Healing with Essential Oils with Dr. Eric Zielinski

Season 3, Episode 83

Dr. Drew Sinatra

Dr. Drew Sinatra

Dr. Briana Sinatra

Dr. Briana Sinatra


In this week’s episode of Be HEALTHistic, Drs. Drew and Briana Sinatra welcome chiropractor, public health researcher, aromatherapist, podcast host, and author, Dr. Eric Zielinski — also known as Dr. Z. He wrote the bestselling primer on using essential oils for general health, which teaches us how to use these natural remedies safely and effectively. Today, we focus on his latest book, The Essential Oils Apothecary: Advanced Strategies and Protocols for Chronic Disease and Conditions, which has more than 100 research-backed, easy-to-prepare formulations to help with symptoms of many common, chronic conditions.

First, Dr. Z talks about his background as a health researcher and how he discovered the power of essential oils to heal. He explains what essential oils are, how they need to be manufactured for medicinal purposes, and why dilution is so important. Dr. Z discusses how essential oils can be an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, and how they can replace the toxic chemicals found in many household cleaning products.

Next, he talks about ingestion (or oral dosing) of essential oils and the latest safety information, as well as the more traditional uses for EOs — including aromatherapy and topical preparations. Drs. Drew and Briana ask Dr. Z about purity standards and how to find the most high-quality oils. Finally, Dr. Z provides tips for getting started with essential oils, and shares some of his favorite “recipe” combinations the whole family can enjoy.

You won’t want to miss this “essential” episode of Be HEALTHistic!


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Dr. Drew Sinatra: Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of Be HEALTHistic. Today on the show, my co-host will be my wife, naturopathic physician, Dr. Briana Sinatra.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: Hi.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: It’s great to have you here.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: It’s great to be here, thank you.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: And as our guest, we’re welcoming chiropractor, public health researcher, aromatherapist, podcast host, and author, Dr. Eric Zielinski — also known as Dr. Z. He wrote the best-selling primer on using essential oils for general health, The Healing Power of Essential Oils, which teaches us how to use these natural remedies safely and effectively.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: Today, we’re going to focus on Dr. Z’s new book that he co-authored with his wife, Sabrina, called The Essential Oils Apothecary, soothing remedies for anxiety, pain, high blood sugar, hypertension, and other chronic conditions. This book shares more than 100 research-backed, easy-to-prepare formulations to help the symptoms of many chronic conditions. And Briana and I are really curious to find out more.

Narrator: Welcome to Be HEALTHistic, the podcast that’s more than just health and wellness information — it’s here to help you explore your options across traditional and natural medicine, so that you can make informed decisions for you and your family. This podcast illuminates the whole story about holistic health by providing access to the expertise of Drs. Steve and Drew Sinatra, who together have decades of integrative health experience. Be HEALTHistic is powered by our friends at Healthy Directions. Now, let’s join our hosts.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: Hi folks…if you like what you hear today and you want to listen to future conversations on all things integrative and holistic health, subscribe to our podcast at Also, check out and subscribe to the Healthy Directions YouTube channel, which features video versions of our episodes, plus extra videos you won’t want to miss. And finally, we have more with me, Dr. Drew Sinatra, my dad, Dr. Steve Sinatra, and other health experts at

Dr. Drew Sinatra: Thanks, Dr. Z, for joining us on the show today.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Well, thanks for having me. It’s an honor and a privilege. And you know what? I’m glad you read that, what you did, because that was the old tagline. You know what the new subtitle is, which is just hot off the presses — Advanced Strategies and Protocols for Chronic Conditions and Disease. And the reason why that’s important is because, like you mentioned, my first book being the primer, I’m so proud to share that this new book…nothing like this has ever been done before. And we’re tackling some really heavy-duty topics. Because so many books have been written about the 101 approach to aromatherapy, which is great, we needed that. But we’ve been doing this for a decade now, right? We need to go cover advanced strategies and protocols. So, hot off the presses, you’re the first to hear about it. So, I can’t wait to talk about this stuff with y’all.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: Awesome. So, Dr. Z, can you share with us a little bit about your background and your personal journey with the healing power of essential oils, and how did this become a specialty of yours?

