This blog is by guest blogger, Regina Hucks, our consultant on alternative therapies.
You will find an enormity of Essential Oils on the web, in health food stores, specialty shops, even grocery stores but one thing I can state as absolute fact … Essential Oils are NOT alike.
Rather than use an explanation from a biased source (a manufacturer or supplier) I’ve gone to the dictionary to answer the question, “What IS an Essential Oil?”
“An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An oil is "essential" in the sense that it contains the "essence of" the plant's fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived. The term essential used here does not mean indispensable as with the terms essential amino acid or essential fatty acid which are so called since they are nutritionally required by a given living organism.
Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, often by using steam. Other processes include expression, solvent extraction, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping, and cold pressing. They are used in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps and other products, for flavoring food and drink, and for adding scents to incense and household cleaning products.”
Essential Oils cannot be reproduced in the pharmaceutical industry. Chemists can replicate some of the known constituents but it would be next to impossible to successfully replicate or recreate an essential oil in the laboratory without sacrificing purity and therapeutic value.
Essential Oils embody the regenerative, protective and immune strengthening properties of plants. These are very powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals which can cause cellular damage in the body. Many essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antitumor, anti-parasitic and antiseptic properties.
So, right now you're asking, what does all of this have to do with dementia and nutrition? The answer is….quite a lot.
To read more about using Essential Oils in Nutrition Therapy, click here:
To reach Regina with your questions or feedback, please, click the link below and fill in the form.
Next up: Touch and Massage Therapy using Essential Oils – We’ll discuss the recommended oils to use in both therapies and oils for specific disorders / diseases, improved sleep, reducing stress, depression and anxiety as well as effective massage techniques you can easily learn.
1. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et al. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial.
2. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et al. Depressive symptoms, omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids, and inflammation in older adults. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17401057
For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia
Neither Regina Hucks nor Helen and James Whitworth are doctors, lawyers or social workers. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a professional's advice.