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Vivienne

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Reply with quote  #1 

Hello... I was wondering if anyone knows anything about using aromatherapy to help treat auto-immune disorders. I am currently working on healing myself of pernicious anemia, gastritis and hypothyroidism...all diagnosed as auto-immune. My therapies include L-tyrosene and thyroid supplements, and B12 shots for the pernicious anemia. So far, I haven't uncovered any treatments for gastritis, so if anyone has any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Carolyn

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Reply with quote  #2 

Hi Vivienne, Actually, I have a very close friend who also suffers from almost the same auto-immunce conditions that you unfortunately do. Although he has been managing his situation with the appropriate medications according to his physician - i.e. he takes B12 shots and his thyroid tabs, we have also been working mainly with essential oils, meditation and massage. We both studied with Deepak Chopra some years ago now, and fortunately were introduced to the workings of Ayurveda - how to use the energy inherent in food, smell, sound, taste and touch to manage the individual constitution and combine this with the field of psychoneuroimmunology (how the brain, the nervous and hormonal and the immune systems are inextricably connected. It would also seem that my friend 's immune system is 'over-reactive' in many ways and to prevent his immune system from feeling so threatened by either external triggers like ragweed etc., or even to turn on its own cells because of some unknown concern, we could help manage the situation by encouraging his immune system to calm down and not over-react so much. It is ver interesting to note that his personality is very similar very often - too often in fact. He does tend to over-react to every-day stuff and has an incredibly fertile imagination. He really tends to make mountains out of molehills. So, since the mind and body are one and the same thing, and our emotions are directly mainfested into neurochemicals that influence the workings of each cell - the 'conversation' goes both ways actually since the cells of the body influence feelings and emotions too - then one can manage one's physical state through the emotions and psyche and vice versa of course. This isn't some airy fairy New Age theory, and has been confirmed on many occasions - particularly through the work of Dr's. Robert Ader & Nicholas Cohen and Dr. Karen Olness - read about their work and others on the subject of psychoneuroimmunology. So following their protocol of neuro-associative conditioning, what we did was to find essential oils (sandalwood and mandarin in this case) that my friend was particularly drawn towards, and to combine his exposure to these oils in conjunction with a highly pleasant and relaxing massage session. We did this regularly every other day for about 2 weeks. During this time, his mindbody learned to associate the smell of his favorite essential oils with deep relaxation and all the direct and indirect, far-reaching effects that care, the quality of touch, and the mechanical and physiological benefits massage has to offer. He also would meditate once a day while the essential oils were diffused into the room. He also works with Light Therapy. Now, he still requires medication, however, his whole attitude, the way he feels on a daily basis, his allergy breakouts and the length of time he can go without his next shot has all improved considerably - and he sees quite distinct changes when he remembers to keep this regime going. He also tried a little experiment with his B12 shots - he loves Italian food, and so made himself a favorite pasta dinner with a glass of red wine and spend the evening relaxing with favorite music etc., - then gave himself a shot that evening. After pairing this routine 3 or 4 times - he just treated himself to the Italian dinner without the shot - and felt the same improvement that he normally does after a shot. There are quite a number of essential oils that have the reputation for being able to influence the immune system - particularly those that are high in monoterpenols - Ravensara aromatica, Thymus vulgaris (I would use the linalool or geraniol or thujanol chemotypes since the carvacrol or thymol biochemical specificities are perhaps a little aggressive for general use), Eugenia caryophyllata, clove - and Cinnamomum zeylanicum. The problem with these last eo's is that they are rather aggressive to the skin and if taken internally in significant quantities and for any length of time, they can cause problems to the liver. So you would be best to use their benefits by diffusion and stick to the more manageable eo's for massage administration. It is possible to take eo's by oral ingestion, but you should find a qualified medical aromtherapist. Safer eo's for general use are Moroccan chamomile - Tanacetum annuum which according to Kurt Schnaubelt has antiinflammative and antihistaminic properties and he recommends using a blend of this and Mentha x piperita for symptomatic relief of allergic congestion. Melaleuca quinquenervia viridiflora - Niaouli, and Myrtus communis are also listed often as being particularly influential to the immune system. My advice is to find a small range of eo's that you are particularly drawn towards as far as smell is concerned. YOur immune sytem and your sense of smell work on the same dichotomous basis - like/dislike, attracted/repulsed, nurtured/ambivalent at best. This is your clue/key to what your mindbody requires for some reason. Go with this and anchor it to a situation/application that makes you feel good. Your immune system can be taught to behave better. Hope this helps Best Carolyn Sajdecki

