Are you curious about using essential oils? Have you asked yourself what the benefits of essential oils are? You’ve probably seen talk about essential oils all over Pinterest. Or maybe you have a coworker that lives by essential oils and always has her diffuser going.
In this article I’m going to attempt to cover the benefits of essential oils. Let’s go!
What are essential oils?
Strangely, essential oils aren’t even oils at all!
Most of them will have a slightly oil feel, but they aren’t oils. Oils are substances that have a large amount of fatty acids. Essential oils don’t have fatty acids in them.
Essential oils are simply concentrated chemicals that have been derived from plants.
Most essential oils that you can buy today are created using distillation methods. There are a few other methods used as well, but distillation is the most common.
Many types of plants can be used to create essential oils. The essential oils can be produced from any part of the plant- roots, stems, leaves, flowers, etc.
History of essential oils
Humans have been interested in healing each other for thousands of years. Humans experimented with plants and substances in the environment to heal themselves.
Many plants were found to have healing properties and were used in medicine.
Keep in mind that modern medicine has only been around for about 200 years. Before that, people relied on natural remedies to heal themselves. Essential oils gathered from plants were extremely popular.
There is evidence that shows essential oils have been used for almost 5,000 years! Even though essential oils are suddenly the rage, they are definitely not a new trend.
Essential oils have stood the test of time.
With the emergence of modern medicine, many people started to rely less and less on natural remedies and more on over-the-counter remedies. Not to knock over-the-counter methods or modern medicine AT ALL, but sometimes we take medicine for granted.
Also, essential oils have been gaining popularity with not only the average person but with doctors and medical institutions as well. For example, Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, TN is a world-renowned research hospital.
Vanderbilt began using essential oils and aromatherapy (inhaling essential oils) in their ER to lower stress anxiety in their patients.
Midwives have used aromatherapy for thousands of years and still do. Essential oils can lower fears that mothers can have about giving birth without giving them a drug that could be harmful to the baby or slow labor.
There has also been research done with Frankincense, a popular essential oil. Frankincense has been shown to reduce the spread of tumors in brain cancer. Pretty impressive if you ask me!
What are the benefits of essential oils?
There are so many potential benefits of essential oils that there is no way that they would all fit into one post. I’ll try to cover all of the high points though. 🙂
- Improve mood and create a positive atmosphere
- Create a relaxed state and improve sleep
- Relieve inflammation
- Pain relief
- Boost the immune system
- Heal and soothe skin irritations
- Improve the appearance of cellulite and wrinkles
- Aid in hair loss prevention and regrowth
- Aid in weight loss
- Can be used to create natural bug spray
You can find so much information these days online about essential oils and how to use them. Make sure that you get any information from a reliable source and always use common sense when using oils.
Let’s talk more about how essential oils can be used. I hope you’re sitting down because there are so many benefits of essential oils!
Benefits of Essential Oils
1. Benefits of essential oils- improve your mood and help to create a positive atmosphere.
I love using essential oils for this reason. I have several essential oil diffusers in my house that I have going all of the time. Essential oils can really create an entirely different atmosphere in your home or office.
Your sense of smell is directly wired to your brain’s centers of memory and emotion. It’s this direct connection that allows aromatherapy with essential oils to have such a huge impact on your mood.
There are several oils that have been researched and proven to help improve your mood-
If you are in a slump or are feeling sluggish, eucalyptus oil can help pick you up. It’s a natural stimulant that can re-energize you and get you up and going again.
Jasmine is an essential oil that is both proven to reduce stress and increase your alertness. Have a major project at work that seems to be sucking the life out of you? (Haven’t we all??)
Try using jasmine to get focused again and stop stressing about it.
This really goes for all of the citrus oils.
There’s no way that you can smell grapefruit or lemon and NOT be energized. I put orange and lemon in my diffuser at home when I need to get some serious housework done.
Rosemary essential oil is an amazing oil to put you in a better mood.
It’s been scientifically shown to decrease stress, increase positive feelings about yourself and increase your cognitive brain function all at the same time.
Have a major exam or big interview coming up? Use rosemary oil before to feel relaxed and confident.
This super essential oil is good for so many things. One such benefit is helping you to relax and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety.
Peppermint oil can help increase your energy levels. It can also help clear your mind if you’re in a brain fog. Think of peppermint oil as a handy little reset button.
Chamomile can help decrease feelings of depression and sadness. It can also help you feel relaxed.
Sandalwood is an essential oil that has different effects for different people. Some people feel relaxed and sleepy when they use sandalwood.
Other people say that it has the opposite effect and makes them feel alert and have increased focus.
You’ll have to try this one for yourself and see how it affects you and use it accordingly.
Ylang Ylang will help to put you in a better mood because it will physically make you feel better. It has been shown to lower blood pressure. Once it lowers your blood pressure, your anxiety and stress levels will automatically be lowered.
Bergamot is calming and can help to soothe anxiety. The slightly citrusy essential oil will help to put you in a better mood.
This relative of lemongrass will help to decrease nervous energy, anxiety or anger.
