Essential oils have long been used for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits, to promote a feeling of calm, aid in healing and overall well-being. These plant extracts have been prepared in such a way as to capture the scent or ‘essence’ of the plant.
Ancient cultures such as the Egyptians, Indians and Chinese have used aromatic plants, oils and balms for thousands of years. The power of scent has been used in temples to create an ambience of peace and contemplation through the burning of incense, to assist in prayer and divination as well as being a fragrance to adorn the body.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways essential oils can bring benefits to your life.
How Essential Oils Can Improve Your Life
From promoting better sleep and lowering stress levels, to improving moods and boosting energy, essential oils can offer a wide range of benefits. Here's a look at how essential oils can improve your life, and some tips on how to get started.
These days, increasing numbers of people are turning to alternative approaches to their health by opting for natural and holistic remedies rather than pharmaceutical drugs which may cause unwanted side effects. Certain essential oils are known for their pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
Basil oil is a natural muscle relaxant that can relieve stressed, tense or fatigued muscles and can assist with the symptoms of arthritis while peppermint, cinnamon or clove can act as an anesthetic helping to reduce the sensation of pain.
A commonly used oil to treat the pain of headaches and migraines, peppermint oil can help to relax muscles, ease pain and calm the nervous system. It is thought this is achieved by the menthol which acts on the skin’s cold receptors to create a cooling effect.
Some other essential oils which can assist in reducing pain include rosemary, eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, clary sage and chamomile oil.
Stress and Anxiety Relief
The power of olfaction has long been recognized for its ability to elicit an emotional response by evoking certain memories and stirring feelings within us. The use of essential oils through aromatherapy can be used as an aid for relaxation and can provide positive effects when it comes to your mood and emotional well-being.
Renowned for promoting relaxation, lavender oil is commonly used for its stress-relieving properties and its ability to bring calm to the nervous system. This calming herb can be used in conjunction with anxiety medication to reduce your body’s fight-or-flight response. Jasmine oil can also help to reduce stress and improve your overall mood.
Other essential oils which can assist you with stress and anxiety include sandalwood, valerian, ylang ylang, frankincense, bergamot, rose geranium, and chamomile.
Science now shows us the connection between our gut and our emotions due to the influence of the Enteric Nervous System (ENS) or ‘second brain’ within the gut. As our moods and emotions are greatly influenced by the neural networks in the gut, by looking after your digestive system you are also helping your emotional wellbeing.
Essential oils can help to remedy a variety of stomach problems including constipation, bloating, flatulence, cramps and IBS.
Peppermint is one of the most popular essential oils for aiding digestion and improving sluggishness. Its soothing effect on the smooth intestinal muscles can help to relieve the build-up of gas assisting with heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux. Other oils which can support your digestion include clove, cardamom, mandarin and ginger.
Hair oiling has been practiced by many cultures for thousands of years to help facilitate hair growth and improve scalp health. Natural oils such as jojoba, almond and coconut oil are now commonly used in shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products to enhance your hair’s strength, shine and length.
Offering a natural way to replenish your hair, your hair care regimen and scalp can both benefit from adding a few drops of essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner or to a carrier oil such as sweet almond or coconut oil. By penetrating the hair follicles and shafts your hair can become stronger, shinier and longer. Some of the benefits for your hair include:
- Peppermint oil can increase blood flow to the scalp helping to reduce dryness and dandruff
- Tea tree oil has cleansing and antibacterial properties and can stimulate hair growth by opening up clogged follicles
- Rosemary oil can boost blood flow to the scalp, promoting hair growth and reducing breakage
- Lavender oil can improve scalp health and its relaxing properties can help reduce stress-related hair loss
- Bergamot oil can help with hair growth, reduce frizz and stimulate blood flow to the scalp
Essential oils can not only improve the condition of your hair, they can also add a beautiful fragrance to it. With all of the health and beauty benefits offered by essential oils outlined in this article, isn’t it time you incorporated them into your life?
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