Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy, which is an alternative.
However, some health statements related to them are controversial.
This article explains what you need to know about essential oils and their health effects.
What is essential oil?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants.
The essential oil has the smell and flavor of plants, also known as "vegetable flavor."
Unique aroma compounds give each essential oil a characteristic scent.
Essential oils are obtained by distillation (through steam and / or country ) or mechanical method, such as cold pressing.
Once aromatic chemicals are extracted, they are combined with base oil to create products that can be used immediately.
The way essential oils are made is very important, because the essential oils obtained through the chemical process are not considered real oils.
Crux: Essential oils are extracts of concentrated plants that retain their natural or "quintessential" flavor.
What is the use of essential oils?
Essential oils are commonly used in . They are inhaled through both the nose and mouth or applied to the skin.
Sometimes they can eat even though this method is not always safe and is not recommended for use.
The chemicals in essential oils can interact with the body in many ways.
When applying the skin, some plant chemicals are absorbed .
It is thought that certain ways can improve absorption, such as applying it to heat or applying to different areas of the body. However, there has not been much research in this area .
Inhaling essential oils can stimulate areas in the computer system (the brain border system), a part of the brain that plays a role in expressing emotions, behavior, smell and long-term memory .
Interestingly, the nature system is often deeply related to memory formation. This may be an explanation for why any odor smell can activate memory or emotion .
The sexual system also plays a role in controlling some unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. Some people argue that essential oils can cause a physical effect on the body in this way.
However, this has not been confirmed in studies.
Crux: Essential oils can be inhaled or applied to the skin. They can stimulate the sense of smell or have healing effects when absorbed.
There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each with a different odor and health benefits.
Here is a list of 10 essential oils and health recommendations related to them:
- Peppermint: increase energy and help digestion.
- Lavender: reduce stress.
- Sandalwood: Soothe nerves and help focus.
- Bergamot: Reduce stress and improve skin diseases like eczema.
- Rose: Improve mood and reduce anxiety.
- Chamomile chamomile: Improve mood and relaxation.
- Ylang Ylang: cure headaches, nausea and skin diseases.
- Tea tree: fight infections and boost the immune system.
- Jasmine: helps reduce depression, childbirth and sexual desire.
- Lemon: Support digestion, mood, headache and many other diseases.
Crux: There are over 90 essential oils that are commonly used, each related to certain health recommendations. Some common essential oils include peppermint, lavender and sandalwood.
Health benefits of essential oils
Although widely used, the use of some essential oil conditions is less well known.
Here are some evidence of some common health problems that aromatherapy and aromatherapy have been used to treat.
Stress, anxiety and fatigue
It is estimated that 43% of people with stress and anxiety use some alternative therapies to help improve this condition .
In terms of aromatherapy, initial studies have been quite positive. Many studies have shown that the scent of some essential oils can act as a supplement to treat anxiety and strain .
However, as a scent of compounds, it is difficult to conduct concealed studies and prejudice. For this reason, many reviews of essential oil's effects on stress and anxiety cannot come to a conclusion .
The interesting thing is that using essential oils when massaging can help reduce stress, although these effects only last for a massage .
A recent review of 201 studies found that only 10 studies had sufficient data to analyze. It is also concluded that aromatherapy does not cure anxiety .
Headache and migraine
In the 90s, two small studies showed massage with peppermint oil and ethanol blends on the forehead and temples of participants to relieve headache .
Recent studies have also shown positive effects in reducing headache when applying peppermint and lavender oil to the skin .
It has also been suggested that the use of chamomile oil and sesame oil in the temple can effectively treat headaches and migraines. This is a traditional Persian headache treatment .
However, we still need a lot of high quality research in this area.
Sleep and insomnia
The lavender essential oil is believed to have a positive impact on the sleep quality of postpartum women as well as patients with heart disease .
There is a conclusion of 15 studies of essential oils and sleep. Most studies show that the aroma of essential oils (mostly lavender) has a positive effect on sleeping habits .
It is suggested that essential oils can help fight infections. Some in vitro studies suggest that they have anti-inflammatory effects .
A study in mice showed that drinking a mixture of musk essential oil and spicy balm helps reduce colitis. Two studies on rats using carum oil and rosemary also produced similar results .
However, very few human studies have examined the effects of these oils on inflammatory diseases. Their effects and safety are still unknown .
Antibiotics and antimicrobials
The proliferation of antibiotic bacteria has raised concerns in finding other compounds that can fight infections.
Essential oils such as peppermint and tea have been extensively studied in vitro because of their antibacterial effect. In fact, they give some positive results .
However, while the results of in vitro studies are quite interesting, they do not necessarily reflect what is happening in the user's body. They do not prove that certain essential oils can effectively treat bacterial infections in humans.
Crux: Essential oils may have some interesting applications for health. However, we need more research on people.
Some other uses
Essential oils have many ways of using aromatherapy.
Many people use them to create a fragrance for a home or to make laundry with a fresh fragrance.
They are also used as a natural scent in homemade cosmetics and high quality natural products.
It is also suggested that essential oils can provide a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to artificial mosquito repellents such as insect repellents. .
However, their results are not clear.
Some studies show that some essential oils such as citronella oil can effectively eliminate certain types of mosquitoes within 2 hours. The protection period can last up to 3 hours when it is used in combination with vanillin.
However, none of the essential oils is as effective as DEET in preventing being bitten by all mosquitoes for a long time .
The properties of essential oils also indicate that some types can be used in industry to extend the shelf life of food .
Crux: Aromatherapy is not the only way to use essential oils. They can be used in and around the house as a natural or industrial mosquito repellent for cosmetic and food preservation.
How to choose the right essential oils
Many companies claim that their essential oils are "pure" or "can be used in medicine." However, these terms are not universally defined and therefore do not mean much.
Therefore an uncontrolled industry so the quality and composition of essential oils can change significantly .
Remember the following tips for choosing high quality essential oils:
- Pure: Find essential oils that only contain organic aromatic compounds without synthetic oils or additives. Pure essential oils are often listed in the name of a plant (eg Lavandula officinalis - lavender), not terms like "lavender essential oil."
- Quality: Real plant essential oils are the least changed in the extraction process. Choose a non-chemical essential oil extracted during mechanical distillation or cold pressing.
- Reputation: Buy from a reputable brand in producing high quality products.
Crux: High quality essential oils use only pure organic compounds extracted by distillation or cold pressing. Avoid diluted essential oils with synthetic scents, chemicals or oils.
Safety and side effects
Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's safe.
Plant and herbal products containing many active compounds can be harmful to health in some cases. Essential oil is no different.
However, when inhaled or combined with a base oil to be used on the skin, most essential oils are considered safe.
However, they may cause some side effects :
- Allergic reaction
While most common side effects are rash, essential oils can cause many serious reactions, and they are related to a fatal case (51).
Essential oils are associated with many common side effects including lavender, peppermint, tea tree and ylang ylang.
Essential oils contain many As cinnamon can cause skin itching and should not be used on the skin without combining with a base oil.
Eating essential oils is often not recommended, as it can be harmful and in some potentially fatal doses .
There are very few studies examining the safety of these essential oils with pregnant and lactating women. They are often advised to avoid them .
Crux: Essential oils are often thought to be safe. However, they can cause serious side effects for some people, especially if applied directly to the skin or ingested.
Message for you
Essential oils are often thought to be safe to inhale or apply on the skin, provided they are used in combination with a base oil.
However, the evidence for many claims about health benefits is still lacking and their effects are often exaggerated.
With mild health problems, using essential oils as an additional therapy may be possible.
But if you have a serious health condition or are on medication, you should discuss their use with your doctor.