Sunday, December 30, 2012

When The Devil Returns

by Donna L. Watkins

Lately I've been spending a lot of time near the Lord. For those of you who know about my heart issues early last year, you will also know that the Lord healed me and from July until November I was gardening, hiking nature trails, loading and unloading things in the car, doing all kinds of housework, yardwork, exterior painting, etc. Not only was my heart and lungs working normally, but the pain of the rheumatoid arthritis that I had for 26 years had also left my body.

I felt better than I had in a very long time and praised God all day long for the many, many symptoms that were no longer pressed upon my physical body. However, in November I began having breathing problems that I figured was from the heat being on in the house and drying things out. I didn't pay too much attention to it but of course, it's a definite fact that the devil will revisit you with symptoms of healed health problems. I just kept on praising and worshipping God for what was done. Symptoms are facts, but they are not necessarily the Truth. I keep my mind focused on the Truth (God's Word) and not what I experience through my five physical senses.

Since I was thinking it might be a bit of asthma, which I used to have for 33 years until menopause, I now realize that I didn't give it the attention it needed. What we think is all we will act on and I was praising God for all the bigger issues being gone and not fully realizing that this was a return of the devil to steal and destroy what I had already been given.

We cannot let him get away with a sniffle in flu season since our minds have been filled with thinking we have to have the flu when it's "flu season" and that's definitely not so.  Randal and I have refused to participate in this season and haven't ever had the flu.  Our son while he was growing up never did either.

I seemed to carry faith for the smaller issues of health, while I tolerated the devil's works in more chronic diseases, allowing him to add one disease after another to this body with me being so strong-willed that I simply made myself adapt to whatever came my way.

 I knew that God healed, but my theology at the time wasn't that He healed all the time. I didn't understand that at salvation I was healed. In Isaiah 53:5, this prophecy spoke of Jesus: "But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed."

I Peter 2:24 in the New Testament confirms that this came to pass: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." Did you notice this is past tense? It was accomplished on the Cross. The word used for salvation is "sozo" and it has a more comprehensive meaning than what most of us have been taught. [Read "Healing is God's Will"]

As we moved into December, the breathing issue demanded my attention and the devil, or my own memory of fear (sometimes we do the work of the devil without him lifting a finger), kept reminding me that the whole crisis situation earlier this year began in mid-December with breathing problems. Although I noticed many things totally different with this breathing problem, fear will haunt you if you allow it to remain. I settled in on a few Scriptures since the Word is alive and active and more powerful than a two-edged sword against the devil (Heb. 4:12).

You have to remain at all times in the Word. You must believe what God says, not what your mind or the devil is speaking to you. I always personalize Scriptures when I use them to stand in faith and God's love for me. These are three that I have used a lot.
"What time I am afraid I will trust in You." (Psalm 56:3)
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." (I John 4:18)

"My Father takes great delight in me, He quiets me with His love, He rejoices over me with singing." (Zeph. 3:17)
When we realize how much God loves us and that He's a good Daddy, we increase our faith in knowing that He is not the author of disease. Some have been taught that God puts disease on us for our own good, or that He "allows" it to teach us something. That is not the picture that Jesus paints for us of the Father in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15). We are in Jesus and the Father only sees us as pure and holy as Jesus because that's what our spirit already is.

We are a new creation in Christ Jesus ... that's obviously not in the physical realm when we get saved, since we still look and act the same. We make choices to become like Jesus. But God is spirit and He sees us as He sees His Son.

Many times temptation will come to know more about a health problem. In our culture we've been trained to honor a disease name and diagnosis. How does that change anything in the spirit realm? I am healed, so knowing the name is only going to bring fear and dread. If we'd heard anything about it or known anybody with it we begin to visualize and think that all we know is going to happen to us. Our thoughts must be on the Truth that we are healed, no matter the name.

The name of Jesus is "the name that is above every name, and at the name of Jesus every knee should bow" (Phil. 2:9), so whatever the disease name must bow to His name. It's only "the devil that comes to kill, steal and destroy" (John 10:10).

My ability to function normally is certainly being affected since I get out of breath pretty easily, but when I'm sitting I don't notice it. That was not so in the last battle. These things were also not so in the time before: I can often take full deep breaths. I can sleep on my back. Leaning over to pick up something from the floor is no problem. I can still do the rebounder exercise (mini trampoline). I have no fluid retention to fill my lungs.

