What are essential oils and what are they used for?
March 08, 2022
Essential oils are a mixture of natural chemical substances extracted from aromatic trees and aromatic plants, both from their stems and roots, as well as from their leaves and flowers.
Thanks to their composition, they have a variety of properties that we can take advantage of. These oils are usually extracted through a steam distillation process.
Medicinal plants are one of the most important resources of traditional medicine. Most medicinal plants have a history of safe and effective use, and many of them are being studied as potential treatments for diseases. The medicinal properties of plants can be classified into two main groups: pharmacological properties and nutritional properties:
Pharmacological properties: many plants contain chemical compounds that can help treat a variety of health problems.
- Nutritional properties: Many plants contain essential nutrients that can help maintain good health.
Some of the benefits of essential oils include stress relief, anxiety relief, pain relief, immune system support, digestion, skin, cough and cold relief, and cardiovascular health support.
Essential Oils are very powerful, if we combine them they are much more effective. There is no limit to the number of oils that can be mixed in a formula, but it is recommended to use 3 or 4.
What are the main essential oils and their properties?
- Tea tree: anti-microbial properties, helps with healing and infections and boosts the autoimmune system. It is also often used diluted in water to clean yoga mats.
- Lavender: for sleep problems and relaxation.
- Peppermint: aids in digestion and relieves headaches
Bergamot: reduces body odor, improves mood, aids in wound healing and improves digestion.
Chamomile: used to improve relaxation, soothe inflammation and also improves mood.
- Sage: soothes mild depression and improves mood, while increasing libido and regulating menstruation.
- Eucalyptus: soothes cold symptoms and congestion, relieves muscular aches and pains and helps with dental hygiene
- Lemon: antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties. It also relieves headaches. Orange: to reduce inflammation and enhance libido.
- Sandalwood: improves memory and concentration; also soothes coughs and cold symptoms.
- Ylang-ylang (or cananga flower): Useful in the treatment of various skin disorders, as well as anxiety and headaches.
How are essential oils used?
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways, including inhalation, ingestion and topical application.
Although, it should be noted that for the most part, essential oils should not be ingested unless prescribed and administered by a healthcare professional. Whichever one you use, inform yourself before the indicated use. Example of uses according to the route of administration:
Mixed with water in a humidifier for air in the home or add it to water if you want to take a bath They can be used for massage, mixing it with a lotion or carrier oil for use on the skin. For example with almond oil, olive oil, argan oil and jojoba oil, which have moisturizing, nourishing and regenerating properties.
Essential oils in aromatherapy: What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a widely practiced complementary medicine that uses essential oils from aromatic plants, flowers, leaves, seeds, bark and fruits to help heal. Aromatherapy acts on our sense of smell and through absorption into the bloodstream.
The benefits of aromatherapy include reducing stress, anxiety and pain, as well as increasing energy and mental clarity.
Contraindications to the use of essential oils:
Most cannot be applied directly to the skin, must be mixed with a carrier oil or other emulsion Should not be used in pregnancy, lactation Avoid in asthma, hypertension, kidney condition, epilepsy Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes Do not take essences orally unless prescribed by a professional Do not sunbathe after use. Do not use on children under 3 years of age
If you want to know more about the world of essential oils, visit our course of Abhyanga Ayurvedic massage, from Conscious Television, where we explain their uses for balancing your doshas and treating some health ailments.