It seems like a new health trend pops up every day. From mindful eating to the paleo diet, you are bound to see something else on social media.
One of the more popular trends these days is essential oils. But are they really good for you?
If you are still searching for answers to this latest trend, then you’re in luck.
This blog post will discuss what essential oils are, how they are used, and if they are really beneficial to your health.
What is an essential oil?
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts produced either through distillation or cold compression, which makes them highly potent in nature. The process can be time-consuming and costly, but the result is worth it because these high-potency oils last longer than other types of herbal extracts.
They are made up of various chemical constituents, which are responsible for giving these oils their therapeutic benefits.
Essential oils are primarily made up of terpenes and are derived from petals and other aromatic plant compounds. They are used in a variety of ways for different purposes.
While they smell great, essential oils are not confused with fragrances or perfumes, which are made up mostly of synthetic products.
How do you use essential oils?
Essential oils are widely used in alternative and complementary medicine for a variety of purposes.
They are ingested, inhaled, or applied topically to treat different conditions and ailments such as anxiety, stress relief, arthritis pain reduction/relief, acne treatment, and more. To benefit from their scents, they can also be diffused into the air at home (or you might have a diffuser at work).
While swallowing essential oils is considered safe, some are still discouraged from ingesting them because it can be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, or medications.
Topical application is the safest and most common use of essential oils. This includes using these oils in skincare products like soaps, lotions, and creams.
If your skin tends to be on the sensitive side, you may need to use a carrier oil such as coconut oil to dilute the essential oil before applying it to your skin.
Some essential oils are so potent that they can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions to some people, so it’s best to just use a carrier oil by applying a few drops of essential oil and mixing them into one teaspoon of carrier oil.
What are the most popular essential oils in the market?
While there are hundreds of different essential oils available, some are more popular than others.
If you are still starting with essential oils, then it might be best to start with these:
Lavender oil – this is a calming and relaxing extract that can help promote better sleep patterns. Its soothing scent will also make you feel relaxed, especially after a long day at work.
Tea tree oil is an antimicrobial extract known to be effective against different kinds of bacteria. It’s also used for its analgesic properties since it can relieve muscle pains and headaches.
Peppermint oil – another popular essential oil, peppermint contains menthol, which gives off a cooling sensation when applied topically. This can help relieve pain and itching, which are associated with different kinds of skin conditions.
Ginger oil – ginger is known to have analgesic properties making it an effective treatment for different types of pain that you might be experiencing. It also contains antimicrobial qualities, so if your body’s immune system isn’t up to par, then this is an excellent essential oil to have.
Fennel oil – are you looking for an essential oil that can help relieve digestive problems? Fennel is known for its anti-spasmodic properties, which are effective in treating different types of stomach cramps or pains in the gut area.
Ylang-ylang oil – this extract is known to be relaxing and calming, which are perfect for those looking for an excellent essential oil that can help relieve stress.
Where can I find essential oils?
There are already many essential oils available, both at local health stores and online.
A good way to find high-quality, pure essential oils is by checking out different reviews from customers who are already using them for their own needs. You can also check the labels of these products to see how many drops are included in each bottle since this will help you determine if it’s a great deal or not.
If you are just starting with essential oils, then it’s recommended that you purchase a small bottle to test the waters first before buying bigger bottles of these extracts. This way, you can make sure if they are effective against your health concerns and if this is something worth investing in for the long term.
What are the health benefits of essential oils?
So, are essential oils really good for you? The answer is yes. We’ve listed down some of the health benefits you are likely to get from using essential oils.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are significant conditions that are affecting a lot of people today. These illnesses are caused by how your brain responds to specific stimuli, whether it’s chemical or emotional.
The scents from essential oils help stimulate different areas in your limbic system (the part of your brain responsible for memory) that can affect your mood and emotions. It triggers the release of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help relay information between neurons in our brain.
For instance, lavender essential oil is credited for its relaxing and soothing properties. It makes you feel more relaxed, which can improve your mood as well as decrease stress levels.
Improves brain function
Essential oils are also known for their effects on cognitive functions, including memory, attention span, and mental alertness.
Different essential oils are good for these functions, including rosemary oil, orange oil (the scent of which is known to improve memory), peppermint oil (which helps with better concentration), and frankincense (a potent antioxidant).
Lowers inflammation in the body
One of the biggest benefits of using essential oils is that they are potent anti-inflammatories. That means it can help prevent and lessen the effects caused by inflammation in your body, particularly on conditions like arthritis or even asthma which are accompanied by many inflamed tissues.
The terpenes found in these extracts are responsible for inhibiting neutrophil migration, which are the white blood cells responsible for causing inflammation in your body.
They are also antimicrobial and can kill off harmful bacteria and fungi found on different parts of your body. This makes them potent remedies against infection too!
Increases energy levels
Essential oils are known to boost the level of oxygen found in our body, which creates an energizing effect that can give you more pep in your step!
The best part about it is that these are natural extracts. There are no side effects, unlike when taking energy drinks or caffeine. Most essential oils made from citrus fruits, such as lemon oil, can help you improve your energy levels.
Improves skin health
Just like our skincare products, essential oils are great for making your skin feel soft and smooth.
They are also known to help kill off the harmful bacteria present on your face or body, which can cause acne breakouts. This way, you’re not just getting rid of blemishes but are also removing all the dirt and oil that are clogging your pores.
For example, tea tree oil is a popular ingredient in many acne treatments because it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Improves respiratory health
People with conditions like asthma are usually advised to stay away from strong scents as much as possible, but essential oils are different! These extracts are potent antimicrobials which means they can kill off the harmful bacteria present in the respiratory tract.
That way, your body won’t have to struggle with trying to heal itself while also fighting off these infections simultaneously!
Helps you sleep better
If you are someone who has difficulty sleeping, then essential oils are definitely something to look into! Many people use these extracts for their calming effects, which can help promote better sleep patterns.
It works by suppressing stress hormones in our body, which are the same hormones responsible for causing sleep disturbances.
Different essential oils are perfect for helping you relax and get better sleep, including ylang-ylang, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, chamomile extract (which is known to help induce drowsiness and reduce stress), and vetiver.
Helps with pain management
One of the most well-known benefits are essential oils are good for you is their analgesic properties. These extracts are potent and can help relieve a lot of different kinds of aches and pains, including those associated with arthritis or even headaches!
It works by inhibiting nerve signals sent to our brain, which are responsible for these sensations.
Some of the best essential oils for this are lavender oil (which can help reduce muscle pain), frankincense oil (used to relieve inflammation and arthritis pains), peppermint oil (which can induce a cooling sensation that helps numb different parts of your body) ginger extracts are also known to have analgesic properties.
Keeps insects at bay
On top of having potent antimicrobial properties, essential oils are also widely known to be effective insect repellents! This is because they can mask our body’s natural scent, which can help make us less attractive to insects like mosquitoes and flies. The best part about it is there are no harsh chemicals and pesticides involved, so you are not putting your family at risk.
Tea tree essential oil is best known for this since it contains camphor responsible for its insect-repelling abilities.
Important Note: We do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, so it’s best to consult your doctor before trying any alternative medicine treatments.
Essential oils are an incredible natural alternative to over-the-counter medicines. They can be used for stress relief, anxiety reduction, and sleep enhancement to cold and flu prevention and first aid.
If you are looking for a natural way to improve your health, essential oils are definitely worth exploring!
What essential oil do you use most often? Let us know in the comments below!