In the past decade, the natural remedy industry has experienced a boom in multiple areas. From superfoods to all-natural home remedies, people have flocked with great enthusiasm towards a greener way of life. And what better way to enjoy a more holistic way of living than with the use of essential oils? After all, they have a multitude of uses making them ideal for consumption and treating various ills!
In an attempt to demystify what these oils are, we have prepared a short article detailing the most popular and versatile oils out there, as well as how to use them safely. Enjoy!
Essential Oils: What Are They?
Technically, essential oils are hydrophobic liquids containing volatile chemical compounds from plants. They’re called essential because they contain the characteristics of the plants used. Essential oils are made from parts of certain plants like leaves, herbs, barks, and rinds.
There are various methods used to concentrate plants into oils, as well as many ways to use them afterward. For example, you could add them to vegetable oils, creams, or bath gels. Most people, however, use them for aromatherapy (they smell them, rub them on their skin, or put them in their bath). According to research, aromatherapy can be helpful for a number of issues, if used right.
Top 5 Essential Oils
CLOVE (EUGENIA CARYOPHYLLATA)
The first oil in our list is clove essential oil. People generally use this oil to treat infections. People use it as an antiseptic for oral infections as it has the power to destroy a wide spectrum of microbes. Its efficacy as an antimicrobial agent has been tested by researchers from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. What they did was take a look at how the oil kills different kinds of bacteria.
The results of the study were incredible. Not only does this oil kill off the E. coli bacteria, but it also managed to slow down and affect bacterias such as Staph aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In other words, used properly, this oil can fight against pneumonia and skin infections.
2. EUCALYPTUS (EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS)
Eucalyptus essential oil is a very powerful antibacterial, antispasmodic, and antiviral agent. It’s no wonder that the Aborigines used them often to treat a wide range of disease in their villages, in the past. Just like other oils, eucalyptus has a very strong effect over Staph infections. The researchers at VIT University in India eventually did prove this through a study. The researchers proved that the dangerous Staph aureus lost its viability in 15 minutes after coming into contact with eucalyptus oil.
3. FRANKINCENSE (BOSWELLIA CARTERI, FREREANA & SACRA)
Frankincense has a bad reputation due to the role it played in the “Christmas Story”. Nevertheless, it is undeniable the best essential oil out there. Why? Because it is one of the most potent healing agents on the planet. In fact, it is so powerful that the journal Oncology Letters actually published an article claiming its ability to destroy cancer cells. Indeed, this Biblical tree targets MCF- and HS-1 cell lines, thus destroying breast and other tumors.
Another area where Frankincense can be used successfully in the treatment of digestive issues. However, it can be really helpful in treating immunity issues and improving oral health.
4. LAVENDER (LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA)
Out of all the oils out there, none is more popular than lavender oil. Well-known for its calming and soothing properties, lavender oil is not only ideal for aromatherapy, but for other issues as well. For example, it speeds up the healing time for all kinds of wounds: burns, cuts, and stings. This comes as no surprise since it has a lot of powerful antioxidants.
It was precisely its antioxidants content that convinced researchers to evaluate its ability to treat diabetes and oxidative stress. The results of the studies did not disappoint!
5. LEMON (CITRUS LIMON)
Many people use citrus oils to treat skin issues. Massage therapists use it to stimulate lymph drainage, while cosmetologists use it to rejuvenate dull, tired skin. In the household, people use it as a natural bug repellent.
As you can see, lemon oil has quite a wide range of applications. Recent research has discovered it has other relevant properties as well: antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Essential Oils: How To Use Them Safely
Do Not Apply Everywhere
It is a fact that there are hundreds of oils to choose from. This does not make them all equal in terms of usage. You should avoid using the oils that you apply on your limbs on sensitive body parts such as the nose, mouth, eye or genitalia. Also, don’t use it orally if the label says “external use only”.
Always Check the Quality
A lot of people make the mistake of picking products off the shelf without checking info about the expiration date or the quality of the product itself. Do not make these mistakes! Before you buy anything, make sure the producer is legit and that the oils are pure. Some oils have added ingredients. Avoid those!
These oils are made out of plants. This gives people the impression that they are safe, though that’s not always the case. Indeed, plant-based oils are safer than conventional medicine. Still, they can be potentially dangerous. Natural substances can still be irritating, toxic, or cause allergies. In order to be safe, always do a test before using these oils. Simply put a little on your skin and give it 24 hours. If nothing happens, then you can use the oils carefree.
Edibles Should Not Go On The Skin
Another important aspect to consider when using essential oils is respecting the directions. If the label says for internal use only, then don’t put it on your skin. Take cumin oil, for example. It’s perfectly safe to use in your food but if you put it on your skin you’ll get blisters. Other oils you should avoid putting on your skin are citrus oils, as they can cause serious skin issues when you go out in the sun. Other oils can cause life-threatening reactions when used internally, so always make sure you use them properly.
All in all, essential oils can be great ways to treat various ills. From skin issues to supplementing your diet, oils are a great way to stay healthy and live a green lifestyle. However, just like conventional medicine, natural medicine can come with unwanted side effects. Like in all things, it’s best to exercise caution and to read the instructions before usage!