I remind myself all the time that this is NOT like last year. The devil has even thrown in some heart symptoms now and then. The funny thing is that the devil is not real consistent or reliable. Praise God for memory and the Holy Spirit to bring such things to mind so that "we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11). He's not very smart and messes up a lot.

Those who don't believe in healing would say I simply didn't get healed. However, I do not believe you can go from the ER doctor telling your husband to contact Hospice to the healthy state I've been in and then go back again 6 months later. If the heart valve is totally blown, the left ventricle is a third enlarged and filled with pooling blood, and you're carrying around 25+ pounds of fluid that the doctors said I could never get off, and barely enough energy to make it to the bathroom with rest stops every 10 steps ... well, you can see what I mean. [Read "My Visit To The Emergency Room")

The fluids, oxygen machine, atrial fibrillation, etc. have been gone since July and I'm not taking any drugs. I didn't take any drugs back then other than some Lasix (diuretic) which I was only able to use about every three days. I'm not gaining any fluid which was causing the breathing problem the last time since the x-ray showed both lungs 1/3 full of fluid with pleural effusions.

I share this to encourage those of you who are standing on healing or on your way there. Don't let the devil take you down! Of course he will continue to try, but we have God's Word to come against him. The more we praise God and worship Him and share our testimony as I have done with what God did through that crisis and what I've learned about healing ... the more he will try to shut us up. It doesn't sound fair, but Jesus warned us that "all who want to live a godly life in union with Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Tim 3:12).

We must do battle but we have the knowledge that we've already got victory.  We have to have that mentality also.  We are not fighting to GET healed, we're fighting to maintain what we already have.  We are not fighting for victory, we're fighting from a place of victory.

If you had a burglar come into your home, you wouldn't just let him walk about and take what he wanted.  It's yours, you own it.  You will stop him in whatever way you can.  You already own the stuff in your home so you're not trying to get him to let you keep it, you're defending your position as an owner already.  God has already given us healing - defend it!

Used with Permission by
I would certainly appreciate your prayers of agreement with me praising God for what He's done and standing in faith that all is well. The prayer of agreement is powerful. It combines the faith of another to our own and causes the scales of faith/belief vs. doubt/unbelief to balance in the favor of faith. God never meant for us to be alone in our battles. Jesus has already provided the victory and we appropriate it and enforce it.
"You lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; You set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." (Psalm 40:2)
Having the faith of another join with you is what the "body of Christ" is all about. For those who do believe in healing and that "the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up" (James 5:15). I humbly come to you again requesting prayer. I know the prayers of many friends/family/subscribers is what made the difference in the battle before.

"Spanning the often murky waters of daily life, faith forms a sturdy bridge so that we can cross holding tightly to the rope of courage in one hand and God in the other." -- Unknown

Knowing so many of you were on that bridge with me kept me strong and focused on the spiritual battle, not the physical world or body. You held up my arms as Aaron and Hur did for Moses in Exodus 17:12. Thank you for being my "rope of courage" in many ways.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sufferings and Eternity

By Donna L. Watkins

Life on earth is a lot what we make of it ... but it seems the devil makes more of it than we do at times. Everybody has ups and downs, but it's Jesus that gives us the power to have joy and peace no matter what the circumstances are.

Live Oaks and Azaleas
Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC
View enlarged image
Before Jesus left His disciples and this earth, He tried to prepare them for what was to come. They would be persecuted as many Christians are today for the gospel of Christ. I'm not talking about having a bad day, but of many that have been martyrs to spread the gospel in heathen places.

Paul said in Romans 8:18, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Jesus said He would go and prepare a place for us (John 14:2) and I imagine it's possible that building project is part of Heaven even today.

One day all of our earthly trials will seem minute compared to the glory of spending eternity with our Lord and Savior. When our times here on earth are a struggle, we need to encourage ourselves with this reality and promise.

When we think about spending eternity with the Lord, it should help us to put life here on earth in its proper perspective. It's easy to be fearful about problems and believe that all is lost, but for Christians who are born again, we have the promise of Jesus wiping all of our tears away. All sorrows will be in the past and considering all that will be amazing in Heaven, they will not come to mind. These thoughts should keep us from despairing and being depressed over what will look like minor matters when we look back. It will also make us much stronger in our faith.

Let's not make the focus of Heaven that of mansions and gold though. We should be focused on the fact that we will be with Jesus for eternity, the One who died for us so that we could be there at all. But think about this ... if worse comes to worse, you always have a home in Heaven especially made for you. No matter what the devil throws your way, you're still the winner!