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Yeah, that’s a great question because it definitely was not on my 10-year vision plan. Oftentimes, when people do what they do, and then they find themselves being nudged by life here or there, and you hear the “call from God” to do something, that’s essentially been my story. But the long and the short of it is, I quit a very cushy corporate job to chase after a dream of becoming a chiropractor. My wife and I moved down to Georgia from Michigan, and I just wanted to open up what you would consider a health center to help people, holistically — which is why I love the title of your podcast, by the way. The balance…we really have been preaching balanced life for many years.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Well, I fell in love with research, and I got accepted into the research track, which was only five students in the whole school, accepted in that program. And I ended up becoming a public health researcher — and I did not even graduate with the skills to become a practicing physician, which was fine by me because I fell in love with the writing, and the research, and the presentation of evidence-based literature to the world. And so, the long and the short of it is, I got broke, like B-R-O-K-E, couldn’t afford, barely rubbing two nickels together. And we had three kids at the time. I’m like, “What do I do to make extra money?” So I started writing, and I started, essentially, writing for hire as a public health researcher. And one of my clients commissioned me to write a series of public health reports on essential oils. And that’s what started all of that, and that was seven years ago.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: And here we are…I was floored, docs. I was absolutely floored. Not knowing anything about essential oils, other than it’s something that my wife used. And I marginalized them as smelly stuff, like a lot of guys do. Because I’m not going to go play beach volleyball, or basketball with my friends smelling like ylang ylang. (Laughter) Seriously, that’s a stigma…that’s a stigma a lot of guys have. “I don’t want to smell like my wife.” Okay. Well, when I started doing the research, and I had to — about everything from balancing blood glucose, blood pressure, even the potential chemotherapeutic effects of essential oil, I was like, “What is this stuff?” And that’s what started me on this journey, here we are today.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, yeah, so you mentioned the aromatherapy piece, that’s what I think most people are familiar with. You’ve got that little unit right behind you.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The diffuser.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: But in your book, you talk about all the other purposes for essential oils. So, first off, can you explain what essential oils are, and then, following that, why are they so good for your health?

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Well, in 2021, here we are, what are they? And people need to realize that essential oils have been, and are the basis for virtually every medicine that has been created. And I want to point that out as a fact, that it’s not like the chemists are having dreams and visions, and the pharmacists are creating chemical compounds in a vacuum. They base them off of what they’ve seen traditionally, and that’s in nature. The perfect example is wintergreen; it’s an essential oil, which has a chemical that is highly pain-relieving in the methyl salicylate family. Well, when you go back a little bit further, like 5,000 to 10,000 years ago, and you see how our ancestors used willow bark — well, it’s the same kind of chemical. Well, when you extract that salicylate chemical, and you manufacture it, put a white shiny pill on it, you could sell it, and we know it as aspirin. And that’s exactly how the chemist came about that.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: And so, when you go back even to World War I, World War II, combat medics used essential oils to help fight infection and gangrene. And we’re talking on the front lines of medicine — tea tree, oregano, lavender, lemongrass, clove. And so, what they are technically, and then again, that was before the antibiotic in the mid-’40s — what do you think people used?

