The Power of Vitamin C & Essential Oils

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by Tammera J. Karr

The history of essential oils is intertwined with the history of herbal medicine; in most ancient cultures, people believed plants to be magical, and for thousands of years herbs were used as much for ritual as they were for medicine and food. In the modern world, science is exploring the medicinal value of many herbs, and plant extracts in efforts to locate new therapies for antibiotic-resistant conditions. There is a growing pharmacopeia of anti-inflammatory herbs additionally.

The Atlantic magazine highlighted the antimicrobial qualities of plant extracts and essential oils. The article notes that “various oils have also been shown to effectively treat a wide range of common health issues such as nausea and migraines, and a rapidly growing body of research is finding that they are powerful enough to kill human cancer cells of the breast, colon, mouth, skin, and more.”

I reflected and realized I had shared information on this topic during a superbug outbreak in 2015.

Just a little recap of an article from the Alliance for Natural Health – On April 14, 2015 – A New Tool for Antibiotic-Resistant Killer Bacteria: Essential Oils; What should you stock to protect yourself?
Drug-resistant tuberculosis—and antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” in general. These infect at least two million Americans each year and kill 23,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to Karl Rotthier, the chief executive of a Dutch-based pharmaceutical firm, antibiotics are making their way into rivers and waterways due to lax safety measures. Some of the drugs are flushed directly down the toilet, while others pass through the patients first—and it all ends up in the water supply. Too many drugs come from manufacturing waste.


There is a growing body of research supporting the natural antibiotic properties nutrients and herbs, here are just a few:

Silver, the world’s oldest known antibiotic. (still used in hospitals as silvadeane cream for burns and wound healing)

Vitamin D

Vitamin C may be effective in fighting antibiotic-resistant infections.

Where Tradition Meets ScienceAn article released February 13, 2020, from Orthomolecular Research on the use of vitamin C, Goes on to say – “Viral pneumonia is a dangerous condition with a poor clinical prognosis. For most viral infections, there is a lack of effective targeted antiviral drugs, and symptomatic supportive treatment is still the current main treatment. Vitamin C,  has antioxidant properties. When sepsis happens, the cytokine surge caused by sepsis is activated, and neutrophils in the lungs accumulate in the lungs, destroying alveolar capillaries. Early clinical studies have shown that vitamin C can effectively prevent this process. In addition, vitamin C can help to eliminate alveolar fluid by preventing the activation and accumulation of neutrophils, and reducing alveolar epithelial water channel damage. At the same time, vitamin C can prevent the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps, which is a biological event of vascular injury caused by neutrophil activation. Most deaths from viruses are caused by pneumonia. Vitamin C has been known, for over 80 years, to benefit pneumonia patients greatly. In 1936 Gander and Niederberger found that vitamin C lowered fever and reduced pain in pneumonia patients”.

The sited study can be seen at: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n17.shtml

While these studies are not conclusive on the total value of nutrients during challenging health events, they do provide hope for many. The foundation of our health is directly tied into the foods we eat every day, and it is easy for many to add more of the traditional herbs, spices, and foods into their diet during the expected seasonal health challenges.

To Real Foods for Health.



1.University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. (2015, September 16). Immune system may be pathway between nature and good health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 19, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150916162120.htm

2.The antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil (Origanum heracleoticum L.) against clinical strains of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 2012:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23484421

3.Coriander essential oil and linalool – interactions with antibiotics against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.2019  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30471142

4.Antibacterial activity of traditional spices against lower respiratory tract pathogens: combinatorial effects of Trachyspermum ammi essential oil with conventional antibiotics. 2018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30187508

5.Inhibitory effect of Allium sativum and Zingiber officinale extracts on clinically important drug resistant pathogenic bacteria. 2012  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22540232

6. University of Melbourne. (2020, March 17). COVID-19: The immune system can fight back. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200317103815.htm

7. University of Virginia Health System. (2020, March 19). Understanding how COVID-19 affects children vital to slowing pandemic, doctors say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200319125201.htm

8. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. (2020, March 23). ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers may increase the risk of severe COVID-19, paper suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200323101354.htm

9. University of Maryland School of Medicine. (2020, March 23). Anxious about COVID-19? Stress can have lasting impacts on sperm and future offspring: Study identifies biological mechanism by which stress alters sperm and impacts brain development in next generation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200323132410.htm

