Ultimate Essential Oil Guide – Plus Uses & Benefits

by nutrition | May 29, 2018

Extracted organic composites from plants that have healing benefits are called essential oils. There is a full treatment that is usually called aromatherapy which uses essential oils. It aims to develop emotional, mental, and physical health.

A lot of diverse cultures used these essential oils for more than 5,000 years. They make the most out of these healing plants’ oils for the treatment of different health conditions. Even though they are often used as a natural medicine, these oils can also be used for beauty care, home cleaning, and even for relaxation.

Here are a number of benefits that come from some of the many common essential oils—like lemon, peppermint, frankincense, tea tree, and lavender oil—found in your medicine cabinet:

  • Improve digestion
  • Balance hormones
  • Soothe sore muscles and relax the body
  • Ease pain
  • Fight off cold and flu symptoms
  • Reduce cellulite and wrinkles
  • Heal skin conditions
  • Used in homemade personal care products
  • Clean your home

What Exactly Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are extracted straight from the leaf, bark, fruit, flower, root, or seed of a tree or plant. Amazingly, just a single drop can produce incredible health benefits.

To produce these oils, they undergo the process of extraction and distillation. Through steaming, the water-based and oil composites are separated. Because essential oils are extremely concentrated, they contain a strong and rich aroma. And by concentrating the oils that come from these plants, the greatest healing compounds of a plant are separated, as they become a single oil.

For example, about 65 lbs of rose petals are what you are going to need to be able to get a single 15-ml bottle of rose essential oils.

These therapeutic oils serve as protection in plants. They shield the plants whenever they are in harsh surroundings, protect them from insects, and aid them when it comes to adjusting to the environment they are in. This apparently means that as you take essential oils, you are making the most of the protective and healing powers of plants.

Tiny molecules found in essential oils can penetrate cells. Amazingly, some of its composites are even able to enter the blood-brain barrier. However, they are different from fatty oils (the ones in nuts or vegetables) and are not therapeutic in the same way. Fatty oils are not able to penetrate body cells, because they come from large molecules.

The History of Aromatherapy

It is hard to determine where the uses of essential oils originate, especially because they are exist in a lot of different countries.

Chinese, Egyptians, Indians, Romans, Jews, and Greeks have all been using oils as perfumes, cosmetics, and medicine. As a matter of fact, oils are also being used in a certain culture’s spiritual rituals.

In 1928, there was a French chemist named René-Maurice Gattefossé who had a burn on his hand and applied lavender oil to cure it. Because of its amazing result, he became determined to examine the properties of lavender oil to discover how more it could be used as a treatment for other types of skin problems.

Because of this, the science of aromatherapy started. Even though the main objective of René-Maurice Gattefossé was to help wounded soldiers in the course of World War I, the benefits of using these oils started to become more well known. It became popular all over Europe, especially with beauticians, massage therapists, and other doctors of alternative medicine.

Aromatherapy wasn’t common in the United States, not until 1980s. Since then, essential oils started to be used in different types of products like candles, lotions, fragrances, etc.

Aside from aromatherapists, other professionals also use aromatherapy in their practice like nutritionists, physical therapists, massage therapists, and even general practitioners of natural medicine. They even undergo training on the certain usages for essential oils.

Essential Oil Usage in Medical Hospitals

Because of the numerous health benefits of aromatherapy, it can be used in different circumstances. It is an excellent way to treat different types of medical conditions in a non-invasive way. If you mix it with other treatments, it would still be safe and effective to use.

There are hospitals today who utilize the healing powers of essential oils. Some traditional hospitals like the Vanderbilt University Hospital use these oils in their patients to treat their depression, anxiety, and other certain infections.

A 2009 research discovered that patients who received aromatherapy before facing a certain surgical operation were less anxious about it compared to others. Essential oils such as neroli oil, lavender oil, and sandalwood oil do a lot in helping people—especially hospital patients—manage their anxieties.

Amazingly, midwives also take advantage of the benefits of essential oils by using to help lessen the anxiety and fear of their patients during childbirth. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary conducted a research way back in 2007 where they stated that women who use aromatherapy in the course of labor were reported to experience less pain and use lesser pain treatments.

Aside from that, essential oils also provide antifungal and antibacterial assistance. When applied on the skin, a lot of essential oils can bring healing and aid in treating skin conditions, like cuts or burns. Some oils even help with insomnia, digestion, and in boosting the immune system.

A lot of research has been made concerning frankincense oil and reduced brain tumors. Today, essential oils are discovered to be beneficial and are being used in fighting off cancer.

