Thursday, October 16, 2014
Essential Oils - Nature's Healers?
According to millions of essential oil users, the oil from the pretty purple lavender flower aids in stress relief and insomnia. The oil from the basil leaf has been known to relieve sore muscles and improve breathing.
Oils from the cassia plant promote healthy digestion and improve immune system function. Supposedly, the clary sage leaf produces oils that help alleviate menstrual symptoms and balance hormone levels. The lovely white blossoms of the geranium flower produce oils that claim to clear skin, lessen anxiety and strengthen the liver.
But what about the science of all of this? According to nih.gov's website, Medline Plus, lavender oil is possibly effective for hair loss and developing research suggests using lavender oil in a vaporizer overnight or on a gauze pad left beside the bed, might help some people with mild insomnia. That same website also states that some research suggests that adding 3 milliliters of a 20% lavender oil and 80% grapeseed oil mixture to daily baths produces small improvements in mood, compared with baths containing grapeseed oil alone.
Additionally, nih.gov reports that some research suggests that rubbing 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil on the upper lip, so that the vapor is inhaled, might reduce migraine pain and nausea, and help stop the headache from spreading. That sounds a lot like what millions of essential oil users are claiming.
What about basil oil? According to Dr. Madhukar Patil's (Ph.D. Chemistry Professor for the Institute of Science in Bombay, India for 30 years) website Organic Facts, "The health benefits of basil essential oil include its ability to treat nausea, motion sickness, indigestion, constipation, respiratory problems, and diabetes."
Another trusted scientific website, WebMD states that basil oil contains many chemicals and that it has been used for stomach problems, head colds and to improve circulation and kidney function. It even comments that basil has been used to fight warts. If it helps head colds, that would certainly improve breathing function.
With regard to cassia oil, nih.gov's website Medline Plus states that some studies suggested that cassia cinnamon oil might be effective for controlling type 2 diabetes. And WebMD reports that some research has found that a particular type of cinnamon, cassia cinnamon oil, may lower blood sugar in people with type II diabetes. Are diabetes and digestion connected? Makes sense.
As far the geranium flower oil, WebMD states that "some studies have shown that applying botanical oils such as geranium oil can reduce the pain of postherpetic neuralgia". This type of pain is a complication of shingles, an extremely painful condition resulting from having had the chicken pox as a child.
WebMD only attributes the improvement of digestive disorders and kidney disease to the consumption of clary sage oil, but says nothing about its ability to regulate hormones or alleviate menstrual symptoms. So the jury may still be out on that one as far as concrete medical evidence. But there seems to be enough people testifying to the health benefits of essential oils that it might be worth taking a look at.
Essential Oils - Get A Closer Look