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How Essential Oils Work

How Essential Oils Work

Essential oils are being used for many healing and therapeutic purposes and are consequently growing in popularity. Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular due to the low likelihood of negative or adverse side effects. Essential oils are from the extracts of leaves, flowers, and roots of plants [6]. This is as they are stored as microdroplets in glands of plants [6]. Once extracted, these oils can be used in various ways as a treatment for various conditions. Stress relief, clearing infections, and the general maintenance of good health are some of the treatment options that essential oils afford to users.

How Essential Oils Work

Essential oils are designed to work in a variety of ways depending on the type of essential oil being used and how it is being applied in treatment. This is because there are many different kinds of essential oils and several ways they can be applied – including inhalation, skin application, and ingestion. Admittedly, some essential oils are better suited to different consumption options. That is, some are better for aromatherapy, while others are perfect for direct topical application.

Below, we take a closer look at three treatment and therapy options and what each entails.

Inhalation of Essential Oil

Inhalation is one common way for essential oils to be consumed and/or administered medicinally or otherwise therapeutically. There are many fun ways that essential oils can be consumed through inhalation. For example, one can opt for an essential oil diffuser, an inhaler or even a spritzer among inhalation of essential options.

Importantly, some essential oils are particularly suited to aromatherapy through inhalation. For example, some essential oils such as chamomile and lavender can help to calm the body and relieve stress. As such, they are great for diffusing throughout your environment and being consumed through aromatherapy. The inhalation of essential oil takes place through the olfactory system [4].

Skin Application of Essential Oil

Skin application of essential oils is used to treat a variety of skin conditions that may be viral, bacterial, or otherwise allergic in origin. To remedy this, essential oils can be added to one’s daily body care regimen using topical application options. Many essential oils – like Tea Tree Oil, for example – have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. As such, they are great for applying directly to problematic areas of the skin.

Importantly, essential oils can be very concentrated. As such, it is important to dilute them or use a carrier oil. In most cases, only a few drops of the active essential oil is needed. For example, coconut oil is a carrier oil for a few drops of tea tree oil.

Skin application of essential oil is not just for treating inflammation or problems of the skin. Instead, it can also be used simply for the maintenance of good health. The skin application of essential oil works great because of the absorption component. Through the topical application, the essential oil is absorbed into the skin by passing through the outer layer of the epidermis to the dermis into the capillaries and bloodstream [4, 5]. While it is true that it is difficult to determine absorption rates due to each human being chemically different [8], it is also true that one study indicates that dermal absorption is possible through the feet. The study showed that people could become drunk by having their feet submerged in vodka [9].

Ingestion of Essential Oil

Ingestion of essential oils is not always recommended. This is due to the fact that improper ingestion of any essential oil can prove to be harmful on many levels. However, it is important to note that there is a right way to do this. After all, there are organizations like the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy (AIA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that support the safe ingestion of essential oil [1]. Rocky Mountain Essential Oils are 100% organic and safe. Personally use this brand. They test their oils and you can view the results. I emailed them to find out about ingesting them and here is their response: “All of our oils are 100% pure and are of the quality that they can be ingested. However, we have chosen to not provide ingestion recommendations or guidance at this time. Essential oils are highly concentrated, and ingesting the oils can be harmful if not done correctly, so we do recommend consulting with an aromatherapist for the best guidance on ingestion. I’m not exactly sure if essential oils can be used in making a tea, so I would check with an aromatherapist at”

For the proper ingestion of essential oil, it is important that one does so under supervision and be careful to follow the recommended instructions. For example, a good option for ingestion of essential oil (like lemon or orange oil) is adding a drop to 32 ounces of sparkling water (with liquid stevia) to create a tasty and healthy soda pop treat [1].

Benefits of Essential Oils

The use of essential oils also has a profound impact on one’s emotions. This is particularly true for those emotions that pertain to memories. This is because essential oils stimulate the limbic system which is directly responsible for mood, energy, and focus. Frankincense, peppermint, lavender, and orange are all essential oils options that help to boost energy, mood, and focus [7].



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