Essential Oils – The Ultimate Guide
Essential oils have been used for ages in different cultures for health and medicinal purposes. Thanks to their antidepressant, antibacterial, antiviral, detoxifying, calming and stimulating properties, aromatic or essential oils are becoming more and more popular as a natural, safe, effective and affordable solution to a number of health problems.
Given the high costs of healthcare and the typical side effects of traditional medications, using essential oils can make a huge difference in your life. This is principally because there are numerous uses and health benefits of essential oils. The compounds in essential oils are extracted from various parts of plants, including the leaves, flowers, roots, bark, peels and resin.
In this comprehensive guide, well talk a look at various essential oils and how you can use them to treat different health problems.
But first things first—what are essential oils?
Normally produced through the distillation process, essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that have an energizing aroma. That’s why they are often known as aromatic oils or aromatherapy oils.
So, how do they work? When the oils are extracted from various parts of these plants, the most therapeutic compounds are separated and concentrated into oil.
So if you are ready to reap the benefits of the world’s most powerful healing compounds, it’s time to add essential oils to your daily routine.
Here, you’ll learn more about the numerous essential oils along with their uses and benefits, and discover a powerful solution to various health issues that you have been fighting for long.
Read on to find out how to use various essential oils to prevent or even reverse various health problems.
Essential Oils for Sleep
Recent research studies have shown that essential oils can ease insomnia and improve the quality of sleep in adults.
So, what are some of the best essential oils for better sleep?
Here are the best essential oils that can help you sleep soundly.
01. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is extracted from the beautiful flowers of the lavender plant. The lovely lavender flowers have been used for producing potpourri for many centuries now.
The sweet aroma of the lavender oil helps to relax the mind and allows you to fall asleep fast and for longer. It is also ideal for treating nervous tension, emotional stress, depression, migraines and headaches. (1)
Dermatologists agree that lavender essential oil is also effective in eradicating acne. It is an effective remedy for sprains, tense muscles, backache, lumbago and rheumatism. It improves immunity, blood circulation, digestion and significantly improves skin health.
02. Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil is extracted from sandalwood trees that are at least forty years old. This oil has a delicate and lasting exotic woody aroma. The main compounds in sandalwood oil include Santalol, Santalenes and Santyl Acetate.
With a powerful woody scent, this oil is widely used for relaxation and helps to ease anxiety. Additionally, it is a wonderful antiseptic agent and can be safely used both internally and externally. Thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, sandalwood oil can also be used to treat nervous and circulatory inflammations. It is also good for your skin and helps to improve skin health. This explains why it is used in various skin care products. (2)
03. Rose Essential Oil
There are numerous rose species that differ in size, shape and color. These shrubs are found in regions with temperate climate. These days, however, they are grown commercially in various parts of the world. The buds and flowers after removing the calyces are normally used for obtaining the essential oil.
Rose oil has strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Rose oil is known to be an effective essential oil for sleep because of its natural relaxing and calming effect on the brain and other parts of the central nervous system.
04. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon is a thorny tree that is grown around the world. The essential oil is extracted from the fresh fruit through mechanical abrasion before separating the oil from other elements using a centrifugal separator.
Lemon oil has powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. It is normally used for treating common infections. Since lemon oil has a strong calming or soothing effect on the nervous system, it is also one of the best essential oils for better sleep.
How to Use the Best Essential Oils for Sleep
You can use any of the above essential oils in various ways for sound sleep. These include bathing, inhalation and massaging.
Bathing: add six to eight drops of the oil in bathing water and then bathe in it for at least 15 minutes before you go to bed for better sleep.
Inhalation: when it comes to aromatherapy, this method is sometimes preferred over the others since it delivers faster results. Take a few drops of the oil on a piece of paper tissue and inhale it deeply several times. After inhaling it, you can also position the tissue next to your pillow for the best results.
Massage: massaging any of these essential oils around the neck and the ears can be greatly calming and will help you to sleep better and for longer.
The Best Essential Oils for Anxiety
Anxiety is a challenging fight to face in life. This makes having a safe and effective solution like essential oils extremely important.
Here are some effective essential oils to help combat anxiety:
01. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is also one of the best oils for anxiety. Among the many benefits of lavender is its incredible calming effect.
It has therapeutic effects on the nervous system, which helps to combat sleeplessness, restlessness, nervous tension and anxiety attacks.
02. Vetiver Essential Oil
This essential oil is derived from a perennial grass that originated from India many centuries ago. It has proven calming and relaxing effects, which makes it effective when it comes to combating anxiety.
Vetiver is also rich in sesquiterpenes, which are proven to enhance mood and focus. In a 2001 research study, children’s behaviors were studied before and after a 30-day period in which they sniffed a given essential oil a few times per day. These included vetiver, lavender or cedarwood. At the end of the research period, significant behavioral improvements were observed in the children that were sniffing cedar and vetiver – the two oils that are rich in sesquiterpenes.
03. Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot is obtained from Earl Grey tea and has a unique floral scent and taste. This essential oil has a calming effect on the nervous system and it is often used to ease depression by boosting energy levels. Additionally, it can help with sleeplessness and irritability due to its calming and relaxing properties.
Generally, bergamot oil is safe, but it is known to be photosensitizing. This means that it can elevate the risk of sunburn. It is advisable to avoid using it within a few hours after sun exposure.
04. Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile oil is obtained from the plant’s white and yellow flowers and has proven to be an effective remedy for reducing stress and anxiety.
With a calming and relaxing fragrance, chamomile boosts inner peace and reduces irritability, stress and anxiety.
How to Use the Best Essential Oils for Anxiety
You can use any of the above essential oils in three ways: ingestion, aromatherapy and ingestion.
