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Do Essential oils work?
This video is an unbiased, sales-free look at several common uses for essential oils, and the science behind them.
TITLE- Do Essential Oils Work? 3 Common Uses That Do
In the first video of this series I looked at some common uses that don’t have any good scientific evidence to back them.
This time I’m looking at 3 claims that do.
Essential Oils and Acne
Surprisingly there has been only two human trials on acne treatment with essential oils, namely tea tree oil.
The most recent study included 60 patients with mild to moderate acne over a 45 day period.
Half received a 5% tea tree oil gel while the other half (the control group) received a placebo gel without any active ingredients.
The 5% tea tree oil was effective in reducing both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions compared with the placebo gel. Researchers speculate this was due to the reported anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil.
SNIPPET: There was a significant difference between tea tree oil gel and placebo in the improvement of total acne lesions counting and improvement of the acne severity index.
An older study found that both 5% tea tree oil and 5% benzoyl peroxide (conventional acne treatment) significantly improved acne symptoms in 124 patients, though tea tree oil was slower to take effect.
SNIPPET: … both 5% tea-tree oil and 5% benzoyl peroxide had a significant effect in ameliorating the patients’ acne… although the onset of action in the case of tea-tree oil was slower.
So while it’s likely not a strong stand-alone acne treatment, tea tree oil may help as an addition to regular acne medications. Something to think about.
SLIDE -Essential Oils For Sleep
Alongside exercise and diet, quality sleep is crucial for good health.
The weight of evidence indicates that inhalation of lavender oil specifically may be beneficial for relaxation and sleep quality.
Rodent studies have shown several essential oils, particularly lavender oil, has strong sedative effects. It reduced mobility in mice by up to 22%, and the effects remained even if the mouse was over-agitated with caffeine.
SNIPPET: Inhalation of lavender oil and hyssop oil increased the immobile state in mice that were treated with caffeine.
Multiple human studies have also linked lavender oil to improved sleep quality and duration, but it needs to be inhaled rather than rubbed on the skin.
SLIDE – Essential Oils and Headaches
Two human studies have shown that topical application of peppermint oil may effectively reduce headache symptoms.
The first study on 32 patients found that a 10% peppermint oil preparation provided significant pain relief when sponged on the forehead and temples.
SNIPPET: A significant analgesic effect with a reduction in sensitivity to headache was produced by a combination of peppermint oil and ethanol.
The second was more well-designed and studied four headache attacks per person, in a total of 41 patients. 10% peppermint oil was shown to be just as effective as a 1000 mg dose of panadol, and significantly reduced reported headache intensity after 15 minutes.
Results are promising, and it seems like a largely harmless alternative to aspirin or paracetamol.
SNIPPET: There was no significant difference between the efficacy of 1,000 mg of acetaminophen and 10% peppermint oil in ethanol solution.
So there you have it, the strongest evidence available indicates that essential oils can help with headaches, sleep quality, and probably facial acne to a noticeable extent.
Of course this scientific perspective answers most questions, but it cannot account for every single oil nor every single use… There is so much that has not yet been studied.
But it’s fair to say health claims that venture past those in this video, such as helping to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or any other serious medical condition are seriously exaggerated and unproven. And dangerous too, quite frankly.
If you enjoyed this video or found it useful please leave a thumbs up and a comment too, and be sure to subscribe to the channel and check out my other videos in this series.