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Having discussed the many ways we can get the oils into your system, how do we know which oils to use? Firstly, it is important to think about your objectives for using essential oils. Are you hoping to become more relaxed? Are you wanting to sleep better? Do you feel like you need reviving with a boost to your immune system? Are you wanting to detox? Do you have congestion following a cold? Are you in need of an antiseptic? Do you need uplifting? Are your hormones in need of balancing? There are different essential oils for all of these different things; some of them working on several ailments at once.
How many times have you walked into the office of your doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, or day spa and noticed a pleasant-smelling aroma filling the air? THAT was aromatherapy. Offices will generally use a combination of Essential Oils that help to relax and calm people. The right blend of aromatherapy oils can serve to de-stress and motivate people.
^ Baggoley C (2015). "Review of the Australian Government Rebate on Natural Therapies for Private Health Insurance" (PDF). Australian Government – Department of Health. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2015. Lay summary – Gavura, S. Australian review finds no benefit to 17 natural therapies. Science-Based Medicine (19 November 2015).
Studies have shown that essential oils effectively destroy several fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Helicobacter pylori and Candida albicans infections. Because antibiotic resistance is becoming such a major threat in modern health care, using these oils as a form of independent or combination therapy can help to fight bacterial infections in a safer and more natural way. (4, 5)
Whilst many people think that the ‘massage’ element is the main event when they go for an Aromatherapy treatment, it is actually more about choosing the best essential oils and allowing them to work their magic. It is the power of the essential oils that is key: the massage therapy simply creates an environment that allows the oils to work at their best, with the help of trained professionals. However, this doesn’t mean that beginners can’t use essential oils at home; you can - the art is just in selecting the most appropriate oils and using them safely to create the desired effects.
Used the right way, they can help you feel better with few side effects. For example, you may feel less nauseated from chemotherapy cancer treatment if you breathe in ginger vapors. You may be able to fight certain bacterial or fungal infections, including the dangerous MRSA bacteria, with tea tree oil. In one study, tea tree oil was as effective as a prescription antifungal cream in easing symptoms of a fungal foot infection.
Topically – this is the most popular way to use it. (and what I do most of the time) Place on your head (around the crown), behind ears, wrists or on the vita flex points. You can dilute the oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil (any natural vegetable oil is fine too, such as grape seed, olive, avocado or jojoba) to reduce the strength or smell of the oil if it’s too much.
Internally – you can also start using them internally by ingesting them. Young Living came out with its own Vitality brand that is approved by the FDA to ingest. This allows you to get the maximum benefit of the oil and fastest absorption rate. I’ve even used them in cooking, like oregano or black pepper oil for my pasta sauce or lemon oil for my Lemon Raspberry Protein Muffins.
Peppermint is a very recognizable scent, after all they make gum that smells like peppermint. But Peppermint is so much more than just a nostalgic, fresh aroma. This oil can be diffused to create a stimulating, focused atmosphere for daily tasks. You can also apply it topically to create a cool, tingling sensation on the skin, which can be very soothing after hard physical activity. Peppermint can help relieve headaches, curb appetite, settle an upset tummy and is great for an afternoon pick me up.
There are many oils that may be applied topically or used aromatically to reduce body aches and pains. One study that displays this essential oil benefit evaluated the efficacy of these oils on neck pain. For the study, the experimental group received a cream that was composed of marjoram, black pepper, lavender and peppermint oils, and the control group used an unscented cream. The creams were applied for 4 weeks, directly to the painful area after bathing. Researchers found that the experimental group had improved pain tolerance in the neck and showed significant improvement in the 10 motion areas that were measured. (15)
Some essential massage oils may make their way into the placenta, an organ in your uterus that grows along with your baby and helps to nourish it. It’s not clear if this causes any problems, unless you take toxic amounts, but to be safe, it’s best to avoid certain oils if you’re pregnant. Those include wormwood, rue, oak moss, Lavandula stoechas, camphor, parsley seed, sage, and hyssop. Ask your doctor if you’re unsure.
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The use of essential oils for therapeutic, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes goes back to ancient civilizations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who used them in cosmetics, perfumes and drugs. Oils were used for aesthetic pleasure and in the beauty industry. It was a luxury item and a means of payment. It was believed the essential oils increased the shelf life of wine and improved the taste of food.