Written by: Aline McCarthy
'There has never been a more important time in human history to take control of your own health. We are exposed to literally tens of thousands of chemicals on a daily basis that humans have never been exposed to before.' (Dr.Ron Ehrlich)
Essential oils are a simple but powerful and versatile way to eradicate chemicals out of your life. They can be used for cleaning, beauty, personal care, and as a home remedy, effectively substituting most toxic chemicals in your home. Phthalates - endocrine disrupting chemicals (that often hide under the name “fragrance” on labels) are in anything scented, in your cleaning and personal care products, many scented candles, PVC flooring, and food packaging such as plastic wrap. By choosing natural fragrances, or products containing pure essential oils, you are effectively ditching a big range of toxins and detoxing your body from that constant input of toxic overload.
Most people are tired of being sick and only their symptoms being addressed by conventional medicine and an equal amount of people are fed up with companies being nontransparent about what’s in our products- it’s a hugely confusing and totally unregulated world out there, and we are all so done with being lied to!
50% of illness is produced by INDOOR air pollution. This is one factor that we CAN change!
Artificial ‘fragrance’ (and that’s most of the things out there, including essential oils that are labeled pure), is a number 9 out of ten on the toxicity rating. If you download an app called Chemical Maze or go to Skin Deep and type in the word fragrance, you will see its a hugely toxic ingredient that is in fact in most or all of your products at home! That one single word can consist of hundreds of different chemicals that don’t have to be disclosed at all. Therefore, by removing those toxins and replacing them with medicinal grade essential oils you will already make a huge difference for your health but also for our environment. For every American, there are roughly 30 000 pounds of of chemicals manufactured each year. And there is a huge environmental link between diseases on the rise since the sharp incline of chemical usage in our products and environment. Not all of them are bad but a lot of them are, and they are simply not even needed in most cases. We can replace them with natural products!
Science is starting to understand that our microbiome and gut health play a huge role in our state of health. We also now know, that our genes only “load the gun” but our environment is what ‘pulls the trigger”. This means we have huge power of our genetic manifestation of disease by making healthy lifestyle choices such as exercise, food and diet choices, meditation, toxic chemical reduction and using natural remedies to support overall wellness.
Essential oils are the perfect natural remedy as they are:
-very concentrated and potent
-one of the few remedies which address body, mind and spirit at the same time synergistically
- very safe when used correctly
- very easy to use (just open a bottle and inhale!)
- Unmatched in their versatility. Each oil has so many different uses and functions!
- they often have a very long shelf life if stored correctly
If we stop using endocrine disrupting chemicals and so called ‘anti-bacterial” toxins that harm our microbiome we are already winning, if we build up our emotional and physical resilience with good life style choices on top of that we are setting ourselves up for good health.
Let’s have a look at one tiny aspect of what essential oils can
do for you.
We live in a constantly ‘stressed’ society. Stress is an emotion. Your brain will match your emotions with brain waves - you will see very organised, harmonic waves for feelings like gratitude, and very jagged, unorganised waves for stress and other negative emotions. The chemicals your body will release as a response to those feelings travel around your body and have many physiological effects: increased heart rate, sweating and higher release of cortisol for example. Our immune system will also respond to those messages. If you are chronically stressed, your cortisol will be very high- this can then lower the production of stomach acid and lead to a reduced digestion of your food. This affects the microbiome and has further repercussions in terms of lowered absorption of nutrients even if you eat good food. High cortisol also can mean lowered serotonin (which is produced in the gut), and lowered melatonin, which can disrupt your sleep patterns. As you can see, just experiencing stress, there are a whole lot of repercussions in your body, which we often somehow know and feel / experience (tummy aches, bad sleep etc) but we don't often listen to. Essential oils can help tremendously with feeling calmer, more centred and less stressed by simply inhaling them or applying them to your skin.
Here we can see what a huge benefit this one simple application can immediately make for you overall long term health? Essential oils are a lifestyle choice- all lifestyle choices have to be applied regularly to make a big impact on your life. You can’t eat broccoli once and expect a huge outcome.
Essential oils will work if you use them daily, as a preventative and as a gorgeous and joyful way of living.
We can use them to clear our indoor air with a diffuser, apply them to our skin as a beauty product, and ingest them (only food grade and fda/tga approved oils for this method.).
We can use them for meditation, to soothe our muscles, to clear our heads, feel calmer, feel more focused and so much more!
As the volatile molecules of essential oils are smelled or inhaled, they travel through our nose into our olfactory bulbs and then into our limbic system. The entire limbic system (hippocampus, hypothalamus and amygdala) helps control a variety of emotional, voluntary, endocrine and visceral responses to our environments that we all experience daily. It is sometimes called the emotional switchboard of the brain.
Because of the hypothalamus’s functions, the limbic system is directly in control of your “stress response” and these key functions:
Anxiety and high amounts of stress (including increased cortisol levels as mentioned above) also have an impact on inflammation levels, digestion and gut health, cardiovascular functions, your immune system, and the reproductive system — sometimes contributing to disorders like diabetes, insomnia,high blood pressure, higher susceptibility to infections and infertility.
By using essential oils as a simple, yet powerful way to relax and unwind, the implications for overall wellness are huge, particularly if implemented daily. Especially in children, whose brain is not fully developed until they are 25 years old, and often don’t have good impulse control or control over their emotions, essential oils can help enormously to calm them down and be able to “snap out” of tantrums.
Simply opening a bottle and inhaling from the bottle can be a cost-effective, time-effective and soothing way to affect children’s (or adults) emotions in a positive way.
Don’t we all know how much better we feel when we smell something really nice? Scents have been well used by marketing and advertising companies who know sales go up when products smell good, and in fact even when department stores are infused with perfume or scents customers show higher buying rates even if the smell is not at all related to the kitchen aid on sale! The Perfume industry is one of the most
profitable businesses in the world- they know how powerful our sense of smell is, and how we are so deeply connected to that limbic system. How we want to smell good, attractive, sexy, alluring and more. How we remember people or products purely on their smell. I remember NIVEA cream was used on all babies in Germany when I grew up, and Nivea never changed that formula. They tried, but every time they changed it, the sales numbers absolutely plummeted!
Let us recognise the power of our smell, how deeply it is linked to our brain for survival and for making decisions that are often subconscious- and lets use essential oils as natures most gorgeous gift to us to unlock our brains ,free us from emotional patterns and lift our mood and energy levels.
Let’s decide to kick toxins to the kerb, which will force companies to follow suit and stop producing them in the first place. Our ecosystem, our future generations, and our own health are on the line- and we have the choice. Choose wisely.