Oregano, the fragrant herb commonly used to flavor pasta and meat dishes, is renowned for its versatility in the kitchen. But did you know that it can also be transformed into an herbal oil with a wide range of benefits? Read on to learn more about oregano oil.
Oregano oil is derived from the leaves and flowers of oregano (Origanum vulgare), a hardy, bushy perennial herb, and a member of the mint (Lamiaceae) family. It’s native to Europe, although it grows in many areas around the world1 The plant grows up to 90 centimeters (35 inches) high, with dark green leaves that are two to three centimeters long.
The ancient Greeks and Romans have a profound appreciation for oregano, using it for various medicinal uses. In fact, its name comes from the Greek words “oros” and “ganos,” which are words for mountain and joy,– oregano literally means “joy of the mountain.” It was revered as a symbol of happiness, and it was an ancient tradition to crown brides and grooms with a laurel of oregano.
There are over 40 oregano species, but the most therapeutically beneficial is the oil produced from wild oregano or Origanum vulgare that’s native to Mediterranean regions.4 Beware, though, as many of the oregano oils sold in grocery stores are not made from this variety, and may have little to no therapeutic value. Opt only for oregano oil made from Origanum vulgare and Thymus capitatus, a variety that grows in Spain.
To obtain oregano oil, the dried flowers and leaves of the wild oregano plant are harvested when the oil content of the plant is at its highest, and then distilled.6 The resulting oil is golden to dark yellow, with a strong spicy odor.
I highly recommend adding oregano oil to your arsenal of natural healing tools, as it has a wide range of uses. This herbal oil is a powerful antimicrobial that can help fight off infections. Oregano oil also has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Other ideal uses for oregano oil are:
Treating foot or nail fungus. Put a few teaspoons of oregano oil in a basin of water and soak your feet in it. You can also dilute the oil (mix a drop with a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil), and then apply it on your nails or skin.
Killing parasites and infections. Dilute the oil (mix a drop with a drop of a carrier oil such as coconut oil), and place it under your tongue. Hold it there for a few minutes, and then rinse it out. Repeat this at least four times a day.
Alleviating sinus infections and colds. Put a few drops of oregano oil in a pot of steaming water, and then inhale the steam.
I also encourage using the antiseptic powers of this herbal oil to clean your home. Here’s one way how: combine four drops of oregano oil with 10 drops of lemon oil and a quarter-cup of white vinegar, and then add to a bucket of water. Use this mixture to wipe and clean surfaces.
Composition of Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is high in phenols, which are natural phytochemical compounds with beneficial antioxidant effects. The two most abundant phenols in it are:
Thymol – a natural fungicide with antiseptic properties. It helps boost your immune system, works as a shield against toxins, and even helps prevent tissue damage and encourages healing.
Carvacrol – found to be effective against various bacterial infections, such as candida albicans, staphylococcus, E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella, klebsiella, the aspergillus mold, giardia, pseudomonas, and listeria.
Other healthful compounds in oregano oil include:
Terpenes – known for their powerful antibacterial properties.
Rosmarinic acid – an antioxidant that prevents free radical damage and has shown promise in treating allergic asthma and preventing cancer and atherosclerosis. It also works as a natural antihistamine that reduces fluid buildup and swelling caused by allergy attacks.
Naringin – inhibits the growth of cancer cells and helps boost the antioxidants in oregano oil.
Beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) – this substance inhibits inflammation and is also beneficial for conditions including osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis, as well as metabolic syndrome.11, 12
Nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, boron, and niacin are also found in oregano oil.
Benefits of Oregano Oil
Oregano oil has wide-reaching health benefits, but is most associated with respiratory and immune system health. It is known for helping prevent and treat infections, such as:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by bacteria like E. coli, Proteus,and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Respiratory infections brought on by Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria strains.
Yeast infections, even those that are resistant to the commonly used antifungal drug Diflucan.
Parasitic infections caused by the amoeba giardia – it was even found to be more effective than antibiotics like Tinidazol.
Oregano oil has strong antibacterial properties that can kill this deadly superbug. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection – A team of Indian and British researchers found that oregano oil has strong antibacterial properties that can kill this deadly superbug.
