Essential Oils and Their properties – The essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants with enormous healing properties. The use of essential oils for medicinal purposes is often called aromatherapy, a holistic treatment that seeks to improve physical, mental and emotional health. For more than 5,000 years, many different cultures have used these healing plant oils to treat a variety of health problems. They are often used for relaxation, beauty care, cleaning the home and commonly as a natural medicine.
Simply by adding some of the most common essential oils such as lavender oil, incense, lemon, mint and tea tree in your natural medicine cabinet you can:
- Fight the symptoms of cold and flu
- Relax the body and soothe muscular pain
- Cure skin diseases
- Ease the pain
- Balance hormones
- Improve digestion
- Reduce cellulite and wrinkles
- Clean the house
- Make homemade personal care products
What are essential oils?
Essential Oils and Their Properties – The essential oils are extracted directly from the bark, flowers, fruits, leaves, seeds or roots of a plant or tree and a drop may have health benefits powerful.
They are usually created by the distillation process, which separates the oil-based and water-based compounds from the plant using steam. Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that have a very scent. By concentrating the oils of these plants we are, literally, separating the most potent curative compounds of a plant into a single oil.
For example, in order to obtain 1 small 15 ml bottle of rose essential oil, 30 kilos of rose petals are needed. These therapeutic oils protect the plant from insects, in the midst of a hostile environment and help it adapt to its environment. By taking essential oils we are taking advantage of the protective and healing powers of a plant.
Essential oils are made up of very small molecules that can penetrate the cells and some essential oil compounds can even cross the blood-brain barrier. They differ from fatty oils (such as vegetables or nuts) that come from large molecules, because they can not penetrate the cells and for this reason are not therapeutic in the same way.
History of Aromatherapy
Since the use of essential oils is present in many countries, it is difficult to determine precisely where the practice originated. The oils have been used by Jews, Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, both in the form of cosmetics, perfumes, and medicinal purposes. Some cultures even use oils in spiritual rituals.
In 1928, the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé used lavender oil to cure a burn on his hand. He then decided to further analyze the properties of lavender oil and how it could be used to treat other types of skin infections, wounds or burns.
Thus was born the science of aromatherapy. The main objective of Gattefossé was to help the wounded soldiers during the First World War. The use of these oils began to spread especially among practitioners of alternative medicine, such as masseurs and beauticians from all over Europe.
Aromatherapy became popular in the United States in the 1980s, when essential oils began to be added to various lotions, candles and fragrances. There are also trained professionals such as aromatherapists, physiotherapists, masseurs, nutritionists or even natural medicine doctors who use aromatherapy in their practice and who have studied the specific uses of each essential oil.
Essential oils that are used today in hospitals – Essential Oils and Their Properties
Essential Oils and Their properties – Aromatherapy has a variety of health benefits and can be used in various environments. It is a non-invasive method to treat a variety of medical afflictions and can be used safely in combination with many other therapies.
Many traditional hospitals, such as Vanderbilt University Hospital, are giving ground to the benefits of essential oils and use them in the treatment of anxiety, depression and infections in hospitalized patients.
A 2009 study found that preoperative patients who received aromatherapy with lavender oil experienced significantly less anxiety when approaching their surgery than control patients. Other oils such as sandalwood oil, neroli oil, and lavender oil have also been used in traditional medicine to help patients manage anxiety better.
Some essential oils have also been used by midwives to help reduce anxiety and fear during delivery. A 2007 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that women who used aromatherapy during labor reported less general pain and were able to use fewer pain medications.
Essential oils can also have antibacterial or antifungal benefits used in medical centers. Many oils, when massaged on the skin, can help to cure or treat skin diseases, such as burns or cuts and scrapes. Others can help stimulate the immune system, insomnia, and digestion. Nowadays essential oils are even being used to fight cancer and there is a plentiful amount of information on how incense oil can reduce brain tumors.
15 Essential Oils and Their Benefits for Health – Essential Oils and Their Properties
Each essential oil contains healing compounds and unique therapeutic benefits. These are some of the most popular essential oils and how they are used.
