Essential Oils: Do They Work?
We are living in a generation where technology, alternatives, supplements, and other innovation is the most controversial topic when being discussed. We are constantly seeking factual researches, scientific basis, and testimonials to prove the legitimacy of things.
In this blog. We will learn and understand together if essential oils really work according to what other people claim.
Basically, essential oils are often used as an aromatherapy. It is a form of alternative medicine which employs plant extracts to support our health and well-being. Essential oils are compounds that are extracted from plants or flowers. Their unique aromatic smell gives each essential oil its distinct characteristic.
As good as they smell, essential oils are not meant to be swallowed. Essential oils are the most commonly used in the practice of aromatherapy. Because these oils are extracted from different kinds of plants, the chemicals from these oils may interact with your body in several ways. In fact, some plant chemicals are being absorbed by our body when applied to the skin.
Researchers and science experts said that inhaling the aromas from essential oils can trigger and stimulate the areas of our limbic system. The limbic system is a part of our brain which generates emotion, behaviors, sense of smell, and long-term memory. The limbic system also plays a role in controlling several unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Sleep and insomnia
The essential oil has been shown to improve the quality of our sleep. In fact, it has been commonly used to improve the sleeping quality of a woman that just gave birth and for those people who have heart diseases. The majority of the studies showed that smelling essential oils -- lavender oil -- had positive effects on sleeping habits.
Stress and anxiety
Initial studies about aromatherapy have been quite positive. Many have shown that the smell of some essential oils can work alongside traditional therapy to treat anxiety and stress.
Antibiotic and antimicrobial
Test-tube studies have investigated essential oils, such as peppermint and tea tree oil, extensively for their antimicrobial effects, observing some positive results. (1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9). However, while these test-tube study results are interesting, they do not necessarily reflect the effects that these oils have on your body. They don’t prove that a particular essential oil could treat bacterial infections in humans.
In conclusion, essential oils are considered safe to inhale or to apply to the skin. They should not be eaten or swallowed. However, researches and evidence to support the claims to its benefits are lacking and it is often exaggerated.
Using essential oils to cure minor health problems as a complementary therapy to headaches or stress is harmless. Please keep in mind that if you have a serious health condition, using essential oils is not enough nor advisable. We need to consult an expert and take proper medication.