What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work?
We hear a lot of talk about essential oils and using them as alternative medication, but do they work? Some oils are used on the skin and others are inhaled. There are more than 90 different types of essential oils below are the top 10 most used and reasons.
- Peppermint: used to boost energy and aid digestion
- Lavender: used to relieve stress
- Sandalwood: used to calm nerves and help with focus
- Bergamot: used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema
- Rose: used to improve mood and reduce anxiety
- Chamomile: used to improve mood and relaxation
- Ylang-Ylang: used to treat headaches, nausea, and skin conditions
- Tea Tree: used to fight infections and boost immunity
- Jasmine: used to help with depression, childbirth, and libido
- Lemon: used to aid digestion, mood, headaches, and more
Many studies have shown that the smell or use of some essential oils can work alongside traditional therapy. Below are some known health treatments:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Headaches and migraines
- Sleep and insomnia
- Reducing inflammation
- Antibiotic and antimicrobial
- environmentally friendly alternative to man-made mosquito repellents
- freshen laundry and aroma scents for the home
All oils do not work the same. Do your research and make sure you are getting oils that are truly “pure” or “medical grade.” Here are some key points to keep in mind when selecting your oils:
- Purity: Find an oil that contains only aromatic plant compounds, without additives or synthetic oils. Pure oils usually list the plant's botanical name (such as Lavandula officinalis) rather than terms like "essential oil of lavender."
- Quality: True essential oils are the ones that have been changed the least by the extraction process. Choose a chemical-free essential oil that has been extracted through distillation or mechanical cold pressing.
- Reputation: Purchase a brand with a reputation for producing high-quality products.
Always keep in mind that just because something is “all natural” does not mean it is safe for everyone. Also, look up how to administer to oil, most need to be diluted before using on skin or drinking. Here are some things to watch out for:
- asthma attacks
- allergic reactions
Do your research before starting any new treatments or ask your doctor if a new treatment is for you.