July 18, 2021 18 Comments
Essential oils have become very popular in recent years. As more people shift to alternative health regimes, practices like aromatherapy and naturopathy have taken centerstage. What are essential oils and what are they used for? This article explores this topic in depth.
Essential oils are liquid extracts from plants and plant parts. The juices or oils are both highly potent and aromatic. Oils are extracted from plants believed to have beneficial or therapeutic properties. Essential oils are extracted using a variety of methods including cold pressing and steam or water distillation.
The most common application for essential oils is aromatherapy. Oils are mainly diffused into the air using a diffuser to provide therapeutic benefits such as stress relief, deodorizing a room, pain relief and so on. Oils diffused contain compounds that enter the lungs and bloodstream to provide the needed relief. A good example of aromatherapy is the use of eucalyptus to relieve sinus issues. There is science that backs aromatherapy and in the above example, a 2013 study revealed that inhaling eucalyptus can reduce shortness of breath and decongest the respiratory system.
Essential oils are common ingredients in cosmetic and beauty products. From skin creams to body washes and hair gels, essential oils provide natural fragrance, act as natural antioxidants and help improve skin and hair. Topical application of these oils cannot be done without diluting. Carrier oils are used to reduce potency for utmost safety on skin. DIY essential oil beauty hacks must therefore observe caution and safety. There are many other uses like sanitizing and cleaning.
Are these oils overly hyped or do they work? There is a myriad of plants that have been studied and have been found to have active ingredients with therapeutic benefits. An example of these plants include chamomile, peppermint, lemon, lavender, bergamot, eucalyptus, and more recently cannabis. Many of the oils indeed have health benefits including stress and anxiety relief, soothing pains and aches, alleviating sinus problems and more.
It is also worth pointing out that oils do not have the same effect on all people. Some people may find that lavender is excellent for anxiety relief, while others may prefer chamomile. Aromatherapy is largely a journey of learning and discovery.
From topical application using rollerballs to essential oil jewelry, aromatherapy can be applied in various ways. However, the most effective method is diffusing using a nebulizing diffuser. This way, you enjoy 100% pure oils for best results. It’s important to buy high quality essential oils from a trusted source. Poor quality or cheap essential oils can be potentially harmful as it’s possible they may contain adulterants that may jeopardize aromatherapy experience.
Just because essential oils are extracted from natural sources doesn't mean that they are completely without safety risk. They must be used properly and in the right doses. Below are some safety tips to keep in mind.
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