Essential Oils, Are They A Passing Trend?
Do you use essential oils in your life? If so, aren’t they great! If you don’t, why not?
The intent of this week’s article (and next week’s as well) will be to share 30 reasons why I think you should consider adding aromatherapy essential oils into your life.
If you haven’t actually used them, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. I’m sure many of you have seen the cute little bottles of oils in your grocery or drug store. Maybe you think they are just a new “trend” that will pass. In my opinion essential oils are here to stay and for good reason, well, 30 good reasons!…and more
The idea of using organic plant material for health and overall well-being is nothing new. People have been doing this for thousands of years. In fact, my husband and I use essential oils on a daily basis for all kinds of reasons. Yes, they smell great but that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the plethora of benefits these awesome plant oils have to offer.
What are Essential Oils? How do they work?
Essential oils come from plant material. Plants have amazing abilities that help them survive and thrive in the world. For example, they can:
- create scents/chemical compounds that attract particular insects to them for reproduction purposes
- create scents/chemical compounds that repel other types of plants to grow nearby
- create scents/chemical compounds to protect and provide immunity from a wide range of organisms
When you really think about it, it becomes clear that we use these oils (from the plants) for many of the same reasons as the plants did in the first place. We use essential oils to attract (perfumes) and even repel (bug spray), and we use them to protect and provide immunity. Plants are a huge part of our very existence, beyond the reasons listed above. We rely on plants for the very oxygen we breathe and the food we eat.
We can utilize the essences or “lifeblood” of plants by extracting their oils in a variety of ways including:
- Steam Distillation
- Solvent Extraction
- CO2 Extraction
- Cold Press Extraction
- Water Distillation
Essential oils can be used in three ways. Inhalation, using them topically or oral ingestion. My personal preferences are to use them in a diffuser and topical use.
There are so many reasons to start practicing aromatherapy. I am pretty excited to share what I know. Let’s begin with the first 15 of 30 reasons.
1. Air Freshener
Ah, the wonderful scent that hits your nose when you walk through a flower garden, when you slice some fresh ginger, after a rain storm, when you are baking a pie, etc. One of the many gifts from nature is aroma.
Why would anyone choose to freshen up their home, car, office, or anywhere with a chemically infused product when we can capture natural scents and use them anytime, anywhere?
To make your own air freshener, simply add 20 drops of oil into a 2 oz spray bottle and fill the rest with water, spray as needed.
Using a natural air freshener made with essential oils not only makes your environment smell great but you will also be getting the multitude of other benefits that are associated with the particular oil you use.
2. Improves Memory and Concentration
Do you ever experience the inability to concentrate? Do you wonder why you can’t recall things that you know you should? Do you sit in meetings at work and find that your mind wanders? As you may have guessed, there’s an oil for that! There are several actually.
Peppermint, Frankincense, Lemon, Basil, Sage, Lavender, Cypress and Rosemary are a few examples.
Why not take advantage of essential oils instead of another coffee on those days when you need a little extra mental clarity. These oils can easily be mixed with a carrier oil and tossed in your purse or pocket to use at your convenience throughout the day. Sounds good, right?
For more information on this subject check out the article entitled Essential Oils for Concentration and Memory.
Check out these handy roller bottles! I have personally used them to carry my oils with me. They work great!
3. Warm Up on Those Chilly Days
Do you have less than great circulation? Do you live in a cold climate? I live in a part of the world where winter can last for 5-6 months. Staying warm can be challenge at times. Some essential oils increase blood flow, and this means they can help us stay warm.
Oregano, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Myrrh, Ginger and Frankincense are examples of oils that can work in this way.
Adding a few drops of warming essential oils to unscented body lotion and applying it to your skin is a great way to get the circulation going. Diffusing oils into the air or adding a few drops (diluted with a carrier oil) into your bath works great too!
For more detailed information about this subject, check out this article entitled Warm and Cozy Essential Oils.
4. Headaches and Migraines
I am very lucky, I don’t struggle with headaches and migraines very often. When I do, I diffuse peppermint or apply one or more of the following oils to my temples, neck or wrists using a roller bottle.
