a statistically significant effect on lowering cortisol and had an anti-depressant effect improving mood.”

This is just one of the many studies proving clary sage oil benefits hormones.

The biggest benefit of clary sage is that it helps balance out estrogen production in the body. A lot of health issues today, even things like infertility, PCOS and estrogen-based cancers, are caused from excess estrogen in the body — in part, because of our consumption of high-estrogen foods.

Because clary sage helps balance out those estrogen levels, it’s an incredibly effective essential oil in helping a wide array of hormone imbalances. So, whether you’re looking for natural remedies for PMS cramps during the month or possibly already know you have excess estrogen in your body, clary sage is a great essential oil to consider adding to your essential oil regime.

2. Thyme Oil

Research discussed in the Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine discovered thyme essential oil has progesterone-balancing effects.

Thyme oil benefits the body by improving progesterone production. Both men and a lot of women are low in progesterone, and low progesterone levels have been linked with infertility, PCOS and depression, as well as other imbalanced hormones within the body. 

Improved progesterone makes thyme a great essential oil you can use to naturally balance out hormones in your body. Plus, it’s far better than turning to synthetic treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy, which can make you dependent on prescription drugs, mask symptoms while developing diseases in other parts of the body and often causing serious side effects.

3. Sandalwood Oil 

Of the three essential oils for hormones, sandalwood essential oil is very effective at balancing out testosterone levels in both men and women. Sandalwood has actually been used as a natural aphrodisiac, making it a desired ingredient in men’s cologne, as well as certain perfumes, for years.

Also, it really has an amazing scent. For men with low testosterone, adding a few drops of sandalwood oil into your homemade deodorant or your own homemade lotion isn’t just a great way to smell good — it’s also a great way to get some extra health benefits of improving your libido and hormones.

Ways to Use Essential Oils

One of my favorite essential oil uses is to simply mix some coconut oil with the essential oil, itself and rub it on different areas of the body. And, because essentials oils are so small molecularly, they can actually be absorbed into your body through your skin, so you can get full body effects simply by putting essential oils directly on the skin.

A few other essential oils are also known to balance and support hormone health in the body include rose essential oil, which has been used also as an aphrodisiac, as well as a natural mood lifter. It’s been shown to help in improving serotonin and other neuropeptides in the brain — aka those good mood hormones.

We’ve also found that lavender oil and chamomile oil are effective at reducing stress, therefore naturally lowering cortisol levels, which is very important for the body when it’s trying to overcome disease.

In general, one of the best essential oils for thyroid function and autoimmune issues is frankincense oil, which reduces inflammation, also helping to lower those cortisol levels.

So again, if you want to have more balanced hormones, personally, I recommend considering clary sage oil along with thyme oil and, specifically for men, some added sandalwood oil. You can just put a few drops on your hand and rub it on your skin, or combine them with some of your own personal-care products.

~ Dr. X

15 Carrier Oils for Essential Oils

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You’ve probably been hearing a lot about essential oil uses and benefits lately. And in the descriptions of how essential oils can be used topically to fight infections and improve the health of your skin, it’s commonly recommended that you combine an essential oil with a carrier oil before applying it to your body. So your next question may be “what can I use as a carrier oil for essential oils?”

You actually have quite a few carrier oils to choose from, and you can make your pick based on your skin type, and your skin, hair and health concerns. Carrier oils allow you to use essential oils safely and effectively, but they also come with a ton of their own health benefits.

Most carrier oils are loaded with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and skin-healing vitamins. So if you’re still confused about what carrier oil to use as part of your essential oils routine, read through this list of carrier oils and their specific uses and benefits.

What Is A Carrier Oil?

Carrier oils are used in combination with essential oils in order to dilute them and alter their absorption rate. Essential oils are extremely potent, so you only need a very small amount to take advantage of their many benefits.

Carrier oils allow you to cover a larger surface area of your body with essential oils, without needing to use too much. So when you use a carrier oil, you are reducing the chances of causing any adverse skin reactions and following the guidelines of essential oil safety.

Here’s an example of how carrier oils are used in combination with essential oils. If you want to use tea tree oil on your face to fight acne and improve your complexion, applying the recommended topical dose, which is about 1–3 drops, wouldn’t cover your chin, forehead, nose and neck — and that full strength may be too astringent and also unnecessary to do its job. But by combining 1–3 drops of tea tree oil with about half a teaspoon of any carrier oil, you can now apply the mixture to every area of concern on your face, and you didn’t need to add too much tea tree. Make sense?

Using carrier oils is especially important when you are applying essential oils to areas of sensitive skin, using them on children, or when you’re looking to cover a large area of your body with essential oils. I love combining carrier oils and essential oils to create body moisturizers, massage and sports rubs, facial cleansers and even skin toners. Usually, I combine 1–3 drops of essential oils with about half a teaspoon of carrier oil. You want to use at least equal parts carrier oil and essential oil.

Another important role of carrier oils is to prevent easy evaporation of essential oils. This is important because essential oils are made of very small particles that are absorbed into the skin quickly and easily.

Ever notice that just a few minutes after applying lavender or peppermint oil to your skin and you barely smell it anymore? That’s because it’s been absorbed. But because carrier oils are made from the fatty portions of a plant and don’t evaporate as quickly, adding them to essential oils will help to slow down the absorption rate, allowing for a larger and longer impact.

Top 15 Carrier Oils

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil serves as an effective carrier oil because it has a low molecular weight, allowing it to penetrate your skin on a deeper level. It also contains saturated fats that help the skin to stay moisturized, while helping to provide a smooth and even skin tone. In addition to this, coconut oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, so it’s the perfect carrier oil for relieving skin conditions like acne, eczema and cold sores.

A randomized double-blind controlled trial sought to determine the efficacy of virgin coconut oil in treating mild to moderate xerosis, a medical term that’s used to describe dry, rough, itchy and scaly skin. Thirty-four patients were randomized to apply either coconut oil or mineral oil on their legs twice a day for two weeks. Researchers found that coconut oil and mineral oil had comparable effects, and both were able to improve symptoms of xerosis without causing adverse reactions.

How to use:

  • As a carrier oil, coconut oil uses for skin are numerous. Combine 1–3 drops of any essential oil that’s safe for topical use with about half a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub the mixture into the area of concern.
  • If you are using an essential oil internally (use caution), combine 1–2 drops with a half-teaspoon of coconut oil before ingestion.

2. Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is commonly used as a carrier oil because it contains antioxidants and helps to keep your skin nice and soft. Historically, it was used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Almond oil is light and easily absorbed into your skin, so when it’s combined with antimicrobial essential oils, like tea tree or lavender, it can help to gently cleanse your skin by getting into your pores and follicles.

Almond oil also has emollient properties, so it may be able to improve your complexion and skin tone.

How to use:

  • I use it in my DIY shower gel recipe with orange essential oil.
  • It’s also useful in an under eye concealer DIY recipe.
  • Almond oil is also one of the best carrier oils to use in your diffuser because it’s light and will help to spread the scent of the essential oils you choose.

3. Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is an excellent carrier oil because it’s odorless and serves as an emollient, helping to soothe your skin and unclog pores and hair follicles. But beyond acting as a carrier oil, jojoba oil has many of its own benefits for your hair and skin.

Jojoba oil is actually a plant wax, not an oil, and it can be used to moisturize, protect and cleanse your skin, prevent razor burn, and promote the health of your hair. Plus, jojoba oil contains vitamin E and B vitamins, which help to treat sunburns and wounds, it has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and it contains three fatty acids.

How to use:

  • I use jojoba oil in my DIY moisturizer for oily skin because it helps to balance oil production in the skin, so it won’t leave you feeling greasy.
  • If you’re allergic to coconut, feel free to substitute the versatile jojoba.

4. Olive Oil

Olive oil is high in healthy fatty acids, anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants. Not only does consuming real extra virgin olive oil benefit your heart, brain and mood, but it can also be used as a carrier oil to help hydrate your skin, speed up wound healing and even help to fight infections.

Research suggests that olive oil may serve as a promising treatment for skin related conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne and atopic dermatitis. It helps to improve these skin issues by reducing inflammation and fighting the growth of bacteria.

How to use:

5. Avocado Oil

Like so many carrier oils, avocado oil benefits your health when it’s consumed and used on your skin. It’s very moisturizing, so it works best for people with dry, rough skin. Avocado oil helps to improve skin texture, remove makeup and hydrate your hair. Plus, research conducted on rats suggests that avocado oil may help to reduce inflammation and increase collagen production, making it a useful tool for treating skin wounds. (7)

How to Use:

  • To use avocado oil alone, simply add a small amount to a cotton ball and apply it to dry areas on your face, cracked heels, dry cuticles and dry hair. Find more ways to use avocado oil for skin.
  • To use it as a carrier oil, combine 1–3 drops of any essential oil that’s safe for topical use with about a half teaspoon of avocado oil and rub the mixture into any areas of concern.

6. Argan Oil

Argan oil is a one of the best carrier oils for your skin because it contains omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid, antioxidants, vitamins A and vitamin E. It’s often included in cosmetic products because when it’s used topically, trocopherol from the vitamin E promotes cell production, boosting the health of your skin and hair.

Argan oil absorbs quickly, and it’s gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. It doesn’t leave you with greasy skin either. Like jojoba oil, argan oil helps to reduce sebum levels in people with oily skin, so it’s a great carrier oil for all skin types. Research indicates that argan oil is also helpful in improving skin elasticity and has anti-aging effects.

How to use:

  • You can use argan oil alone to moisturize your skin, relieve razor burn, fight acne and improve your complexion, or you can combine it with essential oils to have an even deeper impact
  • You can also use in my DIY face moisturizer that contains lemongrass, lavender and chamomile essential oils.

7. Arnica Oil

Arnica oil is so useful for so many skin and body issues, and it’s one of the best carrier oils for essential oils. It contains helenalin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, several fatty acids and thymol, which has shown in lab studies to display antibacterial activity.

Arnica oil can be used alone to reduce inflammation, improve muscle pain and heal bruises, or it can be used as a powerful carrier oil.

When you look at the ingredient label of arnica oil products, you’ll notice that it contains arnica extract and a base oil, like olive oil or almond oil, mixed with it. This is important because arnica is not meant to be used on the skin when it’s undiluted.

Plus, you shouldn’t use arnica oil on open wounds or cuts, and it should be avoided by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If too much arnica gets inside of your body, through ingestion or broken skin, it can be toxic.

How to use:

  • I use arnica in my homemade bruise cream, and I combine it with soothing essential oils, like lavender, to relieve muscle pain and tension.

8. Rosehip Oil

Like many popular carrier oils, rosehip oil contains essential fatty acids that promote cellular and tissue regeneration. Rosehip is also high in vitamin C and has anti-aging effects when it’s applied to the skin. Studies show that it’s often used to improve age spots from sun damage, improve skin tone and texture, reduce eczema and fight skin infections.

Rosehip oil is considered a dry oil, which means that it absorbs into the skin quickly and won’t leave you with an oily residue. For this reason, it works best for people with normal to dry skin.

How to use:

  • You can use rosehip oil alone as a natural moisturizer or combine it with essential oils as a carrier oil, like I did in my lavender and rose water toner.

9. Broccoli Seed Oil

Have you ever heard of using broccoli seed oil? It’s made by cold-pressing the small seeds of broccoli sprouts, which contain up to 80–100 times more of the antioxidant sulforaphane than the broccoli that you eat. It also contains omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids.

Broccoli seed oil works as an excellent moisturizer, but it’s still light, easily absorbed and non-greasy. It’s actually known to mimic silicone, which is commonly used in cosmetic and beauty products to make your skin look smoother and hair look shinier.

How to use:

  • Using broccoli seed oil as a carrier oil can promote healing, reduce dryness and improve the health of your hair.
  • It also has many uses by itself, such as for dry skin. Apply a drop or two of broccoli seed oil into any dry areas of your body and massage the oil in lightly until it is absorbed.

10. Flaxseed Oil

Not only do flaxseed oil benefits include its ability to aid digestion and boost the health of your heart, but when it’s applied to the skin, flaxseed oil helps to relieve common skin disorders, like eczema, and improve skin elasticity and texture. It’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acids (ALAs), which help to reduce inflammation and boost the health of your skin and hair.

Although you probably hear more about how flaxseed oil can be used in recipes, like smoothies and salads, it can also be used as a carrier oil and applied topically. In fact, it’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine to balance the skin’s pH, promote wound healing and remove skin blemishes. It’s gentle and soothing, so it may become your favorite carrier oil if you have sensitive skin.

How to use:

  • Flaxseed oil can be used to improve dry skin by holding in moisture, promote wound healing and give the skin a glowing appearance.

11. Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract is used for its antimicrobial properties, which have been displayed in laboratory studies. It’s often used in shower gels, wound disinfectant sprays, toothpastes, mouth washes and other personal care products because of its ability to fight bacterial, viral and fungal infections.

You can also add grapefruit seed extract to your laundry, humidifier, swimming pool and animal feed to reduce the need for potentially harmful chemicals.

How to use:

  • You can use grapefruit seed oil as a carrier oil in your natural home and body products.
  • Use equal parts grapefruit seed extract and essential oil, and if you need to dilute the combination further, add water or another odorless carrier oil.

12. Magnesium Oil

Magnesium oil isn’t actually an oil, but a mixture of magnesium chloride flakes and water. It has the same texture as oil, which is why it works as a carrier oil.

Using magnesium oil topically may help to relax your muscles, may help to improve fibromyalgia symptoms, can improve skin irritations, like rosacea and acne, and promote blood flow. It’s a great carrier oil for people with oily skin because it can help to break apart different fats and oils, preventing that greasy appearance you may be fighting.

How to use: 

  • You can mix magnesium oil with essential oils (like lavender) in a spray bottle and spray the combination on your skin after showering.
  • You can also use magnesium oil as a carrier oil to create a muscle-relaxing massage oil or sports rub.
  • Try making a homemade magnesium body butter that can be applied to your skin to help relax your muscles and reduce the effects of stress on your body. (Replace the jojoba oil with the magnesium oil.)

13. Neem Oil

Neem oil is commonly used in natural skin and beauty products because it’s high in antioxidants that work to protect the skin from environmental damage. Neem oil is also high in fatty acids and vitamin E, so it’s quickly absorbed into the outer layers of your skin and helps to relieve dry or damaged skin, without making you greasy. The healing properties in neem oil help to improve skin elasticity and rejuvenate the skin’s cells.

One thing that sets neem oil apart from other carrier oils is its ability to serve as a natural insecticide. It can be used to ward off mosquitoes, flies and moths.

How to use: 

  • Neem oil can be mixed with essential oils, like lemon or eucalyptus, to work as a home remedy for mosquito bites.
  • You can also combine neem oil with jojoba oil and lavender to create your own wrinkle cream that’s applied to your body like a moisturizer.

14. Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea buckthorn oil may help to reduce skin issues like acne, dermatitis, eczema and stretch marks. It’s also commonly used to relieve sunburn and speed up wound healing. Sea buckthorn oil is loaded with healing antioxidants, including carotenoids, which means that it helps to protect the body from infections that are caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites. The oil also contains essential fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamins A, C, D and E.

How to use:

  • Sea buckthorn oil can be combined with essential oils and used topically to improve skin irritations and complexion.
  • I use it in my face moisturizer for dry skin because it’s an excellent carrier oil for repairing dry or damaged skin.

15. Evening Primrose Oil

Like most carrier oils, evening primrose oil is high in essential fatty acids and often used to improve skin irritations and conditions. Evening primrose oil also works as an anti-inflammatory agent, and it’s used to improve nerve function and skin elasticity.

Although there aren’t any high quality studies to prove this benefit, evening primrose oil has been used to promote hair growth.

How to use:

  • You can combine evening primrose oil with an antimicrobial essential oil, like tea tree oil, to improve acne and other skin conditions, to boost the overall health of your skin or to balance your hormone levels, like I did in my homemade hormone balance serum.
  • You can also try this hair growth recipe: Simply rub evening primrose oil, combined with essential oils like lavender, cypress and lemongrass, into your scalp or add it to your shampoo.


Just like you would when applying a new essential oil to your skin, I recommend doing a small skin patch test with any new carrier oil before applying it to a larger area of your body. Although most of these carrier oils are gentle enough even for areas of sensitive skin, you want to be sure that you don’t have an allergy or sensitivity to a new oil.

Most of the carrier oils discussed in this article can be found online or in your local health food store. Make sure to store your carrier oils in a dark glass jar that has a tight fitting top.

Most carrier oils can be stored in the refrigerator or in a dark, cool place. Over time, carrier oils become rancid, which causes the oil to have a strong, bitter odor. If you notice that the scent of a carrier oil has changed over time, throw it out and buy a new one.

Final Thoughts

  • Carrier oils are used in combination with essential oils in order to dilute them and alter their absorption rate.
  • When combined with 1–3 drops of essential oils, carrier oils can cover a large surface of your skin and help to relieve skin issues like acne, eczema, dry skin, age spots and sun spots.
  • Using carrier oils also slows down the absorption rate, so you’re increasing the impact of the essential oils.

~ Dr. X

Is Aspartame Bad for You?

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Few food additives have been studied with such scrutiny — or with more controversy — than that of aspartame. Proponents of diet drinks claim that no adverse effects have been proven and that aspartame-laced products contribute to weight loss.

On the other side of the coin, a large community of health-conscious, anti-aspartame health practitioners and consumers are convinced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has turned a blind eye to one of the most dangerous food additives ever discovered.

In fact, aspartame is one of the worst artificial sweeteners you can ingest and has been associated with dozens of potential health risks.

The sweetener industry received a blow when a major study, released in July 2017, connected aspartame to an increased risk of heart disease and increased body mass index. Far from the small studies that are sometimes dismissed, this review included a total of almost 407,000 individuals with a median 10-year follow-up.

Researchers discovered that there were not only zero benefits from consuming “diet” foods and drinks containing these artificial sweeteners (known as “non-nutritive sweeteners,” since they offer no calories), but they were associated with “increases in weight and waist circumference, and higher incidence of obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events.”

Of course, a few smaller cohort studies did find weight loss to be a benefit — but, as is the norm for aspartame research, those were sponsored by industries benefiting from positive outcomes.

Do aspartame-sweetened products help you lose weight? No. Is aspartame safe? No. Is aspartame harmful to the body? Yes.

Let’s explore more about this dangerous food additive, how it came about and why you should stay away from it.

What Is Aspartame?

To understand why aspartame causes side effects, it’s important to first explain what it is and how it metabolizes when you drink or eat it.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, also referred to as Acesulfame potassium (K), AminoSweet®, Neotame®, Equal®, NutraSweet®, Blue Zero Calorie Sweetener Packets™, Advantame®, NutraSweet New Pink, Canderel®, Pal Sweet Diet® and AminoSweet®. It’s used in a variety of food and wellness products like diet soda, gum, candy and vitamins.