- Nail: Anti-bacterial, offers antiparasitic and antioxidant protection.
- Cypress: Improves circulation, reduces varicose veins, builds confidence and can help heal broken bones.
- Eucalyptus: Improves respiratory problems such as bronchitis, sinusitis and allergies. It also invigorates and purifies the body.
- Incense: Strengthens immunity, reduces inflammation, cures age spots, helps the brain and in the fight against cancer.
- Ginger: Reduces inflammation, strengthens joints, improves digestion and relieves nausea.
- Grapefruit: Improves metabolism and cellulite. It can be mixed with coconut oil and rub in the areas of cellulite or take a few drops internally with water.
- Lavender: Helps with relaxation, improves mood and heals burns and cuts.
- Lemon: Ideal for use in home cleaning products, improves lymphatic drainage and cleanses the body.
- Myrrh: Natural antiseptic. It can prevent or reduce infections. In addition, it promotes beautiful skin, reduces stretch marks and provides hormonal balance.
- Oregano: Powerful anti-microbial properties, can kill fungi and help you overcome a quick cold.
- Mint: It favors digestion, improves attention, increases energy, reduces fever, headache and gives relief to muscle pain.
- Rosa: Incredible to reduce inflammation of the skin and very good for radiant skin. Add a few drops to your facial moisturizer.
- Rosemary: It can thicken the hair naturally so it is ideal to add to homemade shampoos. In addition, it improves brain function and memory so it is ideal to use when working, reading or studying.
- Tea tree oil (Melaleuca : Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, reduces odors and can help stimulate the immune system.
- Sandalwood: Natural aphrodisiac that improves the libido and can also give energy.
Different oils can be mixed together to increase the energy of each one or can be mixed with a base oil to be used in a massage, shower gels, or body lotions.
Application of Essential Oils
Essential Oils and Their properties – Are you ready to improve your health with essential oils? Here are the 4 most common ways you can use essential oils at home:
Typically: Essential oils have a very small size and a chemical weight of less than 1000 m (m = weight of the molecule). According to scientific evidence, any substance with a molecular weight below 1000 m must be absorbed by the skin.
This means that essential oils are able to penetrate the skin and pass into the bloodstream and different areas of the body so we can get their internal therapeutic benefits.
Aromatically: There is a large body of evidence that essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream when inhaled. A large number of blood vessels in the lungs absorb the oils and then they circulate throughout the body.
The use of a diffuser can help you experience the benefits of essential oils. You can spread lavender to reduce stress, melaleuca to clean the air, wild orange to improve mood, incense for spiritual enlightenment and mint to improve concentration and energy.
Ingestion: Essential oils can be used as a powerful medicine, but it should be remembered once again, that essential oils are powerful. Most essential oils are safe for internal use, but very little goes a long way. Usually, 1-3 drops are mixed with plenty of water.
Oils like mint, lemon and incense have great internal benefits and can be taken with water. Other essential oils such as cloves and oregano need to be diluted and should not be taken internally for more than 1 week.
Personal care: Today, the fastest way to use essential oils is to create personal care products. This is an excellent way to take advantage of essential oils to preserve your beauty, improve your home and your long-term health.
Some of the best homemade recipes with essential oils include shampoos, body lotions, toothpaste, insect repellent, lip balm and household cleaners.
Best Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy
The essential oils are very small and can pass through the skin and enter the body quickly. But if you want to keep the oils on the skin and dilute them to create more softness can be combined with carrier oils.
These are larger oils that come from the fat part of the plant and can increase the amount of time essential oils remain on the skin and also prolong their aromatherapy effects.
Some people mistakenly believe that the use of carrier oils reduces the effectiveness of the oil, but in reality, it may be the opposite. Dilution increases the absorption surface and with certain oils can prevent sensitivity.
