Clinical Medical Applications of Pure Essential Oils
Ageless Herbs carries several topical healing creams that contain therapeutic amounts of pure essential oils including Lymph Cream, Joint Cream, Ecze Cream, Psori Cream, Uric Acid Cream, and Total Redemption night cream.
Aromatherapy is a therapeutic modality that uses pure essential oils extracted from many parts of natural botanicals (flower, leaf, blossom, petal, herb, tree, bark, root, twig, seed, berry, bean, and rind) for emotional and physical health benefits. Essential oils are able to calm, balance, and rejuvenate on multiple energetic levels (body, mind, spirit). Essential oils and aromatherapy differ from herbal medicine in that aromatherapy only utilizes the highly condensed aromatic compounds and esters, etc, that have been distilled from great quantities of plant material; herbal medicine generally refers to the use of the whole plant, or parts of a whole plant.
Blending of pure essential oils for therapeutic applications is a skill developed over time that requires an understanding of each essential oils' properties. An aromatherapy practitioner should have experience gained by using essential oils clinically and receiving patient feedback over a number of years. With study, practitioners can also acquire knowledge of the unique chemical constituent that lead to the therapeutic properties of essential oils. Those who do not have formal training in aromatherapy should not use essential oils internally without professional guidance. Aromatherapy allows for a unique all natural way to improve the quality of everyday living on many levels (physical, emotional, and spiritual).
The term ‘aromatherapy’ was coined during 20th century by French cosmetic chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who was inspired by the way lavender essential oil had aided in the healing of a burn. However, the use of therapeutic essential oils and herbal infused oils dates back thousands of years; many recipes for aromatic plants were found in ancient Egyptian tombs, and the entombing process actually relied on the use of herbs and essential oils. Aromatics have historically been used for thousands of years in Persia, Greece, Rome, China, and throughout Europe, as well as in the Ayurvedic system of medicine from India.
Beginning in 1600's, synthetically produced products made in laboratories began to replace essential oils, at least for scent. Often called ‘fragrances’ the differentiation between pure essential oils and synthetic oils has often been distorted; pure essential oils can be hundreds of times more expensive than fragrances. Today, the popular term "aromatherapy" has been rendered nearly useless as marketers apply the term to anything with fragrance (and sometimes a drop of essential oils). It is important to remember that fragrances do not possess therapeutic qualities, and often do harm as allergens.
The general growing interest in traditional medicines and natural therapies has impacted the acceptance of aromatherapy back in to our culture, although the marketing deception has led to consumer confusion. True therapeutic aromatherapy has the potential for dramatic healing outcomes in treatment; unfortunately, many comprehend aromatherapy as a room freshener.
To Learn, Experience the Pure Essential Oils:
Aromatherapy is experiential; you must actually experiment and use the pure essential oils to gain a deeper understanding of their uses.
Develop a personal recognition of aromas and properties. As you inhale an essential oil for the first time, focus on how it makes you feel and jot down some of your responses.
- Do you like or dislike the aroma?
- Does it bring back any memories?
- Does the scent resonate in one particular part of your body?
- Is it light or heavy scent?
- Does it stimulate or calm?
- Does it energize or relax?
- Is it an opening or closing scent?
- Is it a neutral or balancing scent?
- Is it purifying and cleansing?
Repeat this exercise each time you are exposed to a new essential oil; you will be amazed how accurate your first impression and intuition is when you compare them to the clinical uses of the specific remedies.
Understanding the uses of different parts of the plants:
It is important to understand that essential oils can be derived from many parts of the plants; here are some basic examples:
- Flowers - Blossoms (neroli, rose)
- Flowering Tops (chamomile, lavender)
- Flowers - Plant (rosemary, lavender)
- Leaves (eucalyptus, petitgrain).
- Fruit - Peel - Rind (bergamot)
- Fruit - Seed (orange, black pepper)
- Wood - Trunk (sandalwood, myrrh)
- Root (angelica root, vetiver, ginger)
The part of the plant that pure essential oils are derived from often defines how those essential oils are applied clinically; while not an absolute law, it can be helpful generally in becoming familiar with the general nature of plants:
- Flowers and blossoms often affect the nervous system and endocrine (hormonal) system; they tend to be sedating, relaxing, and euphoric. Examples would be neroli, rose, jasmine, ylang/ylang, chamomile, lavender, clary sage, marjoram, and everlasting.
- Flowers plants affect the nervous system and endocrine (hormonal) system also, but tend to be stimulating, energizing, and refreshing. Examples would be basil peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, lavender, and thyme.
- Leaves often affect the respiratory system and benefit breathing, open the chest, and clear mucus. Examples would be eucalyptus, cardarnon, geranium, niaouli, myrtle, petitgrain, and tea tree.
- Needles, like leaves, tend to affect the respiratory system. Examples would be fir, larch, pine, and spruce.
- Fruit with peels and rind often affect the cardiovascular system and lymphatic system. Samples are bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, and orange.
- Fruit or seeds generally affect the digestive and lymphatic systems and can be balancing, grounding, and revitalizing. Examples would be caraway, carrot, cumin, and black pepper.
- Wood and wood from the trunk of a tree or plant typically affects the endocrine (glandular and immunity) system and reinforce energy support and inner strength, while centering, grounding, and opening consciousness. Examples of Wood: camphor, cedar, rosewood, sandalwood. Examples of resins: elemi, frankincense, myrrh, storax (amber). Example of Bark: cinnamon, sassafras.
What are Essential Oils?
- Essential oils give fragrance to plants, and protect the plants from insects, heat and disease.
- Essential oils are organic, natural substances derived from leaves, flowers, seeds, beans, fruits, rinds, blossoms, herbs, bark, and roots.
- To many practitioners, they are considered the ‘life force’, ‘soul’, and ‘immune system’ of plant.
- The volatile oils that are extracted from plants are tiny phyto-molecules, and many aromatherapy practitioners use essential oils to access hard to reach ducts, glands, special cells in the body.
- Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts that are 75-100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.
- Essential oils are aromatic and odorous substances by nature that are soluble in oil rather than water.
All essential oils, to a greater or lesser degree, exhibit the following characteristics:
- Antiseptic - prevents or combats infection locally
- Bactericide - kills bacteria
- Bacteriostatic agent - inhibits growth of bacteria
- Cytophylactic qualities - promotes cell rejuvenation
- Lipophilic - Able to absorb deep into skin and internal organs
- Adaptogen - Increases body's ability to deal with stressors and pathogens
- Antiviral - Many are effective antiviral agents
Why Pure Essential Oils Are So Special:
- Essential oils are precious and often rare like jewelry and fine wine
- Essential Oils are considered to possess the 'Quintessential' life force
- It is a natural medicine that is condensed and can have an affect using drops rather than ounces
Tiny molecular structure permeates both into the skin to the internal organs and through the olfactory nerves in the nose to the brain. Molecularly, essential oils are made of the same compounds as our bodies, so essential oils are absorbed and utilized effectively by the body without causing side effects. Even when used topically, essential oils execute there therapeutic qualities both topically and internally.
Caution: dilute essential oils!
Most essential oils will burn your skin if they are put directly on the skin. You can do this with lavender and tea tree, but most essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil to 5-10%.