Essential Oils-A User's Guide

By Warner, Felicity | Daily Mail (London), April 30, 2002 | Go to article overview

Essential Oils-A User's Guide


Warner, Felicity, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: FELICITY WARNER

THE relaxing property of essential oils is a well-known fact. Now scientists around the world are discovering that many oils are much more than just a glorious smell . . .

Some have the power to save our lives as well as help in the treatment of serious diseases such as Alzheimer's, high blood pressure, tuberculosis and even anthrax.

Here's a list of 12 'essential' essential oils you can't afford to be without.

ROSEMARY OIL

ROSEMARY has a long history as a memoryenhancing herb - thousands of years ago the Greeks called it the herb of remembrance.

Now doctors in Israel have completed trials using drugs containing rosemary oil.

They discovered that many patients who have Alzheimer's disease have a shortage of a brain chemical called acetylcholine which plays a key role in cognition and reasoning.

Scientists found rosemary oil contains half a dozen compounds known to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine. Students have also reported feeling livelier and more receptive to information after smelling the oil.

AMERICAN SPICE APPLE OIL

THE homely smell of this oil can lower blood pressure in some patients. Dr Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale University, tested the aromas of several essential oils, including camomile and geranium.

But the scent of American spice apple reduced significantly the blood pressure of 30 healthy volunteers aged 25 to 40.

MYRRH

MYRRH'S essential oil has strong antiseptic qualities.

Ointments containing it will effectively treat acne, eczema, bruises, infection, athlete's foot, and hard-to-heal wounds.

Myrrh also reduces swelling caused by infection. Therapists use it on varicose veins, chapped, cracked, and aged skin, candida (thrush), and herpes blisters.

It is also used in many gargles, mouthwashes, and toothpastes.

Aromatherapists claim it activates the immune system, so lozenges or a syrup containing myrrh is good for coughs, colds, and flu.

FRANKINCENSE

IT'S one of the most expensive oils, but it is an important tissue healer with many miraculous references going way back to the Bible.

It rejuvenates skin, and is used in many expensive cosmetics. It also helps old scars to fade, and, when diluted in carrier oils and applied directly to the skin, reduces inflammation.

Its antiseptic properties fight bacterial and fungal skin infections. Some plastic surgeons make up creams containing frankincense to use on postoperative patients.

TEA TREE

THIS is one of nature's best disinfectants, and has the power to kill one of the worst bacteria known to man.

Dr Giles Elsom, of the University of London, proved that applying the oil directly to the skin could clear wounds infected by the MRSA superbug - a major source of infection in many UK hospitals - and protect patients and staff from cross-infection. …

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