Whether it’s disillusionment with conventional practices or a simple desire to take a more active role in their own health and wellness, the alternative medicine field has gone from a niche to something that is here to stay. At the top of the category lately are essential oils and their many uses, which, if you follow hearsay, may have a role in helping just about any health situation you can think of. While that may be overselling it a bit, there is bonafide scientific evidence that essential oils can do a lot more for you than just smell nice. But to reap those benefits, we need to first understand what they are and how they work.
Essential Oils Explained
Part of what’s appealing about essential oils to many people is the fact that, on paper, at least, they’re not overly complicated to understand. Essential oils are extracted and concentrated oils made from various plants and herbs across the world. They have been used for centuries as part of traditional medicine, sedatives, as well as religious purposes. Depending on the product, seeds, flowers, twigs, roots, and fruits may all be processed by machine or by distillation in order to create the final essential oil product. In order to make them easier to use, they may be combined with a carrier oil product like jojoba oil.
Depending on how you want to use your essential oils, you may end up taking them various ways. Most aroma therapists will apply the oil on the skin directly via massage, but for those who plan on using these in the home, it may make more sense to use diffusers and sprays to freshen up the living space. There are also more direct ways to take the oils, but you need to be very careful when inhaling them directly or consuming them (many oils are not meant to be consumed). Remember, you’re dealing with a natural product, but also a highly concentrated one. The bulk of the time, a dab or a few drops is all that you need.
Some people choose to go a step further, blending different essential oils to get a sense of synergy. This can work, as many different oils have similar effects. However, you don’t want to start here if this is your first time using essential oils. Instead, add them to unscented bath oils, lotions, and gels in order to get a natural infusion in your hygiene routine.
Why Use Essential Oils?
So we’ve covered premise and practice, but you’re probably wondering about the meat of the discussion: how essential oils improve your health. Let’s start the discussion with basic aromatherapy, probably how most people get introduced to essential oils. “Studies show that keeping certain scents around, like those of cinnamon or peppermint oil, actually help our bodies relax, deal with stress, and support overall mood”, says sacred-snuff.com. So the next time someone says they are using a scent to keep calm, there’s a shred of truth to what they are saying. When used topically, essential oils are also linked to skin health, even lowering wrinkles and stretch marks in some scenarios.
The notable thing about essential oils is that they can do more than just support your own health in this direct manner. For example, certain products like tea tree oil are highly valued in natural first aid kits for their capacity to treat wounds and burns. Products like eucalyptus oil and lemon oil pack have bacteria-fighting power that makes them a favored component of household cleaners. We already know from science the powers that the plant world has in terms of health from herbal medicine. Essential oils, in a lot of ways, are the next step, by ensuring that you get every bit of these benefits from a smaller package.
There are two main things to keep in mind when we talk about getting the most of out of your essential oils. Your first step is to make sure that you talk to a doctor or your medical professional of choice in order to get their advice or support. Another thing you want to do is make sure that you are getting the ideal sources for your essential oils, with plenty of the nutrients and components that lead to the health benefits that we’ve talked about. Take a look at some of the different essential oils available here.