Dr. Eric Zielinski: So technically, essential oils are volatile organic compounds. So when you put your nose into a rose and you smell the aroma, there’s actually a particle being emitted in the air. That particle is a physical particle — volatile meaning it evaporates, organic meaning it’s carbon-based, compound meaning there are lots of them. So when you get, let’s say, 3,000 pounds of flowers, petals, and you distill it down into one itty-bitty bottle, there are up to 300 plant-based chemicals in that one bottle.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: But here’s the thing, though. We see essential oils in nature — that’s what you smell when you cut your grass, the aroma. And that’s what you smell when you’re in your herb garden. But you’re not going to find an essential oil in nature, in that you’re not going to see a pool of lavender in a lavender field. And that’s what’s really important about this discussion, is that as natural as they are, they need to be manufactured. And it takes roughly three pounds of lavender flowers to steam distill to get one itty-bitty bottle of lavender.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: So, why I say that in that this is different than herbalism. This is different in that we need to be very careful how we use essential oils, because they have a direct medicinal, therapeutic effect on the body. And you’re not going to find herbs, and spices, and supplements having near the potential therapeutic efficacy and impact on the body because they’re just not concentrated. And the best example is glucose, blood glucose. It’ll take roughly one tablespoon of cinnamon bark powder to equal one drop of cinnamon bark on the insulin sensitivity effects, and blood glucose-balancing effects of the essential oil. Just one drop has the same effect of up to a tablespoon of powder. So that’s where I’m trying to teach people how to use this stuff as medicine, but also respect them that you could burn yourself. You could hurt yourself. And there are known drug interactions we need to be careful about.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: Yeah, so, as a lead-off from that, what are some of the different ways that essential oils can be used? And why is dilution important?

