“Keep the air within as pure as the air without” (Nightingale, 1859).
In a recent address at the 35th National Conference for the American Society of PeriAnesthesa Nurses, I shared my own commitment to natural solutions for health care. I was very encouraged to hear from so many nurses from around the country who share my passion for cleaning up health care. From my own passion for providing evidence for the use of essential oils, to the work that is being done to explore the impact of gases and chemicals used in our workplaces, and decreasing the necessity for pharmaceuticals - nurses are at work to decrease the toxic load in health care. I'm proud to be part of a profession that is paying attention to some of the unintended consequences of our current medical practices.
Mounting scientific evidence indicates that the human body is becoming a reservoir for the toxic chemicals found in the air, water, food, household products, and even in products commonly used in the provision of health care. Toxicologists are creating a steady stream of science regarding the human health threats posed by one’s exposure to chemicals, pollutants, and hazards such as mercury, polyvinyl chloride plastics (PVCs), dioxin, diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), latex, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, pesticides, antineoplastic drugs, waste anesthetic gases, ionizing radiation, and lasers.
Since the early years of the profession, nursing leaders such as Florence Nightingale and Lillian Wald have recognized the role of nurses in controlling the influence of environmental factors (air and water quality, food, sanitation, cleanliness, chemicals, pesticides, waste products) on health. Nurses have long appreciated that a healthy environment impacts upon the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations. This knowledge is an underpinning of nursing practice as expressed by Florence Nightingale in her First Rule of Nursing: “Keep the air within as pure as the air without” (Nightingale, 1859).
Registered nurses regularly encounter diseases such as asthma, allergies, autoimmune conditions, emphysema, infertil- ity, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart disease, and physiological and psychological stress that are caused and/or exacerbated by environ- mental contaminants (ANA, 2003).
In 2003 the American Nurses Association implemented the Precautionary Principle.
Encourage nurses to gain a working understanding of the relationships between human health and environmental exposures and to integrate this knowledge into their practice. These principles are applicable in all settings where registered nurses practice and provide care and are intended to protect nurses themselves, patients and their families, other health care workers, and the community.
The current mode of thinking asks, “How much harm is allowable?” The precautionary approach asks us to consider instead, “How can we meet our goals in the least harmful way? How can we protect public health and the environment?” (ANA, 2003a). Nurses understand the need for prevention, early detection, monitoring, and reduction of stressors on people; the need to take preventative action, when possible; and the need to identify and reduce risks to patients and themselves even when full proof of cause and effect is not available.
While I am working toward providing evidence that will support the use of essential oils for health and wellness, I am personally and professionally convinced that we in fact, have sufficient evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of essential oils for health care.
We are all seeking to live a life that is in line with what our Creator intended. While that looks different for everyone, many tools have been provided for us in nature. Supporting a healthy body function is crucial to being able to carry out our mission. Essential oils and good nutrition are safe and effective methods for giving our bodies what we need to thrive, not just survive.
Next time you reach for a product to address a health or environmental issue in your home, ask yourself, instead of "How much harm is allowable?" , "How can we meet this goal in the least harmful way?" Then consider a more natural solution. Health and wellness begins at home.
I would love to hear your stories, your concerns! Comment below... and please contact me if you want to know more about those natural solutions for health care!
Click Here to see one example of the work being done to strengthen the evidence for essential oils in reducing stress.
Wellness Advocate, BSN,RN
Top Three Essential Oils You Need: 99 Ways To Use Lavender, Lemon And Peppermint
There are so many amazing essential oils out there, but knowing which ones to start
with can be confusing! If this sounds familiar, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to introduce you to the three most popular essential oils from doTERRA that I always recommend; the Beginners Trio Kit of lavender, lemon and peppermint. I’m also going to share with you how to use them andhow to reap some fabulous benefits for you and your family. Remember that these are powerful oils and shouldn’t be applied without a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil. You can also use sweet almond oil or even olive oil. You can read more about using essential oils safely here.
Lavandula (common name lavender) is part of the mint family, Lamiaceae. Lavender flowers are usually purple, a colour associated with the crown chakra, for higher purpose and spiritual connectivity. This symbolism is so appropriate as lavender is often used for healing and. doTERRA source their lavender essential oil from Bulgaria where the sunny, dry Black Sea climate coupled with dry, well drained, sandy soils are ideal for this aromatic plant.
With a distinct aroma and countless applications, lavender essential oil has been used for centuries topically, internally and aromatically. Known for its sweet-floral aroma and calming properties, the major constituents of lavender oil include linalool and linalyl acetate. The versatile nature of this lovely oil make it a doTERRA favourite, and a must-have to keep on hand at all times.
33 Lavender Oil Uses And Benefits:
As my go-to Swiss Army knife essential oil, lavender is always in my holiday first-aid kit (read more here). Here’s a list of how to use lavender and some of the benefits:
Fun fact: it takes around 16 kilos of lavender flowers to produce just one 15ml bottle of lavender essential oil! If you’d like to learn more about the benefits and uses of lavender essential oil you can watch this video:
Have you tried any of these suggestions? What is your favourite way to use lavender?
doTERRA sources lemon essential oil from citrus orchards in Sicily, Italy. Through Co-Impact Sourcing®, doTERRA has provided a business opportunity for families who have grown lemon and bergamot for generations continue their family tradition of running an orchard. Clean, fresh, citrusy lemon essential oil is one of the most popular and versatile oils, with variety of uses and benefits, not just in the kitchen. The high limonene content makes it a powerful antioxidant and a cleansing agent so its deodorising and purifying properties are often used in cleaning and preservative products and diffusers. Lemon may also aid in digestion and support healthy respiratory function when taken internally.
33 Lemon Oil Uses And Benefits:
Fun fact: In one year, a single lemon tree has the potential to produce around 250kgs of lemons, and it typically takes around 45 lemons to fill a 15mL essential oil bottle. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits and uses of lemon essential oil you can watch this video:
Did you know about all the skincare applications for lemon essential oil? What are your favourite ways to use this lovely citrus oil in your home?
The peppermint plant is a versatile perennial herb that has been cherished since ancient times and is now used by cosmetic, culinary, and health industries around the world. It’s well known for its ability to help digestive health, promote healthy respiratory function, and provide flavour enhancement too. No wonder it’s one of doTERRA’s best-selling essential oils.
The main chemical component of peppermint is menthol which gives it the fresh and minty scent. It also makes it energising and invigorating, and is very cooling to the skin, and can be used topically to relieve feelings of tension.
33 Peppermint Oil Uses And Benefits:
Fun fact: Peppermint’s scientific name is Mentha piperita. In ancient Greek Mythology, Minthe (also known as Mentha), a nymph, was transformed by Queen Persephone into a sweet-smelling mint.
Have you ever used peppermint as a breathing aid? Or in recipes? How do you like to use it?
Post by: Tanya Maidment