10. Stanford University. (2020, March 26). How to identify factors affecting COVID-19 transmission. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200326160759.htm

11. Stanford University. (2020, March 26). How to identify factors affecting COVID-19 transmission. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200326160759.htm

12. Semantic Scholar Free access to COCID-19 Research https://www.semanticscholar.org/feed/create?name=COVID-19&paperIds=4adf89030bb59f9cd97a55af21b419aad9045287%2C272c530d8b3a2daae3af01fa4a59b350f3a5398b%2Ca42902bc3f4d92b72f46775420be6569d19e3f73

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Change How You Think About Resolutions

by Tammera J. Karr

Every year I have clients tell me they made a New Years’ resolution to eat better, lose weight, and exercise more. And like clockwork, there’s, and my resolutions are so far down on the priority list by February that there is no motivation to drag them to the top again.  Why does this happen – is it we are weak in caricature, deficient, bad people?

It turns out we have been trying to initiate change in our lives under a faulty premise. I have said for years the best way to help a client is “To Not set them up for failure” by asking them to change too much at once. The Stanford Behavioral Health Lab had to work with 40,000 clients to learn the same thing.

Eating on a healthy budgetThink back on all the things you have learned and accomplished in your life. You didn’t learn or do it all at once; some things took practice, familiarity, and confidence others you wonder how in the world did I get through that? We often time hear the phrase “take baby steps.”

The Stanford University Behavior Research Lab has found a painful gap between the changes people want and what they actually do. For the most part, we tend to blame ourselves for not being willing to work hard enough to adopt new habits. Behavior research shows, to be effective, change doesn’t have to be hard at all—and shouldn’t be. Tiny adjustments that come easily and make us happy are the ones that work best. It’s our approach to self-improvement that needs to change.

According to behavior researcher BJ Fogg, PhD., “It turns out that there is a formula for any successful shift in behavior. This applies to everything from flossing your teeth to running a marathon. To instill a habit, the first thing you need is motivation: Pick a behavior that you want to do rather than one you merely feel obligated to do. Second, you need to be able to do it: Make the change simple and small at first. Third, you need a personal prompt: Identify a way to reliably trigger the behavior. Finally, you need to celebrate your new habit, so that your brain associates it with positive feelings”.

First, don’t think you have to create motivation. Choose habits that you already are eager to adopt.

Second, go tiny. Why? Small is successful and sustainable because it is simpler.

Third, design a prompt.

We respond almost automatically to hundreds of behavior prompts each day (for instance, when you feel a few drops of rain on your arm, you open your umbrella); no behavior happens without some kind of prompt.

Here is an example: I was talking to a client about their InstaPot. For two years, it had been in a box on the counter – never opened. The whole idea of a pressure pot, something they had no experience with, created anxiety and procrastination. This client with a high-stress job in healthcare had to change from the regular pot or pan to using this appliance in small steps; they had no frame of reference for using a pressure pot, or canning, these where different tools with a foreign language. It wasn’t about motivation. It was the uncertainty over doing something for the first time that made the roadblock.

 “It isn’t primarily repetition over a long period that creates habits; it’s the emotion that you attach to them from the start.”

So, while we were on the phone, with my experience with pressure canning, she opened the box and put it to work. Was it a complete success? No, but it wasn’t a failure either. The InstaPot was no longer a boogie man waiting to blow up; it was easy to operate, clean and convenient. Now she is willing to try again and keep trying until her comfort level becomes second nature. Because I was on the phone with her, she felt like she had help, and we made it fun, less stressful. We celebrate her tiny victory by treating the next step like a detective story, reading researching and watching videos while comparing notes.

To making tiny sustainable proactive changes for our health.



On the Journey to New Habits, Take Tiny Steps: New Year’s resolutions fail because people aim too high and get discouraged quickly. Instead, celebrate small accomplishments. – https://www.wsj.com/articles/on-the-journey-to-new-habits-take-tiny-steps-11577985523?emailToken=e941c82b2acd54635b41bfbf06c38a11NOmjXHECRogTse0J4ZgD2L+35NukdsYmUhsbsU/3e4Tm7ywSen9rB6QVPgyd3YAxHyqDeWmBcxbkjdRFYSfNnqxdGFN4+hKSb3gD6NiuFsw%3D&reflink=article_email_share

“Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything,” by BJ Fogg, Ph.D. 2020, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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