Essential Oils - Their resurgence and their easy-to-apply uses!
The age honoured health affects of essential oils are becoming increasingly known by consumers and the holistically health conscious. The research is poor by research standards but given the complexity of biochemistry in the essential oils and in humans, we don't really have the study designs to handle quality foraying into that question yet, meaning it’s important not to discount essential oils at this stage.
So, what are they typically touted to do? A range of “clean” anti words - antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti diabetic (Edris 2007), anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants etc etc. We’re obviously interested in the health affects of essential oils, and to be honest we use them liberally both topically and orally to enhance training adaptations and to remedy afflictions where we feel traditional medicine may be too harsh or destructive to the long term training effect.
However, we are even more interested in this aspect of essential oils…
It looks like essential oils act in a pro-oxidation manner, which is what we’re are all about in case you haven't noticed. We believe that isolated anti-oxidants, like the kind the whole health food industry is built on, are inappropriate in their prescribed doses and incorrectly modelled off biochemistry. To be clear, they appear to be destructive to the body generally speaking, unless they’re accompanied with their natural enzyme and catalyst rich properties in the form of whole foods! Essential oils have been shown to act in accordance with our preferred philosophy at this stage (Bakkali 2008).
At the moment we’re exploring an array of oils for potential performance and health benefits. However, here are two we’re having great results with and using liberally:
Peppermint: This bad boy will enhance your focus and relax your body and mind (Gobel 2002). If you’re a “choker” in performance, highly strung or participate in activities that involve concentration and fitness, such as golf, tennis and many other activities, then this is your baby! We use it in our technique sessions to enhance uptake of the technotactical aspects of our sports.
Lemon: as well as being super tastey, lemon essential oil has been tentatively shown in a lower grade applicability study to increase pain threshold and temperature sensitivity. Both claims being incredibly important for both life and sport, as your body works harder to balance harsh environments with your internal environment, or simply to get through a killer training session. We use it in anaerobic threshold sessions where our lactate can get higher than 18mm/L!
Remember, these are not exhaustive lists, we take these things for many other reasons as well. For example, we also use oregano and thyme when we’re sick and lavender oil topically to help with restoration and particularly sleep.
Get oily people!