Oregano oil has also shown promise in preventing food-borne illnesses caused by pathogens like listeria, salmonella, E. coli, and Shigella dysenteria. Adding it to foods not only helps kill the bacteria, but may also alleviate food poisoning symptoms. An animal study from University of Arizona researchers also found that oregano oil can help kill norovirus,18 which causes gastroenteritis.
Oregano oil is also a prized antiseptic essential oil in aromatherapy because its proportion of phenols is said to be the highest of all aromatic plants. Aside from using the steam method to relieve coughs and other respiratory illnesses, you can also use it to:
Ward off insects. Carvacrol in oregano oil works as a natural insect repellant. Try putting a few drops on outdoor furniture, or apply a diluted mixture on your skin when heading outdoors.
Relieve bug bites and rashes, including poison ivy rash. Apply oregano oil diluted with olive oil on the affected areas.
Help heal cold sores, dandruff, and other skin conditions. Some experts also advocate using a diluted version to treat acne and rosacea.
Ease sore throat. Simply add a few drops to a glass of water. It can help alleviate toothache as well.
Relieve muscle and joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), sprains, and cramps.
The compounds in oregano oil work together to provide the antimicrobial effects this oil is so well-known for. Carvacrol is its most important component, and is responsible for many of its health benefits. Carvacrol has powerful antimicrobial properties, and has been shown to help break through the outer cell membranes that help protect bacteria from your immune system.
Oregano oil can either be applied topically or ingested, depending on the condition you’re using it for. However, I advise against using the oil full-strength, as it can irritate your skin. Do not apply it to broken skin and open wounds as well.
Oregano oil is meant for short-term use only, and, if using orally, should be taken in small doses of four to six drops for only seven to 10 days.
Is Oregano Oil Safe?
Yes it is, as long as it’s diluted in water or with a carrier oil (some of my top choices are jojoba, olive, and coconut oils). Clinical herbalist Michelle Lynde says the ideal ratio when diluting this herbal oil is one part oregano oil to three parts carrier oil.
I recommend doing a spot test as well to check if you have any allergic reactions to oregano oil. Simply apply a diluted drop on your arm and see if any irritation occurs.
Be careful when buying oregano oil because some manufacturers sell adulterated oils and oils made from thyme, Spanish oregano, or cultivated oregano, which DO NOT provide any health benefits.
Side Effects of Oregano Oil
Some people may experience stomach upset when ingesting oregano oil (or even the herb itself). Those who are allergic to plants from the Lamiaceae family (mint, lavender, sage, and basil) should also avoid this oil, as they may also develop an allergic reaction.
Oregano oil is also NOT advisable for infants and children. Pregnant or nursing women are also discouraged from using oregano oil both topically and orally, as it can encourage blood circulation within the uterus, which deteriorates the lining that encompasses the fetus within the womb. Oregano oil also has a potential to induce menstruation, and may be dangerous to your unborn child.
It is clear that our thoughts and emotions affect our own bodies. The body may even react violently to stress and depression. However, how do our thoughts and feelings affect those around us? According to Dr. Masura Emoto, quite a bit.
Emoto was an author, researcher, and entrepreneur. He believed human consciousness had a recordable effect on water. Emoto’s conjecture evolved over the years, and his early work explored his belief that water could react to positive thoughts and words, and that polluted water could be cleaned through prayer and positive visualization.
The video below gives a very condensed version of Emoto’s beliefs. Take a look and decide for yourself.
He believed that that emotional “energies” and “vibrations” could change the physical structure of water and published several books with pictures of ice crystals that formed while different emotions were directed towards them.
Emoto’s work is amazing, but the peer-reviewed studies also performed on the subject shine more light on the subject.
An experiment was done at the Institute of Noetic Sciences titled “Double-Blind Test of the Effects of Distant Intention on Water Crystal Formation”. The hypothesis that water “treated” with intention can affect ice crystals got serious attention from the scientific community from the results of this experiment when the water was pilot tested under double-blind conditions.
A group of approximately 2,000 people in Tokyo focused positive intentions toward water samples located inside an electromagnetically shielded room in California. Ice crystals formed in both sets of water samples, yet only certain kinds of formations were present within the water they were concentrating on. That group was unaware of similar water samples set aside in a different location as controls. (Spirit Science and Metaphysics)
The results were fascinating. The ice crystals that formed were vastly different for each water sample.
