My CAM experience… the past, the present and the future

Troll: (noun)

  1. One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption; and
  2. an ugly cave-dwelling creature

I received a nasty, stupid comment regarding one of my posts. Fortunately for me, I have fairly thick skin and rather than rise to the bait, I deleted the comment and it will never see the light of HiResday. It was clear that this person (troll) had not read my blog and was trying to get some kind of argument from me. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am argumentative (FYI – I am also inquisitive, and friendly and a good mum…). But I do not have time or energy to respond to ignorance. So, in light of (but definitely not responding to) that, I wanted to comment about my beliefs of and experience and history with complementary medicine – just so that you know where I am coming from:

My mum used to visit a psychic. I am not sure whether she still believes, but it was my first “hearing”of this “alternative” world, and I had LOADS of questions! Not ones that needed answering by a psychic, but more about how it was possible. I remember listening to the cassette tape she came home with, and the psychic person sounded so other worldly and so knowledgeable.  In hindsight, it was probably just a bit warped (remember that!) and that made it sound very “real”.

It was not until the start of the 90s, when I began playing with essential oils (without any knowledge of their potential benefits or harms) that I began to explore complementary medicine.  In 1998, I started working as PA to a fairly well known and published Australian energy healer and I was introduced to a whole world of magical, esoteric alternative medicine.  I learned about energy healing, reiki, meditation, crystal healing, crystal scrying, numerology, psychic healing, astrology- the list goes on.  I loved my job. I loved the people who were always around – their positivity was awesome, and at that time, I needed that.

A zen stones skyscraperI still meditate, and if I don’t have enough time for a full “session” (a bad excuse, hey!), I use the tools of relaxation to help me focus and to chill. I find this skill particularly useful when my head is spinning following a day of writing, and I cannot get to sleep. I am feeling relaxed right now just thinking about how it feels to meditate! I love the images that people use to depict meditation, because they induce relaxation. I have had some almost “religious” experiences when I have meditated and I love being able to take the time out to focus a little on me.

I have given and received countless healing treatments, and I don’t know what it was that I felt – whether it was anticipation or fear, a want or a need, or whether it was the transference of “universal energy”. It does not matter, because it was amazing, and it was an experience I had and loved, at a time in my life when I was looking for “something”.

In 2006, following the birth of my 1st child, I decided to (finally!) educate myself; I wanted to learn something practical; I wanted to set myself up in business, and work from home. I read about a course at Edinburgh Napier University, and I jumped right in!  The course was the now completely defunct (another subject for another day) BSc Complementary Medicine/BA (Honours) Complementary Healthcare.  At university, my colleagues and I learned how to be good practitioners. We learned about the history and traditions of aromatherapy and complementary health, the chemistry of essential oils, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, massage (it was a health science degree, so we learned a lot), regulation, ethnomedicine, reflexology, five element theory and Chinese medicine, we learned about running a small business and so much more.  And I was introduced to research.

There were people in my class who wanted to practice from a very spiritual place and there were others who adopted a more scientific approach (not reductionist, but looking for evidence!).  I LOVED this course! I met some amazing teachers, and I made some wonderful friends (I have even been asked to contribute to one of my lecturer’s books!)  I left Napier with a 1st class honours degree, a very wide knowledge of complementary medicine, a thirst for more education, and, finally, an understanding of what I actually wanted to do with my life. I did not want to be a practitioner, I wanted to help people en masse. I WANTED TO BE A RESEARCHER IN THE ACADEMIC FIELD OF COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE… (but I still love to make things, and doing fun stuff with essential oils, which will happen… watch this space…)

iStock_000011772479SmallNow I am close to finishing my PhD and my focus is very clear. I want to go and find evidence for the benefits of CAM. I still think about the esoteric – the unicorns and the angels – but I am very focused on the evidence. I am not opposed to modern scientific medicine, but I wonder if there are any cheaper, safer (ie less side-effects), alternatives to current prescriptive medicine, and if so, in what areas of health? How can CAM be useful for chronic illness, and how can it be used effectively to prevent ill-health and promote wellness?

