As the natural health and wellness industry continues to expand, studies continue to show the incredible range of benefits that essential oils offer. With the constant threat of bugs, pathogens, and infections, it’s important to have weapons to fight back. Essential oils are super concentrated extracts with powerful medicinal qualities. Many have argued that they are powerful enough to potentially save lives around the world if used properly.
Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are nearly helpless against a combination of essential oils because of the complexity and potency. Many types of microorganisms become resistant to common treatments and can even grow into what are called “superbugs”. Here are five ways that essential oils may help make life a little easier:
1. Anti-bacterial, Antiviral, and Antifungal
One of the most incredible feats that essential oils consistently show in studies is the ability to destroy many different toxic viral, bacterias, fungal species. People around the world deserve to know the incredible power for potentially hazardous infections such as:
MRSA, E.coli, Staphylococcus, Candida albicans, Salmonella, Streptococcus Klebsiella, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria, HSV-1, Avian flu virus, Influenza virus, HIV, Campylobacter, H. Pylori, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, and more.
These threats continue to run rampant in the world causing health problems and even death in severe cases. Some of the strongest oils according to research for fighting against these stubborn organisms include:
- Lemon balm (melissa officinalis)
- Star anise
- Bay leaf
It’s important to combine several of these oils together to maximize results. Using multiple oils as a blend far surpasses the strength of using one or two of them. Before deciding on using essential oils, please take some time to learn how to properly work with them. Internal use is controversial, but many people in serious situations may benefit from small doses short-term. Please follow these guidelines if you decide on this:
- Dilute the essential oils in a base such as coconut, sesame, or olive oil. Coconut milk is also a good option. It’s important that any base used has enough fat for the oils to emulsify and blend properly.
- The essential oils must be tested, food-based, and therapeutic grade. Food-based meaning spices, herbs, and plants that are consumed, used in cooking, and on the GRAS list (generally recognized as safe).
- ABSOLUTELY NO MORE than 2 single drops from a pipette should be taken per dose and no more 2 doses per day. Make sure to never pour doses directly from the bottle, always use a pipette.
- Do not consume any oil for more than 5 days without taking at least 2-3 days off from using.
Essential oils may also be used to wipe down counters and clean objects that tend to be a magnet for bacteria. They can be used within a solution for washing food, preserving food, and even be added to laundry detergent for washing clothes. Millions of cases of food poisoning could potentially be averted by making dressings, sauces, marinades, liquid salt based blends, and food-based sanitizers using essential oils. The uses are endless!
2. Pain, Injuries, and Inflammation
Nearly everyone in their life has experienced injuries, aches, pains, swelling, stiffness, arthritic conditions, and more. Essential oils may be an ideal remedy to help you function better on a daily basis. In testing, several essential oils possess strong anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and healing properties when used in a blend topically. Here are several proven essential oils that are worth trying if you suffer with any type of pain:
Oregano oil – A study written in the Publication Phytotherapy stated that oregano oil had localized pain killing effects that were nearly as effective as morphine!
Lemongrass – Lemongrass may help to fight inflammation and encourage healing to ligaments and tendons. A study done in 2017 showed that when lemongrass oil was used as a topical treatment, arthritic pain was reduced 30% in one month’s time.
Helichrysum italicum – Although this oil is fairly expensive, it contains rare compounds called diketones that can help heal injured tissues and reduce swelling.
Ginger & Vetiver – These two work well in helping to stimulate circulation, warmth, and soothe stiff areas of the body. Ginger has excellent anti-inflammatories according to a number of studies.
Sweet marjoram – Sweet marjoram is a powerful oil for muscular spasms that brings a warming and soothing feeling to achy muscles. One study showed that marjoram oil helped significantly reduce the amount of neck pain that participants experienced.
Copaiba – The resin of the copaiba balsam tree contains a powerful terpene called beta-caryophyllene, which is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever. Copaiba can add very good synergy to any type of blend for pain.
Plai & Wintergreen – Plai oil isn’t very well known, but is known among users to be one of the most potent pain-relieving oils. Wintergreen, or birch bark, is often used because of the salicylic acid it contains which may help to lower the sensation of pain.
Creating a blend using a blend of these oils at a 5-10% concentration in a base of almond oil may go a long way towards improving a variety of aches, pains, rheumatisms, and injuries. (4-7)
3. Anxiety, Stress, Depression, and Mood
Anxiety, stress, and depression are feelings that nearly every human that’s walked the face of the earth has felt at some point or another. Whether it’s just the stress of the day, feeling down from some event, or cases of clinical anxiety and depression, essential oils may act as a pick me up when in need. While essential oils certainly won’t cause these burdensome feelings to disappear, they may help to lessen the severity of them.
The way essential oils are able to affect our mood is from the tiny aromatic compounds of oils entering into the olfactory nerves, which sends signals to the brain. These signals stimulate neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine, and endorphins that subtly affect our mental and emotional state.
Essential oils such as jasmine, lavender, bergamot, vetiver, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, rose, clary sage, peppermint, and others may help to make anxiety, depression, and stress more manageable. The effects are subtle, but many testimonies and research show real benefits for the mind and body. (8-11)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a complicated condition that sometimes requires a complex solution. While essential oils certainly won’t cure the symptoms that can accompany PTSD, they may offer great value in the fight.
One study conducted at George Washington University found that orange essential oil had a unique effect on the central nervous system that caused a reduction in fear-related behaviors. The oil appeared to lower the emotional reaction to trauma stored in the memory. (12) Several other great choices that may have a balancing, healing effect for PTSD include:
- White angelica
- Helichrysum serotinum
- Jasmine officinale
- Frankincense Frereana
- Roman Chamomile
Not many things in this world are more frustrating than tossing and turning for hours, unable to relax the mind enough to fall asleep. The thought of the alarm clock going off causes more restlessness with every passing minute. Essential oils may also be able to help those suffering with mild sleep disorders or general restlessness when it’s time to hit the hay. The ability to interact with neurotransmitters in the brain such as GABA and serotonin can help put the body in a more conducive state for sleep. Essential oils of jasmine, lavender, valerian root, chamomile, and vetiver are ideal for this purpose.