Aromas can be used to induce a sense of peace and calm. Essential oils offer this benefit as well as so much more!
Allopathy, or the use of chemically combined medicine, has come to light in the last few decades due to evolution and development. However, take into consideration our ancestors and their methods of healing. You will notice a patterned relationship wherein man depended on nature for not just food and shelter but also for medication and healing.
This kind of medication was termed “alternative medicine.” Out of the various types of alternative medicines available, today we will discuss essential oils and the benefits of essential oils. Now, although essential oils cannot completely cure you of your illness, they can bring a certain amount of relief, and this relief and its other benefits are what we will go over in this article.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated extracts of plants and are made up of volatile chemical compounds. These oils are extracted from various parts of the plants. They are extracted by distillation or by using steam, solvent extraction, resin tapping, etc. However, the most popular extraction method used to produce the most sought-after oils is the cold-pressed ones.
Using the cold-pressed method helps the oil retain the scent and flavor of the plant that it was extracted from. Essential oils are often used for aromatherapy. This is a type of alternative medicine where the aroma of these oils is used to induce a sense of relaxation and, at times, pain relief.
You cannot use these oils directly. You must dilute them with carrier oils before applying them to the skin. You can also add them to water to spread the scent.
How to use essential oils?
Essential oils are too concentrated to be used as-is. It is important to dilute them with carrier oils like coconut, olive, or almond oil before applying them topically. Never use essential oils near your eyes since they could cause a burning sensation or irritation and redness.
It is vital to be aware of your mixing ratios when combining an essential oil with a carrier oil. Improper mixing ratios can cause skin allergies.
To use these oils for aromatherapy, add 1-2 drops of essential oil to warm water or a diffuser. You can also add it to a piece of cloth to inhale the aroma.
You can spray some in a room that you intend on meditating in. You could also add a drop or two in your washroom before you take a shower. When infused with the aroma of these essential oils, the steam from the hot water can be highly beneficial to your body.
What are carrier oils?
Carrier oils are less concentrated oils that do not interfere with the therapeutic properties of essential oils. Carrier oils are generally odorless, colorless, and are known to absorb essential oils fast. The shelf life of carrier oil differs. So keep an eye on the expiry date of your carrier oils before mixing them with the extract. It prevents the mixing of aroma oils with a spoilt carrier oil.
A few carrier oils you could consider are:
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Olive oil
- Argan oil
- Black seed oil
Essential oils benefits
Can relieve stress
Aroma oils are used as therapeutic oils to treat stress-related disorders such as fatigue, depression, etc. Practitioners decide the mode of treatment depending on the client.
Scientists believe that aromas from essential oils send a chemical message to parts of the brain that affect mood and emotion. Essential oils that you can use for anxiety and panic attacks are lavender oil, chamomile oil, and lemon oil. They relieve stress and can help you stay calm [1,2,3].
Can prevent insomnia
Sleeplessness has become one of the common byproducts of stress. Not being able to sleep well or not being able to sleep at all is a pressing issue.
Get the help of an aromatherapist to help you mix the oil in the right proportions. Just make sure you aren’t allergic to any of the elements used. Once mixed, you can massage it on your face or inhale it to create an adaptable environment. Here are some essential oils for sleep and relaxation – lemongrass, peppermint, and rosemary oil. They help prevent insomnia.
Can relieve migraines and headaches
Strong fragrances are primary migraine inducers. But, not all essential oils cause migraines. Some can help you stop triggering headaches and heal migraines naturally.
Use Ylang – ylang oil, tea tree oil, and cinnamon oil for migraine headaches.
May be used as repellents
You can use essential oils as natural mosquito repellents and keep flies away from food particles. The concentrated aroma makes the flies dizzy or kills them due to the strong fragrances.
Use Citronella oil, Peppermint oil, and orange oil.
Can help ward off an unpleasant odor
Use aroma oil in dumpsters to get rid of foul odor. Use sweet almond oil, argan oil, and apricot kernel oil for these purposes.
Essential oil to be used
Lavender oil, Chamomile oil and Lemon oil
Lemongrass, Peppermint and Rosemary oil
Relieve Migraine headaches
Ylang – ylang oil, Tea tree oil and Cinnamon oil
Use as repellents
Citronella oil, Peppermint oil, and Orange oil
Keep bad odour away
Sweet almond oil, Argan oil and Apricot kernel oil
How to choose the oil that is suitable for you?
Check the brand – Not all brands produce good essential oils. Some of them are overpriced too. As a rule of thumb, check the oil’s pre and post-user reviews. Also, don’t forget to consider the company’s reputation.
The purity of oils – Look for additive-free and chemical-free oils. Some brands add artificial fragrances and low-quality carrier oil that reduces the value of therapeutic oils.
Quality of the oils – Check for the oil extraction process. Cold and wood pressed are high-quality oil extraction methods. Check for the quality of carrier oil. Not all high-priced oils are of good quality.
Also, check for the extracted oil’s origin and shipping date.
Here’s a list of good essential oil brands you could choose from
- Exotic Aromas Essential Oils
- Precious Aromas Essential Oils
- Exotic aromas Lavender Essential Oils
- Vedic Bloom Essential Oil for Skin, Immunity and Anxiety
Pay attention to
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding – Some of the essential oils can make their way to the placenta and may be harmful to the fetus and the mother. Intense flavors can irritate the nose and cause cold and throat pain.
Don’t overuse them – Essential oils do more harm than good if they are overused. Even if you aren’t allergic to it, you become sensitive to it by overusing it.
For sensitive skin – Stop using these oils if you notice rash/ allergy/ burn/ change of skin color, color. Always try a small quantity on a patch of skin and wait for reactions. Same with fragrance tests.
Dilute them with the right oils – Some oil combinations may not work well for therapy. Always look for the right combinations. Carrier oil combinations play a crucial role in aromatherapy.
Essential oils come with a list of health benefits. Stress relief is only one of the many. Essential oils for adrenal fatigue, essential oils for nausea, and essential oils for nerve pain, are all benefits that you should consider trying if you experience any of these conditions.
Overall, these oils, along with other medications depending on our conditions, can help improve our overall health. However, it is vital to keep in mind your allergies and infection. Always conduct a patch test and consult a doctor or a professional before using any essential oil.
Take the right advice and look for the best aromatherapist to guide you. Essential oils are not solutions for health issues. Do not sideline your other medication with the pretext of essential oils being an alternative medicine that can cure you.
Find out the benefits of holistic health.
Q: What are essential oils mainly used for?
A: Essential oils are mainly used for aromatherapy. However, they can also be used for massages. They help relax the body and relieve you of pain.
Q: Are essential oils bad for the lungs?
A: No. Essential oils are not bad for your lungs. However, an excess of any substance can be harmful, therefore, ensure not to overdo with the aroma.
Q: What are the best essential oils?
A: Every essential oil comes with its own set of benefits, and therefore it is almost impossible to say what the best essential oils are since that varies depending on the person and their condition.
However, a few oils that do come close to being the best are;
- Peppermint Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Tea tree Oil
- Bergamot Oil
- Koulivand, Peir Hossein et al. “Lavender and the nervous system.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2013 (2013): 681304.
- Srivastava, Janmejai K et al. “Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future.” Molecular medicine reports vol. 3,6 (2010): 895-901.
- Komiya, Migiwa et al. “Lemon oil vapor causes an anti-stress effect via modulating the 5-HT and DA activities in mice.” Behavioural brain research vol. 172,2 (2006): 240-9.