I do not agree with Tim Minchin’s quote: “You know what they call alternative medicine that’s been proved to work? Medicine”, because I think a lot of the benefit of CAM comes from holistic practice, and that is much more than a prescription in a bottle! I do agree with another one, though, that “alternative medicine … has either not been proved to work, or has been proved not to work – much more of the former, and, I wonder, is this “proof” better (ie quality, more rigorous and without bias?) than some of the poor scientific evidence of effect? I am not so sure…

From my happy place of fond memories, I really want to believe that all CAM works.  But the reality is, it doesn’t ALL work, and we need to start developing a scientific evidence base to support those that do. The public needs the real low down; they need to know where they can get good advice, and when they are being completely shammed. I love complementary healthcare; I love its history and tradition and it is because of all my life experience, that I want to be a very big part of the future.iStock_000014098136Small

And so, a final note – One very “traditional” CAM practitioner and educator once said to her audience that science, and learning about CAM in a university setting means that you lose the intuitiveness of the practice. To that, I say: you are not born with the knowledge of how to practice any complementary medicine; you need to learn this, and a university is the right institution; it has access to the most current knowledge, it is not biased, and it is a very broad education (with many transferable skills). An intuitive practitioner does not innately “know” which oil to use before they speak to a client; the “intuitive” is the practitioner who learns how to listen AND hear, they watch and feel (through massage or palpation), and then they can be intuitive with their practice, because then they have a better understanding of the clients needs. All of this comes from education. Intuition is important.

So is the knowledge that drinking some essential oils will kill you!

Look out for my next blog – something about “Show me the evidence…”

“…I realized that rewards are not the goal- if one seeks the ultimate it will elude you. The reward is life itself, in its richness, in its sadness, and joy.”

Valerie Ann Worwood

 

Noix de Coco

shutterstock_135807377coconut

COCONUT OIL

The prize for the most talked/written/facebooked/tweeted about oil in 2013 has got to go to Coconut Oil, and so I think that I too, should take a look at this iconic pomade.

To me, it is the smell of summertime with its beautiful and distinctive aroma. 80s de rigueur at Australian beaches, it was the skin tonic of choice for sunbathers. The slip, slop, slap message meant that the bottle of summer experienced a hiatus. These days, however, coconut oil  is promoted for its high sun protection factor, and coconut oil is back in vogue.

Coconut oil is usually found in a solid state and will melt at around 25 degrees.  In the solid state it is white, however, once melted, the oil is clear (Price, 1999). It is not commonly used in aromatherapy practice, however, it is a great emollient and is often used in commercial massage creams.  It is rich in lauric acid (said to have anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities), is a rich source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and contains more than 85% saturated fat, as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (Canapi et al., 2005). It is resistant to oxidation which means that products that contain coconut oil generally have a longer shelf-life.

Before I go on, it is important to you as a consumer to note that the most common coconut oil found on the shelves of your local supermarket may be inferior to those which provide all of the alleged health benefits you read about; there are two methods of extraction of coconut oil – the most commercially viable method, dry extraction, loses most, if not all, of the proteins, carbs and vitamins.  Oil which has been extracted using a wet method may be able to retrieve this goodness (Canapi et al., 2005).  However, there has been no research in this area, and therefore no conclusive evidence (Schardt, 2012).  So, buyer beware – not everything is what it seems.  In a crowded market-place it will be difficult to discern, however, looking for words such as “raw” or “virgin” may be beneficial.  My best advice would be to go to a reputable health-food shop or essential oil distributor and ask them some questions.

In a very quick, and not overly thorough review of the internet literature (37,600,000 pages dedicated to the oil on google), I have discovered the following to be amongst the most commonest claims. I am going to take a bit of time here to investigate these claims (pros AND cons!), and then you the reader can make up your own mind…

1.  Coconut oil is useful for weight-loss (11,000,000 google hits!): Because coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), it behaves differently from other “fats” – that is, it will be absorbed straight into the cell, where it will be burned up (immediately!) as energy and less likely to be stored as fat.

