The Benefits of Using Essential Oils
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils derive from the volatile aromatic compounds that give plants and flowers their attractive scents. Each is produced from individual plant species that originate from different faunas and climates around the world. The collection of essential oils results in a diverse collection of aromatic compounds.
Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils carry a large number of biochemical benefits, and may:
- Assist in wound healing
- Strengthen the immune system
- Clear congestion
- Act as an insect repellant
- Calm children and anxious adults
- Deepen meditation
- Enhancing yoga practice
External Application of Essential Oils
External application is the easiest way to use an essential oil. When applied to the skin they are absorbed by the body within thirty seconds and reach every cell within twenty-one minutes.
Common places to apply the oil include the wrists, temples, back, chest, under the feet, back of the neck, around the ears and around the navel.
When applying the essential oil topically, you may choose to use a body oil, hot or cold compress, cosmetic lotion, bath or hair rinse with a little of it added to it.
Please beware of sensitive areas of the body when applying the essential oil topically. Research individual oils and how they should be applied. Especially watch out for:
- Photosensitive essential oils that need to be applied under clothing
- Essential oils that are hot and require some dilution.
- Citrus oils that can turn your skin into a brown patch for up to six weeks after reacting with sunlight.
Inhalation of Essential Oils
If you are looking for a faster, more immediate effect, you might like to consider inhalation instead of topical application. The scent of the oils reaches the olfactory nerves and brain's limbic system in a matter of seconds, which explains aromatherapy's instant effect on emotions.
Essential oils may be inhaled from simply breathing the scent in from a bottle, bucket of hot steaming water or they may simply be diffused throughout the room via a cold air diffuser.
Cold diffusers are an ideal alternative to the traditional oil burner (whether they are electric or not), as they do not destroy the quality of the oil being heated. They carry other benefits too which include:
- Air purification, as they eliminate metallic particles and toxins from the atmosphere.
- They increase the amount of oxygen in the environment.
- They inhibit bacterial growth by increasing ozone and negative ions throughout the house.
- They give the air a fresh clean aroma.
- They eliminate odors from animals, mould and cigarettes.
Essential Oils in the bath
With the exception of the les 'hot' essential oils, a hot bath is the ideal place to add them. Bath gel base or V-6 mixing oil can be added to the bath at the same time in order to prevent sensitive skin from being aggravated.
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