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The History of Essential Oils

The History of Essential OilsThe use of essential oils as a part of various health and self-care regimens worldwide. This is due in large part to the fact that these oils are not only powerful and effective in their administration, but are also natural and have little to no adverse side effects when used as directed.

The History of Essential Oils

The history of essential oils is steeped in a bit of mysticism and science thanks to their effectiveness and regular use in many traditional cultures where herbal medicines and aromatics take front and center. In traditional cultures, essential oils and incense as extracted from aromatic plants were popularly used as a part of both religious and therapeutic practices [1]. Additionally, in ancient societies, oils and incense extracted from plants to be used for the purposes of perfume were associated with the upper classes of those societies.

The Benefits of Essential Oils

The benefits of Essential Oils : There are many benefits to be had from using essential oils regularly. Admittedly, the benefits received depends on the type of essential oils being used and how they are being used. For example, some oils may be used topically to treat skin conditions such as constant itching. In this instance, benefits would result from how effective the particular essential oil is at soothing or relieving said itch. Another example is some essential oils, like lavender essential oil for relaxation, are perfect for aromatherapy and can help to relax users and as far that is effective, the oil can be considered a benefit.

Essential oils, when used for aromatic purposes, are designed to trigger positive responses in the brain that promotes physical and psychological healing, health, and wellness. These positive benefits include balancing hormones, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and healing digestive disorders [2]. Importantly, science is now giving credence and legitimacy to these many benefits of aromatherapy and the use of essential oils in health [2, 3].

Aromatic uses of essentials include both the topical application and inhalation. Each of the two modes of use has its own benefits because of how each causes the body to react to the oils. For example, when applied through inhalation, the scent of the essential oils is carried to the olfactory system and from there to the body’s limbic system which is responsible for the body’s emotional responses and behaviors. Consequently, depending on the actual oil chosen, persons can begin to feel either more relaxed or more alert [3]. As such, essential oil users should choose their oils according to the response they want.

As for the topical application of essential oils, the benefits lie in the oils’ high antioxidant properties. As the oils are applied topically, they are absorbed through the skin. Once in the body’s system, they get directly to the body’s system where their antioxidant properties can (and does) enhance the body’s immune system. Of course, this inadvertently influences your body’s health and vitality positively as the stronger the immune system, the more resistant we are to illnesses and symptoms of illnesses [3].

The Effectiveness of Essential Oils

As stated prior, essential oils are as popular today as they were in ancient cultures. However, it is also important to point out to modern-day users of essential oils that the oils are only as effective and beneficial to the degree that they are pure. In other words, it is important that your essential oils are not contaminated with other substances that can dilute its potency or otherwise adversely affect its effectiveness. Ancient Indian, Hebrew, African, and Chinese societies are among the ancient civilizations that would use these perfumed oils and many of these traditions still exist in the modern dispensation of these societies today [1].

In addition to ensuring that the oils are used in purity, it is also important that users know how to use these oils together. This is because sometimes essential oils need to be mixed with cold-pressed vegetable/fruit oils known as carrier oils (like jojoba, coconut, or olive to name a few) in order to dilute it for topical use. Mixing essential oils with carrier oils is great as carrier oils tend to be filled with vitamins and antioxidants which are also good for the total health of the body.

Sources:

1. https://www.utne.com/mind-and-body/history-of-herbal-medicine-ze0z1404zcov
2. https://www.developgoodhabits.com/benefits-natural-essential-oils/
3. http://nuworldbotanicals.com/miscellaneous/science-behind-aromatherapy/
4. https://www.mamanatural.com/how-to-use-essential-oils/
5. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-essential-oils

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