“Ice crystals formed from both sets of water samples were blindly identified and photographed by an analyst, and the resulting images were blindly assessed for aesthetic appeal by 100 independent judges. Results indicated that crystals from the treated water were given higher scores for aesthetic appeal than those from the control water (P = .001, one-tailed), lending support to the hypothesis”, concluded the team lead by Dr. Radin. (Spirit Science and Metaphysics)
Unfortunately, this study can no longer be found online, so I can’t read it for myself. Also, Emoto’s work has been highly criticized by the scientific community.
Biochemist and Director of Microscopy at University College Cork William Reville wrote, “It is very unlikely that there is any reality behind Emoto’s claims.” Reville noted the lack of scientific publication and pointed out that anyone who could demonstrate such a phenomenon would become immediately famous and probably wealthy. (Wikipedia)
Did you know that essential oils can actually help make a sore throat go away quicker or avoid one all together? Sore throats can happen anytime of the year for a variety of reasons. A sore throat is an irritation, scratchiness or pain of the throat that often worsens when swallowing.
Your throat or pharynx, by definition, is the tube that carries food to your esophagus and air to your windpipe and larynx (your voice box). A common sore throat is caused by a viral infection while a strep throat is a bacterial infection, which can be from a number of different strains of bacteria. Unfortunately, both are quite contagious and can be passed from person to person with close contact.
The most common cause of a sore throat is a cold or the flu. You often first realize a cold or the flu is coming on when you get that first bit of pain and scratchiness in your throat. A sore throat can also be caused by allergies, strep throat, mononucleosis, tonsillitis, smoking or acid reflux.
Aside from the typically recommended rest, proper nutrition, plenty of liquids, hot teas and gargling, sore throat remedies include tapping into the natural power of essential oils for sore throat pain!
Top Essential Oils for Sore Throat
The uses for essential oils truly are endless and if you have read any of my other essential oil articles, you’re probably not even that surprised that they can be used for sore throats, too.
The following essential oils for sore throat pain will kill germs, ease inflammation and speed healing of this annoying and painful malady:
Peppermint oil is commonly used for treatment of the common cold, cough, sinus infections, respiratory infections, and inflammation of the mouth and throat, including sore throats. It’s also used for digestive problems, including heartburn, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cramps of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract and bile ducts, upset stomach, diarrhea, bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, and gas.
Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, which provides a cooling sensation and a calming effect to the body. Research indicates that the antioxidant, antimicrobial and decongestant properties of peppermint essential oil can help alleviate your sore throat. Menthol also helps to sooth and calm sore throats as well as thin mucus and break up coughs.
Today, oil from the eucalyptus tree appears in many over-the-counter cough and cold products to relieve congestion. The health benefits of eucalyptus oil are due to its ability to stimulate immunity, provide antioxidant protection and improve respiratory circulation.
Originally referred to as “eucalyptol” by the scientific community, the health benefits of eucalyptus oil come from a chemical now known as cineole, which is an organic compound shown to hold astounding, widespread medicinal effects — including everything from reducing inflammation and pain to killing leukemia cells! It’s no wonder it can be one of the steps to beat a cold and sore throat.
This well-known herb in oil form is a smart choice for defense against a sore throat. There is evidence that the essential oil of oregano has antifungal and antiviral properties. One study even showed that treatment with oregano oil may be useful for parasite infections.
If you have any doubts that oregano oil can prevent and treat a sore throat, it has even been shown to kill the superbug MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor — and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating it in boiling water.
Clove essential oil is useful for boosting the immune system, so it is extremely useful at discouraging and relieving a sore throat. The sore throat benefits of clove oil can be attributed to its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and stimulating properties. Chewing on a clove bud can help a sore throat (as well as a toothache).
A study published in Phytotherapy Research found that clove essential oil shows antimicrobial activity against a large number of multi-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis. Its antiviral properties and ability to purify blood increases resistance to a multitude of diseases, including sore throats.
Hyssop was used in ancient times as a cleansing herb for temples and other sacred places. In ancient Greece, the physicians Galen and Hippocrates valued hyssop for inflammation of the throat and chest, pleurisy and other bronchial complaints.
