Praise God for the healing power of Jesus Christ!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
This is why I have been a Young Living Essential Oils distributor for 10 years! It is exciting to know that more and more hospitals and health care facilities are recognizing Young Living as the world leader in essential oils.
Be well, Jen
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Oman's Land of Frankincense is an 11-hour drive southwards from the capital, Muscat.
Most of the journey is through Arabia's Empty Quarter - hundreds of kilometres of flat, dun-coloured desert. Just when you are starting to think this is the only scenery you will ever see again, the Dhofar mountains appear in the distance.
On the other side are green valleys, with cows grazing in them. The Dhofar region catches the tail-end of India's summer monsoons, and they make this the most verdant place on the Arabian peninsula.
Warm winters and showery summers are the perfect conditions for the Boswellia sacra tree to produce the sap called frankincense. These trees grow wild in Dhofar. A tour guide, Mohammed Al-Shahri took me to Wadi Dawkah, a valley 20 km inland from the main city of Salalah, to see a forest of them.
"The records show that frankincense was produced here as far back as 7,000 BC," he says. He produces an army knife. He used to be a member of the Sultan's Special Forces. With a practised flick, he cuts a strip of bark from the trunk of one of the Boswellia sacra trees. Pinpricks of milky-white sap appear on the wood and, very slowly, start to ooze out.
"This is the first cut. But you don't gather this sap," he says. "It releases whatever impurities are in the wood. The farmers return after two or three weeks and make a second, and a third, cut. Then the sap comes out yellow, or bright green, or brown or even black. They take this."
Shortly afterwards, a frankincense farmer arrives in a pick-up truck. He is white-bearded, wearing a brown thobe and the traditional Omani, paisley-patterned turban. He is 67-year-old Salem Mohammed from the Gidad family. Most of the Boswellia sacra trees grow on public land, but custom dictates that each forest is given to one of the local families to farm, and Wadi Dawkah is his turf.
He has an old, black, iron chisel with which he gouges out clumps of dried frankincense.
"We learnt about frankincense from our forefathers and they learnt it from theirs" he says. "The practice has been passed down through the generations. We exported the frankincense, and that's how the families in Dhofar made their livings."And what an export trade it was. Frankincense was sent by camel train to Egypt, and from there to Europe. It was shipped from the ancient port of Sumharan to Persia, India and China. Religions adopted frankincense as a burnt offering.
That is why, according to Matthew's Gospel in the Bible, the Wise Men brought it as a gift to the infant Jesus. Gold: for a king. Frankincense: for God. Myrrh: to embalm Jesus' body after death.
The Roman Empire coveted the frankincense trade. In the first century BCE, Augustus Caesar sent 10,000 troops to invade what the Romans called Arabia Felix to find the source of frankincense and to control its production. The legions, marching from Yemen, were driven back by the heat and the aridity of the desert. They never found their Eldorado. Oman's frankincense trade went into decline three centuries ago, when Portugal fought Oman for dominance of the sea routes in the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.
Nowadays, hardly any Omani frankincense is exported. Partly, this is because bulk buyers, such as the Roman Catholic Church, buy cheaper Somalian varieties. Partly, it is because Omanis now produce so little.
"Years ago, 20 families farmed frankincense in this area," says Salem Mohammed Gidad. "But the younger generation can get well-paid jobs in the government and the oil companies, with pensions. Now, only three people still produce frankincense around here. The trade is really, really tiny!"
But immunologist Mahmoud Suhail is hoping to open a new chapter in the history of frankincense.
Scientists have observed that there is some agent within frankincense which stops cancer spreading, and which induces cancerous cells to close themselves down. He is trying to find out what this is.
"Cancer starts when the DNA code within the cell's nucleus becomes corrupted," he says. "It seems frankincense has a re-set function. It can tell the cell what the right DNA code should be.
"Frankincense separates the 'brain' of the cancerous cell - the nucleus - from the 'body' - the cytoplasm, and closes down the nucleus to stop it reproducing corrupted DNA codes."
