Essential oils are used to support physical and mental well-being in aromatherapy practice. There are various essential oils available from a vast range of plants and herbs, which are extracted directly from the plant through distillation, rather than through chemical procedures. Essential oils contain a carrier oil which ensures that the product can be used correctly. The oils can be dropped onto clothing or bedsheets, used in bathwater or applied directly to the skin to promote relaxation and boost mood.
All you need to know about Essential Oils
How do essential oils work?
Essential oils are typically used in aromatherapy. They should not be ingested. Instead, they should be applied to the skin, or added to bathwater to promote feelings of calm, happiness or relaxation. Inhaling aromas from essential oils stimulates your limbic system, which is an area of the brain that controls our behaviours, memory recall, emotions and scent, as well as heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Because of this, essential oils are believed to have various positive mental and physical effects on the body, and are effective at combating conditions like stress.
What are the most popular essential oils?
There are around 90 different types of essential oil, and each has its own health benefits and fragrance. Peppermint is used to help digestive issues, sandalwood and rose are used to relieve anxiety, lavender is used to combat stress and promote relaxation, and tea tree is used for its antibacterial properties. Ylang-ylang is used to promote sleep, while jasmine is said to boost libido. The way essential oils affect the body will vary from person to person.
Are essential oils good for stress?
Yes – it is understood that essential oils such as chamomile, eucalyptus, sandalwood and lavender can all help relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety. They can be applied to bath water for a relaxing soak, used in massage, or placed on pulse points so a person can inhale the oil to help them relax. The effects however are usually only short-term while the aromatherapy is taking place.
How do I choose the right essential oils?
There are lots of essential oils products out on the market, with many companies claiming they are pure, when they are actually blended with other oils. The composition of essential oils can vary, and you should try to pick ones that are the best quality. We only stock oils that don't contain additives or synthetic oils. When buying essential oils, always check the label to see whether the plant's botanical name is listed as the primary ingredient, such as Lavandula officinalis.