Oral Application: the best way to consume these essential oils is to mix a drop of oil with a tablespoon of honey or add it in a glass of water. You can also add one or two drops under the tongue, which allows it to pass faster into the bloodstream and be transported to other parts of the body where it is required. Other oral methods include capsules, cooking, and adding one or two drop to your favorite drink.
Aromatherapy for Anxiety: this is a very common method since sense of smell stimulates powerful emotional reactions. You can obtain it by adding it to bathing water, sniffing it directly or using it as a perfume, vaporizer or via aromatherapy diffusers.
Topical Application: you can also apply the oil on the skin, hair, nails or teeth. When these essential oils touch your skin, they are absorbed almost immediately. However, it is a highly recommended to dilute and mix with a carrier oil such as coconut, avocado, olive or almond oil.
The Best Essential Oils for Weight Loss
Eating a balanced diet and taking part in regular exercises are the most reliable ways to shed those excess pounds. However, adding essential oils to your daily routine can help boost physical and emotional health that will enable you to lose weight even faster:
Some of the essential oils that are known to support weight loss include the following:
01. Grapefruit Essential Oil
This sweet-smelling grapefruit oil is ideal for turning your body into a fat-burning furnace.
Grapefruit oil is high in nootkatone, a substance that increases the rate of metabolism and boosts your body’s fat-burning ability.
Combine grapefruit oil with a balanced diet and you’ll definitely experience fast results. Its strong scent is proven to have a simulating effect on the human mind. If you are considering essential oil South Africa for weight loss, start with grapefruit oil.
02. Cinnamon Essential Oil
If you enjoy eating cookies, cakes and other sweet foods, make sure to use cinnamon oil to boost your weight loss efforts. This oil helps with regulating your insulin release and blood sugar levels, which helps to keep your sugar cravings under control.
Controlling blood sugar levels with this oil will also help prevent cravings for sugary foods. You are less likely to overindulge if you add this essential oil to your daily routine, which ultimately helps you to lose weight.
03. Ginger Oil
Ginger oil is yet another essential oil that has proven to aid in weight loss. Ginger oil works wonders simply because it keeps sugar cravings in check and helps to relieve inflammation. It is very important when you are trying to shed excess pounds, that you are also eliminating inflammation and improving digestion.
Ginger contains gingerols, compounds that have been proven to reduce inflammation in the body and enhance the absorption of vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. When your body is absorbing more nutrients, it boosts its energy levels and supports weight loss.
How to Use Essential Oils for Weight Loss
If you are considering essential oil South Africa for weight loss, we recommended the ginger oil, cinnamon oil and grapefruit oil.
You can add one drop of each oil in water and consume it that way. Otherwise, you may want to diffuse it for faster results. It is also recommended to use a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil. That way, the strong scent will stimulate other parts of the body in order to boost weight loss.
The Best Essential Oils for Acne Relief
If you are considering making some changes to the skin care products you use, try out the following essential oils for acne relief:
01. Tea Tree Essential Oil
This essential oil has numerous health benefits and can be said to be he jack of all trades.’ According to experts, all you need to do is to mash the tea leaves before applying it to burns, cuts and infections.
Tea tree oil is considered the most common essential oil used for acne relief. This is because it has strong antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help to cleanse the skin. This oil is also very gentle and can be used safely and effectively on acne breakouts.
02. Lavender Essential Oil
A calming and therapeutic essential oil, lavender is an excellent choice for treating acne. It is also gentle on the skin and can be used safely on acne breakouts.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, lavender oil can help soothe and heal the skin that has been inflamed after an acne attack.
03. Orange Essential Oil
In reality, citrus oils are generally helpful when it comes to treating acne attacks. They are packed with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which help to ease acne and cleanse the skin.
Generally, orange essential oil is a good choice since it is very gentle, allowing it to greatly reduce acne with minimal irritation or side effects.
How to Use Essential Oils for Acne Relief
Apply any of the above essential oils on the affected part of the body as a soothing acne treatment or mix it with a moisturizing carrier oil for a regular, healing application.
Essential Oils for Hair Growth
There are numerous essential oils you can use to improve hair health. Such oils are used as ingredients in various products, including hair shampoos and conditioners.
01. Bergamot oil
A recent research study has shown that Bergamot oil helps to support wound healing and ease inflammation. This can help encourage hair growth and support a healthy scalp.
According to another study, bergamot essential oil has antimicrobial properties when used on the scalp.
02. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil also helps to promote hair growth by increasing scalp thickness and the overall number of hair follicles. Researchers found that that peppermint oil encouraged hair growth faster than minoxidil, a common medication for hair loss.
Peppermint oil is high in menthol, which stimulates the blood cells underneath the skin to enlarge or dilate. This leads to additional blood flow, which helps to promote faster hair growth.
03. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is obtained from the seeds of the Chinese date or the common jujube plant (also known as Zizyphus jujuba).
Recent research studies suggest that jojoba oil helps to boost hair growth and to reduce hair loss.
Other essential oils that can be used to promote hair growth are rosemary oil, sage oil and chamomile oil.
How to Use Essential Oils for Hair growth
It is recommended to apply the above essential oils a few minutes before bed to avoid sun exposure.
Essential oils are highly concentrated, so make sure to mix them with carrier oils in small amounts before applying them on your scalp. Simply mix two to three drops of the essential oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil (or any other carrier oil) to dilute it.
Keep in mind that some people will need regular applications to experience their desired results. If you don’t see your desired results, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about other ways of preventing hair loss.
Essential oils can promote good health and improve your mood. So be sure to add these essential oils to enjoy these and many more benefits.
With essential oils having so many uses and benefits, it’s no surprise they have been widely used for many centuries and continue to gain popularity around the world. Their medicinal value is well known, but you can also use them to treat some health problems without adding so many chemicals to your body.