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AN ESSENTIAL OILS GUIDE: WHICH ONES HELP?

September 05, 2022 4 min read

AN ESSENTIAL OILS GUIDE: WHICH ONES HELP?

AN ESSENTIAL OILS GUIDE: WHICH ONES HELP?

Alternative and complementary medicine, such as essential oils, have increased over the past few years. There has been tremendous growth in the global aromatherapy market as many individuals adopt essential oils as alternative options. The potent essential oils, which have been around for centuries, are extracted from plants and used due to their scents and flavors. This article explains how to use essential oils.

Essential oils are strong plant extracts used for different purposes. They are volatile and highly concentrated plant extracts obtained using different extraction methods. Different plant parts produce different types of essential oils, though most are acquired from aromatic parts. For example, citrus oil is obtained from the rind, while rose oil is obtained from the rose petals. Most essential oils are natural, largely unreactive, and gentle on use. Consumers explain that these oils are more than 75 times more powerful than dried herbs. For effectiveness, one should handle the oil carefully by diluting them before applying them topically on the skin. Essential oils are unsafe for ingestion unless a consumer has a doctor’s prescription.

What Are Essential Oils?

The name comes from the function it has. Essential oil is the essence of a plant. Various highly potent and concentrated chemical compounds can be obtained from a tree's seed, flowers, roots, and barks. The plant's scent protects it from dangerous environmental conditions and assists with pollination, among other benefits. The oils can be obtained when the plant part is pressed or steamed to capture the compounds that produce the fragrance of these botanicals. One bottle of the essential oils is produced after steaming several pounds of plants.

Does Essential Oil Work?

Not everything can work for everyone in this life. Ali et al. (2015) explained that the main aspect of essential oils to an individual is they can be used to take care of hair, skin, and wellness concerns to help find the better possible solution for the consumer, which are natural. Patch tests are important before using the oils for an individual can know whether there will be any adverse effects from the topical application of the oil.

Smell

The essential oil usage is mainly through inhalation depending on the specific plant, as the body can be subjected to different effects of using the oils. Aromas can trigger physical and emotional responses, making people recall things depending on their smell. Most aromatic molecules from the essential oils are volatile as they quickly turn into gases and spread faster.

History of essential oils

The beauty of essential oils is easy to find. In ancient times, the properties of botanicals are found through trial and error or observation and application to other animals to cure diseases. Assefa et al. (2010) explained that observation and trial and error knowledge were passed down generations and eventually become herbal medicine. Individuals knew that burning some plant materials had unusual effects on civilizations. They then applied the smoke for different benefits and purposes. The ancient Egyptians mainly used aromatherapy and essential oils. They spent more years experimenting and researching on proper ways of distilling essential oils from plants into concentrate.

Types of Essential Oils

Lavender

It is among the popular oils and has all kinds of benefits for an individual. The floral scent can help people sleep and relax. When inhaled, it helps relieve headaches, itching, and swelling from bug bites. Some side effects of using lavender include nausea, chill, vomiting, and skin irritation.

Roman Chamomile

It features a combination of herbal aroma and floral lights, and it has the potential to put an individual’s mind at ease when inhaled or diffused through steam. Tabassum & Hamdani (2014) stated that roman chamomile is useful on an individual's skin and treating eczema and inflammation. Some associated side effects are individuals allergic to daisies and ragweed should avoid using the oil altogether.

Rose

It produces a sweet floral scent and helps reduce anxiety when inhaled. Rose contains antioxidants that help in treating acne and improve skin complexion. On adverse use, it is associated with skin irritation when applied topically. Individuals should be keen on using more carrier oil to benefit from rose oil fully.

Hyssop

It is a herbal, earthy, and sweet-scented essential oil. Hyssop minimizes skin scarring, reduces inflammation, and acts as a healing agent on the skin and cracks. However, it should not be used by pregnant women and individuals with a history of seizures.

Benefits of Essential Oil

Orchard & van Vuuren (2017) explained that aromatic essential oils could be used to treat skin conditions like eczema and acne, and soothe muscle inflammation. They can also be used in personal care, home cleaning, and for individuals' well-being.

How To Dilute Essential Oils

Diluting essential oils help avoid any potential skin reaction. The molecules of pure essential oils evaporate faster when exposed to air. Carrier oils are essential as individuals need to use them to increase the effectiveness of essential oils. Examples of carrier oils include olive oil, avocado oil, and sweet Salmond.

Conclusion

Essential oils are obtained from plants with different compounds. The oils treat various health conditions, including eczema and psoriasis, reducing inflammation and pain. However, an individual should seek medical consultation to help prevent adverse effects.

References

Ali, B., Al-Wabel, N. A., Shams, S., Ahamad, A., Khan, S. A., & Anwar, F. (2015). Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 5(8), 601-611.

Assefa, B., Glatzel, G., & Buchmann, C. (2010). Ethnomedicinal uses of Hagenia abyssinica (Bruce) JF Gmel. among rural communities of Ethiopia. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 6(1), 1-10.

Tabassum, N., & Hamdani, M. (2014). Plants are used to treat skin diseases: pharmacognosy reviews, 8(15), 52.

Orchard, A., & van Vuuren, S. (2017). Commercial essential oils as potential antimicrobials to treat skin diseases. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017.