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Revival of an Ancient Healing Tool

by Patricia Lee Editors Note: Essential oils have been used for centuries because of their unique properties in healing and soothing the body and mind. Several varieties of oils are commercially available and are increasingly of greater interest. In the last issue of the Flashpoints some of these oils were explored as they are again in this issue. We believe that much can be gained from the ancient knowledge dealing with oils and herbal substances.

Distilling plants for their medicinal value has been practiced throughout history. According to the translation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics,the Egyptians discovered oils and their medicinal uses before the plants themselves were studied for their herbal uses and incorporated into the field of medicine. Ancient Chinese documents written around 2000 B.C., by the Emperor Kiwang-ti, indicate the use of aromatic substances, clearly showing that the Chinese were aware of aromatics. Ancient scrolls depict priests and physicians using essential oils thousands of years before the time of Christ. There are 188 references to oils in the Bible alone. Moses used Galbanum, written about in the book of Exodus, which he used for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Hyssop was put into the lambs blood when the angel of death (the black plague) was ravaging the Israelites. It has very high anti viral and anti inflammatory properties. When the tomb of King Tutankhamen was discovered, over three hundred alabaster jars were found to contain the viable oils used in those times, still fresh and very usable! When the Christ child was born the three wise men traveled hundreds of miles to present Him with the precious resins of frankincense and myrrh. Clinical research has now found that frankincense oil contains very high immuno-stimulating properties1 .

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the subtle, volatile liquids that are distilled from plants. Shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, seeds and pedals (roses for example) are used in the distilling process. They are the regenerating, oxygenating, and immune defense properties inherent in all chlorophyll rich plants.They contain the highest known oxygenating molecules transporting the nutrients to the cells of the body.2 Without oxygen molecules, nutrients cannot be effectively assimilated and utilized by the cells. Not only do therapeutic quality essential oils deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells, they also aid in the tissue's disposal of toxic waste products.3

In addition to containing oxygenating molecules, therapeutic quality essential oils also carry a bio-electrical frequency. In 1992, Dr. Gary Young and Bruce Tainio of Tainio Technologies (an independent division of Eastern State University in Cheney, Wa.) began to accurately measure the electrical frequency of essential oils. They verified that essential oils have a bio-electrical frequency measurable in hertz, megahertz, and kilohertz.4 Frequency is a measurable rate of electrical energy that is constant between two points. Everything has an electrical frequency. It's been said that humans are Spiritual Beings, in a physical body, electrically stimulated and emotionally controlled! Therapeutic quality essential oils contain electrical frequencies that are several times greater than the frequency of herbs and food. For example, measuring in Hertz, living foods’ (foods which have not been cooked), have a frequency of about 29Hz. Cooked foods have a frequency from 0-15 Hz, dry herbs from 15-22 Hz, and fresh herbs from 20-27 Hz.5 Essential oils start at 50 Hz [essential oil of birch resonates frequency of skeletal structure] and go as high as 320 Hz [Turkish rose oil].

Dr. Young and Bruce Tainio also discovered that a healthy body from head to foot has a frequency ranging from 62-71 Hz during the day. When measuring the human body, we see that a healthy human resonates’ at and above 59 to 62Hz. This measurement is taken at the abdominal level. The sternum to the upper throat area resonates at about 62-68 Hz. The entire head of a normal healthy human resonates at between 72-78 Hz., and this measurement may go as high as 90 Hz. during times of extreme mental activity. Disease begins at 58Hz., and becomes more severe at lower measurements,ie. cancer has a frequency of 42 Hz.6 It was also discovered that headaches are caused by a disturbance in the electrical fields between the right and left lobes of the brain. If the frequency varies by more than 3 Hz. headaches develop. If the frequency varies by more than 10 Hz. substantial or migraine-type headaches develop. Understanding this, Gary Young has created an oil blend specifically designed to help balance the electrical frequencies of the brain.7

