Uses of plant essential oils and their powerful healing powers

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Plant essential oils have many uses as well as powerful healing powers. We will talk about the unique properties of essential oils, their effect on the skin and on our body as a whole in this article.

Uses of plant essential oils and their powerful healing powers


What is essential oil?

Essential oil is an aromatic-concentrated, volatile liquid extracted from different parts of plants by distillation, pressing, or extraction. The chemical composition is quite complex, it has many substances interconnected with each other, such as esters, ketones, lactones, alcohols, aromatic components, etc. Oils are obtained from pleasantly smelling flowers, herbs, shrubs, or trees, which in turn attract insects - pollinators. Or, on the contrary, from those plant species that repel insect pests. 

In this regard, there is a huge variety of oils that differ from each other in their aroma, color, and method of production. At the same time, the quality of essential oils may also vary, this condition is influenced by factors such as variety and type of plant, growing conditions, age of the plant,

Essential oils differ from ordinary base oils in that they tend to evaporate quickly, that is, they instantly evaporate at room temperature, filling the air with a characteristic aroma. Hence they got their name, because of the high evaporation rate, they look like ethers. These oils are highly soluble in alcohol, ether, fatty oils, or waxes, but they are not soluble in water.

Types and properties of essential oils

Each essential oil is unique and has unique properties. There is no definite classification of essential oils, however, manufacturers conditionally distinguish two main features, due to which they are divided into groups:

On the part of the plant. Due to the way they are obtained, the main raw materials are plants, or rather their parts. If we take into account that it is possible to obtain several different essential oils from one botanical species at once, then the number of its species increases significantly.

By the effect on the human body. The effect of essential oils on the human body or a specific organ implies a kind of result of a chemical reaction that occurs through inhalation. Thus, the essential oil, consisting of hundreds of different components, entering the human blood, begins to interact with hormones and enzymes. As a result, a person can find different sensations in the form of relaxation or excitement, calmness, or a surge of energy.

Types of essential oils by plant

Floral - Essential oils extracted from a flower or plant bud. These include oils of rose, jasmine, chamomile, ylang-ylang, neroli, lavender, lotus, geranium, etc. Flower oils are widely used in the perfumery, in skin and hair care products. Also, in aromatherapy, flower oils are often used to relax, normalize sleep and relieve headaches.

Herbal - these oils, received directly from plant stems. These include oils of sage, mint, rosemary, anise, basil, thyme, laurel, etc. Such essential oils have a tonic effect, eliminate accumulated fatigue and tension.

Leafy - extracted from the leaves of plants and trees. These include oils of eucalyptus, spruce, fir, etc. They have a rich aroma that not everyone will like. But at the same time, they are effective for colds.

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Woody - oils obtained from wood, bark, or resin of trees. These include oils of sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, camphor, benzoin, frankincense, etc. Oils of this group help to relax after stress, to correct blood pressure.

Fruit oils are oils from the fruits of trees or shrubs. These include oils of orange, lemon, bergamot, tangerine, juniper, pepper, etc. Among the whole variety of fruit essential oils, the citrus group takes pride of place. Citrus essential oils are used in perfumery and cosmetology, and they are also immunity activators. Therefore, it is often recommended for the prevention and treatment of colds.

Seed - Oils obtained directly from the seeds of plants or vegetables. These include oils of carrot, dill, sesame, etc. This group of essential oils is quite specific, so they are mainly used in the culinary arts.

Root- essential oils extracted from plant roots. The prominent representatives of this group are turmeric and ginger oils. As a rule, root oils have high anti-inflammatory, strengthening, and antiviral properties, therefore they will be effective for colds.

Types of essential oils according to their effect on the human body

Cleansing: orange, geranium, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, tuberose, sage, etc.

Exciting: bergamot, bigardia, geranium, jasmine, ylang-ylang, cardamom, tangerine, rose, sandalwood, etc.

Toning: basil, bay, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, lemon, mint, lemon balm, nutmeg, palmarosa, fir, rosemary, citronella, etc.

Relaxing: valerian, oregano, jasmine, lavender, incense, myrrh, juniper, chamomile, etc.

Harmonizing: orange, geranium, oregano, jasmine, tangerine, mimosa, marjoram, rose, sandalwood, etc.

Firming: basil, verbena, vetiver, angelica, cedar, cajeput, lemon, lavender, mint, lemon balm, rosemary, etc.

Refreshing: orange, immortelle, lemon, lavender, mint, fir, etc.

Stimulating: immortelle, verbena, cloves, coriander, lemon, lavender, nutmeg, juniper, mint, rosemary, black pepper, eucalyptus, etc.

