Essential oils aren’t just for your hippie aunt. These powerful plant compounds have profound benefits for our health, home, and mood. We’re sharing our pro tips on using essential oils for health, home, and happiness.
New research shows some essential oils may be more effective than antibiotics at treating infections, but we’ve known for ages they can stabilize moods and purify our homes. At The Center for Fully Functional Health, we use essential oils to Optimize and Support our patients on the path to Fully Functional® health.
There’s no doubt that essential oils are powerful, but we can get the most bang for our buck by focusing on the following areas of proven potency.
For thousands of years, cultures around the world have used plant extracts as a basis for medicinal treatments. Perhaps the most familiar example of this is in the herbal teas of Eastern Medicine.
We can think of modern essential oils as the next iteration of this tradition. They are pure, powerful distillations of a plant’s strongest medicinal properties. Essential oils are volatile compounds derived from aromatic plants, many of which have been used in healing since ancient times.¹
When used correctly, essential oils can be life-changing and have far fewer side effects than pharmaceutical drugs. This makes them a perfect addition to any Fully Functional® healing plan!
In one recent review, researchers suggested that essential oils can be a powerful complement to traditional antibacterial treatments, and may even be more effective than pharmaceuticals at combating drug-resistant strains of bacteria.² Some researchers theorize that since essential oils are comprised of several different components, bacteria have a difficult time developing resistance to them.
So, which oils are the most potent antimicrobial and antibacterial agents? In one study of root canal patients, essential oils of peppermint, tea tree and eugenol (clove) significantly inhibited bacterial growth.³ We also find that oil of oregano and garlic are particularly potent as an antimicrobial treatment for gut pathogens.
Essential oils can also be powerfully therapeutic for cancer patients.⁴ While some oils like lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and thyme can combat the crippling symptoms of chemotherapy, others, like sweet orange oil, have been shown to actually inhibit tumor growth.
It’s important to work with a healthcare professional before taking any oils internally. At The Center for Fully Functional Health, we can help you find the highest-quality essential oils and administer them in safe, effective doses to help you get the most out of your essential oil treatment.
Our new patients often find enormous benefit in swapping out their old cleaning supplies for safer, non-toxic alternatives. This simple step is one of the biggest ways we can reduce exposure to environmental toxins as we work toward making your living space Fully Functional®.
The Environmental Working Group maintains an exhaustive database of information on the safety of household cleaners — and much of what you find there might surprise you. Household cleaners are full of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and if you’ve ever gotten lightheaded after cleaning a small bathroom, you know just how powerful they can be, and affect your health.
But even though we know these compounds shouldn’t have a place in our homes, it’s hard to get past the idea that we “need” them to make the “dirty” surfaces in our kitchens and bathrooms “clean.” The truth is that cleaning with these products often creates an environment that’s too sterile, and might even contribute to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Using essential oils for cleaning provides a happy medium. We already know they’re powerfully antimicrobial and antibacterial compounds with a proven track record of inhibiting bacterial growth. Some of the best essential oils for cleaning are lavender, lemon, and orange (or a combination oil like Young Living’s Purification or Thieves blends). When combined with products like vinegar or castile soap to make a simple spray can replace your traditional household cleaner but skip the harmful fumes. In fact, they’ll smell amazing!
Try this recipe for an all-purpose cleaner from Wellness Mama to get started. Or, if you want to skip the process of making your own cleaner, Young Living’s line of Thieves cleaners makes an excellent alternative. We use Thieves products in the Vine Healthcare Office, and we love the way it smells! You can purchase Young Living oils, cleaning products, and other items at our location or we can ship them to you.
Essential oils smell amazing, and at first blush, you might mistake some essential oil blends for an amazing perfume! In fact, the olfactory properties of these oils can help us manage emotions. Lavender oil has even been studied in the treatment of mood and neurological disorders!⁵
Using essential oils for aromatherapy is one of the easiest ways to begin incorporating essential oils into your Fully Functional® plan.
The easiest way to enjoy the aromatic qualities of essential oils is with a diffuser. These vary in cost and efficacy, but the basic idea is to spread the scent of oils using heat, vapor, or another delivery method. You might choose to invest in a diffuser that delivers oil-infused water vapor into your home or select a smaller wearable diffuser.
We love Young Living’s high-quality essential oils, and their oil blends (we sell in our office as well) make at-home aromatherapy easier to navigate. Some examples include Peace and Calming (one of their most popular scents!), Valor, Acceptance, Grounding, and Joy.
Of course, you can also make your own blends for calming, uplifting, energizing, or focus. Try diffusing lavender essential oil before bed or rub a drop on your temples to wind down and encourage sleep. For a mental boost, diffuse equal parts peppermint and lemon essential oils. The combinations are endless!
We’ve personally experienced the amazing benefits of essential oils, and widely recommend them (especially the Young Living brand) to our clients.
Whether you’re hoping to heal, clean up your home environment, or improve your mood, these powerful plant compounds will help.
If you want to incorporate essential oils into your life, aromatherapy is a great place to begin. You might also start swapping your household cleaners for essential oil-based homemade products or choose a pre-made, oil-based cleaner like Thieves.
For more therapeutic uses or if you’re uncertain where to start, be sure to consult a healthcare practitioner! At The Center for Fully Functional® Health, we love helping you incorporate essential oils into your routine on your road to becoming Fully Functional® for life!
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The Center for Fully Functional Health® is led by a team of award-winning, internationally recognized physicians, committed to providing personalized, life-changing care.