Did you know that Listerine (mouth wash) was originally created as a surgical antiseptic?
The active ingredients in the original formula were essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme and wintergreen. It was named after Dr Joseph Lister, Scottish surgeon, who discovered around 1896 that by vapouring in the operating room and disinfecting wound with substances derived from natural essential oils, he was able to dramatically cut down post-operative deaths from 50% to 3%.
Since antiquity pure essential oils have been used as preservatives (such as myrrh and sandalwood in Egyptian mummification), to purify the altar (where animal sacrifice was performed) and to maintain general hygiene, to heighten spiritual awareness (e.g. cedarwood, frankincense, sandalwood), and food flavourings and so on.
In ancient past only those with privilege could afford to distill and own essential oils. The common people would have to contend with boiling herbs in water or taking the left over from the distillation process, which contain trace amounts of the therapeutic essential oils naturally occuring in the plant. Most people’s idea about “herbal medicine” nowadays is about drinking the water made from boiling the herbs (which I think is why some people find herbal medicine slow acting – it could just mean you need higher dose and more frequent use for it to be effective).
Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine) said thousands of years ago, “the way to health is to have aromatic massage and scented bath everyday”.
Essential oils are produced in plant for self defense and survival. Often more essential oils are produced when they are “under stress” (e.g. many plants produce more essential oils just before or when they are being harvested – ouch!). Some essential oils also serve to attract insects to facilitate reproduction and some protect the plant from moisture loss. Some others serve as wound healing substances (such as the regenerating resins like frankincense and copaiba).
Medicinally essential oils are MANY times more concentrated than dry herbs and they are a lot more oxygenating and fast acting than dry herbs, given the right quality. And they are very transportable and convenient to administer.
Common food we find in our kitchen like orange, lemon, peppermint, ginger, sage, oregano (to name only a few) contain essential oils. We’ve been ingesting them in our food since the beginning of time.
It’s not your doctor’s fault that they (or most of them) do not know about or endorse safe and effective natural healing substances. In the medical school, it’s taught that all drugs that are effective come with side effects. That applies to pharmaceuticals indeed. Whatever your doctor has not been taught they cannot really advise you on. Besides while chemicals can be standardized and pass clinical trials, every single plant is slightly different and so it seems as though natural medicine is not as “evidence based”.
But the curious individuals who abide by “first do harm” (Hippocrates) principle can easily look up clinical as well as anecdotal information to educate themselves of natural options.
Proactive self care takes prevention while you are well, limiting harm if you do choose to use toxic substances to suppress symptoms, and knowing how control the damage.
If you are doing that, why not drop a drop or two of therapeutic quality essential oils like lavender, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus and/or melaleuca (tea tree) into your mask to help you breath better and have a more pleasant experience. (Who wants to suffocate in their own CO2…!?)
What is one thing I make sure I always have at home and when I travel? It’s the Inner Defense. It contains 7 essential oils (clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon, oregano, thyme and lemongrass) which have been used since antiquity for purifying and protection.
(Make sure you take it with food, not on empty stomach.)
For personal hygiene you can keep your hands clean by the all-natural antiseptic Thieves Hand Purifier gel and use the Thieves Disinfectant spray to spray any surface, like toilet seats, shoes and your children’s school bag… And if you do not wish to pour toxic chlorine bleach down the drain and polluting our ecosystem…you can have a biodegradable and more effective option household cleaner. Dr Edward Close has a book on how Thieves kill mold better than chemical cleaners.
We have been diffusing Thieves oil blend in the office and at home, alternating with other blends that contain Melalueca (Tea Tree), Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme and so on.
And PLEASE do not rush to apply ANY brands of essential oils on yourself or start diffusing or ingesting…! In this previous article here I share how my friend was in for a shock when she diffused an essential oil that says “100% Pure”.
It’s VERY IMPORTANT to distinguish QUALITY essential oils. Unfortunately regulation on essential oil labelling is very loose and most essential oils sold do not have the PURITY and AUTHENTICITY required for safe therapeutic use. In fact synthetic compounds are often found in what is sold as “essential oils”.
Even when it is “organic” and contains no chemical residues, is the POTENCY there? Is it what it says it is in the bottle? (Check out this article here to empower yourself >>>)
At i-Detox, we aim to equip you so that you can take care of yourself. We have books here for you to browse. And we always have various reputable brands of “essential oils” as samples for you to compare with the brand we trust. We also guide you to do that in our introduction talk to ensure you can tell the difference yourself . (While you get what you pay for in most cases, sometimes the best one is not even the most expensive one.)
So what else do we suggest to support your natural immunity?
While authentic essential oils are pretty amazing, they are not food and you can’t live on them! So you still need your proper meal, hopefully wholefood based, with lots of nutrient-dense superfoods even better.
Supplements like garlic juice, green propolis, Zinc supplement, ionised minerals, probiotics, natural Vitamin C (we love Camu Camu), oxygenating ionised water are some other things you can incorporate into your long term health supporting lifestyle.
And AVOID or REDUCE sugar, dairy, alcohol and caffeine! (Caffeine raises cortisol and increases acidity.)
One cannot underestimate the importance of having a good night’s sleep and stress management, as high cortisol level depletes our immunity big time! (Epsom salt bath, magnesium spray and diffusing essential oils can help in your relaxation as well.)
Lastly what is one thing that we do that takes only 10 minutes a day (less time required than a relaxing bath!), and makes really noticeable difference to our immunity, promote whole body wellbeing and good sleep? (Especially in winter when circulation is not as good and we are more likely to feel stiff and sluggish?) It’s DIY Raindrop Therapy! This economical and effective home practice has also received many positive feedbacks from professionals (including aromatherapists and chiropractors). I do it especially when I want to maximise my sleep quality – I wake up more refreshed with less hours of sleep.
See class details in which you can experience it yourself. No massage skills required.
We truly hope the above has been helpful. No one needs to live in fear of being a helpless sick person. Remember, you have the power to support your immunity and recovery.
Note: “Aromatherapy” was coined in France which is the origin of modern aromatherapy and aromatic medicine. When aromatherapy was spread to the English speaking world, its application has become much more diluted, and this approach is the main approach adopted by “aromatherapists” in the English speaking world. There are different approaches to aromatherapy and they can all work for different purposes. We encourage the proactive individuals to educate themselves.