Despite everything modern science has achieved in the area of western medicine, the general health of people today is declining. Disease statistics continue to skyrocket as more people suffer at the hands of death-inducing conditions like coronary artery disease, stroke and cancer than ever before. It all seems a bit surprising, considering our developments in the field of modern medicine and our growing knowledge of how the human body works.
In response to growing frustration with the inability of western medicine to prevent or even cure chronic disease, people are increasingly turning to alternative methods to ward off illness. Essential oils are one such alternative. They have been used for millennia to cure ailments and prevent disease. However, it is only now the modern world is beginning to realize their benefits for promoting health and wellness.
So what exactly is an essential oil?
Essential oils are potent concentrations of plant extracts. They represent the essence of the plant from which they were taken. This essence is a substance which is many times stronger than the original plant. Therefore, essential oils are a highly concentrated version of the parent plant’s healing properties. These oils are extracted via either distillation or cold pressing.
The governing principle behind essential oils is that they are taken from plants which exhibit certain valuable characteristics, such as antibacterial properties designed to prevent harmful pathogens from attacking their leaves or stems. Through distillation or cold pressing, these valuable compounds are concentrated into an essential oil. The oil can then be used by people through aromatherapy, direct contact or even ingestion to promote health and help fight disease. The strength of these oils can be up to 70 times more potent than the original plant.
6 essential oil alternatives to medicine
Healthcare is big money. Essential oils are no exception. Luckily, essential oil manufacturers have put their income to good use by encouraging further scientific analysis of plants and their healing properties. Consequently, an extensive body of research exists to support claims that certain essential oils can provide effective replacements for common over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
Lavender essential oil is arguably the most versatile oil available. It has been used by various cultures for thousands of years for a wide range of health problems. Apply it topically to alleviate skin disorders, minor burns and insect bites. Rub some into scratches and shallow cuts as a disinfectant. Use it via aromatherapy to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Rub some on your pillow or below your nose to help you sleep better.
Lemon essential oil is a close second to lavender on the usefulness scale. The most popular uses for lemon essential oil are for cleansing the body of toxins, helping stimulate lymphatic drainage and restoring energy levels. Studies are beginning to suggest lemon essential oil may trigger neurological activity which controls the breakdown of body fat, meaning it could be a powerful weight loss tool. Everyone knows lemon juice in hot water helps soothe sore throats when you have a cold. Lemon essential oil is even more effective – just a couple of drops of this oil in water or tea can banish a sore throat and boost an ailing immune system.
Oregano essential oil is a powerful ally to health and savage enemy to illness, with potent antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can banish fungal infections and Candida, reduce bruising, sprains, joint pain, tendonitis, and dispel cysts, warts, and herpes. Oregano essential oil is a hot oil, meaning that it should always be used with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, to prevent skin irritation. Essentially, it’s anti-disease. So it’s a good idea to have some of this useful item in your medicine cabinet.
Far from being just koala food and a pleasant aroma in saunas, the essential oil of the Eucalyptus tree also has a number of health promoting properties. Eucalyptus essential oil has historically been used ease the symptoms of colds and flu, as it helps the body cleanse itself of toxins and harmful microorganisms. It also aids in clearing blocked sinuses and reducing the symptoms of allergies. When rubbed on the chest it can alleviate asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Tea tree essential oil is well-known in the health community for its valuable antiseptic properties. It can be applied topically to disinfect shallow wounds and fight fungal infection. When ingested, it can kill bad bacteria and harmful viruses. Tea tree essential oil has been shown to have a synergistic effect in the body, helping to prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.
Using essential oils
Essential oils can be a powerful tool in the fight against sickness and disease. However, they must be treated with caution. Always make sure your intended use for an essential oil is a safe one. Never use essential oils close to the eyes or ears. To reduce the risk of skin irritation, consider using essential oils mixed with a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil and prevent it from irritating the skin.