Inhalation as a therapeutic mechanism
Inhalations of many forms have been used as medicines since time immemorial. In medicine, pharmaceutical inhalations are used for inflammatory lung problems such as asthma. In natural medicine, placing ones head over a pot of boiling water to inhale the dilatory benefits of herbs such as eucalyptus or menthol is such a norm, that most of us have become very accustomed to it. Essential oils have also been used to aid sleep – essential oil of lavender for sleep, or lemon balm for anxiety are common items one can pick up in most health stores. And who is immune to the respiratory benefits of inhaling salty sea air?
History of essential oils for therapeutic use
So when did humans start using essential oils in this way? Aromatic essential oils have been used since antiquity for health, protection and recovery. Indeed, for thousands of years — going back to the ancient Egyptian and Babylonian times — humankind relied on their remarkable benefits, such as their anti-microbial and antiseptic properties. So valuable were these oils to humankind that they were written about in the holy books of old and are found in every traditional apothecary listing.
Today, there is renewed interest in the enormous benefits essential oils can offer, benefits bestowed without an endless list of side-effects and contraindications. That is not to say that they should not be used correctly and with caution — they can be extremely potent — but when applied in the correct manner, they are safe, non-toxic and effective.
Antiviral oils and inhalation
During these times of mass mask-wearing and fear of infection, people may instinctively feel that essential oils are an additional layer of protection to airborne viruses that may have entered the nasal passage and lungs. If essential oils can kill viruses and bacteria on contact, could it be that they can repeat their action within human tissues as well?
Whilst the evidence for the antiviral effect is not conclusive, the relationship between essential oils and virus combating activity is well documented. It may be that with the right combination of oils.
One such combination — Front Line — has been formulated by an expert in essential oils, Maggie Tisserand. Maggie has formulated the perfect essential oil combination to be used in masks - a unique blend of Melaleuca Viridiflora, Indian Sandalwood and other essential oils regarded as antiviral in Africa, India and Australasia.
Just a few drops of Front Line in a mask is all that is needed to confer the benefits of its constituent oils into the lung tissue.
Melaleuca is the family name of Tea Tree oil as well as niaouli (Melaleuca Viridiflora). It is an essential oil distilled from the leaves of the tree. This oil has a reputation as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral.
Plants from the Melaleuca family have been used successfully for such conditions as acne, dandruff and athlete’s foot, and in the right concentration can be very helpful in helping to protect the body against infections.
Sandalwood oil is distilled from the wood of the Sandalwood tree — Santalum album. It is one of the most expensive of the essential oils due to the 30+ year growing time needed for the tree to have an economically viable thickness of heartwood, from which the oil is distracted.
The primary active components in Sandalwood oil are alpha-santalol and beta-santalol. It is the former that is associated with Sandalwood’s health benefits. These benefits include anxiety relief, mental clarity, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory effects. It is also a natural expectorant helping to alleviate the symptoms of coughs and colds1.
There are Ravensara trees in Madagascar which give off a noticeable and recognisable odour. It is the dark broad leaves of this tree that are distilled to produce the essential oil Ravensara.
Ravensara, which is not a commonly known essential oil, is antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, amongst a whole host of other benefits.
This oil is also an expectorant, helping to reduce phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tract2.
Although there is no clinical trial evidencing the effect of this antiviral blend and the effect on inhalation, we can surmise that with these ingredients, this Front Line essential oil blend contains the potential to offer a formidable antiviral defence, allowing us to wear our masks with more confidence and certainly with more comfort. This makes this aromatherapy oil combination an essential additional barrier in times of stress.
Front Line is currently selling at 50% off at The Really Healthy Company, click here to have a try of this potent anti-viral inhalation: click here to buy FrontLine.