Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for many applications, but over the last few years essential oils and aromatherapy have become really popular. But, before we start using them, it’s good to learn a little more about them. We need to know what they are, what they are useful for and how to use them safely.
Essential oils are aromatic, volatile liquids and are a concentrated and distilled extract of the flowers, leaves, fruits, bark, roots and seeds of a plant. They have the aroma of the plant from which they are extracted. Тhe range of essential oils is great – from flavoring the bath to changing the mental and emotional state. They have the property of positively influencing vitality, active mental activity, sexual desire, elimination of apathy, improvement of comfort and tranquility. Because of their curative properties, essential oils are often used to prevent and cure many diseases such as treatment of stressful conditions, viral and fungal infections. They are also widespread and are used very successfully for cosmetic purposes. Their qualitative absorption from the skin cells makes them a credible, hydrating and vitamin agent. And if you use them the right way they can be helpful. You may add them to vegetable oils, creams, bath gels, also you might smell them or rub them on your skin.
Most popular essential oils – benefits and properties
Lavender– calming, reduces anxiety, insomnia, depression, wound healing, itch relief, burn treatment, general skin care, hair growth, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial.
Chamomile – sedative, insomnia, digestion, skin health, hair health, relieves, stress, contains potent antioxidants, reduces irritation, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, for children is great (comforting and soothing).
Rose – cell regenerative, nourishing the emotions, relieves and reduce stress and anxiety, depression, headaches, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, migraines.
Eucalyptus – anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, beneficial for cold/flu season, helpful in sinus and respiratory infections.
Peppermint – relieve nausea, digestive aid, muscle and joint pain, antispasmodic, relieves migraines, energizing.
Rosemary – scalp health, stress reduction, brain health, colds and flu, expectorant, bronchitis, sinus congestion, energizing.
Ginger – relieves nausea, support immune system, digestive, constipation, anti-inflammatory.
Tea Tree – anti-inflammatory, insect repellent, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, support immune system, hair health.
Lemon – antioxidant, immune enhancing, dish detergent, antibacterial, hair health, anti-stress.
Clary Sage (Salvia) – relieves stress, relaxing, antidepressant effects, anti-inflammatory effects, improved digestion, antibacterial effects, improved circulation, blood-pressure-lowering.
Oregano – Antibacterial, antioxidant, fungal infections, anti-parasitic, reducing inflammation, relieve pain.
Geranium – anti-inflammatory, anti fungal, antiseptic, antiviral, мenstrual relief, hemorrhoid treatment, hormonal imbalance, urinary tract infections, skin regeneration, hair health, brain clarity and concentration.
Grapefruit – weight loss, immune support, helps burn cellulite, improves blood circulation, anxiety relief, antibacterial, anti fungal, antiseptic, antiviral.
Orange – immune boosting, cold and flu prevention, improved digestion, skin health, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antidepressant.
Frankincense – immune support, skin health, respiratory support, meditation.
Cypress – heals wounds, prevent infections, removes toxins, reduces stress, alleviates respiratory conditions, reduces cellulite, edema, menstrual pain, muscle pain.
Fennel – digestive, diuretic, relieves flatulence, eases abdominal pain, protects the liver, menstrual Irregularities, supports a healthy lymphatic system, regulates blood sugar, remedy for sore eyes, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial.
Lemongrass – antiviral, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidepressant, antiseptic, deodorant, disinfectant, cleansing, diuretic, stomach health, pain-reliever, relieve, headaches, easing stomachaches.
Combinations of essential oils also give excellent results. I personally use them for fatigue, headaches and colds. I could say that are very effective and work great for me and my family. Usually, I use diffuser. The combinations of essential oils that I use are:
– exhaustion – lavender, rosemary and geranium
– headache – chamomile and lavender
– cold or flu – eucalyptus, mint, lavender and rosemary.
During winter I use eucalyptus oil (preventive) and I put only a few drops in a candle once or twice a day. Not every day, just three or four times for about five days, something like that. Аnd definitely has a good effect.
General guidelines for using essential oils:
– Always dilute essential oils in carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, etc.). Generally the carrier oil is an oil that is used to dilute the essential oil to make it safe for topical use. Carrier oils contain antioxidants and vitamins, which is a great bonus.
– Essential oils can not be diluted in water.
– Keep all oil bottles tightly closed, in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
– Always keep the oils in glass or porcelain, never in plastic.
– Essential oils are diluted in carrier oils and then added to natural creams and homemade masks.
– Sometimes after the use of essential oil a slight reddening occurs on the skin which disappears shortly thereafter and is not a problem. However, if it is accompanied by itching or some other discomfort, this oil is probably not for you or you have exceeded its dose.
– When using an essential oil for the first time, note how it affects you. For example, the oil can perfectly fit your skin, but its fragrance may worsen your health or you can not tolerate this scent.