Almost immediately upon consuming aspartame, it breaks down into three chemical compounds: phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol.

Those first two components are amino acids. Methanol is known as “wood alcohol” and toxic in large doses, and while the amount of methanol in one can of diet soda is low, it remains dangerous when consumed in aspartame.

Phenylalanine is an amino acid that can be toxic in high doses but is generally recognized as safe in whole food products. However, when chemically bound to other compounds, like in aspartame, phenylalanine is absorbed almost immediately into the bloodstream rather than slowly via digestion.

Since this amino acid can cross the blood/brain barrier and functions as an excitotoxin when absorbed too quickly, it may potentially conflict with various neuronal processes. Just one diet soda raises the level of phenylalanine in the brain, causing serotonin levels to decrease. In at least one study, phenylalanine concentrations were higher in people with HIV, sepsis, cancer and those undergoing trauma.

Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid. That means your body makes it without having to ingest it. Normally, aspartic acid (aspartate) is important in the function of the nervous and neuroendocrine systems.

Is Aspartame Safe?

There is some concern about the way the body metabolizes the two amino acids from aspartame. Because of the way diet soda and other aspartame products are created, the amino acids they contain do not go through the normal process of enzyme breakdown and liberation. Instead, they absorb immediately into the bloodstream.

However, the more pressing concern comes from the methanol content in aspartame. Now, it is true that methanol is present in other food products, but in those cases, it is bound to pectin, a fiber commonly found in fruits. Generally, these bound pectin/methanol compounds are excreted safely through the normal digestive process.

In aspartame, however, methanol is bound (weakly, at that) to the phenylalanine molecule. One or two processes easily break that bond and create what is known as “free methanol.” In cases where the aspartame product has been kept in a hot environment over 85 degrees Fahrenheit (like a warehouse or hot truck), the bonds decompose before ever entering the body.

Free methanol then converts to formaldehyde, more commonly known as embalming fluid. Both methanol and formaldehyde are carcinogens in and of themselves. Formaldehyde has the unfortunate ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, one reason it is so detrimental to the body. Eventually, the formaldehyde can also turn into diketopiperazine, another known carcinogen.

Every animal other than humans converts formaldehyde to formic acid, a harmless substance. Humans don’t have the necessary enzyme for that change, which is one possible reason why animal studies don’t always represent the extent to which methanol impacts the body. This process in humans is called methyl alcohol syndrome.

Products that Contain It

Aspartame is found in over 6,000 individual products, making it virtually impossible to list them all here. However, I hope that understanding the impact of nutrition on your health makes you an avid label-reader. If you consider purchasing any of the following types of items, check the label — you’re likely to find aspartame listed.

The following foods, beverages and medications commonly contain aspartame:

  • Diet soda
  • Sugar-free breath mints
  • Sugar-free (or “no sugar added”) cereals
  • Sugar-free (or “no sugar added”) condiments
  • Flavored coffee syrups
  • Flavored water
  • Sugar-free ice cream and/or toppings
  • Diet iced tea products
  • Low-sugar or sugar-free fruit juices
  • Meal replacement shakes/snacks
  • “Nutrition” bars
  • Sports drinks (especially “sugar-free” varieties)
  • Soft candy chews
  • Yogurt (sugar-free, fat-free and some drinkable brands)
  • Vegetable juice drinks
  • Natural fiber laxative
  • Fiber oral powder supplements
  • Appetite control supplements


Side Effects and Dangers

While 100 percent of industry-funded research finds that aspartame is safe, 92 percent of studies funded independently discover adverse effects.

The Ramazzini Institute, a longtime cancer research center, has studied aspartame at length. It claimed again in 2014 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine:

On the basis of the evidence of the potential carcinogenic effects of [aspartame] herein reported, a re-evaluation of the current position of international regulatory agencies must be considered an urgent matter of public health.

So, what are the most serious dangers  and side effects of aspartame?

1. Potentially Increases Risk of Cancer

For decades, studies have shown the potential carcinogenic qualities of aspartame. The Ramazzini Institute continues to stand behind the results of its multiple studies finding that aspartame is associated with a 300 percent increase in lymphoma/leukemia incidence, even after being dismissed by the European Food Safety Authority.

A Ramazzini animal study shows a correlation between aspartame and various cancers to the degree that the organization refers to it as a “multipotential carcinogenic agent,” even in doses well below the legal “acceptable” amounts.

One reason this 20-year study is so significant is because the rats involved in the research were allowed to die naturally rather than being sacrificed earlier in the experiment. This was to investigate the last two-thirds of the animal life span, often unaccounted for, because cancer occurs in humans most often during this portion of life.

Overall, studies have discovered links between aspartame and the following:

  • Liver cancer in mice
  • Lung cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Central nervous system cancers (gliomas, medulloblastomas and meningiomas)

The discovery of the central nervous system cancers seems to be associated with the behaviors of the two amino acids found in aspartame. They are consumed in such large amounts and not broken down in the same fashion as when ingested in other foods, and they have ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This allows their “excitotoxicity” to take full effect.

Cancer incidence seems to increase when animals are exposed to aspartame in the womb, underlining the importance for pregnant mothers never to consume aspartame. And formaldehyde — a metabolite of free methanol — is associated with the development of breast, stomach, intestinal, lymphoma and leukemia cancers.

2. Might Induce or Worsen Diabetes

Although doctors often recommend replacing sugary drinks with diet versions for diabetics, aspartame seems to have the opposite effect than hoped. Diet soda consumption is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes as well as metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms indicative of heart disease.

In fact, in this study of over 6,800 individuals of varying ethnicity between 45–84 years old, the risk of diabetes was 67 percent higher for people who consumed diet soda daily versus those who did not. It seems, in many cases, that aspartame intake can also aggravate diabetes symptoms, such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic neuropathy.

Research shows that aspartame conflicts with insulin/glucose tolerance, a marker of prediabetes, especially for those who are already obese. One reason this happens may be the way that aspartame alters gut microbiota (healthy bacteria). These changes can induce glucose intolerance in otherwise healthy people.

An animal study in December 2016 suggests a connection between an interaction between aspartic acid found in aspartame and glucose management. This, again, is exacerbated by the way this amino acid passes the blood-brain barrier. Researchers also discovered behavioral deficits in the subjects.

