Antiviral Activity of Essential OilsThe body of evidence regarding the effectiveness of natural botanicals against a great variety of viruses is growing. Over twenty years ago, German scientists found extracts of more than 100 species of the Lamiaceae family to have antiviral effects. This discovery lead to and increase in the examination of essential oils in Europe for the treatment of viral infections.Essential oils from many plant families have now been demonstrated to have antiviral properties. Interestingly, different plant families exhibit varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the virus strain. This is due to the particular molecular structures found in each type of oil, which penetrate physical entities to varying degrees (different tissues, cell walls, mucous membranes, etc). The effect on each virus strain depends also on the virus structure (enveloped, non-enveloped, molecular symmetry, etc.)Certainly, one of the reasons for oils' effectiveness en vivo is their lipophillic character - "essential oils" are easily absorbed into mammalian tissues, where they may produce the greatest results. In fact, when studying the anti-viral effects of essential oils, researchers found that normal cells seemed to acquire a special resistance to viral penetration, though the mechanism for this effect is not yet known.Melissa and the Herpes Virus One of the Lamiaceae plants studied, Melissa (Melissa officinalis - also known as Lemon Balm), was shown particularly efficacious against the herpes virus (HSV). Doctor Dietrich Wabner, a professor at the Technical University of Munich, has even reported that a one-time application of Melissa oil led to a complete remission of HSV lesions. A cream medication for Herpes outbreaks, who's active ingredient is an extract of Melissa, is now sold in Germany under the name Lomaherpan. Use of Melissa essential oil itself may be just as effective - the oil can be applied directly to the lesions (or diluted to 10% in carrier if sensitivity is noted) to speed healing. Further occurrences can be prevented by applying oil to the area when sensations signal an eminent outbreak - repeating this protocol 3 or 4 times has been reported to cause total remission in some individuals.Other essential oils found effective against the Herpes virus include bergamot, eucalyptus, lemongrass and tea tree. Related to HSV is Herpes Zoster or 'Shingles', another common virus-mediated skin condition. Application of a 50/50 blend of Ravensara essential oil and Tamanu nut oil has been found extremely effective for reducing symptoms by many people.Antiviral Components of OilsThe list of essential oils exhibiting antiviral effects is extensive: Melissa (as above), tea tree, juniper, eucalyptus, thyme, palmarosa, lavender, rosemary, clove, laurel, cinnamon bark, anise, rose, lemongrass, geranium, neroli, bergamot, clary sage, and dill. The antiviral effect of an essential oil is due to particular components of the oil - some oils will work just as effectively on a particular infection as another, because they contain similar amounts of a certain component. The components of essential oils showing antiviral activity, and the oils in which they can be found, are as follows(from K. Schnaubelt, Ph.D. - Advanced Aromatherapy, p. 36):Anethol - found in AniseAlpha-Sabines - found in Tea Tree, Laurel, and other oilsBeta-Caryophyllene - found in Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme Linalool, and other oilsCarvone - found in DillCinnamic aldehyde - found in Cinnamon Bark Citral - found in Melissa, Lemongrass and other oilsCitronellol - found in Rose and GeraniumEugenol - found in CloveGamma-Terpinene - Found in Juniper, Eucalyptus, Niaouli, Tea Tree and other oilsLinalol - found in Lavender and NeroliLinalyl acetate - found in Clary Sage, Lavender, Bergamot and other oilsLimited In-Vivo Data Good studies of application of these essential oils in cases of illness are difficult to come by, as infecting people with viruses in the laboratory to subsequently be treated with aromatics would be a difficult process at best. The oils and components above have mostly shown effectivenessin-vitro, though tests also indicate that the anti-viral effect should occur in-vivo as well. As with Melissa, it has been HSV that has been most thoroughly examined, because of the relative simplicity of doing so. But there is nothing particularly special about the herpes virus, and proper oil/pathogen paring should prove as effective.There are some noted case studies by professional aromatherapists. Of importance in these studies is the oil/symptom relationship. Essential oils from plants of the Myrtaceae family - notably Eucalyptus Radiata and Tea Tree - and Ravensara (also high in Eucalyptol) seem to have helped in cases with respiratory symptoms. For the lower respiratory tract, Hyssop decumbens (from the same plant family as Melissa) has been of interest. Essential oils for such cases may be used either in a