Do you know what essential oils are? The essentials oils are the oils, which are extracted from the plant extracts and distilled into oil. These are widely used in alternative and complementary medicine. Generally, the essential oils are extracted from leaves, flowers, roots, and other parts of the plant. For centuries, these have been used for medicinal purposes in a few cultures. Continuous scientific research has concluded that a couple of essential oils bring in quintessential health benefits. A bunch of modern medicines is extracted from essential oils. However, it is undeniable that even though some oils are beneficial in a small dosage, others can be a bit dangerous. Since the FDA has not regulated the essential oils, you must use it with caution. You should consult a holistic practitioner before you begin using essential oil.
Uses of essential oils
Essential oils are used in boosting your most, easing your stress, helping you get a good night’s sleep, relieving the pains arising from migraines and headaches, repelling insects, and quelling nausea, points out Anushka, who is an online math tutor, and a regular user of essential oils. A lot of essential oils have antiseptic properties too. The beneficial compound in the essential oil is extracted in three key ways – oral ingestion, topical application on your skin, and inhalation.
Usually, the essential oils are extracted via steam distillation. It is a process, which requires applying steam onto a plant until the time you are left with only oil. Essential oils comprise volatile compounds. These make for the strong characteristic scent of the plant and provides them with therapeutic effects.
During an aromatherapy session, you will inhale the compounds. Inhalation occurs either by diffusing the oil into the air via an aromatherapy diffuser or by dropping some oil on a piece of item, cloth, or jewelry. Inhalation is one of the safest means of using essential oil.
When you inhale essential oils, the molecules present in them trigger the brain’s limbic area and the nervous system. It also has a direct impact on your metabolism, hormones, and brain chemicals.
Essential oils can also be applied to a specific area or part of the skin to treat pain in that part. In general, people use essential oils to relieve sinus pain, backache and ease sore muscles. A few essential oils might also be used topically if they have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties for treating fungal or acne infections.
However, several essential oils can cause skin irritation and should thus not be used in full strength. Instead, you can dilute the essential oils in the carrier oil, such as avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, or almond oil, first.
Essential oils can also be used by adding them to bath salts, shampoo, lotion, soap, or other products. These can also be used during spa and massage treatments.
Some essential oils can be swallowed in small dosage as mediation or used in cooking, but this should be done with due caution, warns Shazia, who works EduWorldUSA. Though most of them are safe in a small quantity, there are also a few, which may be poisonous, and should never be ingested.
The significant risk of ingesting the essential oils is further aggravated by the fact that the FDA does not regulate these oils. Thus, as such, there are no objective standards to ensure the authenticity or the quality of the oil. It is also recommended to always purchase the oil from a reputed supplier who tests and analyses the products for their purity via the use of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
Essential oils are also known for an active benefit in treating both emotional and physical health issues. These oils have several beneficial compounds on the molecular levels, such as terpenes, antioxidants, and esters. These can aid in boosting wellness.
Although there is a body of research that does put forth the several health benefits of essential oils, many of these studies are only limited to cell cultures and animals. At present, there is no large scale clinical trial, which considers the impact of individual oils on certain specific health conditions.
However, a study conducted by the Journal of Supplements did show some promising results. It presented the general health benefits of herbs, essential oils, and supplements. Following this study, it was found that the essential oils are just as effective as any other supplements in boosting overall health. In particular, the study reported that essential oils aid in improving immunity, reducing anxiety and pain, and promoting mental clarity and energy. A few lab tests also concluded that essential oils depicted improved blood markers in heart diseases, diabetes, and cholesterol.
Regardless of the method you choose for using essential oils, due caution needs to be exercised. It is best to consult an expert before starting with it.