Essential Oil Benefits
Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils are the concentrated essences of plants. Their benign healing powers extend beyond that of the physical body, also supporting both emotional and mental wellbeing too.
Unlike medications the doctor might give you, essential oils do not have side effects, instead, they have many main effects. A single oil might be sedative but also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial too, for example. Often people are surprised that treating themselves with an oil might also trigger a healing action in a completely unrelated condition. It is common for people to find constipation or fungal infections seem to miraculously disappear, for instance.
They have a remarkable double action. While they are easily absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream, where they circulate to the parts that need them, the gorgeous fragrant molecules also have speedy access to the brain where they influence neurotransmitters and biological processes. Many clinical trials reveal how inhalation of lavender, for example, not only relaxes the main, but also reduces heart rate, respiration speed and blood pressure. Orange and lemon oils not only make your feel more like smiling but are also proven to influence levels of the mood modulator serotonin.
Interestingly, we know the healing potential of breathing in these aromatic molecules is far reaching with one clinical trial proving inhalation is capable of improving a person’s seborrheic dermatitis!
Many aromatherapists believe this action is so emphatic because the chemical constituents act on so many different levels. Since the early 1990’s science has discovered that much of the talk of alternative medicine about the mind and emotions affecting physical health, was not only true, but entirely accurate. Neurotransmitters which control our moods also control many aspects of our physical being. Serotonin, as already described as a mood modulator, also controls bowel health, and is now suspected to be one of the underlying triggers behind Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Stress disrupts neurotransmitter levels, which in turn destroys the bowel chemistry and exacerbates the disease.
Dopamine too, controls our desire response, and is quintessentially involved in addiction, drug taking and gambling. Likewise, though, it also controls our sexuality, and is even related to our mobility and movement. In particular you might think of the shaking and tremorsthat abnormal dopamine levels bring to Parkinson’s Disease.
Essential oils mimic the effects of neurotransmitters, binding to their receptors and normalising their actions. Geranium and ylang ylang for example normalise hormonal imbalance, ease menstrual pain and dissipate the savagery of PMT.
In their homes, inside of the host plant, before the chemicals are rudely liberated in a still, essential oils protect the plant against attack from funguses, bacteria or even insect predators who fancy a mid-morning munch. In the same way these chemicals protect the human body. They exert a penetrating anti-bacterial action which is being widely researched by scientists today. Able to alleviate many different germs and nasties, essential oils are a simple and easy way to protect your home and family from disease.
Potentially, one of the most dangerous challenges facing the UK public, currently, is the advent of anti-biotic resistance. Viruses mutate and become superbugs, easily overpowering the now outdated synthetic drugs. Interestingly, many medicines are copies of the chemical messengers you find in essential oils. Scientists identify the active constituent and then emulate it, creating a synthetic clone. Two problems arise from this. As clones, they have no capability of developing or evolving, sointelligent superbugs have the upper hand. Secondly, often the majesty of the plant healing comes from the interplay between two or more of the molecules. They stabilise the medicine. Isolating one then makes the actions of the drug changeable and unpredictable. This is one of the reasons why plant derived medicines (think morphine, from the opium poppy, for example) have so many side effects, including hideous addiction.
Essential oils are a whole medicine (if you ignore the fact that some parts like the fibres of the leaves and petals have gone!) They are regularly harvested and produced from evolving species and as the challenges facing the environment and our joint species change, so the plant and thus its medicines evolve. Superbugs evolve…and so do plants. Less frequent use of antibiotics helps us do our bit against anti-biotic resistance. Treat smaller complaints with aromatherapy and then when the doc does give you antibiotics in serious illnesses, you will be amazed how much more effectively they work.
It is a miraculous and very surprising thing.
Used carefully, essential oils are safe things. Used in maximum dilution, it is very hard to overdose on an oil. The body simply takes what it needs and then excretes the excess as waste. Their effects are cumulative, so we know the longer you use an oil, the more help it will be. This is so comforting to people in long, lingering chronic pain. Their excruciating discomfort is soothed, but of course their demeanour and outlook are improved too.
Happier, healthier days ahead.
Why not choose your first essential oils now?