Dr Axe – The Essential Oil Institute Webnair
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The advertisement first promotes a seminar where the face behind the name, Dr. Josh Axe, will talk about the top essential oils for natural healing.
That curious topic comes a little later in the seminar, which begins first with a general background and history on essential oils. Dr. Axe explains how most of today’s medicines are actually made from essential oils. Synthetic medicines are noted to be toxic, unlike essential oils which are classified in contrast as natural and gentle. We then hear that essential oils are referenced over 300 times in the bible.
None of this is reliably accurate.
First, it is the healing herbs as a whole plant, which contain constituents not found in the plant’s scent oil, that have influenced modern medicine in the manner being described. Pharmaceutical companies still buy whole plant material for the purpose of manufacturing medicine.
Next, both synthetic and natural medicinals can be toxic, and adverse side effects are a risk of using both. As essential oils are the pure, undiluted, concentrated extractions of a plant’s aromatic oils, this is not an impossible consideration. And as some essential oils like lemon and orange are used industrially as degreaser and paint thinner, this is not a point that should be absent from a general information presentation geared towards new essential oil consumers.
Finally, while references to healing plants, anointing oils, incense, and infused oils can be located in biblical passages, none of these are the pure, concentrated essential oils being addressed in this seminar. It is said Jesus received frankincense and myrrh, but these are resins derived from tree sap, not the extracted aromatic oils of a plant.
Why did the Wise Men gift aromatic resins over essential oils? Foregoing a comparison of quality, ability and capabilities, a quick history lesson reveals their options were likely limited and their decision may have been a forced one. Since the equipment and solvents needed to distill essential oils from plants were a product of the Middle Ages, it appears the Wise Men did the best they could with what they had – gifts fit for a king, even by today’s standards.
A century and a half time discrepency between biblical stories and the beginnings of pure, unadulterated essential oil extraction is also why essential oils are not referenced in the bible at all. The idea that they are is a popular myth propagated by high ranking, heavily involved essential oils marketing affiliates with professional titles, selling books printed by the marketing company’s associated publisher. I have found this deceptive link between essential oils and the bible is almost always associated with a product available for purchase from two marketing companies wildly popular for selling them, Young Living or doTerra.
At this point the webinar is less than 5 minutes old, and Dr. Axe is 0 for 3.
DR. AXE DISCUSSES THE TOP ESSENTIAL OILS FOR NATURAL HEALING
As promised, Dr. Axe does turn the topic of discussion towards the best essential oils for natural healing. The healing properties of some of the most readily available, top selling essential oils on the market are introduced by outlining a combination of health benefits characteristic of whole plant preparations, including essential oils. The distinction of which benefits are exclusive to essential oils however is not clearly defined.
The Axe seminar discusses using essential oils like lavender for skin disorders, a fitting detail for the featured topic. Some generalized notions are then raised, like lemon for sore throat and peppermint for IBS, leaving the audience to wonder if the more familiar, more cost effective and more accessible plant parts themselves may offer comparable benefits. The antimicrobial tea tree essential oil is discussed using a portion of its Latin name, “maleleuca”, a popular moniker for tea tree oil among direct sales representatives.
Ambiguous details continue to follow regarding the benefits of various herbal preparations, using terms that could be construed in different ways. For example, references are made to both “oil of oregano” and “frankincense oil”, terms that could be used to reference either a whole-plant infusion OR the plant’s essential oil. Understanding these are not the same product is critical, as they vary in potency, constituency and, thus, capability.
Directions are then offered based on this unclear terminology. For example, rubbing “oil of oregano” on your feet to boost immunity is advised, a method of application promoted by sales companies found to have little to no benefit other than aromatherapy by both aromatherapists and reflexologists. Again, this vague phrasing could either refer to an infusion of oregano leaves in olive oil suitable for cooking (more specifically termed “oregano infused oil”), or the far more concentrated “oregano essential oil” which is a known irritant and should be heeded as such, particularly if applying to young or sensitive
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