More alternatives diverge from standard medicine

While the term alternative medicine is as vast and wide spread as the illnesses medical science seeks to cure, the practice of essential oils, dating back to the Egyptian era, seems to be gaining popularity today. It seems alternative medicine has never been more popular, with up to 40 percent of adults reporting the use of some form of alternative medicine, which can include treatments of anything from headaches to cancer.

Essential oils, alternative medicine experts claim, relieve ailments typical medicine cannot help. Essential oils are aromatic, volatile substances or essences extracted from a plant, herb or flower.

Lisa Curran, Milton, said she has studied alternative medicine for years. She said some of the most common scents we use can be traced to help relieve some very common ailments. Curran said lavender, the most well known scent, has antiviral and antibacterial properties, often used to help reduce the healing time for cuts, scrapes, burns and stings. Most people also use it for relaxation and sleep, one tip is to place a few drops on a pillow, this will help to unwind and fall asleep. Peppermint is cooling oil claiming to help with a fever or on a hot day; many even use peppermint to combat nausea or upset stomach. Roman chamomile while often used as a relaxing agent is also said to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. Curran said many oils can be used in combination with each other to create personalized combinations and can be easily included into everyday life.

Curran said while essential oils can be purchased at the local health store, online or through a local distributer, there are many different brands and types when choosing these oils. She said to be aware they are not the same as fragrance oils, which are synthetic. Essential oils are always natural but not exclusively pure or organic. Different brands can be purchased pure or organic.

Throughout her research into alternative medicine, Curran became a distributer for an essential oil distributor. She said she decided to utilize what she had researched when she was in need of an alternative pain resource when standard medicine wasn’t an option.

"I was in a car accident in 2012 and I went to doctors, but all they wanted to do was to give me muscle relaxers. I was nursing my daughter at this time and didn't even have Tylenol in our home. My mom brought over some cypress oil. Once I used it, I found relief in about 10 minutes; I also found it lasted without me having to reapply for four days," she said. Curran was not only able to find relief from muscle tension and pain; she also found healing time from the accident was much shorter than expected.

Essential oils can be used in many different ways other than for natural healing.  In fact, they can be used as fragrances for your home, used in laundry, and home made soaps.