Health

Amazing Healing Benefits of Aromatherapy

13. It is crucial to know and understand how each oil interacts with your specific needs.  Most topical and inhaled essential oils are considered safe. However,… Trista - December 9, 2020

When someone chooses to utilize essential oils and aromatherapy, there are some things they should know and watch out for. Shutterstock

13. It is crucial to know and understand how each oil interacts with your specific needs. 

Most topical and inhaled essential oils are considered safe. However, you should never take essential oils by mouth unless you are under a trained professional’s supervision. Some oils can be toxic, and consuming them by mouth can be fatal. Although extremely rare, aromatherapy does occasionally induce some side effects. These may include a rash, asthma, health, and liver and nerve damage. If you find yourself experiencing any side effects after doing aromatherapy, you should talk to an aromatherapist or doctor.

Aromatherapist . Image via Shutterstock

Essential oils that are high in phenols, such as cinnamon, can be irritating to your skin. You will want to add water or a base massage oil such as almond or coconut to the essential oil before applying it to your skin. You should avoid using the oils near your eyes. Essential oils are also highly volatile and flammable, so you should never use  near an open flame. Some animal studies suggest that active ingredients in certain essential oils may interact with some medications. However, it is unclear if they have the same effect on humans. Eucalyptus, for instance, may cause certain drugs to be less effective. For example, studies show that eucalyptus can alter pentobarbital for seizures. Likewise, amphetamines for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may become less effective.

Aromatherapy works through the sense of smell and skin absorption using diffusers, body oils, and hot compresses. Shutterstock

12. People usually use aromatherapy through inhalation or as a topical application.

Inhalation is breathing the air when the essential oils evaporate into the air using a diffuser container, spray, or oil droplets. Apart from providing a pleasant smell, aromatherapy oils can provide respiratory disinfection, decongestant, and psychological benefits. Inhaling essential oils works to stimulate the olfactory system, which is the part of the brain connected to smell, including the nose and the mind. Molecules that enter the nose or mouth then pass to the lungs; from there, these particles travel to other parts of the body. As the molecules then reach the brain, they impact the limbic system, linked to emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance. Inhaled essential oils can offer a subtle, holistic effect on the body.

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On the other hand, some do aromatherapy through topical applications. That includes massage oils or bath and skincare products soaked in oils and absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is going to be applied can boost circulation and increase absorption. Some people have argued that more affluent regions in sweat glands and hair follicles such as the head of palms of the hand can more effectively absorb the oils.

Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy, which means people use it alongside another practice. However, sometimes instead of conventional medicine. Shutterstock

11. Aromatherapy is becoming increasingly recognized by both the scientific and mainstream medical communities for its physical and mental health benefits. 

As a complementary therapy, it does not provide a cure for diseases, rashes, or illnesses. Instead, it can work to support the conventional treatment of various conditions. Experts have found that many essential oils have varying degrees of anti-microbial activity. They believe that the oils have antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. Aromatherapy applications include massage, topical applications, and inhalation. However, any user should be aware that some perceived natural products also contain chemicals and can be hazardous if misused. It is important to follow the advice of a trained professional when using essential oils.

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Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils have a variety of healing benefits. Studies show that essential oils reduce nausea, body aches, fatigue, headaches, and circulatory problems. Aromatherapy has been around for nearly 6,000 years, intending to improve a person’s health or mood. People incorporated essential oils into resins and balms to treat various ailments. Ancient scientists understood through experience and passed-down knowledge that individual plants and their extracts were useful for treating a range of conditions from respiratory infections to menstrual cramps. In addition to the traditional methods of use, people add oils to hair care products, liquid soap, and bathwater.

Aromatherapy can boost your cognitive performance. Shutterstock

10. One of the most appealing benefits of aromatherapy is its ability to boost energy. 

We have all experienced that mid-afternoon slump where our energy has become wholly depleted. While some of us may reach for more coffee or an energy drink, essential oils offer a natural alternative. A study was conducted and concluded that aromatherapy significantly benefited cognitive performance, physiological responses and reduced subjective stress. Certain essential oils can help combat that afternoon slump and can revitalize your senses. In turn, you will feel re-energized to finish out the rest of your day. Most all citrus essential oils are full of antioxidant terpenes such as limonene. That is primarily found in the lemon essential oil and contains naturally energizing effects.

