Do you ever walk into a different room to get something, only to forget what you are looking for? Perhaps you have those moments where a word or a name is on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t recall it. Or you might feel yourself growing more fatigued more easily, especially after tasks that require a lot of concentration, like driving. All of these are early signs of brain inflammation that, if left unchecked, can lead to neuro-degeneration like Alzheimer’s. Essential oils can calm brain inflammation and help prevent neuro-degeneration.
Calm Brain Inflammation
You see, inflammation in the body, including inflammation that originates in the gut from leaky gut, food intolerances or other digestive dysfunction, can drive chronic systemic inflammation, including inflammation of the brain. The gut-brain axis is a two-way information channel: the brain sends signals to the gut, and the gut sends signals back to the brain.
When the body becomes inflamed, it releases an inflammatory hormone called cytokines into the blood. Any inflammation in the body, including leaky gut, will produce substantial quantities of cytokines. These cytokines travel throughout the body via the blood and transmit their message to virtually every cell, including cells in the brain. You see, cytokines signals can cross the blood brain barrier and activate an inflammatory response in the brain.
Brain Inflammation = Anxiety, Depression and Stress
“As inflammatory signals from the gut persist, the inflammation in the brain increases. An inflamed brain has less (and slower) nerve conduction, which manifests as mood related symptoms such as stress, depression, or anxiety,” according to Paleomom.com’s Sarah Ballantyne (in her book The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body)
Brain Inflammation = Diminished Muscle and Nerve Signaling
An inflamed brain results not only in slow thinking, but also in diminished strength and coordination. This is because every muscle contraction starts with a signal from the brain. Nerve cells connected to the brain signal the muscles to relax or contract. As a result, the strength of the muscle is only as good as its nerve connection.
The same holds true for inflammation’s role in obstructing vagus-nerve activation. This is one of the reasons the Parasympathetic™ blend is such a powerful healing tool. The Parasympathetic™ blend helps to manually activate the vagus nerve to stimulate the body’s parasympathetic response.
Any kind of infections (including gut, sinus or periodontal), toxic exposure (including mold, pesticides, heavy metals or even EMFs) can inflame the brain and impede optimal vagal signaling.
Similarly, the brain needs to detoxify during sleep (Read more here), clearing toxins from the brain and draining them down through the lymphatic system of the neck. When that channel gets congested, it also impedes vagal signaling. This congestion can be a result of poor sleep such as insomnia, dehydration or any kind of head injuries, including a concussion that can impede the hydraulics system of the brain draining toxins. If these toxins are recirculated, they trigger increased brain inflammation.
The nerve signals from the brain are impeded by any kind of inflammation, impacting the downstream muscles and organs.
Impact of Decreased Vagal Nerve Activation
Decreased vagus-nerve activation from brain inflammation leads to a myriad of downstream problems in the body. For example it obstructs the healing of the gut. Paleomom.com’s Sarah Ballantyne notes that many of the beneficial effects of the probiotic bacteria in the gut are dependent on the vagal activation affecting brain function that occurs in the parasympathetic state.
“Eighty percent of the fibers in the vagus nerve carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around. This means that the gut (and even the gut microflora) communicates directly with the brain, perhaps having a direct impact on emotions and moods,” according to Ballantyne.
Ballantyne further notes that “once these inflammatory cells are activated in the brain, it can be hard to deactivate them, meaning that inflammation in the brain can be hard to turn off.”
Essential Oils to Heal Brain Inflammation
Topically applied essential oils can play a huge role in helping deactivate inflammation in the brain so it can repair and heal. This is one of the reasons that Vibrant Blue Oils Brain Balance blends are so popular with practitioners. As you may know, essential oils are fat soluble and the brain is comprised primarily of fat so essential oils can easily cross the blood brain barrier and support the brain. Specific oils for deactivating brain inflammation include:
Anti-Inflammatory™: Brain Balance Anti-Inflammatory™ can be topically applied to regions of the brain to help turn off brain inflammation so the gut and the body can communicate and heal. This blend contains several essential oils known for their anti-inflammatory properties. It is designed to reduce inflammation, re-balance the brain, and encourage regeneration of damaged or stressed cells and tissues that have been chronically inflamed or acutely inflamed.
Lymph™: The lymphatic system needs to be functioning optimally in order for toxins to be removed from the brain. If you think of the body like a hydraulics system where congested tissue downstream prevents optimal flow upstream, congested lymphatic vessels in the neck will impede drainage of toxins from the brain. To enhance lymphatic flow and drainage, generously apply Lymph™ around the sides of the neck to relieve congestion, improve drainage and reduce brain inflammation.
Parasympathetic™: If an infection is impeding blood and lymph flow out of brain, pressure can build up and toxins and lymphatic fluid cannot drain effectively. The lymphatic system of the brain moves alongside the arteries and then drains alongside the veins. So if you have congestion or inflammation in this tissue or in the veins in the neck that can impair the drainage of toxins from the brain. Toxins or infections in the mouth including amalgams, root canals, infections from wisdom tooth extractions or other dental or gum disease can lead to infection on the sides of the neck impacting the function of the vagus nerve to trigger the Parasympathetic rest and digest state. The vagus nerve travels down both sides of the neck and infections in that vicinity can be taken into the nerve and impede the ability of the nerve to trigger the parasympathetic state. Topically applying Parasympathetic™ blend on the vagal nerve behind the on the neck can help manually override the infection and help reset the autonomic nervous system for optimal drainage from the brain.
When inflammation is deactivated, the brain is better able to communicate with the body, improving mood, focus, intelligence and strength.
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