What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils refer to the concentrated extracts obtained from various medicinal plants. You can extract these oils using various processes. The most way of extraction is to get the essential oils from different plants. The oils are found to have positive effects on mind and body and therefore have a practical use in alternative therapies (e.g. for curation of diseases and mood disorders), for production of medicaments (e.g. salves) and for relaxation in modern spa facilities (e.g. essential oils in whirlpools and steam baths). They are commonly used for aromatherapy.

How to Extract Essential Oils?

Essential oils can be extracted using either of these two processes:

  • Steam/water distillation – It refers to the process wherein you force hot steam or water through the mashed plant matter. This leads to pulling the essential oils out of it. When the water or steam evaporates, it leaves behind the oils.
  • Cold pressing – As the name suggests, this process involves using mechanical pressure to squeeze essential oils out of the plant matter. This is in the same vein as when you squeeze a lemon peel between your fingers, releasing the fresh scent into the air.

What are Essential Oils Good For?

Even though many people claim that essential oils can cure quite a lot of illnesses, there has not been enough research done to determine just how effective they are. However, a recent study done at the John Hopkins University hospital discovered that certain oils are effective in killing one type of Lyme bacteria. However, the results of the human trials seem to be inconclusive as of yet.

Other studies also prove how effective essential oils are in handling and treating these conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Weak Appetite
  • Depression

How Do You Use Essential Oils Safely?

There is no telling for certain about an essential oil’s quality as it varies greatly depending on the supplier. Because the government does not regulate them, the labels on the packaging of essential oils may not even list all the ingredients included in the product, which is why it is highly advisable not to ingest essential oils.

One should also be careful when using oil diffusers, especially if there are many members of your immediate family. The reason is that not everyone has the same reaction when it comes to essential oils. For instance, peppermint essential oils can work on headaches for adults, but the smell agitates young children (less than 30 months old).

However, there are safe ways to use essential oils, like:

  • Aromatherapy accessories – There are necklaces, bracelets, and keychains that contain absorbent materials where you can dab some essential oils. You can sniff it throughout the day whenever you need to.
  • Massage oils – Essential oils are usually suspended in a carrier oil, like coconut oil, and used as massage oils. The scent of the essential oils makes the massage experience a bit more relaxing.

With all the information, especially when it comes to using essential oils, you will be able to start taking advantage of them soon. Expect these essential oils to relax you and work wonders for your overall health and wellness.

Read more about this topic: Which effects have essential oils for mind, body and skin?

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