Health Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils have been used for centuries, mainly for their pleasant aroma and have been added throughout history to soaps, perfumes, cleaning supplies, and even food flavoring. More and more research is emerging, analyzing the effects of essential oils on our health. Various essential oils can affect us in wildly different ways but in general, they tend to have anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, they can also cause irritation, so always proceed with caution.
In this article, I will summarize the benefits of some of the more popular oils.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils and has been proven to have good antimicrobial effects against a lot of strains of bacteria, yeast, and fungi.
Lavender oil is also an effective treatment for mild to moderate anxiety. For this specific purpose, it's most effective when inhaled or ingested and it can reduce stress, anxiety and improve mood. This oil is a great choice when you feel jittery or overly anxious. You can also use it in your bath when you want to relax or maybe even spray a few droplets on your pillow right before you go to bed.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is effective against certain oral pathogens associated with tooth decay and gum disease. It also has a pleasantly cooling effect that can help with certain ailments such as itching and muscle pain. As far as the mental aspects go, peppermint oil has the opposite effect than lavender oil, it's a great energy booster that increases your alertness.
It is also a safe and effective short-term treatment for IBS and other abdominal and digestive issues.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
It is one of the most well-researched essential oils. Studies have shown it has powerful antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, meaning it's a great choice for anyone struggling with skin conditions such as eczema and other forms of dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, dandruff, and general itchiness. It should only be applied topically, concentrating on problem areas.
Lemon Essential Oil
This essential oil reduces the amount of sebum production, which means it's most suitable for people struggling with oily skin. As far as aromatherapy goes, lemon acts as a mood and metabolism-boosting energizer that clears the airways and promotes good airflow.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
This oil is often used in various over-the-counter medicines because it's a decongestant that helps with coughing and other symptoms related to flu and cold. It's a great treatment for many types of respiratory issues, such as asthma, sinusitis, and regular nasal congestion. Like many other oils, eucalyptus oil also has natural anti-microbial and antiseptic properties which is why it's often used in mouthwashes and other dental care products.
Warning: Essential oils should almost always be diluted, usually in carrier oils. If you decide to apply or ingest them, proceed with caution because they have the potential to be irritant or even toxic. Make sure you are educated about the correct usage of specific oils.