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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:36 pm 
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Mods, I was undecided which subforum to put this in. I picked this one. If wrong, please move it to the correct place. Thanks.


I've been dabbling in essential oils this year and have some questions that I can't seem to find answered very reliably elsewhere. I thought I would let the mighty ZS forum take a hack at it.



1) Many essential oils tout themselves to be antibacterial, anti-viral, antifungul, anti-microbial, ect. On the surface this looks like a great thing but now a lot of modern medicine is saying that various beneficial micro organisms live in our gut, blood, ect. Are these essential oils bad for your microbiome in the same way as prescription antibiotics?

2) Some oils are classified as "hot" oils. Examples would probably include oregano, capscasin, and more. Others are classified as "cool" oils. If I use these topically and mixed together, do they cancel each other out or provide dual purpose service like the product IcyHot?

3) Is there data out there that tells a person which essential oils not to mix together? Are there some negative reactions possible with different combinations of oils?

That's all that comes to mind for now while I'm at work. I get off path working for "The Man"

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:00 pm 
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Zimmy wrote:
Mods, I was undecided which subforum to put this in. I picked this one. If wrong, please move it to the correct place. Thanks.


I've been dabbling in essential oils this year and have some questions that I can't seem to find answered very reliably elsewhere. I thought I would let the mighty ZS forum take a hack at it.



1) Many essential oils tout themselves to be antibacterial, anti-viral, antifungul, anti-microbial, ect. On the surface this looks like a great thing but now a lot of modern medicine is saying that various beneficial micro organisms live in our gut, blood, ect. Are these essential oils bad for your microbiome in the same way as prescription antibiotics?

2) Some oils are classified as "hot" oils. Examples would probably include oregano, capscasin, and more. Others are classified as "cool" oils. If I use these topically and mixed together, do they cancel each other out or provide dual purpose service like the product IcyHot?

3) Is there data out there that tells a person which essential oils not to mix together? Are there some negative reactions possible with different combinations of oils?

That's all that comes to mind for now while I'm at work. I get off path working for "The Man"



Essential oils can claim anything they want, as they're not subject to the laws that bar drug companies from claiming effects they can't prove. The law in question is the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_Su ... ct_of_1994 and just about the only restriction is that they can't legally claim to cure an ailment or disease, which still hasn't prevented soem sellers from doing so. The scientific research places them firmly in the "make people feel good with no medical benefit beyond placebo."

http://www.andybrain.com/extras/essenti ... herapy.htm
http://www.csicop.org/si/show/whats_tha ... matherapy/
https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/oil-of-oregano/

As far as which oils to mix, the evidence would tend to indicate one may mix whatever one likes the smell of. As far hurting one's biome, I can't find any medical research indicating efficacy against bacteria or viruses inside the body, so other than using the oils as a replacement for medical intervention, the cost factor, and some allergic or chemical burn issues, I think you're safe on that count.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:37 am 
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Hello there,
Rose oil is a floral-scented essential oil derived from the petals of several species of rose. In contrast, rose absolute is not an essential oil because the essence of the rose is extracted using a more intense chemical extraction processes. Like other essential oils, rose oil promotes a calm mood and fights harmful organisms. It contains tocopherol (a vitamin E compound), carotene, and high levels of phenolic compounds. Rose oil can make your skin more permeable, so it’s often added to skin care products to improve efficacy.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:20 pm 
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Keep in mind also that many of the 'essential oils' you can buy are actually just synthetic perfumes. There's very little testing or accountability. Every brand claims 'you can trust that our essential oils are real and no one else's', but most of them are full of crap. It's pretty aggravating. I think Now Foods is one of the most reputable, but even with them I wish there was some respectable third party certification or something.

Doctorr Fabulous is correct in his link that if you just smell essential oils, they do nothing besides lift your mood/placebo effect (which is honestly not bad, but don't expect them to cure what ails you).

Some essential oils have effects if used topically. For example, tea tree oil (diluted, pure tea tree oil is too concentrated to apply straight to your skin) is antifungal, and I believe that has been demonstrated using scientific study as well as anecdote/history of use as a traditional medicine. I would believe that some of the essential oils have effects if consumed as well. However, I don't think there's a lot of solid science on essential oils in general. You can't patent them, so no one has the incentive to fund some really thorough (and expensive) study.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:16 am 
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Zimmy wrote:
1) Many essential oils tout themselves to be antibacterial, anti-viral, antifungul, anti-microbial, ect. On the surface this looks like a great thing but now a lot of modern medicine is saying that various beneficial micro organisms live in our gut, blood, ect. Are these essential oils bad for your microbiome in the same way as prescription antibiotics?


