Episode 58: Loving Your Gut and a Palmarosa Sneak Peek


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doTERRA: Did you know that your gut microbiome begins to affect your body the moment you're born? Your gut has the ability to impact so many parts of your health, so it stands to reason that you should make sure to keep it happy and healthy. But how exactly do you go about improving your gut health? That's what we'll talk about today, and we'll give you all the best tips. 

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 sit down with Pepper Seegmiller, a member of our product marketing team, to talk all about gut health.

Pepper, thank you so much for coming and sitting down with us today. 

Pepper Seegmiller: Yeah, no problem. Glad to be here. 

doTERRA: So what I want to talk to you about is a really big topic right now and that's gut health. So could you tell us a little bit about why it's such a big topic. Why is it so important?

Pepper: Yeah, gut health is a new topic. Lots of new studies going on with gut health. A lot of people think, “Well gut health is digestive health,” but it's so much more than that. Gut health can also affect your immunity. It can affect heart health. It can affect brain health. It can affect weight management. There are so many things that it touches that it's very important for us.

doTERRA: And that's crazy that just this one little piece of our body and a piece of our digestive system can affect so many different things and cause us a lot of unhappiness if we don't take care of it.

Pepper: Absolutely. Absolutely, yeah. I mean we—we want to take care of our digestive health. We want to make sure that everything is moving in the right direction. But then, like you said, it affects so many other things, and we can get into that a little bit more, but it affects our brain so much and it affects our heart and affects so many things that function within our other systems that it’s very important. 

doTERRA: So can you tell us a few signs, what we can look for to tell if our gut is unhappy?

Pepper: Yeah, first off, I want to just say if we feel like something's not right, you should go talk to a doctor. There's so many things that could be wrong and so many things that might not be wrong that I hate for people to self-diagnose and then find out that they did it wrong.

So if you if you feel like something's off, please go see a doctor. But there's a lot of different things. I mean, obviously, you can feel gas and you can feel bloating and you can feel abdominal pains. But—but there are other things, like, if you feel like there are pains aren't going away or if there are symptoms that aren't going away, definitely go see a doctor.

doTERRA: Absolutely, and I think that's great advice. So in the everyday support of our gut—you know, when things maybe aren't wrong, we're just trying to give it extra support to make sure that things continue to go along normally—what are some products that doTERRA has that we can utilize?

DigestZen®

Pepper: doTERRA has a lot of digestive health products, and they've been proven over the years for a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons. And so first off, we have our DigestZen blend, which is a blend of a lot of different essential oils, all of which have benefits in and of themselves for digestive health. And so that's a great one to start with. And we've also put that in a softgel for convenience sake. So, obviously, if you—if you feel like something's off in your stomach or you feel like, “hey I'm going over to Aunt Maddie's for dinner, and it's going to be a huge dinner. Hey, let's take some DigestZen along with us, just in case.” And so you have your softgels for convenience sake as well. 

DigestZen TerraZyme®

We also have TerraZyme, which is a digestive enzyme. Our stomach has to break down food, and our intestines have to break down food, and there's all different kinds of foods. Most of us have enough digestive enzymes to be able to help us with this, but some of us need a little extra help sometimes. And so, there are enzymes to break down proteins, enzymes to break down fats, enzymes to break down carbohydrates. And so, you need all of those to help with—and digestive enzymes has all those all in one package. So it's great if you—again, if you're planning on a heavy meal or a heavy protein meal or something like that, it's nice it have some digestive enzymes with you, which is our TerraZyme. 

DigestTab®

We also have the DigestTab, which has the digestive, or the DigestZen blend in a calcium carbonate tablet. Which is very handy as well because the calcium carbonate tablet in and of itself has very powerful antacid properties. And then with the DigestZen in with it, you got double the—double power. It's a great product. It’s one of my favorites. 

doTERRA Ginger Drops

We also have a ginger tab—or a Ginger Drop that we just launched earlier this year. Everybody knows that Ginger is great for to help with an upset stomach or—or a sour stomach. And so, these taste really great, for those of you who love Ginger. And it's in a really tasty drop, and so they're really handy as well. 

Peppermint Softgels

But we launched something new last year, which is a Peppermint Softgel, and there's a lot of studies on peppermint and how it can help with lower intestinal issues. And so, it's great to have this in an enteric coated softgel because you need it to survive the stomach; it needs—it needs to get through the stomach and get into the intestines, where it can do its—its job. And so that's why it's enterically coated. 

And here—here's what the Peppermint Softgel does. The Peppermint oil helps to relax the smooth muscles in the lining of the intestines in the stomach, but you don't want that to happen up too high because if it happens in your esophagus or in your in your throat then gas gets too high, and that's when you get heartburn. And so, when it's enterically coated, that—those gases aren't released. And so, it keeps them down low where they can't do any damage.

doTERRA: Oh, wow.

