INFLAMMATION is commonly associated with pain though, in reality, it is our body’s natural response to injuries, as well as from bacterial or viral infections when the immune system is activated.
The pain and discomfort often associated with inflammation can come hand in hand with the body’s attempt to protect and heal itself.
The body senses that something is wrong, so it sends blood cells to that area to help heal the area and kill off any ‘invaders’.
This kind of inflammation is helpful - however, not all inflammation is good.
Your body can’t necessarily tell whether something is wrong or if you’re just stressed and either way, it will produce inflammation to try to help in any way it can.
Inflammation can also come about as a result of chemicals in the body, hormonal imbalance and poor diet.
The body is aiming to rid itself of harmful stimuli, pathogens or irritants. Over time, stress can cause continual low-grade inflammation, which tires out the immune system and the adrenals causing different problems in other parts of your body.
Chronic inflammation is what extends over weeks or months; it’s only when it becomes ingrained, long-term and self-perpetuating (more inflammation can be created in response to existing inflammation) that it becomes a problem for the body.
It is a natural process for more acute, external inflammation in the body to alert us by signalling with five manifest markers; these are as follows:
Pain: inflammatory mediators increase sensitivity to touch (pain) to help protect the area.
Redness: with increased blood supply to the capillaries.
Swelling: from the increase of fluid.
Immobility: there may be some loss of function.
Heat: more blood in the area makes it feel warm.
Not all inflammation however will develop any of these signs; internal inflammation may be more insidious and difficult to detect.
Over time ongoing inflammation in the body can become apparent, exhibiting symptoms such as digestive dysfunction, skin rashes, migraines, fatigue, roving inexplicable pain, to name a few.
The stress of these modern times has helped generate innumerable autoimmune diseases, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or lupus and the classic sign of all these autoimmune disease is inflammation.
Fortunately this is where essential oils are of significant assistance to the body to holistically resolve a wide range of symptoms including the often-accompanying depression.
Aromatherapy is exceptionally effective at helping relieve inflammation - both acute and chronic - and unlike the conventional medical approach, using essential oils can efficiently sooth sharp pains or ease dull aches related to conditions such as arthritis and also relieve secondary conditions such as insomnia with virtually no side effects.
The healing oils may be added to massage blends, bath blends, diffused, taken internally and applied in compresses.
It is the terpenes in essential oils that inhibit the accumulation of toxins and help discharge existing toxins from the liver and kidneys.
This especially includes the sesquiterpenes, sesquiterpenols and aldehydes that are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic such as chamomile, lavender, sandalwood, ginger, clove and frankincense.
Research has revealed that they work as a liver and gland stimulant and contain components that increase oxygenation around the pineal and pituitary glands.
They have the ability to surpass the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain tissue.
Essential oils work in both specific and non-specific ways on all the different body systems, which means that potentially every essential oil has myriad actions and thus gives us myriad choices for treating specific ailments. It could be said that all essential oils are intrinsically prophylactic, in that they help to prevent disease. They offer opportunities for healthcare on several levels: acute care, relief in chronic cases and relief for mental-emotional distress.
Once the oils are in the system, they remodulate themselves and work in a friendly manner at the site of malfunction or at the affected area. Aromatherapy utilises various permutations and combinations to get relief from numerous ailments such as depression, indigestion, headache, insomnia, muscular pain, respiratory problems, skin ailments, swollen joints, urine associated complications, etc.
The essential oils are found to be more beneficial when other healthful aspects of life and diet are given due consideration. Their volatile nature and low molecular weight allow them to disperse through the body quickly, generally in less than two minutes. While effective on their own, they also combine well with herbal medicine and myriad other modalities of bodywork.
To make things simpler, the attached graphic has narrowed the options down to some of the best essential oil choices. It outlines the body systems and the types of therapeutic actions and corresponding essential oils that are helpful for each.
Essential Oil: Fragonia
Diffusers: clear the room of stagnant energy to establish a calm space. Use to clear and penetrate the lungs.
Massage blends: for coughs and bronchitis, or to relieve pain associated with arthritis or muscle and joint pain.
Botanical name: Agonis fragrans
The Plant: Fragonia is a small shrub growing up to 2.5 metres that belongs to the Myrtaceae family and occurs naturally in south-western region of Western Australia.
The Oil: is extracted by steam distillation of the stems and branches
Scent: Fragonia has a soft, clean, refreshing and delicate camphoraceous aroma with a hint of a citrus note and a sweet balsamic undertone.
Blends well with: other respiratory oils such as niaouli, cajeput, pine and thyme; vetivert, sandalwood, patchouli
Indications: anti-inflammatory, decongestant, immune booster, anti-microbial, analgesic, regulates body clock, hormone balancer.
Precautions: Non-toxic and non-irritant.