What is an essential oil? Typically created through the process of distillation — which separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming — they are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma. In fact, sometimes they are called volatile aromatic oils because of their high concentration of the aromatic compounds. (1) They also are simply called aromatherapy oils.
There are also quite a few studies that have found essential oils to be helpful for hair growth. One such study, conducted in 2015, evaluated the efficacy of rosemary oil on patients with androgenetic alopecia, or male or female pattern baldness. Patients were randomly assigned to rosemary oil or minoxidil (a medication commonly used for hair loss) for a six-month treatment period. Researchers found that both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count at the six-month endpoint. They also indicated that scalp itching was more frequent in the minoxidil group. (17)
Despite the sudden burst in popularity, essential oils are not a new thing. The ancient Egyptians were among the first people to use aromatic essential oils, incorporating them into their daily lives. Pure essential oils were incredibly valuable and saved for priests and royals. Ancient books such as the Bible also talk about the use of essential oils. According to the book, Essential Oils for Beginners, the Old and New Testament reference essential oils over two hundred times.
Some essential oils have sedative properties, which can be helpful for people who are having trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night. Lavender oil, in particular, is known to be an effective sleep aid because of its ability to leave you feeling relaxed and calm. Some other oils that can be used to promote restful sleep include Roman chamomile, ylang ylang, bergamot and vetiver.
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Beginning to use essential oils is the start of an incredible aromatic journey. I created AromaWeb over 20 years ago because essential oils played a highly beneficial role in my life and I was (and still am!) eager to share insight into the safe and effective use of essential oils. Below are several important aromatherapy tips for beginners and those that are new to using essential oils.
Another useful essential oil for digestion is peppermint. Research shows that peppermint oil works to provide rapid relief of IBS symptoms. In a 4-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 72 patients with IBS received either peppermint oil or placebo. The peppermint group experienced a 40 percent reduction in total IBS symptoms after 4 weeks, which was superior to the 24 percent decrease of symptoms reported by the patients in the placebo group. After just 24 hours of using peppermint oil, the treatment group experienced a decrease in symptoms of 19.6 percent. (8)
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.
Whilst this can seem confusing, the best advice for oil selection is to test which scents you like the smell of, because the ones your body needs tend to show themselves as the ones you like! This can change daily depending on your healing needs at the time. On our website, you can read a description of the scent and learn more about the properties of the oils and their therapeutic effects. Check out the ‘Safety Notes’ before you use them and check with your GP if you are pregnant or have more serious conditions such as epilepsy or blood pressure problems.
I get so nervous with all the ingestion suggestions from new “reps” for the most popular MLM EO companies. A doctor and a naturopath have both cautioned me against ingesting EOs of any brand. There can be potentially devastating side effects. I’ve used EOs for twenty years, and I love what they do for my mood and health! This is great information you’ve shared. Thanks!
Aromatically – this may be the most well know way to use essential oils. Through a diffuser you’re able to fill the air with the essence of that essential oil allowing it to get into your lungs and therefore you’re blood stream. Be sure to look at your diffuser to get the correct water to oil ratio. Even if you don’t have a diffuser you could simply take a few drops from the bottle into the palm of your hands. Cup your hands around your mouth and nose and take deep breaths in of the oil.