Get an attitude with the devil that whatever he throws your way you will overcome. Romans 8:6 says, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Focus on the Word and not your problem. Then you will be spiritually minded which will produce life and peace.

You can't lose meditating on the Word and praising God for His provision. For Satan to defeat you, you have to be focused on the negative things in life. If you look beyond and believe in God's promises, it will produce victory. If your perspective is right, you will cast all your care on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7) and rest in Him.

If you are fretful, anxious and worried about things and telling everybody how bad it all is, you haven't got the problem under you. It is reigning over you and will produce death. I'm not necessarily talking about physical death ... but depression and despair is a form of death itself. It's certainly death to the abundant life that Christ came to give us.

Move from the position of death and defeat in the to a position of victory where you recognize that in Christ Jesus, you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). I know that it sounds real simple and the principle is, but it's not easy to implement. Daily we choose what to think on and if it's not the Word that is active and alive and able to do great things in our lives, then we choose death with our own thoughts.

It's not easy, but I can guarantee you it produces better results. Depression and despair and having a gloomy attitude won't ever bring forth peace, joy or happiness, so why waste your life choosing that path. It took me nowhere.  Take the "high road" and get the upper hand on the devil. We are conquerers of his tactics in Christ Jesus.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

Mix Up Your Routine to Boost Your Mood


 ... a routine can become a rut.

If we don’t have to think about what to have for breakfast, we won’t notice the details that make up our lives, even small things…like what things taste like, the feeling of the icy coffee as it hits the straw, the whiteness of the stairs, etc.

So, a goal in changing up a few things in your daily routine is to encourage yourself to be more engaged and mindful in the moment; to ... Read the entire article.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

Writing Heals


The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a clinical study showing that writing can have a big impact on physical symptoms.

Patients suffering from asthma or rheumatoid arthritis were asked to describe the most difficult moments of their lives or simply write down their plans for the day. Four months later, patients who spent just 20 minutes a day for three days in a row writing about their problems felt better, took fewer drugs to relieve their symptoms and saw their doctors less often. If a pill could have such an effect after just three doses, no physician in the world would fail to prescribe it to all her patients.

“Writing is a form of therapy,” English author Graham Greene wrote in his autobiography, Ways of Escape. “Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear that is inherent in the human situation.” Read the entire article.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Real Meaning of Christmas

t's that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas.

 But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of "Merry Christmas" to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?

 For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don't have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.

Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy .... Read the entire article.

The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
What's On Sale Now?
Pets - Heartworms
Essential Oils
Weight Loss
Air Sanitizer

Pets: Holiday Safety Tips

Video by Dr. Sarah

The holidays are a time to celebrate and indulge in some extra special treats. Sadly, treats which are sweet for good boys and girls may not be good for your animal companions.

In this month’s edition of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah is here to enlighten you on some of the holiday trimmings that could cause harm to your pets. From festive, seasonal plants to the sparkly decorations you use to adorn your tree, potentially harmful situations don’t take a vacation just because it’s the holidays.

Make sure to stay on Santa’s “nice list” and follow these tips to ensure you and your four-legged friends can have a happy, healthy season! Watch the latest episode of Pet Talk now…

The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

What's On Sale Now?
Pets - Heartworms
Essential Oils
Weight Loss
Air Sanitizer

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Biblical Ministry of Angels

Luke 22:43 "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him."

By Andrew Wommack

We have angels assigned to us. Hebrews 1:14 further reveals that their purpose is to minister to us, on our behalf. In the Old Testament, Psalm 91 teaches on the ministry of angels to God's people.

Some people who have realized this truth have taken it as far as to say that we are suppose to speak to our angels and they will obey our commands. There is no instruction in scripture to do this nor is there any example of that being done. We don't have the intelligence to administer all of the angels.

Many of the angels' protective duties described in Psalm 91 are preventative, and we certainly could not effectively command these activities.

Rather, these angels are dispatched exactly as this verse describes - by looking at the Father's face (Mat. 18:10). God Almighty controls them for us; however, we do have a part to play. Psalm 91 prefaces all of these promises about angels as being for those who dwell in the secret place of the most High. Verse 2 further instructs us to say that the Lord is our refuge and fortress and in Him we trust.

