A complete guide about essential oils
Essential oils are described as the soul of plants. They are an integral part of alternative medicine, in which they are primarily used to treat physical problems. However, essential oils are also known to affect our mood. They are easy to apply and best suited for self-treatment. But where do essential oils come from? What essential oils are there? What effect do they have on our body and psyche?
What are essential oils and where do they come from?
Essential oils are produced during the photosynthetic activity by the plant and are then stored in different parts, including the leaves, herbs, twigs, peel, seeds, flowers, and wood. Essential oils are produced by the plant itself for protection against its environment. In other words, essential oils are the plant’s “medicine cabinet,” which is used to shield itself from vermin.
Essential oils are isolated by using steam distillation, extraction, or pressing. The more essential oils a plant stores, the stronger it is. However, essential oils are rare, which is why a lot of plant material is required to produce only a few drops. Here are some examples:
- 120 to 140 grams of lavender flowers equal one gram (25 drops) of essential oil
- 5 kilograms of rose petals equal one gram (25 drops) of essential oil
The effects of essential oils
Humans love to connect with their sense of smell, which can be explained by its evolutionary importance. Our noses were able to identify dangers, gather information about our environment, protect us from rotten food, and find a suitable partner. The sense of smell therefore addresses a very old part of our brain.
Essential oils affect three areas of our body.
#1: Scent molecules – the sense of smell
There's lots of activity in our noses every day! Almost 10 to 30 million nerve cells spread over approximately five square centimeters and contain receptors for 400 different scents. They renew themselves every four to six weeks.
The essential oil and its scent molecules now dock onto these receptors. This happens with a key-lock mechanism. The olfactory nerve receives a signal and then transmits it to the cerebrum. This is one of the oldest regions of our brain, called the limbic system. and is responsible for very archaic bodily functions, such as instinctual behavior. Essential oils and their scent molecules can therefore influence our feelings and our mood. Essential oils also regulate hormone production, and have an antidepressant and sleep-promoting and calming effect. Depending on the plant, it can also be stimulating and promote concentration.
#2: Skin receptors – the skin
Essential oils penetrate deep into the skin layers. A small amount can even be absorbed into the bloodstream, affecting organs and membranes. Another way essential oils can enter the bloodstream is through inhalation. Essential oils have anti-inflammatory, circulation-stimulating, relaxing, and pain-relieving effects on the skin. This is all possible because they offer the right properties for our skin receptors. It is also known that some body cells have their own scent receptors and can therefore literally “smell”.
#3: Microorganisms – the bacterial culture
Our microorganisms are inhibited by essential oils. This primarily affects parasites, viruses, bacteria, and fungi on our skin and in our bodies. Their effect is therefore anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial.
This is a small overview of essential oils and how they work:
- Tea tree oil
A digestive and stimulating effect is achieved through:
Essential oils for coughs and colds:
Essential oils that have a pain-relieving and calming effect:
Essential oils that have antispasmodic and stress-relieving effects:
- Lemon Balm
- Ylang ylang
Essential oils that promise a skin-care effect:
The following essential oils also offer effective mosquito protection:
- Tea tree oil
Essential oils that have a beneficial effect on the soul and spirit
The following are very reassuring:
- Spruce needles
A mood-enhancing effect is achieved through:
An activating effect for more concentration is achieved by:
- Spruce needles
How are essential oils used?
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways, the most common being Aromatherapy. Naturopaths and scientists have been arguing for many years about whether and, if so, how essential oils work. Whereas aromatherapists use essential oils specifically to treat mental and physical problems. The effect, as we have just discovered, can have an external as well as an internal effect.
Essential oils as bath supplements for body, mind, and soul
Essential oils are perfect for a relaxing bath. It doesn't matter if it's a full bath or a partial bath e.f. for your feet or hands. Essential oils as bath supplements have a long tradition. As early as the time of Hippocrates, special scented baths were used to strengthen the health of the mind and the body. As part of a bath supplement, essential oils pt the skin and its bacterial culture. They make the skin healthy, soft, nourished, and smooth. The skin appears younger and more vital, especially in stressful everyday life.
Safe use of essential oils
For allergy sufferers, pregnant women, and small children, essential oils are either only recommended to a limited extent or not recommended at all. Allergy sufferers can suffer from shortness of breath, skin irritation, and itching. Pregnant women can only use essential oils to a limited extent. Also, please limit the use of aromatherapy to children over the age of 3 and make sure you choose the right oil for them. Either way, the safest option is to talk with your doctor first.
The soul of plants
Essential oils contain many biochemical ingredients that positively affect the mind and body. They improve health and well-being and are easy to take or use. They promise a stimulating, relaxing, balancing, concentration-enhancing, health-promoting, mood-enhancing, and performance-enhancing effect for everyone who uses them.