It’s not surprising that hyssop has a long history of medicinal use. The antiseptic properties of hyssop oil make it a powerful substance for fighting infections and killing bacteria. Whether your sore throat is viral or bacterial, hyssop is an excellent choice for a sore throat as well as lung inflammation.
Thyme oil is one of the strongest antioxidants and antimicrobials known, and it has been used as a medicinal herb since ancient times. Thyme supports the immune, respiratory, digestive, nervous and other body systems.
A 2011 study tested thyme oil’s response to 120 strains of bacteria isolated from patients with infections of oral cavity, respiratory and genitourinary tracts. The results of experiments showed that the oil from the thyme plant exhibited extremely strong activity against all of the clinical strains. Thyme oil even demonstrated a good efficacy against antibiotic-resistant strains. What a sure bet for that scratchy throat!
With a sweet, woodsy smell, juniper berry essential oil is a popular ingredient in many household cleaning products, aromatherapy blends and fragrance sprays. Today, juniper berry essential oil is also commonly used as one of the best natural remedies for sore throat as well as respiratory infections, fatigue, muscle aches and arthritis.
Juniper berry’s use for sore throat is validated by research that shows juniper berry essential oil actually contains over 87 different active constituent compounds, including strong antioxidants, antibacterials and antifungals.
How to Use Essential Oils for Sore Throat
Essential oils can be used for a sore throat in three different ways: by inhalation, topical application or internal consumption.
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. One main way to use essential oils for aromatherapy is to inhale the smell or aroma of an essential oil.
When the scent of an essential oil is inhaled, molecules enter the nasal cavities and stimulate a firing of mental response in the limbic system of the brain, including the regulation of stress or calming responses such as heart rate, breathing patterns, production of hormones and blood pressure. Aromatherapy can be obtained by using essential oils as direct inhalations, in a bath, in a vaporizer or humidifier, fan, vent, perfume, cologne, or through aromatherapy diffusers.
An easy way to regularly practice direct inhalation is to add one to two drops of an essential oil into the palms of your hands and rub them together to spread the oil. Next, cup your hands over your nose and take 5–10 deep and slow breaths. You can also add two to three drops of an essential oil to a cotton ball and place it inside your pillow or in any place that will be easy to smell it.
Another excellent way to soothe a sore throat is by inhaling the steam of boiling water containing a few drops of some of the essential oils I just mentioned. Simply fill a big bowl with hot water and drape a towel over your head to create a tent and breathe in the steam. Of course, be careful not to burn yourself.
Many essential oils can be ingested by the mouth; however, it is critical to make sure that the oils you use are safe and pure. Many oils on the market may be diluted or blended with synthetics that are unsafe for ingesting. The FDA has approved some essential oils generically for internal use and given them the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation for human consumption.
By using essential oils in a gargle, you can directly have the essential oils come into contact with the problematic area. Simply add one to two drops of essential oil to half a glass of mildly warm water and gargle for a minute or two. Do not swallow the mixture after gargling.
A safe and effective way to consume essential oils according to The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy, is to add one drop of oil to a glass of water or in a teaspoon of honey. Other oral application options include using capsules, making a tea, and cooking with essential oils.
Topical application of an essential oil involves placing an essential oil on the skin, hair, mouth, teeth, nails or mucous membranes of the body. When the oils touch the body, they penetrate rapidly.
Since pure essential oils are so potent, it’s important to dilute them before using them on your body. You can dilute an essential oil by blending it with a carrier oil (such as olive, jojoba, sweet almond, or coconut oil) or a natural unscented lotion. Add 5–10 drops of essential oil to to two tablespoons of carrier oil or natural unscented lotion. You can then apply the blended oil or lotion directly to an area of the body that will benefit the throat like the neck, chest, behind the ears, or bottoms of the feet.
Recipes Using Essential Oils for Sore Throat
Easy, Anti Sore Throat Steam Inhalation
3 drops clove essential oil
3 drops juniper berry essential oil
large bowl of boiling hot water
Add the clove and juniper berry oils to a large bowl of boiled water.
Drape a towel over your head to create a tent over and around the bowl.
Relax and breathe in the fragrant steam for 5 minutes. Of course, be careful not to burn yourself.
