The Benefits of Using Essential Oils
THE BENEFITS OF USING ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils, often used in health practices such as aromatherapy or massage, have gained consumer awareness associated with their health benefits as evidenced by the fact the essential oil market size is expected to reach $11.67 billion by 2022. Contemporary life stresses out many people leading to daily stress, anxiety, inability to sleep and depression, as well as making many people vulnerable to common illnesses like flu, cold or even cancer in worst case scenarios.
With the advent of alternative living and health practices such as Yoga, meditation, acupuncture or herbal medicine etc., many people are resorting to natural remedies including essential oils to prevent illness, due to their effectiveness, and fewer side effects as compared to modern pharmaceutical drugs. Some of the most commonly used essential oils include lavender, peppermint, oregano, myrrh, lemon, thyme, lime, etc.
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Before consumption, essential oils are harnessed from plants or flowers using two major methods; 1) distillation, where the plant’s materials are vaporized and condensed to produce essential oils and 2) extraction, where the fruit is mechanically pressed to squeeze out the juice and the oil. The extraction method is mainly applied when producing citrus based essential oils such as lime, tangerine, lemon and others.
Other known methods of producing essential oils include Enfluerage, solvent extraction, maceration, and carbon dioxide process. During aromatherapy, essential oils are applied in many different styles such as aromatherapy baths, massages, or even mouthwash, where few essential oil drops are added to a cup of water and rinsed in the mouth. Essential oils can also be inhaled directly by use of a handkerchief or tissue, through gargling (where essential oils are mixed with honey and warm water), scented pillow, through steam (steam inhalation), sauna, etc.
THE BENEFITS OF USING ESSENTIAL OILS
Using essential oils is associated with numerous benefits and some shortcomings as discussed below; -
1. Hormonal balance
Essential oils can be used in hormonal balance. When approaching menopause, women tend to have declining estrogen levels and hormonal imbalance that leads to mood swings, slowed metabolism, sleep disturbances, among others. Essential oils such as thyme, geranium and clary sag help to balance estrogen levels in the body and have been proven to reduce high estrogen concentrations for women approaching menopause.
One of the added benefits of restored hormonal balance therefore is, essential oils help improve fertility and can help prevent early menopausal symptoms for women. Hence, essential oils are beneficial to older women who still want to bare children at an older age. However, people suffering from breast or ovarian cancer should not use essential oils because they enhance production of estrogen in the body, which facilitates growth of cancers. Likewise, pregnant women, small children and children going through puberty should not use Essential Oils as they may lead to excessive growth of breasts in boys due to estrogen elevation, according to the National Cancer Institute.
2. Improved brain functionality
If you have watched the movie Limitless, you will remember the main character played by Bradley Cooper became super intelligent with a four digit IQ by taking a certain wonder drug. But did you know that you can improve your brain functionality considerably by using Essential Oils such as peppermint and Cinnamon.
Essential Oils contain powerful anti-oxidants that help improve brain function naturally while reducing inflammation that could lead to memory issues. So while peppermint and cinnamon Essential Oils will not impart you with NZT level super intelligence, they can improve brain attention, memory, reduce fatigue which is why they are currently used to help prevent Alzheimer and dementia diseases.
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3. Improved mood and relaxation
There is a reason essential oils are a must have ingredient in relaxation practices such as aromatherapy, massage and others. Well, it turns out Essential Oils contain small molecules that can pass through your brain or blood and influence the parts of your brain that control feelings such as stress, anxiety and depression. This explains why they can be used to cure or prevent such mental disorders.
If you have used lavender scented products in your house or car, you will probably know its exquisite scent and mood relaxation effects. Lavender is actually the most effective Essential Oil you can use when treating depression, stress and anxiety disorders because of its proven relaxing and soothing effects in helping relieve anxiety, tension and nervousness.
With its healing properties, you must incorporate Essential Oils like lavender in stress and anxiety relief, as well as combating depression. Other Essential Oils that can also help in stress and anxiety relief include Bergamot, Rose oil, and Frankincense.
However, Essential Oils should not be used by all people especially those with certain medical conditions, such as asthma patients. They may experience allergic reactions to Essential Oils that may lead to mild irritation or redness.
To be sure, seek medical advice before using essential oils.
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4. Improved immunity
Essential oils are also very helpful in boosting your immune system and fighting infections. In fact, studies show that essential oils such as lemon, ginger, oregano, myrrh have been used to fight fungal and bacterial infections such as candida, cold and flu because they contain chemical components such as terpenes and esters that help fight external bacteria that threaten our health. With their high antifungal, anti- inflammatory, and anti- bacterial properties using essential oils will help you prevent infectious diseases and improve your immunity.  Essential oils can also be used for body detoxifying to boost immunity. On the other hand, some essential oils have proven to make people very sensitive to ultraviolet rays from the sun which causes sunburns to develop faster than normal.
5. Better digestion
Also, essential oils can be used to support digestion. Essential oils such as oregano, thyme, peppermint, ginger and funnel help build a high metabolism and support digestion of food. They aid digestive enzymes like proteases and peptidases to break down food and absorb protein nutrients needed to build body tissues and provide the energy that you need.
These essential oils also strengthen and tone the intestines and stomach, helping to eliminate abdominal pain and bloating, indigestion, constipation, ulcers and nausea.  The result is a high metabolism, that will enable you keep fit, and in-shape to avoid obesity.
However, some people tend to experience headaches, dizziness, or other uncomfortable symptoms during aromatherapy which often cease after essential oils are washed off, but if they don’t, it is recommended the person leaves or stops any session.
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