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Tips for Lowering and Preventing Inflammation with Integrative Care

Here are some of the most popular essential oils used in the United States:

Lavender oil: Lavender oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties. It is often used to help people sleep better, reduce stress, and relieve anxiety.

  • there are a couple problems with Lavender: 1) which lavender are we talking about? There are a number of variables that alter the chemistry.. some of which can trigger seizures in those prone to them with long term use. And 2) again depending on the variety, lavender is estrogenic and prolongs the activation of the stress response with long term use. Not the best recommendation for stress or anxiety

Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil is a stimulating oil that can help improve focus and concentration. It is also often used to relieve nausea, headaches, and muscle pain.

  • not recommended for children under the age of 3, with cardiac fibrillation, G6PD deficiency, cigarette smoking due to its ability to increase lung tissue permeability (to name a few). I don’t encourage it’s use at all in people with respiratory problems or highly susceptible respiratory infections. One additional concern: it supports the body’s production of interleukin 6 meaning excessive use sets a body up for inflammation making it a poor choice with autoimmune disorders

Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is an antiseptic oil that can be used to treat acne, eczema, and other skin conditions. It is also effective against a variety of bacteria and fungi.

  • also identified as another estrogenic compound. There are better options for acne and eczema … supporting immune resilience

Eucalyptus oil: Eucalyptus oil is a decongestant oil that can help relieve respiratory problems such as colds, flu, and allergies. It is also a good insect repellent.

  • which eucalyptus? frequently ingested causing digestive distress because the gut microbiome also metabolizes environmental chemicals. Essential oils are classified beyond "bath & body, flavors & fragrances” as environmental compounds because they are not of your body. Studies indicate that changes to the gut microbiome are not being reversed adding more stress to your body. Choosing wisely and not ingesting them is a valuable wellness practice

Rosemary oil: Rosemary oil is a stimulant oil that can help improve memory, concentration, and energy levels. It is also effective against hair loss and dandruff.

  • again which one? Phenols found in certain varieties stress an already altered sulfation pathway decreasing the body’s ability to detox itself effectively. You have to know what you’re using otherwise your setting yourself up for more inflammation

There are more, such as citrus oils which DO NOT mix well with antidepressants

Knowing this as a physician is necessary. I had a pharmacist recently tell me her patients don’t use essential oils. Unless this is a frequent conversation, how would she know? On the other hand, I've been told by primary care and prescribing doctors as well as their staff that patients are talking about and using essential oils. Although they seem benign, they're not.

Here's a link to the National Library of Medicine which clearly illustrates the growing interest in essential oils.

Without question, essential oils are a favorable market and more and more of your patients are seeking nondrug solutions. And while there is nothing wrong with including them as part of a daily lifestyle (something I strongly recommend), it does take:

The one thing I enjoy is talking about essential oils. The other is how to use them in a way that promotes ease rather than dis-ease. Inflammation happens; sometimes when you least expect it. And therein lies the problem with accepting natural as safe ...

Bio individuality is one of the tips for lowering and preventing inflammation in order to help your patients achieve their health and wellness goals!

If you find this interesting and would like to talk further, comment or message me to jump on a call OR set up a lunch-n-learn on Zoom!


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