On the other hand, in North America, aromatherapy has a more flaky image because most of the oils are diluted, synthetic or cut with chemicals. In addition, the oils are mainly used in massage or bath oils.
The sensual and pleasurable aspects of the fragrant aromas of essential oils are undoubtably one of the most enjoyable part of using the oils. However, thanks to several outstanding teachers who have trained in Europe, there is a resurgence of interest in the medicinal and scientific applications of aromatherapy.
Dr. Gary Young is one of the leading researchers of aromatherapy in North America. He is also a naturopath, visionary, lecturer and author of two books on aromatherapy. His healing odyssey started at age 24 when a horrible logging accident left him paralyzed for life and in terrible pain.
At one point Young was in so much despair that he decided to stop eating. After a long period of fasting, he started to feel much better. He had accidentally discovered the regenerative power of fasting.
After that, he started his life long search for natural ways to heal his body and eventually became a naturopath. He opened up a cancer clinic in Mexico where he studied degenerative diseases. There he found many herbal preparations to be ineffective due to the lack of potency of the dried herbs. Eventually his path led him to France, Egypt and Arabia to study high quality therapeutic oils.
Young found out that the priests and physicians of ancient Egypt and China used essential oils thousands of years before Christ. The Bible itself contains over a hundred references to essential oils including frankincense, myrrh, hyssop and spikenard.
Young compares the blood of man with essential oils which are the lifeblood of plants. "With increasing pollution we see plants degenerate, the fibre becomes thick and the colour becomes weak." says Dr. Young, "Yet we see in essential oil chemistry the same strong vital life force it had 1,000 years ago. The essential oil still carries the ability to regenerate, protect and sustain life."
Essential oils are very concentrated. It takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals to make one pound of rose oil. One drop of pure peppermint oil is said to be the equivalent of 28 cups of peppermint tea. One pound of jasmine oil requires 1,000 pounds of jasmine or 3.6 million fresh unpacked blossoms. The blossoms must be collected before sunrise, or much of the fragrance will be evaporated. Pure jasmine costs $1,200 to $4,500 US while synthetic jasmine oil costs $3.50 a pound.
Young is now producing some of his own pure essential oils at organic farms in Utah and Idaho. He has 5,500 acres under cultivation and five distilleries. Plants are steam distilled in small batches using a special low-pressure low heat vertical steam technology that was invented by Young.
According to Young "the biggest scam being perpetrated on the North American continent has been the scam of adulterated and synthetic oils being marketed as pure essential oils." Lavender is being replaced with a hybrid named lavendin, grown in China, Russia, and Tasmania. It is then brought to France where it is heated to very high temperature to remove the camphor and synthetic fragrance is added. "That is why pure lavender will heal a burn while lavendin will intensify a burn."
Frankincense oil has been recognized since ancient times as the holy anointing oil, according to Dr. Young. It is another oil that is usually adulterated and sold for as little as $25 per ounce. It costs between $30,000 and 35,000 U.S. per ton. It has to be steam distilled for 12 hours. The cut, synthetic or adulterated frankincense oil can cause rashes, burns and other irritations. And of course this altered oil does not have any of the powerful therapeutic properties of the real frankincense.
Through the sense of smell, the oils act on the limbic system in brain. The limbic system controls heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance. Essential oils have a unique fat soluble structure, enabling them to pass through cell membranes of the skin and diffuse into the bloodstream.
The term aromatherapy is misleading, says Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, Director of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy in Alternative Medicine: the Definitive Guide. (The Burton Goldberg Group, 1995), "In actuality the oils exert much of their therapeutic effect through their pharmacological properties and their small molecular size, making them one of the few therapeutic agents to easily penetrate bodily tissues."
Over 200 types of oils with several thousand chemical constituents have been identified. The eugenol found in cinnamon, clove, and basil is antiseptic, stimulating and acts as a local anesthetic. The ester constituents found in lavender, rose, and geranium are calming and sedating. The phenols found in oregano and thyme are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic. The sesquiterpenes found in sandalwood, cedarwood and frankincense are soothing to inflamed tissue, immune stimulating, and cross the blood brain barrier to improve brain function
Other actions of essential oils improve adrenal function, balance thyroid function, aid digestive problems, and clear sinus and chest congestion.
An evolving body of scientific literature is showing the concrete benefits of essential oils. Lavender has been shown to be highly effective for burns. Lavender also has a calming effect and induces alpha waves in the brain. Diluted tea tree oil is effective for trichomonas vaginal infections. Peppermint oil was shown to be useful for treating irritable bowel syndrome and in improving cognitive function in classrooms.
One study showed that an oil blend consisting of clove, cinnamon, melissa and lavender was as effective in treating bronchitis as antibiotics. A Russian study showed eucalyptus oil was effective for treating influenza. German studies found that clove, cinnamon and thyme had anti-inflammatory effects useful in treating arthritis.
French medical doctors routinely prescribe aromatherapy, and pharmacies stock essential oils along with conventional drugs. In fact, France, England, New Zealand and Switzerland regulate aromatherapy through licensing.
In England, hospital staff administer essential oil massage to relieve pain and induce sleep. In fact, "English hospitals also use a variety of essential oils (including lemon, lavender and lemongrass) to help combat the transmission of airborne infectious disease" (Alternative Medicine, The Definitive Guide).
In France, according to Dr. Daniel Penoel , a world leader in using essential oils as therapeutic medicines, aromatic medicine is recognized as being so important and so effective that it has been established as a medical speciality. Until 1990, all prescriptions were reimbursed under the government health care system. Today, it is left to individual counties in France as to whether they cover the costs.
Many essential oils are strongly anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Thyme oil used to be used as a disinfectant in hospitals and is still the active ingredient in Listerine. As Young says in his book, Aromatherapy: the Essential Beginning , researcher Dr. Jean Lapraz reported that he couldn't find bacteria or viruses that could live in the presence of the essential oils of cinnamon or oregano. The true future of essential oils may be in combating antibiotic resistant bacteria and other bugs resistant to conventional treatment.
Another important area that essential oils can address is the whole field of emotional health. Young has also been a trail blazer in using the essential oils for emotional healing. Based on his studies of the ancient Egyptians, he has developed essential oil combinations that are highly effective for achieving emotional stability, balance, clearing and inspiration. He also has special oils for healing psychological and emotional trauma, including sexual abuse.
The true scope of essential oils has yet to be fully elucidated. But many more uses for oils are being developed by pioneers such as Penoel and Young.
As Dr. Young says in the preface to his new book, People's Desk Reference for Essential Oils "After using them, there is no doubt that essential oils were ordained as the medicine for mankind and will be held as the medicine of our future: the missing link of modern medicine, where allopathic and holistic medicine join together the leap into the 21st century."
The Young Living Essential Oils are of the highest quality. Call 1-800-763-9963 and use the live prompt for easier and faster service. Your first order requires the member number of whomever has educated you about the oils (#124899). To become a distributor, (the most economic way to purchase the oils), there is a minimum first order of $50. In addition, you are required to purchase a Policies and Procedure Manual for $5. An excellent way to experience the effectiveness of these oils is to purchase the essential seven kit, containing the oils most important for first aid and household use.
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