Lemon oil. Image via Freepik

Lemon oil also works to promote concentration and has calming properties that will decrease anger and anxiety. Next to lemon, peppermint is the best option to help give that second boost of energy. Peppermint can improve exercise performance, reduce exhaustion feelings, and increase brain oxygen concentration. If you find yourself experiencing feelings of tiredness during the day, try incorporating some peppermint or lemon essential oils throughout your office space to give you that extra pep in your step.

Digestion issues can be debilitating. The good news is that aromatherapy and essential oils can aid in effective digestion. Shutterstock

9. There are a variety of essential oils, including basil, that can help improve digestion.

Smelling the aromas from the food jump-starts our digestive system by stimulating the release of digestive fluids in our mouths, stomach, and small intestine. A few of the common essential oils used to aid in digestion include ginger oil, peppermint oil, lemon, and rosemary. People use ginger to improve digestion and reduce nausea. It can also help treat constipation. It has digestive stimulatory effects that can increase gastric motility. Peppermint oil contains antispasmodic properties, which can help relax the muscles in the digestive tract. That can help ensure that any consumed food moves smoothly and efficiently through the digestive system.

Rosemary essential oil. Image via Freepik

Lemon essential oils are highly concentrated and contain many healthy antioxidants that can improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Both factors allow the digestion process to run more smoothly. Rosemary essential oil has a spasmolytic effect, which means that it relaxes muscles and suppresses muscle spasms. Like peppermint oil, rosemary essential oils can help jump-start the digestive system and get things moving as needed. You can mix these essential oils into a massage lotion or add a few drops to an air diffuser to get the full benefits.

You are going to have sore muscles from time-to-time, especially after a workout. Why not heal them with essential oil? Shutterstock

8. Sore muscles and pains do not have to last all day due to essential oils that can reduce your physical pain. 

Several essential oils can help to alleviate chronic or acute inflammatory pain. Peppermint, helichrysum, and marjoram all have benefits that can treat acute pain, tension, and swelling. These can be used individually or in combination with each other. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which has a cooling effect on sore, achy muscles. It also contains analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Helichrysum oil works to relieve muscle spasms, inflammation, and pain. Marjoram oil also relaxes muscle spasms and tension and is known for easing pain and inflammation. Lavender oil offers calming and soothing properties.

Eucalyptus oil. Image via Freepik

Similar to peppermint, eucalyptus has a similar cooling effect of reducing pain and inflammation. For more chronic pain, users should try nutmeg oil, which contains anti-inflammatory qualities and reduced joint swelling. Externally, it can be used to relieve rheumatic pain. If you are experiencing a toothache, try using some clove oil as an emergency treatment. Lastly, for any skin ailments like a rash or minor cut, try using tea tree and coconut oil. No matter what your physical pain stems from, there is likely to be an essential oil or combination of essential oils to relieve pain and inflammation.

Stress is a part of everyday life and impacts everyone in different ways. Shutterstock

7. If you live with chronic stress, you may want to incorporate some essential oils into your life to reduce those stressors. 

One of the best-known essential oils in aromatherapy is lavender oil. People rave over lavender oil for its calming effects on the body and mind. Studies show that spraying lavender oil on clothing is extremely effective in reducing work-related stress for multiple days. You can find lavender oil in various aromatherapy products that range from bath salts to massage oil. Another way to take advantage of the soothing scent of lavender is by sipping on lavender-infused herbal tea. You can typically find them in many natural-food stores.

Lavender oil. Image via Freepik

Overall, lavender has a calming effect on the body and is extremely useful in reducing stress. Another essential oil that can be used in aromatherapy to reduce stress levels is neroli essential oils. Doctors say that breathing in the scent of this essential oil can help promote calmness and limit or reduce excessive worrying. A third essential oil you can take advantage of if you are feeling stressed is frankincense essential oil. Did you know that the sweet, woody scent from frankincense aids in relaxation and easing stress? Any of these essential oils can help reduce stress in day-to-day lives, but a combination of them would offer you a greater benefit.

