What is an `Essential’ Oil?
I fear that the name Essential Oil is immediately misleading.
Just having the word essential there supposes that the oil is some kind of necessary oil, in the sense that some nutrients are essential for human life.
Oil is “essential” in the sense that it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant.
Wikipedia tells us that “Essential oils do not form a distinctive category for any medical, pharmacological, or culinary purpose”.
So, surely a better name would be Distinctive Oils ? Want to start a movement to rename them?
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Any beneficial effect of Distinctive, I mean Essential Oils are said (by the article cited below) to be via the blood supply to the brain and an indirect effect via the `olfactory nerve pathways’ to the brain. The olfactory pathway is the nerves the run from the nose to the brain.
Essential oils can also be absorbed in very small quantities by the skin as well as inhaled.
What about Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy uses essential oils and other aromatic compounds to affect one’s mood or health.
According to wikipedia, the scientific evidence for aromatherapy is weak and could only be considered as mildly encouraging for a limited set of possible uses. Proponents of aromatherapy suggest that there are 2 main ways that the therapy works; firstly by the influence of the aroma on the brain, and secondly by the pharmacological effects of the essential oils.
Unlike acupuncture, aromatherapy is considered a largely Western treatment regime. The delivery of aromatherapy can be via aerial diffusion, inhalation or directly on the body. Many of the potentially interesting essential oils, like lavender oil, eucalyptus oil for eg. may also be useful as a topical treatment in their own right.
Published Paper on Rosacea and Essential Oils
This Review Article was published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutial & Biological Archives.
Whilst Case Studies and Technical Notes are peer reviewed, Review Articles are not. Thus this paper is not peer reviewed.
The best snippet of information I could find in this review article is the rather vague statement
“Aloe, Burdock, Chamomile, Vetiver, Rosemary, geranium and various extracts are the ingredients employed for treatment of Rosacea”
Not particularly satisfying is my first thought.
Vyas, Niharika. Rosacea Treatment using Essential oils and Plant Extract.
“International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archive 3.3 (2012).
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition of the facial skin that affects the blood vessels along with the pilosebaceous units.
Rosacea is commonly seen in the people having fair complexion belonging to the north and the west Europe, although it may affect the people of any skin color.The symptoms may wax and wane during the short term, Rosacea may also progress with time.
The patient complaints of flushing, blushing and sensitive skin, and their skin may be especially irritated with the topical preparations.
FDA approved standard treatments include azelaic acid, metronidazole, oral antibiotics like tetracyclines, in particular minocycline and doxycycline. Topical treatments include clindamycin, subantimicrobial-dose doxycycline and sulfur products. Azithromycin and controlled release minocycline may be the options for Rosacea treatment, but they are not approved by the FDA as a proper agent for Rosacea treatment.
Natural treatment may be an answer for the expensive prescribed medications by comparatively overcoming the side effects that are associated to them.
By the use of natural moisturizing ingredients the patient may get the entire cure they need for effective Rosacea treatment; Aloe, Burdock, Chamomile, Vetiver, Rosemary, geranium and various extracts are the ingredients employed for treatment of Rosacea.
The review outlines the Rosacea treatment by Cosmeceutical formulations constituting essential oils and herbal extracts. The objective of this study was to highlight the treatment of Rosacea using the herbal extract and essential oils overcoming the side effects produced by antimicrobial drugs
Is There Any Hope?
Do you think the hope that essential oils or aromatherapy holds promise for Rosacea will ever be realised?
What would you say to someone who is looking for these to offer them a treatment option?
How about yourself; have you ever found relief from a well known natural oil based therapy ?
Before this this topic dies a slow silent death, please leave a comment below.
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