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Let’s answer that last question about dilution. Because again, we’re talking about highly potential caustic plant-based compounds that are concentrated in a bottle, and if not used properly, they can create what’s known as sensitization, or contact dermatitis. And so people can put themselves...and then, again, there was recently a Netflix documentary out there about a woman who put orange oil on her skin, and she went into a tanning booth, and she burned herself. There are photosensitivity reactions to this stuff; they expound upon the UVs, or they make the UV rays of the sun that much more vibrant than not. And so, you want to dilute them. And it’s very easy to with a carrier oil — like an olive oil, or coconut oil, or traditional jojoba, or sweet almond. But these essential oils are potentially caustic and can burn.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: And by the way, you save your money, because go back to what they are. They are volatile, meaning they readily evaporate. So when you put a drop of essential oil on your hand, it automatically starts to off-gas and will automatically start to evaporate. That’s why you could put on your diffuser, like I have behind me, press the On button, walk 30, 40 feet away, and within seconds, you smell it. Why? Because those particles are being emitted from the air. And so, when you dilute them, it actually helps trap the essential oil, it kind of acts like a barrier. And so, you don’t get as much off-gassing, but also it helps open up the pores so that the skin can absorb them better. And research studies suggest that diluted essential oils will penetrate into your bloodstream within minutes. I mean, within five minutes, the chemical compounds within the oils can be detected. So that’s how we teach people to get a full body systemic approach. But when you ingest them, and you can properly, just don’t put a drop in your water or drop in your mouth, you need a fatty carrier to help so, A, you don’t burn the mucous membranes in your oral cavity or esophagus, but also when you’re using them in capsule form, it helps the body absorb them better, as well.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: The uses are unlimited, meaning that…there’s a slogan out there in the network marketing world. “There’s an oil for that,” right? And that alludes to the fact that essential oils are essentially a cure-all for everything, which I never would say. But when you look at what they do at an internal harmonization standpoint, which by the way is a topic we might want to discuss, I covered it in my book, is that researchers call essential oils “harmonizers.” They’re known harmonizers, which mean they help the body reach homeostasis. Why? Because they’re rich in antioxidants. By definition, they’re bioactive compounds, like polyphenols and carotenoids. So they’re rich in antioxidants, so they fight free radical damage, they are anti-inflammatory by nature, and they help your body heal itself. So whether it’s something like chronic stress or anxiety, which by the way, because of the effect of the limbic system through olfaction, we know that essential oils can help with mental health disorders. But when you’re looking at a systemic issue, like heart disease or respiratory concerns, or whatever, pain, we know that essential oils have a unique ability, as well, because of their root cause resolution capacity.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: And so, we hear a lot about certain spices and herbs, and they do wonderful. And so we, let’s look at the benefits of curcumin and turmeric. Well, we see the same benefits compounded with turmeric essential oil. So the sky’s the limit, and it’s fun, and I want to encourage people…maybe if you’ve hit a wall, or if you’re looking for a solution to something that you just don’t know where to go, an essential oil approach might be the missing link. And I want to encourage folks to take, truly, an integrative approach to their health, and do whatever it takes. Because a lot of folks in our world, they’re what I call medical failures. Medicine has failed them, and they don’t know what to do, they’re beyond themselves. They’ve reached the end of themselves and they’re like, “I don’t know what to do.” And they’re willing to try aromatherapy at that point. Don’t wait until things get so far advanced that you’re willing to do whatever. Be proactive. That’s why I love the information you’re sharing on your show, because this is proactive stuff that people can start to implement. So, when the proverbial crap hits the fan, you’re not scrambling to find solutions. You’re living a lifestyle that can help. And so, one other piece we could segment maybe into, if you want to, is this whole toxic overload that we have been inundated by. And that’s really where we, as my family, use essential oils daily.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Now, I don’t use essential oils to balance my blood sugar, because I don’t have diabetes. I don’t use essential oils to lose weight, because I’m not obese. But you can do that, and I talk about it in my book. We use essential oils as our lifestyle approach, so our body care…and you’re not going to see aerosols or poo-poo sprays in my house with those toxic chemicals, because we use essential oil-based stuff. Our cleaners, you’re not going to see any phthalates, or you’re not see any, again, artificial fragrances that we know cause dementia, Alzheimer’s, been linked to cancer, and auto-immunity. You’re not going to see that in my household.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: So, we take this essential oil approach where everything’s natural, but we use them to enhance our life. And we use them because we want to, and for people that want to get free, and I use the word “free” very, very candidly because I was a slave to drugs, because I had to take a drug to not be in pain. And if people want to get free from that…I don’t want you to be stuck on an essential oil the rest of your life, that’s not the point. You use an essential oil to help you get to that place where you don’t need to use them, and then you use them because you want to. That’s freedom…not having to take a drug, not having to take an essential oil. Waking up, and feeling good, and having good, balanced emotions. But if you need to take something like lavender, or Roman chamomile to help you sleep at night, well, by all means, do it. But that’s the goal, is to do something because you want to, not because you have to.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: Yeah. I’m so happy you brought up the household cleaning products, and just that lifestyle of living naturally, because we’ve obviously used a lot of essential oils in our house. When people think of essential oils, I think the first thing is always the aromatization, or what’s happening behind you with the aromatizer. And then, of course, topically is another avenue that people tend to explore essential oils with. And then, of course, home cleaning products, beauty care products, etc, hygiene. My question to you is, in terms of oral ingestion, that’s something that’s newer to us, because I think we weren’t really taught that in medical school. But I’d love to get your take on the oral ingestion of the essential oils, and really how that plays a role compared to the other vectors, like the skin, or inhalation.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Yeah. And so, the number one controversy in the aromatherapy industry is ingestion. And I’ll just tell you, there is no debate on it. A, it’s evidence-based. B, the text and the aromatherapy essential oil manuals explain and teach it. But the reality is, it’s about safety. And so, what you’ll see is you’ll see some aromatherapists who teach people shouldn’t even use essential oils unless they’re under the guidance of an aromatherapist. And I feel that’s very restrictive. And then you have other folks on the other end who say, “Well, just put a drop in your mouth, and go at it.” And there’s got to be a balance there. And the balance is, for anyone concerned about using essential oils in your house, on any level, if anyone’s concerned about consuming essential oils, I just want to put the ball back in your corner for just a second and think with me. Just like people might be concerned about using essential oils in their cleaning products, because they’re afraid of their pets — I hear that all the time. “Well, what about my pets licking the floor?” Well, are you afraid of Clorox? Because they’re not, and they don’t think like that. They’re like, “Oh yeah, you’re right. I’m not really afraid of Clorox, but I don’t want to use this oil base?”