Some people use essential oils to boost their natural health. That can include the growth of their hair or the combination of their skin and scalp. Shutterstock

6. Essential oils are a powerful tool to have for natural and healthy living. Many oils, including lemon, peppermint, lavender, and oregano, offer great, natural health benefits. 

One of the most popular essential oils is lemon, which has natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antihistamine properties that make it a great natural cleaner. Lemon essential oil is excellent for making your own cleaning products that will kill bacteria and leave your home with a great lemon scent. You can add a few drops to your shampoo to invigorate your senses in the morning and stimulate hair growth. Another useful essential oil to be used daily is peppermint oil. Merely sniffing the oil can increase your concentration and focus. That would be a great option to have while working since we might need a little extra brain boost during the day.

Oregano oil. Image via Freepik

Thirdly, diffusing lavender oil can help reduce stress and promote calmness and better sleep habits. While other benefits include better digestion, lavender can help boost both hair growth and skin health. Not to mention that the smell of lavender is pleasant to have in your home. Oregano oil is a familiar ingredient when cooking Italian food, but it also has other health benefits. It is a powerful oil, so you should always dilute it with either water or coconut oil before applying it to the skin. Diluting the oil with coconut oil and rubbing the mixture on sore muscles helps to speed up the recovery of those muscles.

Sleep is a vital component of our overall health and wellbeing. Shutterstock

5. If you are experiencing trouble sleeping, try incorporating some essential oils such as lavender and bergamot. 

Essential oils are beneficial if you are experiencing difficulty sleeping. Many essential oils are popular for their natural sedative properties and can help you fall asleep and ensure that you are getting quality sleep. Some of the more common essential oils used to induce sleep include lavender, valerian root, frankincense, and bergamot. As discussed earlier, lavender provides the body with an overall calming impact that can help when it is time to unwind and relax at night. Experts widely use bergamot in aromatherapy. It come from the peel of a citrus fruit and can help lessen stress and induce sleep by promoting relaxation.

Bergamot essential oil. Image via Freepik

Bergamot essential oil may also improve negative emotions and fatigue and lower saliva cortisol levels, which are the body’s stress hormone. Bergamot is a potent oil that you should always combine with a carrier oil before applying it. However, it can also be irritating to the skin, so it’s vital to be cautious of that. Rather than applying directly to the skin, you could sprinkle a drop or two into an aromatherapy diffuser. People have used valerian root for hundreds of years. Why? The valerenic acid has sedative and calming effects. Frankincense can alleviate anxiety and help promote the calmness that is needed to induce quality sleep.

Many people experience anxiety at some point in their lives. Although some people are going through medicinal treatments, some are seeking a more natural solution. Freepik

4. Essential oils used in aromatherapy can help relieve anxiety that many people feel day-to-day. 

Many essential oils can work to reduce anxiety. These include frankincense, rose, lavender, and bergamot, among others, as they all have calming aromas. Lemon essential oils come from the lemon plant leaves. Experts know they have sedative and anxiety-reducing properties. Rich in linalool, a compound found in lemons, oranges, and lavender, practitioners often recommend lemon essential oils to relieve stress, improve your mood, and reduce signs of anxiety. Like lemon essential oil, orange essential oil contains an aroma suggested to alleviate anxiety. Studies have shown that participants who inhaled sweet orange essential oil did not increase anxiety during an anxiety-inducing situation.

Essential oil massage. Image via Freepik

Another type of orange essential oil known as bitter orange, was reduced anxiety during a simulated public speaking event. Another commonly used essential oil to reduce anxiety is neroli. Proponents claim that breathing in the scent of this essential oil can help promote calmness and reduce excessive worrying resulting from anxiety. Those who inhaled neroli oil had lower systolic blood pressure. Lastly, lemongrass has been a natural relief for anxiety. By inhaling the scent of lemongrass or applying it sparingly to the skin, promotes relaxation, and reduces anxiety symptoms.

