Essential oils are natural products used in alternative medicine and mostly aromatherapy and are received from aromatic plant extracts. The flavor, aroma, and essential components of the plants are extracted in the oil form making it more suitable for a wide variety of uses aimed at improving the user’s health and well-being. This oil is obtained by distillation or cold pressing, once the oil is extracted it is ready for use. The process of extraction is key as it could make all the difference between real essential oil and chemically derived oi which isn’t considered a real essential oil.
The essential oil produced chemically would have been highly manipulated and their components would have been altered thus resulting in a less concentrated compound. Some sellers mix these essential oils with other cheap nuts and oils, and some even go as far as to use synthetics that look like the real thing. Buying a mixed oil would definitely not be as potent as the real deal and in some cases can be so bad that it is harmful to the liver and kidney. So how do you identify real essential oil when you go to purchase? Follow closely.
Real essential oils are sealed with an orifice reducer that helps control the amount that comes out. This helps you get the correct dosage and prolong the half-life of the product against oxidation. Also, it should be labeled “100% pure” and should carry “essential” along with the plant name. Importantly, when dropped on a white paper and it dries up it should not leave any ring like residue on the paper. They should be stored in green or blue glassware containers as oil compounds react with plastic and those specific colors prevent ultraviolet rays effect. And lastly, essential oils are pricey, so when a bottle is cheap you should deduce that all is not well in paradise.
Essential oils are mainly used in aromatherapy which is the use of selected fragrances, oils, lotions and inhalants to improve mood and overall bodily functioning. Research has shown that inhaling the aroma from these oils can stimulate the limbic system which is a part of the brain that impacts emotions, behaviors, and long term memories. This is why some familiar smells do trigger some memories. The limbic system has some effect on body physiology such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate. Hence, the belief that essential oils give bodily relief and is inculcated in body massage.
There is a wide variety of essential oils known for some specific uses such as peppermint oil which helps with headaches and aids digestion, lavender oil for stress relief, chamomile oil is known for improving mood and relaxation, jasmine oil used mainly for depression, lemon oil aids digestion and more. Other oils include Sandalwood, Bergamot, Rose, vetiver, helichrysum among others. Having highlighted those salient points, let’s now delve into the benefits of essential oils.
Stress and Anxiety
Essential oils have come in really helpful to douse stress and reduce anxiety. Research shows that about 43% of those who have stress and anxiety problems have used alternative treatment at one point or the other to overcome their illness. Particularly with the use of aromatherapy and body massage. It can also be effectively combined alongside conventional medicine to treat anxiety. One of the most potent oils to use for stress and anxiety is CBD oil which is obtained from cannabis plants such as hemp. Cannabis has been proven to be an excellent treatment for stress and anxiety. Cannabis has two active compounds THC and CBD that are responsible for its healing properties and can be found in different proportions in its various plant types.
These plant types are also known as strains and have three main types namely the indica, sativa, and ruderalis. Either indica or sativa can be used depending on your ailments. Other oils that are effective for stress and anxiety include Frankincense oil which gives a calm feeling and slowly helps steady breath and eases the mind. Bergamot and Lavender oil are also fantastic options for stress relief as they give a cooling effect and aid sleep.
Essential oils are also great pain relievers especially peppermint and lavender oil. Research has shown that applying peppermint oil to the forehead and behind the earlobes would drastically relieve headaches and migraines. Also, applying lavender oil on the skin has been discovered to relieve headaches. Chamomile oil when mixed with sesame oil is also a fantastic option to ease and relieve pain. This is possible due to the cooling and relaxing effect that these oils have on the skin coupled with the fact that it also induces sleep.
Essential oils have also been used to improve hair condition. They help keep the hair and scalp healthy. Rosemary oil stimulates blood circulation to the scalp which aids hair growth. As well as offers protection against dandruff and dry scalp. Cedarwood and Laurel oils are excellent hair and scalp strengtheners.
Research shows that inhaling lavender oil improves the quality of sleep in women who have just given birth and patients with heart disease. Its soothing properties make it possible to feel relaxed and improve sleep in those with insomnia. Chamomile oil is used for mind and body relaxation as it also has soothing properties. Marjoram oil has a spicy aroma that calms the nerves and improves sleep. It is often used in aromatherapy for insomnia patients.
Essential oils also have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic effects, and also reduce cold. They are used as natural scents in the home, for laundry, and also as mosquito repellants and cosmetics in industries.