The Essentials of Essential Oils and how they can help heal you!
Essential Oils can be an essential tool to help you spring into action with improved health and vitality!
Spring is springing and with it Mother Earth is reminding us that it is time to remove the detritus and start self-pruning to bring forth more abundant light and beauty. The synergy of Earth’s cycles with the human cycle and the changing patterns of our lives, is a symbol of the synchronicity and opportunity for renewal and rebirth.
Spring is a time for cleaning up our lives, which can mean many things to different people. We have an opportunity for a deeper cleaning of the mind, body and spirit.
Spring is a perfect time to evaluate what is toxic in our lives and therefore we must find ways to remove that toxicity to feel clean and revived. During this time, we can look more closely at our emotional clutter, our energetic congestion, as well as our cluttered space.
What are you holding onto emotionally that no longer serves you? Are you ready to let those emotions go and spring forward with more momentum into a healthy mind, body and spirit?
How about relationships? Are you ready to let go of toxic relationships that are causing congestion and limiting your growth and expansion?
What is your body telling you? Are you getting signals that you are out of balance and need to find alignment again?
What about your living space? What do you find cluttering in your energetic space, limiting your creative freedom and expression?
What are you springing forward with anticipation during this special time of the year?
Maybe you are simply finding it the natural time of the year where you get out the cleaning supplies and get to work on clearing out the cobwebs and disinfecting the house after a long winter season?
I love the opportunity that Spring presents to us, a time to de-clutter, a time of renewal and a time to awaken in all aspects of our lives!
Have you taken the time to walk the tree lined streets and smell the aromas that are being gifted to us in Spring? These natural fragrances are yet another reminder of how scents can awaken the spirit and invoke emotions within us.
Plant matter, flowers, trees are all gifts to us from Mother Nature and luckily, we can utilize these gifts and turn them in to medicine for health and healing.
Spring is a reminder of the resources we have available from Mother Nature and when used wisely, and with care and appreciation, we have an opportunity to awaken to the abundance this planet has to offer us.
Today I would like to discuss Essential Oils and their multitude of benefits they can provide for us.
I want to awaken your senses to understanding Essential Oils (EOs) and their vast benefits in health and healing. My hope is that through education of EOs, you will have a greater appreciation and understanding for this medicine so that you too can utilize these in your daily lives.
What are Essential oils and how are they made?
Essential oils are made from plant extracts and have been used across the world for over 6,000 years.
Essential oils have been used for cosmetic applications, healing ointments, perfumes and spiritual rituals.
Essential Oils are aromatic, volatile liquids that come from harvesting plants, flowers, herbs, leaves, stalks, fruits, roots and trees and can be manufactured by distillation, cold pressing, crushing or steaming various parts of the plant to extract or capture compounds from the plant. With distillation and other process to extract these oils, it makes the oils extremely concentrated and potent compared to raw dried plants or herbs. These processes require a large volume of plant material to produce small amounts of distilled oils. For example, it takes 5000 pounds of rose petal sot produce 1 kilo of rose oil.
Essentials oils are volatile secondary metabolites of plants that give a distinctive smell, taste or both and they are produced by more than 17,5000 species of plants from around the world and yet only about 300 of them are commercialized.
Essential oils are complex mixtures of terpenes, terpenoids and phenylpropanoids and they may also contain fatty acids, oxides and sulfur derivatives. Essential oils are composed of 200-500 different bioconstituents, which makes them very diverse in their effects, therefore no two oils are alike and therefore no oil has the same exact benefits.
You may already know that EOs are used in Aromatherapy, food flavoring, personal care product and household solutions for cleaning, but many people don’t know they have health benefits as well.
Essential oils have a unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and travel throughout the blood and tissues. The lipid-soluble structure of the EOs are similar to our cell membranes, which enhances their ability to penetrate into our cells.
Essential oils have been used in medicine due to their biological and healing properties, which include properties of an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, fungicide, antitumor, antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial.
The beauty is that EOs are safe and non-toxic and are an excellent alternative to the many chemicals and synthetic products made to work similarly.
Our cleaning products on the shelves (and under your sink) are full of nasty chemicals that can cause disease processes by themselves. Common cleaning ingredients can be laced with carcinogenic impurities, such as formaldehyde and can cause chemical burns , skin irritations and allergies. Chemicals can also exacerbate Asthma in at risk populations and even cause Asthma to develop in healthy population.
Why would we want to “detoxify” at the same time of using toxins in our body and our environment?
With the incredible amount of chemicals used in today’s cleaning products (some registered with the government and many that are not), I am always looking for healthy alternatives to educate my patients about in finding a healthy path forward in health and healing.
