Have you used essential oils? This past Tuesday, on the Heal Podcast, Susan Adhoot explains the power of essential oils and how certain oils are useful for Lyme bacteria and helps build up your immune system. If you want to learn more about essential oils, Susan has kindly extended her personal link to the Lyme 360 community and has offered to create personalized recommendations as well as a free tincture of essential oils with a purchase. To get in touch with her you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mimi: Today, I have Susan Ahdoot. She is an essential oils specialist. She practices an integrative approach to body, mind wellness, bringing a multidisciplinary approach to her practice. If you want to learn about essential oils, and how they can help your health while combating Lyme, this is the podcast for you. She will tell you about the different ways that you can use essential oils, and which essential oils are needed in order to boost your immune system, as well as your neurological system, to help with Lyme. To get my detox for Lyme checklist, go to lyme360.com/detox checklist.
Okay Susan, thank you so much for coming on today. I’m so excited to learn more about essential oils and to see how they can help you impact and improve your immune system, especially as it relates to Lyme. So, thank you for coming on today.
Susan: My pleasure. I’m so excited to be here. This is very personal to me. I have dear friends that have been impacted by Lyme. And so, a lot of my own research was because I wanted to figure it out for my friend. So, it’s a thing of the heart, that I wanted to know this. And of course, in preparing for this, I did a little bit more research and I’m even more excited about what I can share.
ESSENTIAL OILS 101
Susan: I wanted to explain a little bit about essential oils, to begin with, just because I think it’s so fascinating. The aromatic oils that are in the plant, are the plant’s immune system. It is their defense against bacteria, fungus predators, and their own protective system. And, the more harsh the climate, sometimes the more potent the oil, because they respond to that stressor. And so, this is how you get differences in how things smell, between one year, depending on the climate, something smells one way and then the next year the same plant might smell differently.
It’s just based on the stressors that the plant is under. But, I find it fascinating that it’s the plant’s own immune system. So, we then distill or express the oil from the plant using leaves, bark, twigs, flowers, whatever the appropriate thing is for that particular plant. And, it gets distilled into an essential oil. It’s not a fatty oil, it’s very light and it’s volatile. It’s a volatile oil. And, it’s composed of many of the chemical components that then act with our own chemistry.
We can use the essential oils by inhalation, literally opening up a bottle and smelling it. We can diffuse it, using a diffuser and having it fill the room. This is a more passive way to take the oil in, and it’s a way to take it in very gently for people who are more sensitive to smells, or who have overactive immune systems that are hypersensitive. We can also use the oils topically. And for people, again, who are more sensitive, sometimes we want to use a carrier oil. And then, they can also be, some of them, not all of them, but some of them are considered generally regarded as safe grass certified for internal consumption. These would be things like your lemon oil, your oregano oils, your thyme oils, things that you would use in cooking, basically. You’re used to these things, it’s just in a much more concentrated form.
I have found that there’s a protocol called the Raindrop Technique that is really so good for just helping to create a good state of relaxation in the body, and has some oils that are really effective for just supporting the immune system and supporting the systems of the body. One of the things that I think is so important in general health and wellbeing is understanding your physiology. We have an amazing, miraculous body that has backup systems, upon backup systems to function under duress and under stress, and to keep functioning until the point that it can’t. And, understanding even some basics around that can help people to play with their body a little bit better. So, we have our circulatory that has the heart as a pump, and it moves blood around the body. What people don’t always realize is that our lymphatic system, which is an integral part of our immune system, doesn’t have a pump.
Your lymphatic system runs alongside the circulatory system. And, it has little nodes that are kind of like bigger filters, but it requires our movement in order to pump this fluid through the body. So, it used to be after surgery, they kept people very still. They said, “Lay here, repair.” And now, of course, the protocols as they’ve learned more have changed. They get people up out of the hospital bed as fast as they can and get them moving because they’ve learned that it improves the healing process because it improves the immune system.
Mimi: That makes sense.
YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM MIGHT BE ALWAYS “ON”
Susan: One of the biggest components I find right now, and especially when people are dealing with a chronic condition is, understanding the nervous system. So our nervous system, I liken it to the gas and the brake pedal. Okay, just to make it simple and really understandable for people.
