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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Essential oils during the childbearing years-Helichrysum Oil

Helichrysum oil is an oil that is more rare and I would use it only for very specific purposes.  It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a good choice to use for the pushing stage of labor.  Often this is an area that gets very swollen and sore.  A warm compress with a few drops of this oil added might aid in reducing the inflammation.  In my own practice, I have used this on the perineum while the mom is pushing.  The warm compress also adds to make this stage a little more comfortable, so it's a perfect combination.

It also has the antibiotic properties and may be useful for wound healing.  Again, this is another good reason to use it during the second stage of birth and recovery.  It has some promise of being effective against even some antibiotic resistant bacteria.  I would love to see some of this oils tested with gbs positive moms also.

Helichrysum may also have a relaxant effect on smooth muscle which may also be useful to help the uterus contract and with nausea.  No research has been done on this, though, and it is not used much in labor for this purpose as there are much better oils for this.

It may also be useful for gestational diabetes.  In one study a helichrysum extract, taken oraly,  decreased blood sugar, increased insulin, and decreased serum triglycerides in pregnant and non-pregnant diabetic animals.

While this is not pregnancy related, it does appear to have some anticarginogetic properties.  This was used external on rats that showed a decrease in the incidance of papillomas. 

There is some antedoctal evidence that it helps relax tissue.  It also helps blood to clot and would be good on minor tears and bruises.  Again, more good reasons to use it during pushing.  

The safety has not been well researched.  There are some concerns about any negative side effects it may have, so I encourage you to look through my reference section for more info.  When I use it, I use just a few drops in 2-3 cups of water.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.