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Aromatherapy/Essential Oil

Before the term alternative medicine was formally used, aromatherapy was being practiced 5,000 years ago by Egyptians. At that time, oil was extracted from aromatic plants through infusion and used for embalming, cosmetics and medicinal purposes. This knowledge was passed on to the Greeks and served as the basis for more discoveries, including the relaxation and stimulating effects of the fragrance of some flowers.  Further, ancient man’s dependence on the environment for all of his basic needs and survival led him to discover natural ways of food preservation and the treatment of various conditions using herbs and aromatics.

Eastern Roots

The use of aromatics is also reflected in a Chinese herbal book by Shen Nung dated 2700 BC, showing specific details on more than 300 plants and their various applications. Ancient Chinese also burned incense and wood as part of religious practices that a good number of their modern counterparts still observe today.  Aromatics was also a part of accupressure, massage and other therapies identified with the Chinese.

Modern Health Treatment

Today, many individuals place a high premium on health and well-being. The cost of traditional or conventional medicine and medical procedures has made an increasingly high number of people turn to aromatherapy, or essential oils therapy, and other forms of alternative medicine.  Many individuals feel that utilizing these methods is safer than conventional methods of using medications prescribed by physicians that often have negative side effects.


Aromatherapy and/or essential oils therapy:

  • Facilitates an equilibrium of physical, mental and spiritual health through natural means.
  • In some cases, these alternative treatments are now considered as effective as traditional medicine.
  • The main component of aromatherapy is essential oils.
  • Essential Oils are highly concentrated essences known for their healing effects.

Essential Oils

These aroma-producing oils come from the flower, as in the case of a rose, or leaves (basil is an example), twig, bark, fruit rind and other plant parts. The extraction process can be tedious according to some individuals.  Obtaining approximately 5 teaspoonsful of oil could entail the use of more than 220 pounds of rose petals. This process is what drives the price point in pure essential oils.  The effectiveness is not compromised because a treatment can entail the use of only a few drops to generate the target effect. Another option is the less expensive synthetic oils.  However, they do not offer the healing properties of their natural counterparts.

How It Works

Essential oils work by stimulating the olfactory system and later the brain or limbic system. The fragrance, other properties, and effects of the oil determine how these body systems are stimulated. During a massage, for example, these oils are inhaled and absorbed by the body at the same time penetrating the skin and eventually reaching the organs and body systems. The absorption can be as short as 20 minutes and possibly extend to 2 hours or more, making some experts advise against bathing immediately after the massage to maximize the desired effect.

Longevity of Effects

The longevity of a fragrance varies from 3-24 hours to 2-3 days and even longer up to about a week. Eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme, and bergamot are among oils with a short-lived scent.  Oils such as hyssop and lavender last between 2-3 days. Jasmine, sandalwood, ginger and cedarwood are among the oils that take as long as one week before completely evaporating.

Calming Effect

The desired calming effect can be achieved by the creation of a balanced perfume; or a combination of the three types of oils based on longevity. These various combinations or aromatherapy blends can be mixed into a warm bath for different desired effect.  They can be used to relax and calm an individual, eliminate stress, energize, sooth the body or aching part, etc. The healing or calming effect of a massage can be enhanced by applying essential oils. However, this would require the use of carrier oils to prevent irritation or any other negative skin reaction.  Some of these carrier oils, which help dilute essential oils, include avocado oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, wheatgerm oil, almond oil, soya oil and hazelnut oil.


Creating new mixtures can be fun and you may be surprised at the benefits of certain oils.  Although there are many benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils therapy, caution should be used if you have a serious medical condition. These therapies can be inexpensive in comparison to traditional medications, however,  please do NOT discontinue medication without consulting your physician.




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10 Strange Delicacies from Around the World

As the old adage states, “Different strokes for different folks”.  All of us have different tastes when it comes to our culinary preferences.  Some are more different than others.  What some people find appealing, others find unimaginable.  Some preferences are not the same as a vegetarian having an aversion to meat.  Some will make us wide eyed, or make our stomachs quiver.  Often we find that if we give food a chance that we are not accustomed to we actually like it.  Some of the things on this list would most likely never be eaten voluntarily.

