As people are becoming increasingly informed about their health and natural ways to heal, many are picking up on the power of plants to maintain optimal health beyond just eating a plant-rich diet.
Plant compounds in the form of herbal supplements and essential oils are becoming increasingly popular forms of therapeutic care.
Traditionally plant oils have been used in cosmetics and perfume but our understanding of how these compounds can be used to help treat and influence the physiological processes in the body is extending their scope.
Here, we discuss how essential oils work, their biological activities, and some potential uses for treating HPV.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Essential oils or “essences” are derived from the raw material of plants. Extraction occurs through the process of steam distillation or mechanical cold press. Active chemicals are extracted from plants and combined with a carrier oil to create a product for use.
The essential oils chemical structures include a unique aromatic compound that gives each oil its characteristic essence or scent.
Essential oils belong to two general chemical families, terpenes and esters.
The terpene family includes monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes that help inhibit the accumulation of toxins and discharge toxins from the liver and kidneys. The ester family includes compounds like aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, and phenols that have various anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Most oils will have a combination of these volatile compounds.
Some biological activities of essential oils include:
Essential oils have mostly been studied for their role as antimicrobials.
Oils with a high phenol content like thymol, carvacrol, and eugenol have been found to have important antibacterial activities.
Phenol compounds do this by destroying the cytoplasmic membranes of bacteria cells, making them more permeable and disrupting the overall bacteria cell structure.
The antioxidant potential of essential oils depends on its composition.
Phenolics and metabolites with conjugated double bonds show antioxidant properties. The essential oils of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, basil, parsley, oregano, and thyme have the most important antioxidant properties.
This is due to their phenolic structure, which neutralizes free radicals.
Anti-inflammatory properties are correlated with alpha-terpineol, which acts by inhibiting the release of histamine or reducing the production of inflammation mediators. Geranium essential oil is one example of an essential oil that has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Cancer and Chemoprotective Activity
Attention is also being given to the potential activity of essential oils against cancer. Garlic essential oil for instance contains sulfur compounds that have a preventive effect against cancer. This occurs through detoxification processes of phase 1 and phase 2 in the liver.
Essential oils that contain the presence of phenols, alcohols, and monoterpene aldehydes that have also been found to elicit cytotoxic properties against microorganisms of bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, parasites, and mites.
How To Use Essential Oils?
The oils are commonly inhaled through the nose as aromatherapy or applied topically to the skin using a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut for a therapeutic effect.
Inhalation of essential oils has been found to stimulate the limbic system, the area of the brain that controls emotions, behaviors, and long-term memory. The limbic system also exerts control over physical sensations in the body like breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Safety and Side Effects of Essential Oils
Just because essential oils are derived from plants and other natural compounds, does not mean they are not powerful. Oils can be up to 75 times more powerful than dried herbs. Their bioactive components can pose dangers to health if overconsumed.
Oils should be combined with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba for topical use. Keep watch for any side effects of rash, headaches, or allergic reactions. The oils should also never be eaten.
Essential Oils for HPV
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. The oils broad-spectrum properties can be used to treat several ailments, including HPV warts.
A drop of pure tea tree oil applied with a carrier oil to affected areas daily is an effective topical treatment to clear warts.
Thuja is an Ayurvedic remedy derived from the Thuja tree. The bioactive component of thuja is called thujone, a medicinal herb reported having anti-viral properties.
Thuja appears to play a role in the immune system by stimulating cytokine and antibody production and activating macrophages and other immunocompetent cells.
Check out our blog on Herbs for HPV where both Tjua Oil and Tea Tree Oil make an appearance!
Neem oil is another oil rich in antioxidants and widely used in traditional medicines worldwide to treat and prevent disease. Animal studies have found neem oil to play a pivotal role in anticancer management through modulating molecular pathways.
The active compounds in Neem, azadirachta indica, have also been evaluated for their ability to heal wounds. Azadirachta has been found to promote wound healing activity through increased inflammatory response and neovascularization.
The leaf extracts of Neem have also been shown to have anti-viral activity by assisting in viral inactivation and controlling viral loads.
Calendula Essential Oil
Calendula oil is comprised of several bioactive chemical compounds such as, triterpene alcohols, saponins, flavonoids, carotenoids, and polysaccharide that have been traditionally used to treat skin conditions like tumors, lesions, and ulcers.
Calendula officinalis is the plant compound that has been extensively studied and its essential oil has been used for centuries to help calm the nervous system and heal wounds. Pharmacological studies have also found the herb to exhibit antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antioxidant properties.
Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano essential oil is commonly recognized for its antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal activity. Recent research is also finding the compound to have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer suppressor agents.
Studies have found oregano essential oil to elicit antiproliferative, and anti-tumor effects and may have positive benefits for cancer research.
What’s The Verdict on Essential Oils for HPV?
The world of essential oils and their use is being increasingly understood and accepted.
The oils appear to provide benefits both topically and internally enhancing the system’s ability to fight off infections and even cancer development.
Despite the many health claims, we still have limited research on the ability of the essential oils to treat health conditions. The oils are best used alongside other treatments to assist in reducing stress, promoting relaxation, relieving pain, enhancing energy, and promoting overall health.
As more research emerges, we will have a better understanding of how these compounds can be used across a broader range of health conditions, including HPV.
If you’re looking for more than just essential oils to help tackle HPV, why not check out our iconic Papillex supplement?
And if you’re feeling really proactive, we’ve just released our amazing AHCC® supplement too! This mushroom extract has undergone clinical trials finding that it can help in reducing HPV rates! Why not take a look and make that positive change?