Essential oil benefits are often controversial. Are they worth the hype? Learn the truths behind these popular therapeutic oils.
There is much hype on the effectiveness of essential oils. Some argue these oils can be used as a cure all. Others argue essential oil successes. They believe these cases are a placebo effect. Are essential oils worth the hype?
I first heard of essential oils from my mother. I have a baby sister who runs the house. She’s very hyper. It’s difficult to calm her down. I saw my mom applying essential oils to her. Curious, I asked her what it was. She told me essential oils have a calming effect on my sister. She also mentioned they may be able to treat certain ailments.
So what exactly is an essential oil? Essential oils come from plants. They are made using a variety of methods. The most popular are distillation and expression. The oil possesses the essential chemical properties of that plant. That is how these oils got the name.
What are the essential oil benefits?
Essential oils contain many compounds. These elements can easily be absorbed by the body. Below is a list of potential essential oil benefits.
- Terpenes – inhibit toxin accumulation and discharge them from liver and kidneys
- Esters – anti-fungal, calming, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral
- Oxides – expectorant, antiseptic, anesthetic
- Alcohols – antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, stimulate immunes system
- Phenols – fragrance, antiseptic, anti-acterial, possibly anti-cancerious
- Ketones – stimulate cell regeneration, loosen mucous
- Aldehydes – anti-infectious, sedative, topical irritants, calming when inhaled
How do these compounds get into the body? There are a few ways to do it. The most popular method is aromatherapy. You simply breathe in the aroma of a particular oil. This triggers the cilia and receptor cells. These cells send signals to the limbic system within the brain. This system controls blood pressure, heart rate, hormone balance, breathing, and more.
The oils can also be delivered by absorption. They are applied directly to the skin. Typically, the oil is diluted in a carrier oil. The essential compounds enter through the skin. They are carried in the blood system. Here, they interact with other bodily systems.
Are essential oils worth the hype?
The effectiveness is controversial. I believe essential oils are effective for particular ailments. I have seen them calm down my hyperactive sister. There is a long history of plant oils with numerous success stories.
Are there some placebo cases out there? Absolutely. However, I feel that each essential oil has a role to play on the body. Find out for yourself. Give them a try. Perhaps certain essential oils will work better on you than someone else. There are very few cases of essential oils actually doing harm. Taking safety precautions lessens the risk.
The decision to use essential oils is personal. Many oils have proven benefits. Peppermint is a great example. They also have many uses in your home. Lemon oil is great for natural cleaning around the house. You need to try a few oils to see if they work for you.
Do you use essential oils? Have you seen benefits?