Plants make chemicals to fight off bacteria and fungi. They have to do it to survive. Swamy and colleagues (DOI:10.1155/2016/3012462) have a paper that describes the antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. They list many of the molecules in these essential oils with known antimicrobial propeties. Two of them, p-cymene and carvacrol, are found in black seed oil. They are highlighted below:
Many of those chemicals can be extracted as oils using different techniques such as steam distillation and cold pressing.
- Steam distillation is used for most essential oils that you can buy in stores. The heat can change the chemical composition.
- Black seed oil from Nigella Sativa is made by cold pressing
If you’re going to try plant oils, I recommend trying black seed oil first. Safety-wise, you need to know that it’s a double-edged sword. Start with low doses, increase your dosage, and quit if your symptoms are going the wrong way. see the slides in the video description for this video: Patient Experiences Protocol (Dec 2022)
You can also refer to slide 13 onwards here regarding potential mechanisms of action: https://longhaulwiki.com/resources/assets/hope-for-healing.pdf
A lot of you know about black seed oil by now. And of course, it doesn’t work for most people. So let’s branch out and look at other essential oils that might be useful. There are so many essential oils out there, so we can limit ourselves to essential oils that have been used in food. They include:
- Cinnamon bark (not the twigs or leaves) ← very potent, be careful
- Orange (orange peel is eaten in marmalade and ethnic food)
This post will focus on lavender.
In the World War 2 era, lavender essential oil was applied to the skin topically to aid in wound healing. There have been multiple studies done on lavender oil for wound healing. Samuelson and colleagues (DOI:10.1089/acm.2019.0286 | sci hub) have written a meta-analysis on 20 different studies. Their conclusion:
The current body of literature suggests a potential therapeutic benefit of lavender essential oil in
Samuelson and colleagues also point out that lavender’s use in medicine can be traced back to the first century AD when a Greek botanist and physician “praised its effectiveness in relieving indigestion and headaches in De Materia Medica”.
People use lavender oil for anxiety, panic attacks, and as a sleep aid. It’s not clear to me how well it works for those purposes.
The data strongly suggests that black seed oil is leading to dramatic improvement in a few lucky people such as myself. See the data here: What worked for 27 people who recovered - Feb 2023
The data also shows that some people report significant worsening from black seed oil. That’s consistent with patient anecdotes of bad reactions. That seems to suggest that BSO is biologically active and is cutting both ways.
The idea is that lavender essential oil will also do something (because it contains antimicrobial chemicals) and that people will respond differently to it because its chemicals are different than black seed oil.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found good data on lavender oil for Long COVID or COVID vaccine injury. I’ve tried it myself and I reacted badly to it- so I do have reason to believe that it is biologically active. I happened to have very positive results from black seed oil and very negative results from lavender oil. For those of you who don’t respond to black seed oil (or react negatively to it), it is possible that lavender may help. We just don’t know right now.
Lavender is attractive because it’s:
- Easy to access
- Has been used medicinally. It has plausible mechanisms of action for chronic illness.
- Has a safety track record in healthy people.
You can buy it either as a pre-made supplement or as an essential oil. The Calm Aid supplement and other lavender supplements can be purchased on Amazon, iHerb (see this shopping list), or other retailers.
Because the supplement is pre-diluted, it is easier to deal with. If you want to low-dose it, then you’d need to break open the capsule and use a toothpick to get a lower dose. Use the tip of a toothpick to get an amount that is a fraction of one drop.
If you buy it as an essential oil (e.g. Now Foods sells food-grade lavender oil), then slowly work your way up to one drop. Use a toothpick to get less than one drop. I highly recommend diluting all essential oils just in case. This is because some essential oils cause chemical burns!!!
Dilute essential oils with another oil, e.g. vegetable oil for cooking (e.g. olive), bacon grease, any animal oil, black seed oil if you’re taking that anyways, etc.
Of the experimental drugs out there, this will likely be one of the ‘safest’ things that you can try. It has a long track record of use in healthy people. See the 1-star Amazon reviews for anecdotes regarding what can go wrong - Amazon.com
Within the first hour of taking it, my face was flushed. I ended up having a full blown anxiety attack (not normal for me) except it was strange because my body was reacting to it while my mind was not. My legs started twitching every couple minutes and my heart was racing.
I took the pill at about 11p.m. and was not able to fall asleep until 3:30am because of the anxiety that was caused.
So I did feel calmer, but in reading I think this is what caused the awful constipation and since I am prone to diverticulitis I will NOT be taking more. i almost ended up in the hospital.
Lavender is definitely safer than SSRIs and other psych drugs where suicide is a known side effect.
The other reason why this may be a promising experimental treatment is because black seed oil seems to be responsible for people’s recovery. This antimicrobial will push your microbiome around (like black seed oil) but in a different way. It may deal with the root cause of Long COVID and COVID vaccine injury in the few patients who respond positively to it.