Essentials oils have been around for nearly 6,000 years and there are a lot of different types of them. They all interact with your body in a different way, depending on the oil and how they enter your body. Typically, they are applied through the skin (during a message for example), or through inhaling or ingestion and have a lot of health benefits on the body and the skin.
But first, what exactly is an essential oil?
Essential oils are basically compounds extracted from plants. The oils capture the scent and the flavor that gives it the unique aroma that it has. Each oil is different from the other since it’s based on a different mixture of plants and has different uses. But for the most part, essential oils are obtained through distillation or mechanical methods. First, the aroma is extracted from the plants, and then it is mixed with a carrier oil to create the final product. The way they’re made is important as some essential oils are made chemically and therefore, are not as healthy and natural.
So, how do essential oils work and affect your body?
Essential oils are mainly used in aromatherapy and are either inhaled, through the nose, the mouth or rubbed on the skin. The ingestion method is only recommended with a professional as it can be unsafe when doing it alone. When essential oils are applied to your skin, the plant chemicals inside are absorbed. Generally speaking, the best way to apply essential oils is during a massage, applying it to a heated area.
There are more than 90 types of essential oils and while it’s hard to generalize the health benefits of all of them, they mostly help with the following: stress, anxiety, migraine, insomnia, depression and more. When applied during a massage, they’re ideal for relieving stress and relaxing. In terms of skin conditions, essential oils also affect many body systems, from the respiratory to the digestive and immune system.
When essential oils are inhaled, the molecules rise to the top and interact with your nose. Because of the receptors meeting the smell of the oil, they help reduce coughs, fatigue, and nausea. When you inhale an essential oil through the nose, the molecules also interact with your organs and almost immediately –the brain. Thus essential oils affect your whole body, not just certain parts.
How to use essential oils:
All in all, if you realized how healthy and important essential oils can be to your body and want to get started, here’s what you do. First, you should know the technique and safe use of essential oils. If you’re feeling unsure, you should either go to a therapist or a masseuse who can either set you on the right track or be guided into an essential oil therapy with a message, to begin with. It’s important to know what you’re doing if you’re doing it alone, so, start slow!