Essential Oils - Incorporating Nature in Our Everyday Lives

Essential Oils - Incorporating Nature in Our Everyday Lives

Introduction  |  What are they?  |  Different uses  |  Aromatherapy  |  Benefits  | Types  |  Considerations  |  Takeaway

Introduction

Essential oils are the source of all the benefits of aromatherapy. There are a lot of different scents and ways to use them, which can be a little bit overwhelming. No worries! In this article, we'll go through all of the different types and benefits, so by the end of it, you'll have a complete understanding of these powerful plant extracts!

What are they?

Essential (aromatic) oils are essentially (pun intended) compounds, extracted from plants that capture their unique scent and properties.

There are various extraction methods, including distillation (using water or steam) and mechanical methods like cold pressing.

We can consider an 'essential oil' only the extracts that are 100% pure. The oils, obtained after chemical processes or those that are not 100% (diluted with other substances) should not be considered essential oils.

Different uses

Essential oils are most commonly used in the practice of aromatherapy, so we'll concentrate mainly on this, but this doesn't mean they don't have other applications as well.

Some people use them as a way to add an extra layer of a pleasant smell to their laundry. Others have found out that particular scents, such as lavender or peppermint can prove as great mosquito repellers! Or you can use them to evoke particular pleasant memories! (more on that later in the article)

You can get creative and find unique uses for essential oils but be aware of the fact that they should never be swallowed and should be applied to the skin only in combination with a carrier oil.

Aromatherapy

Generally, there are two ways to use essential oils for aromatherapy: applying them to the skin or inhaling them. In the following lines, we'll look through both of these methods

Skin application

This method relies on oil absorption. It's commonly used in spas as the massage is the best way to rub the oil into the skin.

An important note here is that you shouldn't use just essential oils for this, but rather combine them with a carrier oil because the 100% pure ones are too strong and can lead to inflammation.

Carrier oils are another type of plant oils. They're not as potent as essential oils, making them the perfect way to experience a pleasant aromatherapy massage worry-free!

Inhalation 

This technique relies on the diffusion of the oils into the air and therefore inhaling them. Several studies have now shown that this impacts certain areas of the limbic system of our brain which is associated with emotions, smell, and memory.

That said, you now understand why essential oils are often correlated with benefits like boosted mood and reduced stress. Scents are one of the best ways to call up memories as we often tie up particular smells to people or places that are important to us. This can lead to emotional responses like nostalgic childhood experiences or pleasant memories associated with a favorite person who uses a particular perfume with a similar scent!

Benefits

Essential oils vary widely by their benefits which is understandable, keeping in mind that every plant has a unique scent and properties. With that said, we'll just list out some of the most popular ones and in the next section we'll suggest the best essential oil option to access each benefit provided:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Eased depression symptoms
  • Relieved headaches
  • Improved digestion
  • Soothed joint and muscle pains
  • Better-looking skin
  • Boosted energy
  • Acne treatment
  • Insect repelling

Types

Essential oils differ by the plant they are derived from. At the moment, there are almost 100 different types of oils, but we'll talk about just the most popular ones:

  • Lavender. Loved by most, this scent can bring you countless benefits like improved sleep and relaxation, as well as reduced anxiety. It's a gentle, pleasant aroma so it's recommended for people who're just starting out.
  • Peppermint. Best known for its energy-boosting effect, this fragrance can be beneficial for those feeling constant fatigue. But there is even more: peppermint can also relieve headaches, help with digestion, and soothe muscle and joint pain!
  • Bergamot. Like Lavender, Bergamot can prove beneficial for your sleep and nerves, but it doesn't stop there. It's well established that this scent boosts overall skin health and can even help with certain medical conditions like eczema.
  • Lemon. This citrus scent can help greatly with anxiety and depression, as it has an uplifting effect on the mind and body. It can be used both when you need to focus, as well as when you just want to calm down and picture yourself in the middle of a beautiful grove of lemon trees in sunny California or Mediterranean Italy.
  • Tea Tree. Used primarily for its antibacterial properties, Tea Tree can have multiple uses, including acne treating, wound healing, and insect repelling. 

Considerations

While essential oils are generally safe, there are still some things you should be cautious about:

  • Don't swallow them. While some brands consider their oils 'safe enough for internal use', we don't recommend that. Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, so you can never be sure if they're actually 100% pure. Better safe than sorry.
  • Apply the on the skin only in combination with a carrier oil. Essential oils are just too potent and can cause more harm than good if used directly on your skin. To derive the most out of them and make sure you stay safe, just use carrier oils.
  • Be mindful of those in your environment. If you decide to go down the path of inhaling essential oils, you should be mindful of who is around you. Pregnant women, children, and pets are more sensitive and therefore can be easily irritated by certain scents, so it's always better to first check with your doctor and/or vet.
  • Side effectsIf you have a medical condition such as asthma or an allergy, always talk with your healthcare provider before using essential oils, as the most common side effects, associated with oils are asthma attacks, allergy symptoms, headaches, and rashes. 

Takeaway

Essential oils can be a great addition to your life, improving both your mind as well as body state. The benefits are countless and most people will be able to find something that proves helpful. With that said, keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to different scents, so you should experiment, but always be mindful and careful.

If you are already eager to begin your aromatherapy journey, why don't you check out the Humbliss Volcano Aroma Diffuser? It is the perfect fit for those of you who are interested in implementing aromatherapy into their daily routines, without breaking the bank. Plus, it comes down with the bonus of a FREE essential oil of choice! Don't miss out and shop now! 

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