4 cedarwood essential oils, benefits and uses

Originally published on Guide to Aromatherapy

There are four main types of cedarwood essential oil, from two different plant families. Atlas Cedarwood and Himalayan Cedarwood are from the Pinaceae family, while Virginian Cedarwood and Texas Cedarwood are from Cupressaceae. Atlas cedarwood and Virginian cedarwood are the oils which are most frequently offered for sale.

All types of cedarwood are generally safe for use in aromatherapy, but none of them should…

What is aromatherapy?

essential-oilsPeople sometimes ask me “What is aromatherapy?” and I answer: aromatherapy is not about making yourself or your home smell nice (though that may be a side effect), but about healing with extracts of aromatic herbs.

A quotation from the writings of Juvenal dating back to the first century AD says “A sound mind in a sound body” (Latin: Mens sana in corpore sano), referring to the harmony and relationship of mind to body and vice versa.

A person’s state of mind isn’t only about thoughts and emotions but affects physical condition and…

photo by Mar del Este

Sweet and Sour Pork, Hong Kong Style – Gluten free recipe

Originally published on 100% Gluten Free

A very popular dish. This version is totally gluten free.

4 Servings

The sauce:

2 tblsp cornflour
2 tblsp cider vinegar
2 tblsp gluten-free soy sauce
2 tblsp dark brown sugar
450 ml (¾ pint) water
1 medium carrot (optional)

The pork:

750g (1½ lb) lean pork, cubed
125g (4 oz) cornflour or rice flour
½ level tsp gluten-free baking powder
a pinch of salt
150ml (¼ pint) milk
oil for deep frying

Make the sauce:

Mix cornflour to a thin paste with the water, add vinegar, gluten-free soy sauce and sugar.


Is clean eating right for you?

Clean eating is a fairly new idea which seems to have spread across the world like wildfire. But what does it mean? In fact, although the term clean eating may be new, much of the thinking behind it has been advocated by health experts for many years – since the 1960s at the very least.

Conventional nutrition science espoused since the 1950s is turned on…

Allergy? Food intolerance? What’s in a name?

Lots of people think that allergy and food intolerance are just two expressions meaning the same thing. This even includes some Doctors! In fact, there is a big difference.

There is one thing allergies and food intolerances have in common: both can cause physical reactions, ranging from mild to severe. But that’s pretty much where the similarity ends.

So what is the difference? It should become clear as soon as I give you the…

It's unlikely anything in this shot is safe for celiacs and other gluten intolerants

Could gluten be damaging your health?

Previously published on Gluten Factsheet

Do you suffer from some or all of these problems: IBS, depression, difficulties with your weight, aches and pains in your bones and joints, chronic fatigue? If so, you may be gluten intolerant.

Gluten is a protein found in cereals, specifically, wheat (the main culprit), barley and rye. A similar protein is also found in oats. These cereals are relatively…


Carrier oils from nuts, Part 2

Originally published on Guide to Aromatherapy

In my first post, I covered nut-based carrier oils derived from sweet almond, arachis (peanut), coconut and hazelnut. Today’s post covers kukui, macadamia, pecan and walnut. All four can be used as carrier oil additives, as well as on their own.

Anyone with a nut allergy should avoid all oils derived from nuts, even if they are labelled “refined”.

Kukui nut oil

Kukui oil is quite…

Common or garden thyme in flower

Thyme health benefits: a truly multi-purpose herb

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

(A video containing the main points outlined here is available here)

The thyme I am talking about here is Thymus vulgaris, the common or garden thyme. It’s a low growing, fairly tough plant that likes a sunny situation. It comes in the standard green leafed and also in variegated forms, which some people consider to be more attractive, but the important thyme oil (which is the source of all thyme’s…