1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
ME/CFS: A disease at war with itself
We can all agree that ME/CFS is a nasty disease, particularly in its severe form, but there are abundant nasty diseases in the world. What is unique and particularly confounding about our disease is that so much controversy surrounds it, and not only surrounds it, but invades it too.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

The Aroma of Health: first experiences with aromatherapy

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Cort, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Messages:
    7,025
    Likes:
    435
    Raleigh, NC
    Victoria has been guiding me slowly into aromatherapy and I must say I'm pretty astonished. This stuff can really pack a punch.

    I tried Ylang, Ylang first - two sniffs and I could immediately feel my system settle down - I mean really settle down. I went to sleep and had my first 'nasty' dream in ages. I did wake up quite early however. The next two nights I did a bit less and again it calmed my system down considerably (with some added benefits).

    Unfortunately I ended up having my reaction that I always do to things that increase my energy or well-being - joints started aching, sensitivities when up, fatigue increased.... and I've cut way back. This just proved to me though that this stuff is powerful!

    My Dad took two sniffs of Ylang Ylang before bed last night and when he woke up he said he'd had the best night of sleep in a long time - he does not sleep well.

    I'm quite impressed with aromatherapy so far. I don't know how it works but it certainly seems to.
  2. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes:
    54
    The most compelling evidence I've ever seen for the efficacy of aromatherapy is that elephant zookeepers use big bundles of lavender as a gentle way to calm their charges.

    I use and enjoy aromatic essential oils. It makes a great deal of sense since the path from the nose to the brain is swift.

    Some, especially those who are chemically sensitive, should go slow because it is potent stuff.

    Breathe...

    through your nose!

    :D
  3. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes:
    127
    Melbourne, Australia
    I probably forgot to mention, Cort...........

    With many alternative therapies, sometimes you get worse before you start getting better. Not that I'm saying this is what happened to you, after all, I'm umpteen thousand miles away, and this aromatherapy testing is simply to see if you can tolerate essential oils with your severe MCS and it's a bit hard to guage from this distance.

    Good news for your Father ;), I must say. I never thought you might ask him to try it.

    While I wouldn't want you to get a severe relapse of MCS, I also wouldn't assume that the aching & fatigue is all bad- perhaps it was a natural reaction to a change in your body systems?

    I only thought of this last night......... maybe you should persevere with the Ylang Ylang & see if you can "work through the symptoms" (as physiotherapists say work through the pain).

    Did you try the Lavender yet? That's the one which I think will have the best effect on your sleep (if you can stand the smell).

    And Lavender has so many therapeutic actions. As it's relatively cheap to buy, it such a good all round essential oil.

    V :)

    PS Where are you up to with the changes to the Aromatherapy article? There's been so much newsworthy stuff in the media with the XMRV. I imagine the extra workload has been heavy going for the last 10 days or so, I assumed it was put on the backburner for the time being (which is understandable).

    PPS
    Cort, are you sure you don't want to rephrase the dream description - "nasty" might not be quite the right way to describe it (how about "nice" dream?).
  4. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes:
    54
    :rolleyes:
    :confused:
    :eek:
  5. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes:
    54
    Hi Victoria,

    I use Tea Tree Oil for many, many things. I always have Tea Tree Oil on hand for its antibacterial and antifungal properties BUT it also has antiviral properties.

    What I was wondering is, in addition to killing viruses on contact - as an H1N1 hand sanitizer in alcohol, for instance, would the amount of Tea Tree Oil I inhale coincidentally, as I use it for other things, have any effect on viruses I happen to host?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks much,
    Koan
  6. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes:
    127
    Melbourne, Australia
    Koan,
    will reply when I get home from work (from my home computer).
    V
  7. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes:
    54
    Thanks Victoria!

    Koan
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes:
    1,261
    Ashland, Oregon
    Aromatherapy - Thieves

    Hi All,

    Thought I'd pass along an interesting story here tonight (insomnia). I had a plumber come to the door one day with a very strong "aroma". I was immediately concerned, but he quickly told me it was essential oils he was wearing, "thieves" in particular.

    He then told me of of how, as a plumber, he was constantly getting sick. When he heard about thieves essential oils (not sure what the combination is), he decided to see if it might help him avoid some of his constant sickness. Lo and behold, it worked extraordinarily well for him.

    I've heard other amazing stories about essential oils. But as with all good things, what works for one person may not work at all for another. In fact, my partner, who loves her essential oils, cannot tolerate lavender at all. Go figure. I love the fragrance of lavender.

    Wayne
  9. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Messages:
    7,025
    Likes:
    435
    Raleigh, NC
    My father did another night on Ylang Ylang and had another good sleep - which means he actually slept through the night (rare).

