Essential oils with proven health benefits

self-care well-being Aug 06, 2022

How lovely it is to walk into a room or space and have your sense of smell aroused by a gentle aroma. I love it, which is why I diffuse essential oils most days. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for medicinal and health purposes. I have a few in my medicine cabinet to help clear congestion if anyone in the household has the sniffles or aches and pains. I also diffuse essential oils while I am working. It supports my creativity and reduces my stress levels when I am up against a deadline. The use of essential oils is quite popular as many want to avoid health care bills and use natural personal care products and cleaning products.

 

So what are essential oils?

 

Essential Oils come from extracting or distilling parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. Most commonly, the process of distillation is used. Distillation is the process by which a plant's oil and water compounds are separated by steaming. These oils will be highly concentrated and have a strong aroma. Because of their high concentration of aromatic compounds, they are often called aromatherapy oils. In nature, the therapeutic oils of the plant are their protection from insects and the environment. By distilling a part of the plant, the process is separating the most powerful healing compounds of a plant into an oil. For example, it takes around 30 kilograms of rose petals to create one 15-millilitre bottle of rose essential oil. These tiny molecules can be absorbed into your cells through the nasal cavity or topical application. Some people like to ingest their essential oils. I am not an advocate of this; however, if this is something you choose to do, please proceed with caution and ensure the oils have been created for ingestion.

 

There have been many studies on essential oils demonstrating antidepressant, stimulating, detoxifying, antibacterial, antiviral and calming properties. These include peppermint, lemon, frankincense, melaleuca (tea tree oil) and lavender. Let's explore these oils a little further.

 

Peppermint

This versatile essential oil gives a cooling sensation and calming effect on the body. It can help relieve sore muscles and tired legs. Peppermint has anti-microbial properties, and you may like to add it to your toothpaste to help freshen bad breath. I have always been told to avoid peppermint while you are pregnant due to the stimulation it can create.

Benefits include

  • Improves focus, energy and concentration 
  • Supports digestion
  • Reduces muscle soreness
  • Fights bad breath
  • Supports seasonal immunity

 How to use

  • Mix with coconut oil or almond oil and rub topically on sore muscles or tired legs
  • Place a few drops in your diffuser to help improve focus and energy
  • Mix with coconut oil and baking soda for homemade toothpaste

 

Lemon

Lemon oil comes from the lemon peel, the most nutritious part of the lemon and something almost no one has in their diet. It may be the most potent anti-microbial agent of all the essential oils and is best known for supporting natural detoxification. Lemon oil is often used to stimulate lymph drainage, purify skin, and rejuvenate energy. You may have noticed it in your insect repellant too. I read an article recently that referenced a study published in Experimental Biology and Medicine. The study found that breathing in the aroma of lemon essential oils supports healthy neurological activity and promotes the breakdown of body fat (I know what I will be diffusing all day from now. Haha!).

Benefits include 

  • Promotes cleaning of the lymphatic system
  • Supports healthy weight management
  • Promotes energy levels
  • Supports healthy immune response
  • Improves mood and reduces stress

How to use

  • Diffuse to clear the air, experience a pleasant citrus aroma, and uplift the mood
  • Mix with olive oil and bicarbonate soda to use as a natural cleaning product
  • Mix with baking soda as a natural teeth whitener. Please don't do this often as it may impact your tooth enamel

 

Frankincense

One of my favourite oils for skin health, I add it to my moisturiser regularly. Frankincense is also known as Boswellia and is often regarded as the holy oil in the Middle East for centuries. In ancient times frankincense was valued above gold because it was used to support the health of wealthy individuals. These days it is often promoted to support healthy immune system function.

Benefits include

  • Supports healthy inflammation response (healing)
  • Supports healthy immune system function
  • Supports cleansing of problematic substances
  • Promotes a good mood
  • Supports skin health
  • Offers spiritual awareness

 How to use

  • Rub topically (with a carrier oil, e.g. almond oil) behind the ears, on the chest and neck to support immune function
  • Apply topically (with a carrier oil) on joint discomfort, age spots, and scars
  • Add to face and body moisturiser for cellular health
  • Diffuse to promote immune system health and calming
  • Diffuse when praying or meditating

 

Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil)

Tea tree oil is a well-known essential oil for its ability to promote natural healing for wounds and its antiseptic properties. It is quite often used in body washes and acne skin care products. 

Benefits 

  • Acts as an antiseptic 
  • Supports healthy gums
  • Supports skin health and reduces blemishes
  • Can help relieve headaches

How to use

  • Add several drops to shampoo to improve scalp health
  • Add to a foot bath to aid in the natural healing of toenails and feet skin condition
  • Diffuse in the air to purify and support immunity
  • Place on bug bites to aid in healing
  • Use as an all-purpose cleaner by adding several drops to a spray bottle

 

Lavender

Lavender is most famous for its calming properties and promoting a state of relaxation. It is also popular for healing cuts, burns and stings. Lavender has very high antioxidant power and is believed to reduce oxidative stress.

Benefits

  • Relaxes the body and reduces stress
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Supports natural healing of wounds and burns

How to use

  • In the evening, rub lavender topically (with a carrier oil) on the neck to relax the body and improve sleep
  • Restore the body with a relaxing bath with a few drops of lavender oil, sea salt and Epsom salts
  • Diffuse to soothe and improve mood
  • Use as a fragrance in place of regular perfume

 

If you want a gentle, natural way to support your health and well-being in your home and productivity in your workspace, try diffusing essential oils. Peppermint, lemon, frankincense, melaleuca, and lavender are great beginner oils. Choose two or three that you like and incorporate them into your self-care regime. Remember, don't overuse them. One drop of essential oil can have powerful health benefits, and I encourage you to choose your oils wisely to ensure they are good quality. Otherwise, they will do more harm than good. 

 

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As always, remember your reasons, your health, your mission, and the people you love.

 

OM xx

 

📸 Birgith RooSioux

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Blog posts are not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of medical advice and treatment from your doctor. Readers are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Ocea Marie does not take any responsibility for possible health consequences for anyone reading or following the information available on the blog. All readers, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their doctor before beginning any nutrition or supplement program.

 

 

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