Dear Dr. Cutler,
I have been hearing a lot of hype about essential oils lately.
Some are claiming that these oils can help with a variety of problems ranging from improving skin problems to decreasing joint pain and swelling.
Could you give me your take on essential oils—where they come from and what they can possibly do for my health?
There are only 700 plants and trees that can be processed to obtain their essential oils. The “essences” that plants contain protect them from disease and parasites. And oils like frankincense and myrrh shield the plant or tree from extreme sunlight.
The essential oils are found in various parts of the plant—in the flower of the rose, in the leaves of basil, in the wood of sandalwood or in the rinds of fruit.
The essences of the trees and plants are turned into essential oils through steam distillation, cold pressing or solvent extraction—methods that are expensive and time-consuming. For example, to produce 4 to 5 teaspoons of rose essential oil, it takes more than 220 pounds of rose petals… for 1 quart of rosemary essential oil, it takes 500 pounds of rosemary… and 1 quart of thyme essential oil requires at least 1 ton of thyme.
But these aromatic essential oils absorb rapidly through your skin and tissues and stimulate multiple organ systems within your body. If they are used in massage therapy, essential oils have an aromatherapy effect because they are absorbed not only through your skin, but through the olfactory nerve in your brain where they can influence other nerves. This contributes to a decrease in stress, clarity of the mind and an improvement in your mood. And as you breathe, the oils are drawn into your lungs and rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream.
What does this mean for your health?
For many acute illnesses, essential oils can be as effective as potent prescription drugs. However, for chronic conditions, they have much slower and less dramatic healing effects.
Numerous studies have proven that these oils can be used to…
- Fight microbial infections
- Reduce pain dramatically
If you want relief for heartburn pain, for example, rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil into your upper abdomen can create first a deep heat inside your body and then resolve your heartburn in a matter of a few minutes.
Michael Cutler, M.D. is a board-certified family physician with 18 years experience specializing in chronic degenerative diseases, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Tulane Medical School and Natividad Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Salinas, Calif., he serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems.
Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and the Founder and Editor of Easy Health Options™ newsletter—a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients and is Medical Advisor for True Health™—America's #1 source for doctor-formulated nutrients that heal.
For more information visit www.truehealth.com.
Latest posts by Dr. Michael Cutler (see all)
- Get Eagle Eyes, Radiant Skin, and Super-Charged Immunities - October 8, 2015
- 4 quick tips to help banish headache pain FAST! - October 5, 2015
- Do healthy sugar substitutes really exist? - September 18, 2015