The most common carrier oils are:
- Almonds oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
- Pomegranate seed oil
For most people I recommend diluting to 10%, that is 5 drops of essential oil per half teaspoon of carrier oil. Read more here: Carrier Oils in Aromatherapy
Essential Oils for Skin and Beauty
The good news is that you can create your own skin beauty products that are more effective than any conventional product on the market. Here are the benefits of some essential oils: The skin and beauty industry is a millionaire industry and unfortunately, it is full of chemicals and hydrogenated oils that cause internal toxicity in the body.
- Soothe irritated skin: Lavender and Roman chamomile
- Reduce age spots: Incense
- Thicken the hair: Rosemary and sage
- Sun protection for natural skin: Immortelle and myrrh
- Improve acne: Melaleuca (tea tree) and geranium
Essential Oils for Hair Growth
Essential oils for hair can make a big difference in stopping and preventing hair loss. Rosemary, lavender and sage oils can help thicken the hair naturally by stimulating the hair follicles.
Sage and lavender help hair growth by balancing estrogen levels and rosemary essential oil works by inhibiting DHT (dihydroxy-testosterone) that stops hair loss. Here is a recipe for hair loss with 100% natural essential oils:
- Put 10 drops of rosemary oil and 5 drops of lavender oil on different areas of the scalp
- Gently massage the scalp for 2 minutes
- Put a warm towel around your head and sit for 20 minutes
- Finally, wash the hair with natural shampoo
Essential Oils Repellent against Insects
Insects and mosquitoes cause great problems in certain parts of the world. These insects can ruin vacations and other outdoor activities. To keep insects at bay you can make a homemade and natural insect repellent that works!
Unfortunately, most people turn to chemicals like sprays that are highly toxic to the body instead of using natural mosquito repellent based on essential oils. These are the ideal essential oils to repel insects:
Rub or spray on the body to repel insects.
Natural First Aid Kit
Having a homemade first aid kit on hand for a wound, sting, sunburn, muscle pain or injury today is a good idea. Essential oils are widely used as natural medicine but without the side effects of conventional drugs such as aspirin and antibiotics.
Here are some of the most common essential oils that everyone should have in their personal first aid kit:
- Lavender – to heal burns, cuts, rashes, bites, reduce anxiety and help you sleep after a trauma.
- Mint – to improve joint pain, muscles, relieve digestive problems, reduce fever, clean sinuses, improve asthma, bronchitis and relieve headaches.
- Incense – is anti-inflammatory, serves to heal bruises, reduce scars, increase immunity and for emotional well-being.
- Melaleuca – antibacterial and antifungal, can be used to prevent and reduce infection and keep the air clean of pathogens and allergens.
Other oils that you may want to have on hand for your medicine cabinet are: eucalyptus, oregano and clove.
Essential Oils for Weight Loss
When it comes to losing weight naturally, almost everyone understands that an improvement in diet and exercise can help.
However, many times people want an additional boost to achieve their weight loss goals. Unfortunately, most people turn to stimulants and caffeine for fat loss instead of herbal medicine.
These 4 essential oils have been shown to promote weight loss:
- Grapefruit oil contains d-limonene found in citrus peels. One study found that supplementation with d-limonene improved metabolic enzyme levels.
- Peppermint oil has been shown to improve weight loss since it suppresses anxiety and improves digestion.
- Cinnamon oil helps balance blood sugar levels that will help in weight loss and improve diabetes.
- Ginger oil contains gingerol that has potent anti-inflammatory properties and increases thermogenesis which in turn increases metabolism.
Essential oils: Contraindications
Because essential oils can act as a powerful tool of natural medicine, there are some cases in which its use is not recommended: During pregnancy: basil, cinnamon, sage, clove, cypress, fennel, jasmine, juniper, marjoram, myrrh, rose, rosemary, sage and thyme. In most cases, these oils are completely healthy, but because they can affect hormones they are not recommended at this stage. Patients taking medications for the heart (blood thinners): sage, cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, rosemary, sage and thyme. In general, aromatherapy is a great low-cost way to help promote healing, relaxation and well-being without adverse side effects.