The word “essential oil” pops around frequently for those into beauty and wellness. You frequently hear the benefits of using essential oils for energy, essential oils for focus and even essential oils for constipation. Yet, what are they and what makes them so beneficial to a person’s health?
Essential oils are oily compounds that have been extracted from plants, fruits, flowers or seeds. They are concentrated and have a strong aroma. They are also used in the preparation of many aromatherapy health and beauty products.
Oh, wait! Now there’s another concept on the table. You will ask: what is aromatherapy? Well, it is a therapy or treatment that uses essential oils to drive its results. Also known as essential oil therapy, they use a wide range of plant extracts for the improvement of mind, body and spirit.
Do plant therapy essential oils really work?
There used to be great debate about this matter. Nowadays, more and more studies have shown that the use of aromatherapy and essential oils can reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, reduce pain and aid with many other ailments.
For instance, Dr. Brent A. Bauer at Mayo Clinic writes about the benefits of using lavender oil. He tells us that small scale studies suggest that plant therapy essential oils may ease pain for people receiving dialysis. They also may improve sleep for people who are hospitalized and reduce pain for children who've gone through a tonsillectomy.
Lavender oil is such a soothing, calming smell.
So, how do you use them?
There are many, many ways to use essential oils. The easiest one is to inhale them directly or using a diffuser. You may apply to your skin, but please check what type of oil you’re using first. Cinnamon or bark, for instance, may cause itchiness. Also, under no circumstance try them in pure form. If you apply them to your skin, dilute them first.
Well, as all with all good things: use essential oils moderately! According to Women's Health Magazine, “the key is staying within a 15 to 60 minute sweet spot –never breathe an essential oil for more than one hour at a time.” It is also greatly recommended to ask your doctor about the use of essential oils if you’re taking any medications.
Some of our best essential oils
Local Keeps offers over 40 different types of plant therapy essential oils. Here are some of our favorites:
Peppermint by Aromaflor is extracted to refresh and re-energize, alleviate fever and headaches, and calm migraines. It also treats nausea and stomach aches. It is supposed to increase mental clarity and provide openness to new ideas and thoughts.
A whiff of peppermint works wonders on those who are very busy with work.
According to Heathline, rosemary oil is a useful ally to decrease fatigue and dispel stress. It is a great home remedy for people struggling with hair loss, or simply those interested in having more lush, exuberant hair. Finally, if bugs visit your home often, you’ll love to know that rosemary oil acts as an insect repellant.
In need for a quick pick-me-up? Rosemary oil it is.
Lemon is used to sharpen concentration, clear away doubt and confusion, alleviate nausea and headaches. It is a classic ingredient in home-made skin care products, as it acts as a powerful astringent.
Did you know lemon oil is a powerful degreaser?
How Lavender Oil Changed Nathalie’s Life
Laura is a 30-year old designer* from Costa Rica. She usually works from home, and enjoys cooking at home at testing new recipes. However, despite her very calm demeanor and structured lifestyle, Nathalie used to suffer from devastating migraines.
“I could be finishing a very important report and, within seconds, I felt a slight pang in my brain. I know that I had only a couple of minutes of work before the pain would take over. After it started, all I could do was lay down in the dark and wait until the pain dwindled. It was horrible.”
In the past, she had visited several doctors and, although the medication worked, the problem never disappeared completely. This was, until one of her friends recommended lavender oil.
A couple of oil droplets , placed at her temples, often did the trick. “I applied a couple of drops right at the moment I felt the first pang of pain, and that was it. I was able to continue with my tasks after that.” After a couple of weeks, she was able to keep the migraines at bay and focus fully on other things.
“It sounds crazy, but they do work”, she said. “I felt my life did improve after using them. To find our full selection of essential oils and other aromatherapy keeps you can look into our Health and Beauty Aromatherapy page.
* Names changed on request of the interviewee.
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