Aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, is the use of a variety of different essential oils for the purpose of targeting both mental and physical ailments. Essential oils have been used for over 6000 years, so the practice is nowhere near new. However, it has recently, within the past ten years or so, become more popular amongst the average person.
There are essential oils for every ailment and different blends to help with specific issues, such as stress, digestion, inflammation, energy, and more.
There are also various ways essential oils can be used and a way to use them that fits each person’s specific needs.
To learn more about aromatherapy and how it can be used to better your livelihood, keep reading.
What Are Essential Oils and How Do They Work?
Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, a type of alternative medicine that uses herbs and plant extracts to support healing and overall being. Most essential oils are compressed and extracted herbs, making them highly potent in their natural form. Basically, the essential oils capture the plant’s essence, whether it be the scent of the plant or its healing properties.
Through inhalation or topical application, essential oils can be used to help reduce the effects of diseases and illnesses that are both mental and physical, along with providing relaxation.
They work by absorption, either through the skin or through the airways. While essential oils are not meant to be swallowed, they are safe to inhale. The inhalation of essential oils will stimulate your limbic system.
Your limbic system controls your emotions, sense of smell, behaviors, and long-term memory. It’s also involved in creating memories, which is why memories may be triggered when you smell certain things.
The limbic system also helps to control breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. So, when using essential oils, they can sometimes affect the limbic system, altering those specific functions and helping them to function better.
While these claims are generally unresearched and don’t have a lot of science to back them up, many people speak on the effects of essential oils and how they help to improve different areas of their life, and treatments like aromatherapy massage are increasingly popular.
Essential Oils for Every Ailment
The best thing about essential oils is their ability to work for multiple different conditions. No matter what you’re experiencing, there’s probably an essential oil or essential oil blend out there to help you. While essential oils won’t remove the problem, they can help to make it more bearable.
Aromatherapy products are especially useful if you've had bad side effects when taking over-the-counter medicines or you’re looking for some relief without having to take traditional medication.
Anxiety and Stress Relief
Stress and anxiety are very common amongst adults (and teens) in the present day, and it’s one of the more common uses of essential oils. Essential oils can help to calm the mind and body, making you feel relaxed when you’re experiencing moments of high stress or anxiety.
If you’re experiencing a rapid heart rate, a mind that won’t slow down, and other symptoms of anxiety, working with some essential oils can help to calm you down. The best essential oils for stress and anxiety are:
- Ylang ylang
Everyone develops a headache or a migraine every once and a while, and for those who experience them frequently, you may want to keep some essential oils on deck. To relieve headaches with essential oil, dilute your essential oil in a carrier oil and apply it to your temples. The best essential oils to use for headache include:
- Roman Chamomile
- Eucalyptus oil
Sore muscles, inflammation, and pain can be annoying to deal with throughout your everyday life. Using essential oils can help to relieve any pain you may be feeling, especially in association with sore muscles, arthritis, and swelling. Essentials are a great option for post-workout healing. The best essential oils to use for pain and inflammation include:
- Black pepper
- Clary sage
Focus and Energy
If you’re looking for an essential oil to help boost your mood, help you focus on work, and give you the energy you need to get through a workday, try one of the following:
- Peppermint oil
- Sweet orange
- Citrus oils like lemon and lime
It can be hard to fall asleep, especially if you experience insomnia, depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses. To get the best use out of your essential oils, trying using them in an air humidifier. That way, you’ll get the benefits of both the essential oils and the added humidity, which can also help you fall asleep. For essential oils, try:
- Ylang ylang
Different Ways to Use Essential Oils
There are many ways in which you can use essential oils. They can be applied topically, run through an essential oil diffuser, or used in an air humidifier.
Essential oils can also be used in a variety of other products, such as body oil, shampoos and conditioners, skin care, lotions, and more. Each method has its own pros and cons. For example, tea tree oil may be included in skin care in order to help clarify the skin and keep it free from acne.
Most importantly, you should always remember to dilute your essential oils and never use them straight from the container. They’re incredibly potent and can cause damage to the skin in their purest form.
That’s why it’s important to use either a carrier oil (such as avocado oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, or coconut oil) or an essential oil diffuser. Essential oil diffusers are a great way to introduce oils into your environment safely throughout the day. It’s also easy to change the oil type you’re using, allowing you to experience all kinds of relief throughout your day.
Aromatherapy: Uses, benefits, oils, and risks | Medical News Today
What Is Aromatherapy and How Does It Help Me? | Healthline
What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work? | Healthline