Sunday, January 31, 2010
Aromatherapy Essential Oils: Groundbreaking Cancer Research
by Michelle Allen
"While acceptance by the mainstream of conventional medicine may be a ways off, essential oils used in aromatherapy are proving themselves to be potential potent allies in the treatment of cancer. The alternative medicine called ‘aromatherapy’ might actually suffer from a misunderstanding of its name — aromatherapy, often confused with the use of a Glad Plug In Air Freshener, is actually an entire branch of medicine with specific treatment protocols for a wide variety of illnesses. This practice is slowly gaining credibility with patients (perhaps more slowly with doctors) partaking in the conventional medical system of the United States. Their healing power, like that of most natural therapies, can not only transform difficult disease states, but can have a long-term positive effect on one’s overall wellness. They are readily available, inexpensive, and just happen to smell nice — but there’s a whole lot more to them than that…
Research into the area of medicinal applications of essential oils has been significant in recent years. Many oils have been proven to have significant antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal action. Now, the body of evidence of essential oils being strongly anti-tumorial, with specific anti-cancer action is growing, too. A search of Pub Med, the National Institute of Health’s online research database produces 391 results for the search ‘essential oils cancer’ and 444 results for ‘essential oil tumor’. MANY of the studies show a direct correlation in tumor and cancer cell line eradication with the use of essential oils. A great many have conclusions that indicate the studies results warrant further investigation of essential oils for the development of accepted therapies.
Here’s a review of some very promising results:
Frankincense has had a place in medicine for as long as medical practices have been documented. The resin from these stout trees of Africa and the Middle East is highly revered for its curative and preventative action (with many spiritual uses as well). In 2009, the journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a studied that outright said Frankincense essential oil kills cancer cells while sparing normal, healthy cells. The oil distilled from the tree’s resin acted specifically on bladder cancer cells, with the study concluding that Frankincense might represent and alternative agent for treatment. Odd that the mainstream media has not made much of this finding — it took a subscription to these abstracts for many interested parties to be notified — otherwise it easily could have gone unnoticed!
Frankincense essential oil is well known to be non-toxic, with many people able to put the oil directly on their skin, and even ingest the oil in small quantities*(Jen's note: Oil MUST be therapeutic grade and labeled as a dietary supplement to ingest) without any negative response. Though it can induce cell death with incredible specificity, a feature that absolutely suggests further investigation should be performed — hopefully the medical establishment will agree.
The oil distilled from the leaves of Lemongrass, an herb with a long medicinal history itself, also shows similar action. In an evaluation of the essential oil from the Lemongrass species Cymbopogon flexuosus, the oil was found cytotoxic to a number of cancer cell types, and was active particularly in affecting that ‘hallmark of cancer cells’, the ‘dysregulation of apoptosis’ — the natural process of cell death. One study concluded “The easy and abundant availability of the oil combined with its suggested mechanism of cytotoxicity make CFO (Lemongrass Oil) highly useful in the development of anti-cancer therapeutics”. Inexpensive, easy to make, and effective: virtues of all of Nature’s finest medicines!
Another groundbreaking study revealed the potential efficacy of a component of many essential oils. The study suggests the potential for one very common constituent can destroy liver cancer cells at very low concentrations — it may be possible then that an essential oil with similar properties found in one’s own region of the planet can have these same effects, offering the same healing or protective action without needing ‘exotic’ medicines to do so. The chemical ‘linaolool’ lends itself to the sweetness of many aromatics. The higher the linalool concentration in Lavender oil, for example, the sweeter it will be. So this constituent of so many essential oils completely eradicated a liver cancer cell line in a very, very low dilution. The constituent decreased the activity of metabolic pathways producing ATP in the cell, essentially killing the cancer cells by cutting of their energy production. While the study did not conclude anything about further investigation (or not), it was profoundly interesting for those regularly using essential oils in their lives. These folks will naturally absorb the amounts of linalool used in the study in their daily inhalation or topical application of oils, perhaps invoking a protective effect for themselves and their families…this would certainly be an interesting piece of research!
While the studies above show essential oils potential efficacy at treating cancers of internal organs, a number of studies show oils can both eradicate skin cancers and act as protectants from cancer-causing agents.
