What Are Essential Oils?

What Are Essential Oils And Are They Healthy

In recent years, using Essential Oils or EO for personal care continues to gain popularity. Did you know these oils have been around for centuries? Although many of these oils produce a pleasing fragrance, they also have the potential for restorative healing of the mind, body, and spirit. So, what exactly are Essential Oils, and are they healthy for humans?

The natural essence or compounds that are extracted from plants are generally referred to as Essential Oils. One of the functions of this “natural essence” while still in plant form is to protect it from environmental hazards while producing a fragrance that contributes toward pollination. Something worth mentioning is that not all plants can produce EO, and extraction usually takes place from the roots, fruits, barks, stems, leaves, and flowers of plants. This extracted compound is then distilled to prepare the end product, which we know as Essential Oil.

IS AROMATHERAPY DIFFERENT FROM ESSENTIAL OILS?

Yes, aromatherapy is a form of treatment that uses essential oils. Sometimes, when we think of aromatherapy, we envision a refreshing fragrance coming from the essential oil, which can be a bit misleading because not all EO’s emit a pleasant or soothing odor.

German Chamomile is an example of one such essential oil that most people do not find appealing. However, the concept of fragrance or smell remains highly subjective. Moreover, aromatherapy is generally associated with inhaling EO for therapeutic advantages, but EO has much more to offer than that.

ARE ESSENTIAL OILS EFFECTIVE?

To date, there has not been enough research to determine the effectiveness of EO. Although many plants have built-in protection mechanisms to protect them from the environment, these protections do not always work the same way for humans.

The good news is that as research continues, we will gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of essential oils. For example, there was a study on the Effect Sweet Orange aroma had on anxiety which concluded some positive results. Studies have found the Therapeutic Potential of Tea Tree Oil against Tungiasis (sand flea disease) to be an effective antiseptic to treat head lice.

essential oils for anxiety

Essential Oils for Anxiety

You can use diluted oils in a diffuser, a few drops in a hot bath, or apply diluted essential oils to your skin. In this article, we discuss the best essential oils for anxiety.

TREATMENT OF HEADACHES/MIGRAINES

A couple of small studies a few years ago concluded that applying a mix of ethanol and peppermint oil on the temples and foreheads of participants offered them relief from headaches [19], [20]. There have been studies in recent too that observed lowering of headache post-application of lavender and peppermint oil on the skin of the participants [21], [22].

The ancient traditional practice of the Persians for remedy from headache suggests application of sesame and chamomile oil mix to patients’ (suffering from migraine or headache) temples [23].

Essential Oils for Anxiety

You can use diluted oils in a diffuser, a few drops in a hot bath, or apply diluted essential oils to your skin. In this article, we discuss the best essential oils for anxiety.

RELIEF FROM ANXIETY AND/OR STRESS

Approximately 43 percent of individuals suffering from anxiety and/or stress resort to some alternative therapy form for relief from their symptoms [11]. The first studies on EO show that there are some oils that work hand-in-hand with traditional therapy for treating anxiety and/or stress [12], [13], [14].
But because of the odor associated with these compounds, it becomes difficult to perform blinded studies or even rule out any biases. Therefore, several reviews based on the relieving effects offered by EO in case of anxiety and/or stress remain inconclusive [15], [16].
What’s interesting is that while EO offers relief from stress at the time of massage, the effects probably last only as long as the massage lasts [17].
While recently reviewing more than 201 studies, it came to light that just 10 of these studies were concrete enough to be analyzed, with an additional conclusion that anxiety treatment through aromatherapy proved ineffective [18].

ANTIMICROBIAL/ ANTIBIOTIC PROPERTIES

Test-tube based studies show positive results after testing the antimicrobial effects of EO like tea tree oil and peppermint oil [27], [28], [29], [30], [31], [32], [33], [34], [35]. Nevertheless, such results do not imply necessarily that EO have positive effects on the human body in terms of antimicrobial or antibiotic effects, meaning no specific essential oil can be proven to effectively treat any bacterial infection on the human body.

RELIEF FROM INSOMNIA

Inhaling the smell of lavender oil may improve the quality of sleep in individuals suffering from cardiac disease and postpartum women, shown in certain studies [24], [25].
A review looked into 15 studies based on sleep and EO. Most of these studies revealed that inhaling these oils, especially lavender oil, affected sleep habits positively [26].

It must be noted that Essential Oils are unfit for consumption, and can be fatal in higher doses (of consumption) [36], [37]. Moreover, there are certain side effects of using Essential Oils including headaches, allergic reactions, rashes, and asthma attacks [38].
It can thus be concluded that though it is mostly safe and there are health benefits associated with the use of Essential Oils when combined with certain base oils for application on skin or inhalation, more concrete proof is required through further studies to find out how healthy Essential Oils are for human beings.

Best Selling Essential Oils

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Essential Oils

Explore natural essential oil products that can help soothe, heal, and relax you.

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Aromatherapy

Consider the many ways you can use Aromatherapy such as: aromatic spritzers, inhalers, bath salts, etc..

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Accessories

Diffusers and vaporizers are some of the best ways to enjoy the health benefits of essential oils.

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