You can also add 3 drops of lemon oil and 1 drop of eucalyptus oil to your water, gargle for 10 seconds and then drink.
Risks of Essential Oils for Sore Throat
Make sure you are using therapeutic grade essential oils for sore throat pain. Inhaled or topical use of essential oils is generally safer than oral use. Never ingest any essential oils or apply undiluted essential oils to the skin without proper training or medical supervision. It is critical to understand how best to use essential oils.
Always consult a specialist and conduct a patch test before proceeding with caution as essential oils may react differently for different individuals. Infants, children, pregnant women, seniors and people with severe illnesses should not use essential oils internally except under the supervision of a physician. If pregnant, check with a professional before using essential oils externally on your body as well.
If your sore throat is severe or lasts longer than one week, seek medical attention.
It’s no wonder the FDA has their sights set on essential oils…
Did you know that our sense of smell is the only sense directly tied to the limbic area of the brain, which is considered the emotional control center?
This means that when essential oils are inhaled, they go directly to the brain. Our other four senses — taste, sight, touch and hearing — are first routed through the thalamus before reaching designated areas of the brain. Because the limbic system is directly connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, therapeutic-grade essential oils can have unbelievable physiological and psychological effects. Each of the essential oils has therapeutic stimulating, calming, sedative, balancing properties. When we inhale an essential oil molecule, it travels through the nasal passage to a receptor neuron that transports it up to the limbic brain, especially the hypothalamus. The limbic center in your brain is responsible for controlling all the physical, psychological, and emotional responses that your body performs based on stimulus coming from the outside. Thus, the ability of essential oils to target your limbic center, make them a powerful tool in treating many health ailments.
When essential oils are inhaled through the nose, tiny nerves send an immediate signal to the brain and go straight to work on the systems that moderate our minds and bodies. Inhalation can be the most direct delivery method of these incredibly nurturing components in essential oils, since the chemical messengers in the nasal cavity have direct access to the brain.
In studies performed at Vienna and Berlin Universities, researchers discovered that sesquiterpenes, a natural compound found in essential oils of Vetiver, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Frankincense, can increase levels of oxygen in the brain by up to 28 percent (Nasel, 1992). Such an increase in brain oxygen may lead to a heightened level of activity in the hypothalamus and limbic systems of the brain, which can have dramatic effects on not only emotions but on learning, attitude, and many physical processes of the body such as: immune function, hormone balance, and energy levels. High levels of sesquiterpenes also occur in Melissa, Myrrh, Cedarwood, and Clove essential oils.
In 1989, Dr. Joseph Ledoux , at New York Medical University, discovered that the amygdala plays a major role in storing and releasing emotional trauma. From the studies of Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Ledoux we can conclude that aromas may exert a profound effect in triggering a response.
Essential oils can provide many benefits to the human body without side effects, whether it is through diffusing or simply inhaling the aroma straight from the bottle. Proper stimulation of the olfactory nerves may offer a powerful and entirely new form of therapy that could be used as an adjunct against many forms of illness. Therapeutic essential oils, through inhalation, may occupy a key position in this relatively unexplored frontier in medicine.
The ability of essential oils and its molecular properties to affect both physical and psychological functions in the body is one reason why it is currently being evaluated for brain injury treatments.
Frankincense Essential Oil and Your Brain
The human brain is the most complex organ within the body. Injuries to the brain range from mild concussions to more serious head trauma. Usually, various brain injuries are slow to heal, but frankincense oil can aid greatly in this process. Frankincense works by aiding oxygenation of blood going to the brain. This, in turn, will aid in oxygen absorption. When oxygen is absorbed effectively, it allows the brain to process and retain information, heal, and function correctly. Frankincense is the Essential Oil of choice for any kind of brain disorder. Frankincense has a molecular makeup that includes sesquiterpenes, that is able to cross the blood/brain barrier.