  • The evidence: a masters student in Brazil published the results of his research where he compared weight loss amongst 40 obese women who were all asked to reduce their calorific input by 200 cals/day and exercise 4 days/week.  Half of these women were then asked to take 2 tablespoons (240 cals) of coconut oil, while the other half consumed soy bean oil.  The women in both groups lost the same amount of weight at the end of three months, which would suggest that the oil is not superior to soy bean oil for weight loss, and it certainly cannot provide any other conclusions (Schardt, 2012). It would be safe to say that the weight loss is probably linked to a reduction in food intake, and increased physical activity.  Schardt does suggest, however, that there may be some confusion surrounding testing for weight loss of a product known as MCT, a formulation which includes coconut extract and consists of 100% medium-chain triglyceride.  In several recent studies, participants who consumed this product lost more weight than those who consumed liquid vegetable oil. However, these studies are small, and there has been no longitudinal work done to understand the long-term effect.
  • Prof. Thomas Brenner, Nutritional Sciences @ Cornell University has come out in defence of what is known as “virgin” coconut oil suggesting that it does not contain as many trans-fats, and that the evidence that saturated fats are bad for us is flimsy (Clark, 2011).  That said, it is recommended we consume only 20 grams saturated fats each day.

2. Protects against type 2 diabetes (3,420,000 results): Due to the smaller size of the chains, those MCFA found in coconut oil are able to permeate fat burning cells, where they will be directly converted to energy and “burned off”; improved metabolism = reduced insulin resistance!

  • The evidence: Researchers at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research conducted some experiments in mice and found that the relatively small size of the MCFA meant that they could penetrate mitochondria far easier than those long-chained fatty acids found in animal products, making it far easier to convert to energy.  On the downside, however, it is important to note that MCFA is linked to fat build up around the liver (fatty liver disease) (Heather, 2009) which is a causative factor in the onset of cirrhosis.  However, in this research, the mice who were given coconut oil  had reduced fat stored in the muscle and improved insulin action compared to those who were fed lard.  The authors of this research suggest that other oils, such as fish oils, may be more beneficial for the health of the liver and that if one was to consider replacing MCFA oils for others in their diet, that they consider this risk.
  • Of the 17 citations found on the CoconutResearchCentre website  there was only one small (n=40) clinical study (studies in humans) of the effect of medium-chain triglycerides on various measures associated with type 2 diabetes including waist circumference, BMI and body weight.  The results were very mixed but warrant further investigation (Han et al., 2007).  The other 16 studies were conducted on mice, rats and/or in vitro (in the lab).  Much more evidence is required.
  • There is currently no advice given by Diabetes Australia that suggests sufferers should include coconut oil in their diets

3. The worlds healthiest populations, Eat a lot of Coconut (Kris Gunnars, 2013) (962,000 hits!):

  • Coconuts are the WHOLE FRUIT and I will compare it to the OIL hereCoconut Oil Stat
  • It probably goes without saying that these populations using WHOLE coconut in their cooking are also using fresh fruit and vegetables, chicken, fish and perhaps tofu than what is experienced by us in the west
  • Professor Mark Wahlqvist at Monash University has studied a West Sumatran diet and suggests that it is the amount of fat (saturated or unsaturated) – meat, eggs, sugar, carbs that will distinguish between healthy and unhealthy.  The more of these foods that you eat, the more at risk you become of heart disease.

What else?

Some authors make their case for the health benefits of coconut oil, by consulting the literature and adding a list of references for their work (I have done the same thing!). Dr Joseph Mercola is one of those authors who wrote about the apparent plethora of health benefits in an article in the Huffington Post in 2011.  Here he talks about improving heart health, thyroid function, metabolism, and improving immunity.  It looks impressive enough – but the age of the references is telling.  Articles that are more than 20 years old at the time of publication are certain to have been superseded by newer evidence.  Why would an author not look at the most recent evidence? Usually because it contradicts what the author is trying to say…. As in all academy, it is good practice to provide a balanced view. Capture coconut

There are, of course, many benefits when applied topically.  It is wonderfully emollient and lovely as a soap – look for coconut products (but avoid the palm oil – another blog for another day!) at your health food shop.  Traditionally it has been used to treat burns (although that would need to be substantiated to be called “evidence”).

It is useful for treating eczema when it is at the dry, itchy stage and is especially great for children because it is natural AND safe, and it will not harm little ones if they get it in their mouth.  It is a promising barrier to environment; it is moisturising and has antibacterial properties.  A recent study by Evangelista et al., (2013) is encouraging. When virgin coconut oil was applied to the skin of 50+ paediatric eczema sufferers for 12 weeks compared to the same number of participants using mineral oil, participants in both groups experienced improvement, however the VCO group had much greater improvement in barrier function, reduced inflammation, reduced itching, and there were no side-effects reported.  It warrants more investigation, but this is significant, good news.

shutterstock_92471503frizzIt is often promoted for hair-care and is said to be a useful treatment for frizz and tangles (I have an 8-year-old daughter and it is very useful!).  It may also prove beneficial for treating and preventing head lice.  A 2007 paper suggests that a mixture of coconut, citronella and neem oil may be as useful as (without the side-effects and controversy) DEET for preventing transmission of head-lice (Canyon et al., 2007).  The authors suggest that this might be due to the “greasiness” but it too warrants a further investigation.

