Saturday December 22, 2012: Updated 2/10/2016
Eating healthy is always the first line of defense at preventing illness.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine -- Hippocrates
Proper exercise and getting a good nights sleep are right up there with eating a healthy diet.
The best cure is to never get sick in the first place.
How I Get Sick
I find that when I eat healthy and get plenty of rest, even during flu season, I will not get sick. But after 8-12 months of great health, I start to get cocky with my apparent invincibility and start to push the limits. I stay up later and try to get by on less and less sleep. Eventually, I will over-do it and after a massively large dose of sugary chocolate, my immune system can't keep up and catches whatever bug is in fashion that season.
Knowing you body's limits and learning to recognize the first signs of a sickness is key. Treating the symptoms at the earliest stage is the best way to prevent getting really sick. That's the crux of the saying,
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
I abhor cold medicine. I don't care for the restless, zombie state that drugs like NyQuil produce.
For me, I would rather drink some herbal tea or apply some Essential Oils.
A healthy diet and better air quality and air filtration in the home are probably the main contributing factors to our sustained excellent health these past several years. But I believe oils can still serve a purpose at helping to lift our spirits when we are feeling low.
When it comes to calling Essential Oils medicine, that's where I draw the line. In almost all cases, they are just an expensive Placebo? But do they make you smell nice and lift your spirits? Absolutely!
You should never forgo the visit to the doctor when you are in real need of professional medical treatment but sometimes all you need is a little something to put you in the right state of mind so your body to heal itself.
Essential Oils can help your body to fight off oncoming illnesses.
Essential Oils bring immediate relief from some symptoms.
Modern Marvels: Modern medicine has truly provided us with some amazing advancements. Imaging equipment, vaccines and wonder drugs, some of which (Tamiflu for example) are nothing short of engineering marvels.
While modern medicines are incalculably wonderful, saving millions of lives, sometimes they produce side effects that are almost as bad as the diseases they are designed to treat.
Sometimes the illness (and its symptoms) can be immediately treated with a little oil instead of going through the rigors of costly tests, prescriptions, treatments and without all the negative side effects of engineered drugs.
The human body is an amazing machine that over time, is capable of healing itself. Oils aren't going to set a broken leg, replace a severed limb or cure a common cold. But they do make you feel more comfortable, lifting your spirits and allowing the body to better heal itself.
Experiences from a Skeptic: A while ago, I caught a nasty bug. After a couple days, I still felt terrible. I am amazed how in 48 hours I went from being healthy, happy and loving life to literally wishing for death. How often we take our good health for granted and how quickly good health can be taken from us.
I went to the doctor to see what could be done so that I could feel better fast. He said, it was a viral infection and there was nothing that could be done, except to wait it out (and bill my insurance).
Humankind put a man on the moon, split the atom and traveled faster than the speed of sound but science has yet to conquer the virus.
Having exhausted all options that modern medicine had to offer, but still feeling extremely ill, I decided to give pseudoscience a try and give the oils a go. Worst case, I would still feel the same level of sickness but I would smell very nice.
I put peppermint oil on my forehead and below my nose. The powerful fragrance and cool feeling immediately quenched my headache, making me skip a breath, "Wow! That feels awesome", I said aloud.
I took a couple drops of On Guard oil orally, "Smooth", I rasped, as it soothed my tongue and throat, burning all the way down. I rubbed Breathe oil onto my chest and neck. I also rubbed some Oregano oil onto the bottoms of my feet and on my neck/chest. Even thought I now smelled like a pizza, my spirits were lifted. "Why didn't I use this stuff 2 days ago?", I thought to myself. Within two minutes, I was feeling alive and no longer wanting to die. I felt happy.
After a few days of using the oils (On Guard, Peppermint, Oregano, Breathe -- my favorites), and getting lots of rest, I felt much better. Would I have gotten better just as quickly without using the oils? I don't know? Probably! Would I have been more uncomfortable and dispondent during that time? Definitely!
I think there was some amazing mental healing going on here that was unlocked thanks possibly to the beautiful fragrances and wonderful sensations of the oils.
Better Than Pills: In addition to not being effective in small children, over the counter drugs all have negative side effects.
Pseudoephedrine sort of clears my sinuses but "Breathe" oil works much better. I would much rather treat the same symptoms with oils. When I have a really bad headache, I'll take an ibuprofen but the "Peppermint" oil is my first line of defense, bring instant relief and aid until the ibuprofen has time to kick in. For all but the more intense headaches, I don't take any ibuprofen. l only use the peppermint oil.
My all time favorite essential oil is Oregano. It has a strong woody smell, (which appeals to the craftsman in me) and a hot, soothing sensation when applied to the skin (diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil). Oregano has a sensation similar to Icy Hot rub but without the menthol smell. Oregano oil has been shown to have natural antiseptic, antibiotic and anti-fungal properties though the extent of the studies are limited. maybe it isn't a bunch of Quackary after all, or maybe just not as quacky.
Costs of Essential Oils: Essential oils aren't cheap, way more than a sugar pill. They are an expensive placebo. A typical vial of oil cost about $20-$40 (depending on the oil) and contains ~250 drops of oil. That is enough for 80-250 servings/applications. It is really potent stuff so you only need a couple drops.
A 2-drop application will end up costing $0.16 to $0.32 each time you use it. That seems kind of steep but considering the high cost of over the counter drugs that expire, have side effects and don't really work either, essential oils really aren't that expensive.
On average my family has spent about $120/year on oils (less than 33 cents a day). In this same period, our medical bills have gone down by over $2000 per year (about $5.50 per day).
Here's to Good Health!