3. Could Increase Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

Aspartame intake is associated with metabolic syndrome. This cluster of conditions includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess belly fat and high cholesterol/triglyceride levels. It marks a dramatic increase in the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Research from Purdue University in 2013 found that frequent consumption of artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, sucralose (Splenda®) and saccharin, was associated with weight gain, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease because of the “metabolic derangements” it seems to cause.

The Northern Manhattan Study focused on the study of stroke and pertinent risk factors. It found a significant increased risk of heart events — even when controlling the study for those with various related diseases — in people who drink diet soft drinks each day. The same link was not discovered for those drinking regular soda.

Like the carcinogenic risks of aspartame, the heart disease risks also seem to rise when animals are exposed to it in the womb. Animals exposed prenatally to aspartame eat more sweet foods in adulthood, are at risk for obesity, and more often have high blood sugar, high LDL cholesterol and high triglycerides.

4. May Cause Nervous System and Brain Disorders

Since many of the major complaints about aspartame are neurologic in nature, particular attention has been given to the way it affects the brain and neurological system. Neurosurgeon Russell L. Blaylock released a book in 1998 called “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills,” detailing his research on aspartame and its relation to brain tumors, cell damage, and conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He attributes these effects to the way the compounds in aspartame overstimulate neurons.

Research at the University of North Dakota’s Department of Nursing found an increase in irritation, more depressive behavior and a decline in spatial orientation in people consuming a “high-aspartame diet.” These “high” aspartame levels were actually about half of what the maximum acceptable daily intake (ADI) values are, according to the FDA. This correlates with a 2014 animal study that found chronic aspartame consumption to be related to a distortion of neuronal function and an uptick in brain cell death in certain regions of the brain. This study was conducted using the FDA-approved ADI value.

For those who also consume MSG (monosodium glutamate, another controversial food additive), these cognitive problems may be even more pronounced. MSG and aspartame exposure drastically drops dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain of mice and cause oxidative stress that can damage brain cells. That’s not the only time it’s been found that aspartame induces oxidative stress and interrupts the body’s ability to fight it with antioxidants. This impact is most significant in cases of long-term aspartame consumption and is associated with memory loss and more in animal studies.

One of the first studies on the subject of aspartame in the brain was conducted by John Olney, the founder of the field of neuroscience known as excitotoxicity, in 1970. He was a longtime opposer to aspartame’s legalization because of his extensive research on the subject. His 1970 publication found that infant mice exposed to aspartame developed brain damage, even when given relatively low doses.

If this holds true in humans at some level, it could help explain why aspartame is linked to an increased risk of stroke and dementia, according to the Framingham Heart Study. There has also been at least one finding published in Neurology that aspartame intake exacerbated the number of EEG spike waves in children suffering absence seizures.

5. Could Worsen or Trigger Mood Disorders

Closely related to its impact on neurological decline, aspartame may also be closely tied to the development of certain mental disorders, especially depression. Ingesting aspartame could potentially lead to a decline in learning and emotional function.

Drinking diet beverages has been linked to depression more than once, including in one study of almost 264,000 participants over 10 years. Researchers found that those who drink more than four cans or cups of diet soda each day were between 30 percent and 38 percent more likely to develop depression, while coffee drinkers were 10 percent less likely to be diagnosed with depression.

A famous study was conducted in 1993 to discover a correlation between mood disorders and aspartame in those with or without depression diagnoses. Before it could be completed, the Institutional Review Board had to halt the study because the participants who had a history of depression experienced such severe negative reactions that it led the department to discourage anyone with history of mood problems from ingesting aspartame because of their suggested high sensitivity to it.

6. Possibly Contributes to Fibromyalgia

Over 6 million people in the U.S. suffer from the chronic pain disorder known as fibromyalgia. The causes and cure are still unknown, but one small study examined fibromyalgia patients who had been struggling for years to find effective treatments.

The study found that eliminating aspartame and MSG (two of the most common dietary excitotoxins) resulted in a complete or nearly complete resolution of all symptoms within a few months. The symptoms returned upon ingestion of either substance.

7. Associated with Weight Gain

Aspartame studies have found the non-nutritive sweetener was actually linked with weight gain rather than the weight loss it promises. (After all, drinks containing aspartame literally carry the label “diet.”) Drinking and eating aspartame products is associated with metabolic syndrome in mice, one feature of which is excess belly fat. It’s pretty clear that aspartame does not help you lose weight. Now the question is: Why?

There are a few suggested reasons aspartame does not lead to weight loss. For one, consuming non-nutritive sweeteners (sweet substances that do not have calories) does nothing for the more sweet foods. While eating sugar has that same effect, actual sugar has the benefit of providing caloric feedback, the “food reward” your body understands to mean it should stop eating. Aspartame, however, does the opposite — it encourages cravings and sweets dependence, all without the caloric feedback you need to control your intake. This, in turn, results in eating more non-nutritious foods and drinks.

A 2014 experiment actually postulated that drinking diet beverages influences psychological processes that might cause a person to increase overall caloric intake. In addition to this interruption of normal biofeedback, a study published in late 2016 conducted on mice found that the phenylalanine in aspartame is an inhibitor of a digestive enzyme that protects against developing metabolic syndrome called “intestinal alkaline phosphatase.”

Thus, not only do diet drinks lead to higher calorie consumption overall, but one of their compounds may actually stop your body’s normal responses that are meant to protect against obesity and other disease risk factors.

8. Might Cause Premature Menstruation

In a newer side of aspartame research, three U.S. universities studied young girls for 10 years to track growth and hormonal changes as well as lifestyle and diet. They found that drinking caffeinated soft drinks, particularly diet drinks, was associated with early development of menstrual cycles.

Why does this matter? Because the long-term risks of early puberty include breast cancer, HPV, heart disease, diabetes and all-cause mortality.

9. Linked to Development of Autism

Another reason to avoid this sweetener is because it has been linked to the development of autism in children. In the journal Medical Hypotheses, researchers discussed a study in which women who had been exposed to dietary methanol (found in aspartame) were significantly more likely to give birth to children who developed autism.

10. Increased Risk of Kidney Disease

In people with initially healthy kidney function, drinking diet sodas laden with aspartame may be associated with a 30 percent greater drop in kidney function than those who do not drink diet sodas. This research was conducted over 20 years and included over 3,000 women.


Natural Alternatives

What is the safest artificial sweetener to use? In reality, any synthetic, artificial food isn’t the best choice for your body and health. However, there are a few natural alternatives to aspartame that won’t have the same devastating health effects.