As part of a mixture with Shea butter and sugar or salt, coconut oil is a great exfoliant. It is a wonderful massage oil as it is not immediately absorbed (and it is very relaxing!).  Used as part of your evening beauty routine, it is deeply moisturising! But avoid it on your skin during the day it is fairly greasy, and while it is said to have a protective SPF, I think that it may offer more burn.

So, in summary – do your research carefully! Be critical when reading.  There is not much evidence to support the claims which are abundant on the net, but there is also a little bit of hope.  So, enjoy this beautiful oil, but don’t count on it as a magical cure-all.  Good health should be considered very broadly and we should not pin all our hopes on one product.

References:

Canapi, EC, Agustin, YTV, Moro, EA, Pedrosa, E & Bendaño, MLJ 2005, ‘Coconut Oil’, Bailey’s Industrial Oil and Fat Products, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Canyon, DV & Speare, R 2007, ‘A comparison of botanical and synthetic substances commonly used to prevent head lice (Pediculus humanus var. capitis) infestation’, International Journal of Dermatology, vol. 46, no. 4, pp. 422-426
Clark, M 2011 “Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World”, New York Times, p D1Heather, A 2009, How coconut oil could help reduce the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, The Garvan Institute
Evangelista, MTP, Abad-Casintahan, F & Lopez-Villafuerte, L 2014, ‘The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial’, International Journal of Dermatology, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 100-108.
Gunners, K 2013, ‘Top 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil’, Authority Nutrition An Evidence-Based Approach, viewed 29 December, 2013 <http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/&gt;
Han, JR, Deng, B, Sun, J, Chen, CG, Corkey, BE, Kirkland, JL, Ma, J & Guo, W 2007, ‘Effects of dietary medium-chain triglyceride on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in a group of moderately overweight free-living type 2 diabetic Chinese subjects’, Metabolism, vol. 56, no. 7, pp. 985-991.
Price, L 2006, Carrier Oils – For Aromatherapy & Massage, Third, Third Impression edn, Riverhead, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Schardt, D 2012, ‘COCONUT OIL’, Nutrition Action Health Letter, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 10-11.

Jasmine grandiflorum (dawn-blooming)

I love Jasmine – it is fresh and sweet and it is my favourite olfactory clue that Spring is in the air. And lucky for me, there is so much of it in the area where I live. When I am oblivious to the world around me, busy in my head with the to-do list of my life, I am instantly drawn into the here and now, and I am reminded to enjoy every moment, the now. It is such a wonderful assault on the senses and I am grateful for its gorgeousness.


jasmine (1)Jasmine is an expensive oil at around $AUD124/5ml.  This is because it requires great skill when harvesting so as not to bruise he blossom; and around 8 million blossoms are required to produce one kilo of essence. And Jasmine promoted to improve health and well-being, particularly for those mothers who are experiencing the baby blues – but be aware, while some authors suggest that it is useful for lactating mothers, others suggest that it may inhibit the production of milk – so, for me, I would err on the side of caution; There are other oils for improving mood.  But if you are not a lactating mother, than this oil could be for you – it is wonderful for the skin, especially if you are prone to dryness and sensitivity; it is said to be useful for labour pains (traditional knowledge); and it is said to be stimulating, and an aphrodisiac – so good for those tired parents!

For me, though, the benefits are just a bonus. To be able to appreciate the warmth & sweetness of the odour is all that I need….

Books, books and more books!

As I have mentioned previously, I would like to promote good books on this page and I thought that I should update you on some exciting news from one of my favourite aromatherapists/authors/people, Dr Jennifer Rhind!  She has recently published a second edition of her book Essential Oils: A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice, available through the Jessica Kingsley Publisher website.  Her first book is the very first one I go to when I have a query about an oil as it is fully referenced and completely reliable.  Instead of re-hashing the same old stuff, she goes beyond and looks for the evidence!  It is very well written, and very easy to read.  I would highly recommend it to any aromatherapist or aromatherapy student.