Another significant healing benefit of essential oils includes their ability to strengthen immune systems. Shutterstock

3. There are many essential oils, including oregano, tea tree, and eucalyptus, that work to strengthen your immune system.

Your immune system health is one of the most critical factors in determining our overall well being. A properly functioning immune system helps your body fight off disease and keeps you happy and healthy. Now more than ever, we should be doing everything we can to keep our bodies’ natural defense systems running at peak performance. Tea tree oil is melaleuca. It is one of the most efficient and useful essential oils for immune system support. Experts highly regard tea tree for its outstanding anti-microbial properties and its ability to stimulate the immune system, fighting off infections. Being one of the more gentle essential oils, it is easier to incorporate tea tree oils into your daily routine.

Eucalyptus essential oil. Image via Freepik

Eucalyptus essential oils are often used in natural cold and flu remedies and are a fantastic decongestant that can help clear your respiratory tract and prevent infection. Multiple studies have shown that merely inhaling eucalyptus oil helps to fight bacteria that can cause infections. We’re all familiar with oregano as the herb that compliments many Mediterranean food dishes. Were you also aware that as an essential oil, oregano also has powerful healing properties? Similar to some other essential oils, oregano is antibacterial, antiviral, and has immune-promoting properties. These properties make oregano an excellent oil for fighting infection, which is an integral part of maintaining a healthy immune system.

You may find your mind wandering from time-to-time, which is normal. However, if you find that your mind is daydreaming more than it should be, you might also be struggling to focus. Shutterstock

2. You can use essential oil aromatherapy to improve focus, concentration, and alertness by stimulating certain parts of the brain. 

Stimulate the brain areas that control emotions, motivation, and regulation of memories and hormones. This brain structure is the limbic system. It is directly connected to the olfactory system. As the aromas of essential oils travel through the olfactory system to the limbic system, they influence your emotions. The limbic system contains the amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. These brain structures are responsible for forming emotional responses and memories, indexing and storing memories, and regulating emotional responses. Inhaling essential oils for aromatherapy can influence emotions and memories.

Inhaling aroma. Image via Shutterstock

Certain essential oils directly impact improving focus and concentration by stimulating the limbic system that controls memory, learning, and alertness. One of rosemary essential oil’s primary benefits is to improve brain focus. People specifically use it to improve concentration and information recall. Research shows that inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil can help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain that is critical for thinking, concentration, and memory. Lavender promotes a calm and relaxing mindset, which can indirectly improve focus and concentration. By calming nervousness and reducing stress, lavender essential oil can help promote clearer thinking and improved focus. For those that have an overactive mind, lavender can be beneficial.

As part of a healthy lifestyle, including stress reduction, good quality sleep, and a nutritious diet, essential oils can make a difference. Shutterstock

1. Essential oils can help with restoring hormonal balance and good health. 

Hormonal imbalance is when the ratio of some hormones to others is out of whack. Each hormone has a specific task to carry out, and if the levels are too high or too low, it can lead to some uncomfortable symptoms. Hormones are sensitive, and many factors can impact your levels, so it’s crucial to look at the whole picture when assessing your health. One of the best essential oils for restoring and maintaining hormonal balance is clary sage. Studies have shown that clary sage can improve thyroid hormone levels and aid in balancing estrogen levels. Aromatherapy has also shown to be an effective relief for menstrual cramps.

Frankincense essential oil. Image via Shutterstock

When it comes to balancing hormones, frankincense essential oil is an excellent option for balancing the function of T3 and T4, the thyroid hormones. Frankincense oil can reduce inflammation and decrease cortisol, which significantly impacts proper thyroid functioning. Since inflammation is a sign of autoimmune diseases, frankincense can help reduce these symptoms as well. Experts research lavender essential oil. Studies show it has a beneficial effect on hormonal balance, pain relief, and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. Lavender lowers the amount of cortisol released by the adrenal glands. Since it is an adaptive oil, lavender can be beneficial in hormonal balance because it can adapt to your body’s specific needs. If one hormone is too low and another too high, lavender can help level out both without adverse side effects. 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-aromatherapy#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10884#using_aromatherapy

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