If you have been to a reflexology centre or for aromatherapy, chances are you would have heard of something called essential oils. If you haven’t figure out what this is, then you might not know what it is all about. But you would surely have been asked on whether you would like to have essential oil treatment.
When the term essential is used, it means necessary. But with essential oils, are they as essential as it claims? To some extent, there have been several controversies relating to the use of essential oils and if they are as beneficial as they claim.
For starters, essential oils are made from plants. They are some form of compounds that are extracted from plants where the scent and flavor are used. What it means here really is the ‘essence’ of the plant which makes it unique. Each plant will have its own characteristics and that makes them unique.
The process of distillation is used to obtain essential oils. There are certain types of methods like cold pressing and such. Distillation meanwhile can be done using water usually through a steaming process. After the extraction process, carrier oil is combined before the product is packed into the way it is sold.
What differentiates the genuine and non-genuine essential oils is in the process by which they are made. When there are chemical processes involved in obtaining the essential oils, they are regarded as non-genuine. This is very important because there are certain users who have sensitive skins who might have a problem with the chemical substances. As such, they can only use genuine essential oils that use more conventional methods in obtaining them.
As mentioned, it is in the practice of aromatherapy that essential oils are most commonly used. They are usually inhaled using various apparatus and objects. What actually happens is that when the essential oil is felt by the body, it interacts in various ways. It must be noted that no essential oil is made to be consumed. The skin basically absorbs the plat chemicals if the essential oil is applied to the skin. Certain parties use different methods un applying essential oils so that they can be better absorbed. This can be done by applying heat. Besides that, certain parts of the body are known to absorb essential oils better than the rest.
In some cases, the limbic system in the body gets stimulated when the fragrance from the essential oil is inhaled. This is where the brain is stimulated through the sense of smell and invoke certain emotions. That which must be known is that the limbic system is the part of the body that is very much responsible in the forming of memory in the brain. As such, it is very common to hear of the phrase that certain smells can invoke certain memories.
Apart from the memory function, the limbic system is also involved in controlling some physiological functions that are subconscious. This includes the heart rate, the breathing process and the blood pressure within the body. When one relates this to the use of essential oils, people tend to draw the conclusion that essential oils have certain implications to the body especially in the physical context.
In terms of popularity, there are actually close to a hundred types of essential oils that are commonly used. What makes the popular is the fact that each essential oil has its own unique:
Below are some of the most commonly used essential oils that are known to most users.
Perhaps the most common condition that essential oils are used to treat is anxiety and stress. It is after all used in aromatherapy which is all associated with relaxation. With the rising standards of living and stress that people are facing in today’s environment, essential oils become one of the most popular ‘answers’.
Another common condition that essential oils are used to treat is related to headaches. This includes vertigo, migraines and nausea where after using it for a period of time, the occurrences are known to be reduced.
It has not been scientifically concluded that essential oils can reduce inflammation although there is some minor evidence that suggested so. However, it can be confirmed though that essential oils actually help people with sleeping or resting problems. It has already been used to treat people with insomnia.