Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in various cultures across the globe for medicinal and health purposes. Their antidepressant, stimulating, detoxifying, antibacterial, antiviral and calming properties, have essential oils gaining popularity as a natural, safe and cost-effective therapy for a number of health concerns.
What is it exactly that makes an oil “essential”? And is there evidence that essential oils actually do anything?
Essential oils aren’t essential to human, animal, or plant life. The “essential” in their name, simply refers to the fact that they are the concentrated essence of a plant.Aromatherapy advocates, not only use essential oils in body care, but also diffuse them through the air, pour them into bathwater, inhale their vapors and apply them to reflexology points on the bottoms of their feet. Some even ingest them.
Therapeutic benefits of essential oils run everywhere from mood elevation and stress relief to remedies for chronic pain, insomnia, migraines and more. The Food and Drug Administration has cracked down on such health claims, leaving companies to adopt more general language such as “promotes wellness” or “may be an important part of a daily health regimen.”
Is there science to back up the claims of essential oils?
Studies have shown, that people exposed to pleasant odors report an improved mood and increased productivity compared with people exposed to unpleasant odors or odor-free environments. Scientific research has revealed that aromatherapy essential oils have beneficial properties in the areas of anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anti-stress, antioxidant, and analgesics.
According to a study published in the May 2011 edition of Flavor and Fragrance Journal, inhalation of Siberian fir needle essential oils for 40 minutes promoted a more relaxed state and increased theta brain waves. Other essential oils that remarkably influence brain-wave activity include frankincense, balsam fir, copaiba, and lavender essential oils.
The top 7 Essential oils to use with your Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is native to the Old World, Europe, eastern Africa, southwest Asia, southeast India and the Mediterranean. It is great for relieving stress, the common cold, flu, and headaches including migraines. It is useful as an antidepressant, decongestant, anti-inflammatory agent, sedative, diuretic, and deodorant. It is wonderful in your diffuser, in the bath for you own spa-like experience and a few drops on your pillow at bedtime for a restful night’s sleep.
Jasmine Essential Oil
Jasminum grandiflorum is native to Asia. Jasmine is a very expensive oil that has potent healing properties. It is used for depression, stress, its ability to provide relaxation, boost libido, helps with respiratory and addiction issues. Add a few drops to your diffuser, bath, or massage oils for therapeutic benefits with a wonderful aroma. Jasmine is not toxic, but can cause an allergic reaction to those sensitive to its properties.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus is in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, native to Western Australia cultivated for its gum, resin, oil, and wood. It is effective for respiratory diseases, colds, and congestion. It can improve concentration and is great as an insect repellant. It is used as an antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, stimulant, and diuretic. It is wonderful for fevers, headaches, and migraines due to its cooling elements and it is used for a deodorant and helps with muscle aches and pain.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Melaleuca alternifolia essential oils are isolated from the leaves of this tree and is steam distilled. It is known to fight infections and boost the immune system. Put tea tree oil in your diffuser, bath, or massage oils with carrier oils or blend with other oils for a relaxing experience.
Its healing properties go to work on burns and cuts, dry skin, and are used to rid your area of insects. Great for soothing and treating cold sores, flu, aching tired muscles, respiratory problems, dandruff and athlete’s foot. It is not toxic but should not be taken internally. Do not use on serious cuts. Keep it away from your eyes and the mucous membranes of the nose because it can be irritating.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is a hybrid crossed with watermint and spearmint. It originates from Europe and the Middle East and is now everywhere. It is used in diffusers as an energy booster, and the fragrance itself perks you up. It is cooling, refreshing, and wakes up your mental alertness.Use it in your diffuser, vaporizer, massage oils, and in you tub bath. It is used in toothpaste, mouthwash, and of course, candy canes. Even though peppermint is not toxic, the menthol might irritate some people. Keep it away from your eyes and the mucous membranes of the nose because it can be irritating.
Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano is a powerful, plant-derived essential oil that may rival antibiotics when it comes to treating or preventing various infections. it contains properties that are antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Oregano oil benefits extend beyond just controlling infections. Common examples of conditions that oregano oil can help manage include: Athlete’s foot or toenail fungus, Common colds, Gingivitis, Earaches, and Digestive problems such as heartburn.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile grows in Egypt, Mexico, and wild in the Rocky Mountains. It is a wonderful, sweet and a tasty calming tea. The essential oils are removed from the oil within the leaves and there are two kinds: Roman or German Chamomile. The oils from each are somewhat different for healing benefits. The oils are extracted using the steam distillation process for use in your diffuser. German Chamomile is used in herbal medicine for sore stomachs, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and as a sleep aid. German — mouthwash, inflammation, urinary tract, and digestive problems, acne, analgesic elements, uplifts mood, antibiotic, antidepressant, mild laxative, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and induces sleep. Roman Chamomile is used for — mouthwash, acne, analgesic elements, uplifts mood, antibiotic, and an antidepressant
If you need improvement in health problems from anxiety to poor sleep, you may want to consider aromatherapy. Always remember to check with your healthcare provider before beginning a new supplement or health care regimen. We have a fantastic promotion running this month, with some gorgeous new diffusers and some outrageously fragrant oils, head on over to our current promotions page for more information.