In the early 1920's, Royal Raymond Rife M.D. developed a "frequency generator". According to Dr. Rife, every disease has a frequency. It was discovered that a substance with a higher frequency would destroy any disease which, of course, would have a frequency lower than 58Hz. Clinical research shows that essential oils have some of the highest frequencies of natural organic sub-stances creating an environment in which disease, bacteria, virus, fungus, etc., cannot live. Dr. Gary Young states that ". . .that the chemistry and frequencies of essential oils have the ability to help man maintain the optimal frequency to the extent that disease cannot exist." 8 It must be stated that an ill body is also over acidic, and this type of condition may require several applications of therapeutic quality essential oils to affect a change.9

The rediscovery of essential oils came in 1920 when French chemist and perfumer Rene-Maurice Gattefosse severely burned his hand. Thinking the liquid in the nearby bowl was water, he quickly plunged his hand into it only to find to his amazement that it was pure Lavender oil. He noticed that the burn never blistered, and healed quickly without a trace of a scar. After his speedy recovery Gattefosse dedicated the rest of his life to researching the therapeutic aspects of essential oils. It is to this man the term Aromatherapy is attributed.

After the French rediscovered essential oils, the production of raw materials could not keep up with the demand for product. Perfumers were hard pressed to acquire the raw ingredients necessary for an exploding cosmetic market. Gradually, over many decades, the development of synthetics designed to cut costs and increase profits began to undermine the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. Consequently, the use of oils as a therapeutic treatment, for all practical purposes, became nonexistent. Even though a label may say 100% Grade A Pure, there really is no guarantee since there is no standard, nationally or internationally as to the "grade" or purity of Essential Oils. Dr. Gary Young is working diligently with several international colleagues to create a system of standards so that the consumer will know exactly what the purity in essential oils really is.... Until then, buyer beware! The probability is very high that the oil is third, fourth, or fifth pressing, and maybe improperly distilled as well.10

The quality of the plant material is very critical as well as its growing conditions, harvesting techniques, etc. They must first of all be grown organically and must be harvested at the right time, under the proper conditions. The method of harvesting and distillation is very important in maintaining quality.11 Meeting the above standards,the highest therapeutic quality oils are first and second pressings, meaning that they are distilled at extremely low temperatures and extremely low pressure. Unfortunately, more than 90% of all essential oils imported into America have been improperly distilled or are adulterated in some way, decreasing the oil's ability to assist the bodies natural process of healing. Take for example Essential Oil of Lavender. To distill the complete array of healing constituents, it takes a full twenty four hours distilling time. Better than 90% of all lavender sold on the commercial market in America imported from Europe,has a distilling time of approximately 15 minutes, at high temperature and pressure with the addition of chemical solvents. Today, 98% of all oils distilled are earmarked for the perfume and cosmetic industries.When applied to the feet, absorption time throughout the entire body including the hair, affecting every cell in the body takes 20 minutes. It must be stated that extreme caution should be taken when buying and using essential oils. It can be guaranteed that if you purchase less than therapeutic quality (and there is no standard set or laws to impose the standard) not only will you not get the desired results, you may even get a chemical burn (or worse) in the process, and come to the conclusion that essential oils don't really work.12

There are many companies worldwide that manufacture essential oils for use as perfumes, air fresheners etc., however caution should be heeded if you want to use them used undiluted directly on the body. The skin is very porous, taking only 3 to 5 seconds for absorption, sometimes longer depending on the size of the molecular structure of the oil. The body's inability to process synthetics favorably can create more harm than good. Most Aromatologists will not use Essential Oils directly on the skin because until very recently the only oils available were not of a therapeutic quality. The basic plant material that is used for the oil must be grown organically - remember, pesticides migrate to the oils in the plant material and also to the seeds.

