What are Essential Oils
Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree and have several healing properties. The oils in the plants are made up of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some can even penetrate the blood-brain barrier. These oils are highly concentrated and have a strong aroma and can be used in aromatherapy and their benefits range from mental to physical healing.
Are Essential Oils Safe
Essential oils are generally safe to use and have very few negative side effect or risks associated with their use especially when used as directed. If you are trying to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle, they make for great alternatives to over-the-counter medications for both physical and mental health. Overall, there is good evidence that essential oils are both safe and can be a powerful healing tool in natural medicine.
What is Aromatherapy
When breathing in essential oil fragrances, the process is called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a term used when we use essential oils aromatically. When the aromas of an essential oil is inhaled, the molecules enter the nasal cavities and stimulate mental responses in the limbic system which can trigger a powerful emotional response.
Essential oils are oils that are created naturally in plants in order to protect the plant from insects, shield the plant from a harsh environment and help them adapt to their surroundings. The oils in the plants are made up of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some can even penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
Aromatherapy can be obtained by adding a few drops of oils to your bath or shower, by relaxing in a warm bath with bath salts and essential oils, by diffusing the oils in an essential oil diffuser, using room or body sprays containing essential oils, essential oil nasal inhalers, essential oil roll-ons used as perfumes or colognes, or just simply inhaling the aromas from the bottle.
If you prefer, you can go to a professional. There are trained professionals such as aromatherapists, physical therapists, massage therapists, nutritionists or even doctors of natural medicine who use aromatherapy in their practice and are trained in specific uses for essential oils.
Although it is difficult to pinpoint the origin and time frame, essential oils have been used for centuries by many different cultures who used them for their physical, mental, health and emotional healing properties. They were, and still are, used for relaxation, beauty, perfume, home cleaning and as natural medicine.
Diffusing Essential Oils
Diffusers are used to vaporize essential oils into the air. They release small amounts of the oils and the same safety concerns apply when diffusing them as they do with inhaling them. Inhalation is considered a very safe method and poses low levels of risk. It is very unlikely the concentration oil will rise to dangerous levels due to vaporizing.
When using your diffuser, diffuse for about 30- 45 minutes at a time. There are diffusers on the market that even have a built-in timer that will shut the device off automatically in case you forget.
It is advised that you not leave the diffuser plugged in overnight. Be sure to read the diffuser’s directions carefully, be sure the diffuser has the appropriate amount of water, and don’t add carrier oils to your diffuser which may cause the device to break down. Regularly clean your diffuser with soap and warm water to help it work effectively and to prevent mold or bacteria from accumulating.
It is important to note that you may not want to diffuse around newborns, babies, young children, pregnant or nursing women or pets unless you know they are safe. Each essential oil has its own precautions when using them, so be sure to read and follow the labels carefully.
Start slowly when it comes to diffusing your essential oils to test your reactions to them. Ask a healthcare provider or a professional if you have any concerns or concerns about oils worsening symptoms you may already be experiencing.
Learn the Benefits of Diffusing Essential Oils
Irritating Essential Oils
If you have allergies, asthma or similar conditions, you may find that some oils with strong fragrances may trigger respiratory reactions. If this is the case, stop inhaling or diffusing immediately and ventilate the room. Use caution when diffusing essential oils that might irritate mucous membranes like:
- Cinnamon Bark
Less Irritating Essential Oils
The following essential oils can be less irritating when inhaled:
- Tea Tree
Benefits of Aromatherapy
So now that you have a better understanding of what aromatherapy is, here is a short list of ways that they can help.
- Boost Immunity
- Fight cold and flu symptoms
- Fight bacteria, virus or fungus
- Relax your body
- Alleviate/manage pain
- Balance hormones
- Ease discomforts of labor
- Make your home smell wonderful, naturally
- Induce sleep
- Relieve stress, anxiety and depression
- Soothe sore joints and muscles
- Alleviate side effects of chemotherapy
- Improve digestion
Safety Tips When Using Essential Oils
Be sure to read the labels carefully of the essential oils you would like to use. For the best results, use essential oils that are 100% pure oils and are therapeutic grade. Many essential oils on the market today have been adulterated (altered or diluted) that may cause adverse effects.
Always ask your physician if you have any safety concerns or concerns regarding medication interactions. Some essential oils can alter the way certain medications work. People taking heart medications, such as blood thinners, should avoid using clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, rosemary, sage and thyme oils.
Possible Side Effects of Aromatherapy
Side effects of using essential oils include:
- Asthma attacks
- Allergic reactions
- Skin irritation
Immediately stop use and seek medical attention if any of these effects continue or get worse.
Learn More On: Which Essential Oils to Avoid and When
Summing It Up
Aromatherapy is one of the best ways to utilize the power of essential oils. Depending on the products you get, you can enjoy these powers at anytime at your fingertips. Essential oils and aromatherapy has been used for centuries to help with many mental, health and emotional issues. There are still practitioners that utilize this practice till this day. Give them a try and see how they can benefit you!
When I was suffering from anxiety, I created an aromatherapy inhaler that I used when ever I felt an attack coming on. As soon as I inhaled the aromas, I felt a sense of calm come over me and the attack disappeared. This was part of my inspiration to create Self Verve and I now sell that same aromatherapy inhaler in hopes to help others.
Have you ever used aromatherapy? Did it work for you? Let us know in the comments section!
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. Neither Self Verve nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Be sure to contact your physician before trying any of the items stated in the above article.