These sesquiterpenes stimulate the limbic system of the brain and other glands within the brain, promoting memory and releasing emotions. Frankincense slows down and deepens the breath. The therapeutic properties of Frankincense oil are antiseptic, astringent, carminative, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine, vulnerary and expectorant. Research from the universities of Berlin and Vienna found that sesquiterpenes increase oxygenation around the pineal and pituitary glands. This allows for ideal balance of emotion-regulating and memory-stimulating hormones. The bottom line is that essential oils can penetrate not only the blood-brain barrier, but they can also penetrate the skin, follow nerve pathways, follow the meridians, and provide healing and balance even at the cellular level such as cellular memory and DNA.
Diffusing and Inhaling
Diffusing certain oils using a cold air diffuser may have these benefits according to research:
Relax the body, clear the mind, and relieve tension.
Help with weight management.
Reduce bacteria, mold, fungus, and odors.
Improve hormonal balance.
Improve the secretion of antibodies that fight candida.
Improve concentration, mental clarity and alertness.
Stimulate secretion of endorphins.
Improve digestive functions.
Stimulate growth hormone production and receptivity.
Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
The level of purity and therapeutic value of an oil is closely tied its chemical constituents, which can be affected by such things as the soil from which the plant was grown, the soil condition, fertilizer (organic or chemical) climate, distillation process, etc.
In aromatherapy, the quality of your oils is everything so to achieve healing benefits, it is important to use undiluted therapeutic grade essential oils. Look for the term “100% therapeutic grade essential oil” on labels. You need to understand that essential oils may be labeled as l00% organic essential oil, but this does not mean that they are pure.
Therapeutic quality essential oils are laboratory tested and certified to be free from impurities. A therapeutic-grade essential oil is one that is both complete in its chemical constituents, giving it a rich, deep aroma, and is kinetically alive and able to raise the frequency of the human body, restoring balance and normal function to weak body systems. This is important, because the oil’s fragrance, frequency and chemistry all contribute to its unique therapeutic effects. If any of these properties is compromised, as a result of poor production practices, an essential oil cannot rightly be called therapeutic-grade.
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According to Oxford University researcher Dr. Paul Kelley, forcing staff to work before 10 a.m. is equivalent to torture. It is also making employees ill, exhausted, and stressed.
“Before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults are completely out of sync with normal nine-to-five working hours, posing a “serious threat” to performance, mood and mental health.” (National Post)
Thus, Kelley believes there needs to be a change in work and school starting times so that they fit with the natural clock of humans.
“Experiments studying circadian rhythms have shown that the average 10-year-old will not fully focus on academic work before 8.30 a.m. Similarly, a 16-year-old should start at 10 a.m. for best results and university students should start at 11 a.m. Dr. Kelley believes simply moving school times could raise grades by 10 per cent. He was formerly a head teacher in Tyneside, where he changed the school start time from 8.30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and saw the number of top grades rise by 19 per cent.” (National Post)
Kelley also states that staff should start work at 10 a.m. and that workers should not get back to a 9 a.m. starting point until they reach
Staff are usually sleep deprived. We’ve got a sleep-deprived society. It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical, emotional and performance systems in the body. Your liver and your heart have different patterns and you’re asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to.
The body is attuned to sunlight and it is not possible to change its 24-hour cycle. One must work to train their body to work at a particular time.
Kelley also states:
This applies in the bigger picture to prisons and hospitals. They wake up people and give people food they don’t want. You’re more biddable [obedient] because you’re totally out of it. Sleep deprivation is a torture.
A week with less than six hours of sleep a night led to 711 gene function changes.
Lack of sleep affects performance, attention, and long-term memory.
It encourages alcohol and drug use.
It leads to anxiety, frustration, anger, impulsive behaviour, weight gain, high blood pressure, lower immunity, stress, and mental health conditions.
In an effort to prove Kelley right, tens of thousands of children are starting school at 10 a.m. in an experiment by Oxford to prove that later classes can improve exam results. This is a four-year project based on evidence that teenagers’ natural rhythms are out of sync with normal school hours. The findings will be revealed in 2018.
I for one can tell you that, as a teenager, I had many friends who could not think properly until their third class. I also had friends that suffered signs of sleep deprivation. Setting up students to succeed is a huge step forward.
What do you think about natural sleep cycles?
To learn more about the study, take a look at the video below!
Simple Steps to Healing: Ho’oponopono
I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You
By Joe Vitale
Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients – without ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate’s chart and then look within himself to see how he created that person’s illness. As he improved himself, the patient improved.
