An ancient healing modality is becoming more mainstream: essential oils. According to ancient texts and hieroglyphics discovered on the walls of caves, stone buildings and structures, essential oils have been used for centuries as medicine for everything from simple cuts to serious wounds, stomach aches to dysentery, the black plague, rashes to leprosy, protection from venomous scorpion and snakes bites, and even life-threatening infections and viruses. They’ve also been known to improve memory, focus, mental clarity as well as anxiety and depression.
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Essential oils are the communication and immune molecules from flowers, fruits, rinds, plants, roots and trees. The raw materials are harvested, placed into a chamber, distilled, filtered and separated. This process sounds fairly simple. However, there are many factors during the process that determine the effectiveness, or lack thereof, with the end result.
Obtaining essential oils is both an art and science. On average, it takes five to seven years of intense testing to learn how to capture the most therapeutic properties (molecules) each plant has to offer. Then, even after all this, variables still present themselves each season in the form of soil quality and climate. Even weather changes at the crucial harvesting time can affect the effectiveness of an essential oil. Which temperatures to cook at, how much pressure to use on each different plant and even the water temperature are all determining factors for the quality and effectiveness of an essential oil.
There are different quality grade levels of essential oils. Therapeutic industrial-grade oils are mainly used to mask the smell of toxic industrial chemicals. Next is cosmetic and food grade. These essential oils have few to no therapeutic properties, other than smell or taste. This category makes up over 90 percent of essential oils sold in the world today. However, due to vague labeling laws in the U.S., the average consumer will not know they are buying a lower-grade essential oil. The highest grade is therapeutic grade, and while many companies are claiming they have produced therapeutic grade products, independent lab tests often show otherwise.
Essential oils, if they are in fact therapeutic grade, have proven over time to produce amazing results. There is over 800 percent more lavender sold as “pure” than is grown, so beware of poorly distilled lavender with synthetics added that can cause harmful effects. The best lavender is considered the Swiss Army knife of essential oils. Apply it topically to relax muscles and stop cramping, and to rapidly recover from wounds, minimize bruising, lessen burns or reduce inflammation. Ingestion of pure lavender can also bolster your immune system to resist against bacterial infections and life-threatening illnesses.
Lemon-rind oil tastes delicious and can serve as an outstanding water purifier simply by adding a few drops in water and filtering it through a cloth or paper towel. Watch as the unhealthy microbes and impurities are left behind. According to research from Jean Valnet, MD, diffused lemon oil will kill meningococcus bacteria in 15 minutes, typhoid bacilli in one hour, staphylococcus aureus in two hours, pneumonia cocci bacteria in three hours, diphtheria bacteria in 20 minutes and completely inactivate tuberculosis bacteria. Upon inhaling citrus rind oils, our brain naturally creates more endorphins. As a result of higher levels of endorphins, our body creates more “T” or “NK” cells, giving us a more resilient immune system.
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Peppermint oil is highly antibacterial and anti-parasitic. It rapidly relieves heat from our tissue, whether to reduce swelling from an injury or fever, or to cool down an overheated body. Similarly, Idaho tansy oil has the fastest cauterizing action. Literally in seconds, the bleeding will stop right before your eyes upon topical application. Those in the backwoods can also apply it to keep insects away.
Helichrysum oil is another life-saving oil to consider. It has many molecules that rapidly regenerate and strengthen weak and damaged tissue, including skin (no scarring), bones, the nerves, the brain, the heart and the liver. Helichrysum is a natural haemostatic, purifying and strengthening our blood. Use helichrysum internally and topically for the best results.
Copaiba oil is perhaps the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory substance, superior to even pharmaceutical steroids in its ability to rapidly reduce swelling with no negative side effects. Copaiba oil has been used for centuries to correct ulcers, lung ailments and even kidney stones when taken internally. Additionally, oregano is the granddaddy of anti-infectious oils—everything from bacteria, mold, fungus, parasites and yeast leave quickly when oregano shows up on the scene. Just a few drops combined with peppermint oil taken internally multiple times daily are a tremendous support for our immune system.
True Melissa oil is rare, requiring over 6,000 pounds of plant material to make approximately 15 ounces of this essential oil. Melissa oil takes center stage when it comes to virus-eradicating abilities. Even the dreaded herpes strain, including shingles, disappears upon Melissa’s arrival. Melissa and copaiba oils are outstanding antihistamines and have quickly lifted many out of anaphylactic shock in an emergency.
While most beneficial oils are distilled from a single plant source, you can also blend oils to deliver impressive results. Clove, cinnamon, thyme, lemongrass, oregano, melaleuca essential oils are nature’s antibiotics and nature’s antiseptics. Their reputation is untarnished when it comes to knocking out the antibiotic-resistant “super bugs” that exist in our world today, and are safe to use topically, internally and to diffuse.
Aromatherapy is a lot more than outing a drop of essential oil on a cotton ball and pinning it to a person’s hospital gown, or placing it in a dish in the corner of a room. You see, the quality of the essential oil determines what it can do and how it can be safely used. The highest-quality oil can be diffused into the air, applied topically and even taken internally in proper amounts. And whether an essential oil is safe for infants and animals, how you use it, how much you use and how often will vary greatly by individual and the reason for use.
The right essential oils are life-enhancing tools that can make a profound difference in our daily lives, producing results that confound traditional Western science. This truly is the best of the ancient past vastly improving our life today and tomorrow.
This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.