What are Therapeutic Essential Oils?
Essential oils are made for a wide range of different intended uses. Therapeutic essential oils are intended to substantially support the body’s ability to heal, renew and fend off disease. Therapeutic essential oils can also work beyond the body, affecting the mental, emotional and spiritual levels to support overall wellness.
Therapeutic essential oils can be used both medicinally and holistically. The medicinal approach focuses on alleviating symptoms. The holistic approach focuses on the larger context of wellness, addressing the root cause of health challenges on multiple levels. Both approaches are valid and complementary and can be used together at the same time.
Medicinal Essential Oils
Medicinal essential oils are also oils of the highest quality. These oils are meant to support the body on a multitude of levels, and must be of the utmost quality for medicinal approaches to health. Over 98% of the oils on the market today do not meet the exacting standards of a true therapeutic or medicinal essential oil.
Medicinal Approaches to Healing
In mainstream medicine, often called allopathic, rational or Western medicine, doctors use drugs primarily to alleviate symptoms. In this approach, the core problem is seen as the symptoms. The disease symptoms are viewed as the target and locus of treatment and a treatment is chosen to directly address the symptoms on the physical level. Success is measured by the slowing or remission of the disease or by the reduction of symptoms in the body.
People who are new to the world of essential oils typically find it easier to use oils medicinally, at least at first. The idea of using a particular essential oil because it supports the body to relieve a particular symptom is fairly straightforward and familiar to most people. The medicinal use of oils is familiar, comfortable and easy to understand because it fits into the same simplistic cause and effect model as does mainstream, Western medicine.
The medicinal use of therapeutic essential oils can be very helpful and may support the body to bring rapid and welcome relief from a great variety of symptoms. However, the medicinal use of essential oils provides only a part of the many unique and powerful benefits of these complex plant essences. Therefore, the medicinal use of essential oils is best used as part of a larger, more holistic context of health and wellness, which can include mainstream medicine.
Holistic Approaches to HealingIn the holistic use of essential oils, the focus is on bringing the body back into natural balance and harmony. Disease is seen as merely an outward symptom of a deeper, underlying imbalance in the body, mind and spirit. Holistic medicine sees the body as a self-healing mechanism. The body is capable of healing itself of disease by bringing the whole person back into balance. Therefore, the holistic use of therapeutic essential oils focuses on restoring balance in the body, mind and spirit. Success is gauged equally on the relief of symptoms and the improvement of overall wellness, vitality and happiness.
People who are new to natural, alternative or holistic medicine may have a bit of a learning curve in using essential oils in holistic ways. Based as much on intuition as hard and fast techniques, the holistic use of essential oils can sometimes be more art than science. Addressing the underlying cause of disease can be slower, less direct and more ambiguous than focusing solely on the symptoms. However, addressing the root cause of disease holistically holds the promise of true and lasting healing. It is therefore best to combine both medicinal and holistic medicine together, using one to complement the other.
What to Look for in Therapeutic Essential Oils or Medicinal Essential Oils
Therapeutic essential oils or medicinal essential oils must be of the highest quality, potency and purity for demanding medicinal applications and maximum effectiveness. Therapeutic essential oils must also be well balanced, natural and of high energy for holistic applications. The following are qualities to look for in a true therapeutic or medicinal essential oil:
- E.O.B.B.D. tested. Ensures that strict identity, processing and quality testing requirements are met.
- Organic or wild-crafted (if available). Helps ensure a clean, high quality plant origin.
- Therapeutic expertise. The formulator must have specific experience of expertise selecting oil sources to maximize therapeutic benefits and properties. This expertise is especially important when making blends of therapeutic essential oils.
- Technical expertise. Knowledge and experience in quality testing is crucial, including the ability to recognize the subtle signs of both quality and adulteration in test results.
- Support. The world of essential oils is much easier to discover and explore when support is available to help you use the essential oils you buy safely and effectively. The ability to ask questions and the availability of training seminars and courses is very helpful.