From preservatives in food to pesticides to even additives in our shampoos and conditioners, it can seem like we are surrounded by unnatural chemicals all day long. Continually on the rise are natural products in the market, and one great way to switch to an all-natural product is to use essential oils! The use of essential oils dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants, often through distillation or cold-pressing. Most often used for aromatherapy, they can also be diffused through skin. Little is known about the effectiveness of essential oils on health, even though the use of essential oils has been around for thousands of years. What makes the oil "essential" is that the product has not been derived through chemical processes. When purchasing essential oils, make sure that the product only contains plant compounds, without additives or synthetic oils.
Even though essential oils are natural, they are not necessarily safe for all uses. Never swallow essential oils. Side effects can include rashes, asthma attacks, headaches and allergic reactions. They should never be ingested, and can be harmful and in some doses, fatal. But only one death from essential oils has been recorded.
If you are like me, you look for natural alternatives to man-made chemicals to freshen up your life. I have been using essential oils for years! I add them to baths with Epsom salts or use a small amount of my face to start the day. Try putting the oil on your wrists and temple. This will increase inhalation of the oil. They can be used to freshen up laundry, in homemade beauty care products and to relieve stress and anxiety!
Here are some essential oils, and what they can treat:
1. Lavender: relaxation and to improve sleep
2. Lemon: boost mood and energy
3. Lemongrass: stress relief and increase immunity
4. Rosemary: boost attention and focus
5. Peppermint: Headaches and other types of pain
6. Rose: ease stress and ease menstrual cramps
7. Sandalwood: calm nerves and help with focus
8. Chamomile: improves mood and used for relaxation
9. Tea Tree: boost immunity and fight infections
10. Eucalyptus: cold and respiratory problems