Seasonal Breathing: Blue Cypress
'Tis the season to be sniffling, but not necessarily from anything contagious. If you're part of the 33% that becomes seasonally sensitive in the spring and fall, this post may be for you.
In the spring I posted about the importance of flushing with saline daily, and about how the trifecta of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils can help us breathe better when stuff gets stuffy. Click here to read that post - you don't want to miss it!
Ever noticed that at during a certain period of time in the spring and the fall, lots of people seem to be sniffling and tearing up? Some of our respiratory systems become quite emotional, and we can't seem to get a hold of ourselves. The reason is, that for 1/3 of the population, our systems are quite touched by the romance unfolding all around us - and we get choked up. It's not a disease. I like to think of it as being lovesick, or emotionally in tune with the environment, or seasonally sensitive.
Spring Cycles: Love is in the Air
At some point, everyone will learn about the birds and the bees. But what about the grass and the trees? In my book, they are under-recognized. For as much as they affect many of our airways (a percentage of the population which is increasing by the year!) we are pretty clueless as to how and why they make us feel the way they do.
The spring occurrence of the sniffles and tears just so happens to coincide with the popping of the pollen spores of trees. You know that yellow film we wipe off our windshields every few days in the spring? It's all about plant anatomy and reproduction.
Bottom line: Spring is love season for trees. Pine trees, and cottonwood trees, for instance, send their spores hither and yon (inadvertently affecting the airways of some humans) in their attempt to "be fruitful and multiply." Pollination cannot occur if the trees don't release the spores to fertilize other trees.
So the next time your child asks where baby pine cones come from, reply with this: "Well...when a daddy tree flower feels the changing of the season from winter to spring, he releases his microscopic pollen grains into the air, hoping they will land on a mommy tree flower. When that pollen grain gets lucky and finds a female flower, "conception" happens, and a baby pine cone starts to grow!"
Once the trees have been fertilized, and then produce their "fruit" (baby pine cones in the case of pine trees, and the snow-like fluff in the case of cottonwoods), then their babies have been conceived and are developing. Pollination season is over. And we all let out a sigh of relief...
Fall Love Cycles
But after a short hiatus, in the fall, this cycle of lovemaking between plants happens again but this time with grasses and weeds. Such as my arch enemy, for instance: ragweed.
In late August and early September, mature grasses and weeds are hoping to produce seeds before they die in the cold winter. If a seed is developed (after a daddy grass flower and a mommy grass flower successfully cross-pollinate), that seed can mature, fall to the ground, and can safely go dormant as the winter sets in. After the long winter, the dormant seed awakes and sprouts into the next generation of grasses or weeds.
One ragweed plant produces billions of pollen grains, which can be carried hundreds of miles by the wind. So even if there isn't a ragweed plant (middle) in your backyard, chances are that this time of year you are encountering billions of grains of their pre-offspring. Johnson grass (left) and rye grass and blue grass (right) are native to the Midwest and also encounter our respiratory systems this time of year.
Sometimes all this plant romance poses an inconvenience for humans. Luckily, certain plants themselves prove to be wonderfully convenient in addressing the inconveniences. Don't you just love that? It's like it was all part of a plan or something. Problems occur in nature. The solutions do as well.
If you still haven't checked out the Seasonal Breathing post on lemon, lavender and peppermint, go ahead and do that. Those three amazing oils come in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit, plus 8 other versatile, must-have oils that would be pretty pricey to purchase by themselves...plus a diffuser. (It's GREAT for breathing and for safe, healthy air freshening - you need to have one in your home!) The kit is $160, which is basically 50% off the retail price of its contents.
But beyond the 11 oils of the starter kit, I want to introduce you to a new friend of mine: Blue Cypress.
I never would have thought to buy this guy before March of this year. I'm enrolled in the Essential Rewards program, where I get 20% back on whatever I purchase, AND free bonus oils. Blue Cypress came free with my March order - and what perfect timing for the spring season! And this first week in September- I'm busting him out again for the fall.
You guys...this oil is BLUE. You should get it just for that purpose. And it smells earthy and smoky. What more could you ask for?
How about some respiratory help? You can ask for that too. Because this is one powerful oil. It contains guaiazulene in it (get it- azul?), which is responsible for Blue Cypress's blue color, but also for its ability to reduce the body's response to irritation. Emotional irritation. Physical irritation. Airborne irritation...all the things.
Apparently - some people get relief of skin irritations which are triggered by the airborne or physical irritations when they apply this oil topically to the affected area.
That guiazulene in Blue Cypress is what makes it so good for supporting your respiratory system as well. I add 2-3 drops to my diffuser in the mornings and inhale deeply before I have to step out into the outdoor air, and it's making a big difference.
You know what though, I didn't even use Blue Cypress for the longest time after it came in my March order. I didn't know what to do with it. The smell originally reminded me of lentils. (No one else who has Blue Cypress agrees with me on that scent profile, and most people love it... but I'm entitled to my own opinion, aren't I?) Not my choice of perfume.
But, inadvertently, I had started applying it not by itself, but only because it was one of the ingredients in a blend called GeneYus...a kid's oil blend (yes - I'm a kid at heart and apparently in my head too). It's been working great for me for focus and mental clarity with my 12-hour-day work projects. I had been applying it to the base of my skull because the iTovi bioimpedance scan that I had done reported that my body responded really well to that oil. (I was shocked by the accuracy of that scan, because I'd been dealing with a ton of unexplained brain fog during that time!)
Anyways - I started applying GeneYus to the back of my neck, and the brain fog dissipated. But as an added bonus, I started noticing that I was breathing a lot better! When I learned about Blue Cypress's respiratory system-supporting effects, and that it was a key ingredient in this mind-support blend, it all made sense.
Remember how I said to rub lemon, lavender, and peppermint on the back of your neck for seasonal sensitivities? I was doing it with Blue Cypress without even knowing - and it was having the same effect. And now, I rub it on by itself and put it in the diffuser with my lemon-lavender-peppermint concoction.
The Solution Lies Not Far from the Problem
Undoubtedly, we are well-aware of the truth that nature is pure, but yet "fallen", and presents the human race with a vast array of problems. However - nature also provides humans with solutions. In nature there is support for our bodies, and a plethora of solutions to so many of our irritations and issues. And no one can disagree that nature provides us with potent, healing nutrition for our general and specific health needs.
After all - nature, and the human race, was around for millennia before lab-produced chemicals were invented. Granted - these man-manufactured chemicals we have nowadays do yield some helpful quick fixes, but they are not without consequences. Chemicals in cleaners, pesticides, and even genetically modified food are DIRECTLY related to respiratory conditions that we blame on pollen.
Did you catch that? Respiratory, seasonal sensitivities are ever increasing among Americans...but mankind has lived for millennia with the pollen, without HEPA air filters, air conditioning, and medications, and they were FINE. What has changed? The chemicals and the genetically modified food we consume in increasing amounts as a society is causing our bodies to have annoying (at best) and dangerous (at worst) inflammatory responses. There is a direct correlation.
The more I research, the more I conclude that many of those side effects are just too risky for me and my family. And the more I research, the more I'm in awe of the design of the natural world and the treasures it yields if we just stop to look for them.