You have the sympathetic nervous system, which is the gas pedal, and you have the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the brake pedal. This isn’t exactly perfect, but it’s there. So, when we are met with a threat real or imagined to our body, it doesn’t matter, or we process it the same way, we get the adrenaline surge, and to either fight, flight or freeze. So, the fight takes blood from the organ, sends it to the limbs because we’re going to punch something or we’re going to have to move quickly. Flight, same thing, blood from the organs, out to the extremities to run away. Or freeze, again, blood from the organs to the extremities to become very still so that we can play dead. And then, the parasympathetic system is the relaxation response. Okay. So then, blood comes from the extremities, goes into the organs, and this is where we repair and heal. When people are under a kind of a constant, either chronic pain or constant attack from their own body perceived again or real, it creates this inflammatory response because people don’t ever get the parasympathetic repair.
Mimi: Right. We just talked about this last week with another doctor, and she said, “The limbic system,” what you’re talking about, “The problem with chronic Lyme is, even when the Lyme may have left your body, your body doesn’t realize it’s left and it’s still in fight or flight pattern.” And, it will never kind of go away. It’s like PTSD, as the version for people with chronic Lyme.
Mimi: That’s why it’s so important to kind of bring that down and figure out how to turn off that fight or flight, so.
Susan: Right. And, what’s interesting about it is kind of the same way, you can’t have your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time, when you need your sympathetic, it steps out in front, and this one kind of steps back and it lets it do its job. And then, this one steps back and this goes forward. And, when you don’t have this coming forward properly, then you end up with, again, this kind of chronic patterning. I liken it to when people go to sleep and they don’t wake up refreshed. Now, part of this is stimuli. We used to go to sleep when it got dark, now we’re on our computers, we’re on our phones, we’re watching often very horrible things right before we go to sleep, which we’ve created more adrenaline buzz. But, we are looking for things that we can help to create that parasympathetic response.
This is where essential oils come in, really powerfully. There’s a lot of research that you can find about how it helps with stress and helps support relaxation. Certainly things like lavender and Cedarwood, very calming. Cedarwood is particularly wonderful for the brain. In the Japanese temples, they were built with Cedarwood. I mean, they were literally built with Cedarwood to create that kind of meditative space. And so, I find that really helpful, again, with just helping to calm the nervous system. You can add in meditation, you can add in guided meditations in order to do that, anytime you add in the essential oil, it just helps create a better pathway. One of the things, the olfactory goes straight into the limbic system, and where memories and traumas are stored. And, there are actually several protocols that can help to change memory, to help to give it a new pathway in the brain. The brain is very adaptive, and sometimes it’s about just helping create a new pathway for the nervous system to find its good way.
Mimi: That’s great. So, they’re actually essential oil protocols.
Susan: Yes. And, we can bring those in and at another time as well. I mean, they’re more extensive than what we have time for here today.
I want to read something that I thought was so interesting. I was just reading a book that was written by a pharmacist who works with essential oils. So, she’s very, her name is Lindsey Elmore, and she’s both well-versed in the kind of traditional pharmaceutical, and then also with essential oils. And, this is what I think is so… I have a few quotes from here. But, one of the things that I love. “So, chemosensors, such as olfactory receptors are used throughout the body to measure levels of the same chemicals.” “For example, when you make a cup of coffee, chemosensors in your nose perceive the smell, but your liver may use the same chemosensors to identify a compound it needs to metabolize.” “Odor receptors have been implicated in muscle cell migration in helping the lungs sense chemicals and in wound healing.” “Olfactories receptors can even signal the kidneys to influence blood pressure.”
So when we smell something, it’s not just our olfactory response going up to the limbic system, it’s contacting these other chemoreceptors in the body to respond to that same smell.
Mimi: That’s amazing.
Susan: Right. I think that we are such walking miracles. I’ve spent 25 years in the healing world, probably longer at this point. And, part of this was my own fascination in how we heal. The reason that I got into this was my dad had been diagnosed with cancer. They gave him a couple of years to live and he lived 23 years.
Mimi: Wow. So, it like we get out of our own way, let the body heal itself.
