Essential oils are commonly used for treatment via aromatherapy, a kind of alternative medicine that makes use of plant extracts to support proper health. Essential oils with natural remedies have been employed by a lot of people to boost their health and general well-being.
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What are Essential Oils?
They are simply compounds that are extracted from plants. The oils capture the flavor, scent, or essence of the plant. These aromatic compounds can be unique, and they give each essential oil its characteristic essence.
Most essential oils’ natural remedies are obtained via distillation (that is, either by steam or/and by water) or by mechanical methods, such as cold pressing. As soon as the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they are combined with carrier oil to create a ready-for-use product.
It is important that these oils are made through the natural process, for oils made via chemical processes are not often considered true essential oils.
How do Essential Oils Work?
Essential oils are mostly used in aromatherapy. That is, they are inhaled through various methods. Essential oils are only meant to be inhaled; they should not be swallowed. The chemicals in essential oils can interact with the body in several ways.
When essential oils are applied to your body, some plant chemicals are absorbed through the skin. There are certain application methods that can improve absorption, such as applying to different areas of the body or applying heat.
Also inhaling the aromas from essential oils can stimulate areas of the limbic system. The limbic system is a part of the brain that plays a role in emotions behaviors long-term memory, and sense of smell. The limbic system is heavily involved in forming memories. This partly explains why several smells can trigger several familiar memories or emotions.
What are the Types of Essential Oils?
There are various types of essential oils and natural remedies (over 90 of them), and each one of them has its unique smell and potential health benefits. Below is a list of 10 popular essential oils and the health claims associated with them.
- Peppermint: This is used to boost energy and digestion in the body.
- Lavender: It is often applied to relieve stress.
- Sandalwood: It assists in calming the nerves and boosting one’s focus.
- Bergamot: This helps in improving skin conditions like eczema; it is also used to reduce stress.
- Rose: Helps in improving mood and reducing anxiety.
- Chamomile: This also helps in improving mood and relaxation.
- Ylang-Ylang: This essential oil is used in the treatment of headaches skin conditions and nausea.
- Tea Tree: It helps in fighting infection and boosting immunity.
- Jasmine: It helps in cases of depression, libido and childbirth.
- Lemon: This assists in aiding digestion, headaches, mood, and other factors.
Natural Remedies With Essential Oils
Essential oils and natural remedies should be used as directed or there may be some complications. However, before you begin the usage, here are some quick pointers you have to take note of:
- Store your solution in a dark or tinted glass bottle so as to keep the essential oils fresh and most potent. Natural light may reduce the potency of the oil components.
- If you need to make use of plastic bottles (probably to be used in the shower with body wash or shampoo containing essential oils), be certain that the bottle you are using is BPA (Bisphenol A) free so that the toxin in the chemical will not contaminate the efficacy of your essential oils.
Now having all these in mind, you can go ahead and make use of your essential oils. The following are various essential oils’ natural remedies and how to apply them.
1. For Nasal and Chest Congestion
Steam a blend of chamomile, spearmint, thyme, and eucalyptus
Steam inhalation is the best way to break up mucus because it opens up the nasal passageways by getting debris out of the sinuses and bringing vapor right into the lungs. Therefore in fighting nasal and chest congestion, add one drop of each chamomile, spearmint, thyme, and eucalyptus essential oil to four cups of water that is boiling. After doing this, make sure you cover your head with a towel, and close your eyes to prevent any possible irritation, breathe in the steam deeply for five minutes. Repeat this process two or three times each day.
2. For Headaches
Inhale lavender oil
By inhaling lavender oil for 15 minutes, you will be reducing the severity of migraine headaches. To get rid of the headache, mix 6 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 oz of almond oil or other neutral carrier oil. Put a dab under your nose and inhale slowly and deeply.
3. For Sore Muscles
Roll-on frankincense, rosemary, and helichrysum
Frankincense and rosemary essential oils have anti-inflammatory effects when used topically. Blend 3 drops each of frankincense, rosemary, and helichrysum (a plant in the sunflower family with anti-spasmodic properties) into 1 oz of carrier oil, then place it in a roller bottle. If you go for yoga, always keep this blend in your bag and apply it to sore muscles after class.
4. For Stress Relief
Soak in a bergamot bath.
A recent study made use of measurements of salivary cortisol (the stress hormone) to test the efficacy of bergamot on stress and anxiety. The group that inhaled bergamot for 15 minutes showed a greater reduction in salivary cortisol than those in the control group.
To relieve stress inhale bergamot while you relax in a bath. Mix 18 drops of bergamot, a half tablespoonful of sweet almond oil, and 2 oz sea salt, then add the mixture to a full tub.