– Pay attention to the instructions for what the oil is intended for. For example, if it improves vitality and activity, it is not desirable to use it at bedtime. Conversely, if the oil produces a sense of relaxation, do not use it in the hours when you don’t need it.
– Most essential oils are safe to use, but some some of them can only be used aromatically and should not be applied to the skin or taken orally. So, you have to pay attention to their intended use and stick to those applications.
– When using citrus oil, do not expose the skin to sunlight for at least 6 hours.
– Before applying the oils on the body, perform a test. Apply a small amount of diluted essential oil to the skin (inside the wrist). Wait 1 – 2 hours and if there is a reaction, do not use the oil on the skin.
– It is best to use genuine, high-quality, therapeutic and pure essential oils.
– And also it’s important to select oils that do not contain synthetic components.
– Most essential oils have a shelf life of 12 to 18 months.
Essential oils during Pregnancy
You have to be very careful if use essential oils during pregnancy and breastfeeding, because they have a tendency to affect a person’s hormones. Although, most oils are considered safe during pregnancy, it is recommended to consult with a qualified clinician during the initial stages of a pregnancy because the action of oil on hormones can create hormone imbalances. Be careful also during breastfeeding, because certain products can decrease milk supply.
Using essential oils for Babies and Kids
The use of essential oils for babies and kids is only by inhalation and by applying to the skin, never internally. Because kids have less-developed organs compared to adults, and they are susceptible to damage whenever a new substance is introduced to them. You have to be very careful and to use oils that are safe for kids. Have in mind that for younger children, the percentage of essential oil is smaller, the dilution is greater.
To avoid unwanted reactions from the use of oils in babies and children, it is important to consult a specialist. It is also advisable to test the oils first on a small area of the baby’s skin for possible irritation. After the test, it is important to wait 24 hours. If the skin gets red or rashes, do not use the oils. Last but not least, do not test more than one oil in a single day.
Before using essential oils in babies or children, check that they are appropriate for their age. Have in mind that the doctors do not recommend the use of essential oils on babies younger than 3 months. Many oils such as lavender and chamomile have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic action, and are beneficial to babies after the third month. Others, such as thyme, are not recommended for use in children under two years of age.
What to Avoid
Essential oils should normally be kept away from children, from certain parts of the body such as eyes and ears, and injured parts of the skin, as they can cause some irritation. You have to consult your doctor about which types of essential oils you can use when you are being treated or when you are using specific types of medicines. Also, if you have low blood pressure, epilepsy or other illness, essential oils should be avoided. Read the instructions carefully before applying essential oils and if you have any specific problems consult your dermatologist.
If the essential oils accidentally fall into your eyes, use a cotton cloth with fatty oils like sesame or olives. In cases where essential oils cause skin irritation, use small amounts of cream or vegetable oil on the affected area, and immediately stop using this product. If a child accidentally consumes essential oil, it is advisable to immediately take him to a hospital and bring the bottle for identification. Also, in order to neutralize the harmful effects of the product, encourage the child to consume milk.
How to use essential oils Aromatic
Aromatherapy is the classic way to use essential oils. There is a connection between scent and emotions. Ocean air, fresh grass, lilac scent or freshly baked biscuits are some of the scents we associate with specific emotions. And aromatherapy can provide the same emotional and physical responses on cue. Aromatherapy is essentially inhaling essential oils and the way to do so is by using a diffuser, air fresheners or candles.
How to use essential oils Topical
This is another way of using the essential oils. They are rapidly absorbed by the skin, because of their molecular structure. When applied topically, it takes about 20 minutes for an oil to affect every cell in the body and then metabolized within a few hours. The key to using essential oils topically is to dilute them properly, because most of them are too strong to be used directly on the skin without being diluted. Some of the ways of using essential oils topically are Simple inhalation, Baths, Massages or Saunas.
How to use essential oils Ingestion
To use essential oils in this way it is best to first consult a health care specialist with experience and education. Remember that essential oils are highly concentrated – for example, a drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 26 cups of mint tea. Some aromatherapists believe that swallowing essential oils can be difficult for the liver and the digestive system. But others believe that internal use have great results.
Instead of experimenting, it’s good to educate yourself and find what works for you, but working with someone who is familiar with the use of oils internally.
Essential oils are one of the best healing, cosmetic and aromatherapy products available. The result of their properly applying can be amazing. Also, it is important to use essential oil safely. They should be used in accordance with prescriptions and precautions should be taken into account. The chemical composition shouldn’t contain allergens and the recommended ingredients need to be mixed with the proper quantities.
Carefully read the labels and choose oils that are cold pressed (not hot pressed) because the vitamins in them are preserved in the most complete form. To find the best essential oils for you, I would encourage you to compare and try a few different brands. To find the most effective use the essential oil for about a month. However, it is better to consult a specialist before choosing to use any essential oil!
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