Essential oils are natural, and are derived from plant parts like stem, leaves, flowers etc used in aromatherapy. The benefits and uses of these oils vary depending on the plant or herb the oil is derived from.
Essential Oil Benefits – Promotes the Well-being
With unique aroma, color and use, essential oil benefits impact the physical and psychological well-being of a person. Ylang Ylang oil is known for its anti-depressant properties, making it ideal to treat depression and anxiety. It is also used as a bath oil or massage oil because of its stimulating effects. Lavender oil is used to calm the nervous system, to relieve pain, help in digestion, increase immunity, improve blood circulation and restore hormone levels etc. Essential oil benefits the skin because of its antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. In addition, these are therapeutic in nature as well.The essential oil benefits are not limited to the aforementioned few. Oils like lemongrass oil, grapefruit oil, juniper oil, rosemary oil, rosewood oil, star anise oil, thyme oil, tea tree oil etc are a few other essential oils commonly used for therapeutic, culinary and medicinal purposes. Each essential oil has its own benefits and uses, and hence a thorough research on them before deciding on what to use, will genuinely prove to be beneficial for the body and mind.
Make Essential Oil – to Get the Maximum Benefits
It is ideal to make essential oils at home, as you get the maximum benefits out of the oils, without having to use any additives for fragrance. Of all the methods used, distillation is the most common and easy one. Since pure essential oils are concentrated, it is best to blend them with a carrier oil to dilute it. To make essential oils, you need 1/2 cup of any carrier oil eg. olive oil, sweet almond oil etc., 1 cup of spice or herb or flower according to your preference, a vessel, a cheese cloth and a dark colored glass bottle. To infuse the herb, flower or leaves in olive oil, simmer the mixture on low flame for 6 hrs. When cool, sieve the mixture through the cheese cloth. Pour the oil in the glass bottle and store it away from sunlight in a dry and cool place.
Essential Oil Properties – Culinary and Medicinal
Apart from the antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties, essential oils have antiviral and astringent properties. One best example is eucalyptus oil. Basil has antispasmodic properties, whereas peppermint is a good decongestant and jasmine is a sedative. Certain essential oils are used while cooking to add aroma to the food being made. Though consuming these oils is found to be beneficial, massaging the essential oils or inhaling them are found to be less allergic and more effective.The essential oils can be blended with bath water for aromatherapy. Many essential oils are found to be effective treatments for hypertension, treating scars, intestinal infections, curing dandruff etc. As some individuals, especially pregnant or breastfeeding women, and diabetic patients can be sensitive to essential oils it is best to consult a qualified herbal practitioner or doctor before application. It is wise to know of the essential oil properties well ahead of using it.