Essential Oils...How do they work?


I'll admit, the first time I heard of using essential oils to support my health, I was skeptical.

Sure, I understood the idea behind it:

1. Plant extracts have been used for thousands of years as medicines.

2. Essential oils have compounds in them that can have physiological effects on the body.

3. All of my friends swear by them so they must do something!

But for me, I wanted to understand the HOW. How do they actually work? A May 2018 meta-analysis study from Molecules helped clear it up for me.

Here is what it says:

"Essential oils and the constituents in them exhibit different pharmacological activities, such as antinociceptive, anxiolytic-like, and anticonvulsant effects. They are widely applied as a complementary therapy for people with anxiety, insomnia, convulsion, pain, and cognitive deficit symptoms through inhalation, oral administration, and aromatherapy. Recent studies show that essential oils are emerging as a promising source for modulation of the GABAergic system and sodium ion channels."

The study includes a chart with different oils, their chemical constituents, and what each one does to modulate the GABAergic system in the brain. Here are just a few highlights you might find interesting:

  • Lavender, chamomile, rose, and clary sage have chemical constituents that have potent anti-anxiety properties

  • Clary Sage also contains chemical constituents that have pain relieving properties

  • Lemon has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties

  • Coriander oil displays significant anti-anxiety and antidepressant-like effects

  • Bergamot has chemical constituents that have an anti-anxiety, pain relieving, and mood-boosting properties

  • Rose, Geranium and Lemongrass contain β-Citronellol​ which has anti-hypertensive properties

You can read the full article HERE, but the conclusion says it all:

"Based on the findings discussed above, it is clear that natural EOs demonstrate many neuro-pharmacological properties, such as anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, anti-depressive, and sedative properties."

More interesting essential oil reading:

Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement: A Randomized Clinical Trial

"Eucalyptus oil inhalation was effective in reducing patient's subjective pain and blood pressure after surgery"

Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) as therapeutic and prophylactic agent

"In this Review, reports on R. officinalis L. benefits were presented to show that a plant product may control physiological disorders similar to or superior to the usual medications. Another point to consider is the demonstration of new treatment forms and pharmacological strategies that could be developed to reach as many people as possible in all Continents."

It seems clear from a large body of clinical research that essential oils work! Call our office today to see how you can use them to supplement your healthy lifestyle!

(252)689-8729

#mentalhealth #essentialoils

2019 Advantage Therapy Solutions

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