The Benefits of Essential Oils: A Comprehensive Guide

Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments and to improve overall health. There are over 90 commonly used essential oils, each associated with certain health claims.

The most popular oils

include peppermint, lavender, sandalwood, cedarwood, and ylang-ylang. Studies have shown that these essential oils can be used to reduce headaches, improve sleep quality, and even fight off bacteria and viruses.

In addition, some essential oils can be used to repel insects and extend the shelf life of food. However, it is important to use essential oils correctly in order to reap the benefits without any adverse reactions.In the 1990s, two small studies found that applying a mixture of peppermint oil and ethanol to the forehead and temples of participants relieved headache (16, 17). Recent studies have also observed a reduction in headache after applying peppermint oil and lavender to the skin (18, 19). Lavender oil has also been found to improve the quality of sleep of women after childbirth, as well as patients with heart disease (21, 22).

A review examined 15 studies on essential oils and sleep. Most studies showed that smelling oils, mostly lavender oil, had positive effects on sleep habits (2).Test tube studies have extensively investigated essential oils, such as peppermint oil and tea tree oil, for their antimicrobial effects, and some positive results were observed (31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38). Oils that have been most commonly associated with adverse reactions are lavender, peppermint, tea tree, ylang-ylang.Cedar wood is earthy and naturally wood-smelling. It is used for a number of topical beauty treatments.

Studies have shown that these benefits include fighting acne, treating eczema and reducing dandruff. In addition to all this, it also supposedly helps reduce arthritis and relieve coughing.Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefit. When inhaled, the aromatic molecules of essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially affect the amygdala - the emotional center of the brain. Simple scents like lavender, chamomile and rose water can help you stay calm.

You can inhale or rub diluted versions of these oils into the skin. Scientists believe they work by sending chemical messages to parts of the brain that affect mood and emotions.Although these scents alone won't take away all your stress, the scent can help you relax. Some smaller studies have found that people had less headache after applying peppermint and lavender essential oil to their skin. One study even found that there was no significant difference between using peppermint oil to reduce pain and taking acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol).

Lavender in particular has been shown to increase the ability to fall asleep and wake up with an incredible sensation.Some essential oils could help prevent inflammation according to Dr. Research on mice and petri dishes has found that oils such as lavender, thyme and oregano may be good for this but more human studies are still needed. Coffee is fantastic but a little mint can also help stimulate it according to Dr.A small study found that men who used peppermint oil could perform better in the gym than those who didn't. However more research is needed in women.

A study of pregnant women found that those who smelled lemon oil when they felt sick had significantly less nausea and vomiting in the days after that than women who did not.The side effects you might face depend on the oil you're using and how you're using it according Dr. The key is to stay within a sweet spot of 15 to 60 minutes never breathe essential oils for more than an hour at a time. Always follow the instructions on the bottle and if you are taking any medications or have a chronic health condition consult your doctor before starting aromatherapy.As with any other medication essential oils must be used correctly for health rewards. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing has created a fully online 15-hour course on the clinical use of essential oils available on the Coursera platform.Meanwhile essential oils made from citrus fruits increase the skin's reaction to sunlight and can result in burns.

Some oils produce toxins that can damage the liver kidneys and nervous system especially if taken internally.Essential Oils and Aromatherapy May Have Heart Health Benefits But Evidence Is Inconclusive. Some people take essential oils orally in teas supplements or even through one or two drops on the tongue.In addition the properties of essential oils indicate that some of them could be used industrially to extend the shelf life of food (39 40 41). Despite their widespread use little is known about the ability of essential oils to treat certain health conditions.Interestingly the use of essential oils during a massage can help relieve stress although the effects can only last while performing the massage (1). In one study tea tree oil was as effective as a prescription antifungal cream in relieving symptoms of a fungal infection of the feet.Undiluted essential oils are very potent and direct skin contact with certain oils can lead to inflammation and a severe rash that requires medical intervention.From relieving insect bites to making your home smell good essential oils offer a wide range of potential benefits.

If you find that your essential oil bottles are starting to take up too much counter space you definitely need a sort of organizer. Studies have shown that some oils such as citronella can repel certain types of mosquitoes for about 2 hours.