Essential oils and their properties
Either adding some drops to your bath, enjoying their fragrant aromas using a diffuser or during a massage, essential oils have many benefits that promote health and well-being.
Recently recognized in the fields of science and medicine, Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses essential oils extracted from natural plants to enhance both physical and emotional health.
Among its benefits, aromatherapy is said to:
- Manage pain, treat headaches and migraines
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Soothe sore joints
- Alleviate side effects of chemotherapy
- Ease discomforts of labor
- Improve sleep quality and digestion
- Boost immunity
How does aromatherapy work?
You might have sensed a calming effect after walking through a lavender field, or felt an invigorating rush when smelling citrus zest. The fact is that aroma molecules are potent organic plant chemicals that stimulate the receptor cells in the nose when inhaled. The olfactory bulb transmits the signal to limbic and hypothalamus parts of the brain, releasing neuro messengers like serotonin or endorphin that link our nervous and other body systems.
Choose your essential oil
Now it’s your turn to choose the essential oils according to your needs. Here you will find useful information about 11 of the most popular oils and their benefits.
Bonus Tip: Enrich your aromatherapy session evoking pleasant visualizations while using the power of smell to induce a certain state, this way you will access that state whenever you need it.
Cedar wood helps to deodorize indoor environments, repel insects and prevent the development of mildew. Its health benefits include improving cerebral activity, relaxing the body, enhancing concentration, decreasing hyperactivity, reducing harmful stress, easing tension, and is an ally for quality sleep. Cedar wood protects the body against harmful bacteria, facilitates wound-healing, addresses the discomforts of muscle aches, joint pain or stiffness, soothes coughs and spasms, and stimulates circulation.
Eucalyptus is a purifying, cleansing, clarifying, and immune-boosting oil that is ideal for use on skin, and part of its healing benefits include soothing, stimulating, and anti-bacterial. It supports the respiratory system and soothes physical discomforts. It has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, and antiseptic qualities.
There are over 30 species of lavender and it is commonly used for its relaxing, calming effects, and for physical and emotional balancing.
Note: It is recommended to avoid using this essential oil when pregnant or while on medication that could induce drowsiness.
Known as “Liquid Sunshine”, lemon oil has one of the most powerful antimicrobial activity of all. Both the lemon fruit and oil have been used in Ayurvedic medicines for thousands of years to treat a vast range of health issues; it has invigorating, cleansing, and purifying properties, and can boost energy and metabolism, enhance emotional mood, and disinfect skin.
Lemongrass is native to tropical countries such as India, China, and Thailand, and it has traditionally been used for its ability to reduce fever, boost circulation and immunity.
This essential oil is used to relieve digestive issues, reduce body aches, pains, and eliminate harmful bacteria.
Meaning “joy of the mountains” for its Greek roots, both the herb and the essential oil of oregano have been used to treat respiratory and digestive ailments. Carvacrol and Thymol, chemical constituents of oregano, are powerful antifungal and antibacterial agents, and it is used as antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It helps relieve cough and cold symptoms when inhaled, and soothes inflammation and itchiness.
Being one of the most versatile oils, peppermint essential oil’s active components are menthol and menthone, which are known to reduce pain and to invigorate, energize, as well as to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Note: Its stimulant properties could interfere with sleep patterns.
The scent of Pine is known for having a clarifying, uplifting, and invigorating effect. It clears the mind of stress and positively impacts the mood, energizes the body to help eliminate fatigue, enhances concentration, and promotes a positive outlook. Used topically, pine is reputed to soothe itchiness, inflammation, and dryness, slow the appearance of signs of aging, and enhance circulation, support immune function, clear the respiratory tract, address symptoms of colds, coughs, sinusitis, asthma, and the flu.
Sweet Almond Oil
Also known as the “King of Nuts,” almonds and sweet almond oil are both known to improve and strengthen cognitive functions, develop memories, and process emotions. It can heal superficial skin burns, boost collagen production, keep skin hydrated and supple, and it is an aid against potential damage caused by UV radiation. It relieves muscular aches, purges the skin of toxins, and supports the growth of thick, soft, healthy hair.
Sweet almond oil relieves skin rashes and body pain, reduces feelings of stress, boosts circulation, and addresses the unsightly issues of varicose veins and spider veins.
This oil is distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, commonly known as Tea Tree, and it is a powerful antiseptic and immune system stimulant. It can treat wounds, provide soothing relief for aches, pains, and congestion, and promotes a sense of calm
Note: You must avoid applying it to sensitive skin areas and exposure to sun rays after using the oil, as it can sensitize the skin to UV rays.
Due to its grounding, sensuous, and deeply calming scent, vetiver is also referred to as the “Oil of Tranquility”. This essential oil is beneficial for soothing anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and inability to concentrate or remember. Used topically is known to firm, tighten, and protect skin against the harsh effects of environmental stressors, and to possess anti-aging properties. Its tonic properties show regenerative effects as they enhance immunity and circulation, boost the metabolism and digestion, ease muscular aches, and soothe joint pain.
Please note: If you are taking prescription medication and/or have presented allergies in the past, it is recommended to do a patch test before using each essential oil.
Have you chosen your favorite yet? See you at California Ranch Market!