diffuser, being taken at regular intervals, or through massage, diluted in a carrier oil.ConclusionBecause of the difficulty in many cases of illness in determining the exact virus type involved, more specific application cannot be given. Certainly, in cases of HSV, Melissa has been shown effective in a number of studies. For respiratory infections, Eucalyptus and Ravensara have been used with success, and can be safely used as an adjunct to regular medical care. These oils may support one's recovery on a physiologic level - essential oils also play a part in uplifting emotions, which may also speed healing, or at least improve mental outlook during the healing process. For such instances, one may simply find the essential oil or combination that one finds pleasant, calming, and/or uplifting. PLEASE NOTE: In no cases, however, should self-treatment with essential oils be used in place of professional medical care where signs/symptoms of infectious illness are present.
Reason 1The thyroid regulates the rate of energy production in the bodys cells. Thyroid disorder reduces the bodys metabolism and makes you feel sluggish. Reason 2Thyroid disorder also increases your risk of degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis and your risk of widespread infection. In severe cases, the energy level in the bodys cells cannot even sustain a basic level of metabolism, creating a life-threatening situation.Reason 3One major problem with thyroid disorder is that its often missed in diagnostic tests. Even if tests show that you do not have a "thyroid disorder" , you might still be at risk. If your body is highly acidic, your risk of thyroid disorder increases. Reason 4Thus, even if you havent been diagnosed with thyroid disorder, its important to check your bodys overall pH level and take dietary and other steps to reduce the acid level in your body.Reason 5You will not only reduce your chances of developing thyroid disorder or making an existing thyroid disorder even worse. You will improve your health overall and reduce your vulnerability to degenerative disease.THE RISKAccumulation of acids in your body, due to insufficient digestion of food, food allergies and consumption of acid-forming substances, can cause thyroid disorder. Acid-related causes of thyroid disorder also include exposure to heavy metals and toxic chemicals in the water supply and in highly processed food. When your bodys acid level rises too high, your thyroid function will be depressed and your metabolism will slow.Lack of digestive enzymes, also caused by over-consumption of processed foods, further causes your thyroid disorder. Your bodys ability to neutralize acids is further reduced. As you get older, the more toxins you're exposed to, the more likely you will develop a ph balance if you haven't already.THE DAMAGEWith a "ph balance" , your bodys cells and organs will not metabolize as quickly as they should. The presence of excess acid only makes the problem worse. Your cells and organs will become overrun with acid that they need to eliminate, but your ph balance will reduce their ability to deal with these acids. The acid, in turn, will perpetuate or worsen your ph balance.For example, a sluggish thyroid reinforces the digestive problems that cause acid to accumulate in your body. Because a ph balance slows your cellular metabolism, it reduces your bodys ability to eliminate acid waste. The more acid-forming substances you consume, the more this cycle repeats.Thyroid disorder also reduces your immune system function, leading to chronic infection. With the accumulation of acid in your body, infection will spread quickly, further reducing your bodys ability to neutralize acids. As with other organs, the thyroid needs glucose and oxygen to function. When acid waste accumulates in the bloodstream, these vital substances cannot get through. Without adequate oxygen and glucose, thyroid function is reduced. The resulting ph balance further reduces the bodys ability to clear the bloodstream of these acids that prevent the oxygen and glucose from getting through.THE BENEFITS OF A BALANCED pHBecause thyroid discover causes so many other degenerative diseases, a thyroid that functions properly can restore health in so many other areas of your body. When you neutralize the acids in your body and eliminate acid-forming substances from your diet, you give your thyroid a chance to heal. Improved thyroid function will, in turn, help your other body organs function properly.To neutralize acids and restore your bodys pH balance, you need to reduce or eliminate consumption of acidic foods and other acidic substances. Adding more alkaline foods and minerals to your diet can help restore ph balance. As your acid level falls, you'll find that your thyroid function will increase. Your bodys metabolism will increase as a result, and you'll be able to neutralize acids even further. The end result will be restored health, higher energy, and a decreased risk of ph balance.
