Essential oils are all the rage these days. From aromatherapy and massages to skincare, they have infiltrated our lives for the better. However, it can be quite tricky to find the best essential oils for yourself. Read on to find out some tips for choosing the best essential oils.
What are Essential Oils?
1. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
2. Relieve Migraines
3. Promote Sleep
4. Provide Antibiotic and Antimicrobial Benefits
5. Reduce Inflammation
6. Good for the Skin
Essential oils are naturally derived from plants through distillation. It is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid that captures the essence of the plant. Essential oils are made up of chemical compounds, including the aromatic compounds from the plant; hence they provide the unique fragrance or scent of the associated plant. They can be obtained through various methods, including steam distillation, water distillation, and cold process method.
Although they are widely used nowadays, essential oils are still a mystery. However, they have been shown to provide some physical and mental health benefits and can be used in a variety of ways, including
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety – Inhaling and absorbing essential oils through aromatherapy is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Including essential oils in massages also seems to have a similar effect on the body. However, the relaxation mostly lasts only as long as the massage.
- Relieve Migraines – Applying and massaging some specific essential oils on pressure points can relieve the symptoms of headaches and migraines. Dabbing a small amount of Lavender oil, Peppermint Oil, or Chamomile oil on the temples can lessen the effects of headaches. In fact, applying a mix of chamomile and sesame oil to the temples is an old Perisian remedy for migraines and headaches.
- Promote Sleep – Depending on the type of oil you are using, it can promote sleep. Moreover, even if the oil is only used to relieve stress, the consequent relaxation will result in a better and more restful sleep anyway. The most common sleep-inducing oil is Lavender essential oil.
- Provide Antibiotic and Antimicrobial Benefits – Many essential oils are equipped to fight bacterial and germs when applied to the skin or inhaled. These oils include Tea Tree oil, Peppermint oil, Eucalyptus oil, etc.
- Reduce Inflammation – Inflammation can also be treated with essential oils if you know which ones work best for it. This is due to the antioxidants in the essential oils that soothe inflamed skin. These calming, anti-inflammatory oils include Eucalyptus, Bergamot, Thyme, Rose, Fennel, and Clove and Chamomile, Patchouli, and Ginger. They can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin via a diffuser or a direct massage to the affected area.
- Good for the Skin – Essential oils can be used to treat many skin conditions. For example, dry skin can be treated and cared for by using oils such as Chamomile, Lavender, and Sandalwood. Whereas, for oily skin, the best oils are Geranium, Frankincense, and Rosemary. Acne-prone skin is best treated with Tea Tree and Lemon Oil.
How to Choose The Best Essential Oil?
1. Organic or Non-Organic
2. Check the Label
3. Sniff It
4. Consider the Price
5. Check the Bottle
6. Avoid Fragrance Oil
- Organic or Non-Organic – When it comes to essential oils, there is no hard answer for the organic or non-organic debate. During the distillation process to make essential oils, most of the unwanted parts of the oil are filtered out. In the end, you are left with the smallest possible essential molecule, whereas the molecules of pesticides are quite large in comparison. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that most of the pesticide is left out of the final essential oil. Similarly, many conventional essential oil companies make high-quality oils, even when they are not organic. So, it all comes down to personal preference.
- Check the Label – This is a bit of general advice that never gets old; read the label before buying anything. For essential oils, the labels are significant as it is relatively easy to make fake essential oils. The label should mention how the plants were grown, where they were grown, how the oil is processed (via steam distillation, cold-process, chemical distillation, etc.), when the oil was distilled and the expiration date, and the state of the plant from which the oil is derived (fresh or dried plant) as you only want fresh, the Latin or botanical name of the plant, etc. Moreover, terms like ‘therapeutic grade,’ ‘natural,’ ‘pure,’ don’t mean much as it doesn’t require a certification, and hence, the words mean nothing.
- Sniff It – Essential oils are very concentrated. Therefore, they should smell potent if they are actually the real thing. Sniff the bottle and look for a natural but strong scent. Trust your nose to make the right decision.
- Consider the Price – It takes hundreds and thousands of flowers and other parts of the plants to make a small bottle of essential oil. Consequently, essential oils can be quite expensive, and rightly so. Therefore, consider the price tag of the oil. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Check the Bottle – Essential oils need to be packaged in glass bottles in a dark color to prevent oxidation. Amber glass bottles are the best fit. Most oils come with a glass dropper or an orifice reducer that gives out one drop at a time. Plastic bottles are an absolute no as the highly volatile compounds in essential oils don’t sit well with plastic.
- Avoid Fragrance Oil – Unfortunately, it is quite common for fragrance oils to be sold as essential oils. Fragrance oils are synthetic oils that are not infused with the beneficial properties of the parent plant. They only contain the scent of the plant and are diluted with artificial substances.
Best Essential Oils for You
2. Tea Tree
9. Ylang Ylang
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