Essential Oils Synergy and Medication: Part II
We are in the final stretch of completing our three factors to consider when choosing an essential oil. For several weeks, I have discussed the first two concepts: the complexity and diverse actions of essentials oils and their individualized and epigenetic effects. Most recently, I began to discuss the third aspect, the property of synergism.
Essential oils’ actions are diverse and balancing due to the interactions between all the constituents found within them. This is the concept of synergism and it is based on knowledge that an essential oil will behave distinctly than its separated, individual compounds. This may sound familiar if you have read my articles on hormonal harmony. In them, I discuss several reasons why conclusions of studies based on isolates are not valid extrapolations to essential oils.
Essential oil synergism also occurs with the carrier oil or product used with it and when single oils are combined. I summarized many of these points in the oily tip last weekend. I also discussed how to apply synergism by using select essential oils for a healthier summer. You can watch the video and/or read the article here.
On my homepage, I began to dive into the final characteristics of synergism and essential oils. Part I covered the first two points on essential oils synergism how this property makes them act different than antibiotics and other medications.
- Essential oils have more than one action, meaning they will have a broader, and often more balanced, effect than typical drugs.
- Essential oils often produce better results in combination with antibiotics than their isolated components. They can impact and enhance medication effects.
Now, I will continue with this final property regarding how synergism differs from typical medications and its implications in combination with essential oils.
Essential Oils Versus Medications- Beyond their Constituents
A 2014 article titled, “Essential Oils, A New Horizon in Combating Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance,” beautifully summarizes the concept of synergy related to essential oils with medications, focusing on antibiotics.
The article touches on the how an essential oils’ vast characteristics are due to its diverse chemical makeup. These properties make exploring the whole essential oil’s effect necessary rather than just studying its singular parts and include:
- the sum of its multiple compounds exerting versatile biological effects
- biochemical actions combine with its aromatic influences
- essential oils’ ability to penetrate into the cell
- their bioavailability
The authors state:
It is likely that several components in essential oils play a role in characterizing the fragrance, the density, the texture, the color, ability in cell penetration, lipophilicity, fixation on cell walls, and most importantly the bioavailability. Considering that a vast range of different groups of chemical compounds are present in one essential oil, it is most likely that antibacterial activities cannot be attributed to one specific mechanism or component; and hence, there may be several targets in a cell which result in the potentiating influence. Thus, it is more meaningful and rational to study the whole essential oil rather than some of its components as whether concept of synergism truly exists between the components in essential oils . (source)
As mentioned in Part I, essential oils diverse actions make them different from drugs, which target one pathway in the body creating side effects. Another difference is that some drugs damage our belly bugs, whereas essential oils probably benefit our microbiome, not wreak havoc on it.
To close on medication synergy with essential oils, you may want to review my blog on Factor Two that explored the potential interactions of essential oils and medications and how this effects its actions and your results with them.
Essential Oils, Herbs, Supplements
This discussion of combing natural products could take up a whole book. Let’s just say that it’s important to note that essential oils have different properties and compositions than herbal extracts and other plant preparations, (source, source, source). With every one of them, I’ve found that essential oils can positively synergize these effects as well.
To bottom line it, essential oils impact with any therapeutic wellness regime is far more reaching and balancing than an isolated constituent standardized for a certain action. This is why whole foods, herbs, and whole essential oils have such a high safety profile and harmonizing effects in our bodies, when used properly. (Please review the resources for essential oils safety here.)
Coming up, more on synergism including:
- essential oils synergism based on manufacturing
- essential oils synergy within the body
Then, it will be back to hormonal health and essential oils.
Click here to read part I or listen to both audios.
I warned you synergism was my favorite factor to consider!
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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.)
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.
Thanks Pixabay and iStock purchases.