They could be, but when consumed internally, they typically will not make it through the vat of Hydrochloric Acid in your stomach to remove the biota in your stomach. When applied externally, they could alter your external biome, but in general no where near as efficasiously as modern antibacterials.
Sun Yeti wrote:
However, I don't think there's a lot of solid science on essential oils in general. You can't patent them, so no one has the incentive to fund some really thorough (and expensive) study.

It's not uncommon to find a basic investigation of an essential oil, as it's dissertation level chemical analysis and microbiology work to do a study on. Often of course, they will be behind a paywall and you may need a university student to give you access to them. Here is an example, an investigation of oregano: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jsfa.6089/abstract

Zimmy wrote:
2) Some oils are classified as "hot" oils. Examples would probably include oregano, capscasin, and more. Others are classified as "cool" oils. If I use these topically and mixed together, do they cancel each other out or provide dual purpose service like the product IcyHot?


I have no idea about any science behind this classification, it smells of "woo-woo" to me. Hot and Cool? Nah. On the other hand, mixing oils together seems perfectly valid, and you could find a topical application that would feel good. Of course, if you wanted something like IcyHot, you could actually go for the essential oil that is the active ingredient in Icy Hot, Oil of Wintergreen (Methyl Salicylate). Of course, it's quite possible to overdose your self with Oil of Wintergreen, and suffer side effects, sensitise yourself to it and worse. (1g a day limit is what we use when using it as a simulated contaminant).

Zimmy wrote:
3) Is there data out there that tells a person which essential oils not to mix together? Are there some negative reactions possible with different combinations of oils?


Well, with any chemical, there is a dangerous amount to consume. Without actually mixing them and analysing the results of any reactions, I couldn't tell you for sure they haven't made any harmful products. But, AFAIK, there's no obvious hazard, like the hazard in mixing a bleach and an acid at least.

I hope that helps...


PS: An Essential Oil is often used as a term in alternative medicine, but it actually means the distilled essence of the plant, as an oil. It's a description of the extraction process (like hard liquor being the "spirits" of original drink) that's become a marketing gimmic. Some essential oils (like oil of wintergreen, or capsicum or eucalyptus) have medicinal effects, others do not, but that will depend on the chemistry of the extract.

Other means of extraction will be different but can be marketed as essential oils as they aren't protected terms. As Sun Yeti points out, you can just synthesise a chemical and label it as an essential oil.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:04 pm 
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Some studies have shown some oils actually contain vitamins and other chemicals in expected quantities. Other oils are basically perfumes. Brand matters. At the end of the day, only reputation is the real communicator of information.

Science done by essential oil companies that I have seen sucks. They would not know a useful research design if it hit them in the face, let alone power levels for effect sizes, or what an effect size even is. :roll: But I trust the basic chemical analysis that asks "what is in this? Is it plant vitamins and minerals? Or is it mineral oil and scents? And maybe some dyes?" That is harder to screw up.

Hot and cold oils should be thought of the same way we think about hot and cold spices. Rub some hot pepper or peppermint on your body and you will notice an effect.

Oils can be useful. I love Thieves Oil, but my wife only gets it from reputable brands. She also made me a bug repellent that worked better on mosquitos than any other bug spray I have ever used. Now a bug net is still the most effective, but for chemicals, this is the best I have tried. It has vodca, lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, ceder wood, lavender, rosemary, and some other stuff in it. No real surprises, but it stands up well enough to Nebraska and Wisconsin mosquitos. The other recipe she tried did not work as well. Not all recipes are equal to deet, or equally effective. Some are crap, but it is fun to experiment. My sister-in-law has a pretty good sun screen she made. It is easy enough to test the effectiveness, just pay attention to how much it actually protects you. If you are not getting burned, there is probably some level of SPF.

So my view is some oils are snake oil, but some are real and effective. Not a replacement for modern medicine, but a first stop to see if it cures what ails you.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:33 pm 
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My wife works with natural body care products on the daily, he essential oil collection went from 0 to "is this how you feel about my backpack collection?" in nothing flat. She also got to fly out for a tour of one of the more reputable essential oil manufacturers recently.

Her takeaway as I remember it is that most claims made by sellers and makers are so much bunk beyond aroma therapy, as there isn't enough science yet to substantiate most of them and only recently has the FDA started cracking down on the more blatantly fraudulent claims. Personally I would never buy from one of the Multi-level Marketing oil companies, both because their quality is suspect and because MLMs are just awful in and of themselves. Of store-bought varieties the price differences are mostly based on how much filler there is, just do the math as best you can. Sometimes it is cheaper the water it down yourself, sometimes it isn't.

Also it was telling that the more reputable company she toured pretty much said they never recommend essential oils for internal use. Many are safe, but there have been some pretty awful reactions from people trying to self-medicate without proper research.

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