Essential oils are aromatic liquids extracted from the seeds, roots, stems bark and leaves of plants. They are highly concentrated (for example, it takes 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to produce just an ounce of essential oil).
These oils have seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, but they’ve been used for centuries. There’s a reason why essential oils have been popular for so long—and it’s not just because they smell amazing! Essential oils come with a multitude of physical, mental and emotional health benefits. That’s because they contain powerful compounds, including antioxidants.
Below are seven common essential oils and their health benefits.
How Essential Oils Can Benefit Your Health with Helen from Health Ambition
Most of us are aware that antioxidants are great for our health, but what exactly do they do? Well, antioxidants neutralise free radicals, which can cause cell damage.
You may think that antioxidants are only found in fruits, veggies or other superfoods, but lavender actually helps you produce antioxidants, too! Specifically, it stimulates your body to produce SOD, catalase and glutathione. You can benefit from lavender’s antioxidant activity by inhaling its oil vapour (through the use of a diffuser, for example).
Recent research has also found lavender to be effective for improving mood and protecting the brain. It is especially good for relieving anxiety, insomnia and depression. It has also shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
While lavender helps you to go to sleep, the fresh scent of peppermint may help to wake you up. Studies have shown that peppermint improves memory and increases mental alertness. This can come in hand, especially if you’re a student or work from home.
Inhaling peppermint oil also reduces the symptoms of asthma (as it contains the anti-inflammatory compound, rosmarinic acid) and respiratory congestion. It can even help to reduce headache pain.
When you think of the aroma of natural cleaning products, lemon usually comes to mind. It’s a popular ingredient in cleaning products because of its antibacterial properties. These properties also make lemon oil a good remedy for pimples and dull skin.
In addition to its antibacterial effects, lemon may help to increase concentration and reduce anxiety when inhaled. As is the case with peppermint, lemon helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma, too.
Rosemary is yet another essential oil which helps improve memory and alertness. It improves memory by causing an increase in the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.
If you want longer healthier hair, rosemary oil is a great choice, as it helps to stimulate follicles and nourish the scalp when applied. It also helps with oral care by removing bad bacteria, freshening breath, preventing gingivitis and more.
Finally, one study showed that inhaling rosemary oil for just five minutes reduced the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in individuals’ saliva. This potentially means rosemary can protect you from the dangers of chronic stress (and we can all do with less stress, right?).
When you’re feeling nauseous, one of the best natural remedies is ginger. You don’t even need to consume ginger to get this benefit; you can simply take a sniff of the oil. This comes in handy for pregnant women, who may constantly feel nauseas.
Not only is ginger great for relieving nausea, but it also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it beneficial for relieving pain and preventing chronic diseases.
One of the things eucalyptus is known for is having a positive effect on the lungs. It contains a compound known as u8, which eases coughs and fights upper respiratory problems. It also helps to reduce swelling and redness, perhaps due to inhibition of nitric oxide.
Eucalyptus oil, like most of the other essential oils, contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. These contribute to its soothing effects on the respiratory system.
You may have seen tea tree oil in the skincare aisle of your local pharmacy. That’s because it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. As such, it helps to prevent and treat acne and fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
Tea tree oil also helps to stimulate the immune system, relieve congestion, reduce dandruff and promotes the removal of toxins from the body.
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*Do not ingest essential oils. If you are considering ingesting an oil (or have been told it is safe by a multi level marketing seller), please reconsider and seek qualified advice. Click here for more information.