Hello Glow has compiled a list of 10 essential oils that can be used to improve your mood if you are interested in reading more.
2. Benefit of essential oils- relax and sleep better.
There are many essential oils that can decrease stress, depression and anxiety. All three of these things can reduce your amount of restful sleep and keep you awake at night.
There are essential oils that have sedative effects and will cause you to not only go to sleep, but to sleep deeper. The Sleep Doctor often recommends aromatherapy as a natural way to increase deep, meaningful sleep.
Lavender decreases anxiety and depression. It is such a powerful anti-depressant that it has been shown to decrease stress and depression in people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and postpartum depression.
Lavender has sedative effects. It will encourage your body to go to sleep and to sleep longer and deeper. It is a powerful sleep aid.
This essential oil is funny in the fact that different people react to it differently.
Some people claim that it works like a sedative and causes them to fall asleep faster. Other people claim that sandalwood causes them to become more awake and alert.
Both groups agree however that stress and anxiety levels are lowered with sandalwood.
Bergamot is a natural remedy for anxiety. It can help you to relax. Bergamot has been shown to decrease blood pressure, heart rates and respiration rates. No wonder it can help you to relax!
Decreased levels of anxiety and depression are just a couple of the benefits clary sage has to offer. Clary sage is another mild sedative than can help you ease into a restful sleep.
It has been shown in studies to decrease the amount and severity of seizures in certain people. Sage can also balance hormone levels that aren’t right and can ease PMS symptoms.
Jasmine can increase sleep quality as well as reduce restless sleeping. It can help you get deeper, more restful sleep.
3. Benefits of essential oils- inflammation relief.
Inflammation is often the result of the the body sending the immune system to ‘attack’ something in the body that it sees as a threat. This could be something like an actual threat from maybe a bacteria or virus.
Or, since your body can’t tell the difference, it could be from you stressing over bills or a work project.
Either way, inflammation can cause soreness and aches.
Tea tree oil is a great oil to have on hand for skin issues. It can help to soothe inflamed skin and therefore can help to heal acne and reduce redness.
When ingested, peppermint oil can decrease digestive inflammation. Peppermint oil can soothe various digestion issues caused by inflammation.
Rosemary and Eucalyptus–
Both of these oils can be used to reduce sinus inflammation. If you have a cold, these oils can be your best friend as they can also clear out clogged sinuses.
Thyme is an excellent anti-inflammatory, especially for respiratory inflammation. Inhale thyme deeply to reduce inflammation in the lungs and throat.
According to a study found in the US National Library of Medicine, thyme, clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel and bergamot are very effective in reducing inflammation.
4. Benefits of essential oils- pain relief.
There are many essential oils that can be used for topical pain relief. If you are interested in natural pain relief, you will love my Dandelion Salve. It’s an excellent remedy for aches and pains.
Ginger, Frankincense and Myrrh–
These three essential oils are wonderful for relieving pain in sore or stiff muscles, joints and tendons. They are also helpful in treating symptoms of arthritis.
Apply these oils topically and rub into the sore area for pain relief.
Helicrysum is known for its abilities to heal damaged muscles. When you over work muscles, they get tiny, microscopic tears. Helicrysum can help to heal those tiny tears faster.
It can also be used to decrease pain from illnesses such as fibromyalgia.
Chamomile is a pain relieving oil that can work wonders when ingested. Making and drinking chamomile tea can reduce digestive and menstrual aches and pains.
It can also be used as a topical to relieve pain in the lower back and any sore muscles.
When ingested, peppermint can eliminate pain from gas, nausea and indigestion. Peppermint oil is an excellent choice to settle an upset stomach.
It can also be used topically to relieve headaches. Rub the oil into the scalp where the pain is.
The peppermint oil on the surface of the skin will draw the blood to the skin surface, helping to alleviate the pain from the headache.
These oils work wonders for headaches and migraines. I have used both to relieve tension headaches, cluster headaches and migraines.
Similar to peppermint oil, these oils work by drawing the blood to the surface and away from the source of the headache.
Massage the oil into the temples and put some around your nose to breathe the oils in. Breathing in the oils will also help to relieve headaches.
5. Benefits of essential oils- prevent illnesses and boost the immune system.
Several essential oils have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They can be used to treat and prevent infections and boost the immune system.
One of the many benefits of essential oils is that you can treat common illnesses, at home, naturally!
These three oils can be used to help with the average cold. They all have anti-bacterial properties and can kill off bacterial infections. You can also use them to clear congestion caused by colds and open the sinuses back up.
Eucalyptus is an energizing decongestant and expectorant, which makes it an amazing oil to have when you have a sinus infection.
Tea tree oil is most beneficial at the first signs of a cold. It is a potent antimicrobial that can clear congestion and is a decongestant and expectorant.
Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Oregano, Sage and Frankincense–
All of these oils will help to boost the immune system when inhaled.
Tea tree oil is a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Rub tea tree oil into cuts to prevent them from becoming infected.
Clove essential oil can boost the immune system and has also been shown to be effective in treating Lyme disease.
