What are essential oils?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. The oils capture the plant’s scent and flavor, or “essence.” Unique aromatic compounds give each essential oil its characteristic essence. Essential oils are obtained through distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing. Once the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they are combined with a carrier oil to create a product that’s ready for use. The way the oils are made is important, as essential oils obtained through chemical processes are not considered true essential oils.
How do essential oils work?
Essential oils are most commonly used in the practice of aromatherapy, in which they are inhaled through various methods. Essential oils are not meant to be swallowed. The chemicals in essential oils can interact with your body in several ways. When applied to your skin, some plant chemicals are absorbed. It’s thought that certain application methods can improve absorption, such as applying with heat or to different areas of the body. Inhaling the aromas from essential oils can stimulate areas of your limbic system, which is a part of your brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviors, sense of smell, and long-term memory. Interestingly, the limbic system is heavily involved in forming memories. This can partly explain why familiar smells can trigger memories or emotions. The limbic system also plays a role in controlling several unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. As such, some people claim that essential oils can exert a physical effect on your body.
There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each with its own unique smell and potential health benefits.
Here’s a list of 10 popular essential oils and the health claims associated with them:
- Peppermint: used to boost energy and aid digestion
- Lavender: used to relieve stress
- Sandalwood: used to calm nerves and help with focus
- Bergamot: used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema
- Rose: used to improve mood and reduce anxiety
- Chamomile: used to improve mood and relaxation
- Ylang-Ylang: used to treat headaches, nausea, and skin conditions
- Tea Tree: used to fight infections and boost immunity
- Jasmine: used to help with depression, childbirth, and libido
- Lemon: used to aid digestion, mood, headaches, and more
Health benefits of essential oils
Despite their widespread use, little is known about the ability of essential oils to treat certain health conditions. Here’s a look at the evidence regarding some of the common health problems that essential oils and aromatherapy have been used to treat:
Stress and anxiety
It has been estimated that 43% of people who have stress and anxiety use some form of alternative therapy to help relieve their symptoms. Regarding aromatherapy, initial studies have been quite positive. Many have shown that the smell of some essential oils can work alongside traditional therapy to treat anxiety and stress. Using essential oils during a massage may help relieve stress. For home use as well as in motion, to always have it at hand when you feel your energy has fallen, we in Kaboshon have our Energy oil that will instantly lift your energy and motivation to continue the day.
Headaches and migraines
Dabbing peppermint oil and carrier oil mixture on participants’ foreheads and pulse points on the head relieved headache pain. Recent studies have also observed reduced headache pain after applying peppermint and lavender oil to the skin What’s more, it has been suggested that applying a mixture of chamomile and sesame oil to the temples may treat headaches and migraines. Therefore, we in Kaboshon created our Cure oil, which is a combination of carrier oil and pure essential oils that help with stress, anxiety, headaches and migraines.
Sleep and insomnia
The smell of lavender oil as well as orange oils, ylang ylang, sandalwood, bergamot and many others improved sleep quality, especially in women after childbirth as well as in patients with heart disease. To that end, we recommend our Relax oil.