What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are fragrant plant extracts used in aromatherapy and homeopathy. They have been used since ancient times to treat various ailments such as fatigue, fever, headaches, insomnia, nausea, toothache and many others. There are different types of essential oils which include:
Oils from plants (e.g., lavender)
Aromatic herbs (e.g. rosemary)
Synthetic compounds (e.g., lemon verbena)
The most common type of essential oil is a mixture of both, but it is not uncommon to see synthetic substances added into some blends. Some essential oils contain no alcohol at all; they are called “alcohol free” or “zero proof”. These are often used for medical purposes because they do not cause any intoxicating effects when consumed.
There are several reasons why essential oils may be useful in medicine. For example, essential oils can be effective against viruses and bacteria, especially those that cause respiratory infections. They can also kill germs that cause skin diseases like acne and eczema. Some of these chemicals are known to act as anti-inflammatory agents, so they may help relieve pain caused by arthritis or other conditions.
Other uses include treating allergies, asthma attacks and even cancer treatments.
Essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy, which involves using essential oils to improve a person’s psychological and physical well-being. The practice has been used since ancient times, and it is often part of traditional medical practices in several countries of the world. In contemporary times, aromatherapy is used by many people as an alternative treatment for many common conditions like stress, anxiety, depression, etc.
Sources & references used in this article:
Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review by B Ali, NA Al-Wabel, S Shams, A Ahamad… – Asian Pacific Journal of …, 2015 – Elsevier
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Revised and Expanded: Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty … by VA Worwood – 2016 – books.google.com
Lavender essential oil in the treatment of migraine headache: a placebo-controlled clinical trial by VA Worwood – 1991 – Random House
Contribution of essential oils and phenolics to the antioxidant properties of aromatic plants by P Sasannejad, M Saeedi, A Shoeibi, A Gorji… – European …, 2012 – karger.com
Aromatherapy for Common Ailments: How to Use Essential Oils–Such as Rosemary, Chamomile, and Lavender–To Prevent and Treat More Than 40 … by R Guimarães, MJ Sousa, ICFR Ferreira – Industrial Crops and Products, 2010 – Elsevier
Essential oils as therapeutics by S Price – 2003 – books.google.com