What people think:

‘Finally we have the “missing-link” text to facilitate the journey into the world of aromatherapy practice! This excellent book is well researched, detailed, up to date, relevant and completely accessible to student and qualified aromatherapists alike’ – Rhiannon Harris, Editor, International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy

“This book is a breath of fresh air in written form” – Robert Tisserand, aromatherapy author, educator and consultant

You might also be interested to read Jen’s recent blog “A Meditation on Scent”.

“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries”

A C Grayling

There is no such thing as a ‘therapeutic grade’ essential oil!

Before I go on, I have to say that I am sorry it has been a long time between posts!  I am now a fully fledged PhD candidate in the throws of preparing a research proposal which is due in August.   I have also been pondering the direction that this blog should take.  I do not want to start an encyclopaedia of essential oils.  You can google any essential oil and come up with mountains of information – not all of it good, I might add – and so I think that to go down this path would be a waste of my time.  A good place to start (if this is the kind of information you are looking for) isAromaweb, although a lot of their information comes from sources that are not referenced, I would also look at google scholar to see if there is anything you can find, too!

I do not want to start writing recipes for everyone as, like I have said before in previous posts, the use of essential oils, or blends of, is usually based on an in-depth consultation.  If you cannot find what you are looking for in the plethora of information that is already out there, or are not confident to mix something for yourself – see a qualified therapist.  On that note, yes – I have previously written a few useful blends for pregnancy, this was borne out of concern for safety.

Today, I want to help dispel the myth of ‘therapeutic grade essential oils’.  I recently joined an aromatherapy discussion group, where I thought I might meet like minded people.  Instead, I have fallen into a wealth of blog inspiration!

The term ‘therapeutic grade essential oils’ was coined by the founder of an American essential oil distributor, Gary Young.  Basically, he describes his oils as ‘therapeutic’ as they are of the highest quality/standards.  Other companies have cottoned on to this term and also claim that their oils are ‘therapeutic grade’ oils.  These oils apparently undergo stringent quality testing such as “rigorous mass spectrometry and gas chromatography testing to ensure extract composition and activity” and the oils are independently tested.

The problem with this is, it is JUST A MARKETING PLOY! Please do not be fooled by this.  ALL quality essential oils undergo this kind of testing.  If you purchase an essential oil from a reliable distributor, you can ask for the information.  Each batch of essential oils is slightly different; this is what makes them unique.  For example, lavender, grown in France, in the same field, at the same time of year WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AS THE LAST LOT.  This is because the variables change.  One year might be hot, the next might be wet…. This is nature, and we cannot control it.

You really should google “what are therapeutic grade essential oils” – it is quite laughable!  One site says:

The key to producing a therapeutic-grade essential oil is to preserve as many of the delicate aromatic compounds within the essential oil as possible – elements that are very fragile and destroyed by high temperature and high-pressure. Contact with chemically reactive metals (i.e., copper or aluminum) is another danger to the fragile aromatic compounds in oils.

AND

The purity of an essential oil is also determined by its chemical constituents. There are many variables that can affect these constituents. These can include:

· Soil conditions
· Quality of fertilizer and whether it was organic or chemical
· Region
· Climate
· Altitude
· Harvest season
· Harvest methods
· Distillation process
· The part or parts of the plant used for distillation

Really??  Gosh…..  

The definition of the term, therapeutic is: “of or pertaining to the treating or curing of disease; curative” and yet, some of these websites have DISCLAIMERS!  My favourite one is “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

I am not about to re-write what Tony Burfield puts so succinctly in his paper entitled “The ‘Therapeutic Grade’ Essential Oils Disinformation Campaign“.  Please, if you are interested, have a read.

Obviously there is concern about adulterated oils.  I have written about this previously.  Some unscrupulous dealers will mix a pure essential oil with a carrier.  This might be because the pure oil is expensive, as in the case of jasmine oil.  The honest dealer will mark this on the bottle, stating  “blended” or “in jojoba”.  The unscrupulous dealer will, obviously, sell it to you as 100% pure.  The Aromaweb site I mentioned earlier gives a “consistency” description of essential oils.  If you are in doubt about what you have purchased, check this site.  You can also test it yourself, simply by putting a drop of oil on the back of your hand:

  • It is a pure essential oil (distilled or expressed) if it disappears into the skin quite quickly;
  • An absolute or a resin should be thick and sticky;
  • An essential oil in a carrier oil will lubricate the back of your hand and will not quickly absorb.