One of the best natural sweeteners stevia. The rule for sweeteners is always in moderation. While the following three can even provide health benefits, it’s best to limit your intake of sweets overall and tend more toward whole foods like vegetables, fruits and organic meat:

  • Stevia: The stevia plant has been around for a millennia and a half in parts of South America and is about 200 times sweeter than sugar, gram for gram. When using stevia, make sure to avoid dangerous altered stevia blends (which often contain very little stevia) and stick to pure, organic stevia.
  • Raw Honey: Raw, organic honey has been known to help counter the effects of certain allergies as well as help manage weight, promote sleep and fight oxidative stress.
  • Monk FruitThis fruit-based sweetener has no calories but is between 300–400 times sweeter than sugar. There is evidence that it may help to lower risk of diabetes as well as combat infection.

Final Thoughts

  • Aspartame is a non-nutritive sweetener that has been around for a few decades and is found often in diet sodas, like Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, as well as sugar-free and “no sugar added” food products.
  • It breaks down into two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, as well as methanol (which converts to formaldehyde and diketopiperazine). The last three of this list are known carcinogens.
  • The methanol and formaldehyde are especially dangerous to humans because of the way they metabolize in the body, coupled with the fact that we do not have the necessary enzyme to convert formaldehyde to a less dangerous substance, as most animals.
  • Many studies have been conducted on aspartame dangers and found that it is linked with a large number of health conditions ranging from headaches to cancer to diabetes in both animal and human studies.
  • Drinking or eating aspartame products is especially dangerous for mothers and young children because of the way it affects behaviors and conditions later in life.
  • If you are experiencing conditions that could potentially be related to aspartame, it’s probably a good idea to abstain entirely and see if any symptoms alleviate on their own. This should be done under the supervision of a doctor.

~ Dr. X

Probiotics: Top Benefits, Foods and Supplements

By Uncategorized

Whether you’re looking to help your immune function, decrease disease risk or simply improve your overall health, probiotics can make a worthy addition to your daily routine.

Not only that, but some people — including billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates — even believe that probiotics could hold the key to ending malnutrition across the globe someday.

What are probiotics? Probiotics are a type of organism that can help boost the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Nestled inside your gut are trillions of these live microorganisms that make up the microbiome.

They are also found in supplements, fermented foods (such as tempeh, natto and miso) and probiotic drinks, such as kombucha.

Different microbes living in your gastrointestinal tract play a role in either promoting health or disease. For example, many of these bacterial cells are considered “good bacteria” and help support immune function, enhance nutrient absorption, and aid in the synthesis of key neurotransmitters and other compounds.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are defined as live bacteria that line your digestive tract that support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection.

Did you know that your body contains about the same number of gut bacteria molecules as it does cells for the rest of your body? It’s no wonder then that your gut is so important to your health. Your skin and digestive system alone host about 2,000 different types of bacteria.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) calls probiotics “live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut.” The NCCIH makes the point that we often think of bacteria as harmful “germs” — however, probiotic bacteria actually helps the body function properly.

What happens when you start taking probiotics? Probiotics benefits have been proven effective in supporting immune function, reducing inflammation, promoting healthy digestion, managing inflammatory bowel disease, as well as maintaining beautiful skin, especially when combined with prebiotics.

Your “good gut bacteria” is also responsible for:

  • Producing vitamin B12, butyrate and vitamin K2
  • Crowding out bad microbes
  • Enhancing gut mucosal barrier function and preventing the invasion of pathogens in the intestinal epithelium
  • Helping regulate the central nervous system
  • Creating enzymes that destroy harmful microbes
  • Stimulating secretion of IgA and regulatory T cells, which support immune function

Probiotics are in your system from the moment you are born. When a newborn is in the birth canal of the mother during delivery, the baby is exposed to the live bacteria of his or her mother for the first time.

This event starts a chain of events inside the baby’s gastrointestinal tract, and the infant’s GI tract starts to produce good bacteria.

Historically, people had plenty of probiotics in their diets from eating fresh foods from good soil and by fermenting foods to keep them from spoiling.

Today, however, because of refrigeration and agricultural practices, like soaking our foods with chlorine, much of our food contains little to no probiotics in the name of sanitation. Actually, many foods contain dangerous antibiotics that kill off the good bacteria in our bodies.

Health Benefits

1. Improve Digestive Health

The first major benefit of probiotics is as a promoter of good digestive health. A 2019 review explains that probiotic consumption has been shown to improve the immune, gastrointestinal and reproductive health systems in healthy adults.

In fact, according to a meta-analysis of clinical trials:

Probiotics are generally beneficial in treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal diseases… When choosing to use probiotics in the treatment or prevention of gastrointestinal disease, the type of disease and probiotic species (strain) are the most important factors to take into consideration.

Eating foods rich in good bacteria and using probiotic supplements may help provide protection from inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The evidence is stronger, however, for an improvement in ulcerative colitis, while Crohn’s disease may not benefit as greatly.

In addition, there is ongoing research studying the role of probiotics in gluten issues, including celiac disease.

Large bodies of evidence suggest that probiotics are also effective against several forms of diarrhea, including antibiotic-associated diarrheaacute diarrheatraveler’s diarrheainfectious diarrhea and other associated diarrhea symptoms. They also help with constipation relief.

Additionally, probiotics have been found in meta-analyses to reduce the pain and severity of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, aid in the eradication of H. pylori and treat pouchitis, a condition that occurs after the surgical removal of the large intestine and rectum. For the most benefits in managing IBS, studies suggest that it’s best to take multi-strain probiotics capsules over a period of at least eight weeks.

2. Help Decrease in Antibiotic Resistance

The World Health Organization considers antibiotic resistance “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today.” Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics due to the overuse of prescription antibiotics, lack of diversity in these medications and improper use of antibiotics.

By using probiotics, it’s possible to help rebuild a poor variety of gut bacteria often seen after a course of taking antibiotics and prevent antibiotic-associated gut issues. In addition, probiotic from supplements and foods may increase the effectiveness of antibiotics and help prevent the bacteria in your body from becoming resistant.

3. May Fight Mental Illness

The “second” brain of the gut has been a major point of research since scientists have discovered the importance of the gut-brain connection. A review in 2015 highlighted the complex interactions between the gut and brain, stating:

[Various gut-brain] interactions seem to influence the pathogenesis of a number of disorders in which inflammation is implicated, such as mood disorder, autism-spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hypersensitivity disorder, multiple sclerosis, and obesity.

