Dr. David K. Hill Presents at the Diplomatic Courier’s Second Annual Global Summit on Wellbeing

The Diplomatic Courier convened the second annual Global Summit on Wellbeing on Wednesday, May 18th. With a focus on the nexus of health and nutrition, the summit was hosted by Gallup at the Gallup Building in Washington, D.C. and highlighted trends in both national and global health. Dr. David Hill, dōTERRA’s Chief Medical Officer, had the distinguished opportunity to speak at this prestigious event. The sold-out summit drew leaders from around the globe and topics included wellness solutions, health care cost reduction, and ideas to improve health literacy and shared decision making as we leverage digital innovation and collaboration.

July 29, 2016

By Dr. David K. Hill

Plug the search term “essential oils” into the PubMed health database and the results are staggering. Nearly 10,000 peer-reviewed and evidence-based studies have been published in scientific journals within the last decade. Essential oils are being used in the world’s top health care institutions and elite universities have made them one of the hottest topics of scientific research, but what exactly are they?

An essential oil is the essence of a plant, a lipophilic liquid containing aromatic compounds extracted from the leaves, roots, seeds, peels, and bark. An essential oil is why a rose smells like a rose and why a grapefruit has that amazingly uplifting aroma. These gifts of the Earth are precious. It takes approximately 60,000 roses to produce a single ounce of rose oil, and the quality and efficacy of an essential oil are greatly determined by where, when, and under what conditions it is harvested.
There is evidence that ancient Egyptians used cedar and juniper essential oil. Ayurvedic practices have included them as a core element for over four millennia. In Haiti, natives have used vetiver for multiple purposes for centuries. Modern aromatherapy was born in 1937 when French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse discovered, by pure accident, that lavender oil soothed his hand after a lab accident. For the next few decades, essential oil knowledge was based on tradition and its use viewed as unconventional…at best. Recently, modern science has begun to embrace essential oils. Essential wellness, the movement toward optimal health through lifestyle habits such as informed use of essential oils, is the future.
The fact that essential oils are becoming more widely accepted comes as no surprise as they are simply natures’ conglomeration of chemical constituents, many of which have formed the basis of modern wellness products. Thus, menthol, the primary constituent of peppermint essential oil, is a featured active ingredient of common household products with a cooling and soothing sensation, including lip balm, aftershave, mouthwash, toothpaste, and sport massage products. Alpha Pinene, found in high concentrations in frankincense and eucalyptus, and Terpinen-4-ol, a component of melaleuca (tea tree), are found in many topical applications for their remarkable attributes. The synergism of these thousands of hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds, combined precisely by nature, result in substances whose benefits we are just beginning to understand.
So where do essential oils fit in the ever-changing health paradigm? We’ve all benefitted from the remarkable advances in modern science and the ready availability of this knowledge. A few clicks of a mouse provide access to the breadth of history’s health-related research. With advances in modern living, our new world’s greatest health adversaries are those primarily tied to lifestyle behaviors. The components of essential wellness—better nutrition, more physical activity, and informed self-care—are the answers. Informed self-care is where safe, pure, and effective essential oils are best utilized.
Until the last several years, essential oils and other natural product users were sometimes regarded as nonconformist, eschewing the modern advancements of health care practices for little bottles of aromatic lipids that they smelled, applied topically, and consumed for a variety of benefits. Without accepted standards for quality or purity for and a lack of available knowledge on essential oils, consumers looking to be proactive about their health by using essential oils truly had no idea what was inside that bottle or how to properly use it. With a new dedication to hard science, improved standards, and increased accessibility of information, this is all changing. Essential oils are beginning to take their rightful place as a tool for informed self-care. Those “nonconformists” are now joined by your next-door neighbors who are concerned about the effect of seasonal changes on their children, their grandparents’ joint comfort, and their ability to get a good night’s rest.* Your family health care provider may now be recommending essential oils as natural support for a number of their patients’ body systems.* This changing landscape has empowered millions to take a proactive approach to their health and the health of those around them. The next step is to figure out how to responsibly disperse this knowledge and these compounds to all corners of the globe. With this growing body of knowledge comes responsibility, both from the industry and the consumer.
The essential wellness movement has begun. Our progressively health-conscious global population is creating opportunities for themselves and taking responsibility for their own well-being. With a continued focus on science, improved industry standards, and a dedication to working with health care professionals, essential oils are progressively becoming a more vital ingredient in the recipe for optimal health.

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