There is no way of knowing whether this same unscrupulous dealer is selling you something which is synthetic (well, there is, but not at point-of-sale, and not to the lay person).  So, in order to avoid this – DO YOUR HOMEWORK!  The reputable brands will be easy to spot, and should also be easy to find.  Synthetic oils are more-often-than-not found in toiletry products, so you should not really worry about being fooled into buying them.  It is simply scaremongering on the part of these companies which claim their products are ‘therapeutic’.

Good luck! And don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any more information…

Tamara

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” 
Phineas T. Barnum

Research

I keep harping on about research!  Research is not always easy to come by.  You could try “google scholar” where in some instances, the information is available to read without a password.  In this blog, I am going to provide some links to websites which I believe provide reputable information:

Health insite

Shirley Price Aromatherapy

Robert Tisserand blog

If you cannot find what you are looking for within these links, please do not hesitate to contact me!  I am more than happy to provide you with some guidance in your search for information!

Tx

“If a man will begin with certainties, he will end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he will end in certainties”
Francis Bacon

So, just how useful ARE essential oils?

Essential oils are SO USEFUL!!  What can I say – I am a convert.  I am sceptical about a lot of what is said about a lot of things, and research aside, unless I have seen any kind of results FOR MYSELF, I am sceptical about it.  And so should you be (especially when it comes to claims made by cosmetic companies – their research is usually conducted by themselves rather than an independent group, on a small number of women – they publish any positive results (and they are usually twisted to sound great) and the negative results are usually hidden away from the world).   If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

There are many proven benefits of using essential oils (there are also unproven claims, usually historical ones).   Where research is useful, and conclusive, is the determination of the chemicals which make up the oils.  Understanding their chemical composition means we can determine how the oil should act.  That said, some oils are more effective than others – this is to do with the quantities of the chemical in the oil, synergy, the quality of the oil (the topic of a future blog), supply (some suppliers are dodgy!), and variation in climate (where the plants originate).

We know that some oils are useful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, and antiviral. These oils can help to treat infection and virus, and can also be useful for protecting others who are living in an environment with a sick person.

We understand that certain oils act like hormones (due to their chemical components) and have historically been useful for treating premenstrual syndrome, regulating menstrual cycles; some authors recommend hormone-like essential oils (such as geranium) for disorders such as dysmenorrhoea and amenorrhoea.

Essential oils can also have a positive effect on emotions, and can be helpful for mild depression, sleep problems and irritability.  They can aid study, or help to relieve stress in any environment.   

I believe that there will be an essential oil for almost all ailments and or emotional situations.  They might be helping to relieve symptoms, helping you to feel more comfortable, helping to boost your immune system to deal with the complaint, or helping to relieve the side-effects of any drugs that you might be taking for the ailment.

Your decision to use essential oils in your life can only be a positive one; however, it is important to seek advice from a professional.  There are many blogs and websites out there that suggest recipes for any number of issue – whether it be for personal use or within the home.  They do suggest that some oils are irritants, and that some research into what suits your own personal situation is essential.  This is good advice, but most do not offer guidance on what to do.  So, for guidance on how to test essential oils out on yourself, please see Essential oil safety: It is sometimes dangerous to associate ‘natural’ with ‘safe’ under the section entitled “How to conduct a patch test”.

My next blog (which will come along a lot sooner than this one, I promise!!) will consider the different approaches aromatherapists use; and how they sit with the conventional ”holistic approach”.

Tx

“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on.  It is never of any use to oneself”
Oscar Wilde

Disclaimer:

All material provided in this blog is for your information only.  Whilst every caution has been taken to ensure the material is accurate and the analysis is critical, due to the nature of essential oils, it is important that you consult your doctor and/or aromatherapist before making any decisions based on the information here. The author will not compensate you in any way if you suffer an inconvenience, damage or side-effect because of  the information provided in this blog.

The Author is not responsible for the content of any comments made by Commenter(s) and reserves the right to block Commenter(s) who have previously published offensive comments, illegal content, or SPAM.