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Essential oils get a bad rap. People immediately jump to quack science and visions of holistic healing that does more harm than help. But like with anything, uncontrolled, uninformed use runs the risk of negative consequences.
Look at modern medicine. We’re living longer, healthier lives thanks to antibiotics. However, those same antibiotics breed superbugs.
Bacteria like MRSA don’t respond to conventional treatment and have real potential to kill anyone exposed. Over-prescription and antibiotic-misuse lead to problems.
However, controlled, responsible use keeps us healthy. And how did humans stay healthy before modern drugs?
Way back when, and even today, people use the oils to elevate their health. From salves to diffusers, essential oils heal and prevent issues before they start.
Let’s take a look at why anyone could use the herbal oils in their life.
So What Are Essential Oils, Exactly?
Essential oils aren’t actually oils per se, in that they don’t contain any fat. Instead, they’re a plant extract.
Through various means, we extract the plant’s “oil” from its leaves and concentrate it into what’s known as an essential oil.
The various types of extractions include:
Solvents “strip” the oils from the plant’s leaves into a liquid medium. These typically include methanol and ethanol.
This extraction process goes exactly as it sounds. Herbs or plants run through a “press” where pressure extracts the natural oils.
Stem extractions involve distilling, just like alcohol. Hot steam extracts the oil and then condenses into the final product.
Each type of extraction has pros and cons, with some making better medicine and others working better for diffusions.
Solvent extractions take less time and money than steam or cold pressing but aren’t as suitable for medicinal purposes. However, they’re excellent for diffusion purposes.
Though regardless of the extraction method, these oils can improve your health. Here’s how.
Aromatherapy involves diffusing essential oils into the air using a diffuser. The oils enter the bloodstream through your nose when you breathe. In this application, the oils have a variety of different effects.
First, some natural oils have a calming effect. Smelling pine or other fragrant oils puts the mind at ease and helps you relax.
Some people even associate the smells with relaxation, which increases an oil’s calming effects. Orange oil, for instance, has shown to help people stave off anxiety. Smelling the oil before tests helped participants stay calm and reduced anxiety.
What’s more, the oils can also have a medicinal effect when inhaled. Here’s a quick list of which oils can bring an aromatherapy benefit.
Widely grown and available, peppermint has a refreshing effect that stimulates mental alertness. It’s also known to increase focus and reduces congestion.
Rose aroma might cost more than other essential oils, but the pretty flowers are worth it for their strong medicinal properties.
Rose oil can calm anxiety, relieve depression, and is also known to improve circulation and help combat asthma.
Long used as an essential oil, marjoram is powerful against respiratory infections, including sinusitis. Like rose oil, it’s also useful against asthma.
Chamomile works as a mood elevator but also has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. This oil especially targets urinary tract infections and inflammation.
The Eucalyptus plant’s oils work well against respiratory infections. They’re also especially useful against colds, with a strong decongestant effect.
Even everyday lemons have healing properties in their essential oil form. Lemon oil boosts natural immunities and can alleviate headaches and fevers.
While the list above covers common essential oils and a wide variety of aromatherapy uses, it’s by no means comprehensive.
Experiment with different essential oils to find fragrances you like, and plants that work best for your medicinal needs.
Beyond aromatherapy, treating skin disorders is the oils’ other application. From fungus to acne, there’s something for everyone.
However, you’ll need to know which oils work best on your skin. Some oils irritate skin if not diluted, and some people are more sensitive to certain oils.
What’s more, always try to use stream or cold-pressed extracted oils for skin treatments. Steam and cold-pressing don’t leave adulterants in the oils after extraction.
Let’s take a look at a few oils and their uses on your skin.
Tree Tea Oil
This essential oil has extremely strong anti-bacterial properties, making it perfect to combat acne.
Back with more healing properties, rose oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties that lend themselves well to treating eczema.
Another oil with anti-inflammatory properties, juniper oil works well to eliminate cellulite.
The oil increases blood flow, as well as containing the minerals calcium, potassium, and zinc which help break up cellulite.
Rosemary oil has strong anti-fungal properties, making it useful for treating any fungus related skin conditions.
Though it’s especially useful for treating dandruff. In addition to its anti-fungal properties, rosemary oil also helps stimulate hair follicle growth.
Now that we have some idea which oils work best for certain skin conditions, it’s time to talk about application.
Always try a small drop of oil on unaffected skin before starting any treatments. The oils are highly concentrated, and some oils irritate the skin easier than others.
And even if the oil doesn’t irritate the skin, it’s usually best to add the essential oil to a “carrier oil.” Coconut oil works great, but any oil of your choice will work.
Essential Oils Keep You Healthy
Essential oils can make all the difference when it comes to keeping you healthy. Long before the advent of modern medicine, humans used the oils to stay healthy.
Their medical properties are well known, and even accepted in the scientific community.
Proper, knowledgeable, use of the oils can help treat health problems and prevent them before they arise.
If you’re ready to add essential oil aromatherapy and skin treatments to your daily routine, there’s no better time than the present.
Get started with herbal oils today!