26 Healing Benefits of Essential Oils
The practice of using essential oils as a natural method for improving and promoting good health is catching on like wildfire. While many cultures have been using essential oils for centuries due to their known healing powers, there is a renewed interest in essential oils use in modern times because of their positive effect on physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, many people are now bottling their own essential oils from their own kitchen for personal use.
Essential oils are parts of a plant in their highest concentration. The process of extracting the essential oils varies based on the type of plant being used. Some oils require a lot of the plant material to extract even the smallest amounts of oil. The more plant material needed to create an oil, the more expensive the oil will be. For instance, the Bulgarian Rose Otto is a popular floral essential oil which requires 500 pounds of rose petals to make just once ounce of its oil, averaging a retail price of almost $950 per ounce.
Using essential oils as a part of aromatherapy practices can go a long way to improving your overall mood and health. Just the smell of certain essential oils can help to reduce daily stress, calm mood swings, and ensure better sleep at night. Some essential oils can help boost your memory and ability to concentrate within a few minutes. Other oils can be applied topically to cure common ailments and medical conditions.
Using Essential Oils for Better Health
There are many more affordable oils available on the market and making them for your own use is a great way to ensure you are getting a high-quality oil you can rely on. Many of the most common oils are relatively easy to make at home and will help treat a wide variety of ailments.
Essential oils are not recommended to be applied directly to the skin. They are highly concentrated and can cause skin irritations and burns. Mixing the oil with a suitable carrier oil, such as almond or coconut oil, provides a safer method for skin application. Oils can also be mixed with a body lotion, adding 15-20 drops of oil for every one ounce of lotion. For a relaxing massage, add 10-20 drops of essential oils to a massage oil. At bath time, essential oils can be added directly to the bath water, using 8-10 drops to be effective.
Many oils rely on the inhalation of the scent to provide health benefits. These oils can be used on a cotton ball, tissue, or handkerchief from which the scent can be inhaled. Diffusers, which plug conveniently into a wall outlet, are also available to provide a constant scent of the oil.
Essential Oils for Mental/Emotional Health
- Lavender – Lavender is considered a very versatile essential oil. It has been shown effective for relaxing the overall mind and body. Research also shows the lavender scent reduces stress hormone levels in the blood stream. Lavender can be used in a relaxing bath or inhaling the scent through a diffuser.
- Chamomile – Also effective at relaxing the mind and body, chamomile is widely known as a tea used before bedtime to promote a good night’s sleep. A few drops of chamomile oil on a pillowcase is also recommended so the scent can be inhaled throughout the night. This oil is also recommended as a resource for children with hyperactivity issues.
- Peppermint – Peppermint essential oil has been found to improve mental alertness. The smell of peppermint oil has been shown to increase mental accuracy by 28 percent, according to a study at the University of Cincinnati.
- Frankincense – This essential oil has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for depression. Some cultures use Frankincense to increase spiritual awareness.
- Lemon – The essential oil of a lemon rind has been shown to boost alertness, focus, and overall concentration. Lemon oil can be used with a diffuser or mixed with a carrier oil and rubbed directly on the skin for instant inhalation.
- Juniper – This essential oil has been used for generations as a treatment for a number of mental and emotional health ailments including paranoia, anxiety, paralysis, and mental confusion.
- Basil – The oil of basil has been shown to provide mental clarity, increased concentration, decrease anxiety, and used as an anti-depressant.
- Clary Sage – This essential oil has been shown effective for the treatment of insomnia, paranoia, hysteria, and panic, working like a sedative.
- Bergamot – Bergamot is a popular choice for treatment depressive symptoms and works as a natural sedative for anxiety issues.
Essential Oils for Physical Health
A number of different essential oils have been shown to provide relief of symptoms for common health issues like colds and flu but are also being used to provide healing benefits for more serious medical conditions.
Several essential oils have been known to reduce the severity of acne including tea tree oil, lavender, peppermint, and juniper.
Allergy sufferers have been using essential oils from ginger, lavender, frankincense, and eucalyptus for treating allergy symptoms.
Breathing problems can be treated with essential oils like peppermint, marjoram, and eucalyptus.
Minor skin irritations including burns can be healed with essential oils including clove, lavender and tea tree oil.
Oregano offers anti-microbial properties to kill fungus and is effective at ridding the body of colds quickly.
Cinnamon oil has been shown to improve blood sugar balance for more effective weight loss and better control of diabetes.
Sandalwood is a natural way to increase energy. Peppermint and grapefruit are also used to provide the body with more energy.
To reduce pain caused by headaches and migraines, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and green apple essential oils have been successfully used in treatment.
Peppermint and eucalyptus are good for reducing pain in the muscles and joints. Frankincense also has anti-inflammatory properties.
To treat feelings of nausea and prevent vomiting, use mint, lemon, orange, ginger, or chamomile essential oils.
While no essential oil can cure a medical problem, there are proven benefits to reducing the amount or severity of symptoms while using essential oils. Anyone planning to begin using essential oils to treat medical problems should consult first with their doctor.
Other Uses for Essential Oils
Not only are essential oils good for better physical and mental health, oils can be used around the home as an alternative to cleaners and other products often filled with chemicals. Essential oils can be a safe, effective way to clean and refresh your home. Some ways to use essential oils around the home include:
Add three drops each of tea tree oil and lemon oil to several ounces of warm water to create a household all-purpose cleaner which will naturally disinfect surfaces and make your environment smell clean.
Essential oils in your favorite scents can be added to your washing machine (10-20 drops per load) to boost the cleaning power and refresh clothing. For extra dirty clothing, such as work clothes and sports equipment, mix 2 drops of tea tree oil, 2 drops of lemon oil, one quart of warm water, and four tablespoons of baking soda.
Bathroom Scum Remover
Get rid of scum build-up on shower walls and doors by mixing 4 drops of eucalyptus oil with 4 drops of tea tree oil and warm water in a 16-ounce spray bottle. This mixture will also kill mold growth.
Revive Burnt Cookware
A couple drops of lemon oil added to boiling water will remove the burnt remains of food on pots or pans.
To remove the waxy coating and clean fresh fruits and vegetables. Add 2 drops of lemon oil to a bowl of water and wash produce thoroughly.
Clean refrigerator as normal then add a few drops of grapefruit or lime oil to the rinse water.
Before running the dishwasher, add several drops of lemon oil to the load for spot-free cleaning.
Check for Quality
Making your own essential oils at home helps ensure you are getting the real deal. Many commercially sold essential oils are not as pure as they need to be in order to be effective for good health. Oils filled with synthetic materials are not the highest quality. By learning how to make your own essential oils at home, you can stock up on the essential oils you use most and you’ll ensure they are being prepared properly.
Essential bottles should be properly stored, out of direct sunlight, to protect them for the long-term. Dark colored glass bottles are a good natural protectant to the oils. In most cases, you’ll produce small amounts of the essential oils so choose the right-sized bottle for storage. As you get more invested in the process of extracting oils, there is additional equipment which can be used to produce oils more effectively. Starting out, you can use simple tools, like a crock pot, to extract the oils you want.
There is plenty to get excited about in the world of essential oils. Deciding to create and bottle your own oils at home is a great hobby to invest in. Producing helpful oils for yourself, as well as your friends and family may even open up additional avenues for a profitable side projects selling essential oils to others.