Therapeutic quality essential oils can have a profound impact upon the emotional body as well. The limbic system is the processing center of reason, emotion and smell. The essential oils of frankincense and sandalwood, for example, have a constituent known as a sesquiterpene. In 1992, it was discovered that sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenols break the blood brain barrier affecting the amygdala which is the area of the brain that records and stores emotional trauma. When inhaled the oils have the ability on a cellular DNA level, to completely erase the memory of emotional trauma. Dr. Joseph Ledoux of New York Medical University feels that the effect of inhaled oil vapors upon the amygdala gland could be a major break-through in the releasing of stored emotional trauma.13

Dr. Reijo Makela of Finland has done extensive work with electromagnetism. He has discovered that an odor is the electromagnetic radiation of specific molecules and atoms. This radiation changes the electromagnetic state of the receiving mucous membrane, and this change in activity is transmitted to the corresponding center in the brain. This explains why dogs can smell’ a storm long before it arrives, how sharks can so rapidly sense’ blood and fear states in water, and how essential oil constituents can immediately be picked up by the brain. Electromagnetic energy fields travel much faster and more direct than the actual movement of molecules.14

Dr. Eldon Haas (Author - Staying Healthy with the Seasons), states that the "qualities and essential phyto-chemicals that are carried with the oil vapors and within the oil liquids interact with the Bio energetic and subtle energies of our Body/Mind/Spirit, including emotional and energy patterns, immune functions, sleep and stress patterns and cell membrane activity. These more subtle levels of life are most nourished and balanced by vibrational energies (color, light and sound, and aromatic qualities), and are most likely affected adversely by stronger synthetic chemical and electromagnetic (Alternating current incoherent chaotic frequencies) patterns."15

Essential oils can have a profound effect upon the physical body. The Lokota Sioux practiced a procedure called the Rain Drop Therapy. This treatment is so named because the practitioner drops the oils through the energy field which surrounds the body from 6 to 8 inches above the spine, thereby affecting the emotional, mental, and etheric (subtle energy fields surrounding the body) bodies before the oils finally contact the physical body. This treatment can be used for almost any health challenge. The spine, through the nervous system connecting to all the organs in the body provides the perfect delivery system, bathing the entire body in oxygen rich constituents. Essential oils seem to have an ability to complement and integrate the various healing activities in and around the the body.

Specifics on Essential Oils

In France, therapeutic quality essential oils have been extensively researched, and are documented in French medical texts. Dr. Jean Valnet, a medical doctor in Paris, experimented with essential oils in the post WWI years, and experienced amazing results. During World War II, while serving as a medical physician in the French Army, at a time when he ran out of the usual antibiotics and chemical medications, he resorted to using essential oils, and to his amazement, they had a powerful effect in reducing and even stopping infection. He was able thus to save the lives of many soldiers who possibly would have died even with the use of antibiotics. After the war, Dr. Valnet continued his work with essential oils, and several of his students assisted him in conducting extensive research into the properties and actions of several essential oils. Together, they discovered that essential oils contain antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties, as well as being powerful oxygenators with the ability to act as carrying agents in the delivery of nutrients into the cells.16 For example:

  • LAVENDER - Lavandula Officinalis - French medical text referenced uses: antispasmodic, anti infectious, helps regulate blood pressure, helps with insomnia, and many other uses.
  • CHAMOMILE, Blue German - Matricaria Recuticia - French medical text referenced uses: digestive tonic, cystitus, decongestant, hormone-like, ulcers, liver, gallbladder, antiinflammatory, excema, and acne.
  • FRANKINCENSE - Boswellia Carterii - French medical text referenced uses: anti-catarrhal, anti-tumoral, ulcers, immunostimulant, anti-depressant, and asthma.
  • ROSE, Bulgarian - Rosa Damascena - French medical text referenced uses: Dr. Daniel Penoel, M.D. states that Rose may help with chronic bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, sexual debilities, frigidity, impotency, skin disease, wounds, and ulcers.
  • LEMON - Citrus Limonum Medica - French medical text referenced uses: germicide, fever reduction, colds, throat infections, asthma, anemia, varicose veins, gout, rheumatism, ureter infections, intestinal parasites, air disinfectant, immunostimulant, water purification, and red and white blood cell formation.
  • BASIL - ocimum basilicum - French medical text referenced uses: nerve stimulant, adrenal cortex stimulant, stomach and intestinal antiseptic, migraine headaches, mental fatigue, anti-infectious, and antispasmodic.

