Essential oils have been used for their medicinal properties for centuries. However, scientists have only now begun to study and research the potential benefits of essential oils
In the process, science has separated fact from fiction, verified many known benefits of essential oils, identified potential complications, and targeted other perceived benefits.
Because of this, essential oils are becoming increasingly popular for promoting mental and physical health. Essential oils can be used aromatically, topically, or internally to achieve these benefits. According to the National Institutes of Health, spearmint, lavender, bergamot, and tea tree oil are among the most commonly used essential oils for health purposes.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the various natural oils made by pressing or steaming the stem, flowers, or leaves of a plant to extract the compound that creates the scent. Because of their unique aroma, they offer benefits when incorporated into holistic healing treatments, including aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy. Essential oils can positively impact your health and well-being when used safely.
Benefits of Mint
1. May help with depression and anxiety
Mint essential oil has a refreshing, cooling, and uplifting aroma that can help improve mood and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. In a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, participants who inhaled mint essential oil for 15 minutes felt more alert and less tired than those who did not inhale the oil.
2. Relieves respiratory symptoms
If you suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma or allergies, mint essential oil can help relieve your discomfort. The cooling and refreshing mint aroma can help open airways and relieve congestion. This oil can also help relieve coughs and other respiratory problems.
3. Can fight fatigue
Fatigue is a common problem that can lead to lethargy and exhaustion. Diffuse mint oil can help improve energy levels and fight fatigue. This is due to mint’s refreshing and uplifting aroma, which can help increase alertness.
4. Can relieve headaches
According to recent aromatherapy studies, mint essential oil helps relieve headaches when applied to the temples and forehead. This is likely due to mint’s cooling and refreshing properties, which can help ease the pain.
Benefits of Lavender
1. Helps with anxiety and depression
Being anxious or depressed can have devastating effects on your mental and physical health. Fortunately, lavender essential oils are an effective adjunctive treatment for anxiety and depression. In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers found that inhaling diffused lavender oil significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression in participants.
If you’re struggling with insomnia, lavender oil can help. Studies have shown that lavender oil can improve sleep quality and quantity. Researchers found that participants who used a lavender oil diffuser before bed slept significantly better than those who didn’t.
Benefits of Bergamot
1. Reduces cholesterol levels
According to a study published in the Journal of Lipid Research, bergamot essential oil significantly lowered cholesterol levels in rats. The rats treated with Bergamont had lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. This is promising news for those looking to improve their cardiovascular health.
2. Improves digestion
Bergamot essential oils improve digestion by stimulating bile production, which breaks down fats in the digestive system. Many people report that inhaling diffused bergamot helps calm their digestive system.
3. Relief in schizophrenia
Studies show that bergamot is effective in treating symptoms of schizophrenia. A European psychiatric study found that bergamot significantly reduced symptoms of schizophrenia, including delusions, hallucinations, and overall cognitive health. The study participants treated with bergamot showed a significant improvement in their mental perception and performance.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
1. Antiseptic for minor cuts and scratches
Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties, making it an effective treatment for minor cuts and scrapes. The oil can help clean the wound and prevent infection. Its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce swelling and redness. Apply a small amount of tea tree oil to the affected area with a cotton swab.
2. Treatment of acne
Unless you’re lucky, by the time you’ve hit puberty you’ve had some personal experience with acne. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that can help kill the bacteria that cause acne. Many people find that using an acne cream or gel enriched with tea tree oil helps reduce the number and severity of breakouts.
4. Treat athlete’s foot
Many people suffer from athlete’s foot, a condition that causes red, itchy, and scaly skin on the feet. Tea tree oil has antifungal properties that make it an effective treatment for athlete’s foot. Those who have athlete’s foot can apply a tea tree oil cream or ointment to the affected area. You may also find that adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your bath water helps relieve symptoms.
How to incorporate aromatherapy into your daily life
There are several ways you can incorporate essential oils into your daily life. Diffusers disperse the essential oils into the air where you breathe them. This is a great way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils without having to apply them directly to the skin. Other methods of using essential oils include atomizers, sprays, creams, and oil concentrates.
Use essential oils safely
Essential oils are not snake oil, miracles, or panaceas; They come with some risks. First, some oils are not safe for your pets and children. For example, mint and tea tree oil can be harmful to your cat and dog.
Some oils can cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. This side effect is most common when concentrated essential oils have direct or prolonged contact with sensitive skin. So if you know you have sensitive skin, consult a dermatologist or a doctor before using essential oils.
In addition, most essential oils in their diluted form are safe for use around children. However, essential oils can be toxic and potentially dangerous in concentrated form. This is because children’s skin is thinner and their organs are smaller and less developed.
For this reason, parents keep these oils out of the reach of their pets and children. You should reserve them in a closet or a lockable suitcase. You should also consult professional healthcare providers before using these oils around infants.
Why are they so popular?
Essential oils are popular for their physical, mental, and “spiritual” health benefits. Common treatments include relieving pain, reducing stress, and promoting a good night’s sleep.
Recent studies show that these oils have antibacterial benefits and can help control the spread of pathogens associated with airborne diseases in both open and closed environments.
The aromatherapy uses of essential oils have also contributed to their popularity in their global market. The increasing spread of the work-from-home culture has motivated many people to search for products that will help them improve their physical and mental well-being and create a pleasant and relaxing work environment in their homes.
When choosing essential oils, you should consider several factors such as quality and purity. It is important to note that the effects of these oils depend primarily on proper use and individual circumstances.
Efficacy of Essential Oils
While lavender reduces stress and anxiety, snorting is no substitute for a healthy work-life balance. Bergamot can help digestion, but it won’t fix the mistake of eating four extra hot chili dogs with extra jalapeños.
Consult your doctor before incorporating oils into your health regimen. Most doctors will warn you about possible unwanted side effects and the limited benefits of essential oils. It is important to remember that, despite the scientific evidence available, essential oils are an adjunct to healthy living and an effective medicine.
This piece was provided by Ck Harrington who is Content Writer for Doctor Aromas
editor Recommended article