Essential oils are commonly used for aromatherapy purposes. It is a type of alternative medicine that utilizes plant extracts to help support a person’s well-being and health. However, there are some health claims related to these oils that are still controversial. Keep reading to learn more about essential oils and the health effects that they offer.
What Exactly Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils, like the ones used with diffusers from aromatechscent.com, are compounds that are extracted from different plants. The oils have captured the flavor and scent of the plant, which is also called the “essence.”
Each essential oil is unique and has a custom aromatic compound. It is possible to obtain these oils through distillation, through water or steam, or by using mechanical methods, including cold pressing. After these chemicals have been extracted, they will be combined with a specific carrier oil, which creates a product that is ready to be used.
The way that the essential oils are made is an important factor. This is because if an essential oil is created using a chemical process, it is not considered a “true” essential
Understanding How Essential Oils Work
Most commonly, essential oils are used during aromatherapy. This is when they are inhaled using different methods. It is important to note that essential oils are not created to be ingested or swallowed. The chemicals that are found in essential oils may interact with a person’s body in several ways. When they are applied to the skin, some of the plant chemicals are going to be absorbed. It is believed that with specific application methods, it is possible to improve overall absorption, like applying the oil with heat or to a different part of the body.
If someone inhales the aromas given off by essential oils, it will stimulate certain parts of the limbic system. This is a portion of the brain that has a role in regulating a person’s sense of smell, behaviors, emotions, and even their long-term memory. What is interesting is that the limbic system has a huge role in the creation of memories. This is why some smells will trigger certain emotions or memories.
The limbic system is also responsible for controlling various unconscious physiological functions. This includes things like a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. As a result, there are some people who have made the claim that the right essential oil can have a type of physical impact on their body. While this is something that users have claimed, it has not been verified in recent studies.
Potential Health Benefits Offered by Modern Essential Oils
Even though essential oils have become more popular in recent years, there is not too much known ab out the ability they have to treat specific health conditions. It is a good idea to learn more about some of the potential health benefits they offer to see if they are something a person should invest in.
1. Anxiety and Stress
It is estimated that as much as 43% of people dealing with anxiety and stress will use some type of alternative therapy to help overcome their symptoms. When it comes to aromatherapy, some studies have shown positive results. In fact, people who have used this treatment method have related that the smell produced by some essential oils will work with more traditional therapy for treating cases of stress and anxiety.
However, because of the compound’s scents, it is difficult to engage in blinded studies and to rule out any potential biases. As a result, there are some reviews that are conducted on anxiety- and stress-relieving benefits that are still inconclusive.
Something that is interested, though, is that when essential oils are used while someone is receiving a massage, it is beneficial in reducing stress. However, the effects usually only last while the massage is actually going on.
2. Migraines and Headaches
In the 1990s, there were two smaller studies that concluded that when someone dabbed on peppermint oil and an ethanol mix on their temples and foreheads, they could benefit from headache relief. There are more recent studies that have also shown a reduction in headache pain when lavender and peppermint oil was applied to a person’s skin. What is also work noting is that if someone applies a mix of chamomile along with sesame oil to their temples, it can help reduce cases of migraines and headaches. This is considered to be a Persian headache remedy.
3. Insomnia and Sleep
It is believed that if someone smells lavender oil, it will improve their sleep quality after giving birth. This is also effective for individuals who have heard disease.
4. Inflammation Reduction
There are some studies that suggest that essential oils may be helpful in fighting inflammatory conditions. This is because, with test-tube studies, the oils have provided some anti-inflammatory benefits.
For example, in a study that involved mice, when they ingested a combo of oregano and thyme essential oils, it reduced cases of colitis. A study that involved the use of rosemary and caraway oils discovered results that were very similar to those mentioned above.
Unfortunately, to date, there are not very many human studies that have been done. As a result, there is no guarantee that the use of these oils is going to impact inflammation in humans.
Using the Right Essential Oils
When it comes to using essential oils, there are more than a few factors to keep in mind. As anyone can see from the information here, there are some potential benefits to enjoy. The key is to know what oils to use and what benefits they potentially offer. Keep this in mind, and talk to someone who is more knowledgeable in the different types of essential oils that are used for health purposes. This is going to ensure that the desired results are achieved and that there are no adverse issues with the treatment that is given. Being informed is the best way to enjoy all the benefits that are offered by essential oils.