Susan: Yes. We have a whole chemistry kit up here. And I always say, “The body wants to heal.” That is its primary objective. You wound yourself, you don’t have to say, “Okay, skin makes some new cells, blood starts to coagulate.” You don’t have to do any of this. The body just automatically responds with what is needed. What we have to do is remove the inhibitions to healing. Meaning if there’s dirt in the wound, we have to take the dirt away, so there’s no infection. So, when the body is not healing properly, we have to look at why. Why is the body not doing its primary function? Which is to heal. And then, we help to remove the inhibitions. What are the inhibitors to our own healing?
THE RAINDROP PROTOCOL AND OTHER OIL APPLICATION METHODS
Susan: So in Lyme, of course, you’re dealing with a bacteria that is highly adaptive. And even in this protocol, I love the Raindrop. I’ve found it is highly effective. It has oregano, thyme, cypress, wintergreen, peppermint, Aroma Siez. It has nine oils and it comes with a carrier oil to protect the skin. But even, when working with someone with Lyme, I found that I would change it up about once a week. I do three or four sessions and then I’d swap out a few of the oils because it made it more effective. It stopped-
Mimi: The Lyme is very smart. It kind of knows how to get used to the treatment. And then, even with like antibiotics or anything, that’s what they do. They’re always changing them up. Right?
Susan: Right. It’s adaptive. And so, it’s a very adaptive bacteria. And then I could swap the original ones back in, but it was just about titrating it between different things so that it never was able to get its own stability. Another thing that I wanted to read to you that I read out of this book that I think is really interesting. “Bacteria resistance to essential oils, while essential oils can interact with and even kill bacteria, bacteria do not seem to have the same ability to create resistance to essential oils as they do to antibiotics.” “The extent of bacteria acquiring resistance to essential oils has yet to be systematically and extensively investigated.” A 2014 study involving sequential exposure to oregano and cinnamon oils sought to evaluate bacteria resistance.” Out of the 48 clinical isolates and 12 reference strains under study, only three bacterial strains treated with oregano increased the resistance to this essential oil, no resistance to cinnamon bark oil was reported.”
Super interesting. And, I’m a big believer in being educated. I think that if you work with essential oils, it’s very good to get a good essential oil desk reference. There’s one that you can get through Life Science Publishing that works really well with Young Living Oils, which is the oil company that I work with. I’ve worked with them for over 20 years. They’ve been around for a long time. And, what I love about them is they’re one of the certainly very few and only oil companies in the U.S. that manufacturers on a large scale, that own their own farms. And, they use old practices. They don’t use pesticides. They’re testing the plants when they’re getting ready to make sure they have the highest components of the chemical constituencies they want, and so that they’re harvesting them at the right time for the distillation process.
They’re distilling their own oils and they’re bottling their own oils. So, they call it their Seed to Seal process. But, what it does is, it ensures the purity of the product, that it’s not being… A lot of essential oils get stepped on along the way, they put extenders in them. They put some chemical components or they’re distilled with solvents that are damaging and actually create more damage than the essential oil can help.
Mimi: Right. Can I ask a question? So, is there a preferential way to actually, you mentioned the four or five different ways that you can use the oils? Is there one that your body, especially with Lyme, prefers? Like if it’s dropping it like you were talking, you were going to go into the whole Raindrop Protocol, or is it smelling, is it putting your bath? Is there one way that’s better or can you do all of them to make it.
Susan: I do all of them. I’m a big believer in all of them, particularly when you’re dealing with somebody who has this kind of magnified chronic condition that you’re trying to kind of wrap yourself around, and I’m going to say and, you also have to be gentle with yourself-
Mimi: Right, because you don’t want it fast, like Herxing or something like that.
Susan: Some people work better with different protocols. I love the Raindrop. This is dripped on the spine. It’s nine oils that are dripped on the spine. I learned it where you put hot moist towels, which drive the oils in a little bit further. Obviously, you need a good set of gloves and there’s a little protocol to that, but it is profoundly soothing to the nervous system. It is got very potent oils involved in it. And, I found it to be incredibly effective. For people who end up having Herxing from bacteria die off, I highly recommend Cedarwood. I find that that tends to help with the brain fog or the brain agitation that comes with that. It just helps support the healing process. There’s also, and again, mixing in some different oils. Myrtle’s really effective. Lemongrass can be good.