Peppermint EO is a popular choice! The active ingredient is menthol, studies have indicated that it can relief migraines. Rosemary and Lavender EOs are both thought to ease tension and ease pain of headaches and migraines. Other oils that are helpful are Chamomile, Eucalyptus and Sandalwood.
For further information about studies regarding essential oils and headaches you may like to check out an article I have published entitled Essential Oils for Headaches and Migraines. 🙂
For even further information regarding research in this area, you can check out the two links below.
5. Natural Body Spray/Mist
Make your own body spray or mist with essential oil. Here are several reasons you might like this idea:
- • To cleanse and refresh skin
- • To cool down an overheated body
- • For a natural lingering scent on the skin
- • For deodorizing purposes
- • To uplift a dull mood
- • To calm down the mind and body
- • To create a relaxing effect
- • For skin rejuvenation
If you want more information about making your own body mists, check out this awesome article I found on a website called The Miracle of Essential Oils. Here you will find instructions and recipes to create your very own body mist.
Making your own body mists can be less expensive than choosing a store bought product plus you will know exactly what you are spraying on your skin. It’s also a great deal of fun! Create blends you love! Great gift idea too!
6. Boost Your Immune System
Despite the fact this is #6 on my list of reasons to use essential oils, it is one of the main reasons I practice aromatherapy. I am convinced that my immune system is working in optimal condition due to regularly using essential oils.
I am employed in a classroom of young children, and this classroom is located in a hospital. The potential for me to run into a ton of germs is very high. I rarely get sick when others around me are suffering from colds/flu and other illnesses, I rarely get sick. When I do get sick, the symptoms are less intense and pass quickly. This may sound too good to be true but I am convinced the essential oils that I diffuse on a regular basis are boosting my immunity and helping me stay healthy.
There are many oils that can boost your immune system. My favorites are Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary and Frankincense.
For more information on this topic check out the article entitled Boost Your Immune System with Essential Oils.
7. Enhance your Libido
Yup…there’s even an oil (several) for that! Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to “get you in the mood”. LOL I wrote an article about this very topic entitled Jasmine Essential Oil – An Oil for Romance.
Despite the lack of research and studies, there are many that believe the scent of Jasmine can aid with conditions such as premature ejaculation, frigidity and impotence.
8. Essential Oils to Fight Anxiety and Stress
There are a number of different oils that can help when we are feeling anxious and stressed. Have you considered using essential oils to help yourself relax? Perhaps you feel anxious while driving in heavy traffic, or stressed before a social event. Essential oils can help!
When we feel stress, our bodies create a hormone called cortisol. A certain amount of this hormone is good as it helps to regulate the body to meet its physiological demands. Too much cortisol is detrimental to our overall health.
Inhaling essential oils can improve our stress response by calming our sympathetic nervous system which in turn will lower our cortisol levels. That is very beneficial!
For more information and to find out which oils can help check out this article entitled Essential Oils for Emotional Healing.
“I have an advertising relationship with the stores/ businesses that I link in this post. I will earn a commission when you shop through my link with no added cost to you.”
9. Cleaning With Essential Oils
Lots of store bought household cleaners actually contain essential oils. EOs are powerful and have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Unfortunately, many of the products available on the market can also contain chemicals that may not be good for you.
You can easily make your own cleaners for almost any job around the house!
Lemon, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Orange, and Tea Tree are among the popular choices used in making DIY cleaning products.
I have written a few articles that include information about cleaning with essential oils. Check them out! 🙂
10. Do You Need Help Falling Asleep?
You guessed it, essential oils can help with that too! If I am feeling too wound up before bed, I just put a few drops of lavender in my diffuser and fall off to sleep.
The knowledge and use of essential oils is growing, even in the commercial market. In fact, just the other day my daughter was away for the weekend and the hotel she was staying in provided an aromatherapy Sleep Well Balm in the room. It was made of Chamomile and Lavender. Knowing that I love this kind of stuff, she sent me these pictures!
There have been several studies showing that smelling Lavender has positive effects on sleep.
