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These chemicals have hazardous long term effects on women’s estrogen levels. This is because once they are absorbed into the body; they have the potential to act like the estrogen compounds in the body. This is especially risky because high levels of estrogen can stimulate breast cancer.
Parabens can have endocrine-disrupting effects; this means a disruption to ovaries, the thyroid and any other system in the body.
Used correctly and safely, pure essential oils provide both psychological and physical benefits.
Reconstituted products or chemical copies may have fragrant aromas of natural essences but they do not work for medicinal purposes.
What is it about pure essential oils that has captured the imagination and hearts of us humans since the beginning of time? The use of aromatic herbs has been practised by perfumers, alchemists, physicians, chemists, priests, royalty and gods. We can trace the use of pure essential oils back to ancient Egypt 3000BC where the extraction of pure essential oils has been done through various extracting methods.
In fact, records have been found of incidents where plant essences have been used for serious psychological disorders more than 3500 years ago! From Egypt these practises moved to the Greeks, and from there to the Romans and the rest is…..history! My current interest in pure essential oils is to find out what is being done today with research into the healing properties of pure essential oils.
Although essential oils have been used therapeutically for centuries, there is little published research on many of them. However, this is beginning to change as more scientific studies on essential oils are conducted around the world. Clinical studies are currently underway in Europe, Australia, Japan, India, the United States, and Canada. Many of these studies describe the remarkable healing properties of various oils.
But people have known this for eons and still for some reason the healing properties of pure essential oils have only come to light in South Africa the last 15 – 20 years. Although historically it has been documented by the very father of medicine Hippocrates!
The Egyptians were the first to extract the pure essential oils about 5000 years ago. They then introduced it to the Greeks . I quote Victoria Anisman-Reiner:
“The Greeks visited the Nile Valley, which came to be known as the Cradle of Medicine, in 500 B.C. and upon returning to their homeland, established a medical school on the Island of Cos. Here, the combined knowledge of Greek and Egyptian experience was indexed and classified and a variety of influential works served to promote and further the uses for aromatic substances. The school’s most famous graduate, Hippocrates, recommended a daily bath and massage with essential oils as the basis for a sound health regime. Another Greek physician, Megallus, formulated an aromatic remedy to which he gave the subtle name Megaleon. To make it, cinnamon, myrrh and charred frankincense were soaked in ‘Oil of Balanos’ and it quickly gained fame for healing wounds and reducing inflammation. Wine-based oils were popularly used for anointing the forehead with perfumed unguents. Perfumes were also inhaled to heal specific complaints. Quince or white violet eased stomach discomfort, grape-leaf cleared the head and rose helped headaches. Dioscordes wrote a treatus with references to over 500 medicinal plants called De Materia Medica which was later translated into a variety of languages and went on to influence the Roman herbalist Galen (c.30A.D.) who wrote the Western world’s standard medical reference for more than 1,500 years. Concerning Odours was a treatus on scent written by Theophrastus in which he discussed how aromatics were processed and linked to thought and emotions.”
So exactly how do pure essential oils work and why is it that the modern allopathic medical profession has not cottoned on to this amazing wealth of healing substances? To answer the last question first, the medical profession cottoned on to the healing powers of herbs long ago, and most of the prescribed medicines today are based on the therapeutic qualities of herbs and essences.
Many years ago I was in the television industry and one of the corporate videos that I worked on was for a pharmaceutical company in Pretoria. I was flabbergasted to find out that they had a whole research area packed with a myriad of herbs, plants, trees, and all the different parts of plants that can be used for herbal medicines.
They were researching firstly the healing properties of these plants and then chemically reproducing those elements to be used as allopathic medicines!
But chemically reproduced healing properties have a very limited healing ability and falls short of the immense scope that natural plants and essences have. Natural plants and essences have an intelligence that cannot be copied chemically, and it is that very intelligence in a living essence that makes pure essential oils such a magnificent healing modality.
