Essential Oils: 11 Main Benefits and 101 Uses
Sep 30, · Essential oils are most commonly used in the practice of aromatherapy, in which they are inhaled through various methods. Essential oils are not . Sep 10, · Essential oils —or “EOs” to the devoted—are trendier than ever. They’re popping up everywhere from yoga classes to cocktail parties to cleaning products, and make up an industry that’s expected to hit $11 billion by the year Derived from the roots, leaves, flowers, barks, and peels of select plants, these aromatic oils are believed to boast a host of health benefits, including diminished .
Aromatherapy, or the use of essential oils, dates back thousands of years, when the ancient Egyptians first burned incense made from aromatic woods, herbs and spices. Despite a surge in popularity, essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, and not all are created equal.
This may have some wondering: How do essential oils work? How do you use them? And are there risks? How do essential oils work?
Essential oils are an umbrella term essentiaal to describe highly concentrated, steam-distilled or cold-pressed extracts of almost any part of a plant, such as seeds, flowers, fruit, leaves, stems and roots, that are said to improve physical and psychological well-being. To this day, neither the government nor the FDA have widely studied or regulated essential oils, so their effects have yet to be supported by scientific research. However, millions of people turn to aromatherapy every day, swearing by its ability to treat common health ailments like anxiety, pils and joint pain.
According to Mack, essential oils have psychological affecting emotionpharmacological affecting chemistry and physiological affecting bodily function and process benefits. The most common ways to use essential oils are by breathing them in inhalation and by applying them to the skin topical. Swallowing them is an option, but Mack says ingestion should only occur under direct supervision of a doctor or certified aromatherapist.
Those who use essential oils topically tend to do so for cosmetic purposes or to treat pain. Oils are absorbed via the epidermis top layer of skinmove from the soft tissue to the bloodstream, are carried to the treatment areas and then metabolized in the liver. Most essential oil users inhale them to experience their psychological effects, such as stress relief. When inhaled, the molecules are distributed into the respiratory system, but a small amount has been shown to affect our brain.
What are common kinds of essential oils and their uses? Bergamot: skin healing and anxiety-reducing Chamomile: cold, fevers and nausea Clove: dental and pain-relieving Eucalyptus: topical pain-reliever and decongestant Frankincense: mood-enhancer and stress-reducer Lavender: calming and sleep-inducing Lemon: a natural household cleaner and disinfectant Oregano: skin-healing Peppermint: cold and flu prevention and energy-booster Rosemary: skin and hair health and joint pain When shopping for essential oils, Mack cautions that not all brands are created equal.
Many mass-marked oils i. How do you use essential oils? Mack advises that the safest ways to use oils are to dilute them for topical use or diffuse them for direct inhalation. When using topically, Mack says essential oils should always be applied with a barrier substance like an oil, lotion or aloe jelly.
Mack also dispels the notion that applying essential oils to the bottom of the feet is the best way to absorb the properties. She says applying oils how to change startup settings in windows 7 the tops of feet, arms, wrists, neck and behind the ear generally produce better and more consistent results for most people.
For those inhaling essential oils, What is randy jackson net worth recommends using a waterless or water-based diffuser. Waterless diffusers are great for those with respiratory issues or immunocompromised states, as the deletion of water reduces the aree of waterborne bacteria being distributed.
Can you use essential oils in place of prescription medication? Does insurance cover it? And because essential oils are not recognized as a medication or essential to medical well-being, they are not covered by insurance, Mack adds. Are essential oils safe? For the most part, if used correctly, essential oils are safe. Even poor-quality oils are safe to use, what is the largest battleship in history they may be less effective.
However, essential oils do carry some risks, which Mack says can be avoided by following these steps: If ingesting essential oils, only do so under the direct supervision of a doctor or certified aromatherapist. If using oils topically, first test them out by mixing a few drops with a dhat substance like coconut oilapplying to a small area and watching for a skin reaction.
Some essential oils, like bergamot, can cause skin sensitivity when in direct sunlight. Be aware of possible side effects. Exercise caution when using essential oils around children, as many oils ksed not considered safe for children under the age of 5.
Some oils can cause physical and respiratory distress in still-developing bodies. Never apply oils directly to an animal, and always ask a veterinarian before using essential oils around a pet. Consult a certified aromatherapist to discover the oils that work best for you and to determine their safety and side effects.
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Essential oils are an umbrella term used to describe highly concentrated, steam-distilled or cold-pressed extracts of almost any part of a plant, such as seeds, flowers, fruit, leaves, stems and roots, that are said to improve physical and psychological well-being. Jan 12, · Orange Essential Oil. Cold and flu prevention. Put a drop or two of orange oil into your drinking water every day. Not only d oes it contain vitamin C, it also helps to boost the immune system. If you take extra vitamin C along with orange-infused water, it helps to increase absorption of the vitamin C.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in various cultures for medicinal and health purposes. Because of their antidepressant, stimulating, detoxifying, antibacterial, antiviral and calming properties, they are recently gaining popularity as a natural, safe and cost-effective therapy for a number of health concerns. This is especially true because essential oils benefits are vast and essential oils uses range from aromatherapy , household cleaning products, personal beauty care and natural medicine treatments.
