Essential oils have been used for healing, rejuvenating, and refreshing for ages. Owing to their versatility, essential oils are commodities of great demand in the market. In this article, we will be discussing essential oils, their health benefits, and possible adverse effects, and we’ll also suggest to you some of the best essential oils out there. Let’s get started!
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are potent natural plant products that have long been valued for their therapeutic properties. Essential oils are volatile liquids produced by aromatic plants as a part of their metabolism. It has a strong odor owing to the lots of aromatic molecules they contain.
They are extracted into highly concentrated liquids through various extraction processes. They are often produced using steam or hydro-distillation, invented by Arabs in the Middle Ages. Essential oil extraction is one of the labor, and time-intensive processes and thus is often at a bit higher end in the market.
They can be sourced from bark, leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, roots, fruit rinds, or plant resins. Essential oils are extensively utilized in a wide range of goods, including cosmetics, meals, and pharmaceuticals, for their medicinal, odoriferous, and flavoring qualities. Let's see what happens when you inhale essential oils.
Health benefits of inhaling essential oils
1. Antimicrobial effects
Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that the naturally occurring compounds in essential oils have bactericidal, virucidal, and fungicidal activity. These are very efficient against gram-positive bacteria. Due to their antibacterial activity and antioxidant properties, it has also been proposed that these plant extracts may be utilized to prevent food spoilage and treat infections. Manuka, thyme, lavender, garlic, lemon, cinnamon, and oregano essential oils are among the most potent antimicrobial essential oils.
2. Anti-inflammatory effects
Several essential oils, including chamomile, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, and millefolia, have been discovered in various studies to modulate the inflammatory response. Their anti-inflammatory effects result from the regulation of arachidonic metabolism, cytokine synthesis, and the control of the expression of molecules that are primarily responsible for inflammation.
Numerous essential oils possess antioxidant qualities as well. Free radicals, which can harm cells and result in severe degenerative diseases like cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, etc., in the long run, can be effectively tackled by essential oils like lemon grass, manuka, eucalyptus, thyme, orange, orange, ginger, basil, cinnamon, etc.
3. Improves mental health
Several recent studies have found that using essential oils can assist in managing anxiety and depression. Particularly lavender oil has been proven to relieve depression. Some essential oils, such as chamomile, sweet orange, bergamot orange, and key lime, have been shown to have calming effects in animal studies.
According to recent clinical trials, essential oil inhaling causes different reactions in the nervous system, like, anxiolytic, antidepressant, sedative, and anticonvulsant effects.
Furthermore, human studies have shown that essential oils impact physiological factors like blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, the make-up of brain waves, and serum cortisol levels in such a way that it induces calmness in our body.
4. Relieves stress
Essential oils have been used for relaxation and stress relief since time immemorial. Does it have any scientific backup? Yes, of course! In a study to determine the efficacy of lavender oil inhalation in lowering symptoms of work-related stress, it was discovered that 3% lavender oil was able to relieve almost all of the individuals’ symptoms.
According to a similar scientific study, peppermint essential oil and rose essential oil both have the best effects for reducing stress and promoting relaxation in people. Rose essential oil, however, has the highest results for women.
5. Promotes sleep
Several components in essential oils, such as linalool and linalyl acetate, act on the hypothalamus, pituitary, and olfactory nerves to relieve emotional responses while decreasing sympathetic (alerting) nerve activity, increasing parasympathetic (calming) nerve activity and slowing heart rate and blood pressure to relax the body and mind, thereby enhancing sleep.
Possible side effects of inhaling essential oils
Essential oil inhalation hasn’t been found to have any significant adverse side effects. However, highly intense inhalation for longer than 20 minutes may result in respiratory distress, and neurological symptoms, such as headache, nausea, burning in the eyes and throat, cough, shortness of breath, or even decreased breathing in children.
Essential oils should be kept away from children and pets who can’t tolerate essential oils, as adults do. So how often can you inhale essential oils? Inhaling essential oils 2-3 times a day is safe and benefic
There we are! Emerging research findings suggest aromatherapy is a potent way to tackle several adverse health conditions without serious side effects. Comment below your problems, and we’ll suggest you the best essential oils.