Acupressure was originated in China thousands of years ago, and evidence has been found that acupressure was practiced in the stone age!Acupressure has been used to reduce post-operative nausea and vomiting in children.Acupressure also reduces nausea in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.Acupressure can be done anywhere without special equipment.You can treat yourself safely with acupressure, as long as you follow the guidelines of a professional acupressure practitioner.Correctly performed, acupressure increases circulation, reduces tension and pain and enables the body to relax.Acupressure strengthens the immune system and promotes wellness.Acupressure should be applied slowly and gently. Applying it too quickly or vigorously can do some damage, especially in the abdominal area.Special care and caution is needed in the case of a pregnant woman or in treating a person with burns, infections and recent injuries.Acupressure is more effective than physical therapy for the majority of patients with low back pain.Ear acupressure can be used to reduce stress and anxiety.Acupressure is used to reduce fear and anxiety in trauma victims and in pre-operative care.Acupressure can be used to treat all these conditions: Tension HeadachesMigraine HeadachesJaw Pain, Toothache, EaracheNeck and Shoulder PainWrist, Hand, Arm painBackache, Hip, Knee, Ankle and Foot painColds, Flu, Sore throat, Sinus Infection, Loss of VoiceAllergiesAnxiety Attacks and NervousnessDepressionInsomniaFaintingHiccoughsImprove Memory and ConcentrationAngina, Heart Palpitations and High Blood PressureConstipation, Diarrhea, Heartburn and StomachachePMS and Painful Periods, Hot Flashes, Pregnancy Discomfort, Morning SicknessBed-wetting, Incontinence, Urinary retentionNose bleeding, Itching, Asthma, Decreased Libido, Hangover Here are a couple acupressure tips you can try: For headaches and muscle or joint pain, press the fleshy part of your hand between your thumb and index finger. Hold for this for one minute, then repeat on the other hand. For low-back pain, lie on your back, with your feet elevated on a sofa or chair. Place two tennis balls under your lower back on either side of your spine. (I got cheap tennis balls in the dog toy department.) Stay in this position for one minute or sooner if it becomes uncomfortable. For knee pain, put a tennis ball on a pillow, then place your leg over it so the ball is pushing into the crease behind your knee. Find the sensitive spot just below your kneecap and slightly to the outside of the shinbone. Press into it gently with your fingertips for about one minute. You can learn to do acupressure at home to supplement professional treatment. This is especially useful when you are stricken with illness or pain and you can't get to the doctor soon. For more information see my website http://natural-pain-relief-solutions.com.
So What is Aromatherapy?Aromatherapy is the art of applying essential oils to suit individual needs. The oils work directly on the chemistry of the body via the skin. Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile liquid plant materials, more commonly known as essential oils. Essential oils are extracts that contain the substances that give plants and trees their smell. The oils are produced by small glands in the petals, leaves, stems and bark of many plants and trees. In nature, the scents are released slowly, but when heated or crushed, the oil glands burst and release the plant's aroma much more powerfully.It isn't exactly known when or where the art of aromatherapy began. It is believed that the Chinese knowledge of medicinal oils may have reached the west from the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. A French chemist called Ren-Maurice Gattefoss coined the term aromatherapy to describe the process of using plant oils therapeutically. The story goes that, while working in a perfume factory in the early 20th century, he burnt his hand and instinctively grabbed some lavender oil and poured it onto the burn. He was so impressed by how quickly and cleanly the burn healed, he began studying the healing powers of plant oils.The first recorded use of plants in England was in the 13th century and from then on essential oils have become widely used as perfumes, antiseptics and medicines.So how does Aromatherapy work?Aromatherapy usually works by massage. Massages are usually given as a relaxing treatment covering the stress areas such as the back, shoulders and legs. Aromatherapy oils can also be inhaled, either by using an oil burner or by using them in the bath. Aromatherapy is believed to be suitable for people of all ages. It is claimed that aromatherapy can treat many conditions such as nervous disorders, depression, anger and stress.What are some of the plants used in Aromatherapy and what are their benefits?Eucalyptus oil is often used in combination with Mint to provide relief for the airways when suffering from a cold or flu.Black pepper has a sharp and spicy aroma. It is Commonly used for muscular aches and pains and for stimulating the circulation . It is also useful for bruises, since it stimulates the circulation. Combining Aromatheray with a sensual masage or sex toys is both safe and recommended. Lavender oil is used as an antiseptic, to soothe minor cuts and burns, to calm and relax, and to soothe headaches and migraines.Yarrow oil is known to reduce joint inflammation and to relieve cold and flu symptoms.Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood and Ylang-ylang oil are used as aphrodisiacs. Lemon oil is used to relieve stress due to its uplifting properties.So, does aromatherapy work?Despite a lack of good research proving that essential oils could work by either stimulating your sense of smell or being absorbed through your skin, in theory it is possible to predict the effects of the oils based on their chemical make up. However, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that the theories are true, or false, and there has been little research to try and prove them right or wrong.
Noted Herbalist Discusses the Active Mechanisms of Swiss Medicas (OTC BB: SWME) O24 According to Mike Vertolli, who is recognized as one of Canada's foremost herbalists, Although it is still in its infancy, research of herbal products and essential oils has increased significantly in the last ten years." Vertolli was a member of Health Canadas advisory panel on natural health products (Canadas equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration). He believes there are constituents within the O24 Essential Oil pain relief product, which may act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Vertolli explained that the constituents within the O24 pain relief product have undergone rigorous clinical testing. This could help explain why O24 has become widely accepted in a short period of time.Take for example carnosol, which is a naturally occurring phytopolyphenol found in rosemary. In a study published in the June 2002 issue of Carcinogenesis, biochemists researching anticarcinogenic properties at the College of Medicines Institute of Biochemistry at National Taiwan University found that carnosol may suppress nitric oxide production. That may help explain the anti-inflammatory action of the rosemary essential oil component in O24. Nitric oxide, which is released during inflammation, is a free radical that can damage DNA. Because cancer is often associated with states of chronic inflammation, O24 may be a potential alternative to anti-inflammatory medicines prescribed to cancer patients. Historically, rosemary was used as an antispasmodic, but recent research confirms its medicinal properties may be broader. According to the American Chemical Society, which recently named the 1,8-cineole its "Molecule of the Week," there may be a scientific reason why the O24 Essential Oil Pain Neutralizer product has out-performed other topical products in comparative testing. The cineole molecule is a major constituent of white camphor, eucalyptus and rosemary "essential oils" . It is also a minor component of peppermint essential oil. Cineole produces analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting prostraglandin, thromboxane and leukotriene synthesis. Prostaglandin synthesis is one of the culprits which causes chronic pain to last for weeks, months or years.An entire class of anti-inflammatory drugs has come into this culture in an effort to numb chronic pain by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandin. Over the past few months, it has come to the general public's attention that this method of remedying chronic pain can be deadly, i.e. the solution is worse than the problem. Most people look upon inflammation as if it is something bad," said Vertolli. Like every physiological response, it has a purpose. Inflammation is an integral part of the healing process. If we apply a product that simply interferes with inflammation, it is going to interfere with healing as well. With O24 that is not an issue because of the rubefacient (local vasodilator) effects, which increase blood flow to the region (thereby providing greater access to oxygen and nutrients and facilitating the removal of waste products and toxins) and because there are constituents in these herbs that actually stimulate tissue healing.What Vertolli may be suggesting is that a functional solution for most people suffering from pain may have been right under their noses throughout the twentieth century to this present day: essential oils. What are essential oils? They are not the same as perfume or fragrance oils, some of which are artificially created or contain artificial substances. Essential oils contain the true essence of the plant from which the oil is derived. Often, an essential oil does not have an oily feeling because it is a liquid generally distilled from a plant's leaves, stems, flowers, bark or roots. Essential oils are highly concentrated