A Guide to Using Essential Oils for Health
People have been using aromatherapy for centuries. In the past, this involved burning incense made from natural ingredients like fragrant wood, herbs, and spices. Today, it’s possible to bring aromatherapy to your home without breathing in any smoke by using essential oils. Even better, essential oils isolate only the most useful compounds contained in plants to provide you with the maximum benefits.
What Are Essential Oils?
Although they may look the same when packaged, essential oils are produced in a variety of ways. Steam distilling and cold pressing draws out the various parts of the plant. In addition to stems and leaves, essential oils can be made with flowers, fruits, and even roots. Another thing all essential oils have in common is the positive impact they make on your physical and psychological health. It’s this reason that millions of people use essential oils on a regular basis — many even use several types of essential oils every day.
What Can Essential Oils Help With?
Essential oils are among the best supplements to boost your immune system. Other benefits include helping with sleep problems, anxiety, pain, and symptoms related to allergies, such as a stuffy nose. As each essential oil has a different purpose, it’s important to choose the right one for the issue you want to address.
As a starting point, it’s helpful to know about some of the most common essential oils and their uses:
- Peppermint — Boost your immune system to avoid colds and flu and increase your energy levels.
- Bergamot — Reduce anxiety and treat skin conditions.
- Rosemary — Improve the condition of your skin and hair and ease pain in your joints.
- Oregano — Ideal for skin complaints.
- Chamomile — Treat nausea, bring down a fever, and reduce symptoms associated with colds.
- Clove — Reduce pain, particularly related to your teeth.
- Frankincense — Improve your mood and release stress.
- Lavender — Feel calm and improve your sleep.
- Lemon — Use this around your home as a disinfectant.
- Eucalyptus — Massage the oil into a body part to reduce pain or inhale it for relief from congestion.
Keep in mind that the effects of essential oils are often subjective. What works for one person may not be the ideal solution for you, particularly if you’re looking to use essential oils for their psychological benefits. This is mainly due to the fact that certain scents tend to have distinct associations for different people.
For instance, a particular aroma may remind you of home, and this may be especially effective at helping you reduce stress — but the same scent would lack the association for someone else. For this reason, it can help to experiment with several essential oils to discover the best ones for you.
In addition, it’s crucial that you buy from a reputable supplier to ensure the essential oils you choose are of the highest quality. The cheapest essential oils contain synthetic additives, whereas the best products are made from purely natural ingredients.
How to Use Essential Oils
There are several ways to use essential oils. Inhalation is the most common method, which usually involves using a diffuser. It can also be useful to add a few drops on a pillow, especially if you want to use the oil for something like sleeplessness. Just make sure you choose an essential oil that has sedative properties.
In either case, inhaling oils will mean the molecules reach your respiratory system — and some will reach your brain. The effect on the mind is the reason why inhalation is a top choice for relaxation, psychological conditions, and stress as well as respiratory issues, such as colds and allergies. It’s best to choose a waterless diffuser if you have any respiratory problems or if you’re immunocompromised to prevent breathing in bacteria that may be present in water.
A second way to use oils is to apply them to your skin, either through a massage or by adding them to bath water. If you’re applying the oils to your skin, the best places are your arms, the tops of your feet, your neck, behind your ears, and your wrists, as these have been found to maximize and enhance the effects in most people. You can also add essential oils to the part of your body that needs healing. The properties of the oils will ultimately reach your bloodstream and move to the area that requires treatment. Your liver will later break down the molecules and clear them from your body.
When using essential oils topically, it’s important to dilute them first because they’re too strong to use in concentrated form. This even applies if you’re adding the oils to a bath, since they don’t mix with water. You can use a carrier oil, lotion, or aloe jelly to dilute the essential oils.
A final option is to ingest the oils. It’s critical to do this only with essential oils that are safe for consumption and to use a specialized capsule. Ask a medical professional or certified aromatherapist about their suitability before ingesting.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely
Essential oils may be ideal to complement any medication you’re taking. You can also take them on their own for mild ailments, such as aches and pains, everyday stress, and difficulty falling asleep. Even low-quality essential oils are safe, but the effects tend to be much less pronounced.
If you’re using oils topically, try them on a small area of your body first, just like you would any new skin product. Be aware that some essential oils can make you more sensitive to sunlight, especially citrus oils. It’s best to use these late in the day or on parts of your body that will not be exposed to the sun. If you want essential oils for your kids, the safest option is to find products designed for younger users.
Find top-quality essential oils at LaCura. Target a specific problem with our single oils or receive multiple benefits by choosing a blend. We additionally specialize in personalized blends made just for you. Check them all out in our online shop.