Oregano can be ingested to help clear out digestive infections because of it’s powerful antibiotic abilities.
Not only can oregano kill the bugs responsible for making you sick, but it can help relieve some of the symptoms of a cold. Oregano can relieve sinus congestion and ease irritating coughs.
Garlic has many illness fighting abilities.
It is an anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Not many things can help fight off a viral infection; garlic can.
Earthroma has put together a list of five essential oils that can help boost your immune system.
6. Benefits of essential oils- heal skin irritations.
One of the benefits of essential oils is that they can be used to heal many skin issues from acne to bug bites to sunburn. Here are some of my favorite oils for treating skin irritations-
Tea tree oil can be used on the skin and face to help clear up acne. It is an anti-bacterial and kills the bacteria responsible for causing most acne.
Eczema can also be healed with tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil is useful in relieving the itch, swelling and redness caused by bug bites.
Sunburn? Treat it with tea tree oil to soothe the swelling, redness and pain.
The antibiotic properties in lavender oil can help to heal minor cuts and scrapes sooner.
Lemongrass works wonders on the face. Use lemongrass as an astringent and to reduce pore size.
Basil can relieve itching and irritation from both bug bites and eczema.
Rosemary can decrease skin irritation. The gentle anti-inflammatory agents in rosemary will help to reduce slight swelling and irritations from minor skin conditions.
Carrot seed oil, although not as common as some of the other oils, is very useful in treating sunburn. The oil can help repair some of the damage from sunburns.
7. Benefits of essential oils- aromatherapy is safer than using candles or incense.
If you are looking to add pleasant smells to your home, use essential oils. You can purchase diffusers that release the oils into the air with a small amount of humidity.
I have to run humidifiers during my house in the winter because when we turn the heat on it dries the air out. I’ve always dealt with nosebleeds in the winter months because of the dry air.
Now that I use diffusers for essential oils, I don’t have nosebleed issues.
With aromatherapy, you don’t run a risk of starting a fire in your home. I love to burn candles, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve also fallen asleep more times that I’d like to admit with a candle burning.
I often run my essential oil diffuser in the bedrooms at night and I don’t have to worry about it burning the house down! Actually, I can put some of my favorite oils in it, like lavender, and sleep like a baby with it running!
Aromatherapy has been a trusted source of physical, mental and emotional well-being for well over 5,000 years. It’s an excellent way to keep yourself healthy, naturally.
8. Benefits of essential oils- hair growth.
Is your hair thinning or falling out? Another one of the benefits of essential oils is the ability to promote healthy hair growth!
Try treating it with rosemary, clary sage and lavender oils.
These oils inhibit DHT, which is dihydroxy-testosterone. Both men and women’s bodies produce DHT and unfortunately, this hormone can cause hair to thin and fall out.
Combat it with essential oils!
9. Benefits of essential oils- create a natural bug spray.
We basically live outside here. We are frequently in the woods and out in the yard, so dealing with bugs is an everyday ordeal for us. We’ve used store bought bug sprays before, such as DEET or OFF.
When I was pregnant with Forrest, I stopped using bug spray and started using more natural options. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I used store bought DEET again.
I couldn’t believe the way that it made my skin tingle and burn. Not OK!
You can safely make your own natural bug spray and repellent with essential oils.
Mix them up in a spray bottle with water and spray it on. It’s safe and doesn’t make your skin tingle.
10. Benefits of essential oils- achieve weight loss.
Since I’ve had kids, I’ve struggled with keeping extra weight off. It’s like it becomes sticky after you have kids. So I’m always on the lookout for ways that I can help give myself a little bit of an edge when it comes to weight loss.
Essential oils can help give you that edge. One of the benefits of essential oils is the ability to boost your metabolism and shed some extra pounds!
Grapefruit, Lemon and Orange-
Citrus essential oils contain a chemical called d-lemonene. This chemical has been shown to increase metabolism. You can add essential oils to food or teas to help give your metabolism a boost.
Peppermint oil will help to reduce cravings and increase your rate of digestion. Both of these are a win when you’re trying to shed some extra weight.
This essential oil is helpful in balancing blood sugar. This is extremely helpful for people with diabetes, but it’s also helpful for the average person as it can also assist in losing weight.
Ginger contains a chemical called gingerol. Gingerol is a thermogenic, which means it makes your body work to burn fat. Isn’t that the overall goal of weight loss?
Uses and Benefits of Essential Oils
There are so many benefits to essential oils that I wouldn’t be able to fit them all in one post.
These concentrated plant components can work wonders for your health. Use them to treat infections, anxiety, stress and skin irritations. Of course, always use caution when treating a medical condition and seek the advice of a doctor’s advice if you aren’t sure about symptoms.
Use caution when using essential oils during pregnancy or if you have certain medical conditions or are on medications. Ask your doctor if essential oils are safe for you to use.
The benefits of essentials oils include more than just health benefits.
Essential oils can also be used to clean your home.
How do you plan on using essential oils? Do you have a favorite blend? Let me know below!