As an aromatherapist, one of the most common questions I receive is, “How Do Essential Oils Work?” It is a valid question, especially since the use of essential oils and aromatherapy has become increasingly popular in recent years. Many experts have studied this subject extensively.
From an aromatherapist’s perspective, it’s important to understand that essential oils work by interacting with our body’s olfactory system. When we inhale essential oils, the molecules are carried through the nasal cavity and into the brain, where they stimulate the limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for regulating our emotions, behavior, and memories.
Essential oils also have chemical properties that can affect our physical and mental well-being. For example, lavender essential oil is known for its calming properties and can be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety. Peppermint essential oil has a cooling and invigorating effect and can be useful for relieving headaches and improving focus.
It’s important to note that the effects of essential oils can vary from person to person. This is because each individual’s body chemistry is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Additionally, the quality and purity of essential oils can also impact their effectiveness.
In conclusion, as an aromatherapist, I believe that essential oils work by interacting with our body’s olfactory system and by having chemical properties that can affect our physical and mental well-being. However, the effectiveness of essential oils can vary from person to person, and it’s important to use high-quality oils and experiment with different blends to find what works best for you.
It’s important to address the question of how essential oils work. While many people have reported positive effects from using essential oils, others have not felt any difference, and some may even experience side effects. It’s important to remember that everyone’s body chemistry is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.
However, when used appropriately, essential oils can have a positive impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being. Aromatherapy is the most common use of essential oils, as it involves inhaling the scent of the oil to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and depression, alleviate pain, and uplift mood.
There are several ways to use essential oils, and the effectiveness of each method can vary from person to person. It’s important to take caution and do your research before incorporating essential oils into your routine. Some oils may cause allergies or skin reactions, so it’s best to consult with an expert or a qualified aromatherapist to determine the appropriate usage for your individual needs.
When it comes to the working of essential oils, there are usually three ways that it can be physically applied:
- Skin Application
It is not recommended to consume them directly. Ingesting essential oils can be extremely dangerous and can cause serious harm to your health.
Instead, essential oils can be safely used in aromatherapy practices such as diffusing, inhalation, and topical application when properly diluted with a carrier oil. Essential oil diffusers, in particular, are an effective way to disperse oils through the air and promote a calming and positive atmosphere.
It is crucial to understand that each essential oil has its own unique properties and can affect the body and mind differently. Therefore, it is essential to conduct thorough research and seek expert advice before incorporating them into your routine. While essential oils can offer numerous benefits, it is important to use them responsibly and with caution to avoid any adverse reactions.
Inhaling essential oils can be done through a diffuser or directly inhaling the oil from the bottle. Both methods have different results and effectiveness.
When you inhale an essential oil directly, it interacts with your olfactory and limbic systems. The olfactory system is made up of all the cells and organs that relate to your sense of smell. When you inhale an essential oil, the molecules of the oil are transported through the olfactory system and reach the brain immediately. This can impact other pathways along the way, which can lead to positive effects on the body and mind.
The limbic system is the emotional brain and controls blood pressure, stress levels, breathing rate, and hormones. Essential oils can help soothe these processes down by coming into contact with the limbic system. For example, if you have a cough, feel nauseous, or generally down, inhaling eucalyptus or peppermint oil can help you feel better. It’s because the essential oil molecules are transported through your olfactory system and reach your brain immediately, affecting other pathways along the way.
By Skin Application
It is important to stress that the topical application of essential oils must always be done with caution. It is true that essential oils can be applied topically to the skin, but it is crucial to use a carrier oil for dilution before application. This is because undiluted essential oils can cause skin reactions and may even lead to other health problems. Once you have diluted your essential oil with a carrier oil, you can massage that mixture onto areas of your skin and body.
Topical application can be particularly effective when applied to pressure points such as the temples or places where there is muscle tightness. Essential oil mixtures can also be applied to arthritic joints for better flexibility and ease of movement. Chamomile oil, for instance, is known to work as a remedy for eczema.
When you massage an essential oil mixture into the skin, it increases the efficacy and absorption of the oils. The skin is a porous organ, and the application of essential oils works by having them absorbed through and begin the healing process. As an aromatherapist, I always recommend consulting a professional before using essential oils topically, especially for those with sensitive skin or health conditions.
While some essential oils are food-grade and can be added to certain recipes in very small amounts, it is not recommended to consume essential oils directly. Ingesting essential oils can cause irritation, allergic reactions, and even poisoning.
It is essential to remember that essential oils are highly concentrated, and just a few drops can contain a potent dose of active compounds. It is always best to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before using essential oils for any purpose, including ingestion. A medical professional can evaluate your individual health status and advise on the safe and appropriate use of essential oils, if any.
In summary, ingestion is not a recommended method of using essential oils due to the risk of toxicity and other health complications. It is always best to stick to safe and effective methods such as inhalation and topical application, under the guidance of a qualified professional.