Essential oils: what they are, what they are for, benefits and how to use

You may have started to hear about the therapeutic possibilities of essential oils recently, but know that they were already widely used by our ancestors in religious ceremonies, aromatherapy sessions, medical treatments, and even as cosmetics.

What are essential oils?

Basically, the essential oil is a concentrated extract of herbs or flowers. What it does, as its name suggests, is to capture the volatile aromatic components of plants, which is why some have such an intense scent.

What is a volatile aromatic component?

They are small organic molecules that, in liquid or solid-state, quickly evaporate when subjected to room temperature. That’s why, when you open a bottle of essential oil, you can already smell its perfume, even from a distance.

Each aromatic component of a plant has a different chemical formulation. So there are soothing, stimulating, regenerating oils …

Why use essential oils? What are worth?

These are some examples of the chemical properties of some types of essential oils and their health effects:

  • Restauradores: Oils for physical and emotional support, which help to recover, strengthen, and even rejuvenate the body.
  • Invigorating: Oils whose goal is to bring joy and inspiration to the day. They encourage light, happy and lively emotions.
  • Energizers: Oils with properties that inspire motivation, determination, and energy. They usually have a more potent aroma, just to “wake up” the system.
  • Soothing: Oils that promote physical and emotional relaxation, used for meditation, stress relief, insomnia prevention, and other rituals.
  • Whitening and antimicrobials: Oils that can be widely used for aesthetic purposes, as they stimulate skin regeneration and fight harmful microorganisms.

How do essential oils work in our bodies?

When you deeply inhale the essential oil, the aromatic components are processed by the olfactory system in the brain, through the olfactory nerves. These nerves, in turn, are connected to our limbic system, part of the brain that takes care of our emotions, behaviors, and long-term memories.

That is why when we smell something, like some food that our grandmother made or someone’s perfume, we immediately remember something. And the response of the limbic system to the aroma of essential oils is usually invigorating, as when we need an extra dose of energy, or just calming and relaxing, ideal for stopping an anxiety reaction, for example.

Do essential oils have any proven health benefits?

## Relaxation and peaceful sleep

Lavender, for example, is a champion in terms of relaxation.
An examination distributed in the Natural Medicine Journal expressed that the aroma of lavender influences the limbic framework. There, it has a sort of quieting impact, diminishing side effects of nervousness, and unsettling. Furthermore, the most fascinating thing is that these impacts are practically prompt.
Another investigation reasoned that breathing in lavender basic oil for three minutes is sufficient to make us looser, feeling great, and with fewer uneasiness indications.

## Relieves headache and migraine symptoms

During the 1990s, two little examinations (one distributed in the diary Phytomedicine and the other in Cephalalgia) found that applying a blend of peppermint oil to the members’ brows and temples reduced migraine indications.
A comparative response was found in another investigation in 2014. Specialists inferred that a blend of fundamental oil of chamomile and sesame, when applied to the sanctuaries, can help lessen inflammation and, thus, diminish headaches and migraines.
According to the authors, the mixture of chamomile and sesame is inspired by a traditional Persian recipe for fighting headaches.

## Aromatic anti-inflammatory

Imagine a scenario where an essential oil could supplant that diclofenac tablet that you take at whatever point you feel the agony fix. All things considered, this is the situation with green cumin essential oil.
An examination at the University of Lanzhou, China, demonstrated that the oil is referred to as hindered incendiary markers in rodents with hypertension. Because it is an essential oil with very low toxic potential, the researchers believe that the ingredient can be added to everyday recipes normally, as an outlet to prevent and even treat chronic diseases triggered by inflammation

## Barrier against microorganisms

Another oil that has attracted a lot of people’s attention, especially women, is tea tree oil – or tea tree. Because it has antimicrobial effects, it is a good option to treat some infections, such as acne and pimples.

## Improves cognitive function

An investigation distributed in Psychogeriatrics absolutely assessed the advantages of four diverse fundamental oils for patients with Alzheimer’s illness: rosemary, lemon, orange, and lavender, at various times.

In the morning, patients inhaled a combination of rosemary and lemon oils; at dusk, they inhaled lavender and orange oils.

At the end of the experiment, the researchers subjected patients to cognitive tests and found that essential oils, in general, greatly benefited the cognitive function of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

## Regulates menstrual period and relieves PMS

The essential oil of sage clarifies is classified as the “woman’s oil”, because it is beneficial in the treatment of problems associated with the woman’s uterus, besides helping to regulate the menstrual period, relieving cramps and other more intense symptoms.

Sage clarifying oil is also recommended to control sebum production, being very suitable for those who suffer from excess blackheads and pimples, very common during PMS.

How to use essential oils

Now that you’ve learned quite a bit about the main essential oils, it’s time to put them into practice. There are basically five ways to use your oils:

  • Inhalation
  • Diffusion
  • Spraying
  • During the bath: drop a few drops on the bathroom floor, inside the box
  • Topical use: direct application on the body, in the case of a massage

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