Essential oils have been used for centuries in spiritual and religious traditions with references in ancient and biblical texts. Although methods of extractions were cruder then today’s modern distillation techniques, the impact of smell and plants’ healing properties were highly respected throughout history and gaining in popularity today.
The evidence of aromatherapy for relieving stress and balancing the mind is most well-known; however, the research on the ability of essential oils to support the immune and body systems, is also gaining mainstream attention. In this way, the language of science is used to translate to physicians what the ancient healers and mystics have always “known.” This is that the healing properties of natural medicine are powerful, and vastly underestimated.
As the essential oils rebalance the physical manifestations of an unpleasant emotion, such as stress, they simultaneously impact our brain physiology, changing our mood. With the holiday season upon us, many may want to take advantage of this “odor fortification” to calm their body and mind.
Recently, I wrote a two-part article that mapped out six reasons on how essential oils can impact our mood, memory, and behavior. I explained how these factors provided legitimacy to the fact that emotional blends aren’t just a marketing ploy. Using the synergy of the essential oils in the to find gratitude in a bottle I provided an example of how when single oils are combined together, they can meet the intention to produce a certain feeling as they support physical health. This is mediated by their biochemical properties, the influence of their odorants on our cellular receptors, and the memories and associations we have that are triggered by the scent. For this reason, emotions labeled on an essential oils bottle really can change one’s disposition in a truly holistic way.
This week, I’m going to highlight some of the essential oils that are “Gifts for the Season.” In this way, you can discover how giving these gifts of health is really just “common scents.”
1. The Sacred Gift of Frankincense Essential Oil
There is a vast amount of research on Boswellia resin, but the essential oil also has evidence of great healing properties. I highlighted the differences in the constituents of various frankincense oils here.
Sacred frankincense is named as one of the most reverenced oils for good reason. It is high in monoterpenes, terpenes, and specifically alpha-pinene. This later constituent modulates NF-KB in vitro, a potent transcription factor in the regulation of inflammatory pathways. Alpha and beta-pinene are phytoncides, which are responsible for the stress relieving effect of “forest bathing” and have been shown to affect our immune response via natural killer cells. Limonene, another potent constituent with many health benefits, is also present.
This oil also contains sesquiterpenes. These terpene compounds have calming properties, the ability to act as antioxidants, and to provide support for immune function. They also aid in the assistance of cellular repair. There is some evidence that these constituents are able to cross the blood-brain barrier to benefit neurological health.
2. Northern Lights Black Spruce
This conifer tree oil contains those phytoncides discussed above that can uplift the mood, decrease stress, and support immune function.
You can about how “black sprucing” up your home for the holidays can help even more with holiday happiness and health here.
3. Nutmeg Oil
Nutmeg oil is a tool that may help with the discomfort from black Friday scars, which could be trumping holiday cheer. Specific compounds in nutmeg are also studied for supporting mood, mitochondria, and more. One study with mice demonstrated that it may balance brain electrical impulses.
4. Lemon Oil
Lemon is a member of the calming citrus oil family, which supports mood, immune function, and it’s also perfect to use as a non-toxic cleaner. This versatile oil is amazing for so many things, from gum remover to cellular support. That should make you giddy with seasonal delight.
A Bonus Addition of Bugs
Of course, another modulator of mood, neurological support, and overall health is the little microbes in our bellies. That’s why adding a probiotic may be a good idea to enhance the microbiome-loving properties of essential oils. Although we are just beginning to learn about which microbes are correlated to which disease, it seems that may not matter as much as the overall functioning of them within your body. Probiotics seem to assist with optimal functioning of our bellies, mind, and body. This comes as an opportune time to balance out the off-setting of our usual self-care with our diet and lifestyle during holiday parties.
You may want to give these oils, or an emotional blend as a gift to yourself or loved ones for support during the hustle and bustle of the season.
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
Thanks for the images Pixabay!