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5 uses for rose essential oils

5 Uses For Rose Essential Oil

Rose essential oil is known for its rich scent as well as its many therapeutic uses. Distilled from the petals of one of the most recognizable and valuable flowers on the planet, rose essential oil is a true prize to have in your essential oil arsenal.

From aromatherapy to topical applications, rose essential oil has many uses that can benefit your physical and mental health. Here are our top five favorite uses for this classic essential oil.

Help Your Depression

Aromatherapy using rose essential oil has been proven to decrease depression symptoms and elevate mood in many people. Roses have long been prized for their scent, and the floral aromas have graced gardens and bouquets for centuries for a good reason.

Recent research shows that this potent essential oil can lower symptoms of depression, help those suffering from postpartum depression, and decrease feelings of anxiety, as well. If you are looking for a pick-me-up, then, try adding rose essential oil to your diffuser or other aromatherapy routines to lift those spirits.

Boost Your Immune System

Rose essential oil has been shown to help protect against many different types of viruses, including those that cause illnesses like the common cold and the flu. Rose oil’s properties include antiviral compounds that can help your immune system resists viral invaders, which can come in handy during cold and flu season.

Not only can the floral scent elevate your mood when you are feeling poorly, but this essential oil’s ability to protect against viruses of all types makes it a must-have in your home.

Protect and Nourish Your Skin

Roses have been a staple ingredient in skin-care products for decades. In addition to providing excellent protection against microbes on your skin, though, rose essential oil can also help protect and heal skin.

The bacteria responsible for acne can be treated with rose essential oil, making it an excellent resource for eliminating and preventing blemishes. Dab rose essential oil onto acne using a cotton swab up to three times per day. If your skin seems irritated by this oil, you can dilute it with a carrier oil of your choice.

Rose essential oil also helps your skin absorb other nutrients and skin-care products, which can help when you are trying to heal dry or chapped skin.

Adding just a few drops of rose essential oil to your favorite moisturizer or other skin-care product is an excellent way to boost the effectiveness of whatever you apply to your skin.

Increase Your Libido

Rose essential oil decreases anxious feelings, it can also help treat sexual dysfunction caused by stress and anxiety. Rose essential oil may also play a role in regulating the hormones that increase sexual appetite, making it an aphrodisiac for many.

The aromatherapy properties of rose essential oil can also help to set the mood for couples when they want to feel more intimate. Try adding a few drops of rose essential oil to a diffuser or to your favorite massage lotion or carrier oil, then rubbing onto yourself or your partner.

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Lower Inflammation

If you have a fever, infection, or upset stomach, rose essential oil can be used to lower the inflammation that may be contributing to your symptoms. Rose essential oil has been used to treat disorders such as gout, arthritis, fever, and other rheumatism disorders.

Stop Infection

Treat wounds and boost your spirits at the same time by adding rose essential oil to your wound-care routine. The antiseptic properties of rose essential oil make it excellent for treating wounds of all types, and because it also lowers inflammation and boosts mental state, it should be included in your first aid kit next time you have an injury.

The uses of rose essential oil are numerous, and these are just a few. Keep this beautifully scented yet powerful essential oil on hand to help treat all types of disorders and to keep your home smelling wonderful.

Boost skin and hair health with essential oils

Boost Skin and Hair Health with Essential Oils

Essential oils have become the latest health and beauty craze to sweep the market. People are raving about their effectiveness in various aspects of their health from improving asthma to minimizing migraines and arthritic pain and their effectiveness as a beauty regimen, as well.

But what oils do you use for what condition and in what form? Through this article, we’ll walk you through the best essential oils to use in order to see an improvement in the health of your skin and hair and what concoctions you could mix and how you mix them as a regimen.

Mixing your regimen

Before we get started walking you through all the many different essential oils and what they can do for you, we need to provide you with a basic guide for mixing your own essential oil beauty recipe.

  • First off, you want to be sure that a large percentage of your recipe is base oils, also known as carrier oils; their hydrating properties are good for your skin and hair.
  • Next, you should add your specific target treatment oil and, in the smallest quantity, a few drops of a strongly scented essential oil that also provides benefits for your hair and skin as a final touch.

