As anyone with Chronic Illness knows, medication is often just a part of everyday life. But what happens when they aren’t effective, not as effective as one hopes or the side effects far outweigh the benefits? Initially, when I got sick, I didn’t want to take medicine. I had tried migraine meds for Basal Migraines and they were ineffective, but after initially being diagnosed with Lupus, my Rheumatologist was pretty adamant I start Plaquenil (an anti-malarial) to lessen the severity and progression of the disease and so I did. Plaquenil led to Cymbalta, Cymbalta led to another drug and before I knew it, I was up to 21 prescriptions a day, including daily shots of Methotrexate (low dose Chemotherapy). While it did initially help, within six months, I was crippled from the side effects and my weight had plummeted to 87 pounds. Enter my gorgeous Cousin who owns a Spa and is a Masseuse. In an attempt to curtail the horrendous side effects, she introduced me to Frankincense and my love for and fascination with Essential Oils only blossomed from there.
These days, I have an entire arsenal of Essential Oils from multiple companies and am studying to be an Essential Oils Coach. I use them for everything, from cleaning my house to protecting my dogs from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. While they are not cheap, they do not come close to my Topomax (for migraines) prescription, with a copay of $750 per 30 day supply and I have yet to experience any side effects, other than severe burning when I inadvertently get the Oil in my eye. I have found that the oversensitivity to absolutely everything that is rampant in Fibromyalgia, also applies to a hyper sensitivity to drugs. So whenever possible, I use Essential Oils as an alternative.
Here are the 8 I swear by and would recommend to anyone to start their own holistic arsenal. Please keep in mind, I am NOT a Doctor and my suggestions do not replace a Doctor’s advice. I am also not privy to other’s specific healthcare issues or needs. So please always check with your Doctor before trying any recommendation!!
Lavender is just my all around favorite. It’s soothing and beautiful smell helps with mood and anxiety, as well as, helping people to relax and sleep. I also used it for a particularly awful withdrawal from Benzodiazipine. I now use Lavender in place of Klonopin and have found it does help quite a bit with sleep, without the nasty dizziness and nausea from the Klonopin. While I don’t necessarily say one company is better than another, for Lavender, I have found that no other company even comes close to the Heavenly smell of DoTerra. Diffuse, directly inhale or apply it topically. My good friend had wanted to fill a tub and lie in it, but she never got around to that.
MGrain is only available through Young Living. I have tried absolutely every migraine drug out there, barring Botox (which I’m not willing to try) and nothing has worked or the side effects from the drugs have been catastrophic. While I do still take a migraine abort pill, Fioricet, I have found that MGrain has the ability to stop headaches and to head off a migraine before it becomes atrocious. Containing peppermint and Lavender, I have tried to make similar concoctions to this and have had no success. So MGrain is one I carry with me in my bag, as well as, have both up and downstairs. I put a small drop wherever the head pain is concentrated or all over my head if it’s bad. Be careful though, if you get it too near your eyes, it’s a killer!!
Oregano has anti-bacterial and anti-viral components to it. So any time I go to the Doctor’s or am somewhere particularly germy, I use Oregano on the bottoms of my feet prior to going to bed. I also use it at the first signs of getting sick. I have found that I can ward off alot of colds and that the length and severity of illness is lessened when using this.
Which brings me to Thieves. It is said that 4 thief Brothers, who were the Sons of Herbalists, used a combination of Essential Oils to protect them from The Black Plague while they robbed the graves of those who died from it. So hell, if it protects against Black Death, I’m all in. I also use this on the bottoms of my feet at first sign of illness or being somewhere germy. Depending on which company you choose to buy Thieves from, it typically contains Eucalyptus, Cinnamon (or Clove), Lemon and Rosemary. The combination of Oils help fight off bacteria and viruses, as well as, boost the immune system.
5. Melaleuca (also known as Tea Tree Oil)
Melaleuca is a little powerhouse. Tea Tree Oil is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory!! I use Tea Tree for two things: as an organic hand sanitizer and for zits. For zits, this stuff works like a charm!! Just a teeny amount on the end of a Q-Tip wipes out blemishes and decreases the swelling and redness of them. As for health, the above mentioned “anti’s” make it a must have to carry on my person. I use a combination of Distilled Water, Tea Tree Oil and Sea Salt as an alternative to store bought hand sanitizers that contain nasty chemicals.
6. Deep Blue
Deep Blue is specifically a DoTerra product, (although I believe that Young Living has their own version called PanAway, but don’t quote me on that). Deep Blue is like the healthy version of Ben-Gay. It contains pain relieving and inflammation reducing oils, without the harmful additives that other pain relieving creams do. I have also found that it is just far superior. The other great thing about Deep Blue is that it only contains Essential Oils. So every ingredient in it is an active ingredient added to bring relief. A little really goes a long way with this stuff, but it is great when pain relievers are not enough or when you’d just rather not tax your liver. Use it on bones, joints and muscles. Rub a super small amount anywhere that is particularly painful.
7. Digest Zen
Okay, maybe I am partial to DoTerra…….Digest Zen is also one of their products. This baby contains Ginger and Fennel, both of which helps to calm an unruly tummy. Fibro is famous for it’s stomach issues, whether it’s IBS, a sensitivity to certain food groups or that all encompassing nausea that just won’t quit. I have found the Oils in Digest Zen to calm all of these issues and quiet an ugly belly. Just rub it over your sick or upset belly.
So I saved this baby for last, because it’s actually my own concoction. I actually created this mix as an anti-aging/antioxidant serum, but after years of fighting with Eczema and never finding any relief, I decided to try it on my Eczema. Voila!!!! This serum is like absolute magic!! I have tried everything for my skin issues, from special soaps and creams, to steroids and nothing has worked. Until I created this!! This serum is my own concoction of specially metered amounts of the following: Frankincense Trinity, Lavender, Rose, Carrot Seed, Geranium, Neroli, Pomegranate and Rose Hip. I never expected this dramatic of a result or I’d have done before and after pictures. I’ve actually tried to skip using this in the hopes my Eczema would return so that I could grab you some before and after pics, but the Eczema won’t return. So you’ll just have to trust me how incredible this is.
So that’s it. My top 8, can’t live without, better than any medicine, super stupendous, all natural Essential Oils. By no means are these all of the Oils I use, but no one would want to read that novel! A couple things to keep in mind, before you go off and try this….never buy “supermarket oils”. Oils that are synthetically produced can have adverse reactions and cause more damage than you started with. Always search for a reputable company that actually tests their Oils and makes those results publicly available. Whenever possible, use Organic Essential Oils which are free from pesticides. If you have sensitive skin, use a small drop of oil to test for any reactions first. Lastly, keep a bottle of Fractionated Coconut Oil or another Carrier Oil on hand. In case you ever get oil in your eye, do not flush with water, instead, remove the oil with a carrier oil. Trust me when I tell you this is important. There’s nothing worse than having a migraine and getting Peppermint Oil in your eye!!
If I had to list what has helped me the most in this Chronic Journey, I would list Essential Oils pretty much at the top of my list. I couldn’t do this without them. I love having an alternative to costly medicines and prescriptions that only worsen what I’m already dealing with. Thank you Mother Earth!