Vivienne

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #3 

Wow! Thank you, Carolyn! I didn't expect to get such a great reply! Thank you for the information, and I will certainly try to do these things...wish my printer was functional right now...it helps to be able to print this! I'm so glad that someone knows about these disorders...as it's hard to find information or treatment tips on them. I'm glad that I found this site! Thank you, Vivienne

Brenda

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Reply with quote  #4 

A friend of mine has been using the same blend for her fibromialgia aches and pains for some time now. After reading in our text about possible toxicity from long term use of essential oils I became concerned for her. In 30 mls of carrier is: 10 drps Cupressus, Cypress (<2%) 12 " Thymus satureiodes, Thyme borneol (2%) 8 " Daucus carota, Carrot seed (<1.5%) 6 " Anthemis nobilis, Roman Camomile (1%) 5 " Vetiveria zizanoides, Vetiver (<1%) The carrier is a blend of Apricot Kernel, Almond, and Hazelnut oils, with Vitamin E and Grapefruit Seed extract with 2% Cupressus and 2% Juniperus communis.(The supplier just provided the carrier information for us.) She massages this on her bad shoulders nightly and occasionaly during the day when her pain is worse. She enjoys the scent and greatly appreciates the relief she gets from the blend. I know she doesn't want to give it up but will if necessary. She has tried another blend that was not as effective. I think she would try something else. What do you think? Should this be of concern? I would appreciate your opinion. Thanks so much! Sincerely, BrendaB

Carolyn

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Reply with quote  #5 

Hi Brenda, Yes, and you might like to take a quick look at the reply I just posted to Penny Ann. There is a general consensus that because of the potential build up in body tissues of either eo components or metabolites of eo's that at some undetermined point could reach bioavailable thresholds, it's probably a good idea to give yourself a break regularly. This could be in the form of an alternative blend of eo's - always researching the components, appropriate dosage levels, and route of administration of course. Employing an alternative blend intermittently with the original blend may very well avoid a chronic toxicity situation - although be aware that if you're using an eo high in ketones for example, and then you replace this with another eo high in ketones you're just going to add to the potential problem and it rather defeats the object here. It requires some careful research into the composition of your potential alternatives, but worth it. Some authorities recommend a complete break from eo's altogether for about a week, every 3-4 weeks - sooner if you're using eo's with narrow therapeutic thresholds - i.e. if the dosage between being therapeutic and being potentially hazardous is close. Hope this helps and perhaps if you do a little research and come up with an alternative you might be doing your friend a service. Let me know how you go on. Best Carolyn

rosanne

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Reply with quote  #6 

Hello everyone! This is my first time on this site and it's incredible. I've been reading with interest the posts on autoimmune disorders. I too have hypothyroidism with Hashimoto's disease (antibodies destroy thyroid gland). I also have vitiligo. It's a skin disease where the antibodies destroy the pigment forming cells (melanocytes)in the skin. I'm currently on a pharmaceutical medication that falls under the category of immune modulator (protopic). It's supposed to quiet the antibodies at the application site and stop them from attacking the melanocytes. Are there any essential oils that are considered immune modulators and if so, how would they be used? Thank you very much for the opportunity to share. Rosanne

rosanne

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Reply with quote  #7 

I just read, with interest the post by Brenda and possible toxicity to her friend via a massage blend. Does this danger exist for oils administered through the air as well? I use the same blend every time someone in the house gets sick. Should I be rethinking how I handle the next illness? How often is "too often" to be using essentil oils? Thank you for your insight. Rosanne

