Choosing a holistic approach to your health is something more and more folks are choosing these days. One of the ways they select a natural approach is by incorporating essential oils into their lives. Still, there are skeptics out there who ask the question, “Do they really work?”
This isn’t a difficult question to answer, and I could end this article right now and say yes. I know this from first-hand experience. Yet, I think it’s safe to say that a simple “yes” doesn’t completely answer your questions. That’s fine. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
What Are They?
In short, they are extracts taken from different plants, flowers, and citrus rinds that grow all over the world. The oils are removed from their host via steam distillation or cold pressing. They pack a powerful punch too because they are filled with volatile organic compounds. Each oil has its own set of compounds that are unique to that plant. This is why it is important to follow dilution procedures and use these with care.
What Do They Do?
I think the better question is “What don’t they do?” because, with almost one hundred different scents available for purchase, there are so many things these natural wonders can do for you. Whether you are suffering from anxiety, ADHD, or are looking to kick up that weight loss plan, there is an essential oil on the market that claims to contain the strength to help you.
How Do They Work?
The answer to this question depends completely on the oil because of the unique volatile compounds found in them. All oils are not born the same and while many of them have similar benefits when used, not many of them match completely when it comes to the aid they bring.
Let’s take lemon extract as an example. Along with tea tree oil, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint, you could concoct a powerful cleaning agent. However, lemon is not great for relaxation or relieving stress like lavender is. Rosemary can help relieve that stress and battle hair loss.
How To Use Them?
There are three basic ways these natural wonders can be used. You can inhale them, apply them topically, or ingest them. Depending on what you are looking to ease or cure with the Young Living or doTERRA oils you just purchased, there are many ways you can take advantage of these three options.
This is probably the easiest way to use oils and the safest if you use natural methods. There are several methods you can use to inhale your scents. You can put a few drops on a cotton ball and leave it out. There are terracotta creations that hang on the wall or even be worn as a necklace.
Then, there are ultrasonic diffusers that use water, a little bit of technology, and some drops of your favorite scent and your room or office can be filled with amazing aromas. You may be wondering, “Do essential oil diffusers work?” The fact of the matter is that some of them do and some of them don’t.
I have had two diffusers and one of them worked for a day and then, no matter how many drops of oil I put in, I couldn’t smell a thing. But, when they do work they are wonderful to have around. I love putting a few drops of frankincense into mine while I am writing because it helps me focus.
Before you run out to buy a diffuser, you need to know that you can’t use them around birds at all, so if you have a pet with wings you should use it in another room or not diffuse at all. Cats and dogs are okay around certain scents, but some might hurt them so do your homework.
If snoring is a problem for you, a diffuser in your bedroom while you sleep with some eucalyptus or marjoram might just do the trick. That same oil can be used in a diffuser for anyone who suffers from allergies
While these oils look like something that can be just rubbed into your skin, that would not be a good thing to do. The volatile compounds in these extracts can be abrasive and cause a rash if you don’t dilute it well. All you need to do is choose a good carrier substance like coconut oil or jojoba. The standard recipe is 2 drops of oil for every tablespoon of carrier substance.
You should always do a spot test before putting it all over your body and it never hurts to consult a healthcare professional. Topical treatment with diluted oils and blends are great for things like arthritis and muscle pain. Tea tree, lavender, and peppermint are all great for topical application on the feet.
Putting extracts in food or drink is another way of reaping the benefits. But there are many warnings about ingesting oils, and as you will see, if you take a look at the list we put together for our guide, some of them should never be taken internally. Before you do any adding of extracts to your food or drink, be sure to research that oil and consult an expert.
The only way you are going to know whether or not these holistic tools work is if you give them a try yourself. Starter kits are a great way to go as a beginner. My personal opinion is that they do work, and it is based on my use of oils. When I am stressed, I take a little lavender oil and put it in my diffuser or on a facial tissue. The scent relaxes me, and I feel calm.
I clean my house with Thieves and use several when I make bath salts. Essences are fun and do work. Judge it yourself, and you won’t be sorry.
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