When you hear the word ‘essential oils’, the first thing that comes to your mind is fragrance or perfume. Well, you’re not wrong. Most people associate essential oils with the creation of perfumes. The picture of a French chemist carefully mixing and diluting the oils to create a
one-of-a-kind perfume comes to mind.
However, with recent advances in technology and medicine, essential oils are not limited to the science of making perfumes anymore. More and more people are exploring the wonders of essential oils, from relaxation to mood elevation, to influencing the behavior of another person, and the like. It may be daunting to know how to start using essential oils. Therefore, this list will introduce you to some of the reasons why more people are using essential oils. Whether you’re a scent connoisseur or an amateur, this list will surely guide you.
What Are Essential Oils?
Before understanding the benefits of essential oils, it’s necessary to know what essential oils are. Essential oils are chemical compounds extracted from plants. The term ‘essential’ is used because the oil captures the essence of the plant itself. For instance, lavender oils are extracted from lavender plants while tea tree oils are extracted from native Australian plant Malaleuca alternifolia.
Extraction of essential oils requires a careful process of distillation, either via steam or water, and other mechanical methods such as pressing and maceration. Once the essential oil is extracted from the plant, it’s purified and combined with other substances known as carrier oils or vehicles. This preserves the oil for longer use since most essential oils are sensitive to air or moisture.
Essential oils may be categorized as pure or synthetic. Pure essential oils are aromatic compounds extracted from the plant directly. They’re composed of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other volatile organic compounds. These volatile compounds are the ones being detected by our sense of smell, which also emanates the essence of the plant it
was extracted from.
On the other hand, synthetic essential oils are compounds synthesized in labs. These compounds are carefully produced through several synthetic methods which can result in a compound that may or may not be the same as the active compound present in the plant. Some scientists synthesize these essential oils with some modifications, either to enhance or
to tone the smell of the oil down.
Essential oils can either be directly inhaled or massaged into the skin, depending on the effect you want to achieve. Inhalation can be done straight from the bottle, or it can be diluted for your diffuser or body bath. If it’s used on your skin, you can put a few drops on your palm and rub it in the area you want to apply. Some people add it in their cosmetics to achieve
fragrance, while others combine the best essential oil fragrances for DIY perfumes.
Whatever you want to achieve, some studies say that essential oils, when used for
aromatherapy, can be very beneficial to you.
Listed below are some of the most effective uses of essential oils, and the reasons why people
keep buying them from local stores.
- For Relaxation
Most people use essential oils because of their powers to induce relaxation. After a long
day at work or an exhausting exam at school, it’s tempting to have a relaxing moment
away from the anxiety and exhaustion of the day. Aromatherapy has proven relaxation
benefits and alleviates stress, insomnia, and even depression.
Essential oils used for relaxation stimulate the part of the brain responsible for
controlling the emotions. With proper use, essential oils can help release stress and the
negative emotions stirring your brain. It can calm your mind and help in boosting your
Lavender oils are the best when you want to use essential oils for relaxation. They’re
highly recommended if you often experience stress and anxiety at school or work.
Lavender oils are effective because they can lower your blood pressure and stabilize the
heart rate. It can restore your nervous system and calm your nerves, which then leads to a
good night’s sleep or reduces restlessness.
You can use lavender oils by rubbing it on your temples and wrists, or through a carrier
oil if you want a relaxing massage.
- For Sleep
Have you ever tried going to bed early but ended up just lying there? Well, you’re not
alone. A large number of people across the world suffer from acute or chronic insomnia.
Acute insomnia can last for a night to a week, while chronic insomnia can bother you for
If you find yourself struggling to sleep, essential oils can be your best buddies. Essential
oils contain soothing and relaxing effects. Other essential oils specialized for inducing
sleep can relieve your airways by clearing it and preventing sleep disruptions caused by
snoring or sleep apnea.
Aside from lavender oils, chamomile and sweet marjoram oils can induce sleep.
Chamomile can help get a good night’s sleep by reducing your anxiety level and tackling
depression at the same time. Chamomile has been known for this effect since ancient
times. Chamomile was consumed as an herbal medicine to alleviate insomnia.
On the other hand, sweet marjoram oils are known for their calming and soothing effects.
The scent coming from sweet marjoram oil targets the part of the brain responsible for
relaxation and calmness, which helps to reduce insomnia and induce sleep.
- For Energy
Let’s say you’re able to get a good night’s sleep and you want a great head start for the
day ahead. You can drink your morning coffee, complemented with some essential oils
to boost energy and motivation. Yes, there’s an essential oil for that! These essential oils
provide energy-enhancing benefits that improve your focus and motivation.
These essential oils help your body by waking up your senses and making you feel
energized and revitalized. It can clear your head and motivate you to start clearing your
to-do lists and have a productive day. They also elevate your mood, reduce your stress
and anxiety, and give you the necessary uplift to help you get going.
Some of the best-known essential oils for boosting energy, confidence, and motivation
include peppermint and rosemary oils. Peppermint essential oils are versatile, but its
strength is derived from its capability to boost your energy and wake up your mind. It
can also improve your exercise performance and help in fighting fatigue. You can add it
to a diffuser or apply it to your skin.
Rosemary offers the same advantages as peppermint but its ability to fight fatigue is
greater than that of peppermint. It’s a stimulant that also helps you to focus and get your
senses right. Some studies suggest that inhalation of rosemary essential oil can improve
cognitive abilities and boost confidence.
- To Focus
Yes, there’s also an essential oil to improve focus and concentration. When you need to
stay alert and focused during work, or if you have to ace an exam the next morning,
essential oils can be your best friend. These essential oils can help stimulate the brain
immediately, which sharpens your focus and improves your concentration on a specific
The aromatics present in essential oils are detected by the olfactory epithelium in the
nose and a signal is sent directly to the brain. This stimulates the brain which improves
your cognitive abilities, sharpens your memory, and improves your focus. These
essential oils can reduce your recall time and help you to stay alert. So, if you think
you’re overdosing on coffee, you can use these essential oils.
One of the most effective essential oils in this area is wild orange oil. These oils smell
like zingy oranges found in the wild. The smell is so powerful and the aroma so uplifting
that it can improve your energy level significantly. It also creates a feeling of happiness
which can motivate you to focus and stay concentrated. You can either add it to a
diffuser or inhale it directly.
- For Immune Support
Traditional herbal medicines are often consumed with the leaves or roots to achieve
maximum efficiency. With the advances in science and medicine, scientists are now
capable of determining the active compounds present in those plants and extract them
into essential oils. Most essential oils can boost, protect, and guard your immune system.
Some even have antimicrobial properties that are effective in combating a wide range of
disease-causing bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
One of the most well known antimicrobial essential oils is lemon oil. You probably have
noticed that most antimicrobial soaps and detergents contain a lemon-scented variant.
This is because the antimicrobial activities of lemon oil are backed by research. Aside
from being antimicrobial, lemon oils are also antioxidants. The antioxidants can boost
your immune system.
Another powerful essential oil for the immune system is eucalyptus oil. Some people
consume eucalyptus oil through a diffuser to clear their airways and improve their
respiratory health. But the advantages of eucalyptus oil are much wider than that. It can
help fight off several diseases which include chickenpox, measles, and even flu. It can
either be inhaled or applied topically on the skin.
More and more people are considering essential oils for the benefits they provide. Essential
oils can be used to help in relaxation and sleep. They can be used to boost your confidence
and mood. They can also help you to combat diseases. Therefore, essential oils are
considered traditional medicine which has been in practice since ancient times. After reading
through this list, you can go ahead and look for essential