It is the combination of our faith in God and His faithfulness to us that releases the angels on our behalf. If it was solely up to God, His provision would be the same for everyone because of His mercy and grace. However, we have to receive God's grace by faith (Eph. 2:8). As we seek the Lord, become aware of His ministering spirits which were created to minister to us, and speak forth our faith in this area, He will send forth His angels on our behalf.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

The Energy To Change


The difference between healthy and unhealthy energy can be summarized as follows:

Healthy energy is flowing, flexible, dynamic, balanced, soft, associated with positive feelings.

Unhealthy energy is stuck, frozen, rigid, brittle, hard, out of balance, associated with negative emotions. People who can’t find a way to change are entangled in one or more of the qualities just listed.

There are strong indications that energy is more powerful than matter. Studies in longevity, for example, examine why some people live to a healthy old age. Their secret isn’t good genes, diet, not smoking, or even exercise, beneficial as all those things may be.

The highest correlation for reaching ninety or hundred years of age in good shape ... Read the entire article.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

Ways To Reuse Plastic Bags


Plastic grocery bags are terrible for the planet, but somehow they always seem to make their way into our homes, don’t they? Next time you’re faced with a plastic grocery bag, try one of these ways to give it a new life instead of sending it to the landfill!

Here in the U.S. we use around one billion plastic bags per year, and we only recycle around one percent of them. The rate of recycling is so low because recycling plastic of this low quality is not very profitable. The rest of those bags are landfill-bound. If they don’t make it to the landfill, they break down in sunlight to pollute our air and water or make their way into rivers and eventually the ocean where they become part of the plastic-polluted dead zones known as gyres.

Of course, banning plastic bags or at least turning them down at the store is the best option – not using these bags in the first place means stores won’t order as many, so the companies that produce them will churn out fewer of them each year. In most places, unfortunately, a bag ban is a long way off, and that means that despite your best intentions, chances are you end up with some of these bags in your home, even if you always remember to bring your own bag to the store.

Rather than feel guilty about the plastic bag stash under your kitchen sink, check out our list of 16 ways you can reuse the bags to keep them out of landfills.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Newsletter - 12/15/12

Hello Friends!

It's interesting to note that the next time I do a newsletter, Christmas will all be over and we'll be celebrating New Year's Day of 2013.  Wow!  Time passes on and makes us consider what changes we want to make in our lives.

A time of resolutions for exercise programs, quitting an addiction, being more kind, planning more family time, etc. etc.  We can come up with so many ideas of things we think we've got the willpower to make happen ... but in reality, not much lasts for long unless it's done through Christ's strength.

Praise God for giving us that strength in Him!  And remember ....

   The life you have led doesn't need to be the only life you'll have.   
-- Anna Quindlen  

The word "PEACE" comes to mind often these days as I see the world hustling and bustling around for whatever version of Christmas they celebrate.  It's a holiday about peace as Luke 2:13-14 tells of the message that came with Christ's birth: "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”

Ridgeview Park - Waynesboro, VA
It's a time to show good will towards those less fortunate in life. Jesus came to minister to the poor and also "became poor that we might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9).

We've been celebrating with a few Christmas activities.  We attended a double-feature show with a local theater group.  Well done!  Both shows were for Christmas.  The first was "The Gift of the Magi," and the other, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."

Since the town, Waynesboro, VA, was about 40 minutes away I scheduled several activities for our peaceful Sunday. We visited Ridgeview Park and wandered down the nature trail beside the river.  There were a lot of Mallard Ducks in the river and they were using an area of it like a Six Flags "ride the waves" feature.  They would swim around a large eddy of water and then ride it back down to where they were.  I took a short video.

Video From Bridge of Ducks Riding the Waves - Ridgeview Park - Waynesboro, VA  12/9/12
Mallard Ducks Having Fun on the River - Ridgeview Park - Waynesboro, VA

After the nature walk we visited a Model Train Railroad Museum which was very interesting.  I took lots of photos:  View Railroad Museum photo album.

Trains are a special memory from childhood since I used to go to the train yard and station every week with my great grandfather.  He lived until I was 10 years old.  I loved climbing on the red caboose and pretending I was an engineer waving to everybody at the crossings.  Then we'd go to the station and get some Chicklets from the candy machine.  Sweet memories.