  • Ikizukuri, or breathing fish is just as unappetizing as it sounds.  This would have to be the freshest fish in the world.  It is a delicacy in Japan.  You are seated in front of an aquarium which the chef allows the diner to select a fish from.  The fish is then gutted and some of the skin is removed.  The trick is to cut the fish so that the it does not die.  The fish is then placed on a platter on top of ice with the heart still beating.


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  • Kopi Luwak, or excrement coffee.  Yes, excrement as in waste.  It is famed as being the most expensive coffee in the world. This coffee is made from feces from partially digested coffee beans defecated out of a civet.  A civet has a long tail like a monkey, stripes or spots on its body, and face markings like that of a raccoon. It is found in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa.  The digestive enzymes remove some of the acidity and makes the coffee smoother.

Kopi Luwak

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  • Bashashi.  Sounds like some type of sushi huh? Nope.  It is raw horse meat.  However, it is consumed both raw and cooked.  It is also referred to as cherry blossom meat.  It is widely consumed in Japan.  Upwards of 7,500 tons are consumed annually.  A large portion of this number is by tourists, but it is also served in private homes and specialty restaurants.

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  • Haggis.  This is a Scottish delicacy and if you live in the United States you may have to go there to enjoy it.  That is if you are adventurous enough to try it.  It has been banned in the United States since 1971 due to the American government banning the importation of certain products from Scotland.  The dish is comprised of heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep.  It was minced with oatmeal, onion stock, and spices.  It is all soaked in stock and boiled in sausage casing or sheep’s stomach.


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  • Guinea pig.  Can you imagine? We will never look at one the same when we walk into the local pet store.  Eating roasted or fried guinea pig is an ancient tradition.  It is still common today in some parts of South America.  In restaurants it is often served with potatoes and corn.

guinea pig

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  • Kangaroo.  And who eats it? You guessed it.  Australians.  What happened to shrimp on the Barbie? Geesh.  Kangaroo has been the red meat of choice for Australians for centuries.  They are projected to consume more kangaroo than beef in the future. It is a lean mean and healthier than beef.  It is believed that many people bean eating it for health reasons.


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  • Monkey brains. Yum, who is hungry? This is Chinese delicacy, which is also enjoyed in some other countries such as Indonesia.  They are thought to a cure for impotency.  The brains are eaten cooked or raw.  Monkey brains are sometimes eaten while the monkey is still alive.  This dish is not consumed legally in the United States since the federal government has made it illegal for consumption due to the risk of mad cow disease.

monkey brains

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  • Namibian wart hog anus tastes like chicken.  Just kidding, it probably does not.  This dish is generally served around a campfire and is unwashed, uncleaned, and cooked al dente, or the slightest amount possible if cooked at all.  Animal anuses are less popular than insects, or other strange animal parts.  However, they are enjoyed in Namibia.


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  •  Bull penis is often sold at markets in China.  It must be prepared well or it will be tough.  The urinary tract is also removed to prevent the meat from tasting like urine.  This was originally thought of as an aphrodisiac and it was prepared for Chinese emperors.  Bull penis is said to be more potent than Viagra.


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  • Balut is the embryo of a baby duck that is three weeks old. It is commonly eaten in the Philippines.  It has the appendages of full grown duck.  The dish is known for being crunchy, which comes from the skeleton that is partially formed.  Balut is such a statement in the Philippines that it is sold in many different ways, such as pickled, bottled, in an omelet, etc.  Or it can be sucked out of the shell in the traditional way that it is eaten.  As is a lot of exotic food it is thought to be an aphrodisiac.


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Quotes to live by

“In happy moments praise God.  In the difficult moments seek God.  In the quite moments trust God.  In every moment thank God”.

“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself”.

“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure”.

“Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show”.

“Apology accepted, trust denied”.

“Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you no one would believe it”.

“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening”.

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Things you don’t want to hear during surgery
“Better save that. We’ll need it for the autopsy.”
“Accept this sacrifice, O Great Lord of Darkness.””Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what’s that?”

“Hand me that… uh… that uh… that thingy there.”

“Oh no! Where’s my Rolex.”

“Oops! Hey, has anyone ever survived from 500 ml of this stuff before?”

