You've seen the commercials: countless ways to help you fall asleep, relieve digestive troubles, ease congestion, improve memory, and increase energy. But, you've also heard the endless side effects that go along with all of those "miraculous cures." What you're really looking for is a natural solution that relieves your symptoms...without adding more. You may find your answer with essential oils.
While you can find essential oils everywhere from the dollar store to the high-end organic markets, a general guide can help you navigate this path. Though essential oils may seem like a new fad, people have benefited from them for thousands of years. Their newfound popularity, however, means a little label reading is necessary to help you find a quality product, regardless of the price tag.
Look for a label that gives the Latin/botanical name of the oil (ex: lavendula angustifolia instead of simply lavender) and the area it was grown: some plants grow best in remote, mountainous areas which means sustainably harvesting them can be expensive. Pure essential oil scents will not permeate the air for long periods of time, unlike synthetic fragrances that seem to linger for hours.
Essential oils are a plant's immune system: they circulate nutrients throughout the plant, help protect its immunity, and regenerate damaged tissue. Their function is quite similar for us through aromatherapy. Inhaling pure essential oils has an effect on virtually every system in the body through its affect on the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Aromatherapy's benefits reach from enhancing your massage therapy experiences to sharpening your focus and beyond to keeping your enumerous cells healthy.
So which essential oils may help your specific concerns?
Trouble sleeping? Lavender (lavendula angustifolia) can quiet the body's nervous system and ease insomnia. Try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a warm bath before bedtime. Aromatherapy massage using lavender essential oil can improve your quality of sleep and reduce numerous wake-ups during the night.
Digestive troubles? Ginger (zingiber officinale) can ease nausea, improve digestion, and relieve constipation. Try inhaling pure ginger essential oil prior to meals to help stimulate digestive enzymes. Aromatherapy abdominal massage using ginger essential oil can ease muscle and/or menstrual cramps.
Congestion? Peppermint (mentha piperita) can reduce lung & sinus congestion. An aromatherapy diffuser in your sleeping room may quiet nighttime coughing and stuffiness. Aromatherapy massage using peppermint essential oil can help improve mental clarity and focus as well as reducing congestion within the body.
Forgetfulness? Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) has shown to improve memory and help balance the mind & body. It may also show benefits for those affected by dementia and Alzheimer's. Aromatherapy massage using rosemary essential oil decreases muscle pain, stimulates the nervous system, and improves circulation. *not recommended for pregnancy massage.
Low Energy? Sweet Orange (citrus sinesis) eases anxiety, stress, and rejuvenates energy. Inhaling orange essential oil in the morning and afternoon can alleviate exhaustion and improve mood. Aromatherapy massage using orange essential oil can restore energy for a long day ahead while calming stress and anxiety.
To find out which essential oils are right for you and which are contraindicated, contact your medical professional today. Unless under the guidance of a licensed & certified aromatherapist, essential oils should not be ingested.