A Germaphobe’s Nightmare, A Scientist’s Dream
There’s no rest for the germaphobe in the health blogosphere. Since the discoveries of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) were released, the profound impact of the sum of the microorganisms that live in and on our bodies, were brought to light. Since then, clinicians and researchers alike have become obsessed with these bugs due to how they modulate our health in so many ways.
The astounding implications of literally being inhabited and surrounded by microbes is only at its infancy of full understanding. A 2013 article in American Journal of Epidemiology, which was written around the time of the completion of the first phase of the HMP, stated:
The structure and function of microorganisms that live in and on us, the human microbiota, are a tremendous resource. Microbiota may help to explain individual variability in health outcomes and be a source of new biomarkers for environmental exposures and of novel prognostic and diagnostic indicators. The increase in availability of low-cost, high-throughput techniques makes it relatively straightforward to include microbiota assessments in epidemiologic studies. With the recent joint publications of the findings of the Human Microbiome Consortium and related studies, the consequent surge of interest in microbiome research, and remarkable media attention, the time is ripe for epidemiologists to contribute their expertise to and translate results of microbiota research for population health.
In the past, medicine viewed microbes as something to be conquered and destroyed. Now, we are becoming aware that mass destruction of microorganisms, through excessive sterilization or antibiotics, has long-term consequences not expected prior to the findings of this population of “beneficial critters in our bellies and bodies.”
As we develop more advanced technology, studies are showing that we aren’t as sterile as we thought, nor did we start out that way! Bacteria has been found in the dandiest of places, even in our brain. Recently, beneficial bugs have also been discovered in our lungs!!
Essential Oils for Supporting the Bugs in Our Bodies and Lungs
I’ve previously written about how essential oils are a tool (along with diet, exercise, lifestyle, and stress reduction) that can be used to benefit our microbiota, in our guts and brain! Now, I present that they may have another, unrecognized, means for lung health, via these lung microbes.
Essential oils have already been shown to positively modulate respiratory and immune health through their active constituents. In a two-part series on Natural Path, I review what we currently know about the lung microbiome and the three methods essential oils can modulate the lung microbiome, adding another, potential mechanism of action.
Read Part I here.
Read Part II here.
This information comes at perfect timing during the season of sniffles when everyone is more challenged to stay healthy.
If you are just starting your journey with essential oils, I suggest diffusing in the home during times of susceptibility. You can also rub a drop or two on the bottom of the feet as protection prior to leaving the home and entering the world of humans and their bugs.
Here’s to happy, healthy, oily, and buggy bodies!
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.)