The authors discuss the need for “psychobiotics” (probiotics that impact brain function) in handling the development of these conditions. This anti-inflammatory quality is what seems to interest researchers most.

While limited clinical trials focusing on this topic have been conducted in humans, early research suggests that, in animals, supplementing with probiotics may help alleviate symptoms of anxiety by reducing inflammation along this gut-brain connection.

Several rodent studies have shown that consumption of probiotics can prevent increases in certain stress hormones, including ACTH, corticosterone and epinephrine, via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Probiotics benefits seem to include a reduction in depression symptoms, according to a 2016 meta-analysis — the first review of its kind. Taking probiotics might also help reduce re-hospitalizations from manic episodes for those with manic depression.

A slightly more surprising result, however, seems to be the way that probiotics may impact some of the symptoms of autism. Autism and gut health have been discussed for some time, as patients with the disorder typically suffer from a large number of digestive issues.

However, based on animal studies, it seems possible that altering the quality of gut bacteria might benefit not only the digestive system, but the abnormal behaviors in autism, too.

In 2016, a case study of a boy with severe autism was reported. While being treated with probiotics for digestive problems, the patient spontaneously improved on the ADOS scale, a diagnostic rating system for people with autism.

The score dropped from 20 down three points to a stable 17, and according to the report, ADOS scores do not “fluctuate spontaneously along time” and are “absolutely stable.”

Because of results like those above, human studies are underway to determine if probiotic treatments may improve not only the GI symptoms seen in autism, but also on “the core deficits of the disorder, on cognitive and language development, and on brain function and connectivity.”

4. Boost Immunity

Both probiotics and prebiotics are continuing topics of research regarding immunity. When used in conjunction, scientists refer to them collectively as synbiotics.

One 2015 review on the subject stated, “We suggest that LAB and Bifidobacteria and novel strains [of probiotics] might be an additional or supplementary therapy and may have potential for preventing wide scope of immunity-related diseases due anti-inflammatory effect.”

Because chronic inflammation is at the root of many diseases and health conditions, the fact that probiotics exert this effect in the gut, where 80 percent of the immune system lies, is crucial. The immune-boosting benefits of probiotics seem to be particularly helpful for the quality of life of seniors.

Research is underway to test whether probiotics can “reduce inflammation and improve gut immune health in HIV-positive individuals” who haven’t yet undergone treatment.

A 2021 review even found the poor prognosis in COVID-19 infections was seen in adults with underlying co-morbidities who had increased gut permeability and reduced gut microbiome diversity. According to the researchers’s findings, “Dietary microbes, including probiotics or selected prebiotics of Chinese origin, had anti-viral effects against other forms of coronavirus, and could positively impact host immune functions during SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

5. Support Healthy Skin

Many avenues of research have examined probiotics benefits for skin, especially in children. Meta-analyses have found that probiotics may be effective in the prevention of pediatric atopic dermatitis and infant eczema.

The integrity of gut bacteria is also connected to the development of acne, although the way this happens is still unclear.

The skin benefits of probiotics also seem to be connected to the reduction of inflammation seen in healthy gut bacteria. L. casei, a particular strain of probiotic, “can reduce antigen-specific skin inflammation.”

Indeed, research suggests that having a balanced gut environment has benefits for both healthy and diseased human skin.

6. Provide Food Allergy Protection

Did you know that infants with poor gut bacteria are more likely to develop allergies over the first two years of life? The reason probiotics can help reduce food allergy symptoms, in particular, is most likely due to their abilities to reduce chronic inflammation in the gut and regulate immune responses — in adults as well as children.

7. May Treat Serious Diseases in Infants

Two dangerous diseases in newborns, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and neonatal sepsis, may meet their match with well-designed probiotic supplements. Both of these conditions are common in premature babies and are most dangerous in low birth weight and very low birth weight infants.

Research has confirmed that when a pregnant mother takes high-quality probiotics during pregnancy, her baby is significantly less likely to develop either NEC or sepsis, particularly when the baby is breastfed after birth (and mom is still taking the supplements) and/or when probiotics are added to formula. A probiotic supplement with multiple bacterial strains seems to be the most effective in these cases.

One review of probiotics benefits for necrotizing enterocolitis was bold enough to say:

The results confirm the significant benefits of probiotic supplements in reducing death and disease in preterm neonates… overall evidence indicate that additional placebo-controlled trials are unnecessary if a suitable probiotic product is available.

Regarding sepsis in developing countries (where it is overwhelmingly more common), a 2017 randomized, controlled trial says that a large number of these cases “could be effectively prevented” if mothers are given a synbiotic (probiotic and prebiotic together) that contains the probiotic strain L. plantarum.

8. Lower Blood Pressure

A large analysis reviewed available research and determined that probiotics help lower blood pressure by improving lipid profiles, reducing insulin resistance, regulating renin levels (a protein and enzyme secreted by the kidneys to lower blood pressure) and activating antioxidants.

Researchers consider them valuable prospects in the treatment of high blood pressure because their side effects are generally minimal or nonexistent.

These effects are most pronounced in people who already have hypertension and improve when the subject consumes multiple probiotic strains for at least eight weeks or more in supplements containing 100 billion or more colony-forming units (CFUs).

9. May Fight Diabetes

Several large-scale studies and two meta-analyses have confirmed that probiotics should be a major consideration in determining natural treatment for diabetes. In a massive study involving almost 200,000 subjects and a total of 15,156 cases of type 2 diabetes, researchers confirmed that a higher intake of probiotic-rich yogurt reduced the risk of developing diabetes.

According to a 2014 meta-analysis, probiotics benefit diabetics by improving insulin sensitivity and decreasing the autoimmune response found in diabetes. The authors suggest that the results were significant enough to conduct large, randomized, controlled trials (the “gold standard” of scientific studies) to find if probiotics may actually be used to prevent or manage diabetes symptoms.

Combining probiotics with prebiotics may also help manage blood sugar, particularly when blood sugar levels are already elevated.

10. May Improve Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects 80 million to 100 million people in the U.S. alone. Characterized by fatty buildup in the liver, NAFLD can eventually lead to cirrhosis, ending in liver failure or death for some patients.

A 2013 meta-analysis of studies on probiotics and NAFLD found that using probiotics can improve a number of important factors for patients with the disease, leading the study authors to state: “Modulation of the gut microbiota represents a new treatment for NAFLD.”

