With healthcare costs on the rise and the drastic increases in the prevalence of cancers, diabetes, obesity, and neurodegenerative disease in the last few decades, it’s estimated that a third of North Americans are seeking alternatives to conventional medicine. (1)
Sales of essential oils as natural remedies have grown and are expected to increase to almost twelve billion dollars by 2022. (2)
This is in line with consumers’ increasing desire for real ingredients in food and personal care products—not synthetics. It’s no secret that the oils of plants have medicinal qualities, as they’ve been used for millennia by cultures all over the world.
Powerful Healing Properties
Various essential oils have been found to relieve and even cure illness and disease from asthma to cancer.
It would be impossible to list them all here so we’ll offer a sample and encourage you to research these and others for natural products to support health for you and your family—without pharmaceuticals that are harmful and only mask symptoms rather than resolve problems.
Be advised that some essential oils should not be taken internally but can be applied topically or in aromatherapy: arborvitae, birch, cedarwood, cypress, eucalyptus, white fir, and wintergreen. Take only a very small amount (1-3 drops) in a carrier oil such as coconut or olive or make your own capsules.
Black Pepper – it doesn’t just make food spicy; the oil of black pepper contains concentrated piperine, an alkaloid phytochemical known to have anti-mutagenic and anti-tumor influences:
“Dietary piperine, by favorably stimulating the digestive enzymes of pancreas, enhances the digestive capacity and significantly reduces the gastrointestinal food transit time. Piperine has been demonstrated in in vitro studies to protect against oxidative damage by inhibiting or quenching free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Black pepper or piperine treatment has also been evidenced to lower lipid peroxidation in vivo and beneficially influence cellular thiol status, antioxidant molecules and antioxidant enzymes in a number of experimental situations of oxidative stress. The most far-reaching attribute of piperine has been its inhibitory influence on enzymatic drug biotransforming reactions in the liver. It strongly inhibits hepatic and intestinal aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase and UDP-glucuronyl transferase. Piperine has been documented to enhance the bioavailability of a number of therapeutic drugs as well as phytochemicals by this very property. Piperine’s bioavailability enhancing property is also partly attributed to increased absorption as a result of its effect on the ultrastructure of intestinal brush border.” (3)
Black pepper oil can be effective in treating asthma, cholera, cancer, headache, indigestion, obesity, moderating metabolism, disorders of the urinary tract, cold and sinus congestion, and respiratory ailments.
Cardamom – providing potent antioxidants, effective in preventing cancers, particularly of the skin. (4)
Cinnamon – it’s hard to say enough about this splendid spice. As effective at regulating cholesterol as statin drugs, this natural anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial can be used to treat cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. (5, 6) Additionally, it promotes brain health and inhibits development of Alzheimer’s disease. (7)
Clove – another savory spice that does a whole lot more than add flavor to pumpkin pie. On the scale of antioxidant content of foods, clove rates the highest. It’s been found to cause cancer cell apoptosis (death) in breast, colon, and liver cancers.
Fennel – antioxidant phytochemical anethole is an anti-inflammatory. The Journal of Medicinal Food published a study in 2011 that showed fennel seed extract a potent anti-tumor agent:
“FSME [fennel seed methanolic extract] may have remarkable anticancer potential against a breast cancer cell line (MCF7) and liver cancer cell line (Hepg-2). It also showed strong free radical-scavenging activity (100%).” (11)
100% is pretty good.
Frankincense – research at the University of Oklahoma suggest that this herb’s oil has unsurpassed anti-cancer abilities, causing cancer cell inhibition and apoptosis specifically in cancers of the breast and skin. (12)
Helichrysum – a plant in the sunflower family with bright yellow flowers, this plant has been used in Europe for ages to treat a variety of maladies due to its complex phytochemical components. Antioxidant mono- and sesquiterpenes provide anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Anti-inflammatory chemical arzanol in helichrysum inhibits HIV-1 cell replication. (13)
Melaleuca (Tea Tree) – all the rage 20 years ago to treat almost everything, the reasons are well-founded: tea tree oil is antimicrobial, antifungal, antimalarial, and cytotoxic to breast cancer cells. (14, 15)
Oregano – a must-have staple of your medicine cabinet. Oregano oil’s phytochemical carvacrol is antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant, found to kill metastatic breast cancer cells. (16) Oregano also regulates blood sugar, with implications for diabetes management.
Rosemary – found to kill cancer cells of the breast. (17)
Thyme – this tiny-leafed herb kills ovarian, lung, and mouth cancer cells. Its anti-inflammatories have been found effective in treating fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and arthritis.
Nature’s herb garden is a bounty for us all.