© Donna L. Watkins - Augusta County Railroad Museum - Waynesboro, VA

We're committed to making each weekend a special celebration of Jesus.  We may even get a little backing in for something special.  Memories of recipes used while our son was young.  I am excited I am now able to cook more without the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain, but I still get frustrated with the damage of the RA since it affected my hands the most.  Isn't that just like the devil!?  Our hands are used for service.  However, Jesus provided healing on the Cross and I know I am in the process of being renewed, restored and repaired.

© Donna L. Watkins
Red-headed Woodpecker on Front Porch
Tell me what are your favorite holiday traditions?  Or maybe your favorite Christmas memory?  Post them in the comments area for this post on the blog so everybody can smile with me.  Share your thoughts here.

Our front porch buffet is crowded all day long. One of my favorite visitors is the Red-headed Woodpecker. He likes the bird bath and the suet feeder. He'll also take a few black-oil sunflower seeds now and then. I just think God is an amazing artist. There is no end to the diversity of colors and design in His Creation. It's incredible!

As you can see from the photo, the birds like to splash the window which is just fine with me since they tolerate me being right on the other side of it.

Speaking of woodpeckers, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been working on the back holly trees at the breakfast window.  The male is pretty skittish, but the female has been visiting and she will allow me to open up the window to watch her.  She's only a yardstick away (three feet) which is simply amazing.  There must be some pretty good sap coming from those trees.

© Donna L. Watkins - Limpy's Backyard Visit in August
During the hunting season, we don't get many deer in our yard. Behind the woods behind our lot there's a highway and across that there's supposed to be some shooting or gun range ... and I think they have hunting land also. I've never wanted to know the details. Anyway, we hear gunshots mostlyon weekends, but it's a time of year that the deer probably head to the center of our community far within no hunting ranges.

One afternoon, December 7th, I saw a deer on our front walkway and decided to go out to greet it and discovered it was Limpy, the injured stunted deer that has been around now for over a year.

Her front leg broke at the "knee" and she really had a hard time of it for months, especially since the other deer would chase her any time she came around. But then it seemed prayers were answered and it healed up. She still limps a bit but can use it and gets around well. I'm so excited about that!

Soapstone Quarry Tour
During the end of summer and into Autumn, she was hanging out with a pair of twin fawns after their mother seemed to disappear and one of them was with her at this time. The fawns were probably one male and one female. I didn't see the other one with her, but at this time of year, the young males tend to hang out with the males/bucks during mating season. Males reach "maturity" at 1-1/2 years but they don't generally successfully breed until they're 4 years old.

I'm going to keep this newsletter short since most folks have very busy lives in December.  I will look forward to hearing what some of your New Year resolutions will be when I sent out the next issue.  Be prepared to tell!  :-)

My prayer for each of you is to seek a revelation of God's love for you.  It will fill all the empty spaces and replace all the pain and heartache.  His love is truly amazing. Seek Him with all your heart!

Jeremiah 29:13 - "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Love, Holiday Hugs & Christmas Blessings!

P.S.  Know somebody who needs to see something in this newsletter? 

Send them the link to the website:  
or the link to this newsletter post:  

Thanks for sharing!  

View Posts By Topic
travel-costa rica
written by Donna

Posts Since Last Newsletter

The Art of Essential Oils

Complete Only In Him

Breakfast Affects Your Health & Learning

13 Billion Pounds of Paper Towels

Who's In Charge Of Your Thoughts?  (DLW)

Tortoise Provides Homes for 400 Species

Natural Perfumes

Newsletter - 12/1/12  (DLW)

Previous Posts You May Have Missed

Changing Our Thought Patterns  (DLW)

Forgiveness vs. Relationship Restoration

Meditating Day and Night

Newsletter - 11/1/12  (DLW)

My Thyroid Isn't Healed Yet  (DLW) - This Has Been Updated!

What Part of You Rules Your Life?  (DLW)

Aging for Pets - Factors in Lifespan Determination

In The Rough Now & Now

Cigarettes Effects on the Brain  (DLW)

Reducing The Cost of Pet Care

Feline Feeding Behavior & Why it Matters

Dealing With Long-term Diseases  (DLW)

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2012 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

This Blog is Sponsored By:

The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

What's On Sale Now?
Pets - Heartworms
Essential Oils
Weight Loss
Air Sanitizer

Decorate a Tree or Bush For The Birds

From NWF

You can share your holiday cheer with the wildlife in your yard by decorating a tree or shrub outside with food and treats. It’s a fun family project and easy to do. This is a custom dating back to the sixteenth century in northern Europe, where people honored the birds and beasts of the Nativity. Click here to learn what treats will attract the most wildlife to your yard.