So, how does it work? If one had to smell a very, very good reproduced rose oil for instance, the mind will recognise the smell as that of roses, and register all kinds of memories that will make you feel better. If you have good memories of roses!
The body would say ‘That’s nice’ and that would be the end of the story.
A natural pure essential oil will also get the brain to recognise the smell as that of roses, and it will also trigger various emotional good memories and you will feel better. But it goes one step further, that specific essence, in it’s divine intelligence will trigger certain chemicals in the brain that will instigate the brain to start excreting very specific chemicals and directing it into various pathways to specific parts of the body to address the illness or discomfort that exists.
A chemically reproduced fragrance does not have the intelligence to stimulate the brain and body to start a healing process of that specific nature.
To substantiate the above I again use Victoria Anisman-Reiner :
Essential oils usually enter the body through the nose and the skin and leave the body in the same way as other things we excrete – through the skin, breath, faeces and urine. Upon inhalation, tiny particles are taken to the roof of the nose and up behind the eyes. This is where the olfactory system is, and where we register emotions, sexual feelings, memory and learning. The olfactory system is attached to the limbic system which links the left and right brain and the voluntary and involuntary nervous centres. Cilia around the olfactory bulbs transmit ‘messages’ which are encoded and sent around the body. Through massage, oils are absorbed through the skin. Although it is recognised that essential oils can affect the lipids of a cell membrane, hormone levels and inhibit bacterial growth, no-one seems to know just exactly how they work.
More new compounds of essences are presented to the world’s chemists than they could possibly analyse in a thousand years. The rigidity of nineteenth century science turned its back on naturally derived substances in favour of those born in the laboratory. It was thought better to synthesise the active therapeutic properties of a plant to provide not only a uniform standard, but a cheaper cost as well. When synthesised, however, these products can be toxic to some and not as powerful as the originals they emulate.
To get back to the present, we all see the advertisements of very big cosmetic houses claiming that their herbal bath/shower gel/lotion/shampoo etc contains pure essential oils and they claim that it has wonderful healing properties. The fact is that as with any other medicine, you need a specific dosage for it to work. One cannot add a minute amount of pure essential oil into 50 or 100 liters, top it up with chemically reproduced Lavender smelling oils and claim that it will cure all your sorrows.
The adult dosage for a pure essential oil is 1 drop to 2 ml of base product. Anything less is wishful thinking. That is the standard, some people are more sensitive and will derive therapeutic benefits with a slightly smaller dose, and of course children and babies older than three months, will need much smaller doses.
The reason why not many people put that amount of pure essential oils in their products is because it is incredibly expensive. To get 10ml of pure rose essence, one needs about 6 tons of petals!
The best way to ensure that you get what you are paying for, is to educate yourself. If you are not sure that you are buying the real thing, your first indication should be the price of the product. A product advertising a pure essential oil as an ingredient that costs the same as most products on the shelf is not what it professes to be. Read labels and do research about ingredients. Ask questions, be pro-active.
Unfortunately we do not have a proper controlling body in South Africa and every Tom, Dick and Harriet can make unsubstantiated claims.
At Meadowsweet we pride ourselves on our 1 drop of pure essential oil to every 2 ml of base product. In fact our bath milks and soaps have got 1 and a half drops of pure essential oils to each 2 ml of base product because it is added to water. Please remember that your skin is your biggest organ and a huge percentage of what you put on your skin gets absorbed directly into your bloodstream.
Take note of what you lather onto your body. What we put onto the outside of our bodies is as important as what we put into it.
Pure essential oils work on many levels, emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally. It is only Divine Intelligence that can heal on so many levels and it is up to us to ensure that we look after ourselves always, in all ways. Be aware, be alert, educate yourself about yourself. Our inner and outer world is a wondrous place.
Certification organizations exist to provide assurance to the consumer that products and organizations that claim to be organic have met organic standards.
Consumers are advised to look for a certification seal or the name of the certification agency on product.
Organic certification means that:
- No harmful chemicals have been applied for at least 3 years.
- The farmer and processor have annual certification inspections.
- They have kept detailed records of their practices.