You have to be aware of what oils do, which is why I like people to be informed. In terms of like, lemongrass is a hotter oil, so want to use more carrier oil with it because it can be a little bit more intense on the skin. So, and then you have people that are going to be highly sensitive to smell. And so for them, I would say maybe diffusing is a more appropriate way. Because you can control how intense the scent is. And, you can have just a few drops, and you can turn it off and then it’ll dissipate. Whereas if an oils on your skin, you’re going to keep smelling it for a while.
Mimi: If you’re going to put it on your skin, would you put it the bottom of your feet, the back of your neck? Where do you recommend? I love those little rollers that you guys have. Those are my favorite. I don’t even know if I’m doing this right, but I sometimes put it in the back of my neck, sometimes the bottom of my feet, my wrists. Is there any other places that you would recommend or there’s areas that are better?
Susan: There’s no wrong answer to that. Back of the neck is one of my favorite. I feel like you’re directly getting to the brainstem area. And, you’re literally over your nervous system, one of the main components of your nervous system, being your spine and your brain. So, I love the back of the neck. I liked the tailbone for the same reason. Bottoms of the feet are really wonderful because you have 10,000 nerve endings on the bottoms of your feet. So, they’re taking that information and sending it, plus the skin on the bottoms of your feet is a little thicker. So, if somebody has particular sensitivity, even to smell by putting it on the bottoms of your feet, it’s farther away from your nose. And maybe put socks on, so you don’t even smell it then, but you get some of the benefits of it without having to smell it.
ESSENTIAL OILS AND THEIR BENEFITS
Mimi: Another question I have is, I know obviously essential oils are not going to cure Lyme. What we’re trying to do is build up our immune system, help our limbic and our nervous system. You had talked about the Raindrop Treatment Protocol that you guys have. What other either products or essential oils would you recommend to help support the immune system that you guys offer?
Susan: Well, we have one called ImmuPower, which is developed for that. One of my favorite, it’s not directly, it’s not like ImmuPower, which is so clearly about the immune system, but it’s called EndoFlex. It’s an essential oil blend. This is one I use every day, personally. It’s Endo for endocrine, Flex for support.
And so, your endocrine system is your pituitary, your pineal, your thymus, your thyroid, your adrenal glands, your ovaries or testis, and so you have the whole glandular system for the body. And, your pituitary and pineal or rest in your brain. Enlightenment is supposed to be when your pituitary lifts off of the cradle and you get that elevated mind. But, your adrenal glands, fire when you’re under stress. And so often, when people have a chronic condition have adrenal fatigue, their adrenal glands are super stressed, they don’t know how to calm down. And so, I’m a big fan of the endo flex as a way of just helping to support that the soothing of the adrenal gland.
Mimi: And, does that come also in a roll form or just in the essential oil form?
Susan: It doesn’t come in a roll form, but I will tell you that we have little roller balls that you can attach to any bottle of oil and make it a rollerball.
Mimi: Oh, okay. I always thought the roller option had also a carrier in it, which makes it to be able to put on your skin. Is that true, or no?
Susan: Well, yes they do. They do have a carrier oil. Some of these have carrier oils and some do not.
Susan: There are some that are 100% essential oils. You can also like I have a ton of these bottles because I saved them all, because they’re nice if you want to create an oil with a carrier oil, you pour off half of it add good jojoba oil or coconut oil or something like that. And then, you can put a roller ball. So anything can be turned into a roller ball. This doesn’t come as a roller ball. We have Stress Away, which is wonderful. As a roller ball, we have Valor. We have Thieves oil, which has cinnamon bark in it, which is really wonderful, again, for bottoms of the feet, particularly during wintertime to just help support staying healthy.
We have Breathe Again for people with a lot of sinus issues. We have RutaVaLa, which is wonderful for helping to support healthy sleep, good for the nervous system. And sleep, of course, is one of the main times that our body goes into repair. It’s why our body cools down when)) we sleep right. It’s because blood has gone from the extremities into the organs and our body is doing its repair work. And I liken it to, again, going back to the car analogy, when you are in your sympathetic state, you’ve put the car in the garage, but you haven’t turned it off. You’ve left it in an idle. And so, you’re still creating the CO2, the part never really rests. This is like when you go to sleep and you’re agitated, and you don’t drop into that parasympathetic state, you haven’t really turned off the car.