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Or same thing with the aerosols. Well, you’re afraid that your baby’s going to have a reaction to an aromatherapy diffuser, but you’re not afraid of that your baby is going to have a reaction to that toxic wallflower, that Plug-In? Same thing with food — up to 50% of all essential oils manufactured on the planet, again, half, half of all oils manufactured in the planet are used by the food and flavor industry. What do you think flavors your Coca-Cola? What do you think flavors your peppermint mint patties, or your lemon bars? It’s either a synthetic or a real essential oil — but the difference is parts per million. So, it’s dosing. And we teach this all the time, and we have a chapter in the book about fatty liver. Now, no, essential oils aren’t going to cure you of fatty liver, but you know what? Research suggests that certain oils, like lime oil, can actually help, and spearmint, can actually help your body, and help your liver heal, literally, help reverse liver damage. Not liver disease, but liver damage, due to chronic stress and free radicals. Well, we add a drop of, let’s say, spearmint in our matcha green tea latte to have a nice culinary dose, a culinary approach to enjoying essential oils. The flavor’s great, we get that aspect. But for people that want to treat a disease, you can. That’s where we get the capsule form.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Now that’s when we have to start thinking about the drug interactions, because yes, there are known drug interactions. And by the way, my book includes what I know as literally the only chart for the lay person, like the average user, about the known drug interactions. You just can’t find this information. I actually hired a researcher, like a certified aromatic practitioner, to help me with this because there are things you need to be careful of. So, when you’re putting three, four, or five drops in a gel capsule and ingesting that, now we’re getting in the world of a pharmaceutical approach. And that is very safe, very effective, but under the guidance of max oral dosing. I’m getting this stuff from Robert Tisserand, the founder, “the godfather,” so to speak of essential oil safety from his texts, from what the research suggests. You know, there’s research studies talking about three to six drops of peppermint essential oils in an enteric-coated gel cap, or an enteric-coated capsule, to help soothe the symptoms of SIBO or IBS in human patients. And so, we see this research, and basically, what I do is, as a researcher…because I’m not a practicing aromatherapist, I’m a researcher. So I’m taking what the researchers are finding in the labs, and working with humans, and animals, and here’s what we know about the individual components of these oils. These are max oral dosing. And typically, no one wants to go above like six to ten drops in a day. But when you split three or four drops per dose, three, four times a day, that’s very safe, it’s very effective. So the reality is if you want truly a therapeutic effect, you need to ingest the essential oil.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Now, traditional aromatherapy as people consider that, a.k.a., inhalation, and topical application — they do great. They help a lot of different things, especially the psychogenic aspects of disease, and mental health, because of the aroma and the aspect to the effect on the limbic system, right, where your mood, your memory, your emotions, your autonomic function is. But if you want to really start treating and managing chronic conditions, even pain, joint. Like fibromyalgia — what are you going to do for fibromyalgia? I mean, just pain all over the body in sporadic spots. You need to look at internally, that’s where capsules come into play. And we have, I think, 15 or 16 different capsule recipes in the book, or remedies from heart health, to cancer, to fatty liver, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions that the research suggests that these oils can help.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: So people that read the book, can they put together these capsules on their own with essential oils that they’ve bought? Is that how it works?

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: Oh, that’s great.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Yeah, all the recipes, and…one thing, too, for people that buy the book, we’re trying to help as much as we can. And we know sometimes people, like myself, I’m more of a visual learner. So we created a bunch of demo videos, like 15 do-it-yourself videos where we walk you through. And we chose two of the capsules, one of them is the IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, capsule to help people, like how do you make this capsule? And we can talk about the nuances of what kind of capsule do you use — but you get a pipette, a simple pipette, or a dropper, got some essential oils, got some olive oil, or CBD as a carrier, you’re good to go.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: Mmmmmmm.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: That’s fantastic. And I guess in regards to the quality of these essential oils that…we were discussing before the podcast began about, how do we really know that an essential oil is high quality? Is there a way to test it, or can you look it up online in terms of the company, and all the research they’re doing into it?

Dr. Briana Sinatra: And some are advertised as food-grade. So, are there certain things that people should be looking for when they’re going down this avenue, and when they integrate it into their life and their family?

