As fall approaches, we want our homes to smell good to create a warm comforting environment. But what exactly are they and what do they do? According to heathline.com, essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. They are created through the process of distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing.
Essentials are mostly used through the use of aromatherapy, but can also be used inhalation, or by diluting the oil then rubbing the oil on the skin. When the oils are inhaled, the fragrance of the essential oils can stimulate parts of your limbic system which is the system of your body involved with motivation, emotion, learning, and memory. Because the limbic system has been linked to the formation of long-term memories, it is thought that it helps with the association of various smells to certain memories. In addition, the limbic system contributes to some of our unconscious physiological functions, such as our breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. This is why some individuals believe certain essential oils can trigger various physiological responses.
Going to buy an essential oil, you can be overwhelmed with the variety of types and brands but how do you know the oil you are getting is the best one. Be mindful of three things when going to purchase an essential oil.
- Purity: do your best to buy an essential oil without any added “buffer oils”. As a tip, using
- Quality: make sure your oil is chemical-free to get the most out of your oil
- Brand Reputation: choose a brand known for its high-quality products
Just like anything, you have to be mindful of possible side effects. Although these oils are natural, there is always the chance one might be allergic or have an allergic reaction. Common side effects include rashes, asthma attacks, headaches or any other form of an allergic reaction. Just like anything, essential oils should never be your final fix for major ailments but for minor things, essential oils are a great way to boost your health naturally and holistically.
Below you will find 12 popular essential oils and if you haven’t already, try one for yourself!
- Peppermint: Used to boost energy, help with digestion (acid reflux/heartburn and gas), alleviate headaches, reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, helps with congestion & reduces germs (particularly in the mouth)
- Eucalyptus: Used for reducing congestion and stuffy noses, fighting germs (especially respiratory infections), reducing fever, eliminating headaches & boosting the immune system
- Tea Tree: Used for healing acne, treating athlete’s foot and other fungal infections, reducing dandruff, treating bad breath and killing mouth germs, insect repellent, congestion and cough (due to cold), fight infections and boost immunity
- Lavender: Used for stress relief, sleep and pain relief, reduced inflammation and improve digestion
- Bergamot: Used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema.
- Rose: Used to improve mood and reduce anxiety and feelings of depression, decrease menopausal symptoms and menstrual cramps
- Rosemary: Used for boosting memory and mental clarity, reducing congestion and sinus problems, soothing headaches, alleviating muscle pain and cramps and fighting against depression and anxiety
- Chamomile: Used for improving mood and relaxation, promoting relaxation and inducing sleep, lifting the mood and relieving depression, and fighting bacteria (sores, acne, mouth)
- Ylang-Ylang: Used to treat headaches, nausea and skin conditions (promoting wound healing, and diminishing the appearance of scars when applied to the skin)
- Jasmine: Used to help with depression, childbirth, increases libido, relaxes spasms and body, regulates period cycles, fights depression and insomnia, and treats eczema
- Lemon: Used to aid digestion, mood, headaches, freshening the air, killing germs in kitchens and bathrooms and reduce pain (arthritis, gout)
- Sandalwood: Used to calm nerves as a slight sedative, helps with focus, is an antiseptic, can be ingested to help lower blood pressure.