Are you deep in the midst of winter doldrums? Do you have trouble waking up in the morning and feeling good at work?
If you’re not feeling your best, you might want to consider taking essential oils. There are more than 90 essential oils available commercially, and their benefits range from simple relaxation to anti-microbial protection.
In this article, we’ll give you the inside scoop on the benefits of essential oils. Whether you’re using cinnamon for digestion or peppermint for relaxation, you’ll learn about which oils are right for you.
What are essential oils? Basically, they’re organic compounds that are extracted from fruits and plants.
Terpenes are the building blocks of essential oils and can be combined into more than 15,000 effective home remedies. You can learn more about essential oils and terpenes here.
One of the most important essential oil benefits is relaxation. Lavender and marigold are great together: just put a few drops onto your pillow at night.
Lavender has anti-viral properties and also works to boost your immune system. Other essential oils that work well for relaxation include rose, peppermint, and lilac.
In general, try to find organic essential oils for home use. You can find them online or in most health food stores.
Surprisingly, essential oils can minimize outbreaks of psoriasis. You’re looking for organic tea tree oil, long used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
You don’t have to use more than a few drops of most essential oils to get their benefits. Mix two or three drops of tea tree oil into a small bottle of lotion and then apply as needed.
Tea tree oil has been studied for its ability to neutralize odor-causing bacteria in the mouth, as well as for its ability to treat rosacea.
Lemongrass and peppermint can also help treat skin problems. Lemongrass and clary sage have both been used in lotions for decades to calm down and relieve painful skin irritations.
While tea tree oil can also be used to spot treat acne, there is another essential oil that works wonders on facial blemishes. Rosemary is commonly used to treat mild to moderate acne and can be incorporated into a facial wash or soap.
Other benefits of rosemary include stimulation of the brain, a noticeable decrease in stress hormones, and stimulation of the heart.
If you’re wondering how to use essential oils, consult with your doctor or naturopath before you get started. They might recommend that you inhale the essential oils several times per day, or that you put them into a dehumidifier.
Above all, don’t ingest essential oils, even if they’re organic. You can use them in massage oil, as a face cleaner, or even in candles.
No essential oil benefit list would be complete without discussing eucalyptus. It’s been used for centuries to treat congestion and upper respiratory illnesses.
Eucalyptus has a strong mint smell and is typically added to humidifiers and diffusers. It kills the flu virus and has also been used as a weed killer.
If you have a problem with outdoor insects during the summer, spray your back patio with eucalyptus-infused water. The essential oil kills bugs and will allow you to enjoy your time outdoors.
Cinnamon essential oil also has anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties. Just remember, essential oils aren’t meant to be swallowed. Keep yourself safe by putting drops on your pillow or by using them in a spray.
We all know someone who suffers from anxiety or depression. Anxiety affects more than 40 million people in the United States, about one in five American adults.
But what’s a good essential oil for calming down and feeling better? The answer might be lemon.
Lemon peel or essential oil can be added to vinegar and used as a household cleaner, but also works well in diffusers and humidifiers. It can help repair sun-damaged skin and has anti-bacterial properties.
Sweet orange oil can also help put the “zing” back into your step. If you’ve been feeling under the weather and just generally depressed, try a combination of lemon, sweet orange, and grapefruit essential oils.
Bitter orange can also help with depression and anxiety, but it should be used alone instead of in combination with other essential oils.
One of the best health benefits of essential oils is increased appetite. If you’re always feeling a little bit queasy, you might want to consider using peppermint or chamomile essential oils.
Peppermint is known for its stomach-calming effects and its oil can be massaged into the skin. It’s safe to use externally on pets and children, though cats might not love the smell at first.
If you’re going to use peppermint essential oil with your kids, let them smell the oil in the bottle first. Make sure they know not to lick it off their skin, then put two to three drops onto a wet, warm washcloth.
You can even put a single drop onto their favorite blanket or stuffed animal. You should find that with a little bit of peppermint essential oil, indigestion is a thing of the past.
Peppermint also helps people who have trouble sleeping at night, or who have nightmares.
Long-Term Benefits of Essential Oils
No matter how old you are, organic essential oils are worth working into your budget. You might not realize you have trouble sleeping, for example, until you experience the deep sleep that lavender or peppermint can bring.
Or you might be so used to having digestion problems that you don’t realize how sick you feel all the time.
Talk to your doctor about essential oils to make sure they don’t conflict with any medication you may be taking. When you start to use essential oils, just do it once per day so you can monitor any side effects you may experience.
The long-term benefits of essential oils can include restful sleep, improved digestion, and decreased risk of cancer. We have a wide range of articles about health, fitness, and all things Toronto.
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