Essential Oil Therapy
Aromatic plants have long played an important role in human civilizations. They have played a major role in religion, marriage ceremonies, dating and courtship, cosmetics, funeral services, medicine and many other aspects of life. Although the use of essential oils has evolved over the years, the basic principles have remained the same. From the beginning of time, oils extracted from aromatic plants have been recognized as the most effective medicine known to mankind.
Essential oils are the volatile liquids distilled from plants including their respective parts…seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, etc.. The determining factors for purity and therapeutic value of these oils is its chemical constituents or chemical makeup which can be affected by a number of variables such as the region in which it is grown, soil condition, fertilizer (organic or chemical), climate, altitude, time of harvest, method of harvest and the distillation process. As we begin to learn more about the power of essential oils in the realm of health care, we understand the absolute necessity of the need for purity and therapeutic value. There can be no compromise and there is no substitute.
Essential oils cannot be reproduced in the pharmaceutical industry. Chemists can replicate some of the known constituents but it would be next to impossible to successfully replicate or recreate essential oil in the laboratory without sacrificing purity and therapeutic value.
Essential oils embody the regenerative, protective and immune strengthening properties of plants. These are very powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals which can cause cellular damage in the body. Many essential oils have antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, anti-parasitic and antiseptic properties.
So, right now you're asking, what does all of this have to do with dementia and related disorders? The answer is….quite a lot.
Dr. William M. Partridge, an expert in blood - brain barrier research, determined in 2003 that, "The development of new drugs for the brain has not kept pace with progress in the molecular neurosciences, because the majority of new drugs discovered do not cross the blood brain barrier." The ability to cross the blood-brain barrier is essential for the treatment of brain diseases and disorders.
Depression and anxiety disorders, a big factor in dementia other neurological disorders, have been thought to be simply a chemical imbalance in the brain involving levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. New evidence has been found to link depression and anxiety disorders to the fluctuation of these and other neurotransmitters as well. To say the root cause of depression and anxiety disorders is a chemical imbalance in the brain is a broad a sweeping statement hitting true to the mark but the totality of those chemicals / neurotransmitters involved has yet to be identified. Suffice it to say, in order for a therapy to have a positive effect on these neurotransmitters; it is absolutely essential that the components of the therapy have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
Chemical constituents known as sesquiterpenes - commonly found in some essential oils, are known to be able to go beyond the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, sesquiterpenes can directly interact with the brain cells, unlike most pharmaceutical drugs, and can impact the brain therapeutically. In fact, sesquiterpenes are known to interact with neurotransmitter receptors, specifically glycine, dopamine and serotonin receptors. Even if the chemical constituents of an essential oil cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, the essential oil can still affect the brain through activation of the olfactory bulb.
Use of essential oils can create systemic (whole body) or localized (targeted) therapeutic effects. Methods of application are;
- Aromatic - affecting the sense of smell even if this sensory is damaged, reduced or non-existent
- Topical Application - applied to the skin usually with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil
- Internal Application - internally ingested.
Aromatic and internal applications generally result in systemic or whole body effects. Topical application will generally produce localized or targeted effects but can produce some level of whole body effect. Either way, the effects of essential oils can be positive in providing the body with the support needed to alleviate the emergence of depression and anxiety.
The sense of smell is our most primal, and it exerts a powerful influence over our thoughts, emotions, moods memories and behaviors. This sense is far more complex than sight and we are ten thousand times more capable of smelling than tasting.
Smell can be used beneficially in healing efforts. We experience smells long before words. Whether for relieving stress, stabilizing moods, improving sleep, eliminating pain or improving memory and energy levels, scents can actually change nervous system biochemistry.
Essential Oils can facilitate a rapid emotional response in the brain and body. They are powerful biochemical agents for emotional balance and wellness and toxic release which can be pared or partnered with any holistic or medically derived program to create a successful approach to mental and emotional wellness.
Choosing the Right Essential Oil:
We have researched a host of essential oils found on the market and have discovered one very important point … available products described as essential oils are not alike. Many contain only 1% essential oil and most contain alcohol and other chemicals. The FDA requirement for a company to promote their essential oil as "Pure" is that the bottle contain a minimum of 1% of the plant extract.
We have chosen the purest oils available with the highest therapeutic benefits possible to recommend for use as a therapy. Our associate and Certified Aromatherapist, has developed a selection of proprietary blends of Essential Oils designed to lift spirits, clear the mind, improve focus, increase energy levels, create relaxed and restful sleep, eliminate anxiety, memory enhancements and more.
A word of CAUTION ... READ THE LABELS. If the essential oil contains anything other than the specific oil and its inherent chemical constituents, we would strongly advise against using it.
If you have specific questions, please feel free to fill in the form below and our associate Aromatherapist can supply you with information.
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