What are Essential Oils and How Can We Use Them?
What exactly are essential oils? These active botanical compounds come from steaming and pressing parts of a plant, flower, leaves and even fruit. Scent is connected to our limbic system which is linked to our emotions, memory and mood. Practices such as aromatherapy has been used for centuries and diluting oils with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, can make for a relaxing massage. Some studies say they can help headaches, insomnia, and even sore throats
If you’ve been feeling anxious, use oils such as lavender, chamomile or rose water to help you relax. Oils such as tea-tree can help combat fungus that causes athletes' feet and even pesky pimples. Studies have shown that peppermint oil can help patients with irritable bowel syndrome. If you have a cough or a respiratory tract infection use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser or inhale the steam by applying a few drops in hot water.
Never put undiluted oils on your skin and always make sure to check the quality of oils, as they may have ingredients that can lead to allergic reactions. Before rubbing it on your skin, test a small area and see how your skin responds. If you notice small bumps or itchy skin, gently wash your skin with water. Remember, essential oils should never be substituted for over-the-counter medication.