Pepper: So that’s why enterically coated is so important for our Peppermint Softgels, and that's—and that's why that's such a great product. I want more people to know about that because it's a great product with a lot of science behind it. There's so many different studies. There's even some that have been done on children—but I want I want people to be careful when they give it to their children—but there are some studies that show that Peppermint oil can help with children and lower intestinal issues. 

So if you haven't checked that out, check the Peppermint Softgels PIP. It's online. It's available for everyone to download and take a look at. But all the studies—

doTERRA: That's great and so people can go online, they can look at these studies for themselves, and dig into the research behind that if that's something they're interested in. 

Pepper: Absolutely. 

doTERRA: That's so great. Well Pepper, thank you so much for explaining to us a little bit more about how the gut works, why it's important, and these incredible products that doTERRA has available for people to help support their gut. 

Pepper: You're welcome.

doTERRA: Let's take a moment to learn a little bit more about the science behind Peppermint essential oil with Dr. Scott Johnson.

Scott Johnson: Rich and menthol and menthone, Peppermint has an extensive history of use for digestive support when used internally and is frequently used during massage for its soothing effects. 

But did you know that ingestion of Peppermint essential oil in a capsule may support healthy cognitive function while performing demanding tasks? 

Menthol is known to interact with cold-sensitive receptors in the superficial layers of the skin, triggering that pleasant, cool sensation when you apply Peppermint topically. If you've had a rough day, this cooling sensation can relieve tension when Peppermint is incorporated into a neck and head massage. To complement the effects of the massage, add a drop to your thumb and press it to the roof of your mouth.

doTERRA: Today we're so excited to share with you a little bit about the history and impact of a special new oil that doTERRA is sharing this month. 

Picture, if you will, Turkey's Grand Bazaar in the 18th century. Sellers are shouting their wares from the thousands of shops around you. The flash of brilliant colors from the woven rugs are on display. Among the chaos, you would most likely find a shop selling precious rose oil. Though, what you won't be able to tell just by looking at it is the oil being offered is not pure rose oil at all. It's been mixed with a clever imitation of rose oil called by many names, some of which are rosha, gingergrass, and palmarosa.

Because of the similarities between the way rose oil and palmarosa oil smell, it's been used by vendors throughout history to dilute the expensive rose oil and make a larger profit. But what exactly is palmarosa, and where does it come from?

Where Does Palmarosa Come From?

Palmarosa, whose scientific name is Cymbopogon martinii, is a grass that is native to Southeast Asia. It's a member of the Poaceae family of grasses, which is the same family as lemongrass and citronella. The Poaceae family is a large family of flowering plants. Now this family is the single most important source of food in the world because rice and corn also come from this family. 

Now the actual appearance of the palmarosa plant is that of a tall grass. The leaf blades are long, thin, and pointed at the end, and they can grow up to twenty inches long. The color of the leaf is a rich, dark green and the underside is powdery.

It's also been known throughout history as Turkish or Indian geranium because there's also been a comparison of the smell of palmarosa to the geranium flower. Now this is because, like geranium, the main constituent in palmarosa is geraniol. 

The Historical Use of Palmarosa

Throughout history, palmarosa hasn't just been prized for its incredible scent. It's also been used in many other parts of everyday life. One use is for cooking indulgent desserts, light, delicate dishes, as well as beverages. It has also added to Indian curry dishes and some West African meat dishes. 

Palmarosa was even used as incense by the ancient Egyptians in the temples of the Initiates. In more modern times, it has been used in ayurvedic health practices, and commercially, it's used to scent soaps and different toiletry items. 

Palmarosa’s Personality

Let's talk a bit now about the personality of palmarosa. Palmarosa has been described as gentle, powerful, and loyal. She has a feminine scent but a masculine power. And because of this beautiful combination, palmarosa can teach us how to lead with power and with strength but also with gentleness and love. 

Palmarosa and Meditation

This incredible scent has also been utilized to enhance meditation practices. On top, it smells smooth and gentle, but underneath you can detect a different, busier nature. It's lemony, rose-like softness is both soothing and sharp, centering and comforting the heart and mind and clearing away oppression. Palmarosa can open your awareness during meditation when placed over your third eye or brow. And it is especially helpful in balancing your heart chakra, allowing you to see others and yourself compassionately, generously, and with love.

We sat down with Bishnu Adhikari, the director of co-impact and strategic sourcing for doTERRA, to talk about how doTERRA brings this wonderful Palmarosa oil to you. Bishnu, thank you so much for coming and sitting down with us today.

Bishnu Adhikari: Thank you. It's a privilege, and doTERRA sources Palmarosa oil from Nepal, and I'm a Nepalese citizen. How privileged I am to come and tell you the story from the ground.

doTERRA: That is amazing that you have such a personal connection to it. Why did doTERRA choose to source Palmarosa from Nepal?

Bishnu: Couple of reasons. Palmarosa very well grows in humid and rainy weather. The eastern part of Nepal, actually the eastern-southern part of Nepal, where there is intensive monsoon rain and high temperature, it's a great area for Palmarosa to grow. On top of that, there are wetlands where it grows. It flourishes very well. 

