The Many Benefits of Essential Oils
By Melissa Gulden
Essential oils, or aromatic oils as they were once called, are gaining worldwide recognition for their versatility, but they are not new. They have been used by many cultures around the world for centuries. An essential oil is a naturally produced liquid obtained from the roots, flowers, fruit, bark, stems and other elements of a botanical, and their use as healing agents has been a long-standing practice throughout human history. Lately there is a renaissance of essential oils, as people realize there is more to these wonders than simply a home fragrance.
Today's cosmetics market is oriented toward health, wellness and anti-aging. When buying beauty products, people are now looking for more than just a pretty shade of lipstick; they want cosmetics that have a greater purpose, whether to improve their skin or help with relaxation. Ethical shopping is also a growing trend, as more people look to sustainable products, and the pioneers of aromatherapy are to thank for that.
There are many benefits to using essential oils: to boost mood and emotional health, as well as immune system; relieve stress and anxiety; enhance digestive function; soothe minor burns, scrapes and sunburn; provide pain relief for joints and sore muscles; and encourage youthful skin and hair.
You can use essential oils in many different ways.
Aromatically. Inhaling oils is one of the easiest ways to enjoy therapeutic benefits. Either diffuse or rub into palms and breathe deeply.
Internally. With proper use, consuming oils can assist in many ways, from balancing metabolism to supporting organ function. Be sure to carefully research each oil before ingesting.
Topically. Once applied, the oil passes quickly into the surrounding tissues and bloodstream, allowing for quick relief and benefits.
Oils can be used for anything that ails you: ease tension and stress, soothe sore muscles, aid in digestion, promote circulation and respiratory function, increase energy, purify mind and support healthy hair and skin. Although there is a plethora of oils, here is a breakdown of some of the most common.
The best essential oils for maintaining healthy skin: geranium, frankincense, ylang ylang, lemongrass, tea tree, lavender and chamomile.
For soothing stress and tension, and adding an overall relaxing environment: balsam fir, bergamot, cinnamon, eucalyptus, grapefruit, patchouli, chamomile, lavender and vetiver.
For easing sore muscles: fennel, helichrysum, clove, eucalyptus, lemongrass, nutmeg and peppermint.
To aid in normal digestive/intestinal function: patchouli, tangerine, sweet fennel, juniper, copaiba, coriander, ginger and bergamot.
To support respiratory health: black pepper, clary sage, eucalyptus, peppermint and marjoram.
For centuries, people from all over the planet have used essential oils to maintain health and treat various ailments and conditions. These botanical extracts can be used in a variety of ways, but as with all concentrated ingredients, be sure to learn which oils can and cannot be used in their undiluted form, especially if you plan to put the oil into your water or food. You can find these oils in many local businesses and nutrition stores. They range in price depending on the formula.
So choose your favorite fragrance, take a deep breath, and…happy wellness!