Why isn’t holistic medicine more commonplace in developed nations? Why have effective natural remedies – some used for thousands of years – not become a respected aspect of the medical community?
The answer is fear of the unknown and lack of profit.
Traditional doctors and scientists “cherry pick” the most well-known practices of holistic medicine – such as the slow reversal of opinion on the benefits of acupuncture and yoga – while outright mocking those that aren’t as widely publicized as quack science.
Frances Hodgson Burnett said, “At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done, then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”
Acupuncture has literally been used to heal and prevent disease for 4,000 years yet has only been considered a “valid” form of treatment for the past two decades in the United States and other developed nations.
Even now, after hundreds of scientific proof regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture in a long list of diseases, there are countless articles written that continue to mock the practice.
Essential Oil Uses in the Hot Seat
Amazing essential oil uses find themselves in the same sphere of general disbelief when it comes to the medical community.
However, before you write off essential oils as nothing more than pretty scents for your home, know that they can be used – without side effects – to help prevent or treat illnesses that are treated with drugs that have a long list of side effects.
It isn’t “magic.” Effective essential oil uses is science.
You should never stop taking medications prescribed by your doctor simply based on a website article. Nor should you self-diagnose or self-treat if your personal symptoms are beyond a cold, pulled muscle, or something generally considered not life threatening.
For minor issues, essential oils can be used as your primary treatment. If your condition is more serious, they can be used as a complimentary method that speeds healing.
The Basics about Essential Oils
Essential oils are made from botanical sources such as fruits, flowers, herbs, roots, or other plants. They are either cold-pressed (piercing of the rind or root and pressed to extract the oil or juice) or distilled (boiling or steaming until getting a concentrated blend is most common with fragile flowers). There are other methods used but these are the most common.
There are three primary ways to use essential oils.
• Aromatherapy is diffusing oils into the air through heat or steam and allowing them to enter your body via inhalation. This method utilizes the lungs (alveoli or air sacs) and brain (olfactory nerves) for greatest effectiveness.
• Massage uses a carrier oil (such as almond or coconut oil) to dilute and apply the essential oil directly to the skin for fast absorption into the blood stream. Application to the skin has been proven highly effective for traditional medication delivery as well.
• Consumption of oils through the body’s various entrances is also gaining popularity. This may mean taking them in a small dose once per day – such as in tea or water, rubbing them on the inside of the nostrils, or flushing through the rectum or vagina. These applications do not work for every essential oil and not all essential oils are safe for consumption!
Oil quality is incredibly important. Therapeutic grade certified organic essential oils are crucial and have a longer shelf life. You don’t want oils created for scent alone or those meant as a food additive (such as vanilla extract). Those are not essential oils.
A manufacturer that stands behind the quality of their product will ensure you get your money’s worth. Though essential oils of true quality are not cheap, they are used in small amounts because a little goes a long way.
If your doctor prescribes you a medication – whether it is for a minor or severe ailment – that drug is going to have a side effect. More than likely, it will have many side effects. There are no synthetic or commercially manufactured medicines (pharmaceutical or over-the-counter) that do not have side effects.
Even if you have an outstanding doctor who has your best interests at heart, even if he is the best in his field, even if all directions are followed to the letter – there are still side effects. More than 100,000 people die in the United States annually from prescribed meds they took correctly. When new drugs are released and advertised on television, there is a low volume recitation of the countless side effects toward the end. One has to wonder if the cure isn’t worse than the disease.
That danger does not exist with essential oils unless you are allergic to the base botanical, which means you shouldn’t use it at all.
1. Improve circulation issues related to diabetes. A common issue for patients diagnosed with diabetes is poor circulation. This condition can lead to many other health problems including wounds that will not heal. Using a carrier oil (coconut oil or almond oil are our favorites), add equal parts of either black pepper, eucalyptus, or juniper oil. Massage into the extremities or treat yourself to an aromatherapy massage featuring beneficial oils specific to diabetics.
2. Ease the effects of motion sickness or nausea. Dilute an essential such as ginger, peppermint, spearmint, or tarragon in equal parts carrier oil. Using the tips of your fingers, massage the oil blend into the skin behind your ear and around your bellybutton. This is safe to repeat hourly.
3. Strengthen muscles and ease chronic pain. Wintergreen and balsam essential oils – diluted in equal parts with a carrier oil – are excellent for muscle and joint pain. Over time, using essential oils in combination with massage improves flexibility and overall strength. They also improve circulation, calm the mood, and release physical or emotional tension.
4. Survive menopause with your sanity intact! This is something that all women go through at some point in their lives. Essential oils such as sage (hot flashes), chamomile (stress), peppermint (hot flashes), or thyme (hormone imbalance) offer relief from some of the most common symptoms. Rub 2-3 drops into the skin at the back of your neck and over the top of your feet.
5. Speed cold and flu recovery. Adding cloves, eucalyptus, or pine essential oils to a vaporizer or warm bath will settle your basic cold symptoms. If you suffer from congestion, dilute in equal parts carrier oil and rub into your chest. A few drops of essential oil added to a handkerchief will enable you to inhale the oil when you are away from home. There are many tinctures and syrups you can make with essential oils to beat the effects of a cold or flu that you feel coming or push one away that seems to linger.
Other excellent uses for essential oils are as part of your skin and hair beauty regimen, added to coconut oil pulling for added benefit, improving respiration distress due to asthma, wound healing, and to improve the quality of your sleep. The possibilities are truly endless.
Caution with Use of Essential Oils
When using many essential oils, use some form of dilution – such as a carrier oil (coconut oil is our favorite but almond oil is also excellent) or water – to prevent irritation to your skin. Always do a small skin test to be sure you aren’t sensitive to a particular oil!
Avoid getting the oil in your eyes and remember that not all essential oils should be consumed. If you do get it in your eyes, flush with cool water immediately.
Essential oils can be dangerous for cats who are not able to process them the way humans and dogs do. Don’t use the oils in places your cat touches frequently.
Essential oils are concentrated and highly effective extracts of botanicals found in nature. A small skin patch test is the best way to determine your personal sensitivity and is highly recommended before use.
Essential Oils – Getting the Recognition they Deserve
There are so many amazing properties of essential oils that are being examined by researchers all over the world. They are (finally) realizing that natural medicine can be both beneficial and helpful when used in conjunction with traditional medicine.
Adding essential oils to your daily life will improve your health and lift your mood in ways that will amaze you.