Are Essential Oils as good as they claimed?

Anyone who has been stressed and exhausted would have heard of aromatherapy. When you visit foot reflexology or a massage center, chances are you will be asked if you would like to use ‘essential oils’ for your session? So what are these essential oils that they promote so much and are they really that ‘essential’?

What are essential oils used for?

One thing for certain, there is still not enough research that can prove that essential oils can cure (or used to treat) certain diseases. A lot has been claimed that essential oils are actually natural remedies that can be used to replace modern medicine but to date, they are all still in the infancy stages. However, it must be noted that essential oils do have relaxation properties. While they might not be clinically proven to cure certain diseases, they surely can help to relax the individual and have been used for people with:

  • Depression and stress
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Lack of sleep or insomnia

Are essential oils safe?

There are too many brands and names out there which means you will come across essential oils of different quality and levels. The variation is too great so much so that you might not know which one is the better one. The rule of thumb is to find the pure essential oils and if they don’t mention it, chances are they have been too diluted with other liquid or ingredients.

Note: The safest way is to use essential oils that come in bottles. Essential oil diffusers might not work for everyone, especially the young ones.

What might other safer usages?

  • Essential oils for body – Olive, coconut and jojoba oils are among the most popular and very concentrated. Certain skin types might find this too heavy and you might not want to use too much of it on your skin.
  • Accessories and sticks – There are essential oil accessories like bracelets and necklaces. Take note that you will be in close proximity and will be inhaling the essential oils for as long as you are wearing the accessory.

Are people allergic to them?

Generally, essential oils are safe for use and applied whether directly or indirectly. However, there are some who might experience skin irritation when coming in contact with them. If you are among those in this category, chances are you do have very sensitive skin or that you have atopic dermatitis. Hence, you might not want to use essential oils at all. Among the types of essential oils that are known to cause irritation to this group of people to include cinnamon bark oil, lemongrass oil, bergamot oil, ylang-ylang, oregano, chamomile and jasmine.

Which ones are the good ones?

There is no single and best essential oil out there. Depending on what you are looking for, the more popular ones include:

  • Tea tree – Used traditionally for wound healing (by the aboriginal people of Australia), it is now used to cure insect bites and acne problems.
  • Lavender – One of the most popular names known for relaxation. Lavender is commonly used to ease anxiety and to help to get better rest
  • Lemon oil – Commonly used in detergents, it helps to create a better mood.
  • Peppermint – Another very common scent that helps to reduce stress and tension.

Tips when choosing an essential oil

Remembering that there is still not enough research evidence that essential oils are as effective as they claim, there are some pointers to help you find the right ones for you. At least, ensure that you are not buying fake essential oils.

  • Always check the label. Every essential oil would have the actual name of the plant. Find out where it originates from.
  • Brand – some brands are more renowned than others. If it is a brand that you are doubtful, avoid it.
  • Container – When you buy essential oils, always buy those that are stored in glass bottles (or containers). They should usually be dark-colored.
  • Purity – Pure essential oils only. Don’t buy those that say ‘fragrance’.