Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine that employs plant extracts to support health and well-being.Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. The oils capture the plant’s scent and flavor, or “essence.” Unique aromatic compounds give each essential oil its characteristic essence. Essential oils are obtained through distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing. Once the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they are combined with a carrier oil to create a product that’s ready for use. The way the oils are made is important, as essential oils obtained through chemical processes are not considered true essential oils.
Some essential oils can be effective, depending on what a person uses them for.
There is a range of plants that contain potentially active compounds. Manufacturers have turned dozens of these plant oils into essential oil products. Some of the most popular essential oils include: Lavender, peppermint, tea tree, lemon, sweet orange, eucalyptus, orange, chamomile, ylang-ylang .The compounds in these oils may have some health effects on the human body.
Many people think that because essential oils are natural products, they will not cause side effects. This is not true. The potential side effects of essential oils include:
1.Irritation and burning: Always dilute oils with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin. Apply a small amount to a small area of skin first to test for any reactions.
2.Asthma attacks: While essential oils may be safe for most people to inhale, some people with asthma may react to breathing in the fumes.
3.Headaches: Inhaling essential oils may help some people with their headaches, but inhaling too much may lead to a headache in others.
There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each with its own unique smell and potential health benefits. Here’s a list of 10 popular essential oils and the health claims associated with them:
1.Peppermint: used to boost energy and aid digestion
2.Lavender: used to relieve stress
3.Sandalwood: used to calm nerves and help with focus
4.Bergamot: used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema
5.Rose: used to improve mood and reduce anxiety
6.Chamomile: used to improve mood and relaxation
7.Ylang-Ylang: used to treat headaches, nausea, and skin conditions
8.Tea Tree: used to fight infections and boost immunity
9.Jasmine: used to help with depression, childbirth, and libido
10.Lemon: used to aid digestion, mood, headaches, and more
What Are Essential Oils Good For?
Since long ago, people have used essential oils and plant parts to improve their health and physical well-being. We’ve continued to explore their benefits today, finding that essential oils can be integrated into daily life for a plethora of purposes.
Curious about how you might use essential oils in your everyday life? Essential oils can be used to :
1.Support good oral hygiene,*
2.Reduce appearance of skin imperfections,
3.Promote healthy digestion,*
4.Cleanse and purify the air,
5.Promote an uplifting atmosphere,
6.Maintain healthy respiratory system and clear breathing,
How to Use Essential Oils
To safely incorporate essential oils into your daily life, consider these top tips from the experts:
1.Dilute, dilute, dilute– Never put undiluted essential oils on your skin. This can set you up for sensitization and allergic reactions. Essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil — not with water or a different non-oil-based liquid, because the two won’t mix. When mixing with a carrier oil, opt for jojoba or fractionated coconut oil because of their long shelf life. Avoid sweet-almond oil for long-term use because it goes rancid quickly.
2.It pays to invest– Quality matters, and in the case of essential oils, price almost always reflects quality. “It takes 10,000 pounds of actual rose-petal blossoms to make one pound of rose essential oil. That’s expensive from a labor and raw-materials standpoint, and it’s a big incentive for unethical producers who hope to lure in customers with lower price points.
3.Test your oil’s purity– Paying more helps safeguard against purchasing an oil that’s been cut with cheaper ingredients, but you can also test the quality of an essential oil by placing a drop on a piece of white computer paper, If there is a grease stain on the paper after 24 hours, the oil has been cut with a carrier oil. If it is pure, it will evaporate. You might see the faintest ring, but nothing more.”
4.Don’t buy “absolutes”– If you see “absolute” on a label, it means that it is a petroleum-based byproduct of the essential-oil extraction process.
5.Choose organic – Organic oils won’t expose you to the pesticides and herbicides used in the conventional growing process.
6.Pick the right tools– Look for diffusers that are made specifically for essential oils. They are designed to break up the particles in a way that makes the vaporized oils easier for the body to process. Never diffuse oils in products made of plastic, which can release plastic particles into the air.
7.Diffuse smartly– If you want to add essential oils to a humidifier, don’t put drops directly in the water — the oils will break down the internal plastic parts of the humidifier and begin to send vaporized plastic into the air. Instead, put a drop or two on an organic cotton ball and put that cotton ball into the vapor outlet.And don’t diffuse continuously for more than 30 minutes because you risk overexposure.
8.Don’t use single oils- As much as possible, create oil blends for personal use rather than using single oils. This helps inoculate against entrainment, when the brain associates a particular smell with a particular time in life. If you diffuse rosemary all the time during a period of illness or grieving, you may not be able to smell it again in the future without being reminded of those times.
9.Rotate your oils– Give your body a break from specific scents or blends by rotating the oils you use every two to four weeks. This helps prevent overexposure and sensitization.
10.Be careful in the sun – Some essential oils, particularly the citruses, dramatically increase the risk of sunburn, or phytophotodermatitis. So don’t wear these oils when you’re out in the sun, and be cautious on your next tropical vacation — even drinking a margarita rimmed with lime juice can lead to sunburned lips.
Essential oils are the liquid extracts of potentially beneficial plants. People are beginning to use essential oils widely for a variety of common conditions, and some research shows they may help relieve symptoms in some cases.
Essential oils are generally safe when a person uses them correctly. Always dilute essential oils before applying them to the skin and never ingest them.