ESSENTIAL OIL – MEANING
Let’s first understand what is an essential oil? An essential oil is basically a highly concentrated extract of the natural oils in plants. This process of extraction is done through a process of distillation mainly through steam or water by using various plant parts such as its stem, plant roots, flowers or bark. After the process of distillation is completed the outcome that we get is of highly concentrated essential oil which consists of the characteristic fragrance as well as properties of the plant from which the oil has been extracted. The essential oil when present in plants provides protection to the plants against predators and diseases and when these are extracted from the plant they provide their same functionality and therefore, is regarded to have various medicinal as well as therapeutic benefits which are why since ancient times, people are using essential oils to cure various diseases. One of the most common therapeutic practice in order to heal a disease is aromatherapy whose healing is achieved through the process of aromas of essential oils. It is also believed that some of the essential oils have antiseptic feature present in them which can reduce the signs of infection in the human skin when applied.
TYPES OF ESSENTIAL OILS AND THEIR BENEFITS:-
There are various types of essential oils of different plants which are currently available in the market and can be made at home through “DIYs”. These are as follows:-
Lavender Essential Oil – Lavender essential oil is extracted from fresh flowers of lavender. The essential is used from the ancient times as it is considered to be one of the highly versatile essential oil which is popularly known for its soothing properties which relax both mind and body by reducing stress and anxiety as well as helps in eliminating inflammation. In order to do so, apply the essential oil onto a small portion of your skin and few drops on your pillow for a good and relaxing sleep. Hence, lavender essential oil helps to promote sleep quality, better concentration and reduces anxiety disorder.
Peppermint Oil – Peppermint oil when used helps in alleviating problems like headaches, nausea, indigestion, gas as well as anxiety. Peppermint essential oil helps in soothing the involuntary muscles of the stomach. By adding a drop of peppermint oil in your herbal tea, it works upon improving the digestive system of the stomach and increases the rate of elimination of any discomfort in the stomach. It also helps in reducing the inconvenience related to the irritable bowel system i.e. IBS as studies has shown that the almost 80% of the people who applied/consumed peppermint oil eliminated their symptom of IBS. This is because of the presence of menthol in peppermint essential oil which controls involuntary contraction by interfering with the movement of electrolytes in the cell membranes.
Eucalyptus Oil – Eucalyptus essential oil is being extracted from the leaves of Eucalyptus odorata which is a small variety of the whole Eucalyptus tree. It has properties of anti-microbial, herbicidal, acaricidal (which means it kills ticks and mites). The oil is most effective against fighting the bacterial strains such as Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenza and many more. Eucalyptus essential oil is also very beneficial in improving the respiratory health of an individual as inhaling its steam could really help in curbing the problem of cold and congestion through loosening of phlegm in the lungs as well as in the nasal passages. When used in a combination with peppermint essential oil, it can help in reducing the headaches and promotes mental relaxation.
Tea Tree Oil – It is also called as melaleuca oil and tea tree essential oil is derived from “tea” or “paperbark” trees. It is another essential oil which is popularly known for its antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties as it damages the cell membrane while fighting off the harmful organisms. In addition to it, Tea tree oil also limits the growth of fungus, yeast as well as discourages the growth of any infection when applied. Similar to peppermint oil, it also has a certain effect on HSV-1 i.e. it significantly reduces the outbreak of herpes but may not prevent it altogether. Another reason why Tea tree oil is popular is its ability to fight problems related to skin, burns, dandruff, blemishes, athlete’s foot, and other problems. One can add few drops of this oil in their shampoo to promote and improve scalp help as well as applying few drops on the skin can help correcting blemishes.
Jojoba Oil – Jojoba oil is extracted from the seeds of the wild jojoba shrub which is dominantly found in places of Arizona, California, as well as in northwestern Mexico. In ancient times, people used Jojoba oil for healing the wounds due to the presence of unique fatty acids and fatty alcohol esters. Unlike other essential oil, Jojoba oil is not at all volatile but still has plenty of benefits to offer especially for skin related problems. Jojoba essential oil accelerates healing of the wound at the cellular level. In addition to it, you can add jojoba oil to your daily skin routine to improve the skin appearance as well as reduces the acne breakouts. It is also a great make-up remover and prevents the appearance of razor bumps. Jojoba oil contains Vitamin E which also helps in promotion and improvement of the hair health.
Blue Chamomile Oil – Blue Chamomile essential oil is extracted from the German chamomile. The blue color of the oil is an outcome of the steam extraction process and the azulene content present in the German chamomile gets darker and becomes more like inky blue or deep green. This color fades during the process of storage but that doesn’t fade the plenty benefits blue chamomile oil has. Since, ancient times, people are using Blue Chamomile essential oil for healing the wounds of fever and insomnia. As a result, the oil became a traditional medicine which is highly effective in curbing problems of bruises, wounds, canker sore and other problems. The oil also has anti-inflammatory properties which limit the growth of stomach ulcer-provoking bacteria and helps in tackling the problem of insomnia as by inhaling the aroma of the oil can make your brain relax and makes you feel sleepy. Moreover, it also possesses anti-anxiety effect in order to reduce and prevent the anxiety disorder.
Rose Oil – Rose oil is extracted from the petals of the Rose flower and has a presence of floral fragrance. Similar to other essential oils, rose oil also alleviate the mood and makes the mind as well as body calm and relaxed while fighting off the harmful bacteria. Rose oil when applied makes your skin more absorbent and that is the reason rose oil is added to various skin cosmetics. Rose oil contains tocopherol (a vitamin E compound), carotene, and high levels of phenolic compounds which makes it a favorite oil for adding it to beauty products. Moreover, rose oil helps in boosting self-esteem and confidence which fighting depression as the oil can be very helpful while driving anxiety and depression away and brings out positivity in them. Rose oil also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties which help in the prevention of any sort of infection and provides protection against viruses.