When I first heard this story, I thought it was an urban legend. How could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could even the best self-improvement master cure the criminally insane?
It didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t logical, so I dismissed the story.
However, I heard it again a year later. I heard that the therapist had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho’oponopono. I had never heard of it, yet I couldn’t let it leave my mind. If the story was at all true, I had to know more.
I had always understood “total responsibility” to mean that I am responsible for what I think and do. Beyond that, it’s out of my hands. I think that most people think of total responsibility that way. We’re responsible for what we do, not what anyone else does. The Hawaiian therapist who healed those mentally ill people would teach me an advanced new perspective about total responsibility.
His name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. We probably spent an hour talking on our first phone call. I asked him to tell me the complete story of his work as a therapist. He explained that he worked at Hawaii State Hospital for four years. That ward where they kept the criminally insane was dangerous. Psychologists quit on a monthly basis. The staff called in sick a lot or simply quit. People would walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of being attacked by patients. It was not a pleasant place to live, work, or visit.
Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have an office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.
“After a few months, patients that had to be shackled were being allowed to walk freely,” he told me. “Others who had to be heavily medicated were getting off their medications. And those who had no chance of ever being released were being freed.”
I was in awe.
“Not only that,” he went on, “but the staff began to enjoy coming to work. Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. We ended up with more staff than we needed because patients were being released, and all the staff was showing up to work.”
This is where I had to ask the million dollar question: “What were you doing within yourself that caused those people to change?”
“I was simply healing the part of me that created them,” he said.
I didn’t understand.
Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life – simply because it is in your life – is your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world is your creation.
Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible for what I say or do is one thing. Being responsible for what everyone in my life says or does is quite another. Yet, the truth is this: if you take complete responsibility for your life, then everything you see, hear, taste, touch, or in any way experience is your responsibility because it is in your life.
This means that terrorist activity, the president, the economy – anything you experience and don’t like – is up for you to heal. They don’t exist, in a manner of speaking, except as projections from inside you. The problem isn’t with them, it’s with you, and to change them, you have to change you.
I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live. Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr. Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in ho’oponopono means loving yourself. If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure anyone – even a mentally ill criminal – you do it by healing you.
I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing, exactly, when he looked at those patients’ files?
“I just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ over and over again,” he explained.
Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world. Let me give you a quick example of how this works: one day, someone sent me an email that upset me. In the past I would have handled it by working on my emotional hot buttons or by trying to reason with the person who sent the nasty message. This time, I decided to try Dr. Len’s method. I kept silently saying, “I’m sorry” and “I love you.” I didn’t say it to anyone in particular. I was simply evoking the spirit of love to heal within me what was creating the outer circumstance.
Within an hour I got an e-mail from the same person. He apologized for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn’t take any outward action to get that apology. I didn’t even write him back. Yet, by saying “I love you,” I somehow healed within me what was creating him.
In short, Dr. Len says there is no out there. It would take a whole book to explain this advanced technique with the depth it deserves. Suffice it to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your life, there’s only one place to look: inside you.
And when you look, do it with love. Note: This article on ho’oponopono is edited from the book Zero Limits by Dr. Joe Vitale and Dr. Len. You can listen to Joe talk about his experience with Dr. Len and ho’oponopono along with his involvement with the inspiring movie, The Secret, on News for the Soul by clicking here. He starts talking about Dr. Len and ho’oponopono at minute 15 in this highly engaging one-hour interview.
Dr. Len’s message may be quite hard to believe, yet it’s amazingly simple. He states that we are all responsible for everything that we see in our world. By taking full personal responsibility and then healing the wounded places within ourselves, we can literally heal ourselves and our world. As related by Joe Vitale in the radio interview, Dr. Len suggests a four-stage process for this ho’oponopono work. Whenever a place for healing presents itself in your life, open to the place where the hurt resides within you. After identifying this place, with as much feeling as you can, say the below four statements:
For several inspiring articles on the ho’oponopono process, see the official ho’oponopono website. Even if you are skeptical, consider giving this simple healing method a try to see what happens. Many have found it to be incredibly profound in their lives. And for a powerful online lesson which brings this all home, click here. Thanks for taking the time to read this story and may your life open to ever more healing and miracles. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.