Benefits and uses also include; Antimicrobial support, disinfectant, aromatherapy, Insect repellant, hormonal support, gastrointestinal support, mood boosting and mood relaxing, sleep support and more!
Benefits of Aromatherapy
Essential Oils also provide exquisite fragrances to balance mood, lift spirits, dispel negative emotions and help create relaxing environments.
Essential Oils have been used for centuries, where the inhaled scent travels from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain activating the amygdala, which is the emotional center of the brain. The signal is then transmitted to the Limbic and Hypothalamus parts of the brain through the olfactory bulb. These signals then cause the brain to release neuro messengers like Serotonin and Endorphins to create a calming and even euphoric stimulation. The Limbic System is directly connected to parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormonal balances. Therefore, EOs can have profound physiological and psychological effects on our health.
Lavender oil has been studied throughout the years to validate its benefits of reducing anxiety and creating a more calm state of well-being. In fact, there was a study done on Silexan (a Lavender oil in capsule form) that showed it reduced occasional anxiety, nervousness and promoted more relaxation within four weeks of taking it daily comparable to the medication Paxil, yet without the typical side effects of that drug.
(see study below)
**I sell a product called Lavela by Integrative Therapeutics, also known as Silexan, at the clinic pharmacy.
Who doesn’t need more calm and peace these days?
I personally diffuse Lavender oil on my bed stand for a more calming, restful sleep.
Essential Oil Benefits & Medicinal Properties
Antifungal benefits are key because there can be more than 20 species of fungus that can cause human infections and disease and very few people recognize their negative impacts that can influence our health. A few commonly recognized fungal species are Candida, Aspergillosis and Mycosis.
Using EOs can help prevent the need for antibiotics, which have been less effective over the years due to their overuse and increased resistance to the microbes.
One study at Johns Hopkins found that certain EOs could kill a type of Lyme bacteria considered a “persister” better than antibiotics (garlic, cloves, thyme, cinnamon, allspice berries and cumin seeds). How cool!!!!
I am loving the product Intestin-ol by Orthomolecular for fungus, bacteria like SIBO and other infections. When oils are used with other herbs, the synergistic effect at killing bacteria and fungus is significantly more potent and very therapeutic without added risks or side effects.
Essential Oil Benefits when used as a disinfectant
Will kill microbes and smells good in the process
Avoids harmful chemicals, such as nitrates, parabens, benzoic acid and choline, which are commonly found in other cleaners
I will describe a few specific oils that have disinfecting and medicinal purposes today, but there are many more oils and benefits available for us to use and to learn about.
I would like you to consider EOs as useful tool this Spring to help you with cleaning in a very healthy, nurturing and non-toxic way. Essential oils are brilliant when it comes to “Springtime Cleaning” since they can be used for disinfecting your home with real science and studies backing up their ability to kill bacteria, microbes, yeast, parasites, and viruses.
Thyme (Thymol is a component of the botanical thyme oil used in a few disinfecting products, specifically the Clean Well / Seventh Generation company)
Antimicrobial activity studies are extensive.
Strong bactericidal, antifungal, antiviral, anti-parasitic properties with low toxicity to humans
Thymol has been studied to kill Sars- CoV2, Influenza A, Norovirus, Rhinovirus, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococci strains (Strep B, Methicillin Resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, Herpes strains and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
These microbes are common infections that I often see when testing my patient’s stool, where they have picked up these bugs from the environment such as on surfaces and through consumption of contaminated food or water and they can wreak havoc on the body and cause illnesses and even chronic disease. Therefore, finding a safe cleaning solution is key to protecting ourselves.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved using Thymol for disinfecting against Sars-CoV2. CleanWell is a company that has specifically received approval to use their product as a disinfectant and it is free from Bleach, Alcohol, Ammonia, Parabens, Benzalkonium Chloride, Phosphates and other chemicals.
The Clean Well Product with Thymol is on the EPA list N: Disinfectants for use against SARS- CoV-2. These wipes are currently undergoing 3rd party testing for efficacy claims against SARS- CoV-2.
OSHA guidelines for medical settings for example, recommend the CDC’s Guidelines, which says us must use EPA List N of disinfectants.
CleanWell has been the main ingredient in many Seventh-Generation cleaning products for years. Unfortunately, CleanWell will no longer be selling as a private label and will only be partnering with other companies, such as Seventh-Generation in the future, so look for their logo and for Thymol as ingredient.
**I have been using Clean Well Thymol hand wash, disinfecting wipes and sprays at the office for many years (even pre Covid) to protect our patients and our staff from infections.