Mimi: Right. I always say to my kids, from what I learned, when I went to IIN the holistic school, you need to be asleep by 10:00 PM because that’s when the cleaning crew comes. And so, if you stay up past 10:00 PM, they show up at the door and they see that there’s a party still going on. So, they leave for the night. And, that means that they’re not coming back to the following night. So, that’s why it’s super important to be asleep before 10:00 PM, so that you giving your body the opportunity to have the cleaning crew come in and clean out. So, I like to use that analogy with my children too. So, it’s kind of the same idea. And unfortunately-
Susan: I love that.
Mimi: With Lyme, you don’t sleep that much because that’s one of the symptoms, is that you have insomnia.
Susan: Yeah. So, RutaVaLa can be really helpful for that. It’s a blend of Ruta, valerian and lavender. And so, valerian’s incredibly wonderful for supporting a healthy, nervous system. And, lavender’s well known for its relaxation response in the body.
Mimi: So, the other thing I wanted to bring up to the listeners, and I know Susan, you have seen this too, is John Hopkins released, I think in the last year or so, a study where they actually went and studied essential oils, which is amazing because most scientific studies aren’t done on natural things because you can’t patent it and sell it. But they did, and they actually came back with super positive results and how it does help with Lyme. So, there is science behind this for anybody who is questioning it, which I will include in the blog that I’m going to write about essential oils that I released this week as well. So, that’s something for people to look at, who want the science behind why essential oils are important to build up the immune system that could then help you fight Lyme.
Susan: Well, and there are research studies out there, there have been for… Like, lavender has been researched for a very long time. There’s more research happening now, which is so exciting. There is PubMed, which is a good resource for current articles, and they have a pretty good search thing. Oftentimes, you have to pay for these because they are research papers. And then, there’s also Google Scholar, which has some free materials. And, there’s more and more of this becoming available. One of the things that I think is so interesting is essential oils have been around for thousands of years. They’ve been used in healing practices for centuries, and in the way as they go like this, through how popular they are or how much they’re used, I think that there’s a lot of… There’s negative stuff, there’s positive stuff, and you have to really sift through the truth of it all.
And again, everybody’s chemistry is different. Certain things are going to work better for some people than others. This is why for some people, a drop of lemon oil in water is going to be perfectly good, for some people that would be too much. And so, you have to be willing to find your own good way with it. And I always say, you want to be responsive to your body, you want to be compassionate with your body. It’s taken a while to get where it is, and you have to give it that time to kind of unwind the process and come to its own good way.
Mimi: So, from your experience with past clients that have had Lyme, what other suggestions, or say if you were to get the Raindrop or any of these other products that you’re recommending, is that something you use on a daily basis, a couple of times a day, or like any other kind of suggestions or how to use them?
DAILY ESSENTIAL OILS
Susan: Well, there are certain oils I would use every day. Like the EndoFlex, I would use that every day, particularly if somebody has been ramped up really high in their nervous system for a long time. Because, you need that constant kind of help, to help bring it back down. Raindrop is really potent. I would say that you would do a treatment, and then you see how you feel the next day. If you have a big response to it, you’re going to want to give it a minute to calm down before you go on to the next thing. I’ve used it as frequently as every day working with people, and with the Cedarwood, because there was Herxing involved. And then, as she started to come to a better place, I mean, her nervous system was such that she couldn’t walk straight. She was listed as she went down the hall.
And so, as she started to do… We backed it up and did it like four days a week, and then three days a week, and then found a maintenance way, rather than it being… But, she was in a critical moment and she was willing to lean into it. And so, we went with that. But, it’s really about being responsive to what is happening with that person. Everyone is different. Everybody has a different level of sensitivities. Everybody has a different level of, depending on how long they’ve been dealing with something, they may not have the reservoir and you have to build the reservoir. I always say, you don’t take away somebody’s crutches before they can walk, you have to give the body time to heal and keep that support system in place until they are strong enough to be able to walk without them.
