Essential Oils: What They Are and What They're Used For

At some point, you’ve probably heard the term “essential oils” tossed around or even seen someone adding a couple drops of a pleasant-smelling liquid into their diffuser. However, you may not fully understand what essential oils are and what they’re used for. To gain a better appreciation for these beneficial oils and to better understand their many different uses, continue reading.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural oils extracted from a particular plant material. The extracted oil typically maintains the characteristic scent, flavor, or essence of the plant from which it was extracted. Upon extraction, the essential oil is generally combined with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil to dilute its extremely potent properties, which could cause irritation in instances of direct exposure.

Different Uses for Essential Oils

Essential oils have a wide variety of potential uses, depending on the type. They’re not meant to be consumed. Instead, they’re either inhaled through the practice of aromatherapy or applied topically and absorbed into the skin. Below, we list some of the most common uses of essential oils:

  • Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Essential oils such as bergamot and jasmine are believed to have a subtle effect on the chemical and energy systems in the body, resulting in reduced feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Pain Relief: Essential oils are also commonly used as a type of alternative medicine to reduce pain. Certain essential oils have been shown to provide relief from a variety of different sources of pain, from headaches and migraines to arthritic pain.
  • Improve Sleep: Improved sleep is yet another common motivation for using essential oils. When used in the form of aromatherapy, certain oils, such as lavender or chamomile oil, have been known to have soothing effects on the body that promote sleep.
  • Soothe Nausea: Essential oils may also soothe nausea by relaxing the muscles, easing pain, and promoting good digestion. Oils such as ginger, peppermint, and spearmint essential oil are all known for their nausea-quelling capabilities.

There’s a virtually endless list of the uses and benefits of essential oils, but these are just a few of the most common ones.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey