Cramped schedules, financial problems, heavy workloads and now a global pandemic. It seems like modern-day living has become synonymous for a state of constant worry and stress. Nowadays, especially because of the Coronavirus crisis it’s more important than ever to take good care of your health. One way you can do this is by incorporating essential oils in your daily routine.
It’s a well-known fact that essential oils and herbs have been used in folk medicine throughout history to treat numerous health conditions. Today, ancient traditional knowledge is combined with scientific research to deliver some incredibly potent blends of essential oils.
These essential oils are an integral part of aromatherapy and other forms of alternative medicine because they’re basically tiny first aid kits in bottles.
Once you learn more about the power of essential oils, you’ll immediately realize how important they are for your overall health and wellbeing.
What Exactly Is an Essential Oil?
Essential oils are concentrated liquids which contain the essence of a plant’s fragrance. They’re complex mixtures of volatile chemical compounds such as terpenes, phenylpropanoids and cannabinoids. The composition of the essential oil blend depends on the species, geographic location, the harvest time of the plant and the extraction method.
There are plenty of methods and techniques used to obtain essential oils among which expression, wax embedding and cold pressing, but the most preferable method is distillation because it’s cheap and easy.
Although most of the essential oils are derived from different aromatic plant materials such as leaves, flowers, seeds and roots, some of them are obtained from animal sources or microorganisms.
The Importance of Essential Oils
Essential oils give you an opportunity to practice medical self-care in a natural way. No one is saying that you should completely avoid pharmaceutical drugs, but they should be your last resort because even over the counter medications can cause serious health problems. Furthermore, some prescription medicines can be highly addictive and cause more harm than good in the long run.
Essential oils pose no threat to your mind, body and soul if you use them properly. Some of them are just as effective as their pharmaceutical counterparts. For instance, oregano essential oil is a natural alternative to antibiotics and it won’t break havoc on your gut. A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine showed that oregano oil has significant antibacterial activity against several MDR clinical isolates among which Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus.
Other essential oils such as those derived from wild ginger have strong antidepressant qualities and can help you battle depression, stress and anxiety without developing an addiction or experience the unpleasant side effects of antidepressants.
Essential Oils for Physical Health
There’re plenty of essential oils that you can use to improve your physical health. Some of the most common blends of essential oils that promote good health are obtained from arnica, peppermint, oregano and marjoram.
The arnica is a herb that has been used as a natural remedy for numerous health conditions for hundreds of years. Thanks to the strong anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antirheumatic properties, essential oils derived from this plant can provide quick pain relief, reduce swelling and bruising and improve circulation.
Peppermint essential oils have proven pain-relieving and calming effects on the body. They’re traditionally used to treat stomach pain, headaches, sore muscles and tired feet. The strong cooling effect of the menthol found in the peppermint plant can sometimes be more effective than over the counter pain killers.
Oregano is a natural antibiotic and antifungal agent. Essential oils which are obtained from oregano can significantly boost the immune system and help ward off infections and colds. Moreover, the main compound found in oregano essential oils can lower bad cholesterol levels and protect the heart.
Marjoram essential oil will support your cardiovascular and immune system giving your body the strength to function properly. Marjoram essential oil blends are famous for their healing properties. You can use it as a natural remedy to treat sore muscles, relieve period cramps and fight off headaches.
Essential Oils for Mental Health
Although most of the essential oil blends will support your overall health and wellbeing, some of them are specifically used to battle depression, reduce stress and anxiety.
The lavender essential oil will calm your racing thoughts and soothe your soul. Thanks to its relaxing and healing qualities, lavender oil can relieve anxiety, insomnia, and gastrointestinal distress and improve general wellbeing. Moreover, lavender oil can help with panic attacks and nervous exhaustion and is also effective for headaches and migraines.
The Copaiba essential oil is another very potent natural remedy widely used in alternative medicine. It has the power to soothe anxious feelings and reduce stress which makes it perfect for anyone who is need of calm and stability.
Some essential oils can give you that much-needed energy boost when you’re feeling tired or completely burned out. Instead of sugary energy drinks and huge amounts of coffee, opt for rosemary essential oil which will improve your focus and productivity.
Essential Oils for Cosmetic Purposes
Essential oils are no strangers to the cosmetic industry as well. Many beauty products owe their effectiveness and beautiful fragrances to essential oil blends.
However, you don’t have to spend money on expensive skincare products to reap the magical benefits of essential oils. For instance, just a drop or two of lemongrass essential oil to your basic facial cream can turn it into a wondrous serum which will give your skin radiant appearance, but will also minimize pores.
If the bags under your eyes are becoming harder and harder to carry, you’ll find chamomile essential oil very useful. Make your own eye cream by mixing a few drops of chamomile essential oil in a coconut or jojoba oil. You can use the same mixture to massage your scalp and revitalize your hair.
Things to Consider
Before you incorporate essential oils in your everyday routine, make sure you understand their potency and educate yourself about how to use them properly.
First of all, not all essential oils are suitable for internal use. Some of them are meant to be inhaled and others should be used with a diffuser. Take special precautions if you’re pregnant and always consult your doctor if you have underlying medical conditions.
Second, you shouldn’t apply undiluted essential oils on your skin because they can cause rashes and burns. The safest way to use essential oils for skin applications is to dilute them in carrier oils. Many people use castor oil because it suits all skin types and it’s extremely nourishing. You can use it to mix, mash and blend your own massage oils or natural makeup removers that will leave your skin glowing.
And the final thing you should be aware of is that essential oils must be handled with care and properly stored. It’s best to keep your precious bottles in dark and cold places and never leave the lid open for longer periods because the volatile compounds can quickly evaporate.