Note: When using anything with essential oils for the first time, especially when you make the concoction yourself at home, you should be sure to try it out on only a small patch of skin or hair first to make sure you won’t have any adverse reactions to it.

What oils should you use

There are many essential oils that offer benefits to promote better health, quicker healing, and even healthier and better looking skin and hair.

Base Oils

Almond

Sweet almond oil is rich and nourishing.

Argan

Argan has Vitamin E and essential fatty acids that help to moisturize your skin, hair, and nails. It has a nutty smell which tends to complement a lot of recipes for hair products.

Avocado

Avocado oil offers all the same omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants for your skin when you apply it as it does for your body when you eat it. Your body needs those to thrive and keep itself looking and feeling in tip top shape.

Coconut

Coconut oil is amazing for your hair and skin alike. It absorbs quickly and easily into the skin, making it seem like it has a faster acting effect. It’s solid at room temperature and contains protein, fatty acids, and vitamin E.

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Grape Seed

Grape seed works as a natural astringent and has both healing and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a great option for those plagued by acne.

Olive

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and E. It’s great for treating dry skin and eczema conditions.

Sesame

Sesame oil should definitely be the base oil if you’re creating a remedy for any irritated patches of skin. It especially helps with skin irritation caused by sunburn or wind.

Treatment Oils

Aloe Vera

We’re not talking about the gel you buy at the store when you get a sunburn; aloe vera oil is a thicker oil that can be used as a treatment for eczema, dandruff, and psoriasis. It can help with myriad skin irritations.

Castor

Castor oil is great for helping your hair grow faster as well as helping seal in moisture for those with coarse hair. It’s a thicker oil, making it work will in conditioners, shampoos, and lotions.

Tea tree

Tea-tree oil can help you fight off infections, which is great for those with autoimmune diseases or immunity deficiencies. It can help to treat nail fungus, acne, lice, dandruff, and bug bites can all be treated by tea-tree poultice as it has bacteria-killing properties.

Essential Oils

The following essential oils promote healthier and healthier-looking skin and hair

Calendula

Chamomile

Eucalyptus

Geranium

Jasmine

Lavender

Peppermint

Rosemary

Thyme

Ylang-Ylang

Essential oils as digestive aids

Essential Oils As Digestive Aids

Stomach woes can make you want to curl up in the comfort of your bed and not roll out for a few days, but unfortunately, the demands of life do not allow for such a convenience. Unfortunately, we cannot let our gut to slow us down and so; we are often forced to reach for something to cure us of constipation, diarrhea, wretched pain, nausea or vomiting.

The chalky or pink stuff is rarely appealing when your stomach is already feeling a bit queasy and therefore, it's no wonder, so many folks choose a more natural approach to relieving or improving digestion.

How Essential Oils Help to Relive Digestive Disorders

Essential oils (EOs) act as an alternative therapeutic approach to improving digestion. Essential oils or digestive EOs have properties that can either calm or stimulate the central nervous system and reverse the effects of the condition or disease causing your symptoms. EOs also decrease inflammation which can be especially helpful to those experiencing irritable bowel syndrome or gastroenteritis. They rarely produce side effects and may cause hormone-like effects in some people.

EOs are available in three forms that are widely used to provide gastrointestinal comfort while supporting the digestive system at the same time.

Inhalation

Many practitioners recommend using EOs as aromatherapy agents. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils that come from flowers, herbs, or trees to improve our spiritual, mental or physical well-being (Cancer.gov). There are a few tools that can help to support aromatherapy practices including use of a diffuser, spray or scent pot.

Topical

You can apply diluted forms of essential oils to your skin by way of massage or merely rubbing oil on your abdomen for relief as well. Take care when applying oils to your skin. They can cause a rash, irritation or another form of a reaction. Always test a small area before using an EO over a large area of the skin.

Not every essential oil is good for the skin –including edible oils (WebMD). Some citrus oils are bad for your skin and can cause blistering. Topical oils are not necessarily edible either. You must read labels carefully to ensure you do not ingest a toxic solution that is intended for topical use only.

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Oral

Before taking an oil orally, make sure you read the manufacturer’s label to confirm that it is safe for consumption. Several EOs are available in the form of an enteric-coated capsule.