The particles in essential oils come from distilling or extracting the different parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. In fact, just one drop of an essential oil can have powerful health benefits. What is an essential oil? Typically created through the process of distillation — which separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming — they are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma.
In fact, sometimes they are called volatile aromatic oils because of their high concentration of the aromatic compounds. How do essential oils work? By concentrating the oils of these plants, you are literally separating the most powerful healing compounds of a plant into a single oil. Are you ready to learn which pure, organic oils to use in your essential oil diffuser or in other ways?
Read more to find out how to use essential oils and incorporate them into your healthy lifestyle! There are essential oils for hormones that may help to balance your estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, thyroid and testosterone levels.
Some oils, such as clary sage, geranium and thyme, help to balance out estrogen and progesterone levels in your body , which can improve conditions like infertility and PCOS, as well as PMS and menopause symptoms.
A published in Neuro Endocrinology Letters indicates that geranium and rose have the ability to influence the salivary concentration of estrogen in women. This may be helpful for women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms that are caused by declining levels of estrogen secretion. Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties that help to boost your immune system and fight infections.
The chemical substances found in the oils, such as terpenes, esters, phenolics, ethers and ketones, have the potential to fight foreign pathogens that can threaten your health. Some of the best essential oils for your immunity include oregano, myrrh, ginger, lemon, eucalyptus, frankincense, peppermint or Mentha piperita and cinnamon. Studies have shown that essential oils effectively destroy several fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , Helicobacter pylori and Candida albicans infections.
Because antibiotic resistance is becoming such a major threat in modern health care, using these oils as a form of independent or combination therapy can help to fight bacterial infections in a safer and more natural way. Oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol, two compounds that have antimicrobial effects and can inhibit the synthesis and growth of several types of bacteria. For example, a lab study found that frankincense oil shows strong immunostimulant activity.
Frankincense also demonstrates anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects when tested in lab studies and on animals — specifically, helping to fight the cells of specific types of cancer.
Another researched essential oils benefit is their role in aiding and improving digestion. Some oils help to relieve upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhea, stomach spasms and even conditions of the gastrointestinal system, such as IBS. Oils can also aid your digestion by helping to stimulate digestive enzymes that make it easier to break down and absorb the nutrients, fats and protein that you need. Ginger essential oi l, for example, is known to promote your digestive health by easing indigestion, constipation and ulcers.
A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that ginger oil stimulated gastric emptying in people with indigestion. Ginger oil is also used to relieve gas, reduce nausea and ease abdominal pain. Another useful essential oil for digestion is peppermint. Research shows that peppermint oil works to provide rapid relief of IBS symptoms. In a 4-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 72 patients with IBS received either peppermint oil or placebo.
The peppermint group experienced a 40 percent reduction in total IBS symptoms after 4 weeks, which was superior to the 24 percent decrease of symptoms reported by the patients in the placebo group. After just 24 hours of using peppermint oil, the treatment group experienced a decrease in symptoms of Some other essential oils that may be helpful for digestion include fennel, lemongrass, marjoram, black pepper and juniper berry.
Did you know that essential oils can help to boost your energy levels and even improve your athletic performance? Some oils have stimulating effects and can actually increase oxygen to your brain, which will leave you feeling refreshed, focused and energized. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that peppermint oil increased brain oxygen concentration, improved exercise performance and reduced exhaustion in healthy male athletes who consumed peppermint oil with water for 10 days.
Some other great essential oils for energy include grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass, eucalyptus and rosemary. In a scientific review published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience , researchers found that because essential oils possess powerful antioxidants that work to inhibit free radical scavenging, they help to naturally improve brain function and reduce inflammation.
Essential oils have also shown to improve learning, memory and ability to focus. Both stimulating and sedative oils can be useful, as oils like peppermint can improve sustained attention over a longer period of time, while oils like lavender can be useful for people going through tough exercises or situations. Furthermore, they can be useful in relieving agitation in individuals with dementia. This is due to their calming and sedative effects. Perhaps one of the most well-known essential oils benefits is their ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
Some have sedative properties and induce a calm, peaceful, uplifting and relaxed feeling. The best essential oils for anxiety and stress include lavender, Roman chamomile, bergamot, ylang ylang, orange, rose, frankincense and vetiver.
A randomized controlled clinical trial found that inhaling rose water for four weeks significantly decreased the state and traits of anxiety in patients undergoing hemodialysis treatment. A pilot study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that the use of aromatherapy as a complementary therapy helped to reduce anxiety and depression scales in postpartum women.
After four weeks, the women using aromatherapy had significant improvements in anxiety and depression symptoms compared to those in the control group. And a study involving 82 participants evaluated the effectiveness of aromatherapy for elderly people with chronic pain and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Researchers found that after four weeks of treatment with essential oils, there was a significant reduction in negative emotions, including feelings of anxiety, stress and depression, among the intervention group.
