What are essential oils?
Essential oils are derived from the steam-distillation of aromatic plants. Nothing is added to or taken away by this process.These oils contain what could be described as the “hormone” or “life blood” of plants – the deepest level of the plant. Their therapeutic actions are quite powerful as a result. Essential oils have been used for healing from the earliest of times.
Historical use of essential oils
Essential oils have been used for centuries to promote good hygene, support healing and to alter consciousness. 5000 years ago, Cedar and myrrh were used in Ancient Egypt to embalm bodies for burial. Lavendar was used by the Abbess Hildegard von Bingen in the 12th century. Over 700 plant substances are listed in the Vedic leterature of India, dating from 2000 BCE ; these include cinnamon, spikenard, ginger, myrrh, coriander and sandalwood. The Rig-Veda described their use for both therapeutic and liturgical purposes. Frankincense is still used during Roman Catholic mass for its calming and purifying effects.
Therapeutic use of Essential oils on acupoints
Combining the use of specific essential oils on acupuncture points can have powerful therapeutic effect. My teacher, Jeffrey Yuen, who has pioneered and widely taught this process, says that the effects are even more powerful than acupuncture treatments. I have found it helpful for many conditions ranging from anxiety and depression to the common cold and skin infections I generally use a 5 to 10% dilution of a blend of essential oils and give patients a point prescription (specific areas on the skin surface) to use at home. General frequency of use for chronic conditions is 3 days on, 3 days off to avoid habituation.