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Yeah. When you said testing, doc, that test is the GC/MS — the Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry report. So, it’s basically the blood panel of the essential oil. And not that I expect people to be biochemists, but the nice thing is most companies now worth their weight in salt will post the actual batch-specific report of the oil on their website — or it’s readily available by just typing up on chat. And what you’re looking for is you’re looking for that little executive summary. Just like if you were to get your heart disease risk panel at — you’re not a cardiologist, right? People go just to see, “Hey, am I within normal limits or not?” That’s what you’re looking for in these third party, and that’s what they do. Because, hey, you make a good point. The reason why you’re asking this question, quite frankly, like the supposition is the fact that anyone can sell anything on the market. That’s really the reason why we’re even having this discussion, and that’s a concern. So CBD, olive oil, wine, and essential oils — those four products are some of the most adulterated products on the planet. On the planet. And I actually talk about CBD in my book, up to 75% to 80% of all CBD is mislabeled.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: So, going back to your question, doc, about label, is you can’t trust the label, just like you can’t trust the food label. Organic, all organic, natural, all natural, 100% this, food-grade, medicinal-grade, therapeutic-grade — all that’s marketing. What you want is you want to find a company, and there are several, that actually pay out of their pocket, which they do, third party labs to test and evaluate what’s in the oil. And why they do that is because from the fact that once the farmer plants the seed of the actual product that you’re going to end up harvesting, to the fact that it goes through how many dozens of different hands and companies, to getting labeled — there’s a lot of different people touching it. A lot of different contamination can happen. These companies spend millions of dollars having their oils tested before they go out in the market. The FDA is not involved at all, no other third party is independently involved. So, you want to find that.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: And so, there are, again, several companies, the labels, quite frankly, don’t matter. But to me, what matters most is a good referral from a friend who’s seen good results. But more importantly, is how your body responds. And if I could leave anyone with one thing out of this whole discussion is whether it’s a supplement, whether it’s a pharmaceutical, whether it’s an essential oil, or a food — you have to find what works for you. And this is really important because, yes, we know that peppermint essential oil is extremely effective at helping with migraines, and headaches, and just pain in general, because it’s rich in menthol. What do you think’s in your Icy Hot, or your freezy creams, whatever they call them now, wherever you’re going, it’s menthol-based, or camphor-based. But if it doesn’t work for you, or if you have an adverse reaction, you have to find something that does work for you. And so, with that said, there’s two things I want people to remember. Purity, which means it’s just essential oil-based, there’s nothing else. No adulterants, no fillers. Purity doesn’t guarantee efficacy, nor does purity guarantee safety.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: In fact, the more pure, if there’s such a thing, the purer something is, the more potentially harmful it is because it’s more potent. And if you get a real, unadulterated, essential oil with nothing else in it, that is medicine. And so, it doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to work because of individual biochemistry, and we are different. But it also doesn’t guarantee safety, because you have to use them the right way. And that’s why you dilute them, put them in gel capsules when you ingest them for therapeutic purposes, and just follow the simple guidelines that you’ll find in my book, but also some great people online have some great resources, as well. Some of your favorite bloggers, I’m sure, have some great recommendations for you. Just follow the good advice.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: What are some of your favorite key ways for a family, maybe new to essential oils, you were talking about the home products, and that sort of thing. What are, maybe, your top three ways that someone can just start to get comfortable with essential oils?