On top of that, in that particular corner of the country there are subsistence farmers. They don't have any other income than their regular grain cultivation they do in their terraces. 

doTERRA: Wow. 

Bishnu: So when we introduced Palmarosa in that area and started farming and distilling—it's an additional income to the families. Usually they don't have cash coming to their families. 

doTERRA: Right. 

Bishnu: So it's an additional income, especially to the women who grow this plant species. About 400 families are involved in this cultivation, and about 80 percent of them are women. 

doTERRA: Wow. 

Bishnu: And most of them have no other income coming to their family. So us, meaning doTERRA, sourcing oil from that area, we put additional income—especially cash—into the hands of those women who otherwise have no cash coming to their families.

doTERRA: That's incredible, and I'm sure it makes such a difference in their families’ life that they have this additional crop that they're able to now grow and get that additional income source. 

Bishnu: That's very right, and especially in the context of this landlocked country, there are fewer opportunities for exports. 

doTERRA: Right. 

Bishnu: Though it's a very uniquely situated country and has many unique plant species, because of not having access to the proper transportation or a shipping port, it's very hard for them to take their stuff out of the country. 

doTERRA: Right.

Bishnu: doTERRA going there and arranging these—making these arrangements for them to be able to sell it and make extra income for their family is an incredible help in reducing poverty in that area.

doTERRA: And I do think that's so important that everyone listening to this can understand because that is one thing that doTERRA puts as a priority when they are going and they are sourcing these oils from all around the world is making sure that they are helping the people that they are working with, that they're giving those fair and on-time payments that they put such a priority to, and that they're helping to change the lives of the people they work with.

Bishnu: Especially with this palmarosa cultivation, there are two special benefits out of it.

doTERRA: Okay. 

Bishnu: One is environmental benefit. It is cultivated as intercropping, so other crops can flourish as it is growing. And it is really good for controlling other weeds to grow in that area. 

doTERRA: Oh, interesting. 

Bishnu: So it provides an environmental benefit from that perspective. Of course, it has a social-impact benefit, as you indicated earlier. I mentioned earlier that their—doTERRA, through these purchasing operations, creates 450 additional jobs in that area.

doTERRA: Oh wow. 

Bishnu: At the same time, this is a new business practice for that particular smaller community, to be able to be paid on time, to be able to be fairly treated with the—in the relationship of payment, and at the same time, have a guaranteed buyer. 

doTERRA: Absolutely, yeah. 

Bishnu: Guaranteed buyer for a longer-term relationship makes them in a benefit to continue to grow this plant and sell it to us.

doTERRA: Bishnu, what would you say the most important parts of this sourcing story for Palmarosa is? You know, we've gone over these different aspects of it. What do you think the most important parts are?

Bishnu: I think—if I count—I count three most important parts. It's environmental benefit, related to its intercropping, didn't have to trade the terraces where they grow for the—grain for their daily uses. It's rather—just wasted land, they use it. 

doTERRA: Right. 

Bishnu: So it's a benefit for them. Wasted land—if left uncultivated, it is usually eroded by heavy monsoon rain.

doTERRA: Okay.

Bishnu: But with these plants, you—you cover the area and control the erosion as well. 

doTERRA: Wow. 

Bishnu: That's a very strong environmental benefit. 

doTERRA: Yeah, absolutely. 

Bishnu: That's the first component. Second component, we consider it as a poverty solution. We create jobs, we pay on time, and we pay them fairly. 

Third component, very important, is they didn't have market. Even if they would have produced in the past, they have nowhere to sell. Now they have a guaranteed buyer because they have a relationship with us, with doTERRA. So yeah these are the three benefits I—I think come as the top benefits.

doTERRA: I think those are incredible, and that's what helps make the story of Palmarosa so beautiful. Is there anything else, before we end, that you'd like to tell us about the sourcing of Palmarosa?

Bishnu: A couple of things. Like, palmarosa is a native plant from the Indian continent. If we look at the ancient Indian—Indian physicians in the past used palmarosa oil, and it's been in that continent in practice for thousands of years. 

doTERRA: Wow. 

Bishnu: Now it's coming to the rest of the world. 

doTERRA: Yeah.

Bishnu: And it is great that sourcing from the native area and then taking it to—around the world is—is a benefit.

doTERRA: And that is so incredible, and the people of doTERRA who now get to experience this oil, like you said, it's such an amazing thing to bring it from these native lands where it's been used for thousands of years, and now everyone gets this opportunity to use it.

Bishnu, thank you so much for joining us and for sharing this wonderful information about Palmarosa and the way that doTERRA has sourced this beautiful oil.

Bishnu: Thank you. Since it is from my native country, it's always exciting for me to tell this story because I have met those people, and I have seen the changes in their lives because of our business with them. So, it's good for me to tell the real story. 

doTERRA: Absolutely, well we love it, and we always love hearing from you. 

Bishnu: Thank you. 

doTERRA: 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 doterra.com or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.

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