Healing with Essential Oils

lavender and massage oils
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Essential oils are the essence of plants, harvested from the leaves, flowers, bark or roots of plants. These natural compounds have been used since ancient times to treat ailments and improve health, and there’s no reason not to continue using them today. It’s important to choose pure essential oils that haven’t been mixed with any other ingredients or carriers yet, as these can contain toxins or irritants that could cause more harm than good. Here are some ways you can use essential oils for health and wellness.

Essential Oils Kit

Make your own essential oils kit.  Include six bottles, each filled with one type of therapeutic (Grade A) grade oil: lavender, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon and tea tree. While each scent is blended for a particular health benefit or activity (like relaxing or revitalizing), you can also use them individually to create your own custom fragrance – it’s like having your own perfumery at home!

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Aromatherapy is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, and we now know that aromatherapy works in two ways: it impacts our brains to promote a more relaxed state of mind, while also affecting physical functions like heart rate and blood pressure. When people are faced with stressful situations, they often have an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure. When essential oils are applied to skin, they can be absorbed into your bloodstream; either way, you’ll experience benefits like decreased heart rate and lower blood pressure—essentially returning your body to its natural calm state. If taking medication, check with your health practitioner before using to lower blood pressure or heart rate.

Improve Sleep Quality

If you’re having trouble sleeping, a couple drops of lavender oil on your pillow can do wonders. Lavender has a calming effect that helps to induce sleep and can help lower stress levels. Aromatherapy is one of the best-kept secrets in medicine, so why not try it out if you’re having trouble sleeping? Another great essential oil for aiding relaxation is peppermint – diffusing peppermint essential oil will instantly make your home smell fresh and clean, helping you unwind after a long day. Or try massaging lavender or peppermint oil into your temples or wrists as you drift off to sleep—this creates an aromatherapeutic experience that naturally helps relieve stress and anxiety.

Soothe Pain

Research has shown that some essential oils can offer relief from pain when applied topically. Some oils, like eucalyptus and peppermint, work well to relieve muscle tension headaches when dabbed on temples and back of neck. Lavender oil is a good choice for massaging sore muscles before or after exercise. While they aren’t intended to replace traditional medicine, these options are great additions to your self-care routine!

Boost Immunity

Start your day off right by turning your shower into a health-boosting ritual. While you’re in there, rub 2-3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil on your feet and be careful it will be slippery. The eucalyptus will boost your immune system (helping to stave off colds, flus and other bugs) while also promoting relaxation. Leave it on for a couple minutes before rinsing it off under warm water. Keep in mind that oils can stain clothing or linens, so if you have any doubts about whether they’ll come out of your stuff, put a towel down first. Also, some people are sensitive to certain scents.  Try a drop first in a bowl of water, blend, and then test them out on yourself before using them around others.

Enhance Mood and Focus

Essential oils are known to promote an uplifting and energizing effect. If you’re feeling particularly down or irritable, try adding peppermint oil to your diffuser; a few drops can help to refresh your focus and keep you going for hours. On days when you’re facing some challenging work, consider using rosemary essential oil; its invigorating effects can perk up even the most exhausted of minds. You could also try adding eucalyptus oil to a bath on any day where mental clarity is particularly important; it will open up your nasal passages, helping you breathe more deeply and inducing alertness.

Protect Skin from Sun Damage

The sun can cause serious damage to your skin – we’re not just talking about wrinkles and tan lines! Ultraviolet radiation can accelerate aging, increase your risk of cancer, and even cause cataracts. Don’t become a statistic. Make sure you protect yourself from harmful UV rays every time you head outdoors. Choose an SPF that is high enough for your skin type – it’s important to reapply frequently because even waterproof products break down over time – and always wear protective clothing (wide-brimmed hats are ideal). As a bonus, essential oils (diluted with a carrier oil) like lavender and rosemary have been shown to help prevent sunburns by naturally boosting SPF protection by as much as 30%.

Michele Mitchell

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