    I've cut down and am sticking with Ylang and Ylang and am have moderate benefits with it.

    I tried Fennel because I love the smell and because it grows all over the place in central California where I used to live and it amped me up. Unfortunately I took before bed and it kept me going for another hour and a half. Because it did increase my energy level and immediately started reaction - very painful spot on my inner elbow - its a weird thing; its always those spots at first. I wonder if it's an acupuncture spot.

    Again it confirmed my experience that aromatherapy is surprisingly powerful.
  10. MEG

    MEG Senior Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes:
    20
    Asheville, NC
    Lavender

    Thanks Victoria...I LOVE using essential oils as part of my "alternative" arsenal.

    One way I use lavender is to help me sleep. I have found that it is most effective for me to use it in my bedtime bath. I run the water to fill the tub, and then add 10 drops of Lavener essential oil. It is best to add the essential oil of choice when the tub is full. If you add an essential oil when the tub is running, it seems to "evaporate" as the tub fills....so add it when you get into the tub.

    Most people tolerate lavender, and it is one of the pure essential oils that can be added "neat", meaning you can put it directly on your skin. It is great for burns...and as Victoria said, antibacterial. It can actually be applied to open wounds and sores. However, I have a daughter that gets hives from it....so before using it, as with all essential oils, put a dab on your skin (in a carrier oil) and make sure you aren't allergic.

    I am curious about exploring more about Tea Tree Oil. It is another oil that can be applied neat. It is a strong antifungal...jock itch, athletes foot etc. We use it in our family a lot. I think it has antiviral properties...need to research that to make sure I am correct...
  11. MEG

    MEG Senior Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes:
    20
    Asheville, NC
    Koan/Tea Tree

    My apologies...I thought Tea Tree had antiviral properties! Thanks. I am going to get some pure Aloe Vera gel and add 25 or so drops of Tea Tree essential oil and use as a natural hand sanitizer. Maybe some alcohol in there as well!!!

    I am so sensitive to commercial preparations that I make as many natural bath and body products as I can.
  12. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes:
    127
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi Marian,

    10 drops of Lavender oil is far too much to use. You only need half that. Most of the sedative or calming essential oils should be used in low dilutions. Low dilutions are effective on the mind and high dilutions are more effective for physical problems eg sprained ankle.

    Some essential oils used in too high an amount can have the reverse effect, ie. be stimulating instead of calming.

    And to for everyone else who reads this post.................

    TI TREE essential oil is the only essential oil that I know of, that is effective for all 3 infections - Viral, Bacterial & Fungal.

    Therefore I wonder, just wonder (I'm not an expert) if TI TREE oil could eradicate all viruses in CFS patients? Maybe that's fantasizing too much? Or maybe, TI TREE in a BLEND with other appropriate essential oils for the other symptoms of CFS/FM.

    Extract - the last few paragraphs in my Aromatherapy article.......(coming up in the future)

    I have neither the knowledge nor the experience to "cure" CFS (or my own FM). But it only takes an interest, reading & research, to use essential oils & herbs in a supporting role to help ease some of our symptoms.

    A microbe is not always the cause of an illness; normally it simply bears witness to a deficiency in the organism under attack. The microbe is far less important that the site.

    Why are many CFS sufferers found to have multiple viruses, and healthy people living or working with them do not? If we were to give those with clinically diagnosed ME/CFS or FM, the best fresh organic diet, filtered water, fresh un-polluted air, adequate regular rest periods & deep restorative sleep, together with supporting therapies & herbs to restore their immune system & cleanse the toxins which may have accumulated in their bodies, would it be possible for their bodies to heal themselves?

    It is perhaps a fanciful imagination to suggest such a simplistic idea? CFS (& FM) have complex combinations of symptoms. Every patient is unique in both their degree of symptoms & genetic or predisposition to disease. There are so many factors which come into play – environment, stress, diet, lifestyle, genetics & so forth.

    Are we giving our bodies the best chance of recovery by assaulting them with a plethora of potentially hazardous drugs?

    So, the question always lurks in the back of my mind. What if? What if there was a simple answer? Dare we even hope (for a simple answer)?

    A simple answer makes no money for the pharmaceutical industry. A simple answer does not make the rich & powerful, more rich & powerful. Nature is in abundance all over this planet.

    How many times in history, have the simplest plants from nature been used as a cure?

    How was the Black Plague eradicated in the 1600's? Why did the field workers in the Lavender fields in France escape the Plague (when it spread from England over the channel)? These field workers came from surrounding villages which were completely wiped out in the Plague including the families of the Lavender field workers. Why did tanners in London who used essential oils in the tanning process escape the Plague? How did the grave robbers & corpse attendents escape the Plague? By carrying a concoction of herbs & spices, no less.