Soothing: bigardia, vanilla, geranium, jasmine, lemon balm, chamomile, dill, etc.

Properties of essential oils

The properties depend on the type of plant, the part used, the growing conditions, as well as the method of their production. At the same time, the quality, composition, and aroma of the oil will ultimately be different. Most essential oils have similar properties, but each also has its own exceptional qualities:

Most essential oils have antibacterial properties. With this property, essential oils are able to affect different types of bacteria and fungi. These include oils of thyme, clove, oregano, anise, basil, bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, juniper, lemongrass, etc.

Many types of essential oils also have anti-inflammatory properties. Due to this property, essential oils are able to provide the fastest regeneration of the skin in case of damage, reduce the permeability of blood vessels. Vivid representatives are the oils of chamomile, yarrow, bergamot, ylang-ylang, lavender, juniper, tea tree, etc.

Antiseptic properties are characteristic of many types of essential oils. It helps to effectively fight bacterial and viral infections. They are oils of marjoram, tea tree, anise, orange, bergamot, clove, lavender, juniper, mint, petitgrain, patchouli, eucalyptus, etc.

Pain-relieving property helps to eliminate various problems associated with headache, insomnia, or nervous exhaustion. Such properties are possessed by oils of peppermint, lavender, blue spruce, immortelle, jasmine, balsam fir, etc.

Expectorant property helps to facilitate the secretion of phlegm, exerting a reflex effect on the mucous membrane of the bronchi. These include oils of eucalyptus, anise, turpentine, etc.

Antioxidant property helps to slow down the signs of aging, improve blood circulation and lymph flow, and stimulate cellular respiration. These include oils of dahlia, millennial, Siberian juniper, fir, etc.

Slow down the aging process of oils containing unique phytohormones, which are similar in structure to human ones. Among them are the oils of sandalwood, jasmine, rose, myrrh, patchouli, neroli, etc.

Slimming oils that have to regulate and burning properties. The effect of them will be noticeable if applied topically by courses, arranging a massage session, taking a bath, or wrapping problem areas. These include oils of lemon, grapefruit, cinnamon, bergamot, tea tree, nutmeg, etc.

Oils with warming, soothing properties regulate insomnia. These include lemon balm, frankincense, rose, mint, cypress, bergamot, sage, sandalwood, and juniper oils.

They get rid of insects with oils or their mixtures that have a specific aroma that midges or mosquitoes do not like. The best types for eliminating annoying pests are lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, mint, vanilla, cloves, geraniums.

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The use of essential oils

For thousands of years, people have been extracting essential oils from plants, which are used in a wide variety of human activities. Over time, the experience of obtaining and using it becomes more understandable, because each oil, in addition to an unsurpassed aroma, has its own unique effect on the human body. Essential oils are not just banal aromas, but real biologically active substances that can act on the human body in a wide range - from beneficial effects on mental performance, psyche, mood, to healing effects on a number of different diseases and pathologies.

When using herbal essential oils, learn the precautions and basic rules. First of all, choose the right essential oil for yourself, the smell of which you really like. Essential oil is a concentrated product, then you cannot apply it to the skin in its pure form, you can get a chemical burn. Base oils such as coconut, jojoba, avocado, argan, and others will help to ensure a comfortable application. Before using in the base oil, add a few drops of essential oil, and only after mixing, apply to the skin or hair. Please note that it is impossible to use inside without the appropriate prescription of the attending physician.

Cosmetology

The properties of essential oils allow them to be successfully used in cosmetology. Correctly selected esters, taking into account the specific type of skin, have a beneficial effect on its condition. Essential oils increase the vitality and energy of skin cells, which helps to resist negative environmental factors and aging. They are also used for body skin and hair care. If you add a few drops of essential oil to a prepared bath or mask, the benefits will only increase. At the same time, you need to be careful, be able to navigate among the whole variety of vegetable essential oils, since if used incorrectly, their benefits can be turned into harm.

Essential oils can be added to your skincare routine by adding a few drops to a base, such as a face cream or base oil. When the resulting essence is applied to the skin, the oils penetrate into the layers of the skin much deeper, enhancing the effect of cosmetics. The exception is tea tree oil - experts recommend using it alone and locally.

The following essential oils are distinguished:

Essential oils of rose, chamomile, neroli, geranium, lavender, jasmine, lemon in combination with base oils are suitable for normal skin. Base oils can be jojoba, almond, macadamia, apricot, or grapeseed oil.

For dry skin, use essential oils of lavender, geranium, orange, frankincense, jasmine, sandalwood, blue tansy, marjoram, rosewood in combination with base oils. Base oils for dry skin: macadamia, almond, jojoba, apricot kernels, rose hips.

