Essential oils have been all the rage lately due to the myriad of benefits they offer. Read the blog to learn about the 5 best essential oils and different ways to use them
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Best Essential Oils and How You Can Use Them
Unless you have been living under the rock, you would have heard about essential oils and their benefits.
While it has only been a little over a decade that essential oils gained worldwide popularity, they have been around for centuries. Many cultures have had a long history of using these magical oils for a variety of health and beauty purposes.
There are many different types of essential oils and each is known to have a unique set of properties and hence, offer different benefits. Overall, essential oils are known to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, relaxing, detoxifying, soothing and calming properties.
Where Do Essential Oils Come From?
The concentrated oils are extracted from leaves, flowers, buds, and stems of plants – some essential oils also come from the barks and roots – usually through the process of distillation.
Research has shown that the oils are produced by the specialized glandular cells located at the tip of glandular trichomes. Glandular trichomes are tiny, hair like structures naturally found on the outer layer of different parts of plants.
While almost all plant species have these hair-like structures, only 30% of plants produce essential oils.
The reason why plants produce essential oils is not yet clearly established. According to some research studies, they are the result of metabolic processes. But, others found that they could be serving multiple functions, including:
The fragrance of essential oils helps plants to attract certain insects that help them to pollinate more effectively.
Some plants use these oils to keep insects and animals away. For example, resins and saps have been found to help protect trees from wood boring beetle.
Essential oils help preventing water loss from leaves in plants that live in harsh climates.
It has been found that certain plants use essential oil to prevent the growth of other plants close to them. Their essential oils have certain compounds that are toxic to other types of plants and can inhibit photosynthesis and respiration in them.
Isn’t it interesting to know how these concentrated oils benefit both plants and humans?
How Do Essential Oils Work?
The use of essential oils as alternative treatments for various health conditions is an old practice that has recently gained immense popularity all over the world, with the name of Aromatherapy.
According to the proponents of aromatherapy, essential oils work just like traditional medicines. When absorbed through skin or inhaled, they enter into the bloodstream and offer a host of benefits. For example, it has been claimed that these concentrated oils can stimulate the limbic system – the part of brain that is involved in our emotional and behavioral responses. It also plays a role in memory and sense of smell, which is why certain familiar smells made us recall memories or trigger emotions.
Limbic system also plays a role in regulating blood pressure, pulse rate, and breathing. It is through controlling these factors that, according to aroma-therapists, essential oils can have effects on the physical health.
While the advocates of essential oils swear by their benefits, there is a lack of scientific evidence regarding how they affect our body. Many research studies have been conducted with many more underway, but there is still a need for more research to discard some contradictory evidences and establish the benefits of essential oils.
Why Do Essential Oils Need to Be Diluted?
Essential oils need to be diluted for topical application.
It takes around 20,000 to 25,000 pounds of the specific part of plant to produce an ounce of essential oils. This means that e a single drop of an essential is equals more than 3 pounds. This fact alone is enough to tell why dilution of essential oils is necessary.
Since they are highly concentrated, they can burn your skin, cause itching, allergies, and sensitization, if used undiluted.
How to Dilute Essential Oils?
In order to dilute essential oils, you have to mix them with carrier oils – no, you cannot use water for this purpose.
The amount may vary a bit depending on the essential oil you are using, but the standard dilution ratio is 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for 1 drop of essential oil.
Coconut oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, hazelnut oil, and grapeseed oil are some of the best carrier oils for essential oil dilution.
Best Essential Oils and Their Uses
While all essential oils are packed with beneficial properties, here we are highlighting the best essential oils and their uses to help you improve your health and beauty: LavenderEssential Oil
Even if you have a little knowledge about essential oils, you must have heard about the wonderful properties of lavender oil.
While known for its soothing, relaxing, and calming properties, lavender oil is also a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-depressant, and anti-microbial. No wonder it is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world.
