Health and wellness are front and center topics across different platforms, especially with the rise of the mindful health-conscious lifestyle, aka, younger generations. Women, in particular, are supporting this “wholesome” way of living in all life aspects. This can be seen in the noticeable popularity of yoga and other meditative practices, as well as the increase in public awareness regarding the welfare of the environment. Ironically enough, the seemingly new way of living is to actually go back to the roots of things, and follow what our ancestors used to eat and how they used to live. Using natural ingredients for nutrition and healing purposes is an integral part of this school of thought. Over the ages, essential oils have proven to be extremely beneficial to human health thanks to their undeniable powers.
People have been using all sorts of oils for various ailments since the beginning of time. Here, you will find a comprehensive guide to everything that has to do with essential oils:
Why are they called essential oils
Essential oils are very potent volatile oils extracted from different parts of plants and used for therapeutic purposes. They can be derived from the seed, the fruit, or any other part of the herb. They were named “essential” as they embody the essence of the scent of a plant.
How to use essential oils
Most essential oils are not edible in their natural state, but rather inhaled or used topically on the skin after being diluted. Aromatherapy is one of the most common ways of using essential oils for healing purposes. Aromatherapists use sauna essential oils to treat the “patient” from physical and emotional ailments like muscle fatigue and anxiety. A couple of drops of the invigorating fragrance of eucalyptus oil will heighten your sauna experience and clear any congestion or breathing difficulties. Another easy way to use essential oils from the comfort of your home without the need to go for a sauna is to add your favorite oil into a diffuser. Turn it on to enjoy the revitalizing scent filling the air around you. Generally speaking, when using essential oils directly on the skin, trigger areas are targeted for better absorption and to yield maximum benefits like the wrists, behind the ears, and the back of your knees. Apart from inhaling or applying to the skin, when processed in specific ways, essential oils can be safely used in baking for their aromatic character. Cinnamon and lavender add a tantalizing smell, to freshly baked cakes.
Why use essential oils
Essential oils have been around for thousands of years. People in ancient times have used them for pain and emotional distress. It is no secret that antibiotics and chemical drugs have a number of side effects that can be harmful in the long run. With people being more mindful and aware of what they put in their bodies; many are now seeking the curing powers of natural ingredients. Even those who are skeptical about the efficacy of essential oils would gladly give them a try since they are relatively less harmful than prescribed medications.
Most common essential oils and their benefits
After extensive studies, research has shown that you cannot use essential oils interchangeably. Below are the most common essential oils and their uses:
- Citrus Oils: like lemon and orange, they have sanitizing effects and are amazing for a quick pick me up as they are known to elevate the mood.
- Lavender Oil: distilled from the pretty lavender flower; this oil has a very relaxing smell that can help reduce stress and deal with the headaches. An interesting way to use this oil is to rub some to the bottom of your feet before you go to bed in order to enjoy a peaceful night. It is also claimed to ease symptoms of depression.
- Eucalyptus Oil: which is the most famous oil used in saunas is brilliant when it comes to resolving respiratory issues, like blocked noses and congested sinuses.
- Peppermint Oil: this is one of the few essential oils that can be ingested. It can help treat digestive problems, like cramps, nausea, and stomach aches.
- Rosemary Oil: with its distinctive smell; this oil works on enhancing the capabilities of the brain and rids you from the fogginess that sometimes debilitates you from functioning properly. It is also suggested for people trying to get rid of hair dandruff.
- Bergamot Oil: extracted from the bergamot orange; it is famously used with perfumes given its sweet orange scent. This oil is recommended to comfort people suffering from high blood pressure.
- Tea Tree Oil: this antiseptic oil works miracles in treating fungal and bacterial infections. It is a great way to naturally treat skin acne. It can also be used as an antiperspirant to get rid of body odor.
- Chamomile Oil: this works for pain-relief like menstrual cramps and muscle pains.
- Sandalwood Oil: distilled from sandalwood trees; its woody fragrance induces sleep as it relaxes the body and also treats urinary disorders.
- Basil Oil: works on skin irritation like those caused by insect bites
Risks related to using essential oils
Even though these natural oils have numerous benefits, they cannot take the place of prescribed drugs. If you see a doctor for a specific illness, you cannot decide to ditch modern medicine altogether and go on your way experiencing with essential oils. Essential oils are not yet regulated by the Food and drug association, so, you cannot depend on them solely to cure you of diseases. You can use them to supplement your medicines, but never instead without getting back to your doctor first. Also, you need to mind the following when using essential oils topically. It is always recommended to mix essential oils with a carrier oil (like olive, coconut, or avocado) and do a skin patch test to make sure you do not have any allergic reaction to the used mix.
When it comes to essential oils, go for the highest quality, otherwise, you won’t yield all of their extraordinary benefits. Do not go for cheap mass-produced options you find in the supermarket, get your oils from specialized aromatherapists to guarantee the claimed concentration and effectiveness.