Essential Oils for Digestive Issues

Which oils are best for which digestive issues? Knowing which oil will improve your stomach or intestinal problems can go a long way to support your efforts in managing your symptoms. Here is a list of the top oils for managing digestive problems.

Ginger Oil

Ginger oil can provide diarrhea relief by regulating the movement of food through our digestive tract. Also, ginger contains analgesic properties which enables it to relieve stomach pain, reducing inflammation of the gut while reducing symptoms of nausea.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil in enteric-coated capsules receives high marks for treating symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome. As an inhalant, peppermint oil can be just as beneficial in your quest to treat nausea. Peppermint oil can be toxic if you consume too much, so always pay attention to the labels and follow instructions carefully.

Clary Sage

Clary sage benefits the overall health of the gut. This expensive essential oil stimulates the digestive juices when applied topically to the abdomen. It helps to calm the gastrointestinal tract, relieving it of painful cramps and spasms.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil can help you combat nausea and diarrhea. Just rubbing this oil on the abdomen with other oils can help you to manage stomach woes effectively. This sweet-scented oil also works just as well as an aromatherapy agent.

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile is a wonderful herb for upset stomachs. Chamomile essential oil contains compounds that allow for it to act as an antispasmodic agent that can help to manage diarrhea, gas, acid reflux, indigestion and vomiting. You can apply a diluted form of chamomile oil topically to the stomach area to soothe the stomach and relax the intestinal muscles, curing it of cramps.

These are just a few of the essential oils that can act as digestive aids. If you are seeking a natural remedy for your stomach or intestinal problems, this alternative way of managing gut issues may be a fantastic next step for you.

Treat your headaches with essential oils

Treat Your Headaches with Essential Oils

Headaches happen for multiple reasons. From stress to hormonal surges to allergies to dehydration to low blood sugar, headaches can make an appearance when we least expect it. Identifying a safe and effective way to treat a headache can seem out of reach.

Some of us are not fans of taking pills and would prefer to pursue a more natural approach to relieving a headache.

Are you looking for a natural way to treat a nagging headache? Good news, there are multiple ways to natural cure a headache.

Essential oils are an excellent alternative therapy for treating a headache and ranks highly among those who prefer to lead a naturalist life. Also, if you are one who prefers to leverage a combination therapy approach, essential oils are a fantastic augmentation or supplemental treatment.

These natural agents can treat various types of headaches including migraine headaches, tension headaches, and sinus headaches to name a few. Essential oils are particularly useful because they generally go to the source of the problem thanks to their unique ability to stimulate chemical releases in the brain that can generate feelings of calm, address pain, reduce stress, regulate hormonal surges, and improve circulation.

You can apply many of these oils topically, but many experts recommend using a diffuser when possible for best results.

Best Essential Oils for Headaches

There are several essential oils that relieve symptoms associated with headaches. Finding the best oil for your needs will vary person to person, but do not be afraid to spend time discovering the essential oil that works best for you. Here are five essential oils that provide headache relief.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil promotes relaxation and soothes our senses, enabling us to release pent-up tension and stress –all symptoms that can contribute to a throbbing headache. It functions as an anti-anxiety, antidepressant, sedative, and calming agent.

You can use this oil as a component of aromatherapy, or you may use it as a topical oil with dilution. Lavender oil is particularly useful in relieving migraine headaches. You can massage this oil into the temples and the back of your neck to treat symptoms.

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil aids in the reduction of pain and helps to relieve tension. Rosemary oil is an excellent natural stress reducing agent. Studies show that rosemary oil not only reduces tension but acts as a natural analgesic which helps to treat pain. Also, it can demolish other symptoms that may accompany headaches such as nausea and insomnia.

Peppermint Oil

When applied to the forehead, peppermint oil delivers a cooling sensation, stimulating circulation, and reducing muscle contractions. Peppermint oil is especially useful in treating tension headaches (American Family Physician). You can apply peppermint oil to your wrists, forehead or temples.

Eucalyptus Oil

Apply eucalyptus oil to the tip of your nose, chest, and temples to aid in relieving sinus tension while also opening your nasal passages. Eucalyptus has a rich history and reputation for getting the necessary results that help to reduce inflammation and eliminate blockage that accompanies sinus problems.