Carolyn

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Reply with quote  #8 

Hi Rosanne Very little is actually written to show proven efficacy of eo's as immuno-stimulants particularly with ref to cancer or AIDS - although Kurt Schnaubelt has taken huge steps recently to remedy this - see below. According to Kurt Schnaubelt in his book Advanced Aromatherapy, page 120, he lists a # of eo components that have been investigated by the French authorities - especially Franchomme & Penoel back in 1990 - "Immunoglobulin levels in the bloodstream, for example, can be positively influenced by treatment with essential oils." He adds, "Various terpene alcohols have the ability to correct pathologically elevated or depressed gamma-globulin counts to their proper level." He does have a much more detailed account of aroma-immunology in his newer book which is an account of a seminar he held on the use of eo's for cancer. Until you get that one, he reckons the following: Phenols increase gamma-globulins and are therefore immune stimulating Aldehydes reduce alpha- and beta-globulins and are therefore antiinflammatory Estragol (a.k.a estragole and methylchavicol and found in Ocimum basilicum, anise, sweet fennel, and French and Russian Tarragon amongst other sources - and according to Tisserand & Balacs can be potentially carcinogenic at high and prolonged levels of use) apparently increases alpha- and beta- globulins and reduces gamma-globulin which he infers as being immune modulating. Ketones are considered to reduce alpha-globullins and reduce beta-globulins also reducing gamma-globulins which he also sggests is a modulating efffect overall. Monoterpenes are shown to reduce alpha globulins as well as gamma-globulins and are therefore immune modulating. As are monoterpene alcohols which are listed as being equilibrating to gamma-globulins and therefore also modulating. Managing an over-active immune system may once have been very different to the protocol used to boost immune insufficiency - in that the usual approach is to dampen the immune system and prevent 'self-attack' and the reduction of symptoms. However, I have recent information that suggests that many auto-immune conditions may be the result of a bacterial or viral infection initially. Therefore, the 'new' approach might be to manage auto-immune conditions by actually stimulating the immune system. There are refs to the use of 'anti-allergenic or anti-allergic' eo's specifically for the management of immune system responses such as inflammation, congestion, anxiety, spasm etc., Back to KS - on page 252-253 from Medical Aromatherapy - he recommends that such conditions as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia have been successfully managed with eo's such as oregano, thyme, clove and cinnamon "in a tolerable fashion, which means taking frequent, small dosages." He doesn't qualify which specific botanical species or producing organs in his text, however, I would guess at Origanum compactum, Thymus vulgaris ct linalool (easiest to get), Syzygium aromaticum bud, and Cinnamomum seylanicum bark. He also mentions Ravensara aromatica which I've used for many years now and is highly respected by the French authorities especially Philippe Mailhebiau who writes Portraits In Oils and La Nouvelle Aromatherapie. KS goes on to mention that "Certin oils contain principles that reduce allergic symptoms. MQV (Melelauca quinquenervia viridiflora - my addition) and myrtle water are antiallergenic. Moroccan chamomile (Tanacetum annuum) has antiinflammative and antihistaminic properties. A mixture of MQV, Tanacetum annuum and peppermint (I would suggest Mentha x piperita Mitchum type - my addition) is a remedy worth trying for symptomatic relief. Th is mixture may be applied topically and may also be ingested. While this mixture does provide certain relief from allergic symptoms, it is not a miracle cure." I hope this helps. Best wishes Carolyn

Carolyn

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Reply with quote  #9 

Hi again Rosanne, The likelihood of someone being adversely affected by an eo blend by atmospheric diffusion is very slight unless the eo's you are using are potentially irritant to the mucus membranes or neurotoxic and you are diffusing them constantly in a restricted airspace so the individuals are directly exposed to the potentially aggressive components at very high cencentrations. The other possible problem could be that those exposed so frequently over a long period of time 'might' become sensitized to one of the components - but it's a long shot. If you could let me know which eo's you use in your blend and at what concentrations, I could give you some data on those eo's in particular. Atmospheric diffusion is There's probably more risk of the airborne microbes becoming resistant to your blend. There are 2 ways to look at this - firstly, your family very likely experience and appreciate your blend as 'mum's blend to make us better' and there's wonderful therapeutic value in 'feeling' looked after and cared for. Secondly, it's usually good advice to have a 'blend B' second choice as an alternative - simply to keep the microbes on their toes. Hope this helps Best Carolyn

Carolyn

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Reply with quote  #10 

Oooooops - sorry I meant to say that atmospheric diffusion is normally considered to be one of the safest and well tolerated methods of administering eo's. Although the respiratory system is one of the quickest routes to introduce eo components into the body for absorption, general room-type-diffusion - as opposed to direct close-contact inhalation - usually only accomplishes low levels of eo components that are actually absorbed into the blood stream.

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