For thousands of years, civilizations from the Egyptians to the Greeks have used essential oils to treat mental illness and fight disease.
But what does the latest research have to say?
As it turns out, the active compounds in essential oils can have profound effects on the nervous system, digestive system, and immune system.
You can use essential oils by…
Each essential oil has its own unique health benefits. Some are great for rubbing into the skin, and others are ideal for aromatherapy.
Here’s how to use essential oils to invigorate your health and home:
Essential oils are highly-concentrated aromatic compounds found in the organic matter of certain plants.
When cold-pressed, steam distilled, or otherwise extracted, they can have profound effects on human health.
Essential oils contain phytochemicals and terpenoids that readily pass through cell walls and cross the blood-brain barrier, making them highly absorbable via the skin, nose, and digestive system.
Rub them on, breathe them in, or eat them up.
Here’s a closer look at the three ways to experience essential oils:
When applied to the skin, essential oils can fight pain and heal the skin.
For example, peppermint oil is known for its ability to reduce pain.
Other essential oils can treat inflammatory skin conditions like eczema.
Start by testing an essential oil in small areas to see how your skin responds to it. One of the best ways to do this is to mix it with fatty vegetable oils called “carrier oils.”
Common carrier oils include:
They work by spreading the essential oils across a wider surface area and extending its aromatic effects. Diluting pure essential oils with carrier oils also helps reduce the risk of skin irritations or allergic reactions for those with sensitive skin.
The modern-day science of aromatherapy was born in WWI when lavender oil was used to treat PTSD in soldiers.
However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that it became wildly popular in the United States.
Today, you can find all sorts of candles, lotions, and essential oil diffusers: a convenient way to spread essential oils throughout your home.
Some of the most popular essential oils for this method include lavender, tea tree, and rosemary.
When diffused, tea tree oil helps boosts immunity, and alleviate anxiety, as well as clear up congestion.
Rosemary oil is another good option that has shown to have positive effects on cognitive function and stress reduction.
Certain essential oils, like peppermint oil, can have soothing effects on the gut when taken orally.
However, there are a few words of warning when ingesting essential oils:
Citrus oils are great natural household cleaners.
Lemon oil, for example, contains two powerful antimicrobial agents: limonene and b-pinene. Together, they make an effective natural cleaning tool.
By adding 2-3 drops of pure lemon oil to half a cup of water, you can make your own DIY cleaning product. Spray it on countertops and sinks to protect your home from harmful bacteria.
A 2017 study found that citrus oils may inhibit the growth of Listeria monocytogenes: a potentially harmful bacteria sometimes found in minced beef.
Other DIY home uses include:
Plus, by going all-natural, you’ll avoid the harsh chemicals found in conventional cleaning products.
Other popular essential oils for the home include tea tree oil, peppermint oil, pine oil, lavender oil, and eucalyptus oil.
And these are just a few of the essential oils that are out there.
From pain relief to chemical-free cleaning solutions, there are dozens of ways to use essential oils to enhance your health and home. Start by diffusing scents into a room, or add a few drops of essential oil to your next shower where the hot water can vaporize the aromas. But no matter how you choose to implement essential oils into your everyday routine, they have plenty of potential benefits to provide.