Most people have never heard of essential oils, yet they've been used for thousands of years for a wide variety of healthy purposes. In the Bible, essential oils are referred to more than 200 times, including oils such as frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, hyssop and spikenard which were used for anointing and healing the sick.
I've personally been working with and recommending essential oils for more than 15 years and have seen and experienced the power of these amazing oils heal skin problems -- like acne, warts, plantar warts, eczema, psoriasis -- expedite healing for cuts and burns, prevent colds, bring fevers down and much much more. Here's what you need to know:
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly-concentrated, aromatic liquids distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots and seeds. There are single essential oils like lavender , peppermint, lemon, frankincense and geranium (see chart below) as well as "blends" which combine more than three oils to deliver more potent effects to help with relaxation, promote healthy digestion and help prevent hair loss to name a few examples.
In March 2000, Dr. Berangere Arnal-Schnebelen presented a study showing the antibacterial properties of essential oils against several infectious agents. Spanish oregano and cinnamon essential oils tested above 95% efficiency against Cindida albicans, E. coli and a Streptococcus strain. The essential oils of melissa, clove, cumin and frankincense are highly antibacterial and contain immune stimulating properties that have been documented by Dr. Daniel Penoel, MD.
Therapeutic vs. Synthetic Grade Oils
Use the purest quality available. Adulterated, or synthetic, oils will not give you therapeutic results you want and could possibly be even toxic. In Europe, there are a set of standards for high quality guidelines for oils known as AFNOR (Association French Normalization Organization Regulation) and ISO (International Standards Organization). These guidelines help differentiate between a therapeutic-grade essential oil and a lower grade oil.
Therapeutic-grade essential oils, such as the Young Living brand, retain vital health components due to the proper planting, cultivating, harvesting, and distillation. Therapeutic-grade essential oils can be used topically, diffuse them, direct or subtle inhalation, add it to hot tubs and saunas, deodorize kitchens and bathrooms, cook with it and even take it internally as a dietary supplement.
A Summary of Benefits of Therapeutic-grade Essential Oils
- Essential oils are small enough in molecular size that they can quickly penetrate the tissues of the skin.
- They are lipid-soluble and are capable of penetrating cell membranes. According to Dr. Jean Valnet, MD, essential oils can affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes and are then be metabolized like other nutrients.
- Essential oils are some of the most powerful known antioxidants as determined by the ORAC test developed at Tufts University.
- Essential oils are anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and antiseptic which fight infection, contain hormone-like compounds, and initiate regeneration.
- Essential oils when diffused, can provide air purification by eliminating odors from cooking, bacteria, mold, and animals.
- They can help lower cholesterol, heal sinus and lung infections, support the immune system and help balance hormones.
- They kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses, as well as balance moods and hormones. They have the ability to carry nutrients to, and oxygenate cells.
Below are examples of five essential oils, their medicinal properties and uses.
||Antiseptic, anti-tumoral, combats excess sebum on skin
||Relaxant, heals skin (cuts, scrapes, burns, warts), prevents hair loss
||Antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-flammatory
||Promote healthy digestion, pain reliever, proven to curb appetite
||Antiseptic, immune stimulating (increases white blood cells), anti-tumoral
||Improves memory, used for acne, urinary tract infections, parasites, and digestion
||Anti-depressant, immune stimulant, anti-tumoral, anti-viral.
||Heals respiratory infections, heals warts, plantar warts and used for depression, inflammation and muscle relaxing
||Improve blood flow, liver detoxification, cleanses oily skin, anti-spasmodic, anti-flammatory.
||Good for fatty liver, skin conditions, fungal infections like ringworm, balances hormones and help circulatory problems.
Editor's Note: The author, Tina Pretsch, is a AFAA Certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and Saddleback Church staff member working with online small groups and advising The Daniel Plan (firstname.lastname@example.org).