11. Kids Love Them
I’ve heard many people say that their kids love using essential oils for all the same reasons adults do. Why wouldn’t they? I’m not saying our kids don’t need modern medication when needed, we all do. I’m all for visiting the doctor and the benefits of modern medicine when needed. I’m suggesting that essential oils could be the first line of defense when it comes to things like cough and cold symptoms, headaches etc.
Robert Tesserand (a respected authority in the field of aromatherapy) and the well-known Essential Oil Company Plant Therapy have designed a line of Kid Friendly oils. Pretty cool!
12. Hangover Relief
It’s been quite some time since I had to use my essential oils for a hangover…LOL. But, yes, essential oils can be used to help ease the discomfort we feel after having a few too many drinks.
Headaches, low energy, dehydration, nausea and vomiting, inflammation, and low blood sugar are some symptoms of a hangover. The following oils have been used to ease this discomfort.
- • Grapefruit
- • Sandalwood
- • Lavender
- • Peppermint
- • Lemon
- • Rosemary
- • Eucalyptus
- • Ginger
Use your diffuser, apply topically or add to your bath (in a diluted form).
13. Hair and Scalp Health
If you check your shampoo and conditioner bottles you may see essential oils listed as an ingredient. This isn’t a surprise when you consider all the wonderful benefits of essential oils, is it?
Some examples of essential oils that are great for your hair are: Chamomile, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender, Rosemary and Sandalwood.
Essential oils should never be applied directly to your skin or scalp, always use a carrier oil. Carrier oils are used to dilute the essential oils and help “carry” them into the skin. Some carrier oils are great for your hair and scalp. Some wonderful examples are Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Moroccan argan Oil, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil.
14. Cost Effective
Since I use essential oils most often as a proactive measure (boosting my immune system), I save money on taking trips to the doctor, no missed work time and no prescription costs.
In most cases the price of an essential oil costs less than what I would pay for a prescription. Very little oil is required due to the potency and the expiry date lasts for many months if not years.
Think of the money that could be saved when making your own DIY cleaning products and body mists. Save on sleep aids and head ache medications. Creating special gifts for friends and family will help the pocket book too!
Essential oils can definitely save you money in the long run. 🙂
15. Antibiotic and Antimicrobial
Thanks for sticking with me, have I convinced you to start using essential oils yet? 🙂 If not, maybe this last point will convince you.
I’m sure most of us have heard about how our current antibiotics are gradually becoming resistant to bacteria. This is kind of scary right? Research is being conducted to find compounds that will stand up to these resistant bacteria and essential oils are being investigated! Peppermint and Tea Tree oil have been extensively investigated for their antimicrobial effects and the results have been positive and further research is forthcoming. Of course, these studies require time and money, so the process is ongoing. But it is good news!
If you would like to read more detailed information, I have provided additional links here.
It is my hope that one day, natural remedies such as essential oils will be used in combination with the amazing modern medications we have now. I would love to see the best of both old and new ideas meshed together to create a truly effective health system.
Well, this has been a long article and I sure hope it has provided some food for thought. Essential oils are more than just something that makes your home smell great. They are nature’s gift of medicine. With that being said, essential oils should be treated with caution and common sense. Like medication of any kind, we must be mindful of what we choose to use and how we choose to use it.
Well, I hope everyone has a fantastic week ahead! Don’t forget to come back next week for the conclusion of Aromatherapy Essential Oils – 30 Reasons You Should Be Using Them (Part 2 of 2). I will be sharing 15 more reasons I think everyone should embrace the practice of aromatherapy!
Please comment in the box provided below. I really like hearing from people and discussing how essential oils and aromatherapy play a part in our lives.
Take good care and stay happy and healthy!
Angela (Founder of Your Aromatherapy Store)
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Essential oils are very POTENT and should be used with common sense and caution. Always read the labels. If you are currently taking any prescribed medication speak to your doctor before using essential oils. If you are concerned about allergies, you may want to perform a patch test on your skin. Some essential oils are photo toxic. Avoid the sun as necessary when using these oils. Some oils are not recommended for children. Some oils are not recommended if you are pregnant or nursing. Dilution rates vary for children and the elderly. Essential oils are considered “complementary and alternative medicines” and are not a substitute for professional medical intervention and advice. If you are experiencing severe physical or mental illness contact a medical professional. This information is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.