Essential oils are concentrated organic compounds made from plants that have a variety of uses. They are commonly used for medicinal purposes. Herbal medicine use is considered an alternative medical treatment, so the use of essential oils can somewhat be categorized under this type of treatment as well. While most doctors may not prescribe essential oils to treat illnesses, many studies and testimonials have found that they really work.
• Certain essential oils can alleviate cough, congestion, and flu-like symptoms. One of the best essential oils for cough and cold is lemon. It has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that can cure a sore throat and boost one’s immune system.
• Chamomile oil can be used for skincare. It helps remove blemishes and acne. Combining it with coconut oil will make a perfect topical for diaper rash. Meanwhile, clary sage oil can reduce wrinkles and cellulite. Some massage oils also contain clary sage for fat reduction.
• Essential oils have been used for aromatherapy long before they became popular. They are used to improve one’s physical and psychological well-being. Lavender, peppermint, and frankincense are just some of the many essential oils ideal for aromatherapy.
• Adaptogen essential oils like basil, liquorice, and anise are used to cure hormonal imbalance. These oils can help people cope with emotional and physical stress by regulating the stress hormones produced by the adrenal glands.
• Having a healthy digestive system is extremely important in living a long and happy life. When a person is suffering from indigestion, using fennel or coriander oil might help. These oils contain antispasmodic properties that can help improve digestion.
• People who experience hair loss can also benefit from using essential oils. Rosemary oil can stimulate hair follicles, thickening hair naturally.
• Instead of caffeine and stimulants, essential oils such as grapefruit, ginger, and cinnamon bark are a healthier and natural option for weight loss. Combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet, these essential oils will provide an extra boost to one’s weight-loss goals.
Despite their many benefits, essential oils can also pose risks to some people, especially when they are misused.
• Pregnant and nursing women are not recommended to use essential oils since they can greatly affect one’s hormones. Evidence has also been found that essential oils can penetrate the placenta, which can affect the baby. For those who still want to use essential oils though, consult with your doctor first. Extreme precaution and careful research should be done before using these oils during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
• The incorrect use of essential oils on babies and children can be harmful. Essential oils shouldn’t be applied to children’s skin undiluted because they’re considered “hot.” A child’s skin is an extremely sensitive and delicate and direct application of essential oils can cause allergic reactions, burns, irritations, rashes, and more.
• Since essential oil is a highly concentrated substance, ingesting too much of it is harmful and even poisonous. For instance, about half a litre of peppermint oil is made from more or less 300 pounds of peppermint leaves — and consuming a toxic amount of that oil can cause serious damage to the liver and kidneys, among others. Thus, it’s best to be properly educated on the right amount of each essential oil before using it.
• Citrus oils can make skin photosensitive. There are risks of skin discolouration, blistering, and burning when using certain essential oils. Keep away from citrus oils if your skin is already UV light-sensitive.
• Some essential oils may interfere with prescription drugs. Consult professional aromatherapists and/or your doctor for advice on whether or not you can use essential oils in combination with your prescribed medication.
• Overuse of essential oils can lead to allergies over time. Once these allergies occur, that person will be allergic to that particular essential oil forever.
The key to benefitting from essential oils and avoiding the risks they pose is to be well-informed on their safe and correct usage. Always read the fine print on the labels, know how to use them properly, take the necessary precautionary measures, and always get the green light from your doctor before using them.
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