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Awesome. I encourage people to be led by your pain points, and I want to give people quick wins. So it depends on what it is that was really aching you. So let’s kind of go for more medicinal aspect. Is it sleep? Is it sex? Is it indigestion? We cover all that stuff. And find something that really is like, “Man, this thing has been bothering me. I don’t know what else to do, nothing’s working.” Start there. And I found that sleep, and sex, and pain are things that, according to the research, and just timeless advice, and people using essential oils, can help instantly in a lot of different ways. And anxiety…so maybe it’s stress, maybe you’re overwhelmed. Maybe the 2020, now 2021 crisis has really caused you to be overwhelmed and burdened — maybe using lime, bergamot, orange, or any essential oil because they’re proven anti-depressants. Bergamot has the same effect as GABA on anxiety, like helping stop a panic attack…just by inhaling that stuff has the same physiological effect on the brain. So maybe that’s it.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: More family-oriented, I would encourage people, if there’s one thing that we weren’t worried about when everything happened, when every...really, when COVID crisis caused toilet paper, and hand sanitizer, and soap to just be sold out within minutes. One thing we weren’t concerned about was hand sanitizer. And A, because we don’t use what’s on the shelves because it is trash, bad. If there’s one thing that I hope everyone does, actually two, is — first of all, don’t use store bought hand sanitizer, just please, make your own. A, you’ll save a ton of money, and you know what’s in it. And it could be as simple as a high-proof-grade alcohol with essential oils, done. I mean, that’s really what that stuff is. You don’t want to use something, and then the Food and Drug Administration says, “Oh, by the way, use hand sanitizer but not these 100.” Remember when they recalled all those hand sanitizers last year? And the problem is they’re drying, and I talk in my book about skin health, and they create what’s known as leaky skin. Ask any dermatologist about it, it’s something that we need to be concerned about, just like leaky gut, leaky brain, leaky skin. Your barrier of your immune system starts on your skin, so we want to hydrate our skin, we don’t want something to hurt that.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: So making your own hand sanitizer is super easy, super cost-effective, and it’s so much better than the alternative. But also aerosols, and if there’s one thing that I could help people with, whether it’s allergies…we’re talking about airborne threats, like common knowledge now, but five years ago, no one was talking about this stuff. If you want to think about other airborne threats, it’s like, “What are you inhaling all day long inside your house?” I hope you have an air purifier, and please stop with those toxic chemicals that are being emitted from your sprays, and all that stuff. Essential oil-based stuff is so much better, it makes you feel good. And you’ll find your sleeping, your focus, your energy, your mood increases. And maybe this might be the thing that helps your child who’s recently developed allergies, or who knows the concern? Because when you’re looking at neurological inflammation, which it causes, this could put you at a better situation where maybe you won’t develop Alzheimer’s, or dementia. And artificial fragrances are a big deal with that.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: And so, using essential oils…and I encourage you, because we have a family of seven, we have five children. We use them as a way of enhancing our life. So the kids wake up, we put some oil on them, instead of lotion with toxic chemicals, we put oil. And here’s a recipe for everyone — orange and vanilla. No, not McCormick’s, not food-grade, not food vanilla. We’re talking vanilla oleoresin , or vanilla absolute, or CO2, because they now have carbon dioxide extractive vanilla, wonderful product. Do equal parts of each, so you can do six drops of vanilla, six drops of orange, put that with an ounce or two, at the most, of coconut oil. Easy peasy. Or olive oil, or a traditional aromatherapy oil like jojoba or sweet almond. You mix that up, that’s a body oil that you could put on you and your kids first thing in the morning. Orange, rich in limonene, proven anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory…limonene has been shown to kill cancer cells, for crying out loud. But that blend, that blend, I talk about this in my book, a study been proven to help with overwhelm and hopelessness.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: And they did a study, it was a fascinating study, they gave people a task. They split this group of people up in two groups — one group, they said, “Hey, you’re going to solve a social dilemma problem,” which was they basically asked them to solve racism. And you’re going to solve racism. Well, you really can’t solve racism in a room with 15 other people, but they gave them a task. “You’re going to solve this.” And the purpose was to create hopelessness and frustration in a group setting, and to see how they responded. One group had nothing, but being in this sterile environment, this other group had aromatherapy. And they found that the people that had nothing but the sterile environment, they were frustrated, they were hopeless, like, “We can’t figure this out, this is unsolvable.” But the other group who had aromatherapy — yeah, they still came to the same conclusion, like, “Hey, we still can’t solve this.” But they weren’t as burdened, overwhelmed, or frustrated. They were able to deal with the hopelessness better, they were able to deal with the frustration better. And the more that they enjoyed the smell, which they all did — like, who doesn’t like Orange Julius, or a Creamsicle smell, right? They all reported having a better experience, and going through that more hopeful, that maybe they could.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: It’s like have you ever wondered what makes that crazy person see that silver lining in the cloud? Some people are wired that way, but you can wire yourself that way. And that’s exactly what that research study suggests, is that you could wire yourself to being more positive, optimistic, half-full, not half-empty. Who hasn’t gone through overwhelm and burden in the last year and a half? You’d have to live under a rock. Everyone on the planet has been affected by this crazy situation that we’ve gone through. Imagine now, diffusing or using that body oil, for kids…safe. Again for kids, again, we explain this in the book, we always want to use less, we want to dilute more. We really are sensitive to children and pets, and of course, we have them. So we want to be careful we don’t put too much on children, so again, follow the recipes. But just to know you have that control to completely change the environment of your home. So, that’s it, I want to leave you all with that, is that regardless of the situation that you’re in, and especially as more people spend more time indoors, you can completely transform and create the environment that you want in your house through aromatherapy. And it’s a wonderful journey.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: Oh, I love that, thank you. You’ve shared so much wonderful information with us. I definitely want to dig deeper into your book myself.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: So, before we wrap up the show today, as always, we’re going to share some Wellness Wisdom with our listeners. So, Dr. Z, in keeping with what we’ve been talking about today, can you tell us what is your very favorite use for oils and why?