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil can help to cure mild headaches as well as migraines. Its chemical ingredient carvacrol acts as a potent anti-inflammatory agent which aids in rapid relief. You can take this oil orally by placing a few drops beneath your tongue or apply it topically. Of course, when consuming any essential oil, make sure it is intended for oral consumption.

For best results, when using this oil topically, apply oil to your forehead and temples.

Using Essential Oils

Should you choose to use a local oil, dilute the oil. You can complete this process using a carrier oil such as coconut oil before applying it directly to your skin. Your goal is to avoid any damage to your skin.

You can inhale essential oils using a diffuser, spray or even by adding a few drops to a tissue and holding it beneath your nose and taking a deep breath. Just remember to be careful that the oil does not touch your lips or areas of the skin near or around the mouth.

Summary

There is substantial research to show each of these oils are useful. Each of these oils provides strong inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help you to take control of a mild or a chronic headache. You have the option to use each of these oils topically or orally. Next time you have a headache, try one of these oils for relief.

Essential oils with antioxidant properties

 

Essential Oils With Antioxidant Properties

Essential oils are therapeutic grade oils extracted from various botanicals, like plants. Essential oils have been used for therapeutic reasons for thousands of years. They offer many benefits, each dependent on the plant they are derived from.

Antioxidants are important chemicals that prevent damage to the body's cells. Essential oils are often extracted from plants that have antioxidants. Because essential oils are extracts from the plant, however, they don't always have the same properties as the foods that we associate them with.

So, what essential oils have the best antioxidant properties?

Basil

Basil is an herb commonly used in cooking, but it also yields essential oils rich in antioxidants.

The key antioxidant in basil is a chemical called linalool, but according to a 2008 study published in the journal Food Chemistry, essential oils from basil had better antioxidant properties than linalool has alone.

When a chemical works better in the source than extracted, it's called "synergism." Most of the time synergism is because other chemicals in the source help our bodies to utilize the chemical that we are trying to use.

The same may be true of essential oils, but because the essential oils are so highly concentrated, they still provide more power per punch than the plant that they are extracted from.

Artemisia

Artemisia isn't one of the best known essential oils, but perhaps it should be.

A 2008 article published in the journal Phytochemistry reported that while artemisia oil doesn't have the highest antioxidant count around, it does contain both thymol and carvacrol, important antioxidants. As mentioned above, sometimes things work better together, so don't count out this important antioxidant source just because it doesn't have a high concentration of any one antioxidant.

Oregano

Oregano, another common spice used in cooking, contains both thymol and carvacrol, the antioxidants found in artemisia, as well as another antioxidant, p-cymene. While there are several species of oregano, the primary antioxidant that gives it many of its health benefits is found in all four of its major species, according to a study published in the International journal of food science and nutrition.

While antioxidants can protect our own cells, they can also protect other molecules. Studies have considered the possibility of using antioxidants from oregano's essential oils as an additive in health beverages to protect other added nutrients, like Omega-3s.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is commonly used for its soothing properties, especially in ointments to soothe rashes and minor burns. According to a 2010 meta-analysis published in the journal Molecules, eucalyptus also includes high levels of antioxidants that are particularly effective at scavenging free radicals.

Free radicals are particles in the body that can slightly change the chemical composition of molecules. Like changing one letter in a line of computer coding, or moving the decimal place on a check, these seemingly small changes can lead to huge consequences.

A Note On Using Essential Oils

To provide you with the most useful information, this article has only stuck to essential oils that are commonly available. Unfortunately, the more commonly available an essential oil or essential oil-based product is, the less information it seems to have on its uses.

While this article provides good beginner information, essential oils are complicated things. Some species of a plant may have different characteristics than others, and oils from different parts of the same plant may have different properties.

If you want to use essential oils for something very specific, such as treating or preventing a certain condition, use this article as a jumping off point for more in-depth research, or better yet, talk to your health care provider or the staff at a natural wellness store how you can answer more specific questions about essential oils with antioxidant properties.