“Ya know, there’s big money in kidneys? and this guy’s got two of ’em.””Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens!”

“What’s this doing here?””I hate it when they’re missing stuff in here.”

“Well folks, this will be an experiment for all of us.”

“Sterile schmerile. The floor’s clean, right?”

“This patient has already had some kids, am I correct?”

“Nurse, did this patient sign an organ donation card?”

“Don’t worry. I think it is sharp enough.”

“FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out!”

“Oh no! Page 47 of the manual is missing!”

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Uses For Vinegar


No wax floors: add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water.

Carpet stain removal: A mixture of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water will remove non-oily stains from carpets. Apply it to the stain with a soft brush or towel and rub gently. Rinse with a towel moistened with clean water and blot dry. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone. Then dry quickly, using a fan or hair dryer. This should be done as soon as the stain is discovered.

Garbage disposal cleaner: Garbage disposal cleaning with vinegar cubes keeps disposals clean and odor free.  Vinegar cubes are made by filling an ice tray with a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and enough water to fill the ice tray and then freezing it. Run the mixture through the disposal, and then flush it with cold water for a minute or so.

Clean the microwave: Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.

Brass polish: Cleaning with vinegar helps your brass, copper and pewter to shine. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and stir in flour until it becomes a paste. Apply paste to the metals and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse with clean warm water and polish until dry.

Bathtub film: Bathtub film can be removed by wiping with white distilled vinegar and then with soda. Rinse clean with water.

Toilet bowl cleaner: Stubborn stains can be removed from the toilet by cleaning with white distilled vinegar and brushing vigorously. The bowl may be deodorized by adding 3 cups of white distilled vinegar. Allow it to remain for a half hour, then flush.

Other Uses

Ant deterrent: Ant invasions can sometimes be deterred by washing counter tops, cabinets and floors with white distilled vinegar.

Unclog the showerhead: Corrosion may be removed from showerheads or faucets by soaking them in white distilled vinegar overnight. This may be easily accomplished by saturating a terry cloth towel in vinegar and wrapping it around the showerhead or faucet.

Kill grass: To kill grass on sidewalks and driveways, pour full strength white distilled vinegar on it.

Kill weeds: Spray white distilled vinegar full strength on tops of weeds. Reapply on any new growth until plants have starved.

Keep Flowers Longer: Keep flowers fresh longer.  Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a 1-quart vase of water.  Trim stems and change water every five days.

Pest fighter: A teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water helps keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of one teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.

Get Rid of Odor on a Smelly Dog: Wet the dog down with fresh water.  Use a mixture of 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 2 gallons water.  Saturate the dog’s coat with this solution.  Dry the dog off without rinsing the solution.  The smell will be gone!

Frosted windows: For those rare winter mornings when there is frost on the car, wipe the windows the night before with a solution of one part water to three parts white distilled vinegar.  They won’t frost over.

Keeping colors fast: To hold colors in fabrics, which tend to run, soak them for a few minutes in white distilled vinegar before washing.

Freshen vegetables: Freshen up slightly wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.

Meat tenderizer: As a tenderizer for tough meat or game, make a marinade in the proportion of half a cup of your favorite vinegar to a cup of heated liquid, such as bouillon; or for steak, you may prefer to a mix of vinegar and oil, rubbed in well and allowed to stand for two hours.

Fruit stains: Remove fruit or berry stains from your hands by cleaning them with vinegar.

Get rid of cooking smells: Let simmer a small pot of vinegar and water solution.

Fluffier Rice: For fluffier and great tasting rice, add a teaspoon of white distilled vinegar to the boiling water before adding rice.  Rice will be easier to spoon and less sticky.

Soothe a bee or jellyfish sting: Douse with vinegar. It will soothe irritation and relieve itching.

Relieve dry and itchy skin: Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your bath water.

Fight dandruff: After shampooing, rinse with a solution of ½ cup vinegar and 2 cups of warm water.

Chest congestion: To clear up respiratory congestion, inhale a vapor mist from steaming pot containing water and several spoonfuls of vinegar.

Toenail fungus: Soak toes in a solution of vinegar and water, using 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, 15 minutes per day.