Top 15 Health Benefits of Essential Oils

Every single essential oil holds compounds with exceptional health benefits. Here is a short list of a few types of essential oils and the benefits that come from them:

  1. Rose: Rose oil is excellent for treating skin inflammation. If you want a glowing skin, just add a few drops to your facial cream or moisturizer. Because of its benefits and value, it is one of the best essential oils in the world and priced for about $1000+ for 15 ml.
  2. Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus oil is helpful in treating allergies, sinusitis, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems. At the same time, it cleanses and energizes the body.
  3. Peppermint: Peppermint oil boosts energy, improves focus, supports digestion, relieves muscle pain, and reduces fever and headaches.
  4. Rosemary: Rosemary oil is an excellent ingredient to add to homemade shampoos, as it can thicken hair the natural way. It is also best used when reading, studying, or working, as it helps improve brain function and memory.
  5. Frankincense: Frankincense oil reduces inflammation, strengthens immunity, supports brain, heals age spots, and also provides support in fighting cancer.
  6. Clove: Clove oil provides antiparasitic, antibacterial, and antioxidant protection.
  7. Ginger: Ginger oil helps in supporting joints, improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and providing relief from nausea.
  8. Sandalwood: Sandalwood oil is a natural aphrodisiac that improves libido. It also helps in improving energy.
  9. Grapefruit: Grapefruit oil helps in metabolism and cellulite reduction. To use for metabolism purposes, just mix some drops of water and then drink it up. To decrease cellulite, simply combine with coconut oil and then apply on the affected areas.
  10. Lavender: Lavender oil helps improve mood. But aside from its relaxing benefits, it is also able to heal wounds and burns.
  11. Myrrh: Myrrh oil can reduce infections, or even prevent it from developing in the first place. It is a natural antiseptic but also offers other benefits in balancing hormones, achieving beautiful skin, and reducing stretch marks.
  12. Lemon: Lemon oil is an excellent choice to use in homemade cleaning products. It also cleanses the body and improves lymph drainage.
  13. Cypress: Cypress oil improves circulation and helps in the healing of broken bones. It also can decrease varicose veins.
  14. Oregano: Oregano has powerful antimicrobial properties. It can kill fungus and help treat colds fast.
  15. Tea tree (Melaleuca): Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent. It helps stimulate the immune system and is also effective in reducing bad odors.

To increase the energy of each oil, it is advisable to combine them together. If you desire to use it for body lotions, shower gels, or massage oils, simply blend with a base oil.

Applications of Essential Oil

Ways to Use Essential Oils:

Aromatically – It is evidently confirmed that when inhaled, essential oils enter the bloodstream. They are absorbed by the huge amount of blood vessels inside our lungs which is responsible for letting them flow all throughout the body.

To receive the benefits of essential oils aromatically, use a diffuser. Diffusing tea tree (Melaleuca) will purify the air in your home. Diffusing lavender reduces stress, while diffusing some wild orange will help improve your mood. If you need spiritual enlightenment, just diffuse frankincense, and to improve your energy and focus, diffusing peppermint would be a good choice.

Topically – Essential oils are small, as they only have the chemical weight of fewer than 1000 m. Scientific testing states that any element with a molecular weight that is less than 1000 m ought to be absorbed by our skin easily. Because of this, essential oils can enter the skin and inside the bloodstream quickly and easily. As they reach the different areas of our body, we will certainly experience their healing power internally.

Ingestion – Essential oils are safe to be ingested. But just the same as taking any medicine, we have to be careful with its amount. Most essential oils, like lemon, frankincense, and peppermint, are safe to consume and can simply be taken with water. But because of its great power, keep in mind that just a few drops (1 to 3 drops) can already produce powerful effects. Compared to some, certain essential oils greatly need to be diluted first and are not advised to be taken for more than a week.

Personal Care – Essential oils are beneficial not just for health care but also for home and beauty care. These days, essential oils are usually used in creating homemade personal care products. It would be a good choice to include them in making DIY toothpaste, shampoo, soap, lip balm, household cleaning agents, and even insect sprays.

Best Carrier Oils to Use in Aromatherapy

Essential oils consist of very small molecules that cause them to go through the skin and inside the body instantly. Mixing essential oils with carrier oils is an excellent choice if you desire to maintain the oils on your skin and reduce them to achieve further gentleness on the skin.

Because these large oils are taken from the fatty part of the plants, it can lengthen the aromatherapy effects of essential oils and extend the period of how long they linger on your skin.

Take note that the use of carrier oils does not diminish the efficiency of the oil, even though a lot of people wrongly believe that it does. Rather, it can even increase the external area of absorption. Sensitivities can also be avoided with the use of certain oils.

Here is a list of some carrier oils that are commonly used:

  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Almond oil
  • Pomegranate seed oil
  • Olive oil

The mixture that I usually advise people to make is 10% dilution (that is 5 drops of oil per 1/2 teaspoon)

Essential Oils to Use for Skin and Beauty

There is no doubt that the skin and beauty industry are growing massively. However, it is vital to know that a lot of beauty and skin care products that are sold today contain hydrogenated oils and many other harmful chemicals that cause internal toxicity in the body.

Choosing to create your very own beauty and skin care products is more beneficial, because it is more effective and safe.