Creating a calming atmosphere with essential oils

Create A Calming Atmosphere With Essential Oils

Sometimes we all need to create a zen-filled moment and what better way to do that than with essential oils?  Essential oils are a fantastic way to introduce a bit of calm into your otherwise chaotic world. Essential oils are a safe and natural way to relieve anxiety while delivering a taste of serenity and positive feelings. They instill a sense of emotional and physical wellness.

Many of these oils act as a sedation trigger when they interact with our central nervous system. Studies show that they can help to treat insomnia, lower blood pressure, and help to manage symptoms associated with depression. 

One of their most attractive qualities is their ability to create calm. Essential oils have a reputation for being both stimulating and calming. Therefore, its no wonder that they can relieve symptoms of depression while also helping to regulate symptoms of anxiety.

Creating Calm with Aromatherapy

You can create a calm environment in a couple of ways. Research demonstrates that by merely rubbing diluted forms of these EOs or inhaling them using aromatherapy triggers the release of chemical messages from our brain to other parts of our body that ultimately positively impact our mood and emotions (WebMD).   

Creating an atmosphere of calm can take place in the smallest of spaces in your home thanks to aromatherapy. There are several ways to use essential oils within the comfort of your home to promote calm. Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts distilled from various flowers, leaves, grasses, roots, and twigs, therefore you must ensure that they are diluted before use.

Aromatherapy entails the distribution or dispersion of essential oils into the air using a variety of methods including by way of the ever-favorite scent pot, diffuser, or spray.

Merely mix five to eight drops of the chosen oil with an ounce of water, and you have the perfect blend to release your calming scent into the air.  Generally, you add a few drops of the oil to the water for aromatherapy.

You do not have to confine your aromatherapy to the confines of a diffuser, pot or spray bottle, however. You also have the option to sprinkle a few drops of essential oils to your bath water or tissue for inhalation. There are even jewelry lockets that hold essential oils for immediate use to deliver rapid results.

Which Essential Oils Create Calm

Choosing the perfect essential oil to create calm will vary person to person. Your perfect oil may not be your mother or sister’s favorite oil. Also, what works well today may not yield the same results tomorrow. There are many oils capable of helping you to create a calm atmosphere. Through a bit of trial and error, you can create your therapeutic world with the oil(s) that work best for you.  Here are five essential oils for you to consider.

Bitter Orange Essential Oil

Bitter Orange essential oil offers users a wealth of benefits. Studies show that this essential oil can reduce anxiety while also enabling some users to reduce their antidepressant prescription (Shape.com).

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang essential oil helps to reduce our stress levels while also lowering blood pressure levels according to existing research (Shape.com)

Cedarwood Essential Oil

Want to step outside of the essential oil box? Try adding a few drops of cedarwood essential oil to your diffuser. Cedarwood possesses sedative properties can not only help to calm you but also promote sleep. Cedarwood oil relieves spams and contains anti-inflammatory agents which may help to reduce joint stiffness and other forms of pain that prohibit us from relaxing.

Valerian Essential Oil

Valerian essential oil contains chemicals that have a calming effect on our nerves. Also, they have a sedative effect that can help to promote sleep. For best results, add a few drops to your aromatherapy diffuser and inhale the scents.

Lavender Essential Oil

No essential oil list is complete without the mention of lavender. This essential oil ranks high on the list because of its unique capacity to act as a relaxing agent. Lavender helps to treat feelings of agitation and stress, relieve pain, and is beneficial in helping to treat insomnia. You can apply lavender oil topically or use it as a component of your aromatherapy ritual.

Word of Caution

Take care when applying a diluted EO to your skin. Essential oils can be especially irritating and cause rashes or redness. Some “natural” oils can be toxic, triggering nasty allergic reactions in and on our bodies. Some oils cause your eyes and nose to burn, therefore, when applying to near any of your body’s orifices, proceed with caution.

Also, essential oils have a shelf-life. Be careful not to use oils that are sitting on your shelf for greater than three years. Oils can spoil and trigger an allergic reaction (WebMD).   

 

Can aromatherapy help despression

Can Aromatherapy Help Depression?

Essential oils have been used in therapeutic ways for thousands of years. They offer numerous healing benefits. There's is a lot of buzz around aromatherapy, especially in the natural wellness and holistic medicine communities.