    From Jean Valnet MD in The Practice of Armoatherapy.........(by the way, in France, you have to be a doctor to practice Aromatherpy - or you did, when I originally studied Aromatherapy many years ago. But many people in the country use herbs in healing, in fact, many use herbs & foods as their forefathers did hundreds of years ago).

    (Jean Valnet is regarded as the Father of essential oil therapy and one of its foremost authorities. In this classic manual, he provides detailed evidence for the efficacy of plant medicine - nature's most time-honoured method for treatment of illness and relief of pain).

    "Some years ago, for instance, a woman had the misfortune to upset a saucepan of boiling water over her left forearm and hand. A nurse dressed the lesions with a mixture of aromatic essences which had long seemed to me the ideal treatment for burns, its chief constituents being lavender, thyme, geranium, rosemary and sage. She completed the dressing with a bandage, simply as a precaution. Now, fifteen hours after the accident, her hand and forearm were no longer a problem at all: the skin was unmarked."

    And one of my experiences with lavender oil............................

    I was filling my hot water bottle with water just boiled in the kettle. It was late at night & I was tired.
    I was not watching what I was doing & poured boilind water (yes, literally boiling) over my hand (instead of IN the hot water bottle).

    I believe I screamed (although I can't remember every detail, only how I dealt with the incident).

    I dropped the bottle in the sink & held my hand under cold running water for some minutes, and then looked at it. At this stage it was swollen slightly & very, very bright red.

    I dashed into the bathroom to get my Lavender oil (which I buy in 50ml large bottles - about $42 Aust as I use it so much).

    I poured the Lavender oil over the back of my hand & then soaked a clean cloth in essential oil & held it on the back of my hand. It really hurt and the Lavender oil seemed (initially) to make the pain worse. I did persevere though.

    I took some Bach Rescue Remedy (for shock), and then got an ice pack (plastic flexible pack which I keep in my freezer for sore feet more than anything), wrapped it in a clean old tea towel & tied it around my hand.

    I was naturally very shocked. I suppose I should have called a taxi & gone to the ER department of my local hospital (about 6 minutes drive away or 20 minutes walk), but it was late, I was in my night clothes & certainly wasn't thinking about getting dressed & calling a taxi.

    I lay in bed with my hand on the outside covers wrapped in this cloth with ice pack.

    I suppose the sedating/calming effect of both the Lavender oil & the Bach Rescue Remedy eventually sent me to sleep (despite the pain).

    Next morning I woke as normal (the pack & cloth having fallen off sometime during the night).

    The back of my hand was unmarked except for a very tiny blister about 1/4 inch in size. I kept it clean with a small bandaid with a little lavender oil on the gauze pad section of the bandaid.

    Next day, my hand was healed and to this day I have a tiny white mark about an 1/8 of an inch in size.

    I KNOW by this (& many other experiences) that lavender oil is a great healer.

    So as to the therapeutic effect of Ti Tree essential oil (maybe in combination with some other oils & herbs), why not give it a go?

    At least it can't hurt.

    Victoria
  13. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes:
    598
    UK
    Thanks for that story Victoria - it is amazing. I will remember it but only wish I had known on the day when I spilt some boiling water from a pan of pasta down my front burning my abdomen instead of into the sink.

    Despite ice and cold water I had to go to the hospital and then every day for the dressing to be changed and it was unbelievably painful.

    I like your idea of Ti Tree Oil curing cfs and fm. I really think it possible for something simple like this to work.

    If we look at all the symptoms and infectious agents it can seem to be so complicated that it needs a complicated cure - if it is possible, but the body has a very powerful energy to heal itself and is there waiting for the time when the things that prevent it are taken away so I see healing as the taking away of things first, the things that retard the healing especially the emotional baggage we have.


    I know you are keen on Bach's flower remedies too and that principle is to heal the mind then the body will follow - not to say that anything is 'all in the mind' :eek: but it has a very powerful effect on the body, which I am sure we can all agree on.

    If we can only really believe this is possible then that very belief will take away a lot of stress and worry and I believe, make it work.

    But that would be wonderful, if these oils could kill infections. I have certainly added them to my list of things to consider. At present it is not easy for me to use oils due to my mcs but maybe one day I will be able to.

    Thanks for that thought. :)

    Brenda
  14. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes:
    598
    UK
    Victoria

    Your story reminded me of an incident a few years ago on a camping site in Germany, where, one morning a young mother showed me her one year old child had been badly bitten by mosquitoes after she noticed my bites. I am always ruthlessly attacked by them as are people generally with Lyme. The child was breast fed and I wondered if it is high sugar levels in the blood that makes one so attractive to the insects. My last blood test shows this high level. If the child was breast feeding though the night maybe she had high sugar levels or maybe she had Lyme.

