How Essential Are Essential Oils?

Reader Contribution by Lois Hoffman
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I believe in balance; there is no day without night, no white without black, no happy without sad. After all, how can you truly know what elite joy is if you have not experienced the depths of sadness? The problem is that life is usually stuck somewhere in the middle of this balance.

We humans could learn a lesson from animals, as they tend to take life as it is whereas we have to constantly strive to make things bigger, better, more productive, faster. In so doing, and messing with nature, we have upset the balance and created toxins, pollutants and other negatives in our world. The good news is that by getting back to basics, we can tip the scales back in the right direction to create balance again. This is where essential oils come in.

There has been a lot of buzz in the news about them lately, but what exactly are essential oils and how can they help heal us? These oils are highly concentrated plant compounds, essentially (pardon the pun!) the life blood of the plant, performing the same role and function as our blood does for us. Carrying oxygen and other nutrients to the cells, neither plants nor animals could live without this life essential.

The second part of this whole equation on oils is frequency, which is a measurable rate of electrical flow that is constant between any two points. Everything has a frequency or vibration including food, our bodies and even disease. Why do we care about this? Because oils have some of the highest frequencies known to man and because of this they can help create an environment where disease, bacteria, viruses and fungi cannot grow.

Add to this fact that essential oils have the highest level of oxygenating molecules known to man, they can penetrate cell walls to carry vital nutrients that will fight disease at the cellular level. Because of this fact, Gary Young, founder of Young Living Essential Oils, calls them the “missing link” in our modern medicine.

The reason they are the missing link goes back to the balance thing. Our very foods, created to sustain us, have been altered by chemical processes in food production, by chemicals that have saturated the ground and waters, and other unnatural processes. Many of these chemicals are ingested and remain in the body. Essential oils have the ability to push the toxins and chemicals from the cells.

OK, I keep coming back to the balance thing, this holds true for oils. There are many different companies jumping on this band wagon, so be sure you are getting pure, therapeutic grade oils. Yes, these are the expensive ones, but purchasing anything less will be like throwing your money in a fire because they have been diluted so much that their effectiveness is almost, if not, zilch.

The reason some companies dilute is because oils are expensive to produce. There are two main processes for extracting the oils from plants. Most of them are distilled using steam and water to evaporate them from the leaves, stems, flowers, roots or bark of plants. Not so long ago people believed that this distilling process removed the “spirit” from the plant. Hence, distilled beverages like brandy and whisky are often referred to as “spirits.”

The other method of extracting oils from plants is by cold pressing where they are pressed from the various parts of the plant. It takes a large amount of plants to get a little oil, for example it takes 5,000 pounds of roses to get one pound of oil.

Each essential oil is not disease-specific but rather can help a variety of ailments. However, each one has its own properties, and care must be taken as how to use each as an individual. Most can be diffused, applied topically (some need to be mixed with a carrier oil such as vegetable oil because they are so potent and can irritate skin) and some can be taken internally. Be sure to check the safety guidelines for each individual oil before using. When applying topically, oils can be used on the affected area or on the bottom of the feet. Ironically, the largest pores are on the bottom of the feet so oils enter the body quickly.

Essential oils are making headlines in the medical world for helping with everything from the common cold to cancer and heart disease. Most of them have antibacterial properties, many are anti-fungal and anti-viral and boost the immune system. We hear a lot about new viruses and bacteria that are resistant to the current antibiotics. There is not one virus that can create an immunity to essential oils.

Teri Weinberg has been using oils to help people heal for more than 15 years and is the one who introduced us to them. It has literally opened up a whole new world of healing in our lives, both physically and emotionally.

Peppermint, lavender and lemon oils are considered the power oils. Lavender is the most versatile of them, it is best known for its relaxing effects but also is effective on bruises and cuts. Peppermint purifies and stimulates the mind and also has a cooling effect. Teri told me to put one drop in my drinking water and it would cool the body temperature by 10 degrees on those hot, sultry summer days. I figured if one drop was good, four or five would be better. A word to the wise, one drop is good. Talk about a brain freeze from drinking water!

Oils have been around since Egyptian and biblical times. One of the oldest mentioned, yet brightest stars on the horizon, is frankincense. It reduces inflammation, fights infection, boosts immunity and, the most exciting, has been found to fight cancer.

The University of Leicester in the United Kingdom published a press release last December describing its discovery of the cancer-killing properties of frankincense with regard to ovarian cancer. Dr. H.K. Lin, associate professor of urology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, has released documentation that frankincense targets cancer cells, killing them without touching healthy ones like chemo does. He has created the REO Foundation for more research.

Frankincense is also a potential treatment for brain, breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate and stomach cancers. Research from Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas has released findings that show frankincense is a candidate not only for cancer treatment but also prevention. The best part is there are no side effects. How exciting!

We saw firsthand what essential oils can do. A friend was diagnosed with histoplasmosis, which is a fungus caused by breathing in spores of a fungus found in bird and bat droppings and its symptoms mimic lung cancer. After a grueling biopsy, the medical world decided to do nothing since it was not cancer. She used oregano essential oil topically over her lung area and all traces of the fungus disappeared.

Yep, it made us believers. There is so much research to support the emotional and physical benefits of essential oils that I am convinced they are truly essential.

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