Antimicrobial against viruses, bacteria, yeasts and fungi. The antibacterial activity is even greater for dental infections with Gram-negative bacteria (must have at least 70% eucalyptol for medicinal benefits)
Helps regulate the nervous system, reduces neuralgia & headaches
Respiratory support for the bronchials and sinuses as an expectorant
Aids in healing skin wounds, cuts, bites and used as insect repellent
May support arthritis and other joint pains
Antiviral properties against Herpes
Antibacterial for ulcers, scarring, Staph (MRSA), E Coli and more
Treatments for abrasions burns, painful muscles, headaches
Helps relieve stress, anxiety and improve sleep and relaxation (see above)
Antiseptic, astringent and detoxifying properties
Excellent for skin rejuvenation, reduces blemishes
Can relieve first stage labor pain, nausea, vomiting
Flavor booster for cooking
Good household cleaner
Anti-inflammatory (COX-2 inhibitor)
Similar properties to Cinnamon (see above) and often synergistic and more potent when used together
Use for numbing pain, especially in the throat and teeth
Thieves by Young Living is an essential part to my life, health and antimicrobial protection.
Thieves is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus and Rosemary
Thieves was created from research recorded in the archives of the British Museum library about a group of 15th century European perfumers and spice traders who rubbed oils on themselves while they robbed the dead and dying to protect against the Black Plague.
Reduces arthritic pain, muscle tension and headaches
As an antimicrobial agent, it has high virucidal activity against Herpes strains and has anti-fungal properties
Antispasmodic properties make it a good choice for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Sage “ Salvia Sclarea”
Antiviral, specifically recently studied against Sars-CoV 2
Antibacterial activity, both Gram positive and Gram-negative bacteria
Disinfectant against airborne microorganisms due to it’s high vapor permeability
Also studied are the benefits as a tonic for women’s uterus, as an aphrodisiac, supports sebum production (oils for skin) and reduces cortisol levels from stress.
Antimicrobial activity, especially viral and fungal species
Used for oral hygiene and dermatological applications (like nail and skin fungus), acne and wound healing
Used for respiratory and sinus infections
Topical: Add up to 10 drops in a carrier oil to apply to skin
Dilution is key! Oils can cause skin irritation so make sure it is diluted in a carrier oil like jojoba before applying. You may apply some oils directly on the skin if you have tested an area and you are not sensitive
** I personally use a blend of Lavender, Frankincense, Copaiba and Blue Tansy oil with Jojoba oil every morning and night
Steam inhalation: Add up to 7 drops of EOs to 2 cups of boiling water; cover your face/head with a towel and Inhale steam. Keeping your eyes closed
Direct inhalation: Add 2-3 drops of EOs to a cotton ball or similar and breathe in deeply
Diffusion: Add 3-7 drops of EOs to a diffuser to diffuse into the air
Air Spritzing: Add 8-12 drops to a small spray bottle filled with distilled water and spritz away!
Dietary: Place several drops of oil into a vegetarian gel cap and swallow with water or add a 1-3 drops in a glass of water and swallow or to a meal when cooking
Cleaning solution: Apply desired about of oil and mix with 1-2 cups of water and/or vinegar for an all-purpose cleaner
**Thieves has many other applications for use such as; hand soap & sanitizer, dish and laundry soap, all-purpose cleaner, heavy degreaser, glass and mirror cleaner, scrubber and even a carper freshener
Generally, very safe
Most common reaction is skin and eye irritation. If you do get skin irritation, don't use water to wash off, instead add a vegetable oil to soothe the area
Oxidation from improper storage and expired oils can cause oxidation of the oil. Oxidation with spoilage can result in skin irritations. We also know that oxidation leads to free radical damage, which is not good for our cells to have oxidative damage.
Most oils stored properly will last at least two years before they degrade
A small number of people can react to EO’s, so please always test an area of skin with a quality carrier oil, such as Jojoba oil before larger applications
Lemon and other citrus oils can be cause photosensitivity so avoid application and then direct sunlight
Many of my patients are sensitive to fragrances, which include essential oils, so please be considerate of your friends and neighbors, especially if you use oil diffusers. Aromatherapy bracelets with a gentle application are a good idea in order to keep it close to you but not be offensive to others.
Because there is no regulation it’s key to buy from a reputable source
Avoid “fragrance oil”
Avoid plastic bottles, instead should be in dark-colored glass containers
Please don’t’ buy online, as people can dilute and resell, instead find a representative a local representative or store and get your oils directly from them
I personally endorse Young Living Oils (but there are a few other trusted companies)
My personal contact who is more of an expert than I am on oils is Karen Wendell, and feel free to “create an account” by clicking the link below or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional questions or assistance.
I hope you learned a little something today about the vast applications and uses for how to incorporate Essential Oils into your life.
I am wishing you a delightful Spring, grounded with Nature's abundant offerings and filled with gratitude for your own life and your ability to learn and growth in reaching your maximum potential!