- 1 Okay, First Things First – What Are Essential Oils?
- 2 How to Use Essential Oils?
- 3 How to Choose the Right Rssential Oils?
- 4 Lavender Essential Oil
- 5 Thyme Essential Oil
- 6 Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
- 7 Peppermint Essential Oil
- 8 Lemon Essential Oil
- 9 Tea Tree Essential Oil
- 10 Cedarwood Essential Oil
- 11 Eucalyptus Essential Oil
If you hear someone say they’ve smelled their way to better health, chances are they’re talking about aromatherapy and they might be right. Yes, the use of essential oils can be beneficial to one’s health and well-being, which is probably why this form of alternative medicine is such a hot topic nowadays. However, numerous healthcare professionals say that some of the health claims associated with essential oils are controversial and firmly believe that doing the necessary research before welcoming these oils into one’s life is a must. That’s exactly what I did.
Okay, First Things First – What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stems of plants. As the name suggests, these incredibly potent oils capture their source’s “essence” or scent and flavour. They’re obtained through distillation (via water or steam) or mechanical methods (cold pressing, for example). It’s important to keep in mind that the way these oils are made shouldn’t be overlooked. According to many experts, essential oils obtained through chemical processes aren’t true essential oils and are definitely to be avoided.
How to Use Essential Oils?
Essential oils can be inhaled through various methods or diluted and applied to the skin. When it comes to inhaling essential oils, the easiest method is simple inhalation. In other words, just open a bottle of essential oil and inhale deeply several times. Make sure not to let the undiluted oil touch your skin.
The steam method is another easy way to use essential oils. A bowl of hot water and a towel are the two things this method requires. First, you need to place the bowl on a table or other flat surface and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the water. Then, place the towel over your head and the bowl, close your eyes, and inhale the steam for several minutes. For better results, repeat this a few times during the day.
Dispersing essential oils into the air with the help of diffusers is quite possibly the most popular way to use these highly concentrated natural extracts. Ceramic, electric, candle, lamp rings, and ultrasonic are some of the most commonly used types of essential oil diffusers. If you opt for this method, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety tips.
Last but not least – dry evaporation. It’s a simple method for which you’ll need a dry material (a cotton ball can do the trick just fine). You’ll need to add a few drops of essential oil to it and then hold it to your nose, inhaling or allowing the scent to disperse naturally.
When it comes to applying essential oils topically, using a carrier oil is key. Okay, but what exactly are carrier oils? Well, just like essential oils, carrier oils are made from plants and are often used to dilute essential oils and “carry” them to the skin. This is done because essential oils can cause irritation if applied directly on the skin due to their potency.
Coconut oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, black seed oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, and sunflower oil are some of the most popular carrier oils used to “weaken” essential oils for aromatherapy, massage, and skincare. Before choosing one for you, please take into consideration your skin type as well as the oil’s odour, absorption, and shelf life.
In order to protect yourself, always do a patch test before applying anything to larger areas of your skin. You can do this by adding a small amount of carrier oil to the inside of your wrist, cover the oil with a bandage, and check the areas 24 hours later. Kiss the oil goodbye if your skin’s irritated and wash the affected area thoroughly.
How to Choose the Right Rssential Oils?
When shopping for essential oils, your starting point should be the goal you want to accomplish or the health benefits you want to experience. Do you want to reduce your stress and anxiety levels? Do you want to fight the symptoms of cold and flu naturally? Do you want to improve the quality of your sleep? Base your decision on your answer.
Here are some of the most commonly used essential oils and the health benefits they offer.
Lavender Essential Oil
This oil’s sedative properties make it incredibly useful for calming emotions and improving sleep. When breathed in, it can help alleviate headaches, whereas its topical use may help reduce the itching and swelling from bug bites and other minor skin injuries. What’s more, pure lavender essential oil is considered to be one of the best sinus essential oils or essential oils for colds. No wonder so many people have it in their natural remedy kits.
Thyme Essential Oil
According to several studies, thyme essential oil can reduce and even eliminate foodborne bacteria. It can alleviate inflammation in the body, and reduce coughs as well as the duration of respiratory tract infections like the common cold when mixed with primrose (this is so because the thymol content in thyme oil has antispasmodic properties).
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
If you’re looking for an oil that can calm both your mind and skin, then this essential oil might be perfect for you. Believe it or not, research suggests it can treat conditions such as inflammation and eczema.
Peppermint Essential Oil
When it comes to sinus essential oils, peppermint oil mustn’t be forgotten. This potent oil can improve respiratory function and relieve sinus congestion, meaning it’s wonderful for the common cold and flu seasons. In addition to this, peppermint oil can help with indigestion, relieve nausea, and improve brain function. When applied to the skin, this oil can help with muscle pain and itchy skin conditions due to the cooling effect it has. It can also offer sunburn relief.
Lemon Essential Oil
If you love citrus fruits, you’ll probably love this oil too. It’s loaded with antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation, boost energy levels, and relieve nausea. Thanks to its antibacterial and antiviral properties, it can be diffused in a room to keep the air clean, thus helping ease colds. It’s immensely important to keep in mind that lemon essential oil is photosensitive, meaning you shouldn’t expose your skin to sunlight when using this oil topically. In fact, it’s best to use it at night and wash it off in the morning.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
This oil is possibly the king when it comes to treating acne, nail fungus, and warts. What’s more, tea tree oil can be used as a natural hand sanitizer for studies have shown that it kills several common bacteria and viruses responsible for colds, flu, and other illnesses. Just look for a simple tea tree oil all-natural hand sanitizer recipe.
Cedarwood Essential Oil
This earthy oil is thought to offer many skin health benefits, including reducing dandruff, fighting acne, and treating eczema. Additionally, some believe it can help reduce arthritis and relieve coughing. Please bear in mind that it’s not safe to consume cedarwood oil because it can cause vomiting, nausea, and damage to the digestive system.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil is yet another amazing oil. It’s widely used to relieve cough symptoms from the common cold or flu. Plus, it can play the role of a natural bug repellant, disinfect wounds, soothe cold sores, ease joint pain, and, thanks to its antibacterial properties, it can be used as a breath freshener.