Here is a list of specific essential oils and their benefits:

  • Frankincense Oil – Reduces age spots
  • Melaleuca (tea tree) and Geranium Oil – Improves acne
  • Myrrh and Helichrysum Oil – Natural SPF for skin protection
  • Roman Chamomile and Lavender Oil – Calms irritated skin
  • Sage and Rosemary oil – Thickens hair

If you want to create your personal skin care products, here are some DY ideas:

  • Antiaging Serum
  • Body Butter
  • Deodorant
  • Healing Bath Salts
  • Sunscreen

Essential Oils to Use for Hair Growth

Hair loss can be diminished and prevented by using certain essential oils, like lavender oil, sage oil, and rosemary oil. These oils can help thicken hair, as they stimulates the hair follicles, thus treating hair loss problems the natural way.

Lavender oil and clary sage oil are effective to use for hair growth, as both oils balance estrogen levels. Rosemary essential oil, on the other hand, works by preventing DHT (dihydroxy testosterone) which ends hair loss problems.

If you want to create a mixture of essential oils to thicken hair naturally, follow these simple steps:

  1. Put 5 drops of lavender oil and 10 drops of rosemary oil in the different areas of your scalp.
  2. For 2 minutes, lightly massage the mixture into the scalp.
  3. Cover your head with a hot towel and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  4. Afterward, wash your hair with a homemade natural shampoo.

For more recipes, you can also try creating coconut lavender shampoo and rosemary mint shampoo.

Essential Oil to Use for Bug Spray

One of the greatest problems in different parts of the world is pests like bugs and mosquitoes. On a positive note, you can actually create your very own natural homemade bug spray! This will certainly work in keeping away buys.

Most people, however, turn to store-bought chemical products like DEET instead of using all-natural essential oil bug sprays. These types of sprays are dangerous and highly toxic to the body

Here is a list of the most common essential oils that work in repelling insects:

  • Lemongrass
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Clove
  • Peppermint

To keep away bugs, simply apply or spray all over the body.

Natural First Aid Kit with Essential Oils

It is best to have a first aid kit available, because we can never tell when a wound, muscle pain, or any injury may take place.

Essential oils are commonly used as a natural medicine. They are healthier compared to others, because they do not come with the side effects of conventional drugs just like antibiotics.

Here are at least four most common essential oils that should never be missing in our home medicine cabinet:

  • Peppermint – Peppermint oil helps in improving muscle and joint pain. It also helps in reducing fevers, clearing sinuses, and treating asthma and bronchitis. It can also relieve headaches and digestive issues.
  • Melaleuca (also known as tea tree) – Melaleuca oil is antifungal and antibacterial that is effective in preventing and reducing infection. It is also able to clean air of allergens and pathogens.
  • Lavender – Lavender oil is effective in healing cuts, burns, stings, or rashes. It can also reduce anxiety and help to give good sleep after trauma.
  • Frankincense – Frankincense oil is an effective anti-inflammatory that can be used to heal bruising and reduce scars. It also aids in boosting immunity and the emotional well-being.

Some other oils that you may want to include to your home medicine cabinet are clove, eucalyptus, and oregano.

Essential Oils for Losing Weight

Almost all people know that eating the right kinds of foods and doing the right kinds of body exercise help in losing weight. However, an extra boost using essential oils may also be very helpful in attaining this goal. But rather than using plant-based medicines for weight loss, some people usually choose to turn to caffeine or other types of drugs instead.

Here are at least 4 essential oils that have been confirmed to help with weight loss:

  • Cinnamon oil – Cinnamon oil helps balance blood sugar levels, which can improve diabetes and assist in weight loss.
  • Ginger oil – Ginger oil contains gingerol which contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It also aids in increasing thermogenesis which boosts metabolism.
  • Grapefruit oil – Grapefruit oil contains d-limonene which can be found in citrus peels. Studies show that d-limonene improves metabolic enzyme levels.
  • Peppermint oil – Peppermint oil helps a lot in dealing with weight loss, as it improves digestion and suppresses cravings.

Essential Oil Contraindications

In some cases, essential oils may not be recommended to use due to their powerful effect. When dealing with pregnancy and heart medications, here are some oils that would be best to avoid in the meantime.

  • Pregnancy – Rose, jasmine, basil, clary sage, fennel, cinnamon, clove, juniper, cypress, myrrh, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. These oils are totally healthy in general. But to be safe, they are not recommended for pregnant women as they may affect hormones.
  • Heart medications (blood thinners) – Ginger, cypress, eucalyptus, clary sage, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

Aromatherapy is an excellent way to support relaxation, healing, and well-being. Aside from it being inexpensive, it also doesn’t produce any opposing side effects.

Quality of Essential Oil

It is essential to be advised that not all essential oils are made equally. Most of them are synthetic, so they’re useless to your health. Make sure that you only choose pure therapeutic grade when buying essential oils.

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