Have you ever smelled something that triggered a specific memory or caused an emotional response? For me, the smell of fresh dill reminds me of my grandmother, her amazing cooking, and my childhood.
Essential oils are not just a fad or trend. They have been used for thousands of years for health and medical purposes. Essential oils can be used for a wide variety of things, such as aromatherapy, household cleaning, personal beauty care, and natural women’s health treatments. Recently, these healing oils have been growing in popularity because of their natural medicinal properties, with no side effects. I will share a little bit about the science and theory behind essential oils, and ways to use some of the oils, so that you are empowered with natural healthcare solutions.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are extracted from the roots, seeds, bark, leaves, and flowers of plants. The oils are naturally occurring compounds found in plants, they are very concentrated making them extremely potent. This means that using just a single drop has a therapeutic effect! Each essential oil has distinct therapeutic properties, based on its chemical makeup. For example, the chemical components in an essential oil like lemon make it useful for cleaning, due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, while an oil like frankincense is beneficial for the skin and cellular function.
The Science Behind Essential Oils.
When an essential oil is inhaled, it travels through the nose to the olfactory nervous system, the part of the brain that is responsible for controlling the sense of smell. From there, signals are sent to the limbic system, where emotions and memories are stored and processed. The limbic system also controls the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating bodily functions that are involuntary, such as breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, and digestion. This is why using certain essential oils, like pepper, can increase adrenaline levels while essential oils, like rose, can decrease adrenaline levels.
Benefits of Essential Oils:
- Heal Skin Conditions
- Help Your Body Relax
- Reduce Pain
- Fight Cold and Flu Symptoms
- Can Be Used as a Cleaning Product
- Balance Hormone Levels
- Reduce Wrinkles and Cellulite
- Improve Digestion
- Sooth Sore Muscles
- Make Homemade Personal Care Products
- Appetite Suppressant
- Reduce PMS Symptoms
- Balance Blood Sugar
Essential oils have a variety of health benefits that can be used in various settings. They are a great non-invasive way to support the body. Many traditional hospitals are catching on to the benefits of essential oils. For example, Vanderbilt University Hospital Study is using essential oils for treating patients with anxiety, depression, and infections.
It is important to understand that not all essential oils are created equal. Just like other beauty products, many essential oils are made from synthetic materials. It’s shocking that even the ones sold in health food stores can be synthetic. As a nutritionist there is only one brand I trust, solely based on the quality of their oils. Doterra essential oils are pure therapeutic grade essential oils, which means they go through rigorous lab testing to make sure they are at the correct potency, and are free from any synthetic or harmful additives.
Here are four basic oils that you can start using today:
- #1 Lemon – Purifies the air and surfaces. Lemon is cleansing and naturally detoxifies the body. It can aid with digestion, support healthy respiratory function, and promote positive mood.
- #2 Lavender – Is very calming and relaxing. Lavender can reduce feelings of anxiety and can ease tension. This oil is also great for your skin.
- #3 Peppermint – Is very energizing. It can enhance focus and studying. It is known to boost energy and aid in digestion.
- #4 Clary Sage – Promotes healthy hair and a healthy scalp. Clary sage can help with restful sleep. It can be very calming and soothing to the skin while also supporting hormone balance.
Three Ways to Use Essential Oils:
- #1 Topically – Essential oils can be absorbed by the skin, which means that essential oils are able to pass into the blood stream and are, then, distributed to different areas of the body. Mixing an essential oil with almond, coconut, or jojoba oil will increase absorption into the skin.
- #2 Aromatically – Research has shown that essential oils ( Click here to view the data) can be absorbed into the bloodstream when inhaled. Using a diffuser is one of the best ways to experience the benefits and amazing aroma of essential oils. You can diffuse peppermint to help improve focus, lavender to reduce stress, and lemon to improve mood and increase energy.
- #3 Internally – Not all essential oils can be taken internally. Doterra is one brand that you can safely ingest many of their essential oils, but only if it has a nutrition facts panel on the bottle. Remember that they are extremely potent; a little bit goes a long way. Use 1-3 drops in water, iced tea, or a capsule.
This is just a quick intro to essential oils. If you would like to learn more about using essential oils, and the ones that would most benefit you, please contact me today for a free consultation! Helaine.firstname.lastname@example.org
Written By: Helaine Schonfeld, Nutritionist at Naturna Institute
Member of the Kali Girl Tribe.