The Top Benefits of Essential Oils
So what’s all the hype about?? And is it really a hype?…after all, essential oils have been used as far back as 5000 years. So the concept is not new and neither is their utility. Early civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Indian and Chinese utilized the essential oils to cure a spectrum of ailments. Today is no different but because our Western society does not necessarily follow what these intelligent and highly developed civilizations followed, we’ll give you a glimpse of some of the benefits their use can bring to your life.
But first, what are they? The most simple definition is that essential oils are plant extracted compounds that capture the plant’s essence. There are multiple ways to make the extraction from distillation to cold pressing and once the essence is extracted, it is combined with a carrier oil to create the finish product that is ready to be used. Although, there are many different forms to make them, a true essential oil would not be considered so if obtained through a chemical process. As you can imagine, there is a huge variety of types but some of the most popular are Peppermint, Lavender, Sandalwood, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, and Lemon. And depending on what you are looking to accomplish you could pick a particular one or use a combination of a couple. So now, for the reason you are here…(no, we have not forgotten). Although this list is by no means all inclusive, here are some of the benefits that the essential oils can bring to your life.
Stress and Anxiety
Scientist have not yet figured out the exact “why”, but people that use essential oils regularly do claim to have lower stress. Even used in an inconsistent manner, just opening a particular oil and giving it a few sniffs directly from the bottle can immediately trigger your brain and put you in "bliss mode". Massage therapist already know this and that is why it’s pretty customary to make you smell an essential oil (typically Lavender) right before a message sessions gets started. In addition, using the oils as an integral part of the massage (careful if you are not familiar with essential oils as not all are made for direct topical use) can not only make you smell good but create additional de-stressing.
An easy way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils at a time when stress levels seem to naturally arise is during your drive to work. There is nothing that's not already created (or so my dad always says...) and whoever created the car essential oil diffuser was certainly aware of the benefits of essential oils and how easily it could help with the stressful commute. It is an easy and practical plug in essential oil diffuser that will provide plenty of use!
Headaches and Migraines
This is a particular application where very little goes a long way. Similarly to using the home remedy of applying magnets to the temples when experiencing a headache, you can use particular essential oils to massage on the templates. This is a very old traditional Persian headache remedy and like with anything that is caught early, using this technique early on the onset of a headache can prevent it from escalating into full blown migraine. Some of the most popular essential oils for this application are lavender, peppermint and chamomile.
Another application could be to burn the oil instead of applying it directly on the skin. For this you would need to find an essential oil burner and you can use one that you manually light with a candle. Just the act of lighting up a candle will start to put you in a state of "letting go", "relaxing" and decompressing. Add to this the magic of the essential oils and the rest is history, as they say.
Sleep and Insomnia
For this particular benefit, of course it is best to make it into a routine. Consistent use of essential oils right before going to bed, even smelling it directly from the bottle, can create a connection in your brain that will become part of the nighttime routine. We do love, though, using the essential oil in a large enough diffuser that could run the whole night because that way the scent will not be temporary. You could also, use one of those beautiful glass essential oil diffuser that will not only do the job but get you in a sleepy trance by just looking at it. It’s really a matter of preference but people that use the oils in their bedroom have reported falling asleep faster and experiencing more restful nights*. Even for new parents, and that’s quite an accomplishment!
One of our favorite scents to go with for helping to treat insomnia particularly is the nutmeg essential oil. It has a particularly rich and warm smell that will make you think "comfy" and "loved". And pairing this nutmeg essential oil with drinking right before bed a small glass of warm milk with a dash of nutmeg will create a home run! Try it, you will not be disappointed.
While not many studies in humans have examined the effects of certain oils on inflammatory diseases, there have been some successful ones with mice in the lab. In a particular one that tested with a combination of thyme and oregano essential oils, the mice showed remission of colitis**. Of course, being that these plants naturally help with inflammation, it’s not hard to think that using essential oils that come from them, could be any different. Unfortunately, the majority of diseases come from an acidic body and many of them cause inflammation of the organs. They cause slow damage to the organs and can lead to serious problems like kidney disease and eventual dialysis. The good news is that there are many holistic programs and natural products that significantly help to reduce inflammation, essential oils being one of the many.
Antibacterial & Anti-fungal Properties
We bet you didn't know that you could use essential oils for natural antibacterial and anti-fungal treatments. A great one for this is the gardenia essential oil. Gardenia has been my absolute favorite flower for the longest time because it is exquisitely delicate and divine but I only learn of this benefit recently, and was happy to know that my favorite flower was not only gorgeous to look at but also a super hero in disguise.
I was aware of the antibacterial properties of honey, for example. As a matter of fact, in one of my past lives I managed a line of clinical wound care products made with Medical Grade Manuka Honey. It was tough to see and be exposed to hospitalized patients with serious wounds but I have to tell you it was sooo satisfying and rewarding to see their progress and eventual healing with those products, that it gave me purpose going to work for them. To this day, even after years of not working in the field, I continue to use those products in my daily life to treat and cure small wounds and scars. But the gardenia essential oil has many antibacterial properties as well and can help with small bacterial infections or even bigger ones like sepsis and tetanus.
Another fabulous oil that helps with fungal infections is the lilac essential oil. Lilac essential oil basically functions as a sterilizing agent to treat fungal infections and further prevent them. In this particular case, it would be best to put it directly on the skin or ingest it. Just make sure that the one you are using is meant for that use.
Creating a routine of daily use of essential oils can truly only create benefits in your live. Have fun with it, try different scents, use them separately or combine them, it's really your choice. Once you have build a little collection make sure to get yourself an essential oil organizer so that you don't misplace your bottles and know always where to find them. They come in different shapes, materials and capacity. We love the one made by Tress Wellness Store that can hold up to 70 bottles. But once you become more well versed in the essential oils world (and you will!), having a personal stock housed in a beautifully made wood box, will make you feel like the natural pharmacist genius you were always meant to be! And if keeping them undercover is not your style and you would rather show your life elixir in the open, you can get an essential oil holder that is decorative to put on a wall. We found this wall essential oil holder that is beautifully constructed, looks minimalist and is specifically designed to hold essential oil bottles, not just a regular looking shelf.
Well now the ball is in your court! Pick one up, try it out and revitalize yourself!
Until next time :)
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