Whether it’s from a trip to the spa or keeping up with the latest health trends, we’re sure you’ve heard of essential oils. But do you know what they are and why they are good for us?
Essential oils are plant extracts drawn from the heart of a flower, seed or root. A distillation process separates the oil from the water-based elements of the plant so that only the purest oil is left – this is the reason for their potent aromas and wide variety of health benefits.
Also known as volatile oils, they have incredible healing properties that can help our physical health, as well as being great for relaxation and meditation which can boost our mental wellbeing. This includes everything from improving digestion, fending off cold and flu symptoms, treating skin conditions, relaxing muscles and helping to relieve stress and anxiety.
Aromatherapy – A healing process in which the vibrant aroma of essential oils can evoke a powerful psychological, physiological and spiritual response. Mix the oil with water in a spray bottle to spray on rugs, sofas and in rooms, add a few drops to laundry or apply the oil to the vents in your car.
Essential Oil Diffuser – Whether an electric diffuser or a reed diffuser, aroma diffusers are an easy way to fill your home, office, or bedroom, with powerful essential oil blends that can help bring a sense of tranquility and calmness.
Topical – You can directly apply essential oils to your skin. It’s advised to apply these in smaller measures such as 1-2 drops at a time every few hours. One of the easiest ways to do this is through an essential oil roller bottle that you can apply to pressure points like the wrist or temples. When applying directly to skin, avoid eyes, ears and any damaged skin. Additionally, you can add a few drops to a bath or to a towel soaked in water for your own home spa.
Internal – Oils can be consumed internally in a number of ways such as in smoothies, water or tea – but only with a very small amount. Be sure to abide by the guidelines on the label to avoid any ingestion of toxics.
Aromatherapy massage – Great way to combine all the above ways of using essential oils. Through massaging the oils into the skin you’re not only getting the topical benefits but inhaling the aromatic properties. This is great for our physical and mental health as one study found that aroma massage can help reduce the pain of stomach cramps and another found that it can help with depression.
1.Lavendar Oil – One of the best essential oils for sleep because it works as a stress reliever that helps to reduce anxiety and restlessness. You can use a lavender pillow spray to directly fill your bedroom with the soothing aroma to get a good night’s rest. Studies have also found that lavender oil can positively affect our nervous system by lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
2. Peppermint Oil – You can use peppermint oil for headaches and tackling other topical pain like post workout muscle aches. You can also use peppermint oil for hair health as a study found that it was a good, non toxic stimulant for hair growth. Lastly, it’s a good essential oil for cold and flu symptoms as it’s been claimed to help clear the respiratory system.
3. Tea Tree Oil – One of the best essential oils for skin health. You can use tea tree oil for face conditions like acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Make sure to apply in moderation due to the intensity of the oil, inhale through hot water or soak up with a diffuser. Note that tea tree oil must not be taken internally – it has been found to be poisonous when consumed.
4. Eucalyptus Oil – Found to greatly assist oral hygiene, eucalyptus essential oil can help to fend against dental infections such as cavities, gingivitis, and plaque. Lemon eucalyptus oil can help prevent insect bites as well as ease muscle spasms and joint pain.
5. Clove Oil – You can use clove oil for toothache and pains as it contains eugenol which can help reduce pain and irritation. It’s also been found to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties which means it can be an effective, natural cleaning product.
6. Frankincense and Myrrh are not just for Christmas. These essential oils are fit for kings all year round due to their medicinal properties. They have been used since ancient times to treat chronic pain, and most recently have been used to tackle inflammation.
There we have it! Just a few of the amazing essential oils available and the many ways you can use them to improve your health and wellbeing. For more invaluable wellbeing tips checkout our Essential Guide to Vitamins and the 5 Breathing Exercises to Combat Stress.