You know what mama always said: “make sure you take your anti-oxidants!” Not really. Mom may have reminded you to take your vitamins and minerals, but she may not have known about the damage free radicals can do or how to prevent that damage.
Free radicals cause “oxidation deterioration.” In short, they cause damage at a cellular level. This damage can come from stress, pollutants in the environment, food that is not good for you, or various diseases and illnesses. This damage can cause anything from aging (perhaps earlier than you should) or other problems like cancers and Parkinson’s disease.
A free radical takes an electron from another molecule, which makes it unstable. That molecule, in turn, will take an electron from another molecule. Eventually, the whole cell will become damaged. This process may lead to broken cell membranes, which will alter what enters and exits the cell. The damaged molecules could also mutate and grow tumors or change the DNA code.
You can prevent this damage by taking or eating antioxidants. Antioxidants give electrons, while free radicals seek to take an electron away.
Antioxidants neutralize that free radical from doing damage. Many people know that colorful fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants, but there are essential oils that also contain these life-enhancing molecules.
Incorporating Essential Oils Into Your Daily Routine
Essential oils can be combined with other health and wellness activities for maximum benefits. Take a look at the following examples of how you can incorporate antioxidant essential oils into your daily routine:
- Tea Drinking: Whether you prefer morning or afternoon tea, you can enjoy tea drinking and reap the best chai tea benefits by adding a few drops of edible essential oil.
- Massage Therapy: Massage therapy helps reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, reduce stress hormones, increase joint mobility and flexibility, improve skin tone, and improve recovery of tissue injuries. Apply your favorite essential oil to the skin surface of the area to be massaged for a relaxing experience.
- Aromatherapy: This holistic healing treatment uses natural plant extracts, promoting health and well-being. Using aromatic essential oils improves physical, mental, and spiritual health. Aromatherapy promotes relaxation and helps relieve stress. Also, it helps in managing burns, infections, high blood pressure, insomnia, and depression.
- Exercise: Workouts can be exhausting. Beat physical exhaustion by using essential oils after intense training and exercise. Massage good quality essential oil into aching muscles post-workout, using a gentle motion that sweeps toward the heart. It will help remove lactic acid buildup (a byproduct of intense muscle activity). Lemon oil gives you a quick boost of energy you need to combat post-workout exhaustion.
- Meals: A little dab of essential oils to your meals will make them extra healthy and special. Lavender oil has relaxing side effects, which is delicious in ice cream and other dessert foods. Well-known for its amazing digestive benefits, you can add peppermint oil to your favorite desserts for a refreshing twist. Cinnamon is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial oil that can add a spicy and warm layer to your favorite hot chocolate, coffee, or meal. Thyme is perfect for cooking savory dishes such as bone broth, stews, or soup. Like peppermint, using ginger oil can help improve your digestive health.
Essential Oils You Need
I always make sure my essential oils are high-quality, so recently I’ve been using SenseLab essential oils. The best part of these oils is that they are food safe, which makes me feel good about using them when I make dinner. I rather use Oregano essential oil than regular oregano seasoning from the grocery store. Using oregano essential oils helps protect you from free radicals. It’s also a natural antibiotic!
High Antioxidant Essential Oils
Some of my favorite antioxidant essential oils have a high ORAC score (that means that they are high in antioxidants).
Two of them I make sure I always have on hand are Myrrh and Frankincense. Both of these were actually gifts to our Lord Jesus at his birth so you know they must have been important! The Magi knew how prized these herbs were, even back then. Not only are Myrrh and Frankincense excellent antioxidant essential oils, but they are also antiseptic and great to diffuse during prayer.
Another great essential oil is clove, which is both high in antioxidants and great for sore teeth. It’s also a great one to mix with other oils like cinnamon and orange in your diffuser during the fall and winter season. Smells like Christmas!
While most people will stick with more “well-known” essential oils like peppermint and lavender essential oils, which are both great for allergy season, I really think Vetiver should be in everyone’s health arsenal. SenseLab reported that “significantly inhibited DNA damage, clastogenic effects and cell cycle arrest in the bone marrow cells of mice that were given cisplatin (Vetiver) for five consecutive days.” That’s impressive!
SenseLab knows how important antioxidants are. For your convenience, they made an entire page of their website just for antioxidant essential oils. Check that out here.
For a more complete list of oils with exact ORAC scores, please check out the list from the blog, There’s an EO for That.
Remember to keep your health your number 1 priority in 2019.