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Episode 108: Supporting Your Clear Breathing and All About Litsea

doTERRA: Adults usually breathe an average of 13 pints of air every minute. That's no small feat. Your respiratory system works hard every day, and you should be doing all that you can to help support it. That's what we're going to talk about today, how you can naturally support your respiratory system.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you.

Today, we're excited to talk to Samantha Lewis, a member of our product marketing team, about how you can use doTERRA essential oils to help support your respiratory system. Samantha, thank you so much for being back here with us today.

Samantha Lewis: Thanks for having me!

doTERRA: So supporting feelings of clear breathing is a very big topic, especially around this time of year. Could you tell us why supporting these feelings of clear breathing is so important?

Samantha: Yeah, so especially as we get into the colder seasons, like you kind of alluded to, is so important. It actually allows proper levels of oxygen into your body, while exhaling the unwanted carbon dioxide. Kind of a good core thing to make sure that you're keeping an eye on if concerned about the upcoming season and all the changes that come with that.

doTERRA: I mean, yeah, breathing is something that I think everyone kind of just takes for granted and just thinks that it's going to work all the time. So we definitely want to do what we can to support that.

Samantha: Yeah.

doTERRA: So what doTERRA products do you recommend to help support feelings of clear and easy breathing?

Samantha: There truly are so many, but I think the obvious one is Breathe, our aptly named Respiratory Blend. I also would recommend going in and breaking down this respiratory blend and even TriEase. Look at the ingredients and kind of do some research, dive into each essential oil to learn more about oils that can add additional respiratory support to your own routine. If the blend as a whole might not work or you just don't like the aroma, play around with things, figure out what works for you in that ingredient deck.

Another essential oil, I love to add as a booster to Breathe, though, into the diffuser or even just solo is Black Spruce. Not only is the aroma very ‘tis the season with the holidays coming up, but also it provides some great support when used aromatically. It's a very cooling oil as well I’ve found, both topically and aromatically. Plus, as an added benefit, it's a great calming oil during the crazy holiday times.

doTERRA: Well we could definitely all use a little bit more calming, especially when it has extra benefits.

Samantha: Yeah, I agree.

doTERRA: So I know a lot of people have concerns about their children when it comes to support. You know, they tend to bring home a few more things from school than maybe their parents do. So how can I use doTERRA products with my kids?

Samantha: That's a great question. I feel like the first thing to do is really empower your kids to use essential oils. I mean, we have the Kids Collection. It doesn't have a respiratory blend in there right now. But that's a great way to start them using the oils, learning more about them and how they can incorporate them into their lives.

You can actually just slip a Breathe Touch right into one of those slots in the kids kit, and even the Breathe Stick, if they like those. They're super simple products used throughout the day. And your kid can use them on themselves if you teach them a proper ways, proper times, and application areas as well. Breathe touch is a great option for everyone, no matter the age, and is perfect for on-the-go use. That's really what it was formulated for, plus for that sensitive skin on the little ones.

If Breathe is a bit too strong for your child or they just don't necessarily enjoy the aroma, you can even just take some Cardamom, Black Spruce, any mint like Spearmint or Peppermint in a diffuser or diluted in a roll on for a different take.

doTERRA: I love that. And I love the point that you touched on that it is so simple that as long as we give our kids some parameters of when and where they can put these oils, this is something they can definitely use to empower themselves.

Samantha: Yeah, it really is. It's so easy to just incorporate these oils that are formulated specifically for them into their daily lives.

doTERRA: Well, Samantha, thank you so much for being here with us today and for helping us learn a little bit more about how these wonderful essential oils can support.

Samantha: Of course! Thanks so much for having me.

doTERRA: Growing spontaneously in the high reaches of the Himalayas is a beautiful flowering tree, which may at first look delicate but hides a fierce inner strength and resilience. This incredible tree is litsea cubeba.

Now, litsea may not be a plant that you're very familiar with. The tree is native to southern China and other parts of tropical Southeast Asia, but is most widely cultivated in Japan, Taiwan, and China.

In fact, in northern Thailand, the Litsa tree is planted as a pioneer species to aid in reforestation projects to restore native woodland. A pioneer species is one that is the first to colonize barren environments, or environments that have been disrupted or destroyed by things like fire. These plants must be strong and resilient to thrive in such environments. In northern Thailand, they found that the litsea tree is perfect for such a task.

It possesses a bright, citrusy scent, but does not, in fact, belong to the citrus family. It belongs to the Lauraceae family, which includes the true laurel and its relatives, though it is a very broad family that includes everything from the bay leaf to the avocado.

Litsea cubeba is commonly known as may chang, Chinese pepper, or mountain pepper. It's a small tree that bears pale lemon-scented flowers and small fruits that look like peppers, which is where the nicknames come from.

Litsea in Cooking

One of the most popular ways litsea has been used throughout history is in cooking. Its intense aroma and flavor have similarities to both lemongrass and lemon verbena, but with an explosiveness that is all its own. However, it is an ingredient that must be used with respect and caution because of the power of its flavor. When too much litsea is used, it quickly becomes the dominant flavor in any dish. In addition to the use of the fruit and culinary dishes, the fragrant flowers are also eaten or used as a flavoring in tea.

Litsea in Traditional Health Practices

Beyond its benefits in the kitchen, Litsa has been treasured for its many benefits and properties in the realm of traditional medicine. For thousands of years, it has been used by the indigenous people of Taiwan in their traditional health practices, as well as in traditional Chinese medicine for various reasons. And in Vietnam, the dried fruits of the litsea tree are ground into a fine powder and utilized in their traditional medicinal practices.

Although much of the eastern world prized litsea for thousands of years, it was not introduced to the Western world until the 1950s when it was utilized as a new source of citral. After made its way to Western culture, it quickly gained popularity and began to be widely used in fragrances, flavorings, and soaps.

And we are so glad that Litsa has continued to make its mark on cultures around the world.

Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about, go to or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.

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