Dr. Eric Zielinski: My favorite use of essential oils, especially, I’ll say, this last year…I’ve been combining bergamot and lime, and it’s an empowering blend for me. And it’s something that I’ve used to help overcome some pretty challenging tasks and projects. And the more stressful things have become, I’ve gone back to my anchor. And so, whenever I felt discouraged, or maybe hopeless, or the craziness of the pandemic got to me, I went back to my anchor, which we know through neuroplasticity literally works on the brain, and it helped me. It gave me hope, gave me joy, but it also gave me the confidence that I could truly do all things. And so, that’s something that I’ve really drawn myself to, and encourage people to try out — just equal parts of bergamot and lime.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: We’ll have to try that out.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: Yeah, definitely!

Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, thank you so much, again, for coming on the show. This was just a fantastic discussion about essential oils, and we definitely learned a lot. This was great.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: Yeah, thank you so much.

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Thanks for having me on.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: You got it.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: That’s our show for today, folks. If you have a question or an idea for a show topic, please send us an email or share a post with us on Facebook. And remember, if you liked what you heard today and you want to be an active member of the Be HEALTHistic community, subscribe to our podcast at, or on Apple podcasts, or wherever you download your favorites. You can also find more great content and information from us and the Healthy Directions team at

Dr. Drew Sinatra: I’m Dr. Drew Sinatra.

Dr. Briana Sinatra: And I’m Dr. Briana Sinatra.

Dr. Drew Sinatra: And this is Be HEALTHistic.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be HEALTHistic, powered by our friends at Healthy Directions, with Drs. Drew and Steve Sinatra. See you next time.


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Dr. Drew Sinatra

Meet Dr. Drew Sinatra

Dr. Drew Sinatra is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and self-described “health detective” with a passion for promoting natural healing, wellness, and improving quality of life by addressing the root cause of illness in patients of all ages. His vibrant practice focuses on treating the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) and finding missed connections between symptoms and health issues that are often overlooked by conventional medicine.

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Dr. Briana Sinatra

Meet Dr. Briana Sinatra

Dr. Briana Sinatra is a board-certified naturopathic doctor with a vibrant practice in the Pacific Northwest. There she focuses on women’s and family health, taking a holistic approach to healthcare by empowering women with the knowledge and tools they need to live their best life now and protect their future wellness by looking at how all the systems in the body work together and how diet, lifestyle, and environment all influence health.

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