We’ve all heard the buzz about essential oils. There seem to be differing opinions on the benefits of these amazing products, but the fact is, essential oils have been proven to have beneficial applications for overall health and wellness. If you’ve ever considered adding essential oils to your health regimen, you’re in luck. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about getting started with essential oils.
What are Essential Oils, Anyway?
Essential oils are extracted from a number of plants, including peppermint, lavender, and many more. The “essence” is the scent and flavor of the plant that’s captured, hence the name “essential oils”. Essential oils have been extracted and used for thousands of years, with some sources even suggesting that essential oils were used by the ancient Egyptians.
How Do I Use Them?
Describing in detail the thousands of uses for essential oils would take an entire article in itself, so the purposes of this article we’ll be discussing the basic uses of these oils. Essential oils can be used for many purposes, including cleaning, disinfecting, odor control, aromatherapy, and more. Essential oils, when used in aromatherapy, actually have a profound effect on your limbic system.
For those of you that don’t know, the limbic system plays a key role in emotions and creating and storing memories. Have you ever experienced a scent that triggered specific memories? That’s your limbic system in action. Do certain scents make you happy, sad, or otherwise emotional in some way? Limbic system again.
Including essential oils in your health regimen can help boost your normal health routine and help keep your hair, skin, and even your mind healthy.
Peppermint Essential Oil
One of the most widely used essential oils is peppermint essential oil. This powerful oil has a revitalizing aroma that opens up airways and is said to improve alertness. If you’ve ever gotten a large dose of the scent of peppermint, you probably know exactly what we’re talking about.
Peppermint also has a cooling effect for those hot summer days. Add a few drops to a cool bath and you’ll emerge feeling cool and refreshed. Once the air hits your skin, the peppermint oil will give your skin an amazing cooling sensation.
Peppermint is also said to help improve digestion, though essential oils are not meant for ingestion. For this, you’ll need to use peppermint leaves or some other variation.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil comes from those wonderfully vibrant purple flowers of the lavender plant. You’ve likely experienced imitations in the form of air fresheners, laundry detergents, and more, but nothing can compare to the real thing.
Lavender essential oil has an incredibly pleasant scent and is said to help with anxiety and stress by providing a calming aroma. Using lavender oil in an oil burner after a long day can help relieve stress and bring you to a more serene state of mind.
Mental health is often forgotten in our health regiments, so it’s crucial that we’ve included lavender oil in our discussion. Mental health can have an enormous impact on your physical health and overall well-being, so why not take small steps to reduce stress and anxiety? Aromatherapy with lavender oil can help you do just that.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is used in many commercial shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. This potent oil has a unique scent and powerful compounds that can help relieve dry scalp and dandruff. You can also use tea tree oil to treat fungal infections, as it has antifungal and antiseptic properties.
Tea tree oil is native to Australia, extracted from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Its many uses have been discovered all over the globe, and this is one oil you don’t want to leave out of your collection.
So, Why Should I Use These Oils?
We listed just a few essential oils to get you started, now let’s discuss why using essential oils is crucial to a well-rounded health regimen. First and foremost, essential oils are natural compounds that come from nature. There are no synthetic ingredients, dyes, or preservatives; just oils from plants.
It can be incredibly difficult to navigate the thousands of health and beauty products out there that contain all of those harmful chemicals we listed above. These can be dangerous to our bodies. Take a look at this Livestrong article on the harmful ingredients in shampoo and conditioners that can actually cause hair loss!
Using essential oils exposes your body and mind to the soothing effect of nature’s already effective remedies. Why use damaging products with harmful ingredients when you can use what the Earth has already provided?
Are They Expensive?
The brand of essential oils you purchase will be the biggest factor in determining their cost, as well as the presence of a certified organic sticker. Organic oils normally cost more than their non-organic counterparts but are often of a higher quality standard. Organic or non-organic, the ingredient should be the same: essential oil of (insert plant name here). Check your bottle’s ingredients to be sure no additives, preservatives, or otherwise harmful ingredients were added to the oil.
Essential oils are the naturally-occurring compounds found in plants. They are used in a variety of health and beauty applications for their simplicity and effectiveness. Whether you’re destressing from a long day, cleaning up around the house, treating acne, or simply substituting ingredients in your shampoos and soaps, essential oils have endless uses that can make your everyday health regimen all the more natural and efficient.