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Be Careful With Essential Oils

From eNewsletter 3/9/2020

DID YOU KNOW that nearly half of all young women in a Sleep Health study said they were poor sleepers, and those who drank certain beverages had the worst sleep quality?

Women who drank the most soda, sports drinks, and sweetened coffee-based drinks like mochas or frappuccinos were more likely to report poor sleep quality. In the nine year study, mood, stress, anxiety, depression, and medical conditions like migraine, were all major factors in impaired sleep quality.


Bonnie and Steve: We have always looked upon essential oils (EOs) in star crossed fashion. For example, peppermint EO is wonderful to dab onto a new mosquito bite to decrease inflammation and itching. On the other hand, when we heard of a growing trend where people were orally supplementing with EOs, we were horrified. EOs used in a diffuser is a popular alternative therapy. Unfortunately, for many of our clients, they can be highly allergic to aromatic oils.

For the most part though, we have stayed on the sidelines when it comes to EOs. However, after reading a study to be released in the April issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology, it is incumbent upon us to share these findings.

Researchers investigated some biological activities of EOs extracted from seven plants: Rosmarinus officinalis, Salvia somalensis, Thymus vulgaris, Achillea millefolium, Helichrysum italicum, Pistacia lentiscus, Myrtus communis.

In particular, they evaluated the cytotoxic and genotoxic activity on human lymphocytes (which are crucial immune cells), carcinoma cells (cancer cells in tissue), and the effect on estrogenic/antiestrogenic activity in cells.

The results were positive and negative. EOs had a strong cytotoxic effect in carcinoma cancer cells, which means it can helped to kill them.

Alternatively, EOs had a strong cytotoxic and a slight/moderate genotoxic effect on human peripheral lymphocytes. We do not want to suppress the activity of our lymphocytes.

Finally, EOs had marked antiestrogenic activity that, while helpful for someone who is excessively estrogenic, it could perturb estrogen-dependent tissues, which are crucial for proper hormonal imbalance for women of all ages.

What this says to us is that EOs must be treated with caution. Each individual should address their current health and health history, especially if they use EOs on a daily basis. One thing we can say for sure. Do not take essential oils orally!


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