Some people even say that this practice -- which involves putting concentrated oils from plants into the air with misters or special candles or applying the oils topically -- can help with anxiety disorders and depression. But what does science say?

How Does Aromatherapy Work?

Many people who believe that aromatherapy works to decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and related issues, believe that it works in a very superficial way: essential oils make us feel better because they smell good.

A 2013 article published in China, however, proposes that aromatherapy may work by stimulating serotonin pathways in the brain. Serotonin itself is an important messenger molecule in the body that helps us to feel relaxed and is an important part of many mood regulating medications.

While this is an engaging theory, the easiest way to measure mood is still with psychological assessments and questionnaires rather than by checking the levels of these messenger molecules.

All of the following studies used these methods, which some people consider to be unreliable and anecdotal. But feeling better is feeling better, right?

Aromatherapy And Post-Partum Depression

A 2012 pilot study on aromatherapy to treat post-partum depression published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice reported that aromatherapy did show benefits for women suffering post-partum depression. Interestingly, the study found that aromatherapy did not seem to have any impact on a control group of non-depressed women.

While the results of this study are promising, it was a pilot study. The control group was rather small, and the study only lasted four weeks.

While that leaves room for skepticism, the article did not report any issues with the treatment, so there's no known risk in trying this treatment if you're interested.

Aromatherapy And The Elderly

A Japanese study conducted in 2014 and with a participant pool of around eighty may be more convincing.

This study, published in the journal Biomed Research International, was conducted among elderly participants living in a community who underwent an aromatherapy session for four weeks.

The article reports that participants who underwent the aromatherapy program had decreased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and pain compared to a control group. The study also reported that all of the participants continued to use aromatherapy treatments after the conclusion of the study.

Aromatherapy Massage

It might not take more than four weeks, or even four weeks, to prove that aromatherapy helps with depression. A 2009 study conducted in Japan reported that women who received aromatherapy massages for depression while undergoing treatment for cancer were found to have better scores on mood assessments both after a single thirty-minute session. Their scores continued to increase after eight subsequent sessions.

This study may have lasted longer than the 2012 study, but it was even smaller with only 12 participants. Skeptical readers of this article may also like to know that the study was not picked up by any major scientific or medical journals. Also, like the 2012 study, however, this study found that there was no harm in giving this treatment a shot.

A similar study conducted two years earlier involving just over fifty participants and conducted in Korea had similar findings.

This study of menopausal women also used aromatherapy via massage in weekly sessions over eight months and found that the treatment had positive effects.

The authors of this study were more careful to point out a potential problem which applies to the previous study as well, and which some wary readers may have noticed: It is possible that the massage and not the aromatherapy was providing the relief experienced by participants.

Antiseptic and Anti Viral essential oils

Antiseptic and Anti Viral Essential Oils

When most people think of essential oils they think of aroma therapy, but when you think of how many plants there are and what properties they have, it makes a lot of sense that some essential oils do more than just smell good. Some essential oils can also help our bodies to keep away or fight off infections.

Antiseptic Essential Oils

Antiseptics are agents that kill bacteria. While some bacteria is healthy, other bacteria causes illnesses. Antibiotics, which are similar but not identical to other forms of antiseptics, have been widely used in recent history to fight off harmful bacteria, but antibiotics can also be harmful to good bacteria, and harmful bacteria has been adapting to survive antibiotic treatments.

According to a 2015 article in The Atlantic, most of the serious clinical studies that have been done on essential oils for antiseptic purposes have been searching for potential ingredients in hand sanitizers that will be efficient in medical settings where bacteria have become immune to other common lines of defense.

The article lists a number of plant extracts that research has found promising, including

  • thyme
  • clove
  • lemongrass
  • lavender
  • basil
  • chili peppers
  • and cinnamon.

Clove, Rosemary, chili peppers, and lavender were also listed among essential oils found to have antimicrobial effects in a 2010 meta-analysis published in The Journal of Applied Bioscience, as were essential oils made from…

  • juniper
  • olives
  • peppermint
  • fennel
  • lemon leaves
  • and lime leaves.

