Stress is such a common thing in our lives nowadays, that the eternal battle against it has been a huge motivator for developing products and services across industries. And we all do something to help our mind and body relax and forget all the stresses that accompany our daily lives. From meditation, listening to music, colouring, knitting, yoga, relaxation massage chairs, spas and travelling, many people are searching to find the best way to quiet down their anxious minds and be able to enjoy the moment.
Essential oils are one such aid. If you read any essential oils 101 guide, they usually cite stress relief as the main reason for the growing popularity for these products. And while they are primarily used in aromatherapy, if you are someone who enjoys the beautiful smells they offer, there are many other ways in which you can use them. But, before talking about their uses, let’s discuss what exactly are essential oils.
What Are Essential Oils?
Simply put, essential oils are chemicals extracted from different parts of many different plants. They can be pure, come in a blend of other essential oils or mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut, jojoba, argan, olive, sweet almond, sunflower and so on. Their name suggests that they are the essence of those plants.
While “essence” can be quite a philosophical concept, and the question of what’s really the essence of a plant doesn’t have a definitive answer, we can say that these oils are in a way at least carrying part of that essence, more specifically they carry its scent and flavour, as well as some of its characteristics.
There are several ways in which aromatic compounds are extracted from plants. The most common one is distillation, with steam and water, the method considered to be the best for making essential oils, but they can also be extracted through mechanical methods, like cold pressing. The chemicals extracted from the plants are combined with the carrier oil, making up the final product we call essential oil.
What Can Essential Oils Be Used For?
One of the main reasons why it’s believed that essential oils work for stress-relieving is that our sense of smell creates the strongest emotional reactions in us, out of all other senses. This may be because it’s the most rudimentary one, and the only one connected to the brain directly. Aromatherapy takes advantage of the way our olfactory system works and allows us to gain the mental and physical health benefits the magical aromas of pure essential oils offer.
There are several ways in which you can inhale essential oils safely, and the easiest and most common one is to simply open the small bottle in which they come, and smell it. Furthermore, drops of essential oils can furthermore be added in many types of vapourisers and diffusers, in a bath, they can be applied directly on the skin, for example as a perfume, and so on. You can use them while meditating, while you are doing a hobby such as knitting, while you are soaking in your bathtub, or while doing any everyday activity.
Essential oils are also used in many products, such as hands, face and body creams, makeup, soaps, perfumes, candles, etc., mainly for their aromatic properties, but also because some have been known to help skin conditions, diminish skin irritation, and so on. Another important thing included in the essential oils 101 guides is that some people use them to make their own beauty and hygiene products, and even perfumes, candles, and other products made for spreading beautiful scents, creating atmosphere, or simply carry a scent where ever you are.
Benefits of Using Essential Oils
Many believe that different essential oils can have different positive responses in our minds, which is why you should choose according to the effect you are looking for. Whether you are looking for something to help you relax for meditation, create an ambience while you are relaxing in your hot tub, help you focus for work, improve your mood, calm your nerves, improve your libido and so on, different essential oils have different properties which make them more suitable for some tasks than for others.
Some pure essential oils are considered to be beneficial for your physical health. Of course, de-stressing by itself has many benefits for your physical well-being, but more than that, containing some healthy components, essential oils may have a positive impact on different processes in our bodies. While there is no definitive evidence that proves that they have a physical impact, may swear by it. They can help with headaches and chronic pains, skin conditions, sinus congestion, infections, they can promote digestion, boost energy and so on.
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Living in a tiny home with her not so tiny family, Kate considers multitasking to be her power as a caring supermum and wife. Whenever she's not in curled up in her writer's corner, covering various topics on kids and baby stuff, health, education, knowledge, entertainment or interior decor, you'd find her enjoying some quality time with loved ones, both indoors and out, sharing different experiences together; what better way to chase a writer's block away, right?!