Essential Oils are the most exciting thing that has happened to health management in recent years. Although Essential Oils have existed and been used throughout history, humankind seems to have forgotten their existence and incredible health benefits. In humanity’s wisdom, reproducing the chemical compounds found in nature’s plants, and repackaging them into pill form, seemed to be a good idea years ago.
Sadly though, over time, the focus moved away from our health benefits and needs, and more towards profits and wants. It no longer became about a pure and natural way to manage symptoms. It became about mass production, with the addition of synthetic ingredients to reduce costs, and line the pockets of corporations. The addition of the synthetic compounds also added side-effects and negative reactions to the natural healing of your body.
A very bold statement indeed, however, I say it with the hope to educate and bring the population to the realization that, YES, there is an alternative to your health and wellness. Let’s explore the possibilities together.
Natural vs. Synthetics
Peppermint is a common ingredient. When you hear peppermint, you think of toothpaste, cough medication, and candy canes. Peppermint, or Mentha Piperita, is actually a perennial plant that grows in North America, Europe, and Asia.
One of the main constituents found in Peppermint is Menthol, another familiar component. I find it interesting that Wikipedia describes Menthol as “an organic compound made synthetically“, as the first line in their description. Yet, menthol exists in its natural form, in the peppermint plant, that grows in the earth, in nature.
Menthol is an active ingredient in many cough suppressing products, used in the fight against the common cold. The problem occurs when you have a cold, and you look for menthol, you usually turn towards man-made products. In Vicks Vapo-Rub for example, you will find menthol in its synthetic form. You will also find several other ingredients, one of which is Petrolatum, one of the “Dirty Dozen” ingredients to avoid, according to the David Suzuki Foundation.
When you have a cold, you can look towards Peppermint Essential Oil instead. This oil contains menthol in its natural form. There is no additional components, listed or hidden, within that bottle of pure essential oil. You can easily apply a drop to the palm of your hands and inhale, knowing that you are only inhaling Peppermint EO.
You can also apply Peppermint EO to the chest, with the goal of clearing the airways. One of the added benefits of this oil is reducing a fever with the cooling properties found in menthol. No need to list that as a side-effect, now is there.
The Importance of Sourcing
In Botany, the science of plants, several factors are considered when selecting a particular plant for extraction of it’s essential oils. The climate, the nutrients in the soil, the region where they grow, are all key in the production of essential oils. The goal is to achieve the highest grade and concentration of the plants’ constituents at the time of harvest.
The farmers who grow the peppermint, lavender, oregano, etc., must also be reputable. The techniques and art of growing is a skill that is duplicated from one generation to another. These skills are crucial in achieving the optimum combination of constituents to produce the highest grade of essential oil within the plant.
Modern science is able to copy some of these compounds. To date, duplicating the exact combination of these same compounds that nature produces has not been achieved. For the purest, most potent form of the menthol, carvacrol, linalool, limonene, etc., you must look to nature in its true form.
Side Effects and Essential Oils?
It is important to do proper research on any essential oil you intend to use. Although there are minimal side effects, it is wise to educate yourself and avoid any possible adverse reactions. Of course, if you have an allergic reaction to the plant in its natural form, such as Eucalyptus, the chances are greater that you will also be allergic to its essential oil.
Certain essential oils, such as Grapefruit, Oregano, and Lemon, have possible skin sensitivities, and should be diluted with a carrier oil, such as Coconut, before application. The citrus oils can react with sunlight and UV rays if exposed within twelve hours of a topical application. Others, like Rosemary, Thyme, Fennel, and Oregano, should be avoided during pregnancy. Educating yourself with the benefits and proper use of each essential oil will ensure a rich and positive relationship, one drop at a time.
High grade, truly pure essential oils have few side effects. The quality of the oil has a tremendous impact on its effectiveness and ability to perform. A single drop of EO contains a high concentration of its constituents. As mentioned in an earlier blog post, How Pure is my Essential Oil, to produce one 15ml bottle of Lavender Essential Oil, you need 27 square feet of the lavender plant. Remember, one drop is very concentrated. You should always respect this fact and use your essential oils responsibly.
You Alone Are Responsible For Your Health
Unfortunately, you are not born with an instruction manual on how to care for your body. As you grow, you gather information from your parents, from school, social media, and word of mouth. In my lifetime, I have seen conflicting opinions on drinking cow’s milk. One claim suggests it is a great source of calcium. Another, that milk actually depletes the calcium from your bones. How can you filter the truth from opinions that are on opposing sides? Rely on your intuition, life experiences, and common sense to help you navigate through your health challenges and wellness.
You alone are responsible for your health. You alone decide what to consume or not consume. When you are given a medication that is accompanied by a long list of side effects, you can choose to follow through. You can also choose to find an alternate solution to the problem at hand. All I am offering is a choice, an option towards a healthier you.
There is no denying Essential Oils have many health benefits. Be open to changing your mindset and direct your life with a proactive approach to your health. In an article written by Dr. David Stewart, Ph.D. titled “Why Essential Oils Heal and Drugs Don’t“, you can begin to understand the delicate precipice humans are standing on in terms of their health. You do have choices, important choices that you can make to hopefully avoid the toxic side effects of medications. Simply be open to the possibilities.
So what is the #1 Common Ingredient in all Essential Oils?
The answer is YOU!