Essential Oils- Functional Medicine’s Underappreciated Brain Tool
Greetings everyone, all the way from sunny Los Angeles, California! It may be a hop-skip-and-a-jump away for some of you, but it’s a long distance from my usual abode in upstate New York!
Why, am I here?
Well, I’ll tell you. I’m here to have an amazing time at the annual conference for The Institute for Functional Medicine, of course. Some of the top experts in the field of neuroanatomy and its related disciplines have been taking the stage and pouring out their wisdom on us! If you want an idea of what I’m learning, just take a glance at the schedule of topics. It may alone be enough brain stimulation for a day!
My excitement and appreciation for this “deep-dive” inside our heads abounds! Foremost, I get to fill my brain and share my knowledge with my clients and readers on my return. There are also other equally important reasons I value these continuing medical education events for integrative practitioners. For example, during these occasions I can join other attendees with a rare opportunity to pause our daily routines of patient and client care, jump on a plane to a new environment, and surround ourselves with our like-minded, talented, and esteemed colleagues.
Excitedly, we share clinical pearls of wisdom, resources, and, our expertise with each other. We also can give and receive a caring shoulder to new friends who understand the difficult times that can occur while trudging through the ever-changing, and sometimes “insane,” healthcare environment. It’s a reminder for a lot of us, especially solo practitioners, that we are not alone in this medical landscape! Furthermore, the conference itself provides a safe space to become fully engrossed in the latest research and to update skills and practices that may now need an upgrade.
This year, we are being provided evidence that the brain is truly dynamic! What we once thought couldn’t occur, as far as healing from such brain and neurological disorders as Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and age-associated memory loss are, in fact, common in some physicians’ offices!
As I write this, I am looking forward to Dr. Kharrazian’s presentation on how traumatic brain injury effects the brain-gut axis. So far, the microbiome in our brain hasn’t been mentioned, but picture my wheels going on this connection: the gut microbiome-the brain microbiome– the resultant brain output- systemic effects… with essential oils!
Another subject that is missing, sadly, is the research on essential oils alone for mood, brain health, and nervous system support. For example, here are some blogs with research on these topics (more can be found on my database):
- Eating, Exercise, and Essential Oils for Brain Health and Preventing Cognitive Decline
- A Quick Video Review of the Neurophysiology of Smell
- How Can Essential Oils Impact Mood and Emotions? (This link features an intriguing review on essential oils with Alzheimer’s patients.)
- The Many Uses of Essential Oils for Health
- Can Essential Oils Help Change Unwanted Behavior and Balance the Brain?
- Sesquiterpenes- a Long Word, a Cool Constituent in Essential Oils
I’ve been sniffing a lot of peppermint, rosemary, and blends that improve focus during my travel to keep my brain alert and focused on all this material! I’ll be sharing more later, as I need to integrate the information a little more.
I’ll sign off now, grateful that we have another tool in our integrative tool kit to support our dynamic brains!!
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)