These are just some of the studies that have displayed the anti-anxiety and stress-relieving capabilities. According to a systemic review and meta-analysis published in Pain Research and Treatment , there is a significant positive effect of aromatherapy, compared to placebos or control treatments, in reducing pain.
Researchers evaluated 12 studies on this topic and found that essential oils were especially helpful in treating postoperative pain, obstetrical pain and gynecological pain. There are many oils that may be applied topically or used aromatically to reduce body aches and pains.
One study that displays this essential oil benefit evaluated the efficacy of these oils on neck pain. For the study, the experimental group received a cream that was composed of marjoram, black pepper, lavender and peppermint oils, and the control group used an unscented cream. The creams were applied for 4 weeks, directly to the painful area after bathing. Researchers found that the experimental group had improved pain tolerance in the neck and showed significant improvement in the 10 motion areas that were measured.
The best essential oils for alleviating aches and pains include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, chamomile, rosemary, majoram, thyme, frankincense, turmeric, ginger and myrrh. Using essential oils on your skin and in hair and beauty products is a natural and effective way to keep up your personal care regimes without having to use products that are made with chemicals and hydrogenated oils.
Essential oils may calm irritated skin, reduce signs of aging, like age spots, improve acne , protect your skin from sun damage and thicken your hair. Oils can also help to improve inflammatory skin conditions, like dermatitis, eczema and lupus, improve the general appearance of your skin and even aid wound healing. There are also quite a few studies that have found essential oils to be helpful for hair growth.
One such study, conducted in , evaluated the efficacy of rosemary oil on patients with androgenetic alopecia, or male or female pattern baldness. Patients were randomly assigned to rosemary oil or minoxidil a medication commonly used for hair loss for a six-month treatment period.
Researchers found that both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count at the six-month endpoint. They also indicated that scalp itching was more frequent in the minoxidil group. The best essential oils for skin and hair include lavender, Roman chamomile, frankincense, tea tree, geranium, myrrh, helichrysum, rosemary and clary sage.
Blends combining those oils with certain carrier oils are shown below in the Uses section. Essential oils may help to reduce toxicity by promoting the detoxification of your home and body.
These days, we are all inhaling and ingesting a number of chemicals and environmental toxins that can be dangerous for our health. Some work as mild diuretics, thereby increasing urine production and improving detoxification. And some oils aid digestion and promote the detoxification of toxins that buildup in the body. Oils that help to promote internal detoxification include lemon, grapefruit, parsley, funnel, lemongrass, peppermint and ginger. Using detoxifying oils can help your body to flush out these toxins and it can clean the air of your home, too.
In fact, unlike most home cleaning products that are loaded with chemicals, essential oils can naturally clean your home by destroying harmful pathogens and pollutants. The best oils for reducing toxicity in your home or place of work include grapefruit, orange, lemon, lemongrass, eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint and tea tree.
Essential oils may work as natural headache and migraine relievers because they effectively treat the trigger, addressing the root of the problem instead of masking it, like painkillers do.
Essential oils for headaches provide pain relief, improve circulation and reduce stress, which can be a major cause of both headaches and migraines. A placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in evaluated the efficacy of inhaling lavender oil for the treatment of migraine headaches. Forty-seven patients with migraines were divided into two groups — one that inhaled lavender oil for 15 minutes and one that used a color and odorless liquid. After asking the patients to record their headache severity and associated symptoms every 30 minutes for a total of 2 hours, researchers found that the difference between the controls and treated patients was statistically significant.
From headache attacks in the treatment group, 92 responded entirely or partially to lavender. In the control group, 32 out of 68 headache attacks responded to the placebo. Aside from lavender, some other oils that can help to relieve headache pain include peppermint, which has a cooling effect and stimulates blood flow, eucalyptus, which relieves sinus pressure by opening the nasal airways, and rosemary, which reduces inflammation, promotes circulation and has a calming effect.
Some essential oils have sedative properties, which can be helpful for people who are having trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night. Lavender oil, in particular, is known to be an effective sleep aid because of its ability to leave you feeling relaxed and calm. Some other oils that can be used to promote restful sleep include Roman chamomile, ylang ylang, bergamot and vetiver. A systematic review conducted at the University of Minnesota evaluated 15 quantitative studies, including 11 randomized controlled trials that examined the effects of essential oils on sleep.
Researchers found that a majority of the study findings suggest a positive effect of oils on sleep deprivation and disturbances. Lavender oil was the most frequently studied oil and of all evaluated studies, no adverse events were reported. Another recent study, this one published in Nursing in Critical Care , investigated the effects of lavender oil on sleep quality among patients in the coronary intensive care unit ICU.
Sixty patients participated in the study and they were divided into the intervention group or the control group. The intervention group inhaled lavender oil for 15 days and researchers found that they showed significantly significant differences in their sleep quality compared to the control group that received no form of therapy.
Researchers pointed out that lavender oil is a non-invasive, inexpensive and easily applicable intervention for hospital patients who are having trouble sleeping and experiencing anxiety. What are essential oils good for?
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