For oily skin, essential oils of bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, ylang-ylang, ginger, patchouli, cypress, cedar, and juniper are used. Base oils for oily skin: apricot or grape seed - in combination with the above essential oils, normalize the sebaceous glands.

For problem skin, essential oils of jasmine, lavender, juniper, bergamot, tea tree, ylang-ylang, lemon, geranium, lemongrass, and cloves are used. Base oils for problem skin: jojoba, wheat germ, sweet almond.

For sensitive skin, essential oils of chamomile, tea tree, mandarin, neroli, blue tansy, ylang-ylang are suitable. Base oils for sensitive skin: apricot kernels, calendula, rice bran, babassu.

For mature skin, essential oils of lavender, immortelle, rosemary, lemon, patchouli, oregano, rose, sage, carrots are used. Base oils for mature skin: argan, jojoba, evening primrose, cocoa, grant seeds.

You can always prepare an essence according to your skin type in advance. The oils must be mixed according to the correct proportions and the manufacturer's instructions. Then place the resulting contents in a glass vessel and store them in a dark place. Thus, you can use the oil essence immediately without preparation. Ready-made cosmetics, which contain a concentration of essential oils, will serve as an alternative.

For hair care, choose essential oils according to the type of hair and the problem you intend to solve.

Essential oils of rose, rosemary, grapefruit, lavender, sage, juniper, calamus are suitable for daily hair care.

For dry hair, essential oils of lavender, sandalwood, orange, tangerine, chamomile, ylang-ylang, rose, myrrh, incense are suitable.

For oily hair, choose essential oils of lemon, tea tree, mint, cedar, eucalyptus, verbena, ginger, and rosemary.

For thinning hair, essential oils will be useful, which will not only stop the process of hair loss but also stimulate the growth of new ones. These include oils of rosemary, calamus, ylang-ylang, tea tree, rosewood, mint, coriander.

To combat dandruff, essential oils of geranium, tea tree, rosemary, lavender, grapefruit, and basil are suitable.

Colds

Every year, with the arrival of cool and rainy weather, the season of colds or acute respiratory diseases (ARI) begins, affecting mainly the respiratory tract of the human body. Since essential oils have a safe and healing effect through the olfactory receptors of the nasal mucosa, you can cope with colds with home aromatherapy. Due to the bactericidal properties of most types of essential oils, discomfort in the throat or in the form of nasal congestion can be eliminated. Coniferous essential oils have effective preventive properties, and essential oils of eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, tea tree, marjoram, thyme, manuka, bergamot reveal themselves perfectly in treatment.

The first rule of home aromatherapy for colds is the correct dosage of essential oils. To prevent deterioration in general health and not getting burned, carefully read the instructions for use of essential oils. The following methods are quite simple in their execution, but at the same time, they will effectively help get rid of a cold.

Aroma bath. Before adding essential oils to your bath, you must first mix them with any base oil, milk, or sea salt. This way you can avoid skin irritation and allergic reactions. The following proportions are suitable: add no more than 4 drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, to 1 teaspoon of base oil. Or for 100 grams of sea salt (milk) - up to 15 drops of a mixture of lavender and marjoram. It is allowed to stay in such a bath for no more than 15 minutes.

Hot inhalation. To implement this method, it is not necessary to purchase a special inhaler device. Boil the kettle and pour about 1 liter of boiling water into the prepared bowl. Then add up to 4 drops of essential oil such as fir or a mixture of several types of fir, mint, and rosemary. Use a large towel to create a protective dome over your head and breathe in the aromatic steam for 7 minutes. It is necessary to carry out such inhalations two to three times a day, one of which must be performed before bedtime.

Cold inhalation. An easy way that requires a handkerchief and essential oils. Only 2-3 drops of essential oil are applied to a handkerchief, after which its aroma vapors are inhaled several times a day.

Oil burner. The simplest and most popular aromatherapy method for treating colds. Aromalapma is placed in the room in which the patient is constantly located. To implement this method, hot water is added to a glass container, and then 5 drops of essential oil, for example, eucalyptus or mint. The course of medical procedures should be carried out daily for half an hour until complete recovery. Alternatively, you can purchase an ultrasonic diffuser in which you can add essential oils and get a similar effect from the procedure.

Massage. Essential oils are also used in therapeutic massage, but, as in other procedures, they are applied to the skin only if they are pre-mixed with other oils. To do this, you will need 25 ml of any base oil, for example, olive oil, 9-10 drops of rosemary essential oil, or a mixture of several essential oils - rosemary, fir, and mint. Apply the blend of oils to your back, chest, and legs in long, pulling strokes while inhaling deeply. The procedure can be performed every other day.

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