ESSENTIAL OILS: Fact or Myth?

Essential oils are compounds that are extracted from plants. The oils capture the aroma and flavor of the plant or "essence." The unique aromatic compounds give each essential oil its characteristic essence. Essential oils are obtained by distillation (using steam and/or water) or by mechanical processes such as cold pressing.

How do you use essential oils?


Essential oils enter the body in three main ways: they are applied to the skin, they are inhaled, or they are ingested. Oftentimes, essential oils are applied by damping them on the skin or inhaling them. There are many different types of application methods within each of these methods. You can apply essential oils topically with compresses, sprays, baths, or massages to the skin. The essential oil you choose depends on the intended use. It is either to elevate your mood, treat for burns, relieving muscle pains, and etc.


Commercially, essential oils are used in three main ways: as odorants, they are used in cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, detergents, and various industrial products ranging from animal feed to insecticides and paint; as flavorings, they are found in baked goods, sweets, confectionery, meat, pickles, soft drinks, and many other food products; and as pharmaceuticals, they are found in dental products and a large but shrinking group of drugs.


What are the benefits of essential oils?


1. It relieves stress

Aromatherapy can be a natural stress reliever. The practice is to inhale the scent of essential oils extracted from plants to promote health and wellness. Your olfactory system directly affects the part of your brain that regulates emotions. Therefore, smells can evoke memories and feelings - both negative and positive. Aromatherapy can help reduce stress and anxiety in order to achieve an overall state of calm.

Essential oils can lift your mood and make you feel good with just a hint of their scent. In some people, they can even help relieve symptoms of various medical conditions. For more information on how to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle, contact an integrative medicine expert.


Common essential oils that relieve stress:

  • Lavender

  • Chamomile

  • Orange

  • Sandalwood

  • Lemon

2. It treats fungal infections

Many essential oils have antifungal or antimicrobial properties, which means that they can fight the growth of certain pathogens that could be harmful to your health. Because essential oils do not induce the same side effects as some synthetic ingredients used to fight bacteria and fungi, they are becoming increasingly popular for this purpose.


The first studies of tea tree oil had promising results in terms of antimicrobial properties that have long been touted in traditional medicine. The oil has been used for athlete's foot, oral yeast infections, and yeast infections such as candida. Again, more research is needed.


What are the essential oils that can kill fungus?

  • Peppermint

  • Orange

  • Lemongrass

  • Tea tree

You can use antifungal essential oils topically to treat skin fungal overgrowth. If you choose a blend of two or three oils along with a carrier oil like coconut oil, you have a better chance of getting results. Do not apply essential oils directly to your skin without diluting with a carrier oil.


3. It promotes a healthy sleeping pattern

Overall, essential oils can have many different benefits, such as weakening certain viruses and boosting your immune system while relieving anxiety. Essential oils can also help you relax and improve your sleep.


Before applying essential oils topically, be sure to dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil. Applying undiluted essential oils to the skin can cause irritation. Popular carrier oils include coconut, jojoba, and extra virgin olive oils. Generally, you should use 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for every 1 drop of essential oil.


Aside from applying it topically, you may also invest in diffusers where you can incorporate few drops of oils that you love. This will release the scent into your home.


Tips for using essential oils:

  1. Do not just rub them anywhere. Oils that are fine on your arms and legs may not be safe to put inside your mouth, nose, eyes, or private parts. Lemongrass, peppermint, and cinnamon bark are some examples.

  2. Always use carrier oils or dilute the essential oils before applying them to the skin. Direct application may cause irritation.

  3. Don’t keep them for more than 3 years. Older oils are more likely to be spoiled because of exposure to oxygen. They may not work as well and could irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

  4. Always consider the age of the one who is using it. Young children and the elderly may be more sensitive to essential oils. So you may need to dilute them more.

  5. Always store them in a safe place. They can be very concentrated and may cause serious health problems, especially if used at the wrong dose or in the wrong way. Just like anything else that little hands shouldn’t be able to reach, don't make your essential oils too handy.

  6. Stop using essential oils when your skin has a bad reaction after first use.


There are many techniques that you can do to incorporate essential oils. One of which is by using adding it to your bath. Bathing with essential oils is a lush and luxurious way to loosen up and soothe stiff muscles. Simply add 10 to 12 drops of essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil. Add that to the water flowing from your faucet and allow the water to disperse before getting into the tub. This method leads to absorption through the skin, as well as inhalation of the volatile essential oil. A few tablespoons of whole milk can be used as a dispersant.


One of the most popular products in the market that infuses essential oil is bath bombs. Simple homemade bath bomb recipe uses quality ingredients and pure essential oils of your choice to create an all-natural, affordable bath bomb.


Bottom line:

Essential oils are proven effective due to the fact that it is extracted from different kinds of plants. Plants on their own have properties and therapeutic claims that are scientifically proven.

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