Uses and Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oil is obtained from a plant or parts of a plant, by distillation or by a suitable mechanical process without heating. Technically, this product is not oil because it contains no fatty acids but high concentrations of plant components. This product is widely used in the pharmaceutical, therapeutic and cosmetic areas. It can aid in the prevention and combat of symptoms of some diseases, such as rheumatic and muscular pains. Improves digestion and appetite. Stimulates the nervous system and energy.

Essential oils help relax and sleep, improve digestion and even the appearance of the skin. The aromatherapy is a form of treatment included in the group of alternative medicines recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), which makes use of essential oils (vegetable source) to treat physical and emotional problems.

How should you use them?

Essential oils are mostly applied externally, in the form of massages, aromatic baths or by inhalation. Its effects on the body are possible thanks to its liposolubility, which allows entry into the bloodstream transcutaneously.

Massage – Allows an absorption of the essential oil at the level of the pores and stimulates the bloodstream. It is advised to relieve muscle tension and eliminate toxins. In this method the essential oils are diluted in a vegetable oil, also known as carrier oil. Pure essential oil should never be applied to the skin – use a maximum of 10 drops of essential oil per 100 ml of base oil.

Aromatic bath – Useful in the treatment of muscular pains, depressive or stress states, insomnia, problems of the airways and skin, among others.

Inhalation – Smell is the basis of many actions received by the body. Psychoaromatic therapy (a branch of psychology) studies the influence of odors on the mind, explaining many of the effects obtained with the administration of essential oils via this pathway. In diffusers and air purifiers, use 7 drops per 500 ml of water.

Foot immersion bath – Useful in cases of insomnia, congestion, headaches, flu and colds, among others.

Gargarisms or mouthwashes – For the treatment of oral ulcers, sore throats and other inflammatory problems of the oropharynx.

6 essential oils that you will want to have close to you

Some essential oils are well known for their medicinal properties: India’s clove oil is a very powerful painkiller and lavender serves as an antiseptic. Here are a few other essential oils you should have in your personal bathroom cabinet:

Rosemary – It is antiseptic, astringent and antioxidant. Relieves rheumatic and muscular pains and also improves digestion and appetite. Stimulates the nervous system and increases energy. It should not be used in pregnancy, nor hypertensive and epileptic, as it can be highly stimulant and raise blood pressure.

Bergamot – Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiviral and antibacterial. Bergamot helps in combating various viruses, including those causing the flu, herpes, and chicken pox. Due to its versatility, it also assists in the treatment of bacterial infections of the urinary system, mouth, throat and skin, including eczema. As a natural deodorant, not only does it have a pleasant scent, it also eliminates the bacteria responsible for bad odor. Bergamot only loses to lavender in the ability to relax the brainwaves when it is inspired. One caution: do not expose yourself to the sun for 12 hours after application to the skin, as bergamot can cause abnormal pigmentation in the most sensitive people.

Chamomile – Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It aids digestion and helps relieve gas and nausea. It also calms the nerves and stimulates sleep. The aroma of chamomile relaxes the mind and body. Research indicates that chamomile calms emotions, muscles, and even brain waves. Helps deal with the ups and downs of PMS, menopause, and hyperactivity in children. It also helps to control headache, sore muscles, cramps and allergic reactions. Chamomile is also indicated to calm baby cramps. It can be used in the bath or in a compress.

Cinnamon – Very used in cooking, can be used in aromatherapy to reduce drowsiness and irritability. It is generally used as a physical and emotional stimulant. Researchers have discovered that cinnamon reduces headaches. Research has already shown that the cinnamon aroma in an environment helped the participants to focus more and produce better. Essential oil helps relax muscles and relieves menstrual cramps. Should be used in low concentration.

Lemongrass – It has an invigorating and analgesic effect. It is indicated to fight fatigue, nervousness, anxiety and depression. It increases concentration and can also be used to relax restless children.

Cedar – When inhaled, it may assist in the treatment of respiratory infections to help decrease congestion. It is lymphatic stimulant and diuretic, still working as a mild astringent and tonic. It should be used in low concentration and avoided during pregnancy.

Precautions to be taken in the use of essential oils

·The efficiency of essential oils comes from their high degree of purity.

·Never apply a pure essential oil to the skin as it can cause severe irritations or severe allergies.

·Avoid sun exposure (especially with oils derived from citrus), after applying an essential oil (in its diluted form)

·The use of essential oils in an indiscriminate and unadvised manner by a specialist can lead to hepatotoxicity. Likewise, the ingestion of essential oils always requires medical advice.

·Essential oils should not be used on animals since there are liver and dermal toxicity cases, especially in cats.

·The application of essential oils should always be done through a neutral base oil. Examples are sweet almond oil, sunflower oil and grape seed oil.

·They should not be used by pregnant women (taking as few as 0.5 ml of some oils may induce miscarriage) and people reporting episodes of epilepsy.

·Essential oils are flammable. Under conditions of use (eg soap production, use in SPA or similar areas), never approach sources of heat and / or incandescent sources.

In addition to the physical and emotional benefits when used in aromatherapy, essential oils also have exceptional medicinal applications. They have a wide range of healing properties such as stimulating cell regeneration, relieving pain and balancing emotional dysfunction. Essential oils are powerful allies in meeting a better quality of life and well-being.