Sandalwood has a very long history in Ayurvedic medicine, the paste from the wood being used in a great many treatments. The oil distilled from the heartwood of the Sandal tree has been the subject of many studies demonstrating its protective action — the oil has a significant effect in the prevention of tumors when skin is exposed to tumor-inducing chemicals and even UV radiation. Tea Tree oil, a well known antiseptic, exhibited anticancer action by impairing the growth of human m14 melanoma cells — and even showed great effect on those melanoma cells which are resistant to other treatments. Many essential oils have significant antioxidant activity, and may be excellent additions to pre-sun skin lotions to lessen radiation absorption and oxidative radical formation.
Components of Thyme and Oregano essential oils have been shown to actually protect human DNA strands from breaking when exposed to extreme oxidative stress. DNA damage is a leading cause of cancer development, as this can lead to an abnormal cell life cycle, essentially turning off the process of natural cell death. Carvacrol and Thymol were singled out in a study by Slovakian researchers in 2007, though they also note that other components of these oils may have chemoprotective effects as well. Other spice essential oils that have demonstrated cancer preventative effects include Ginger, Tumeric, Basil, Garlic and Sage.
Beyond the direct effects on tumor cells, essential oils have been shown to positively effect the immune system on a chemical level. They can enhance the activity of white blood cells, making them more efficient and removing foreign material and microbes from the body. This would likely result in more effective cancer outcomes. Futher, there’s the psychological component of any disease, and many essential oils have demonstrated anti-stress activity in scientific investigations.
So, like many plant medicines, essential oils work on a number of levels for many diseases, with cancer being one of them. While its important to recognize that essential oil use is in-fact contra-indicated during chemotherapy (as they may reduce the cytotoxic effects of the treatment), they can certainly be an integral part of any cancer preventative protocol. For any application where an individual has already been diagnosed with the illness, it is important to check with their physician to ensure essential oils and aroma-medicine is an appropriate choice.
The overall picture is very bright for the use of essential oils in cancer treatment, and further investigation is certainly warranted by the scientific and medical communities for the development of effective medical protocols for this profoundly life-altering condition. "
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Yours in wellness, purpose, and abundance,
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Before putting on any moisturizer in the morning, put a couple of drops of lavender essential oil on your fingertips and apply directly to your face in outward circling motions. Make sure to avoid the area around your eyes. Repeat daily for at least two weeks.
Here is what one Young Living lavender user had to say about following this regimen herself:
“I have been using lavender full-strength on my face for the past two and a half weeks and have seen a marvelous change in my skin. I only do it once a day, usually in the morning. I apply the oil before I use any moisturizer. My pores are getting tighter and my wrinkles are diminishing. I can't wait to see what changes occur in a month or in a year! I love my YL essential oils now more than ever.” —Mary Jane Cushing
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
To complement your skincare regimen, make sure you are giving your skin the nutrients it needs. Try including these foods as part of your healthy diet:
Almonds are stuffed with vitamin E, a potent sun blocker. Vitamin E acts an antioxidant that helps protect skin from UV light and other environmental factors that generate cell-damaging free radicals. Consuming about 20 almonds a day will boost your skin’s natural defenses.
Possible substitution: Two tablespoons peanut butter or a half cup of broccoli.
Carrots are packed with vitamin A, which is good for clearing up breakouts. It helps reduce the overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer were dead cells and sebum can clog pores. Add nibbling on half cup of carrots a day to your snack routine and reap these benefits!
Possible substitution: One cup milk or one slice of cheddar cheese.
As if we needed another reason to eat chocolate! Flavonols, the antioxidants in dark chocolate, can reduce roughness in the skin and protect against sun damage. It only takes a few ounces a day to get this antioxidant in your system—what a sweet benefit!
Possible substitution: Blackberries, cherries, blueberries, or raspberries (although you would have to eat a large amount).
These seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, known to diminish age spots and erase fine lines. Consuming just over two grams (just a teaspoon) will help prevent irritation and redness in the skin as well as contribute to better hydration. Try just sprinkling a teaspoon over oatmeal or veggies to get your daily dose.
Possible substitution: Flaxseed oil (1 tablespoon with sautéed veggies), salmon (4 ounces), or walnuts (1 ounce or about 14 halves).
When green tea is hot, it releases catechins, a type of antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidant powers fade as it cools, so drink it while it’s hot. Only two cups a day will help cells’ resilience to sun damage, and may even help reduce sun damage.
Possible substitute: White tea.