Safe Methods of Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are often very potent and so you have to be very cautious about how you use them. These safety tips will help you in using them right:
- Do not apply them to your skin without first diluting them. Using them directly may trigger some allergic reactions. For the face or neck, 1 percent dilution (6 drops in 1 oz of carrier oil) is recommended. For a full-body application, such as a massage oil, use at least a 2.5 dilution (15 drops in 1 oz of carrier oil). Also, for targeted areas, use up to 10 percent dilution (60 drops in 1 oz of carrier oil).
- Before attempting to ingest essential oils, kindly consult a doctor first, because drinking them (either neat or mixed into beverages like water, tea, or juice) can irritate the lining of the esophagus or the stomach. And this can result in reflux, heartburn, or even an allergic reaction.
- Do not apply essential oils directly to the inside of the nose. This can cause serious problems to the nasal passageways.
- Do not use soap or water to remove essential oils from the skin. If you have a reaction, trying to get rid of it with water may spread the oil, worsening the condition in the process.
- Be careful with using essential oils on or around pets. Essential oils should be avoided around cats that do not have the enzymes to metabolize them; this can put them at risk of toxicity. If you are to use it with dogs make sure you test the oil by allowing your dog to sniff it from a foot away. If the dog turns away from the smell, test other oils until you find the one he won’t turn from. Avoid applying oil to his fur.
Health Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils have been generally known to have the ability to treat certain health conditions. The following are common health problems essential oils natural remedies and aromatherapy have solved.
1. Sleep and insomnia
Sleep quality of women after childbirth has been shown to improve after smelling lavender oil. Also, patients with heart disease have had improved sleep after smelling lavender oil. Generally, lavender oil has a positive effect on one’s sleep habits.
2. Reducing inflammation
There have been suggestions that essential oils are capable of fighting inflammatory conditions. Some of these oils have anti-inflammatory effects.
The ingestion of thyme and oregano essential oils can help with the remission of colitis. The same result has been discovered in caraway and rosemary oils.
3. Antibiotic and antimicrobial
Because the resistance of antibiotic bacteria has risen against some drugs, there has been renewed interest in the search for other compounds that can fight bacterial infections. Further findings have discovered that essential oils such as peppermint and tea tree oil may be the solution to fighting these infections due to their antimicrobial effects
Other Uses of Essential Oils
Besides aromatherapy, essential oils also have some other uses.
- Many people use essential oils to scent their homes or even to freshen up things such as laundry.
- They are also used as natural scents in homemade cosmetics and other high-quality natural products.
- Essential oils can provide a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to man-made mosquito repellants – an example is DEET.
- Some oils like citronella may repel certain types of mosquitoes for about 2 hours. The protection may extend up to 3 hours when citronella is used in combination with vanillin.
- Some essential oils also have preservation properties. That is, they can be used industrially to extend the shelf life of food.
Choosing the Right Essential Oils
The following tips will help you in choosing high-quality oils from the numerous fake ones out there:
- Purity: You should search for an oil that contains aromatic plant compounds and does not have any additives or synthetic oils in it. Most pure oils have the list of the plant’s botanic name (such as Lavandula officinalis) instead of terms like “essential oil of lavender.”
- Quality: The real essential oils are the ones that have only been least altered by an extraction process. Make sure the essential oil you are choosing is not one that has been extracted through distillation or mechanical cold pressing.
- Reputation: Always make sure you buy a brand of essential oils that has the reputation for producing high-quality products.
How To Use Essential Oils Aromatically
- Mix your favorite essential oils in a diffuser. Apply one to three drops of each blend.
- Place a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and wedge it into the air vent; this will help promote clean air in the car.
- If you want to enjoy the aroma of essential oil all through the day, combine a few drops of your favorite oil with water in a spray bottle and spritz the mixture on your clothing to keep the scent alive for several hours.
- To create a peaceful relaxing environment for your family before sleep, diffuse essential oils with calming aromas while your children brush their teeth, read bedtime stories, and get ready for bed.
- Diffuse essential oils with sweet aromas at your work desk during stressful afternoon work hours.
- You can create your own aromatherapy jewelry by placing a few drops of oil on clay beads.
- Having a diffuser nearby will give a pleasant aroma when you’re doing homework or other important projects.
- If you are expecting visits from family or friends, you can diffuse essential oils to produce a pleasant aroma throughout the home.
You must be equipped with the best practice for using essential oils and natural remedies, especially for health-related activities like cooking, cleaning, sleep, and exercise. The suggestions given above will help you take a more natural approach to your everyday life and also help free you and your family from the toxic load that weighs on so many people.
With the power, potency, and versatility that essential oils have to offer, it won’t take long for you to realize how some of the earth’s most powerful resources can transform your daily life. Start using essential oils now and see how a single drop can change everything.