11. May Improve Vaginal Health

Probiotics for vaginal health? While there’s still more to learn about the impact that probiotics can have on vaginal health, some evidence indicates that supplementation can lower the risk for reoccurring vaginal infections and the irritating symptoms they cause.

One study demonstrated the potential of probiotic supplements improving vaginal health, such as for bacterial vaginosis (BV) and vaginal odor. Another study showed that supplementing with a probiotic for 30 days helped create healthy vaginal flora in up to 90 percent of patients.

Related: Oligosaccharides: The Prebiotics that Support the Heart & Gut


There are many different types of probiotics on the market, each of which varies based on numerous factors, such as stability, strain diversity and CFU count.

What are the top probiotics? Typically, there are two main species of probiotics, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Saccharomyces is another type of strain that has a long history of safe and effective use as a probiotic.

In addition to being the most widely available in products and foods, these three species have also been extensively studied for their beneficial effects on immune function, digestive health, weight loss and more.

There are also many specific strains of probiotics, each of which has been shown to benefit specific health conditions. Some of the best probiotic strains include:

  • Bacillus coagulans
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Bacillus clausii
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus fermentum
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus gasseri
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus sporogenes
  • Saccharomyces boulardii

Some these strains are among the best probiotics for dogs as well.

How to Use

Note that the probiotics benefits of one probiotic strain may be completely different from the health benefits seen from another probiotic. If you want to use probiotics to address a specific health concern, it’s vital to select the right probiotic for the right condition — or you can consume a wide range of probiotics in your food to be covered.

When reading a probiotic label, it should reveal the genus, species and strain of the probiotic. The product (usually in capsules or probiotics pills) should also give you the colony forming units (CFUs) at the time of manufacturing.

Also, the majority of probiotics can die under heat, so knowing the company had proper storing and cooling of the facility is also important.

There are seven specific things you want to consider when buying a probiotic supplement:

  1. Brand quality — Look for reputable, established dietary supplement brands with readily available customer reviews.
  2. High CFU count — Probiotic dosage is measured in “colony forming units,” or CFUs. Ideally, you should aim for at least 5 billion–10 billion CFUs per day for children and 10 billion–20 billion CFUs each day for adults. However, the recommended dosage may vary based on individual health concerns, so discuss with your doctor for personalized guidance as needed.
  3. Survivability and strain diversity — Look for strains like Bacillus coagulans, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bacillus clausii, and other cultures or formulas that ensure probiotics make it to the gut and are able to colonize.
  4. Prebiotics and supplementary ingredients — For probiotic bacteria to grow, they also need prebiotics. High-quality probiotic supplements have both prebiotics and other ingredients designed to support digestion and immunity. Examples of these ingredients are (preferably fermented) flaxseed, chia seed, cañihua seed, astragalus, ashwagandha, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, milk thistle, peas, ginger, mung bean and turmeric.
  5. Stability and organism types — Some probiotic strains need to be kept cold in order to preserve their potency. This applies to their production, transport, storage and sales. Others are shelf-stable and don’t require refrigeration. Unfortunately, most refrigerated probiotics never make it past the stomach because they aren’t stable. Instead, look for a shelf-stable product that contains soil-based organisms.
  6. Sugar — Sugar is not a good food source for probiotics. Prebiotics are the food source meant to keep probiotics alive. A synbiotic is a dietary supplement that contains both prebiotics and probiotics. The best synbiotics contain healthy plant starches and fiber.
  7. Living vs. dead — “Live and active cultures” are a better bet than “made with active cultures.” After fermentation, the product may be heat-treated, which kills off both good and bad bacteria (extending shelf life).

Is it OK to take a probiotic every day?

Yes, most people can benefit from continually taking probiotics at a consistent time each day.

When is the best time to take a probiotic?

Most sources typically recommend taking your probiotic first thing in the morning, about 15–30 minutes before breakfast. This ensures that your probiotic supplement is better able to reach your digestive tract quickly without getting stuck in the stomach behind your morning meal.

Related: 7 Fulvic Acid Benefits & Uses: Improve Gut, Skin & Brain Health

Top Foods

In addition to probiotic supplements, you can also try adding more probiotic foods into your diet to help optimize your gut health. Fermented foods and foods with added probiotics are a great option to help get in your daily dose.

Some of the best probiotic foods include:

Keep in mind that these probiotic foods should be low in added sugar, preservatives and extra ingredients to really get the most bang for your buck. Even if you consume the best probiotic drink or best probiotic yogurt, it may not contain the same health benefits if it’s highly processed and pumped full of additives.

Need some inspiration to help get you going? Here are a few simple probiotic-rich recipes to start experimenting with:

Risks and Side Effects

All probiotics aren’t created equally. Not all strains have beneficial effects, and it’s important to do your research before starting a new supplement.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates products with probiotics in different ways (as dietary supplements,  food ingredients or drugs), however not all products are guaranteed to be of high quality.

As always, if you have an existing medical condition, all new supplement regimens should be conducted under the supervision of a medical professional. This is especially important if you’re immunocompromised.

Probiotic side effects can sometimes include bloating, flatulence and diarrhea if you take too much too fast. You can start off with a smaller amount, like one tablespoon of kefir or one probiotic capsule a day, and work your way up if you’re just getting into eating probiotic foods or taking dietary supplements.

One very rare side effect of probiotics seen in cancer patients is sepsis. This is an extremely rare occurrence.

Overall, according to the FDA, studies have found that probiotics are associated with very few probiotics side effects and a large number of benefits.


  • Different microbes living in your gastrointestinal tract play a role in either promoting health or disease.
  • Because so much of your health begins in the complex microbiome of the gut, proper balance of your gut bacteria is crucial to overall health.
  • Natural probiotics are bacteria in your digestive tract that support the immune system and help reduce chronic inflammation, potentially impacting the development of a large number of conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, IBS and more.
  • You can incorporate probiotics into your routine by eating more sour and fermented foods, feeding your gut bacteria with insoluble fiber in high-fiber foods, and even by taking a high-quality supplement in order to take advantage of probiotics benefits.
  • What is the best probiotic to use? Look for capsules with a CFU count of at least 10 billion and a product that includes strains like Bacillus coagulans, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus plantarum and Bacillus clausii.
  • Probiotic side effects are rare, but always follow directions and use caution when starting any new supplements.

~ Dr. X