Product Manager, Essential Living
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, the worst earthquake in 200 years struck the island nation of Haiti, leaving utter decimation in its wake. While we still don’t know the full extent of the damage, we can be confident that an already fierce, daily struggle to survive has taken a disastrous turn for many Haitians.
Thousands are feared dead, and without adequate water, food, shelter, and medical care the survivors won’t last long. There is an immediate need for worldwide support of the Haitian people.
In order to provide much needed funds, Young Living has partnered with The D. Gary Young Foundation: Young Living Outreach, and from now until January 31, 2010, 10% of all proceeds from the sale of lavender and Peace & Calming® essential oils will go directly to relief organizations working in Haiti.
We have the opportunity to help make a difference. Haiti’s infrastructure is completely demolished. The people of Haiti have no clean water to drink, no electricity, and all hospitals and aid centers have been severely damaged or destroyed entirely.
If you or anyone you know uses these oils, help us give more by increasing your order this month, and pass this message on to anyone who would be interested.
You can also make a monetary donation through The D. Gary Young Foundation: Young Living Outreach.
The need is immediate. Please help.
Item No.: 3575
Wholesale Price: $20.75
Peace & Calming
Item No.: 3393
Wholesale Price: $32.75
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
These findings, appearing in the January issue of Journal of Lipid Research, provide more understanding of the health benefits of many botanical oils and provide a new avenue for anti-inflammatory drugs.
Essential oils from plants have long been a component of home remedies, and even today are used for their aromatherapy, analgesic (e.g. cough drops), or antibacterial properties. Of course, the exact way they work is not completely understood. However, Hiroyasu Inoue and colleagues in Japan believed that many essential oils might target COX-2 much like compounds in wine and tea.
So, they screened a wide range of commercially available oils and identified six (thyme, clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel and bergamot) that reduced COX-2 expression in cells by at least 25%. Of these, thyme oil proved the most active, reducing COX-2 levels by almost 75%.
When Inoue and colleagues analyzed thyme oil, they found that the major component -carvacrol- was the primary active agent; in fact when they use pure carvacrol extracts in their tests COX-2 levels decreased by over 80%.
Adapted from materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Mariko Hotta, Rieko Nakata, Michiko Katsukawa, Kazuyuki Hori, Saori Takahashi, and Hiroyasu Inoue. Carvacrol, a component of thyme oil, activates PPAR-gamma and suppresses COX-2 expression. Journal of Lipid Research, January, 2010
*Jen's Note: This very exciting scientific research is yet another source which validates the therapeutic use of Thyme essential oil! Thyme is one of the many oils used in the Raindrop Technique massage which I will be posting more about in the near future.
Subscribe to my free e-newsletter to learn more about the healing benefits of therapeutic essential oils.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990
Thursday, January 7, 2010
*Jen's note: Muscle cramping can also be occuring due to magnesium deficiency, so be sure to check dietary supplements to be sure you are getting at least 500 mg of this important mineral each day.
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Sunday, January 3, 2010
Advertising: I am now accepting very selective PAID text links or 125 x 125 button ads for my sidebar as well as Sponsor text links to appear at the bottom of every post. I will never do Google ads or clutter up my page, so don't worry!Also I will TRADE links/buttons to appear on your blog if you like.
Reviews/Giveaways: I have decided to only offer giveaways in conjuction with a review or special event happening on another blog. One reason: increased exposure to information about my giveaway item and website link. I will always spotlight the review/giveaway in a post, so all my readers and followers can enter to win. If you have a blog with 200+ followers/readers and would be interested in reviewing Young Living Essential Oils products, please contact me. Reviews and giveaways would also be on a very selective basis.
Product Purchasing: Young Living essential oils and products, aromatherapy supplies, and educational materials will now be available for purchase directly from Oils For Wellness by using PayPal! Being that I am not a website wizard, it may take me awhile to develop a more efficient system for placing orders, but for now just drop me a note in the Ask The Aromatherapist box letting me know which items you want. I'll total up tax plus shipping and tally the total for you to send funds by Paypal. US shipping only, $20 minimum purchase required.
Guest Bloggers: Looking for helpful tips, articles or personal health experience stories on natural medicine topics without product promotions. Liver cleansing, weight loss, healthy cooking, etc.
If you have any suggestions or ideas that you would like to share, I value your comments!
Yours in wellness, purpose, and abundance,