Our guest blogger, Stephanie, is healing (she prefers ‘healing’ opposed to beating or fighting) from stage IV Inflammatory Breast Cancer. In her quest for total health, she is continually seeking out alternative and complimentary therapies and is eager and happy to share with others what is working for her. For more information on the oils Stephanie uses, go to www.mydoterra.com/mermaid.
When I was first diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (which later metastasized to my bones), I dove into researching every complementary and alternative treatment I could find. I knew I was going to do chemo/surgery/radiation and after reading about all the not-so-pleasant side effects – I was determined to help myself without using additional drugs. One complimentary therapy I went to daily was essential oils.
Have you ever wondered what essential oils are exactly? Well, for one thing, they aren’t oily!
Essentials oils come from plants. The oils work in plants the same way the blood works in our bodies. When the skin is cut, the blood cleanses the wound and kills bacteria allowing the tissue to start healing. When a plant is cut, oil of the plant is released.
Essential oils come from the stems, bark, seeds, root, flowers, and other parts of the plants. When you smell the aroma of a rose or the smell of freshly cut mint, you have experienced aromatic qualities of essential oils. Essential oils have been used throughout history for medicinal and therapeutic benefits. In our modern world, as people are moving toward holistic approaches to healthcare, I believe we are going to hear more about essential oils. So here’s your jump start.
Like I said, I used them just about every day while I was receiving conventional treatment, (and still do!) which lasted about nine months. What I didn’t realize at the time was all the antibacterial and antiviral properties of these oils. I guess I just knew instinctively to use them. It wasn’t until after treatment that I started researching how they worked. And, I’m happy to report that I never got an infection or a cold during chemotherapy treatments.
Here’s a sampling of how I used them –
When I felt a sore throat coming on, I took a spoonful of honey (local honey is beneficial for those with allergies) and two drops of lemon essential oil 2-3 times a day. Knocked the sore throat out every time.
When I felt mouth sores coming on (which was frequent) I would swish twice a day with a blend of 1 teaspoon vodka, one drop each of melaleuca, bergamot, and thyme, and 1 teaspoon of water. Now let me warn you, this is powerful stuff – burned like the dickens, but the mouth sores were gone by the end of the next day.
I felt the need to detox the chemicals being put in my body, so I would take a 2-4 hour bath just about daily with epsom salt (which I later switched to Himalayan), baking soda, and usually lavender oil. I’d switch up the oils every now again, but lavender is what I usually went to. Lavender also works fabulously for those having trouble getting to sleep. A few drops on a tissue, placed on the pillow, or a few drops with a carrier oil – such a coconut – rubbed on the bottoms of the feet work fabulously.
I fortunately didn’t suffer too much from headaches (because I was using the oils) – but when one did arise, a little lavender or peppermint did the trick. Peppermint is also wonderful for digestion. I would add a few drops of peppermint to castor oil and rub it clockwise on my abdomen. Clockwise, so as to rub up on the ascending colon and down on the descending colon.
Speaking of digestion – a drop of lemon or peppermint essential oil in my glass water bottle makes for a refreshing drink. And, for cleaning countertops, I use vinegar, lemon, and water – it does a fabulous job without using any chemicals.
Fevers would arise every now and again – In my quest to avoid the hospital, I would put peppermint and lime essential oils on my spine. This kept my fever down, again without the use of any more drugs.
A few months ago, I developed a terrible rash on my neck which eventually started to weep. I had a full blown open sore and I was bound and determined not to use a steroid (as I did in the past) to clear it, as I believe the rash was the chemo trying to get out of my body. So I put an aloe plant on my kitchen counter, and throughout the day would clip a little and smear the aloe on my neck. I also used olive oil (coconut oil seemed to dry it) with lavender and melaleuca essential oils. I didn’t apply the oils directly on the wound (that would have stung – ask me how I know?!), but I applied it to the perimeter. I also diffused lavender in my bedroom at night. Lavender not only smells delightful, it has antibacterial, antiviral, antidepressant properties as well (along with a slew of others). Once the weeping stopped, my neck healed in two days.
No scars, just clear skin. These oils have been a God send – I have replaced all the medications I had in my medicine cabinet and then some. Oils have been around for thousands of years and I believe along with a healthy life style, essential oils are an excellent way to get and stay healthy.
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