You change a little at a time, and you let the body adapt and you let the body come into a stronger state. And then sometimes, it’s just about building up the body to be able to handle whatever healing processes need to happen. There is a certain amount of really listening and having complete compassion for the healing process. One of the things that I find with people who have been dealing with a long-standing thing, even like a pain in their shoulder or whatever it is, there’ll be like, they’re angry at this area for not functioning properly. They’re irritated and they’re pissed off. Well, this shoulder actually needs a lot of love. It doesn’t need to be isolated from the system. It has to be brought back into the system. And, I find that in the same thing with chronic conditions, there’s a certain amount of emotional component to, is the person feeling betrayed by their body? Is the person feeling in tune with their body? Is the person feeling at mercy of their body?
Susan: How do you find some strength and resilience even around some of that aspect of the emotional component, which can be, again with meditations? I like Trauma Life. Anyone who’s dealing with a chronic condition has had some trauma going on. There’s a blend called SARA, S-A-R-A, which again, helps deal with kind of the emotional component. Anything that helps with relaxation, Stress Away, Tranquil, Lavender, anything like that too, again, just soothing. We want to soothe everything first. We want to help it find like you’re going to be okay. Right?
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Susan: You’re going to be okay. So, meditation can be a good thing. A guided meditation in terms of turning on the whole healing processes within the body and giving the body good words, giving the body good food. Of course, you need good nutrition, good water. Water is one of the most potent resources we have.
Mimi: No, it’s true. I always say, “Water, water, water,” and that’s my problem. Anytime someone calls I’m like, “If you’re not drinking enough water, then don’t even bother doing anything else because you have to focus on that.” I’m guilty of that. That’s my biggest problem. So, Susan, this has been amazing. I know you had spoken about trying to do a webinar. If people go to you and order the Raindrop Protocol, or any of the other things that you suggested that we would do a webinar and we can walkthrough, how to do everything. And, what is the best way for people to reach you?
Susan: I would say email me at Susu, S-U-S-U.ahdoot, A-H-D-O-O-T@gmail.com. And, if you include your contact information and how to best reach you, I’m happy to do that. I find that if I’m getting a lot of phone calls, if I don’t know the number, I’m not always answering, so.
And anyone who reaches out to me, I’m going to send off a little quarter dram of some type of oil to help just introduce you to them. And whenever this airs and we know the dates, I can arrange for a teaching of the Raindrop in enough time that you can order your kits and get them. And, go through not only how to do Raindrop on somebody else, but also how you can do it on yourself with your legs or creating a roller ball that you can put on the back of your neck because some of us live alone. And so, you don’t always have the assistance you need to get it onto your spine.
Mimi: That’s great. That’s perfect. Well, thank you. I know you said you could talk for hours and hours, but is there anything else that we may have left out?
Susan: You know what? There’s one other quote that I love here that I think is so interesting. It’s a lot, but it’s very potent and it particularly applies to this because of Lyme being a bacteria. “In general, disruption of cell membrane is the primary mechanism by which essential oils act on bacteria.” “As the cell membrane is responsible for providing barrier to the outside world, maintaining the energy status of the cell, transducing energy, moving solutes like salts, regulating metabolism and maintaining turgor pressure.” “Disruption of the cell membrane can be very detrimental to the bacteria and perhaps lead to cell death.”
“In addition to disrupting the bacteria cell membrane, essential oils have been shown to degrade the cell wall, damaged cytoplasmic membranes, induced cytoplasmic coagulation, damaged membrane proteins, destroy the electron transport system, reduce intracellular ATP and increase the leak of cellular contents.” “Essential oil molecules may hit one or more of these targets to carry out their action against bacteria.”
This is all from the Lindsey Elmore book on Essentials, with essential oils. And, I love the science of things, I love when I understand things. And like our bodies, that have their integrity, so do these bacteria. And so, disrupting the integrity of that bacteria helps us to find a way to increase the integrity of our own cell tissue. So, I love when I have an understanding of it and can show that to you.
Mimi: This has been great. Thank you so much, Susan. I really appreciate your time.
Susan: My pleasure.