Essential oils are something we have all heard about in one way or another, but have you ever wondered about the details, like what are the real benefits, ways to use them, and are there some specific things that you should pay attention to? This is the place where the answers lay. So, learning mode on, and let's find out more about essentials!
Essential oils are the compounds extracted from plants, acquired through the process of steaming or cold pressing of a variety of plant parts like flowers, barks, leaf, or fruit.
It can take up to several pounds of a plant to produce just one cute little bottle of this frequency paradise.
Most of us connect these oils to relaxation and keeping anxiety far away, and, in comparison to traditional drugs for anxiety, essential oils can be applied in different ways and definitely have fewer side effects.
MOST COMMON WAYS OF USE
Aromatherapy is a practice that has been used throughout centuries and it is the most common way of embracing and feeling the benefits of essential oils.
The therapeutic benefits of essential oils are plentiful and the secret is in the following. When we inhale these oils, the scent molecules from the oil “awaken” small receptors in the nose and they send messages through nerves to our brain and impact the “emotional center of the brain” known as the amygdala.
Some of the benefits aromatherapy may offer include:
- Helping with depression and anxiety
- Better sleep
- Life quality improvement
Essential oils can also be applied to the skin.
You can apply it through a massage (essential oils are added to plain carrier oils) and focus on the areas of muscular pain, tightness, and tension. Essential oils can also be applied in the form of lotions, body oils, creams, and bath salts.
There a few other ways of using essential oils like dry evaporation, aroma sticks or simply inhaling them right from the bottle. But these are not as popular as aromatherapy and essential oil massages.
BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS
The use of essential oils has always been widely spread. Since the middle ages they have been used for their health benefits, and in this day and age, you can see more and more of their use in the cosmetic industry as well as pharmaceutical.
Some of the beneficial effects of essential oils are:
- Lowering stress and anxiety levels
- Calming and getting rid of headaches and migraines
- Regulating sleep and fight insomnia
- Reducing inflammation
But these benefits and many more benefits of essential oils depend on the oil itself. So here are some of the most commonly used ones and the benefits they may offer us.
- Leads to the feeling of calmness and relaxation
- Promotes good sleep
- May reduce pain for people with osteoarthritis of the knee
- Improves quality of life for people with dementia
- May reduce pain caused by kidney stones
- May alleviate headaches
- May reduce the itching and swelling from bug bites
- May help with sinus congestion
Looking at this list of benefits it seems like “there is no problem lavender can't solve”.
- Acne ( may be as effective against acne as benzoyl peroxide, the most common anti-acne medication)
- Athlete's foot
- Nail fungus
- Insect bites
Tea tree oil also reduces inflammation and helps with the healing process by triggering the activity of white blood cells.
Tea tree oil can be found as an ingredient in many creams, soaps, lotions, etc. And it's usually safe to use, but in some cases like in people with eczema, it can cause problems, so consulting a doctor if you aren't sure about whether you should use it is always a good idea.
Ancient Greeks believed that rosemary may improve memory, and today there are some studies and research that indicate that inhaling rosemary oil will help in preventing acetylcholine breakdown (brain chemical vital for memory and concentration). So, breathing in rosemary may help you focus and remember.
Rosemary oil may also:
- Help in the treatment of certain types of od hair loss including male pattern baldness and patchy hair loss
- Relive mild pain
- Ease stress levels
- Increase circulation
- Boost alertness, attention and energy
- Reduce joint inflammation
The No.1 thing this oil is connected to is helping with respiratory conditions, in particular it can relieve coughing
There are rubs containing eucalyptus that when applied to your chest and throat relieve cough symptoms from a common cold or flu.
Inhaling steam with the addition of eucalyptus oil reduces mucus by helping loosen it so that you can cough it up.
In addition to these respiratory relives eucalyptus may also:
- Fight inflammation and promote healing
- Ease symptoms of herpes
- Eases joint pain (many creams and ointments for soothing the pain from conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis contain this essential oil)
- Look for the Latin name of the plant on the label and information about the place of growth. Ethical producers will usually include the species name as well as the country of origin.
- Look for the words "100% pure" and "cold-pressed."
- Choose a trusted company.
- Always go for the dark-colored container. Quality oils are always sold in dark-colored glass bottles.
- Just because it's from a plant doesn't mean that it will be great for you in particular. We all react differently, and if you want to try it out go for the small area rather than large. Wait and see how you will react to it.
- Don't use them on damaged skin!
Whether you decide to use them through aromatherapy or apply them on your skin, always consult with your doctor. Because the reactions are individual and, in some people, side effects may include allergic reactions or irritations. And regarding aromatherapy, you can also consult a trained aromatherapist about the possible risks and benefits.
When it comes to children and pregnant or breastfeeding women more research is needed regarding the reactions to essential oils.
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