Scientists aren't entirely sure yet how or why essential oils can kill bacteria, but some have proposed that chemicals in the essential oils can damage the cell walls of the bacteria. This would also explain why essential oils included as ingredients in more conventional antiseptics tend to be more efficient than essential oils by themselves.

Anti-Viral Essential Oils

Bacteria and viruses both make you sick, but they aren't the same; they work in different ways and require different treatments and deterrents. For example, if the theory that essential oils kill bacteria by damaging their cell walls is correct, essential oils could not fight viruses the same way because viruses do not have cell walls. Fortunately, a number of potentially beneficial anti-viral essential oils have also been identified.

The same 2010 meta-analysis cited above included sandalwood oil, tea tree oil, thyme, and ginger as essential oils with anti-viral properties. A 2015 study published in the journal Acute Medicine reported that eucalyptus showed promising anti-viral traits as well, particularly in a mouthwash for combating herpes simplex.

Cinnamon, bergamot, thyme, and eucalyptus were also found to have promising anti-viral properties in both the liquid and the vapor state in a 2014 article published in The American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products. This article particularly looked at combatting the influenza virus which leads to the common "flu" but which can also turn deadly.

Other Areas Of Research

Recent research has also explored essential oils as being beneficial antifungal, and even anticancer agents.

By far the most interest in essential oils has been involving their potential benefit in combatting depression and anxiety disorders.

Other Ways To Get The Benefits

Many of these studies included other essential oils that are not widely available commercially, and so they have not been included in this article.

Many of the essential oils discussed in this article, in addition to being readily available commercially, come from edible plants. While essential oils can often not be ingested, eating the plants that they are derived from can provide some significant effect as well.

Essential oils are concentrated and potent substances, so eating the foods that produce them may not have as strong or as immediate an effect as using essential oils. However, eating the foods rather than just the oils involves taking in nutrients that are not always included in essential oils. For example, many of the essential oils listed above come from plants that also include antioxidants and other important nutrients.

10 Most popular and widely used essential oils

10 MOST POPULAR AND WIDELY USED ESSENTIAL OILS

The power of essential oils and the benefits of aromatherapy have garnered a lot of attention from naturopaths and skeptics alike over the past decade or so, and that interest has prompted numerous studies to be done on which oils have the most beneficial properties and for what conditions do certain oils seem to have the most desired effect.

Following is a list of the ten most used essential oils and of what conditions these special oils have healing properties against.

Bear in mind, however, that this list is a compilation of merely a few of the essential oils that are available, and that there are many, many more plants whose oils are beneficial to your health and wellness.

  •  LAVENDER:
  • The scientific name for this pretty purple plant is Lavandula, and it grows easily in most parts of the world. It is used generously in the perfume industry because of its pleasant fragrance, but its therapeutic properties are that of calming, destressing, relieving anxiety, and combatting insomnia.
  •  CLARY SAGE:
  • Also known as Salvia Sclarea, the oil from this flower is reputed to have analgesic properties, specifically in terms of female pain such as menstrual cramps or labor pains.
  •  PEPPERMINT:
  • Although the oil from the plant Mentha x Piperita can be somewhat caustic in its super concentrated form, this oil will work wonders as an anti-emetic when saturated into cotton ball that then can be inhaled. A few drops of this oil in a hot bath will also soothe sore muscles. Peppermint is also a powerful insect repellant, and if lined around kitchen surfaces will create a boundary over which no ant dares cross.
  •  TEA TREE:
  • The oil from the plant Melaleuca Alternifolia is renowned for its antiseptic properties as it has been found to effective as an antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial agent. It can also be added to any shampoo to relieve dry scalp and dandruff.
  •  ROSEMARY:
  • Not only is the plant Rosmarinus Officinalis wonderfully versatile in culinary applications, but it also yields an essential oil that is fantastic for dry, itchy scalp and dandruff, but also has been used effectively as a bronchodilator and an expectorant for congested lungs.
  • LEMONGRASS:
  • Like Rosemary, the plant Cymbopogon Citratus also has many uses in the culinary arts; however, its essential oil is highly effective as a sanitary agent and can be used as an antiseptic. It also is a powerful insect repellant.
  •  LEMON:
  • The oil from the fruit Citrus x Lemon is generally considered to be “uplifting” in that it has rejuvenating, energy inducing, and immune supporting properties. It is also highly effective as a non-toxic alternative in household cleansers.
  •  ROSE:
  • While obviously famed for its aesthetic beauty, the plant Rosa Damascena is considered by many to be the “Queen of Essential Oils” and is widely used for its anxiolytic, rejuvenating, stress relieving and even pain relief properties. The essential oil derived from roses also has been proven as an effective anti-inflammatory agent and can be helpful for joint pain and other arthritic conditions.
  •  YLANG YLANG:
  • The plant Cananga Odorata primarily grows in Asian countries and is popular as an aphrodisiac and for its uplifting and anti-depressant properties.
  •  ROMAN CHAMOMILE:
  • We’ve all heard that drinking chamomile tea in the evening can help alleviate insomnia and restlessness, and the oil from the plant Chamamelum Nobile can be utilized for its sedative properties, as well it has been found to be enormously effective in alleviating PMS symptoms and other discomforts associated with menstruation. Chamomile, in any of its forms is incredibly soothing and calming.

