It’s been ages that essential oils are used to treat various health problems. We all buy essential oils and keep them in our homes. But many people do not know how to use them to avail their actual goodness. Many people also wonder if the essential oil they have bought is pure or not. If you have also bought essential oils and wondering how to use them then we have you! Read below and understand all about essential oils.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are aromatic and volatile, highly concentrated oils extracted from flowers, herbs, leaves, roots, and seeds. They are also called ‘life blood’ of plants. These are extracted by the process of steam distillation. Essential oils are very much concentrated and should be used in very fewer quantities (just a few drops are enough). It is said that a drop of peppermint essential oil equals 26 cups of peppermint tea! They can also react with the body. So, one should be very careful while using essential oils. If used correctly, they have immense benefits and fun to use.
It is also advised to consult your physician if you are starting to use essential oils to treat any illness. Because excessive and inappropriate use can result in damage instead of any goodness. Here are 3 important uses of essential oils listed below:
Aromatherapy is treating any condition through the aroma of essential oils. Aromatherapy specifically helps in stress, anxiety, depression and keeps one relaxed. Wondering how the smell of essential oils affects our body? When we smell droplets of essential oils diffuse in air through our nostrils then these signals are sent to olfactory bulb which is base of the brain. These signals go to hippocampus and amygdala which are responsible for emotions and memory. So, that is why often we associate any smell with an emotion or person or any past experience.
There are two ways in which we can use essential oils for aromatherapy:
Essential oils in a diffuser:
Electric diffuser is the best way to use essential oils that will disperse in the air. It is recommended to use diffuser instead of candle as the candle breaks down the oil and its benefits cannot be obtained. Few drops of oil should be mixed in water (preferably distilled water) and fill this mixture in the diffuser. The benefits which one can obtain through these diffused droplets of essential oils are:
- Keeps the air fresh. There is no need to use air fresheners that are harmful (even carcinogenic). They produce carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and other harmful substances. So, essential oils are best to use as air fresheners. Wildwood, clove, and lavender essential oils are recommended as good air fresheners.
- The droplets dispersed in the air can be very soothing during common flu or a sore throat. Tea tree, peppermint or lemon essential oil can help.
Essential oils during bath:
Essential oils can be a great source to get that relaxing bath after a hectic day! But keep it in mind that do not add essential oils drops directly in water. Mix few drops (2,3 maximum) in Epsom salt and then add that Epsom salt in water. Epsom salt will act as a base and dissolve essential oils much better than water does.
Also, do not add any other thing like soap in water to get maximum benefit of essential oil and the Epsom salt. Lavender, peppermint, orange and many other essential oils can be used for aromatherapy during a bath.
Essential oils are great for the skin. But one should be mindful as in which essential oil should be applied on the skin and how. It is important to note that essential oils should never be applied directly on the skin. It can react and cause rashes and blisters. Essential oils should be mixed with the carrier oil or base oil. Carrier oil is cold pressed vegetable oil mostly. Coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and olive can be used as carrier oils. Only 1, 2 drops of essential oils are enough to be mixed with an ounce of carrier oil.
Essential oils have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties making them great for acne prone skin. Essential oils also shrink the pores and tone the skin. They slow the aging process and are great moisturizer. Lavender, rose, chamomile, and many others can be used on skin for various purposes.
Essential oils can be added in food in very small amount to add flavor or to treat any illness. But always consult your doctor as many think that ingesting essential oils can be harmful. Not all essential oils are for ingesting purpose. So, it is important to do a thorough research and consult your doctor before using essential oil in foods.
Arborvitae, birch, cedar wood, cypress, eucalyptus, white fir, and winter green are some of the essential oils which should NEVER be ingested.
So, there are many benefits of essential oils. We all should add them in our daily routine to get their goodness but mindful usage is very important to get maximum benefit out of them