Rising Recognition of Essential Oils as Medicine
Large companies are now realizing that people prefer natural home and body care products to artificial (and often dangerous) chemically manufactured items. Slogans on commercial and TV ads tout “Now, with essential oils.” Yet, the use of essential oils as a form of medicinal therapy is still a relatively new concept in this modern era.
Perhaps you may have read in health magazines about what scientists are finding out about essential oils – how they are excellent antimicrobials, or a valid form of stress reduction, or even a possible treatment for Alzheimer's or cancer. Yet, practically speaking, what can one do with this information? To take some of the mystery out of these findings, we sifted through over a hundred research articles on essential oils and provided a few practical applications that many people experience.
Anxiety and Aromatics
An increasing number of people now experience high levels of sustained anxiety and often turn to pharmaceuticals. Conventional medicine is still widely skeptical of the use of essential oils for anxiolytic (antianxiety) purpose. However, a study published in March of 2010 gave actual scientific support to the anxiolytic activity of essential oils, specifically sweet orange oil (Citrus sinensis). Researchers found significant changes in the behavior of tested Wistar male rats that were exposed to the oil's aroma.
Supporting Healthy Microflora
Living in an intensely changing world, a growing percentage of the population is experiencing high levels of sustained anxiety and worry. Medical treatments for this disorder are commonly psychotropic drugs; however, long term use of pharmaceuticals is now being discouraged due to their side-effects. An alternative treatment may be warranted from the citrus family – Citrus sinensis or sweet orange. A 2010 study conducted in Brazil looked at the potential of sweet orange essential oil to reduce anxiety behaviors in lab animals. They found that this oil had significant anxiety reducing effects on tested rats.
Researchers from Australia published findings in 2009 on the value of using essential oils to treat disbiosis. Their study found that lavender, caraway and neroil were highly effective against the major disbiosis-causing intestinal microorganisms. What was impressive in this study was that these essential oils not only had significant impact on the pathogenic bacteria but also left the health-supporting microflora untouched.
Oral Heath Support
We all know that brushing and flossing promote healthy teeth and gums by removing harmful bacteria. If such bacteria are not removed from such measures, they may form a biofilm – a slime covering. Working together, biofilm bacteria are known to cause plaque which leads to decay as well as gum disease.
A recent study from the University of Thailand found that the essential oil of Ocimum americanum L., or American basil, displayed antibacterial activities toward biofilm microbes.
Searching the latest research on essential oil effectiveness is promising. The studies we reviewed in the last two years indicate that essential oils are a viable choice for treating ailments such as anxiety and disbiosis and are capable of supporting oral health – a key to overall wellness. Such news makes one want to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there are feasible choices to drug treatments.
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