Several industrial and end-users across the globe use essential oils extracted from the diverse parts of multiple plants as vital sources of natural aroma, flavor, and wellness properties. Essential oils find wide applications in nutraceutical products due to their natural chemical compositions. They are encapsulated within delivery systems to enable bioavailability and improve chemical stability while limiting their volatility and toxicity.
As per the Council of Responsible Nutrition (CRN) in the US, the top four categories of supplements are
1. Vitamins and Minerals – Many people take supplements with multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B to fill the deficiency. They contain essential oils besides other natural extracts.
2. Specialty Supplements – These supplements are for specific health problems such as blood pressure, arthritis, prostate, thyroid, and some others. They contain fish oil, fiber, probiotics, glucosamine, and CoQ10, and essential oils.
3. Herbals and Botanicals – People worldwide consume herbal or botanical supplements containing green tea, garlic, cranberry, echinacea, ginseng, and herbal or spice essential oils.
4. Sports Nutrition and Weight Management – The typical supplements in this category include protein supplements, energy drinks & gel, Garcinia Cambogia, green coffee, and hydration drinks & gels. These supplements contain natural extracts and essential oils.
The essential oil manufacturers provide different essential oils, carrier oils, extracts, and spice oils to make health supplements. Let us examine the relationship between essential oils and health supplements.
Functioning of Essential Oils In Health Supplements
Supplements containing essential oils help the body obtain other nutrients and minerals, detox the body on a cellular level and take advantage of other wellness properties of the oils.
1. Essential Oils and Enzymes Supporting Digestive System
The human body produces metabolic and digestive enzymes that are molecules of proteins made from amino acid chains. The structure of enzymes defines their functionalities. It is found that therapeutic grade essential oils continue their enzymatic activity after entering the human body.
- Metabolic enzymes control the energy level in the body and help in detoxification and make the sensory system responsive.
- Digestive enzymes break down the food and ass\imilate it into nutrients. The human body uses different enzymes to digest carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Both kinds of enzymes support the healthy functioning of the human body.
When a human diet is supplemented with enzymes, the human body assimilates the maximum nutritional value from the food by breaking down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins efficiently. The supplements with enzymes also reduce the requirement of the body to produce digestive or metabolic enzymes.
The enzymes that help digest protein are called Protease or pH, while the enzymes that aid in the digestion of fats are called Lipase. More than ten kinds of enzymes facilitate the digestion of carbohydrates, sugar, and starch. They include Sucrase, Maltase, Alpha-galactosidase, Invertase, Cellulase, and others.
Natural plants contain certain enzymes that help break down fat, sugar, and starch through their bioactivity in the human body. They include papain and bromelain enzymes that support a healthy digestive system. The essential oils derived from plants carry the essence of plants. The supplements with fennel, lemongrass, anise, and cumin essential oils help digest starches, sugars, proteins, and fats, while the ones containing peppermint oils help in pancreas function or waste elimination.
2. Essential oils and Body-detox
Essential Oils are excellent natural detox remedies. The supplements with essential oils facilitate the cleansing of toxins from the liver. The diffusion of pure and natural essential oils reduces stress, promotes sound sleep, and fills the mind with positivity, thus helps in nervous system detoxification.
The detox supplements contain essential oils and herbal cleansing fibers that support healthy digestion and colon cleansing. They also contain enzymes that help excrete waste from the cell in a healthy manner.
3. Essential Oils and Weight loss
Stress, digestive disorders, and cravings lead to weight gain. The supplements containing essential oils help manage all these issues and lose weight.
Lack of water, poor diet, lack of nutrition, lack of exercise and sleep, negativity, and environmental pollution contribute to weight gain.
A human body needs 1.5 liters to 2 liters of water a day. Sufficient water in the body helps flush out toxins from metabolic pathways. A drop of citrus essential oil in drinks improves taste and offers energy and great antioxidant support with natural constituents such as limonene, linalool, and beta-pinene. It also suppresses appetite. Dill seed and peppermint oils help reduce sugar cravings after meals. The supplements with such oil automatically lead to a healthy diet with proper nutrition.
A weight loss program is incomplete without whole food vitamins, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. Perfect meal replacement powder contains many natural ingredients and essential oils. It is an appetite-satisfying sumptuous protein powder that is low in calories and high in fiber.
4. Essential Oils and Joints & Bone Health
Naturally occurring sulfur in plants strengthens joints and bones in the body. The essential oils derived from these plants contain the natural compounds of the parent plant. Their application soothes spasms, pain after a workout, and body aches.
The supplements made for joints and bone health contain different essential oils, type II collagen, and healthy cell supporting elements. They improve dell function, joint health, and fluid movement. The essential oils with eugenol content are used in these supplements for their warming effect. Clove, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon bark all contain eugenol. Wintergreen, Birch, and some other woody oils are also used in the supplements for their wellness constituents.
Some supplements are formulated to treat inflammation of muscles and stiffness of joints. They contain frankincense powder, wintergreen & clove essential oils, black spruce extract, turmeric rhizomes extracts, calcium fructoborate, black pepper essential oil, glucosamine sulfate, and type II collagen for cartilage health. They support joint health and cartilage movement besides easing inflammation and discomfort and improving flexibility.
5. Essential Oils and Other Nutritional Supplements
Multiple kinds of nutritional supplements are prepared for different health purposes. Some of them are Omega 3, thyroid, and prostate supplements.
Omega 3 supplements contain EPA and DHA fatty acids from fish oil and essential oils that support normal functioning of the brain, eye, heart, and joint health. Some contain german chamomile essential oil, clove essential oil, and spearmint essential oil owing to their chamazulene, eugenol and carvone and limonene constituents respectively.
Thyroid supplements support the thyroid gland to regulate body metabolism, energy, and body temperature. They are a balanced formula of herbs, porcine glandular extracts, minerals, amino acids, and essential oils. They improve thyroid function and contain vitamin E extracts or essential oils, Kelp with iodine, adrenal and pituitary extracts, potassium, and magnesium besides essential oils. The essential oils used in these supplements include minty essential oils such as spearmint, corn mint, and peppermint citrus oils such as myrtle oil, lemon myrtle, and lime oils.
Prostate supplements help in the functioning of the reproductive prostate gland. The fats in the body increase testosterone and hormones, leading to prostate cancer. The supplements contain Saw palmetto fatty acids and extracts, pumpkin seed oil, and essential oils such as geranium, fennel, lavender, myrtle, and peppermint.
It is important to note that all the nutraceutical supplements containing essential oils are not substitutes for medical evaluation and regular medicines.