Ask A Pharmacist

The Benefits of Essential Oils

OUR CUSTOMERS ASKED:

How are essential oils used, and which ones would you recommend?

OUR EXPERTS ANSWERED:

Essential oils are essences that are extracted from herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and seeds. To produce an essential oil, enormous quantities of plant materials are distilled. In fact, it takes approximately 250 pounds of lavender blossoms and 10,000 pounds of rose petals to produce only one pound of essential oil.

For thousands of years, ancient cultures have harnessed the power of essential oils in aromatherapy to support both mental and physical well-being. Aromatherapy is a holistic healing approach that uses olfactory stimulation to achieve different bodily responses. Common bodily responses include changes to heart rate, breathing, and even blood pressure. Many people turn to essential oils to help improve brain function. For example, when you inhale an essential oil, you activate the smell receptors in your nose that send messages to your brain. Experts believe that certain scents activate our hypothalamus, which creates serotonin to help regulate mood, as well as our limbic system, which affects emotions, memory, and learning. Furthermore, essential oils contain antioxidants that help fight free-radicals (found in pollution). Breathing in essential oils can also promote digestive health by stimulating digestive enzymes. Furthermore, some have disinfectant properties that can help with decongestion and disinfection.

The correct way to use essential oils

Essential oils can either be inhaled or absorbed through you skin, into your bloodstream. Ingesting essential oils is not recommended since they can damage the liver or kidneys.

Please note, essential oils should never be applied to the skin directly. Due to their potency, they first must be diluted by a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, or apricot kernel oil. We recommend using 3 to 6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. Please beware of allergic reactions and skin irritation upon contact with an oil. It is best to safely test a small amount of the mixture on your skin. We would wait a few minutes before proceeding further, in order to look out for any signs of redness or irritation. Some researchers believe that topical application on your wrists, for example, can affect other parts of the body, like the muscles and joints. The most popular topical oils include tea tree, rose, lavender, and chamomile. Oils like cinnamon, lemongrass, and black pepper can be irritating.

The most popular way to inhale an oil is to let it evaporate into the air with a diffuser. Please note, essential oils should be diluted in water to increase the surface area of absorption and avoid issues with skin sensitivity. We use Serene House’s Supernova Scentilizer and Starlight Scentilizer Ultrasonic Aroma Diffusers. You can also go old-school by using our Essential Oil Burner. Just light a tea candle below, fill up the top with water, and add a few drops of essential oil.

When to use an essential oil 

Choose your essential oil with purpose. Their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties offer an abundant amount of benefits to your well-being. Some are stimulating, others are calming, and many are healing. You can also mix essential oils together to develop a blend that best suits your particular needs. If you are looking to enhance mood, inhaling the essential oil is the most popular method. For wound care, a topical application is preferred. Our guide below will help you navigate what oils are best to add to your medical cabinet.

Need an energy boost?

  • Grapefruit: increases physical strength and energy
  • Lemon: awakens and enhances mood
  • Lemongrass: relieves fatigue and helps with jet lag
  • Peppermint: revives, refreshes, and uplifts mood
  • Pine: revives and refresh a tired mind
  • Vetiver: relieves exhaustion strengthens the body

Stressed or anxious?

  • Bergamot: relieves anxiety and calms nervous tension
  • Cedarwood: soothes nervous tension and anxiety
  • Chamomile: improves mood, aids in relaxation
  • Frankincense: calms and relaxes; helpful for meditation and sleep
  • Grapefruit: reduces stress
  • Lavender: calms nerves and headaches; promotes a restful sleep
  • Lemon: awakens and enhances mood
  • Rose: reduces anxiety and inhibits relaxation
  • Sage: relieves stress, tension, and nervousness; promotes a restful sleep
  • Vetiver: calms nervousness and stress; eases sexual tension
  • Ylang-Ylang: eases fear and anxiety

Trouble focusing?

  • Bergamot: improves mental clarity and alertness
  • Ginger: improves mental clarity and memory
  • Grapefruit: sharpens the senses and awareness
  • Lemon: helps improve concentration
  • Lemongrass: stimulates the mind and clears the head
  • Peppermint: increases mental clarity and refreshes spirits
  • Rosemary: clears the head and aids memory; good for mental strain.
  • Sage: calms a racing mind

Feeling blue?

  • Bergamot: relieves depression and lifts the spirits
  • Citronella: uplifts and is used as an antidepressant
  • Frankincense: enhances mood
  • Ginger: uplifts mood and provides stimulation to the entire body
  • Grapefruit: helps with depression
  • Jasmine: relieves nervousness, enhances mood, boosts libido
  • Lemongrass: lifts the spirits and stimulates appetite
  • Patchouli: promotes euphoria, boosts libido, and curbs appetite
  • Peppermint: relieves anger, hysteria, nervousness, and trembling
  • Sage: helps with depression and boosts libido
  • Ylang-Ylang: brings out feelings of euphoria

Sick or in pain?

  • Bergamot: helps treat respiratory infections and wounds; aids digestion
  • Cedarwood: opens sinus passages; eases congestion & mucousy coughs
  • Chamomile: soothes pain, headaches, and cramps
  • Eucalyptus: opens sinus and breathing passages; inhibits colds
  • Frankincense: opens breathing passages; soothes inflammation
  • Ginger: eases sore throat, cramps, nausea, sore joints & muscles
  • Grapefruit: relieves migraines; stimulates digestion
  • Jasmine: soothes headache and relieves menstrual problems
  • Lavender: relieves muscle aches, rheumatism, bug bites, burns, cuts
  • Lemon: cleanses cuts and minor wounds; aids circulation
  • Lemongrass: soothes headaches and aching muscles
  • Oregano: helps strengthen and protect the immune system
  • Patchouli: helps fight fungal infections and heal scar tissue
  • Peppermint: relieves headaches and muscle pain; improves circulation
  • Pine: opens sinus and breathing passages
  • Rose: lessens aches, pain, and inflammation
  • Rosemary: helps breathing, circulation, and digestion
  • Sage: relieves menstrual pain; soothes digestive problems
  • Sandalwood: relieves coughing and calms nerves
  • Tea Tree: fights infections (blisters & cold sores) and boosts immunity

Skin Issues?

  • Bergamot: helps treat wounds, herpes, acne and oily skin conditions
  • Cedarwood: helps treat oily skin and scalp (dandruff)
  • Grapefruit: helps acne, congested, and oily skin; reduces cellulite
  • Jasmine: helps treat dry skin, dermatitis, and eczema
  • Lemon: breaks down cellulite and helps varicose veins
  • Patchouli: treats treat acne, eczema, and scalp disorders
  • Pine: helps reduce cellulite
  • Rose: promotes cell regeneration (great for dry, sensitive, or aging skin)
  • Sage: purifies and tones the skin
  • Vetiver: rehydrates dry, dehydrated skin

Insect Problem?

For more information on essential oil benefits, recommended blends, and usage, please visit our product page descriptions or email us at customerservice@cobigelow.com with any questions.

Summary
The Benefits of Essential Oils
Article Name
The Benefits of Essential Oils
Description
Discover the uses and multi-purpose benefits of our apothecary's favorite essential oils!
Author
Publisher Name
C.O. Bigelow
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