Cinnamon essential oil is distilled from the bark and leaf of the cinnamon plant, Cinnamomum zeylanicum. Research in the journal, Diabetes Care, found that intake of 1, 3, or 6 g of cinnamon per day reduced serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. Harvard Medical School suggests that consuming as little as 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon each day can reduce your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels by as much as 12 to 30 percent.
Basil oil (also called Holy basil oil) works gradually, but effectively, in lowering cholesterol in the body. Derived from the herb, Ocimum basilicum, basil has antioxidant, antibacterial and cholesterol-lowering actions. A study published in the journal, Phytotherapy Research, tested basil extract on rats with induced high cholesterol. The study found that basil significantly reduced LDL. Furthermore, the reduction of LDL was accompanied by an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Health Benefit of Essential Oils: Recommendations
To achieve the cholesterol-lowering effect, buy oils that are available only in capsule form and labeled as “standardised extracts.” Standardised extracts are diluted and safer for consumption. Follow the dosage instructions listed on the manufacture’s label.
Rotating essential oils is most effective. Choose one essential oil and try it first for a few weeks, then rotate to another oil.
After two to three months, have your cholesterol checked to monitor your progress. Do not use undiluted essential oils as they are highly concentrated. Failure to dilute an essential oil can result in a chemical-like burn on the skin and should not be swallowed unless directed by a health care professional.
A key health benefit of essential oils is that they can be used for a variety of conditions, but they should always be used with caution. If you’re pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, or have cancer, use essential only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.