Reduce Toxins and Support Your Health with Essential Oils

September 28, 2018 at 4:29 PM

Essential oils have enhanced lives for thousands of years, offering a variety of benefits from cosmetic and dietary supplement purposes to hormonal and emotional support, and spiritual and religious use.  Because of their calming, uplifting, detoxifying, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, they have been gaining renewed popularity as a natural, safe and cost-effective approach to supporting a number of health concerns.

Research shows that people now spend about 85% of their time indoors these days. And that the average home currently contains over 60 hazardous products. We have so much more exposure to toxins these days than our grandparents did. The toxins are in everything from antiperspirants to perfumes, household cleaners and skin care products to air fresheners and even many of the foods you eat. Approximately 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. So if you’re slathering yourself with chemical-filled creams, deodorants, perfumes, etc., those chemicals find their way directly into your bloodstream within minutes. Once there, they can disrupt your endocrine system, which is responsible for the hormonal effects on the body as it relates to a number of actions including but not limited to gender development, brain function, metabolism, growth, and mood.

It is up to us to take charge of our health and reduce toxin exposure. Notice I said reduce. Eliminating it altogether would be wonderful, but it’s simply not realistic. Aiming for complete elimination will leave you exhausted and drive you crazy. However, by significantly reducing your exposure to toxins, you can make a substantial positive impact on your health. The good news is that there is a simple way to swap out the toxic chemicals with something that’s safe, non-toxic and even promotes healthier body systems. What is this magical secret?…  Essential oils!

What Are Essential Oils, Exactly?

Essential Oils are the volatile liquids distilled from plants, including the seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruit. Just as we have oils in our skin and fats in our body that protect us, essential oils are protective to the plant. Considered the ‘life blood’ of the plant, and oxygenating and carrying nutrients to the cells just like our own blood, they act as the immune system of the plant. And they have the unique ability to work the same way in our own bodies. Essential oils can actually penetrate our cell membranes, and each drop contains 40 million-trillion molecules that affect the body at the cellular level. That’s about 40,000 molecules for every cell in the human body!

What Are Some of the Benefits of Essential Oils?

  1. Reduce Stress & Anxiety & Promote Restful Sleep - Perhaps one of the most well-known essential oils benefits is their ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Some essential oils have sedative properties and induce a calm, peaceful, uplifting and relaxed feeling. Some essential oils have sedative properties, which can be helpful for people who are having trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night. 

  2. Balance Hormones - Some essential oils target hormones and can help to balance your estrogen, progesterone, thyroid and testosterone levels. Essential oils are also able to lower cortisol levels, which can help to improve your mood and reduce symptoms of depression.

  3. Boost Immunity & Fight Infections - Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties that help to boost your immune system and fight infections. The chemical substances found in essential oils, such as terpenes, esters, ketones, etc. have the potential to fight foreign pathogens that can threaten your health.

  4. Alleviate Aches & Pains, Headaches & Migraines - There is a significant positive effect of aromatherapy in reducing pain. There are many essential oils that can be applied topically or used aromatically to reduce body aches and pains. Essential oils also work as a natural headache and migraine relievers because they effectively treat the trigger, addressing the root of the problem instead of masking it, as painkillers do. Essential oils for headaches provide pain relief, improve circulation and reduce stress, which can be a major cause of both headaches and migraines.

  5. Boost Energy Levels & Brain Function - Essential oils can help to boost your energy levels and even improve your athletic performance. Some oils have stimulating effects and can actually increase oxygen to your brain, which will leave you feeling refreshed, focused and energized. Essential oils also have neuroprotective effects and can help to improve cognitive performance.  

  6. Support Digestion - Another well-researched benefit of essential oils is their role in aiding and improving digestion. Some oils may help to relieve upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhoea, stomach spasms and even conditions of the gastrointestinal system, like IBS. They also aid digestion by helping to stimulate digestive enzymes that make it easier to break down and absorb the nutrients, fats and protein that you need.

  7. Improve Skin & Hair Health - Using essential oils in your skin, hair and beauty products is a natural and effective way to keep up your personal care regimes without having to use products that are made with toxic chemicals and hydrogenated oils. Essential oils can calm irritated skin, reduce signs of ageing, improve acne and inflammatory skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema, and can and even aid wound healing. There are also quite a few studies that have found essential oils to be helpful for hair growth.

lavender-2.jpgWhich Essential Oil is Right For You?

Choosing the best essential oil will depend on the health concern or condition that you are trying to remedy. Each essential oil is made up of different compounds and possess different properties, so while some oils are great for relaxing your mind, easing muscle tension and promoting restful sleep, other oils are stimulating, energy boosting and support cognitive function.

There’s no wonder why, considering the high cost of health care bills and the side effects of conventional medications, adding essential oils to your personal medicine cabinet can make a world of difference. This is especially true because essential oils benefits are vast and their uses range from aromatherapy, household cleaning products, personal beauty care and natural medicines.

How do I know which essential oil to buy?

One of the most important things you should know about essential oils is that not all essential oils are created equal. In fact, like most supplements, some of them can often be synthetic and cause harm to your health. Essential oils are comprised of a number of chemical constituents such as terpenes, alcohols, esters, aldehydes, ketones and phenols, all of which are affected by a number of factors. Some of those factors include what part of the plant the oil came from, the condition of the soil the plants were grown in, any fertilizers (organic or chemical) used to help grow the plant, geographical region, climate, altitude, harvest methods, and even the distillation process. The key to producing 100% pure, unadulterated, therapeutic-grade essential oils is preserving as many of these delicate compounds as possible. They are easily destroyed by high temperature and pressure, as well as by contact with chemically reactive metals such as copper or aluminium.

Our supplier Young Living takes great care to ensure that their oils are 100% pure, unadulterated, therapeutic-grade essential oils. These are not the same kind of oils that you’ll find at your local health food store. Those are what I would consider perfume-grade oils (even though they may say “100% pure”). Young Living owns thousands of acres of sustainable, organic farmland and is the world’s largest producer of essential oils. All of their oils are steam-distilled in stainless steel chambers at low pressure and low temperature to retain optimal health benefits from each plant.

For more information, call or stop into one of our clinics.

Tara Germain