“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
– John Burroughs
Over the past few years, one of the healing methods I have come to learn about and use are essential oils, as alternatives to antibiotics and pharmaceutical drugs, and also for emotional balance, and use in making non-toxic cleaners. Through my passion for learning about health and holistic methods of healing, I’ve discovered that essential oils are often safe and effective.
In understanding the importance of our health, we are increasingly becoming aware of the toxicity we are exposed to everyday from our surrounding environment – they are present in everything from our food, our environment, our home, the effects of pharmaceutical drugs…even our thoughts and the storm of media that surrounds us every day. To regain our health, we must work towards returning ourselves to the most natural state possible.
Why look for natural alternatives to conventional medicine?
I was amazed to find out how many of the most common modern-day pharmaceutical drugs we use today are in fact derived from synthetic versions of plants. In order to patent a drug, it must first be synthetically altered, as it is illegal to patent a natural product. By creating artificial versions of natural remedies, the medical industry encourages demand and capitalizes on big profits. They do this by creating unnatural substances that have never existed in a natural state. By patenting it, they thus obtain a monopoly on it. These molecules of pharmaceutical drugs are foreign to the human body, not easily metabolized and become toxic to our systems, and often result in extensive side effects, because our bodies were never designed to metabolize these artificial chemicals and antibiotics.
With the increasing rate of serious conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes on the rise, our healthcare system has become as fragile as the people that it was meant to support. The US has the highest rate of health expenditure in the world – equivalent to 17.7% of its gross domestic product (GDP). The UK is a close runner up – at 9.2% of its GDP. In 2012, £144.5 billion was spent on healthcare – an almost 2% increase from 2011. It costs the average person about £2268 a year on healthcare alone!
Pharmaceutical prescriptions are not our only option. While drugs depress the immune system, essential oils can in fact strengthen the immune system, resulting in long term health and not simply treating a single chronic problem. Antibiotics attack bacteria indiscriminately, destroying vital flora in the body that are needed for healthy function. By contrast, oils impact only the harmful bacteria, allowing our body’s friendly flora to flourish.
This is not to say that pharmaceuticals should be rejected entirely. They are certainly necessary in certain circumstances, but they are often overused and implemented without discrimination or consideration, especially with chronic illnesses. A culture of over-reliance has developed around drugs – fostered by the companies that produce them, and it is not uncommon to run to the doctor for the slightest ailment. For children in particular, the overuse of pharmaceutical drugs can have severe negative repercussions on their growing bodies, and it is vital to find more natural healing methods that will minimize the harm to them.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the aromatic liquids found in flowers, seeds, bark, leaves and various parts of a plant that contain its vital life force or essence. Their benefits have been widely recognized and they have been used throughout history, for therapeutic and healing purposes. As highly concentrated extracts, they are absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream, affecting every cell in the body within 20 minutes. By harnessing the inherent healing properties in these oils, they can be used to relieve many physical and emotional ailments.
While drugs may provide temporary relief, they ultimately leave the body in a state of imbalance, and this results in the body never fully healing. In contrast, oils help the body to restore its natural balance by addressing the causes of disease at a cellular level, deleting misinformation and reprogramming correct information. This enables cells to function properly and in harmony with one another.
When properly applied, essential oils will work toward feeding the body with truth and naturally restore its ideal bodily function, without undesirable side effects. Oils holistically support the immune, circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, digestive, nervous, and other body systems, keeping all systems balanced and in tune with one another.
Which essential oils to choose in place of your over-the-counter products?
I feel empowered to have alternative, natural options in my home to use daily, in improving my family’s health and to prevent illness, as well as treating symptoms should they arise.
Here are a few tips on some essential oils you can use to live holistically – the way nature intended…
Frankincense: anti-inflammatory, arthritis, calming/anti-anxiety, cellular health, depression, immune support, and improve concentration. For example, diffusing or inhaling frankincense essential oil directly can do wonders for depression.
Lavender: burns, calming, headaches, itching, seasonal allergies, sleep, and stings/bites. For example, as a sleeping aid add a few drops of lavender essential oil to 2-4 cups of Epsom salt to the bath and then add ½ cup of milk. Soak for 15-20 minutes before bedtime to induce relaxation.
Lemon: antioxidant, detoxification, seasonal allergies, and used for homemade cleaners. For example, as a window cleaner, add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar inside a spray bottle to water until the bottle is 3/4 full. Mix them by shaking the spray bottle, add 10 drops of lemon essential oil, and shake again.
Peppermint: bruising, digestion, fever, headaches, improves alertness, motion sickness, nausea, pain, and seasonal allergies. For example, as a stomach soother rub 1 drop of peppermint essential oil into your palm with a little bit of coconut oil and rub on your stomach to help ease nausea naturally.
Tea Tree: acne, cuts/scrapes, itching, sunburn, and used for homemade cleaner. For example, as a carpet freshener add 1/2 cup baking soda to 20-40 drops of tea tree and lavender essential in a shaker container with holes in the lid (like an empty spice container). Let mixture sit for 24 hours before use.
Theives: boosts immunity, combats germs, fights cold & flu, and cuts/scrapes. For example, mix one drop of thieves essential oil with a tablespoon of water, gargle and swallow for a sore throat.