essential oils

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    i have a friend who only uses essential oils, like do terra. she is a RN and only believes in them( instead of antibotics ectra), she works for hospice( and uses the usual meds ) and uses the oils on her pts. i do believe they help. does anyone else use them? i actually love them and find they work. what do you think about them ? and does your work ever use them? i would love to have them at work( not gonna happen), my friend has a okay to use them for hospice. thank you for your input .
  2. 13 Comments so far...

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    I don't think they hurt (unless you do something silly like substitute them for abx).

    They probably work about as well as placebo.
    elkpark likes this.
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    I saw a meme recently that said it well. Something to the effect of "if there were any credible evidence it wouldn't be called alternative medicine, it would be called medicine."

    Essential oils sometimes* smell nice. Nice smells can be therapuetic. Nice smells are not medicine. Nice smells do not cure disease. Essential oils are not evidence based and have no place in science. (Ditto homeopathy). So long as everyone is clear about that much, they can sniff all the patchouli, bergamot and peppermint oils they wish. Essential oils can be a very good intervention for nausea and for the colostomy odor; let's just not pretend they are a cure for colon cancer.

    *patchouli is revolting. Most colostomies smell better.
    AmyRN303, elkpark, and MN-Nurse like this.
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    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    I saw a meme recently that said it well. Something to the effect of "if there were any credible evidence it wouldn't be called alternative medicine, it would be called medicine."

    Essential oils sometimes* smell nice. Nice smells can be therapuetic. Nice smells are not medicine. Nice smells do not cure disease. Essential oils are not evidence based and have no place in science. (Ditto homeopathy). So long as everyone is clear about that much, they can sniff all the patchouli, bergamot and peppermint oils they wish. Essential oils can be a very good intervention for nausea and for the colostomy odor; let's just not pretend they are a cure for colon cancer.

    *patchouli is revolting. Most colostomies smell better.
    Ohhhh I love patchouli!
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    I'd like to think that it's called "alternative medicine" because it isn't being patented and shoved down the throats of the mainstream. If pharmaceutical companies could wrap their hands around whole plants (thus essential oils), they would have by now. That's why the just reduce their compounds and sell them as drugs.

    That said, I absolutely think there's stock in essential oils. They are powerful plant compounds that when absorbed by the skin, pass directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the GI tract which drugs are more often absorbed through. Traces of these compounds can be found in the bloodstream shortly after massage with a carrier oil containing essential oils.

    Also, while the physiology of the olfactory apparatus has yet to be completely understood, it is known that certain brain waves are very sensitive to fragrance and the emotional responses to them (which is profound) and that olfactory nerves immediately stimulate the limbic system and hypothalamus. It's also thought that this neurological response has several interactions with the endocrine system, such as triggering the secretion of serotonin and regulating the adrenals.

    Again, this isn't information that the old guarde of medicine will teach you, nor is there major funding behind it's research, which is still in independent stages.. but to think that essential oils have ZERO physiological response is, in my opinion, pretty rigid thinking.
    marijea, beckster_01, softrbreeze, and 2 others like this.
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    Also, OP, if you're really interested, here's a great book you may want to start with.
  8. 1
    Quote from chwcbesteph
    I'd like to think that it's called "alternative medicine" because it isn't being patented and shoved down the throats of the mainstream. If pharmaceutical companies could wrap their hands around whole plants (thus essential oils), they would have by now. That's why the just reduce their compounds and sell them as drugs.

    That said, I absolutely think there's stock in essential oils. They are powerful plant compounds that when absorbed by the skin, pass directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the GI tract which drugs are more often absorbed through. Traces of these compounds can be found in the bloodstream shortly after massage with a carrier oil containing essential oils.

    Also, while the physiology of the olfactory apparatus has yet to be completely understood, it is known that certain brain waves are very sensitive to fragrance and the emotional responses to them (which is profound) and that olfactory nerves immediately stimulate the limbic system and hypothalamus. It's also thought that this neurological response has several interactions with the endocrine system, such as triggering the secretion of serotonin and regulating the adrenals.

    Again, this isn't information that the old guarde of medicine will teach you, nor is there major funding behind it's research, which is still in independent stages.. but to think that essential oils have ZERO physiological response is, in my opinion, pretty rigid thinking.
    You're welcome to your opinions. I don't think anyone here would say that "essential oils have ZERO physiological response" -- but that's a long way from saying that they can treat anything. Show me some standardized, double-blind studies with some statistically significant results (e.g., that "traces of these compounds" in the bloodstream actually provide any measurable benefit for anyone), and we can talk.

    (BTW, I like patchouli, too! )
    AmyRN303 likes this.
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    What exactly are we talking about treating? The OP was talking about using them in hospice, in which case you're not "treating" anything but providing comfort measures. So why isn't complementary medicine well integrated into the practice of palliative care?

    To say the essential oils are "not evidence based and have no place in science" is ill-informed. Here's some easy-to-find research, however not medical, that shows that essential oils do indeed have chemical effects: Potato storage: Essential oils as antigerminants

    And perhaps an even more pertinent article as to why essential oils are not studied double-blind by scientific or medical institutions: How Drug Company Money Is Undermining Science: Scientific American
    la_chica_suerte85 likes this.
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    Just because you haven't heard about it doesn't mean the research isn't happening. http://modernessentialoils.com/Resou...Compendium.pdf Go to page 4 of this doc to see the qualifications of two of doTERRA's medical advisory board researchers, followed by info on two of their research projects on essential oils and MRSA and influenza. The last page has an entire page of references to other research. I'm sure every study on there isn't perfectly flawless, but that doesn't mean it's not worth exploring and reading with an open mind and a critical eye. I think synthetic drugs are often sold to us as the only/best " real" option because the pharmaceutical industry spends so much time and money marketing them to medical professionals, but the fact is that many synthetics are based on the chemical properties of the natural components found in plants (the origin of essential oils). Not all oils are purely for aromatherapy; many pure, undiluted, therapeutic grade oils can also be used topically and/or internally, and research has shown that they have both antibacterial and antiviral properties. There is far more to essential oils than smelling good (or bad, as the case may be). I am very skeptical about this kind of thing myself, so I understand the instinct to blow it off as some kind of old wives' tale remedy, but I'm pretty convinced there are real benefits to this stuff, but research is expensive and big pharma isn't going to fund this kind of work, so we may never know the whole story.
    marijea likes this.
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    I have seen some wonderful things come from essential oils. I believe that both alternative and western medicine have their places. Putting them together has been where I have seen the most benefit. dOTERRA has one combination called Serenity that has been amazing!! My tween is true trouble, one sniff of serenity and she settles immediately! The oils also have significance with swelling, pain, and colds.... Again, I find a combination of pharmaceuticals and essential oils is the best approach!
    marijea likes this.


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