Working with frankincense could revolutionise the treatment of cancer. Currently, with chemotherapy, doctors blast the area around a tumour to kill the cancer, but that also kills healthy cells, and weakens the patient. Treatment with frankincense could eradicate the cancerous cells alone and let the others live. The task now is to isolate the agent within frankincense which, apparently, works this wonder. Some ingredients of frankincense are allergenic, so you cannot give a patient the whole thing. *(Jen's note: Many people have used frankincense essential oil in its complete form to fight cancer with no allergenic reaction. It would be more accurate to say that you cannot give some patients the whole thing in my opinion.)
Dr Suhail (who is originally from Iraq) has teamed up with medical scientists from the University of Oklahoma for the task. In his laboratory in Salalah, he extracts the essential oil from locally produced frankincense. Then, he separates the oil into its constituent agents, such as Boswellic acid.
"There are 17 active agents in frankincense essential oil," says Dr Suhail. "We are using a process of elimination. We have cancer sufferers - for example, a horse in South Africa - and we are giving them tiny doses of each agent until we find the one which works."
"Some scientists think Boswellic acid is the key ingredient. But I think this is wrong. Many other essential oils - like oil from sandalwood - contain Boswellic acid, but they don't have this effect on cancer cells. So we are starting afresh."
The trials will take months to conduct and whatever results come out of them will take longer still to be verified. But this is a blink of the eye in the history of frankincense.
Nine thousand years ago, Omanis gathered it and burnt it for its curative and cleansing properties. It could be a key to the medical science of tomorrow.
Jeremy Howell reports for Middle East Business Report on BBC World News.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
"Those engaged in a healing mission with essential oils are constantly called upon to rely upon their intuitive faculties to decide which oils to use and how. This is necessary because there simply is not enough factual or scientific data available to make such decisions by intellectual means. This deficiency in applied research will eventually be remedied in time, perhaps over the next two centuries or so, but for the time being intuition is our best tool and, often, our only tool. "
~ Dr. David Stewart, author of Healing Oils of the Bible
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Stress Response Affects Hormones
*Tisserand, R., "Essential Oils as Therapeutic agents" in Dodd, G.H. and Van Toller, S., Perfumery: The Psychology and Biology of Fragrance 1, Chapmand and Hall,1190, p.169
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
FRANKINCENSE, an aromatic tree oil and in Christian tradition one of the three wise men's gifts to the baby Jesus, may be a helpful treatment for bladder cancer, according to a study published today.
US scientists tested an enriched extract of the frankincense herb boswellia carteri on both human bladder cancer cells and normal bladder cells in laboratory experiments.
The oil suppressed cancer growth and activated mechanisms which kill the dangerous cells, they said.
"Frankincense oil can discriminate bladder cancer cells and normal urothelial cells in culture. The oil suppresses cell survival and induces apoptosis in cultured bladder cancer cells," said the study.
Lead researcher Doctor Hsueh-Kung Lin of the University of Oklahoma said: "Frankincense oil may represent an inexpensive alternative therapy for patients currently suffering from bladder cancer."
The study noted that the oil originated from Africa, India and the Middle East and has been "important both socially and economically as an ingredient in incense and perfumes for thousands of years".
According to the Bible, it was presented to the infant Jesus by the three wise men, along with gold and myrrh.
The study was published in the online British Medical Council journal Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Well, I wasn't the OilGirl in 1990! I dreamed of marrying a cowboy or becoming a horse trainer and riding instructor. Even though I was interested in natural remedies, I didn't know anything about aromatherapy and essential oils. Being 17 years old, I felt like I was waiting for my life to begin. My family life was crumbling and I had no real friends to speak of. I had a healthy imagination and fantasized about what kind of life I would like to have. A writer? Singer? I had hope of better days anyway, in spite of enduring a pretty grim era in my life.
That year I lived in North Dakota with some friends for 6 months, met a German exchange student who is still a dear penpal to this day, and fell in and out of infatuation with a hunky Marine who didn't know I existed. I have to smile now at the waste of emotions that are spent at the age of 17!