The Story Behind Essential Oils
Essential oils are quite simply the oil that comes from a plant when you press it extremely hard. You can extract this oil from herbs, flowers, and roots. There may be others but these are the most common. Using plant essential oils has been around as long as there have been plant and human interaction.
Before the most recent craze of using essential oils for everything from toe fungus to hair serums, we were using essential oils and not even realizing it. Chewing gum for instance was originally flavored with peppermint or spearmint essential oil.
Many shamans, natural medicine healers, and early doctors used essential oils quite often to help heal their patients. You might think that we have come a long way since then and why should we go back?
Using Plants in Modern Medicine
Today many great discoveries in medicine are still found using natural plants. There are many botanists, pharmaceutical botanists, medical doctors, and researchers who are looking all over the world for natural cures to diseases and infections. If nature made it, then surely nature can kill it?
Once a plant, flower or herb is discovered then they bring it back for testing and to learn about its chemical composition. Let’s say for instance that a plant or herb is very good at curing disease Z, but this plant only grows for 1 month each year on a high up rock in one deserted part of a far away country. Well then, it only seems natural that we would figure out what makes it so helpful and try to recreate it in a lab. This would save the natural environment from unnecessary exposure to trucking, development and other unpleasantries.
Since the advent of “modern medicine” this has been the standard practice. Find something useful and recreate it in a lab for mass production to help as many people as possible.
The Problem with This Solution
There’s always a problem, isn’t there? When we mimic plants and herbs that we find naturally occurring we end up making mirror images of their chemical composition and this doesn’t always mesh the same with our systems.
As the saying goes “nothing like the real thing”. So while, for some very expensive, hard to grow plants and herbs it makes sense to do our best with the chemical copy, when we have the opportunity to grow the ‘real thing’ then we should of course take advantage of this.
The reason this wasn’t always so popular was due to the fact, that making the artificial version has always been more ‘cost effective’ shall we say?
Due to this fact, the corporations making these products decided to go with the artificial version instead and they have been putting some other less desirable additives into these products that we’re consuming as well.
There are so many great website that track this information. My personal favorite is www.ewg.org . The environmental working group is committed to providing the general public with the information what is in the products that we are consuming. I think this a great resource for anyone who is concerned.
Natural DIY Mouthwash with Essential Oils
½ cup distilled water
½ cup 3 % hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup aloe vera juice
10 drops peppermint oil
10 drops spearmint oil
Mix together, store in a glass jar
*do not swallow
Swish in mouth and spit into sink