and a little goes a long way. Mr. Vertolli cited key components within O24's US-patented proprietary blend of essential oils may be the reasons why this topical pain reliever has been quickly and widely accepted. In the case of the 1,8-cineole, also known as eucalyptol, recent clinical research has demonstrated the molecule's efficacy in reducing inflammation and pain, and in promoting leukemia cell death. In southeastern Asia, cineole-rich oil is a well-known remedy for the discomfort of bruises, sprains, and pulled muscles. Many use cineole-rich oil to stimulate blood circulation near the point of application. Four components of the US-patented O24 pain relief product contain cineole: white camphor, eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint. Cineole is only one of many constituents of O24 that have scientifically documented anti-inflammatory action," said Vertolli, The action of this product is a result of the synergistic interaction of hundreds of chemical constituents. Cineole may be an important one, but it is inaccurate to suggest that it is the only constituent that is important."Other important constituents include camphor (white camphor, eucalyptus, rosemary), pinene (eucalyptus, rosemary, white camphor), menthol (peppermint, white camphor), limonene (lemon, sweet orange, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint), menthone (peppermint), carnosol (rosemary), linalool (sweet orange, rosemary, lemon), geraniol (sweet orange, lemon), anthraquinone glycosides (aloe), and dozens of others.Not a PlaceboComponents within the essential oils have long been recognized to alleviate pain. Some people might wonder whether the benefits of O24 are psychologically induced. That's what skeptics call the 'placebo effect.' In other words, O24's fast-acting and long-lasting efficacy tends to leave some consumers with the thought: "Was it O24 or did it make me feel better because I believed it would work?" That's called the placebo effect.Scientifically, there are molecular reasons why components within O24's essential oils quickly bring about pain relief and then extend the relief for longer than one might expect from a topical analgesic. Most topicals contain either capsaicin, often derived from chili peppers, or salicyclates. The former create a numbing effect and has historically used as an animal deterrent - added to bird seed to prevent squirrels from eating it. A new form is being proposed as a paint additive for boats to repel barnacles. There are also formulations for keeping dogs, cats and raccoons out of garbage areas. Dozens of arthritic creams incorporate capsaicin for relief from arthritic pains. Unfortunately, it may just provide those suffering from pain a distraction as opposed to effectively reducing inflammation.Salicyclates, on the other hand, inhibit prostaglandin and thromboxane release. As with all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, they bring about an analgesic impact on the body when topically applied. They work in the same way as aspirin does and attempt to provide a similar relief from pain, but on a topical level. Both tend to give all topical pain relievers a bad name. With the addition of mineral oils, creams, paraffin or other additives (water, alcohol, glycerin or another binding agent), its pain-relieving properties can be diluted. This tends to explain why the scientific community denigrates topicals as an effective solution to pain. Medical doctors shy away from the general body of topical analgesics because relief is fleeting, or lead their patients to believe it is a placebo effect."Yet various forms of vapor rubs, to relieve the pains of congested chests and sinuses, have sold throughout the world for decades. Such brand names, or their generics, have been doctor recommended for as long a time. Many have active ingredients that include camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol and carry the phrase, topical analgesic, on their labels.How do these differ from the O24 brand? Because many topical pain relievers contain some synthetic binding agent, its additives interfere with the deep penetrating and healing actions reportedly found in the essential oils. O24 is different because its patented process does not require binding agents such as alcohol or other ingredients. Because O24 is in a purer form than other topical relievers, many users have reported that the O24 brand works faster to relieve their pains and provides a longer-lasting relief from their aches and pains.The dramatic impact O24 has had on those suffering from acute or chronic pain can be quite puzzling. Some have announced, "It's a miracle!" Many are bewildered as to why O24 can effectively and consistently produce relief from pain, and it is often easier to question the pain relief. Understanding the mechanism of why O24 works may help dismiss the inherent, and expected, skepticism many have (until they actually try it for themselves).Inhibiting Prostaglandin and Thromboxane SynthesisThere are specific components within the essential oils, which parallel the actions of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. This requires a brief overview of how aspirin, aspirin-like drugs (such as the class of COX-1 inhibitors: ibuprofen, naproxen) and the COX-2 inhibitors (generically the coxibs sold as brand names: Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra) impact the body.Those with arthritis or rheumatism may be familiar with prostaglandins. These are pain mediators in the human body, and are found in nearly all tissues and organs. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances, a group of lipid compounds derived from fatty acids. They are produced from a precursor molecule called arachidonic acid by cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2). The arachidonic acid pathway is one of the main pain- and inflammation-producing mechanisms. Not only are the prostaglandins produced, but so are thromboxane and the leukotrienes (which cause asthma symptoms). While prostaglandins participate in the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles, the dilation and contraction of blood vessels, the control of blood pressure and the modulation of inflammation, thromboxane (A2) is involved in the constriction of vascular and respiratory smooth muscles.Discovered in 1971 that aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories could inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase, biochemist Sir John Vane and his colleagues won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Their research demonstrated that the potency of the anti-inflammatory medicines were proportional to how well they performed as COX-1 inhibitors. But, they also discovered that cyclooxygenase inhibition led to toxic side effects: non-steroidal anti-inflammatories cause erosive gastritis and renal toxicity.Wonder drugs," such as celecoxib and rofecoxib, were designed to prevent gastric bleeding (gastric bleeding reportedly causes more than 16,000 deaths annually and has been called a silent epidemic"). The COX-2 inhibitors are said to interfere with the prostaglandin production process. This restraining action is what made COX-2 inhibitors popular. By hindering prostaglandin synthesis, someone in chronic pain was able to alleviate his or her suffering. Unfortunately, because of the recent controversy surrounding the COX-2 class, such as Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra, many arthritis sufferers have returned to the COX-1 inhibitors (gastric bleeding that reportedly results in more than 100,000 hospitalizations annually). Common COX-1 inhibitors are probably found in your medicine cabinet: ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin.In Vertolli's research into why O24 works, he found evidence suggesting that constituents within several of the penny stocks inhibit prostaglandin synthesis. He wrote, "Anthraquinones, the primary active constituents in oil-based extracts of whole aloe leaf, reduce inflammation by dilating local blood vessels via inhibition of thromboxane and prostaglandin synthesis." He also noted menthol, which is found in numerous topical pain relievers, and is a major component of peppermint essential oil. Vertolli wrote, "Menthol produces analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects by inhibition of prostaglandin, thromboxane and leukotriene synthesis. It also increases local circulation by dilating the blood cells."Vertolli is very enthusiastic about the rosemary essential oil in O24. Rarely is it found in a pain relief product, which is odd because of clinical research on the anti-inflammatory action of a main constituent, carnosol, discussed earlier in this article. He explained, Rosemary reduces inflammation by protecting blood vessels, blood cells, and blood fats from oxidative stress. It also reduces inflammation and pain by inhibition of complement proteins. Rosemary essential oil improves local circulation by dilating the blood vessels (relaxing the smooth muscles that line the blood vessels) and reduces tissue swelling by reducing capillary leakage." Blood leakage physically manifests itself as a bruise on the skin. Dr. Allan N. Fields, Swiss Medicas medical spokesman, has recommended O24 for bruises, as a mean to reduce swelling and to accelerate the recovery period.Finally, Vertolli returns to cineole, which he calls a fairly strong constituent" and is found in white camphor, eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint. Vertolli also writes, "I specifically focused on the analgesic, anti-inflammatory, relaxant and antispasmodic properties because that is what the product is being used for. I am confident you would find that O24 might reduce congestion in the nasal passages and lungs if applied to the chest. It might even help relieve tension headaches if massaged on the temples, although it is premature to recommend the use of O24 for headaches."