Essential Oils: What You Need To Know (Infographic)
My take on this:
Essential oils are an underutilized tool for wellness. My favorite quality is their calming ability during times of stress. I've had many mothers report using them (especially lemongrass) during their labor with impressive results. Evidence of their usefulness extends beyond the anecdotal. There are many studies that solidly support their utility for stress reduction. In one such study, according to GreenMedInfo:
" In 2002, an amazing discovery was reported in the Japanese Journal of Pharmacology. Researchers found that the simple inhalation of patchouli and rose oil reduced sympathetic nervous activity by 40% (fight or flight), with rose oil reducing adrenaline concentrations by 30%. Lavender oil, for instance, has also been studied for the ability to reduce stress, anxiety, aggression,and cortisol levels, among two dozen other potential therapeutic properties."
Essential oils are a healthy way to relax and reduce stress. Even better, they are far less toxic than anti-anxiety meds, alcohol, cigarettes or drugs. Next time you have a rough day, perhaps you can use a little patchouli or rose oil rather than reaching for a nightcap. Your liver (and overall health) will certainly thank you for it.
In addition to stress reduction there are other therapeutic uses worth mentioning that are not discussed in the above infographic. Here are 9 other empirically-documented reasons to use essential oils according to GreenMedInfo:
1. Dysmenorrhea (Menstraul Pain):
Aromatherapy massage on the abdomen was found superior to Tylenol for alleviating menstrual pain in high school girls. Another study, this time in college students, found that the topical application of a combination of lavender, clary sage and rose essential oils was effective in decreasing the severity of menstrual cramps.
Lavender fragrance has been found effective in a number of studies for treating mild insomnia. Beyond sleep-promoting properties, lavender has also been found to simultaneously reduce depression in women college students.
3. Excessive Chocolate Cravings:
While there are worse addictions, jasmine essential oil has been found to reduce chocolate cravings.
4. Reducing Tobacco Withdrawal:
The inhalation of vapor from black pepper extract reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms.
5. Arthritis Pain:
The essential oils lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint blended in proportions of 2:1:2:1:1, resulted in decreased pain and depression scores in arthritic patients.
6. Infantile Colic:
The use of aromatherapy massage using lavender oil was found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of colic.
7. Alzheimer's Disease:
28 days of aromatherapy consisting of the use of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening, resulted in significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function in Alzheimer's patients.
Inhalation of lavender essential oil appears to be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.
9. Postpartum Depression:
Aromatherapy-massage has been shown to have value for postpartum mothers in improving physical and mental status and to facilitate mother-infant interaction.
If you are looking for a non-toxic way to reduce stress, ease menstrual pain, treat insomnia and depression, quell chocolate cravings, reduce tobacco withdrawal, decrease arthritic pain, calm a colicky infant, improve cognitive function, or treat migraines and postpartum depression, start an essential oil collection today. Good quality oils can get expensive, so why not try purchasing one per month. Before you know, you'll be thriving.