Aromatherapy for better sleep

Aromatherapy For Better Sleep

Are you tossing and turning at night? Do you have a hard time relaxing and calming yourself when it’s time for bed? If so, aromatherapy maybe the answer.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using certain fragrances and oils that have been reputed to have some type of therapeutic effect or medicinal properties, and it has been used as both a primary treatment and a secondary auxiliary therapy.

One of the benefits of aromatherapy that has been extensively studied is the effectiveness of this type of therapy in terms of improving the quality and duration of one’s sleep, particularly in patients who suffer from hyper-anxiety disorders or insomnia.

It has been widely concluded, even by those who are skeptical of these types of alternative treatments, that regardless of whether or not aromatherapy proves effective, it certainly does no harm or has the potential for any ill effects at all.

Consider the following facts concerning aromatherapy and sleep:

A 2015 study in Turkey that involved using lavender essential oil via inhalation method on 60 ICU patients (the study was prompted because the patients in the ICU were having really terrible sleep issues, and the researchers wanted to try whatever they could to alleviate the insomnia for these patients and ICU patients everywhere).

The clinical finding (based on the patient’s responses to two separate standardized tests that determine sleep quality) that the 2% lavender essential oil solution delivered via inhalation absolutely had a positive, measurable, and marked effect on these patient’s ability to rest adequately, and furthermore, many of these patients were experiencing simultaneous cardiac issues which the anxiolytic effect of the lavender oil seemed to depreciate as well. By relieving some of the anxiety and stress from which these patients were suffering, the lavender oil improved their ability to rest and their conditions in general.

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Although aromatherapy would not be recommended as the primary treatment for severe, chronic, medical sleep disorders, it most certainly should be considered as an adjunct or auxiliary treatment, and if no serious sleep disorder exists, then aromatherapy likely will be adequate in terms of alleviating mild cases of stress induced insomnia.

There are a variety of ways via which the oil can be delivered, and all are reputed to have similar results in terms of efficacy. Some of the ways through which the oil can be delivered to you overnight are: 

  • Soaking a cotton ball and placing next to bed
  • Placing 10 – 15 drops of oil in hot Epsom or sea salt water in a bowl by the bed
  • Spraying an essential oil diluted solution on linens, pillows and blankets
  • Electronic (and other forms of) diffusers

The Best Calming Oils

The preferred oils that are typically used for the purposes of improving the quality of one’s sleep are (and incidentally, although not surprisingly, all of these oils have a naturally pleasant fragrance and are readily available through health food stores everywhere and through a wide variety of online stores):

  • Lavender
  • Valerian
  • Clary Sage
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Bergamot
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Sandalwood

The overall general consensus among health practitioners in both the disciplines of standard western medicine and homeopathic / naturopathic alike is that there does appear to be validated data concerning the effectiveness and benefits of aromatherapy on certain conditions. Primarily those conditions which are closely related to stress such as cardiovascular disease and insomnia.

Either way, there does not appear to be any evidence that there are any contraindications or harm to using aromatherapy and so at the very least, you get a nice pleasant scent, and the chances of employing aromatherapy in the hopes that it will improve your sleep is most likely to pay off and be worth the effort.

           

           

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