What's All The Fuss About Essential Oils?
If you're an avid follower of all things health and wellness (or even if you’re not), chances are that you’ve heard about essential oils recently. There seem to be so many different uses, applications and benefits from these oils, but what exactly are those benefits and why should you care?
Essential oils are aromatic substances extracted from the skin, bark, flower, seeds or roots of plants that protect them from disease or insects. When you use them, basically you are harnessing the healing, protective qualities of certain plants.
Historically, oils have been used by many different populations for thousands of years including in ancient China, India and Egypt. Even Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, was using plants as his basis to heal ailments - their known healing benefits have been underlying health, wellness and beauty practices for centuries.
Only recently have we abandoned ‘natural’ ways of living, where most of the things we use on a daily basis are synthetic - from air fresheners and cosmetics to cleaning products and medicines. Many of these products are filled with toxic chemicals like Benzyl acetate, arsenic and dioxin, which are linked to all forms of diseases. With modest estimates suggesting that we are exposed to more than 700,000 different toxic chemicals on a daily basis and the average person receiving 72% of their toxic chemical exposure at home, essential oils offer a safe and natural alternative to chemical and pharmaceutical products.
So, if you're interested in living a more natural life (that isn’t as full of toxic chemicals), here are 5 reasons why you should try essential oils:
There are many oils that can help to detox the body but those that contain citral (a chemical compound found in the citrus fruit family which helps induce detoxification enzymes) are arguably the most beneficial. Oils such as lemongrass, lemon myrtle and lemon will do the trick.
Application: Add 5-6 drops of citral-rich oils in your diffuser for an aromatic detox!
2. Immune System Boost
Essential oils can also be a great way to strengthen your immune system. Oregano oil is a powerful antimicrobial that can help fight off infections.
Application: For preventing and alleviating sinus infections and colds. Put a few drops of oregano oil in a pot of steaming water, and then inhale the steam.
Frankencense oil is also considered a powerful tonic. In addition to reducing anger and stress, it benefits all the systems operating in the body, including the digestive, respiratory, nervous and excretory systems.
Application: Add 4-6 drops of this oil in your diffuser or you can place it on the soles of your feet, wrists or back of the neck.
Research shows that essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, frankincense and sweet orange play a role in quelling anxiety and stress. Lavender in particular has been known for its role in suppressing anxiety, supporting mental alertness and even helping you sleep.
Application: Add 5-6 drops of these oils in your diffuser to invite some calm and overall well-being into your day.
4. Keep Germs Away
Some essential oils contain phenylpropanoids which have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Use oils such as oregano, tea tree, cinnamon and peppermint to help fight off infection - ridding the body of bacterial, viral or fungal issues.
A tip for those of us who are pimple prone - studies show the impact that tea tree has on reducing acne.
Application: These oils can be applied to the soles of your feet or direct to the area (depending on what you’re treating).
5. Clarity & Concentration
Peppermint is an oil all-rounder, but its one of many benefits include its ability to improve focus and clarity. All you need to do is take a whiff and voila! You can also place some topically on your wrists or temples, using carrier oil such as coconut.
Lemon oil is also great for increasing concentration and alertness. Research indicates that lemon increases dopamine levels, assisting with improving moods and fighting depression.
Application: Diffuse in the office or while you're studying to stay focused and on task. You can also rub the lemon oil on your wrists and inhale for a quick pick-me-up!
There you have it, just a few reasons why integrating essential oils into your every day routine can boost immune system functioning, detoxification and overall well-being. This is only a very small window into all of the different applications of oils, but provides a step toward transitioning away from relying solely on chemical and pharmaceutical products.
Check out Melbourne Oils and Wellness for daily oil tips.
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