Here are some of the benefits that lavender essential oil offers:
It helps to reduce stress and anxiety
Help in quick healing of wounds and burns
Packed with anti-oxidants, lavender oil also helps to slow down the aging process, improves complexion, and may also help with skin issues, like acne.
An animal study conducted in Tunisia, in 2014, found that lavender essential oil can help controlling the blood glucose level and also offer protection from certain symptoms and effects of diabetes, like weight gain and kidney and liver dysfunction.
Lavender oil has traditionally been used to treat brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s. An animal study conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of this traditional usage found that the oil offers protection from cognitive impairment and oxidative stress.
Ways to Use Lavender Oil
Here are some of the best uses of lavender oil:
- For Better Sleep
Take 2 to 3 drops of lavender essential oil in your hand and rub it on your palms. Now, cup your palms and inhale the scent. Do this for about a minute. Then, rub a drop of oil on your pillow and enjoy good sleep.
You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil in an air-diffuser for peaceful sleep.
- For Cuts, Minor Burns and Insect Bites
Depending on the size of wound, gently apply 1 to 3 drops of lavender essential oil to get instant relief. It will not only reduce the pain, but will stop bleeding and decrease swelling. Since it is anti-microbial, it will also kill bacteria and thus, promotes quick healing.
- For Dandruff
Apply lavender essential oil onto the scalp to get rid of dandruff.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is widely known for its refreshing properties. Its’ essential oil not only helps to reduce fatigue, but also promotes mental clarity and concentration, improves digestion, and provides relief from joint and muscle pain and headaches. The oil is also very helpful in relieving motion sickness and nausea.
In short, peppermint essential oil is antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti fungal, antiviral, antispasmodic, and a stimulant.
Uses of Peppermint Oil
Following are some of the most popular uses of peppermint essential oil:
- To Relieve Stress and Headache
Add one drop of peppermint essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil and apply it to your temples to get quick relief from headache and stress.
- For Sinus and Other Respiratory Benefits
Rub 2 to 3 drops of peppermint essential oil on your temples, back of neck and chest to get relief from sinus, cold, flu, congestion and other issues of the respiratory tract.
You can also add it to the humidifier.
- For Energy and Mental Clarity
Peppermint essential oil is wonderful for people who always feel tired and suffer from low energy levels for no apparent reasons. As mentioned earlier, it also helps to improve mental clarity and concentration. To gain these benefits, peppermint essential oil can be used in a variety of ways:
Rubbing one drop of oil under your nose can make you alert and improves concentration.
Apply a few drops of the oil on your shoulders and the back of neck to keep yourself energized throughout the day.
While most of us know rosemary as a herb commonly used in Italian dishes, it has a lot more to offer. Rosemary essential oil has been used for centuries, in traditional medicine, due to the health benefits it offers. Rosemary essential oil is great for people suffering from low blood pressure. A small human study conducted on hypotensive patients found great results. Not only the oil brought their blood pressure to normal levels,, it also contributed to their overall mental and physical wellbeing.
The oil has also been found to help improving brain function, enhancing memory, getting relief from different types of body pains, and strengthening your immune system.
While the oil mainly act as a stimulant, it helps to reduce stress by decreasing the levels of cortisol – the stress hormone.
The long history of its use in traditional medicine and the availability of anecdotal evidence has prompted many scientists to study and testify the potential health benefits this herb oil is claimed to offer.
How to Use Rosemary Oil?
The best way to use rosemary oil is by adding a few drops of it in an air diffuser.
Here you go – these are some of the essential oils best known for providing a myriad of benefits to human beings. However, always make sure to use best quality essential oils and consult an aromatherapy expert to avoid any harmful effects. While essential oils are generally safe, there can be a few exceptions and some people can react differently to even natural ingredients. This is why it is always recommended to consult an expert before using any new product or ingredient.
Another important thing to note here is that the essential oils benefits are linked to their purity. This means only the pure varieties will offer these benefits. So, make sure you buy them from a reliable seller, like Maverik Oils.