    Anyway, I was shocked, I had never seen anything so bad - the child was covered from head to foot and in a great deal of pain. I got my lavender oil out which I use myself for mozzie bites and applied it to her skin. It hurt her at first but the look of relief in her face soon after was memorial to me. You could see the redness visibly disappearing.
  15. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes:
    127
    Melbourne, Australia
    Great story, Brenda,

    We need more stories & evidence (anecdotal though they may be) to support our theories.

    I'm sure there is something, somewhere in time that will prove us right.
    In the meantime, alternative therapies of many kinds can help us with our symptoms.

    Victoria

    PS Is there anyone on the Forum who has multiple viral infections (but no MCS to inhibit the application) who might like to try some essential oils specific to fighting viruses & strengthening the immune system?

    (This MCS is a great problem, even I can't stand some of my essential oils, now). My Pine essential oil smells like dirty socks, & my Sandalwood smells like .....um.....bad memories, & the horrible deodorant that young men taking delight is using these days. I'm sure it's got Sandalwood as an ingredient, & I can't breath when a men wearing this are in the room with me.

    So even I (who is a great believer in the power of Aromatherapy) gets affected. I wish I was more knowledgable about MCS.
  16. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes:
    54
    Yes, it does!

    I've been using for years for various reasons and inhale the aroma of Tea Tree oil at least once a day, often more. I have long wondered if the antiviral action could work when inhaled in this fashion which is why I asked Victoria what she thought.

    (Hey Victoria, haven't yet read what you posted but will now.)

    I have some in alcohol as a super duper evaporating hand sanitizer but aloe vera would be much less drying. Good idea!

    I have traditionally mixed essential oils with sweet almond oil as a carrier but I'm thinking of mixing with coconut oil because its rumoured to be very good for soft skin and hair and it would smell delish!

    What I can't figure out is if lemon and orange, my fav.s, will smell good with coconut or not. I figure they will either be terrific or awful together.

    Ok, off to read...
    Koan
  17. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes:
    54
    Marian,

    Yes re fungal stuff! All fungal stuff!

    I began using it initially for stubborn, long standing fungal infection of both of my big toe nails. It wasn't pretty! In fact, it had gotten to the point where they were actually painful. I was not about to take a drug that has potential liver toxicity nor was I willing to have my nails removed ( :eek: )

    Tea Tree oil, applied 3x per day for several months, completely took care of the problem. I still apply occasionally as a preventative but my toenails are now so nice that I have actually told people to look at them: Look how pretty my feet are?!

    I also use on cuts, scrapes and my 20something girls use for spots. Now, you know something is effective if a girl will use it for spots!

    I'm alarmed at some of the reports that Tea Tree oil contributes to antibiotic resistance. Not sold on that but keeping an eye on the research.

    I love my Tea Tree Oil!
    koan
  18. MEG

    MEG Senior Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes:
    20
    Asheville, NC
    Tea Tree Oil/Lavender

    Koan, Good to hear your story about Tea Tree and toenail fungus...will try that on my husbands toenails, as neither can he tolerate the RX drugs.

    Victoria...I use Lavender for so many things. Loved your story. I do have a question...my tub is a garden tub for two...it is big. Are you sure 10 drops is too much considering the amount of water it uses?

    I do always need reminding that less is more....in everything in life!

    I am interested in advice and using essential oils for my CMV virus and CFS...go ahead and advise me....my ears and eyes are open. I think it was Koan who said there could be such a simple answer to making us better, but then the drug companies wouldn't make millions! Anyway, I love what both you and Koan write!!!!

    BTW: know the story about the Plague and Lavender....first thing I learned when I studied essential oils. Aren't essential oils wonderful?
  19. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,010
    Likes:
    509
    Canada
    Good thoughts Vicki.

    I wonder all these things too.
  20. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes:
    127
    Melbourne, Australia
    Marian,

    yes, I think 10 drops is too much.

    I assume you are adding the essential oil after the bath is full?

    (if it was added while the tap was still running, it might have evaporated by the time you got into the bath, even though the water would have retained some of the Lavender essence - or smell).

    I used to use almond oil as a carrier for massage, but you could you use grapeseed oil (light), apricot kernal oil (very nourishing), avocado oil and a whole host of other carrier substances.

    If using almond, apricot or avocado, ensure you keep them in the fridge, they go rancid very quickly.

    Unless you use oils quickly, always buy small quantities so they don't go rancid. Even olive oil keeps better in a dark container or dark cupboard.

    The only time I would keep them in the light, is if you are infusing crushed herbs to make a herb oil for salads or cooking.

    But generally keep them in a cool, dark place. If they solidify, take them out of the fridge to come back to room temperature before using.

    Victoria

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page