Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants. Essential oils are considered to be a natural method of improving overall health and treating common ailments. Today, many health practitioners are adopting a holistic approach to health care that includes medications, therapies, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, the usage of these essential oils. Learn what you need to know about the common health benefits of essential oils, the most popular oils available, and how they can help you.
Common Health Benefits of Using Essential Oils
Using essential oils, or aromatherapy, does have proven health benefits (source). Some of the common areas that essential oils, as a supplement to other healthcare methods and medicines, may help include:
- Relieving anxiety and depression
- Relieving insomnia
- Reducing anger and grief
- Boosting energy levels
- Expedited healing of cuts
- Soothing dry or chapped skin
- Reducing pain associated with an injury or chronic condition
- Relieving constipation and digestive issues
- Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure
Each of the benefits listed above come from different oils. Some of the oils are applied directly to the skin, while others are inhaled. In some cases, you would ingest an essential oil, but only with the explicit direction of a physician. The oils should be used in moderation and if you are taking other medications, you should discuss using them with your doctor.
Five Popular Essential Oils
Some of the most common oils that people use include:
Lavender is the most well-known of the essential oils. This oil is both an antiviral and an antibacterial and can help with relaxation, sleep, and reducing stress. It can also serve as an anti-depressant.
Peppermint is a cooling agent that enhances mood, sharpens focus, combats irritation and redness, alleviates symptoms of congestion, and aids in digestion. The smell can help with nausea, as well as provide an instant cooling effect to use for a fever or areas of muscle tension.
Eucalyptus is a powerful treatment against respiratory issues. Also, this oil helps with coughs, colds, and even fights against migraines and fevers. The cooling aspect of eucalyptus can even help with muscle pain.
Tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic oil. It works to heal skin conditions, burns and cuts, and also works as an insecticide.
Chamomile is used to help you unwind and de-stress. The mild-scented oil has a powerful calming agent and does offer antibiotic, antiseptic, and anti-depressant relief as well.
Many essential oils have been shown to be safe when used as directed. With that said, there may be side-effects to these oils, especially when mixed with other medications. If you or your loved one is pregnant you should be extra cautious about which oils you use.
Using essential oils can be extremely beneficial for caregivers and their aging loved ones. Make sure to do your research and talk with your doctor or aroma therapist to determine the best oils for you and your needs.