The Joyous Pancreas
When you think about of the pancreas, what comes to mind? Most people would say, blood sugar. That is correct. The pancreas regulates blood sugar balance. However, it does so much more. Having an emotional healing focused brain, the first thought that comes to my mind is, joy and the sweetness in life. When someone is deprived of enjoyment, happiness and laughter, the physical organ that takes “the hit” is the pancreas. Blood sugar is related to food sugars. Food sugars are related to comfort and joy. It makes us feel better, even if it is temporary. Thus, you will start seeing the connection between eating sugar, emotional eating and weight issues. We are craving sugar, or translated into emotional terms, we are craving joy. Joy, happiness, joviality and pleasure, are all traits of a happy pancreas.
The pancreas is located just beneath the liver, and behind the bottom part of the stomach. In order to regulate blood sugar, it needs to make certain digestive enzymes to break down foods. Interestingly, the liver and pancreas are both connected to the duodenum, which is the beginning, or first part, of the small intestines. They help facilitate elimination of toxins, however, if blood sugar (aka joy and happiness) is imbalanced, elimination doesn’t happen very well. That is why I like to create a holistic approach that encompasses the physical body, mind and heart, all together, to get everything on the same playing field to work together and “take out the trash”. Have you ever noticed, that when you don’t eliminate properly, blood sugar feels off? Or if you have diarrhea, you feel like you are in a fasting and detoxing crisis? Think pancreas and blood sugar regulation, but also, where is your joy? Why are you not happy? Where are you not happy? What can you do about it?
My holistic approach of connecting the physical body would be proving the right nutrients and foods to help balance blood sugar. For me, that is good essential fatty acids like an Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9 supplement, along with avocado, nuts and salmon. Protein helps sugars go to work and get eliminated, so they don’t hang around and get stuck. And of course, vegetables, minerals and digestive enzymes. Mentally, you have to support that gut-brain connection. If the gut is not happy, and serotonin cannot make its way to the brain, then you are not mentally happy. I like a probiotic with bacopa as I find it highly beneficial to work on both the gut and brain, simultaneously. Adaptogens are a huge key to mental stableness, rational cognition and ability to multitask, even when stressed. And you have to address the heart, the center for your inspiration, motivation, commitment and connectedness. If your heart is not into something, you won’t commit to accomplishing it, right?
An unhealthy pancreas can be the culprit of many dysfunction in the body and mind. One pattern I am starting to see is with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), lupus and Lyme’s disease, is trouble at the pancreas-liver junction. Proper tools are not being made to facilitate the breakdown and elimination of nutrients and toxins, thus chaos is happening in this region. Supporting the body’s physical ability to produce the right enzymes, in the right quantity and get them where they need to be, coupled with aiding the liver to function better. The liver does over 500 jobs, including breakdown bad toxins into a form that can be eliminated, or taken out of the body via our normal elimination channels.
Mentally, supporting and encouraging positive thinking, optimism versus pessimism, and connecting to your belief system can help. Emotionally, we know the emotion of worry is harbored in the intestines. Thus there is a link between excess worry and decreased joy. Gather your essential oils, create a custom blend and let their aromatic power link your head, heart and gut together. This will help you feel in alignment and fuel your drive, determination and perseverance through any situation.
Pancreas Supporting Remedies
As a clinical phyto-aromatherapist and herbalist, my go to remedies are essential oils, botanicals and herbal supplements. I’ll share some of my favorites that help physically, mentally and emotionally –
- Essential Oils (inhaled or applied topically in a carrier oil)
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zylancium): this scent is what I call a “hug in a bottle”. It brings a sense of safety, security, stability, comfort and joy. Cinnamon has long been revered for its anti-diabetic and antiviral properties. Just use caution in over-diffusing or using in a blend if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners.
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): I wish thyme could actually give us more time, lol. It is a wonderful herbaceous scent that possesses some powerful properties such as antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-infectious. It is a strong immune booster, which we know makes our cells smile with joy.
- Grapefruit (Citrus paradisii): When we let go of bitterness and resentment, joy can shine through, helping us lead with gratitude and appreciation. This rejuvenating citrus scent helps us do this.
- Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin): Patchouli’s theme song should be “Let It Go” from the Disney movie Frozen. It helps you to release burdens that are weighing you down, making you sad and defeated. It is a grounding, earthy scent helping you keep your feet on the ground while your creativity and positivity soars.
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus; or radiata): Ever felt like you were being suffocated by a situation or circumstance? Like you couldn’t breathe, or see your way through it? Well, eucalyptus is a beautiful, breath-enhancing, lung supporting scents that gives you that room to breathe when you are overwhelmed and overloaded with responsibilities and tasks.
- Orange (Citrus sinensis): A boost of joy, creativity, imagination, fun and inspiration. Orange has a fruity scent sure to put a smile on your face and in your heart.
- Herbs to combat blood sugar and strengthen pancreatic functions
- Banaba leaf
- Licorice root (use caution if you have high blood pressure)
- Dandelion root
- Fenugreek seeds
- Adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwaganda, Schizandra, Rhodiola, Astragulus, Eleuthero, Jiaogulan
Joyful Body Lotion
2 oz. Shea butter: nourishing, comforting, feels great
2 oz. Aloe vera gel: nourishment, soothing
10 drops grapefruit (Citrus paradisii)
8 drops cinnamon (Cinnamomum zylancium)
8 drops peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
6 drops thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
5 drops orange (Citrus sinensis)
Warm up the shea butter slightly to get it to sweat. This will make it easier to blend. Next, add in the aloe vera followed by the essential oils. Stir and mix well. Store in a cool, dark area. Use daily and as needed.
Pancreas Support Phyto-Aromatherapy Massage Oil, 2oz.
- 1 ounce Castor oil
- 1 ounce Nigella sativa oil
- 3 drops Borage flower essence
- 5 drops Boswellia carterii EO
- 4 drops Nardostachys jatamansi EO
- 4 drops Angelica sinensis EO
- 5 drops Lavandula angustifolia EO
- 2 drops Melaleuca alternifolia EO
- 2 drops Pogostemon cablin EO
- 1 small nugget of tourmaline gemstone
- Mix in a 2oz. Glass bottle. Store in cool area. Use daily.
- Formulated by Jennifer Pressimone, JennScents®, Inc.
This recipe was inspired by evidenced-based research demonstrating the power essential oils have with pancreatic functions. Here are some excerpts from the JennScents Advanced Pathophysiology & Botanical Integration II Course at the JennScents Aromaversity:
- Frankincense demonstrated tumor cell cytotoxicity to pancreas cancer cells (source)
- Spikenard ameliorates alcoholic chronic pancreatitis (source)
- Angelica showed cytotoxic activity against pancreatic cancer cells (source)
- Terpinen-4-ol (tea tree) induces a significant growth inhibition of colorectal, pancreatic, prostate and gastric cancer cells (source)
- Nigella sativa significantly inhibits pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell growth (source)
If you are interested in learning more of how aromatherapy works, knowing which essential oils and herbals to use for particular health imbalances, how to blend and in what quantities, then check out our Aromatherapy Certification Programs. The courses we have created take you on a journey of understanding your mind and body, how to recognize when it’s not happy, and what to do to help yourself, your family, friends and clients, holistically.
Disclaimers: Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe. It is recommended that if serious health issues exist, you consult a licensed medical provider. JennScents does not assume liability or responsibility for the use and/or misuse of this information.
References: This blog may contain excerpts from JennScents Aromaversity Certification Courses and the JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide.
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