What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work For You?

Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine that employs plant extracts to support health and well-being.

However, some of the health claims associated with these oils are controversial.

This article explains all you need to know about essential oils and their health effects.

 

Essential oils are most commonly used in the practice of aromatherapy, in which they are inhaled through various methods.

Essential oils are not meant to be swallowed.

The chemicals in essential oils can interact with your body in several ways.

When applied to your skin, some plant chemicals are absorbed (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

It’s thought that certain application methods can improve absorption, such as applying with heat or to different areas of the body. However, research in this area is lacking (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).

Inhaling the aromas from essential oils can stimulate areas of your limbic system, which is a part of your brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviors, sense of smell, and long-term memory (5Trusted Source).

Interestingly, the limbic system is heavily involved in forming memories. This can partly explain why familiar smells can trigger memories or emotions (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

The limbic system also plays a role in controlling several unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. As such, some people claim that essential oils can exert a physical effect on your body.

However, this has yet to be confirmed in studies.

 

Here’s a list of 10 popular essential oils and the health claims associated with them:

  • Peppermint: used to boost energy and aid digestion
  • Lavender: used to relieve stress
  • Sandalwood: used to calm nerves and help with focus
  • Bergamot: used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema
  • Rose: used to improve mood and reduce anxiety
  • Chamomile: used to improve mood and relaxation
  • Ylang-Ylang: used to treat headaches, nausea, and skin conditions
  • Tea Tree: used to fight infections and boost immunity
  • Jasmine: used to help with depression, childbirth, and libido
  • Lemon: used to aid digestion, mood, headaches, and more

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published