Essential oils are extracts from plants, flowers, and tree barks. All these plants contain volatile aromatic compounds that are extracted and concentrated to make essential oils. Essential oils have the same beneficial properties as the plants they are extracted from. Some oils are used for their pleasant and relaxing scents while others have several health benefits.
How Are Essential Oils Made?
Holistic oils are made from plant materials such as leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, and tree bark. Peels from fruits can sometimes be used. In some cases, the oil is made with a combination of different types of plant materials.
The extraction method varies in function of the type of plant materials used. Leaves and flowers are usually boiled with water or steam while oil can be extracted from seeds through cold pressing. This process is called distillation and results in an oil that contains aromatic chemicals from a plant.
Because most essential oils are very volatile, they are often combined with a carrier oil. Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter are common carrier oil. They have a neutral smell and aren’t volatile. Essential oils can be safely diluted in these oils and retain their beneficial properties.
You might come across oils that were extracted with chemicals while shopping for essential oils. These products have the same essential oil scents as organic products but might not have the same health benefits since the finished product will contain chemicals.
If you decide to use a blend of essential oils, read the label carefully to find out about the ingredients. Make sure no chemicals were added and pay attention to the quantities of essential oils used in the blend since a product that contains too much carrier oil won’t be as efficient as a product with more essential oils.
Essential Oils And Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is an alternative form of medicine. Rather than addressing specific symptoms, it uses scents to promote overall well-being and boost the body’s natural ability to heal.
Aromatherapy treatments are very relaxing and can help with a wide range of physical or psychological problems. The experience is somewhat similar to using scented candles for relaxing, but there is a lot more to aromatherapy.
Your sense of smell is closely connected to an area of the brain called the limbic system. The limbic system includes the olfactory bulb where your brain processes smell. The limbic system is close to the thalamus, the brain structure that stores and replays memories. This is why some smells can trigger some strong memories.
The limbic system is also linked to some functions such as breathing, or blood pressure. Certain smells can even help regulate your heart rate.
The calming effect of pleasant scents is not just perceived. Some scents actually trigger a response in your limbic system that affects different organs and can help with some medical symptoms or mood problems.
Organic aromatherapy oils are either rubbed on the skin or smelled. You will typically be exposed to different oils and smells during an aromatherapy session to achieve a state of physical, psychological, and emotional well-being.
Other Uses For Essential Oils
Essential oils have surprising health benefits. You can use them for their pleasant scents and relaxing effects in the context of aromatherapy or explore their other uses.
Treat Skin Conditions
Using an organic massage oil can help with inflammation. Essential oils can sooth the skin, hydrate it, and help cuts and burns heal faster. Some oils are very efficient against infections, acne, and other skin conditions and won’t irritate the skin.
Store-bought hair products often contain chemicals that can damage your hair. Essential oils are an interesting alternative since they will nourish your hair, repair damage, and can even help with hair growth.
You can use essential oils for their calming effect if you suffer from stress or anxiety. The scent alone should help, but you might prefer to massage the oils into your skin.
Some scents will help you focus and reach an ideal state of mind when meditating or praying. Depending on how different scents affect you, you might find that some oils help you be more productive when you work.
Some essential oils have a very calming effect. Massaging a few drops of oils on your skin before going to bed or using an oil diffuser to create a relaxing atmosphere could help you go to sleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.
Keep Your Home Clean And Fresh
You can use an oil diffuser for a home that always smells clean and fresh. Some essential oils have antiseptic and antibacterial properties and can be used for cleaning and getting rid of persistent bad smells.
Planting certain flowers around your home will keep bugs away. Some essential oils have the same effect due to their strong scent.
Some medical professionals claim that ingesting essential oils isn’t entirely safe. However, some believe that there are health benefits associated with adding a few drops of essential oils in your tea or in your favorite homemade baked goods.
The Five Essential Oils You Should Keep Around Your Home
This list of essential oils and their uses will help you get started with aromatherapy and home remedies. These five oils have several health benefits and are worth keeping around your home.
Lavender oil gets its sweet fragrance from lavender flowers. Some people find that the smell helps them go to sleep.
This essential oil is also often used to help with concentration or for its calming effect among those who suffer from anxiety.
You can brush a few drops of lavender oil through your hair if you want to strengthen your hair or repair damaged hair.
The unique scent of peppermint oil is a common home remedy for headaches and nausea. The strong minty smell can also clear your airways if you suffer from congestion.
Some people find that peppermint oil helps with mental clarity and concentration. You can massage it into your skin to help with muscle pain, tight muscles, or joint pain.
Mix a few drops of peppermint oil in some water and spray this mixture on your doorsteps and window sills to keep bugs and rodents away from your home.
Lemon oil can treat a wide range of skin conditions, including acne. Applying a few drops of lemon oil with a carrier oil will reduce inflammation.
The scent of lemon oil can help with stress and with concentration. Some people like to use lemon oil in an oil diffuser to keep their home smelling fresh. If you find the smell relaxing, try using it to go to sleep.
Lemon oil can also help with congestion and asthma since it will clear up your airways. Mixing a few drops of lemon oil in your shampoo or brushing some oil in your hair should strengthen it and reduce dandruff.
You can also use lemon oil as an alternative to chemical cleaners for your home. Mix a few drops of lemon oil with some warm water to cleanse your home.
Tea Tree Oil
This is one of the best essential oils to keep around your home because of its antiseptic and antifungal properties. You can apply tea tree oil on your skin to treat cuts, burns, and insect bites.
This is an efficient alternative treatment for ear infections, toothaches, and even acne. Some people get good results when applying tea tree oil on their skin to reduce allergic reactions. Brushing your teeth with a few drops of tea tree oil can help reduce dental plaque and gingivitis.
If you suffer from a fungal infection of the nails or athlete’s foot, apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the affected area. The infection should clear after a while and you won’t have to use topical treatments with harsh chemicals.
If you have dandruff, massage your scalp with a few drops of tea tree oil. You can also use tea tree oil to clean your home since it is a natural antiseptic.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oil is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic. This natural remedy is ideal for treating cuts, fever, and for preventing infections.
The smell of chamomile oil can help improve your mood. This essential oil can help eliminate toxins when massaged into the skin.
There are several health benefits associated with chamomile essential oil, including improving digestion, reducing symptoms linked to rheumatism, and treating skin problems such as marks, spots, or acne scars.
Chamomile oil is often used in aromatherapy to treat headaches and to boost the nervous system.
Essential oils are an affordable and healthy alternative to many medications. There are fewer side effects with these organic treatments, and each essential oil is associated with a wide range of health benefits. You should think about using essential oils if you want to find a new way to relax or need to address different symptoms.