by CHRISTOPHER STUM, KHGI Staff
Tuesday, April 14th 2020
KEARNEY, Neb. (KHGI) — They've been used for thousands of years as alternative medicine and now medical experts say they could be beneficial in boosting your overall health.
“We know that essential oils can be very, very useful to folks," said Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy at The University of Nebraska Medical Center's College of Pharmacy Ally Dering-Anderson.
They come in assortments of flavors and smells and often have a number of different healing properties.
But what makes them stand apart from pharmaceutical drugs?
According to Dering-Anderson, the use of essential oils as a supplement can be beneficial when used correctly.
"There are a number of times when people, especially if they are smelling them, that the odors we know, the aromas I guess, we know are clinically useful to a number of people," said Dering-Anderson.
As an herbalist and the manager of Natural Foods and Supplements in Kearney, Alisha Sobatka has spent over a decade helping people find alternative methods to modern medicine.
While aroma therapy is one of the more common and recommended methods, she said there's also opportunity to use it topically and can even be ingested.
But even then, Sobatka said she advises her customers to check in with their pharmacists due to the different reactions each customer can have to the product.
"Essential Oils can cross our blood-brain barrier," said Sobatka. "So, they can effect our central nervous system. That's why they can either energize us or calm us down. So, when we are uneducated about the oils and the concentrations that we can use, we can harm our central nervous system as well."
But overall, pharmacists say if you use essential oils for the right reasons, the benefits definitely outweigh the cons.
“If your intent is to try to avoid standard prescription drugs, then you need to have a good conversation with your pharmacist first that says I’m looking for alternatives first. What do you think of that and how can you help me? Because on some of these products there is a bunch of data," said Dering-Anderson.