We have all heard of essential oils as well as the fact that they are used in an area called aromatherapy. But do we all know what that means? Essential oils are a huge part of traditional medicine because they have many beneficial effects on the body. Depending on which essential oil you use, you can eliminate various ailments, as well as help your body feel more energetic and healthier. If you want to learn more about benefit of essential oils and their use in aromatherapy, keep reading.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are liquids obtained by extracting various plants with oil. They contain concentrated active ingredients that have potentially beneficial effects on the body. They can be obtained through several different technological processes, some of which are distillation and cold pressing.
Essential oils are a significant part of unconventional medicine even today, which is not surprising when we know that they have been present in treatment and cosmetics for more than 5,000 years.
These beneficial liquids possess various useful properties thanks to the active ingredients extracted from the plants. The main effect associated with essential oils is antimicrobial (action against bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms), but they can also have anti-inflammatory action, action against fungi, insects, free radicals (antioxidant effect) and others.
NOTE: There is a common misconception that natural products are always and completely safe. However, this is far from the truth, even for essential oils. All that surrounds us are chemicals, regardless of whether they are of natural, synthetic or semi-synthetic origin. If any chemical is not used in the right dose and in the right way, it can be a health risk. Keep this in mind when applying essential oils and always use them in accordance with the instructions and recommendations of experts.
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The use of essential oils in aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a therapeutic approach based on the diffusion of essential oils into the air and their inhalation in order to achieve a certain therapeutic effect. The mechanism of action is based on the diffusion of active ingredients of essential oils from the air into the lungs, through which they reach the bloodstream. They are further distributed to different organs, ie. ‘where it is needed’ and lead to the alleviation of discomfort and a better feeling in the body.
However, essential oils do not just have to be inhaled to cause beneficial effects. It is possible to add them to a neutral carrier oil and apply them on the skin, where they are absorbed and enter the blood. Depending on what effect you want to achieve, one method of application may make more sense than another.
Remember: essential oils can only be used on the skin if they are sufficiently diluted. You should never use concentrated forms of oil directly on the skin, as this can be very dangerous and cause burns, skin sensitivity and irritation, allergic reactions, and more. Always use essential oils according to the instructions and in consultation with experts.
Main benefits of different essential oils
As we mentioned, essential oils have different health benefits depending on which plants they are derived from and, consequently, what active ingredients they contain. Here are some examples:
Bergamot essential oil
Bergamot essential oil is very popular nowadays, and it is mostly used to alleviate problems that occur in the urinary and digestive tract. It is often combined with other oils to achieve some new health effects (for example, with eucalyptus to relieve the symptoms of various skin conditions and diseases).
Chamomile essential oil
Chamomile is known as a plant with anti-inflammatory properties, so it is most often used to eliminate inflammatory processes on the skin and various dermatitis (for example, eczema). It can also be very helpful in relieving cold and flu symptoms.
Clove essential oil
If you have localized pain (such as toothache or headache) clove essential oil can be of great help. Also, it alleviates various digestive ailments, such as bloating and gas, because it acts as a carminative. It also has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, so it is also recommended for various infections.
Lemon essential oil
Lemon essential oil: if you are under stress and need something that will relax you and make you feel instantly better, we recommend aromatherapy with lemon essential oil. It can also help people with depressive episodes.
Eucalyptus essential oil
Another essential oil that is very useful for all those who have a stuffy nose, cough or have a headache as the main symptom of a cold or flu is eucalyptus essential oil. They are very often used together with peppermint essential oil which shows similar effects, so they represent a winning combination. Although very beneficial, this essential oil is very aggressive and often causes allergic reactions, so caution is recommended when using it.
Lavander essential oil
This is one of the essential oils we are all familiar with because it has been used for so long. It is very useful for headaches, as well as for anxiety and insomnia, because it has soothing properties and helps with sleep. It can also be used for some superficial injuries, such as cuts and scratches, because it contains substances that have an antiseptic effect.
Essential oils have long been used as part of a traditional, holistic therapeutic approach called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is based on the inhalation of essential oils that diffuse into the air, and then into the lungs and bloodstream, after which they exert their therapeutic effect. It has been shown that different essential oils also have different health benefits, thanks to the active substances they possess. Depending on your symptoms and the goal you want to achieve, you will choose an essential oil that has the power to help you with that intention.