Examples of Uses

A friend from Portland, up for a three week stay, informed me that she would need to see a chiropractor at least once or twice a week while visiting as she had a chronic back problem due to an auto accident. I informed her that Anchorage was blessed with many fine chiropractors, but first I wanted her to experience an essential oil treatment. She could not believe that one Raindrop Therapy treatment using the oils of many common spices such as Basil, Oregano, and Thyme, could provide so much relief and for such a long time. She returned to Portland without ever having visited a chiropractor. My husband had been diagnosed with scoliosis in the area of his kidneys(Clinical research has found that scoliosis can be caused by a virus). For years he would wake up and complain of stiffness in the kidney region of his spine (T11, T12). I ordered the oils that had the properties which would address this condition. Within a week the oils arrived along with a paper on how to apply them. Within two weeks in which two treatments were given, Tom felt incredible heat over the area of concern. After the twelfth day he woke up and said that his spine felt more relaxed than it had in over twenty years, he also commented that the deep burning was gone. When I looked at his spine it was totally straight! I had used commercially available essential oils in the past, so the sight I was experiencing was nothing short of miraculous. There was something very special about these unique and specially formulated oils. It was clear to us that these oils had been properly grown and distilled and that our own education on their use would take us on an international voyage of significant health discoveries.

In these days of exceedingly high stress, pollutants in the air we breathe, impure water, and fast food on almost every corner, its wonderful to know that these soothing, healing oils can be introduced into your daily lives easily. To know that they help to balance, calm, integrate and even physically heal in a most natural and inexpensive way is a gift of nature, indeed.

Acupuncturists are using these therapeutic grade oils to enhance their treatments, dipping the needles into the appropriate oils before placing them.17 More and more psycho-therapists are finding that these oils significantly advance their patients emotional healing. Massage therapists are experiencing tremendous results, you might want to take one or more of your favorites to your next massage!

I am very excited about the work currently being done with these wholly natural substances. I have found that having them around the house, for use on any number of things from open lacerations to uplifting the ambiance in my home, has made a vast improvement in how quickly my environment and family respond positively to negative influences, ie. colds, flu, etc. Aside from being a high source of oxygen and negative ions they are one of the highest natural sources of healthy electrical frequencies. Being lipid soluble they allow easier penetration of cell walls to increase assimilation of nutrients. The French medical texts clearly demonstrate that properly distilled essential oils contain anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti spasmodic, anti-viral, anti-parasitical, antiseptic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, analgesic, anti-depressant, and immune stimulating proper-ties. What a treasure trove of substances that do so much with so little. What a great gift of healing from nature. Mother Nature indeed has all the answers, if we only listen with the focus of healing and serving our fellow man.

  1. AROMATHERAPY The Essential Beginning: 1996, D. Gary Young N.D., - pages 1, 90, 139
  2. Ibid - p. 21
  3. Ibid - 28
  4. Ibid - p.37 - 38
  5. Ibid - p. 40
  6. Ibid - p. 52-53
  7. Ibid - p. 38
  8. Ibid - p. 40
  9. Embraced by the Essence: Marcy Foley D.C., N.D. p. 246
  10. Aromatherapy: The Essential Beginning - p. p. 52-53
  11. Ibid p. 52-53
  12. Ibid - p. 21
  13. Ibid - p. 23
  14. Dr. Reijo Makela, M. D. Living Cells are Electromagnetic Units - EarthPulse Flash Points: Newtext No. 1
  15. Dr. Eldon Haas, Integrated Medicine is our Future Health Care - Proceedings of Wholistic Aromatherapy - A conference on therapeutic uses of essential oils - Nov. 1995.
  16. Aromatherapy - p. 18
  17. Ibid - p. 70
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