The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

What's On Sale Now?
Pets - Heartworms
Essential Oils
Weight Loss
Air Sanitizer

Don't Discard Your Christmas Tree

From NWF

Instead of discarding the family Christmas tree this year, turn it into cover for the birds. The life of the festive tree can be extended for several more months by taking it outside and laying it down or propping it up near or next to a bird feeder. In a matter of minutes, the old Christmas tree is providing new natural cover for the birds. Read more ....

The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

What's On Sale Now?
Pets - Heartworms
Essential Oils
Weight Loss
Air Sanitizer

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Art of Essential Oils

There’s nothing more soothing after a stressful day than drawing a warm bath, lighting a few candles and cracking open a bottle of … essential oil!

Aromatherapy, defined by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), is “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.” This practice can be traced back as far as 2800 B.C., when Egyptians commonly used myrrh, and pharaohs were buried with urns containing aromatic resins (1). Today, it is still common to use the oils of plants to help naturally restore and enhance the health of the body.

What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils, the main ingredients used in aromatherapy, are the highly concentrated aromatic extracts that are distilled from plant materials (1). Distillation of these oils occurs either through steam or expression. In steam distillation, the plant matter is steamed until it is broken down to its fragrant oils. These oils are then cooled, separated from the water and filtered. In expression, the oil is simply pressed out of the plant. In either method, one is left with a highly concentrated, essential oil (2).

There are several ways to use essential oils on and around the body. The safest and most common use of essential oils is massaging them over a local area or the entire body. Because the oils are so highly concentrated, they must first be diluted in a carrier oil, or the fatty acid portion of the plant. Common carrier oils are derived from olives, avocados, rapeseeds and almonds (1). Body oils are commonly made into a 2% dilution, or 10 to 12 drops per ounce of carrier oil, before they are applied (3).

Oils can also be used through inhalation, which can produce psychological and physical results. The olfactory (or smelling) sense can link with the rest of the body, causing certain regions to either be stimulated or sedated. The aromatics also physically come in contact with mucous membranes inside the nose and lungs, which allows them to quickly travel through the bloodstream. When using this method, three to five drops can be placed in a bowl of hot water or into a tissue and inhaled (1). Oils can also easily be utilized by placing three to 10 drops in a bathtub before bathing (3). Lastly, only under the recommendation of a physician, oils are rarely prescribed for ingestion to aid with severe gastrointestinal or respiratory issues (1).

It is important to properly store essential oils, especially because some carrier oils can become rancid. Oils are best kept in a cool place (40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit) with the lid secured tightly to prevent oxygen from mixing with and degrading them. When correctly stored, oils can last from six months to two years (1).

Top Essential Oils
According to NAHA and Aromatherapy authors Kathi Keville and Mindy Green, the following oils are the most common essential oils, and the ways in which they support a healthy body are listed (1, 3).
• Bergamot: healthy mood and inflammation.
• Chamomile: healthy mood and inflammation, antiallergenic, digestive and relaxant.
• Eucalyptus: supports respiration, antibacterial and benefits immunity.
• Geranium: balancing hormones, antifungal and healthy inflammation.
• Lavender: antibacterial, benefits immunity, healthy mood and inflammation.
• Marjoram: antispasmodic, healthy inflammation and antiseptic.
• Peppermint: digestive support and decongestant.
• Rosemary: pain and muscle ache support, decongestant, circulatory tonic, mental and immune system stimulant.
• Tea Tree: antifungal, antiyeast and antibacterial.

Safety and Precautions
While aromatherapy uses natural oils from plants, there are still some best practices to follow. Because essential oils are very highly concentrated, the key to aromatherapy is that “less is more.” Using more of an oil will not increase any benefits, and may actually cause adverse effects such as irritation or burning of the skin. Pregnant women should avoid hyssop oil and ask their physicians before starting aromatherapy. This practice is also not advised for people with asthma. Lower dilutions are recommended for young children and the elderly. Most importantly, one should always read the label before using any product (3). WF

1. National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy,, accessed Sept. 15, 2012.
2.,, accessed Sept. 15, 2012.
3. K. Keville and M. Green, Aromatherapy a Complete Guide to the Healing Art (Crossing Press, Berkeley, CA, 2009).

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2012

The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

Share This Post