It’s common knowledge that modern medicine has provided us with amazing benefits. The AMA (American Medical Association), pharmaceutical companies and many other interested organizations spend billions in advertising and public relations activities to make sure that we are convinced of that. What they don’t tell you is that iatrogenic (doctor-caused) disease, whether with drugs or medical procedures, is the fourth leading cause of death in America.
People will argue, “but people live so much longer now.” We do – but we are assigning false cause to it. Life expectancy is not the same as life span. Life expectancy really made the big jump when sanitation was improved and basically we stopped drinking “the poop” in our water, as well as when infant mortality improved. Remember, Thomas Jefferson lived to 83, Benjamin Franklin was 84, John Adams was 91, to name the first three that came to mind. Life span is really about the same. The name of the game is to maximize our life expectancy. Drugs can prop us up by covering up symptoms, but they will not make us healthy. So what can we do?
If you’ve been reading this column, you have been exposed to the basics of human health. I want to introduce you to a system of healing employed by every ancient civilization and just as viable, today, to use in your home. Without having to get a degree in nutrition or a masters in herbology or a doctorate in homeopathy, you can have a tool to help your family avoid unnecessary doctor visits and the inherent dangers of the inevitable prescriptions that ensue. After all, the pharmaceutical industry didn’t generate $2.73 trillion in revenue, last year, promoting broccoli.
Young mothers in my practice who wanted safe, inexpensive and effective ways to keep their kids and themselves out of the doctor’s office inspired me to write about essential oils. This system of healing fits the bill perfectly.
So, what are essential oils? If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a flower, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease. In addition to being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health care. When diffused, oils have aromatic qualities that can be stimulating, or calming and soothing. Diffusing essential oils can also purify the air of unwanted odors without introducing toxic chemicals such as found in commercial “air fresheners” or neuro-toxic products like Febreze. For more on the dangers of these chemicals, please read my earlier article, “Shortcuts to living a Healthy Life in an Unhealthy World, Part II.”
Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically. They can also be used as dietary supplements, supporting a variety of healthy conditions. So how do you start?
First, make sure to find a quality product. My experience has narrowed the two best companies to: Young Living Essential Oils and doTERRA Essential Oils. Lesser quality brands, although they may be effective aromatically, cannot always be ingested. I believe that the benefits of ingesting certain oils are some of the most profound. To get started very affordably, I recommend the set of 10 essential oils offered by doTERRA in “The Family Physician Kit” (a collection of ten nurturing essential oils, including six single oils and four oil blends: 5 ml bottles of lavender, lemon, peppermint, melaleuca, oregano, frankincense, Deep Blue, Breathe, DigestZen, and On Guard).
As the name implies, there is something in the kit for just about any minor complaint from the common cold to digestive distress. An incomplete list of the attributes and traditional uses of these essential oils follows:
Lavender: analgesic (pain killer), anti- depressant, anti-septic and anti-infection,calming, reduces intestinal spasm, deodorant.
Peppermint: analgesic, antifungal, anti-spasmodic, anti-septic, astringent, reduces intestinal spasms, reduces fever.
Melaleuca (tea tree oil): analgesic, antifungal, anti-infections, immune stimulant, helps healing of skin.
Lemon: Anti-depressant, calming, anti- infectious, anti-spasmodic, astringent, helps heal the skin, reduces fever.
Frankincense: Antiseptic, astringent, helps heal the skin, calms intestinal spasms, immune stimulant.
Oregano oil: Potent anti infectious agent. Any time I feel even the slightest anything coming on a couple of drops in about 4 ounces of water does the trick.
DigestZen and Breathe Ease are just what they imply.
Deep Blue is for sprains, strains or muscle aches.
On-Guard, which I diffuse in my office all winter, inhibits the transmission of infectious agents and stimulates the immune system.
I also favor doTERRA because this company offers all the education that you could possibly want and at whatever level of complexity might be of interest to you.