Essential oils have become part of the go-to natural home remedies and a safer option to help with chronic pain conditions, anxiety, and stress. According to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre, the history of essential oils started thousands of years ago when ancient Egyptians burned aromatic wood and spices, and today there is a growing global market for them.
These oils are cold-pressed and extracted from a part of a plant, seed, flower or fruit. Although they are all-natural, they are also highly concentrated and must be used correctly to avoid any skin irritation.
How do you safely use essentail oils?
The use of essential oils is common in aromatherapy. However, because of the high concentration, some oils can be too harsh for the skin or the respiratory system.
Therefore, for those who prefer to apply the oils directly onto the skin, therapist Michele Mack recommends diluting them with a barrier substance such as, body cream, coconut oil or aloe jelly.
If you want to check for any allergies, Healthline recommends cleaning the area with unscented soap, patting it dry, and applying the barrier substance with the essential oil for a few hours to monitor any abnormalities.
For those inhaling it, Mack recommends using a waterless or a water-based diffuser. She mentions that waterless diffusers work well for respiratory issues, and chooses to avoid water-based ones because of the risk of waterborne bacteria being distributed.
Now that you have how to safely use essential oils, here are five oils that will help you distress.
Five essential oils that will help you relax
Therapist Mack has also emphasised the psychological impact that essential oils have, especially when it comes to relieving stress and allowing the body to relax. Therefore, the essential oils listed below will also be backed up by research that has been done to prove their effectiveness.
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils, and it is known for helping with stress and anxiety. A 2013 study showed that spraying small bottles that included 3% lavender helped reduce symptoms of stress in the workplace.
Orange is an essential oil that is citrus-based which creates a relaxing environment. A Study from 2015 put people who inhaled sweet in stressful situations, and the results showed no increase in anxiety levels.
Sandalwood, also found in incense, has a woody and warm earthy smell. According to Netmeds, the sedative properties of the oil help with spasms and aids with treating cramps, colds and body aches
Chamomile is also known as a tea that helps the body sleep better. The concentrated oil is no different because its calming and sedative properties have been studied to reduce sleeping problems and anxiety.
A 2015 study involved subjects with Generalised Anxiety Disorder GAD, that were given an extract of the chamomile essential oil for 8 weeks. The results showed that more than half of the subjects (58%) discontinued their medical treatments.
Rose essential oil is a natural floral scent that is pleasant at any time of the day, which is a plus because it also has relaxing properties. An interesting study from 2014 used 120 pregnant women as subjects and gave them 10 minutes of inhalation and a footbath of rose oil, and the results of aromatherapy indicated lower stress levels during delivery.