An Introduction to Essential Oils
One of the alternative health therapies that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a holistic healing process that uses essential oils extracted from plants to promote good health in mind, body and spirit. It is also called Essential Oil Therapy.
Is Essential Oil Therapy a New Fad?
Not at all! Do you know that Essential Oil Therapy has been used for thousands of years? Ancient Chinese, Indian and Egyptian cultures (and many other civilizations), used plant oils in balms and resins, or even as pure oils, for many healing processes.
However, it is the Persians in the 10th century AD who are credited with having perfected the distillation process of essential oils.
Sadly, with the rise of the West, chemical drugs became the norm for treatment, and such holistic healing methods were looked up as ineffective and something that only quacks would employ to hoodwink unsuspecting customers.
Thankfully today, people are beginning to rediscover the very real benefits of essential oil therapy!
How Do You Use Essential Oils?
Essential oils work through your sense of smell and through absorption via your skin. They are used in diffusers, spritzers, inhalers, bathing salts, body oils, lotions and creams, steamers, hot as well as cold compresses, and even in clay masks.
What are the Benefits of Essential Oils?
Today, there are about 100 different types of essential oils available, and each oil has a unique set of healing properties, effects as well as uses. You can also combine various oils to achieve a specific healing purpose.
Since there are so many different essential oils, and their permutations and combinations are endless, we will leave that discussion for another day. Here, let’s look at some of the main benefits of essential oil therapy.
- It helps ease stress and anxiety. Initial scientific studies conducted on the impact of essential oils on these conditions have been extremely positive (though holistic healers have known this as a fact for centuries!).
- It helps reduce headaches and migraines. While many people swear by their essential oils for cure their headaches and migraines, science is only just reaching the same conclusion! Two studies conducted in the 1990s have clearly show that peppermint oil mixed with ethanol dabbed on the temples of patients eased their symptoms tremendously. Further studies have shown that peppermint oil and lavender oil combined were even more effective in soothing headaches and migraines.
- It helps with insomnia and other sleep problems. Scientific studies show that lavender oil can help those with sleep disorders.
- It helps with inflammation reduction. A few test studies carried out showed that essential oils could help with reducing certain inflammatory conditions.
- Essential oils have antibiotic as well as antimicrobial properties. Oils such as tea tree oil, peppermint oil and others have antimicrobial properties. These oils can also help fight fungal infections as well as viruses.
Essential oils are also great for soothing sore joints, helping improve digestion, reducing the side-effects of chemotherapy, easing labor pain, and even boosting immunity!