Essential oils are extremely potent, so it's no surprise that they're everywhere. These effective, scented plant extracts have found their way into creams, home cleaners, massage therapies, and even complementary and alternative therapies to aid in the treatment of ailments like cancer. Essential oils are also said to relieve anxiety and pain, improve sleep, relieve headaches and stomach problems, and promote deeper relaxation.
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils and other natural plant extracts to secure health and promote general well-being. It is one of the various therapies and treatment methods considered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
Many people are interested in using essential oils because of their many health benefits, but very few know where to begin. So, today, we'll look into essential oils and everything you need to know to start using them confidently.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are concentrated, potent, scented oils extracted from plants. They can be extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers, grasses, barks, roots, resins, and citrus peels. Pure essential oils are natural products obtained from a single plant species. The oils are extracted through various methods, like steam distillation and cold pressing. Aromatherapy involves using essential oils to cure the body, mind, and spirit. It is known as essential oil therapy.
Benefits of Essential Oils
Using essential oils in your health care routine has numerous benefits. Here are some of the potential benefits of using this aromatic oil:
1. Improve Brain Function
A recent study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience confirmed that certain essential oils have neuroprotective effects that can improve brain function and reduce inflammation.
2. Improved Mood
Inhaling the sweet scents of essential oils sends certain signals to your brain, which help keep you calm, happy, and energized.
3. Boost Immune System
Studies have shown that using essential oils regularly can help boost the immune system's function. Many essential oils have also been found to contain antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight certain infections.
4. Aid Sleep
In addition to helping to improve your mood, many essential oils like lavender can help you get deeper and better-quality sleep.
5. Purify Your Home
Using essential oils in your daily routine can help reduce your exposure to toxins as they have the capacity to kill viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.
6. Enhance Your Wellbeing
Essential oils can help to achieve smoother skin, a clearer complexion, longer and stronger hair, relieve an itchy scalp, and reduce signs of aging.
7. Aid Digestion and Hormone Balance
Another benefit of using essential oils is aiding hormonal balance and improving digestion. Some essential oils contain chemicals that stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, while others contain chemicals that help balance hormones like the thyroid, cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone.
Best Essential Oils for Beginners to Start With
If you are new to essential oils and don’t know where to begin, here are some popular choices for you!
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Rose Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Helichrysum Essential Oil
- Frankincense Essential Oil
- Wild Orange Essential Oil
- Roman Chamomile
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
How to Choose the Right Essential Oils
Essential oils have various uses and applications. As a result, you need to put a few things into consideration before choosing one for yourself. Here are a few things to put into consideration:
Identify the Problem
The first step in finding the right essential oil for you is to identify the problem you’re trying to solve. Are you trying to solve a physical health problem? or are you attempting to improve your relaxation, sleep, or overall well-being? Perhaps you’re looking to add the scent of essential oils to cleaning products, or better yet, place them in your diffuser to set an ambience in your home or give them a unique and beautiful smell. Aromatherapy is unique to specific problems, so identify the problem and apply it accordingly.
Know the Facts
Before choosing an essential oil, make sure you know the facts about it. The basic information you need to know about an essential oil is its source and price. The source and price on the packaging can easily give it away as authentic or fake. High-quality suppliers of essential oils will indicate the Latin name, how and where it was distilled, and whether it is wild-harvested or organic. You don’t want to spend money on a counterfeit.
Beware of Claims and Prices
Look out for gimmicky claims and prices. Manufacturers may try to use popular claims and enticing catchphrases to describe the oil, thereby misleading people into buying their inauthentic products. There’s no such thing as "certified pure" or "therapeutic grade" essential oils. Price is also another thing to be wary of. Although the most expensive oil might not be the best choice, very cheap oil is also something to be wary of. Cheap oils are mostly counterfeit, produced by suppliers to deceive desperate and uninformed essential oil buyers.
Synergy is important and should not be overlooked. While individual oils are effective, combining the aromatic elements of different essential oils and allowing them to work together will produce better results. Some experts recommend combining 3-5 essential oils to create a blend with a core, harmonizer, and enhancer.
Verify The Source and Expiration Date
It is also important to verify the source of the oil and confirm its expiration date before purchasing it. Essential oils usually have their country of origin printed on the labels, or you may find a "lot number" that you can look up to determine their source. If you’re buying from an online store, the source should be expressly stated in the product description. Also, you must be aware of the expiration date of the oil before purchasing it, as ignorance will not only make you waste money but also put you at risk for health issues.
Essential oils are potent plant treatments that can help with a variety of conditions. They can help you in a number of ways, from aromatherapy to personal care. If used correctly, these oils can be an excellent complement to your skincare and haircare routine. Depending on which essential oil you use, it will perform a different function.
Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, and don't be afraid to mix oils, make your own personalized blends, and truly treat yourself. The sky is truly the limit once you've discovered the perfect oils for your needs.
Hopefully, you now feel more confident as you begin using essential oils.