By Olivier Wenker, MD, MBA, ABAARM, DEAA, Physician for Integrative, Anti-aging, and Regenerative Medicine, Fellow in Metabolic and Nutritional medicine, Fellow in Integrative Oncology, Member of the Medical and Scientific Council and International Keynote Speaker Young Living Essential Oils.
The integration of old remedies such as essential oils should be an important part of a holistic anti-aging lifestyle. Come and take a glimpse into this “Back-to-the-Future” approach to health, wellness, and integrative anti-aging.
Essential oils represent the purest, highest concentrated, and most complete form of what plants have to offer. Modern medicine usually isolates a single compound from this vast and wonderful world to create a synthetic version, and when taken often comes with negative side effects. Essential oils on the other hand are composed of hundreds if not thousands of compounds working symphonically to treat or prevent the underlying problem. This explains why a single essential oil such as Peppermint can reduce nausea, improve pain, or improve mental sharpness and physical fitness amongst other uses.
Essential Oils for Beauty
The use of essential oils for beauty and attraction goes back thousands of years. Cleopatra used Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils in her skin care ointments. Most oils display very high antioxidant properties which delay premature aging of the skin. Essential oils have been shown to improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, hydration, firmness, elasticity, and texture of the skin as well as support for the regeneration and repair of skin cells. These oils include Frankincense, Myrrh, Geranium, Sandalwood, Helichrysum, Lavender, Cistus, Carrot Seed, Elemi, Rose, Patchouli, Neroli, and Palmarosa. My favorites for the face include Sacred Frankincense, Elemi, and Sandalwood. Once absorbed into the skin they should be followed by Neroli (Orange Blossom) which has an extremely pleasant scent and is also known to be a pheromone with seductive properties. Sun exposure should be avoided for at least 12 hours after using these oils on the skin.
Essential Oils for Fitness and Physical Performance
All fitness fans will be happy to hear that essential oils can be used for doping-free performance enhancement. The basic regimen consists of a pre-workout use, possibly an in-between workout and then definitively an after-workout application. It can be as simple as using just 4 different essential oils: just prior to your fitness session apply several drops of Peppermint combined with Idaho Blue Spruce to your muscles and then inhale for about 20 seconds from your hands. This will widen the airways and increase oxygen uptake while improving muscle function and potentially activating androgen receptors for better muscle building. Daily exercise is not only very important for overall health but is also one of the best methods to prevent or improve age-related brain problems such as memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. Combining daily physical activity with those essential oils known to improve blood flow and oxygenation of the brain could be very beneficial for such patients. Other oils such as Grapefruit, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Chocolate, Peppermint, and Spearmint are known to support metabolism, an effect desired by most people working out.
Essential Oils for Anti-aging
Many natural compounds have excellent antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Essential oils are typically very high in antioxidant power and can therefore neutralize free radicals which are known to cause premature aging. In addition, essential oils can interact on a molecular level with cells supporting healthy cell cycles and cell regeneration as well as hormonal balancing. There is a lot of truth to the quote “You are what you eat.” Spices such as Oregano, Rosemary, Ginger, Lemon, Sage, Thyme, and Tarragon not only have antibacterial properties during food preparation but also significantly reduce the formation of carcinogens when cooking meat on the grill. Cinnamon and Ocotea are capable of reducing blood sugars, and Melissa can reduce triglycerides in the blood by influencing the way liver cells deal with fat metabolism. All of these properties make essential oils an important cornerstone in a holistic approach to anti-aging medicine.
When using essential oils as described in this article make sure you only use high-quality and therapeutic grade essential oils.