Why Essential Oils Are Essential
Updated: Sep 17
Have you noticed an ecocentric movement happening in the past few years? That's because there has been a rise in a more natural way of living. Whether it's going vegan, implementing holistic practices, using all-natural beauty products, or grocery shopping at Sprouts or Trader Joe's, this movement has become a new lifestyle for many.
It doesn't just end there, it also includes therapeutic remedies. Something to add to your list of natural products is essential oils. These tiny but mighty bottles of concentrated oil and essence are everything you never knew you needed, until now. There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each with its own unique smell and potential health benefits. Today, they can be used for cooking, household cleaning, personal hygiene, sleep, boosting immunity, and so much more.
If you're not familiar with essential oils, don't worry, we're diving into what it is and why they are essential to your day-to-day life.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants that capture the natural scent or flavor of their plant source. They are often used for aromatherapy, a form of medicine that turns to more natural extracts to maintain healthiness. These oils are meant to be inhaled or applied to the skin, but not to be swallowed.
The way essential oils are made is very important. Inside the roots, seeds, flowers, and bark of plants are concentrated, highly potent chemical compounds. It's what gives a plant its scent, protects it from hazardous environmental conditions, and assists with pollination. Once they are extracted, next comes distillation via steam or water. This continues the extraction of the aromatic chemicals mechanically. Once the right aromatic chemicals are extracted they are combined with a carrier oil and ready to be used.
Different Oils and Their Uses
Of the many essential oils out there, a few have risen to popularity and are widely used. Thieves, Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, and Tea Tree may all ring a bell. They're all oil-turned-plants and essential. Here's why:
Thieves - boosts the immune system, promotes healing, pain and respiratory relief.
Lavender - relieves stress, helps with sleeping.
Peppermint - boosts energy and aids digestion.
Lemon - boosts your mood, aids digestion, relieves headaches.
Tea Tree - fights infections, calms bug bites and stings, boosts immunity.
These are just a slight look into the world of essential oil types. If you're interested in other oils, take a look at the various scents available.
Why They Are Essential
The use of essential oils in one form or another dates back as far as 6000 years ago. These natural stimulants have extreme healing abilities, but they cannot cure any and everything. For instance, oils cannot cure or prevent intense internal diseases or permanent damage to the human body. However, they're essential for a number of inconsistencies and inconveniences, and their natural ingredients are in favor of your well-being.
Stress and Anxiety
It is estimated that around 43% of people who have stress and anxiety use some sort of therapy or medication for relief. Studies regarding aromatherapy have shown that inhaling some essential oils on top of traditional therapy can help to treat anxiety and stress.
One theory of how this works is that when smell receptors in the nose are stimulated by the calming properties of essential oils, they send messages to your nervous system.
Headaches and Migraines
Peppermint and lavender have been known to reduce headache and migraine pain by dabbing the oil on the temples and the forehead. There is a traditional Persian headache remedy that has been used for centuries that includes mixing chamomile oil and sesame oil and applying to the temples.
Since essential oils are concentrated, you want to use a few drops on the skin. Test out a small dot to ensure your skin won't have any negative reactions.
Sleep and Insomnia
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oil for sleep and relaxation. Smelling lavender oil has been shown to improve the sleep quality of women during and post-pregnancy, and people who struggle with heart disease. It also has sedative effects, meaning it can work directly to help you fall asleep.
Essential oils are not miracle workers, but they do work for many. They will not serve as magic beans and grant you everything you desire in terms of health, but they are a great natural remedy for common inconsistencies. Need some confidence for a presentation? Try Valor. Have a common cold? Try Chamomile or Tea Tree. Need to destress after a long day? Try Ylang-Ylang.
These oils are natural, safe and you can find them online or in-person at Walmart, Kohl's, and other local grocery shopping centers - they're just about everywhere now. Remember it's important to take care of yourself. Most essential oils are packaged in travel-friendly containers, so you can take them virtually anywhere. If you're skeptical of how your body will react, try an essential oil sampler to see what works and what doesn't.