Essential oils have been used in different cultures for thousands of years. They have a wide range of medicinal and health uses. Most oils have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiviral, antibacterial and relaxing properties which means they can be used as natural remedies for different health problems. Considering the high healthcare bills we’re facing nowadays, they may be a great natural and safe option for numerous problems.
As a natural remedy, essential oils work without adverse side-effects, which is why you should have a few bottles at home. They are commonly used in aromatherapy and as personal beauty care products. As you may already know, essential oils come through distillation of different parts of plants including the bark, leaves, root and peel.
The oils can be so concentrated and powerful that even a drop can sometimes make the difference. The process of distillation separates the oil from the water by steaming, leaving you with an aromatic oil. Essential oils are sometimes called volatile aromatic oils due to their high concentration of aromatic compounds.
Before you decide using the oils and harnessing their power, you need to learn more about them. Here are 11 health benefits of essential oils:
1. Balance Your Hormones
Essential oils have been used to regulate hormones for a long time. They can naturally put your progesterone, estrogen, thyroid, cortisol and testosterone levels in order. The best oils for this purpose are geranium, thyme and clary sage oil which can regulate your progesterone and estrogen levels and resolve PCOS, infertility and menopausal symptoms.
According to a last year study, rose and geranium oils can stimulate the concentration of estrogen in the female salivary glands which is helpful for women suffering from menopausal symptoms. Essential oils can reduce your high cortisol levels as well which will improve your mood and treat anxiety and depression.
2. Reinforce Your Immune System And Fight Infections
Oregano and similar oils have antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which make them ideal for strengthening the immune system and fighting infections. Chemical substances in these oils such as esters, terpenes, phenols and ketones can fight any pathogen that might harm your health. Besides oregano, ginger, myrrh, cinnamon, lemon and eucalyptus oil share these properties as well.
Studies have shown that all these oils can destroy bacterial, viral and fungal infections including the most dangerous ones such as H. Pylori, Candida Albicans and S. Aureus infections. Due to antibiotic resistance becoming a big threat nowadays, treating these infections with the help of essential oils is surely the better choice.
3. Improve Digestion
Another great benefit of the use of essential oils is their ability to improve digestion. Ginger essential oil can stimulate digestion and treat indigestion, upset stomach, IBS and diarrhea. Most essential oils work by stimulating digestive enzymes which makes them break down and absorb nutrients, proteins and fats better.
Peppermint essential oils is another great oil for your digestion. Studies have shown that it can relieve IBS symptoms pretty quickly and without side-effects. Other oils great for your digestion are fennel, marjoram, black pepper and juniper berry oil.
4. Boost Your Energy Levels
Some essential oils can boost your energy levels and improve your athletic performance. These include rosemary, eucalyptus, grapefruit and lemon oil. A recent study discovered that all these oils work by improving the concentration of oxygen in the brain and reducing exhaustion, which will help you train better.
5. Improve Your Brain Function
For a long time, essential oils have been used to improve our cognitive performance and abilities and protect the brain from damage. Many studies have shown that some essential oils such as lavender can relieve the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, while also preventing free radical damage to the brain.
Lavender oil also has the ability to improve your memory and learning. According to studies, you only need a whiff of it to improve your cognitive performance.
6. Reduce Stress And Anxiety
One of the greatest benefits of essential oils is their ability to reduce stress and anxiety and help you relax. Lavender, Roman chamomile, ylang ylang and bergamot oil are considered the best oils for relaxation. In 2016, a randomized clinical trial discovered that inhaling rose water for about 4 weeks can treat anxiety and improve mood in depression patients. There have been other studies as well which have highlighted the aforementioned oils’ ability to treat anxiety and depression.
7. Relieve Aches And Pains
According to a recent meta-analysis of studies which have examined the effects of aromatherapy on pains and aches compared to placebos, essential oils work great and are far more effective than some treatments. The researchers evaluated 12 studies in total and found that essential oils such as chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, thyme, marjoram, turmeric, ginger, myrrh and frankincense oil can reduce pain.
All these oils can either be used aromatically or applied topically on the affected areas. Some experts say that a blend of some of these oils works best for neck and back pain than a single oil alone. We suggest talking to a naturopathic doctor who can determine what’s the best oil for your aches and pains.
8. Improve Your Skin And Hair Health
Many essential oils are commonly used as beauty products for your skin and hair as well. They can be easily incorporated into your personal care regime in order to treat common beauty problems. According to one study, there are more than 90 essential oils for dermatological use. Most oils can fight pathogens responsible for infections including dermatitis, lupus and eczema. The same oil (lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree, geranium, chamomile and myrrh oil) can also help you in cases of female pattern baldness, dandruff and similar scalp infections.
9. Neutralize Toxicity
Citrus essential oils as well as cinnamon, tea tree and peppermint oil can promote detoxification and remove toxins and chemicals from your body. Using them in the form of aromatherapy in your home will destroy toxins in the air and even improve your mood, sop why not give them a try?
10. Relieve Headaches And Migraines
One of the greatest benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils is their ability to treat headaches and migraines. Oils such as lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint oil can improve the blood flow in your body and have a cooling and soothing effect which works great against migraines. These oils can also reduce inflammation and eliminate the underlying problems for your headaches and migraines. Many studies have confirmed that these oils can reduce anxiety and stress and have a positive effect on headaches.
11. Promote Better Sleep
Essential oils such as lavender have soothing and relaxing properties which makes them an ideal remedy against insomnia and similar sleeping problems. All you need to do is put a few drops of the oil on your pillow before going to bed in order to sleep like a baby. Even scientific studies have shown that lavender oil can help against sleep deprivation and sleeping disorders including insomnia and the best thing about it is that it works without any side-effects.
When choosing essential oils, make sure to consult a naturopathic doctor. The market is flooded with oils of low quality which won’t work like the real thing. In order to get all the benefits essential oils offer, you need to get high-quality therapeutic grade oils which can relieve your health problems.