What are the benefits of

essential oils

and how do I use them?

Essential oils are exceptional at improving overall wellness and are a welcome addition to any self-care routine. They can be used to relax and destress, ease anxiety, improve sleep quality, balance the symptoms of hormone fluctuations, soothe inflammation, and uplift mood. By stimulating our olfactory system, essential oils can affect our mood and memories. They can also have an antiviral, decongesting, and antimicrobial effect.

Essential oils have been used as a healing home remedy for centuries. Different scents are used for varying purposes. For example, lavender is often used to promote relaxation, sleep, and help alleviate headaches. Chamomile has a calming effect and supports the immune system. Rose has been shown to reduce anxiety, and when applied topically through efficacious skincare, the antioxidants in rose oil can soothe and hydrate skin, as well as help minimize acne, eczema, rosacea, and signs of aging. Grapefruit, invigorating in scent, is known for its antifungal properties. These are just a few aromas traditionally used in essential oil.

Essential oils are extracted from plants and capture the plant’s essence. After the essence has been extracted from the plant by cold pressing or steaming, effectively capturing the compounds that produce fragrance, it is diluted with a carrier oil such as sweet almond, olive, coconut, or jojoba oil. Scents range from traditional aromas such as peppermint, lemon, orange, and lavender, to more exotic notes like cedarwood, turmeric, bergamot, and pear blossom, among many others. They are sometimes blended to create a more complex scent or achieve a particular benefit.

Essential oils can be added to a warm bath, inhaled through essential oil diffusers, or applied directly to the skin. When applied topically, essential oils are absorbed into the skin. This mode of application may help soothe irritated skin or relieve itching from bug bites. Before applying to skin, however, perform a patch test to ensure you are not allergic to that particular oil or fragrance. When inhaled, essential oils trigger the limbic system, which is responsible for our emotions, behaviors, and long-term memories. Inhaling essential oils may help relieve headaches and encourage relaxation. Regardless of the application, scent is a powerful tool in changing our mood for the better, and essential oils are an optimal way to improve overall wellness. Essential oils designed for bathing, diffusing, or massage are not edible and should not be consumed.

Many people will find essential oils are a positive addition to their daily routine, but the use of essential oils alone should not replace regular doctor’s visits. The consistent use of essential oils, combined with other self-care practices, can be a wonderful stress-relieving practice and may help maintain or improve overall health.