Knowing how to use essential oils for wellbeing is important because using essential oils can be a great way to change your mood or make yourself feel better. I highly recommend learning about essential oils, some common uses, and how they can be used. Especially if you’re battling mental illness, essential oils are a great way to give yourself a bump in the right direction.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are really just extracts taken from plants. It is important to find a quality retailer / supplier when you’re dealing with essential oils. This is because some suppliers source their plants differently and end up not having a pure extract. Maybe not the biggest deal to some people but it’s an important one for me.
You’ll also want to be mindful of the fact that oils are commonly sold in “blends” meaning that they are a mixture of several different oils, intended to work toward combating a specific ailment. There is literally an essential oil blend for anything out there, just be mindful of what you’re purchasing.
How can essential oils be used for wellbeing?
Essential oils can be used for wellbeing by reducing:
- Pain & aches
- Anxiety, stress, depression
- Circulatory problems
These extracts can also be used to reduce inflammation, infection, or fever. There are even essential oils that are great to use for hair growth.
What are some different ways that people use essential oils for wellbeing?
I think that an essential oil diffuser is the most common context in which people hear about essential oils. These diffusers allow you to use essential oils for well-being by filling the machine with water and then dropping in 5 – 15 drops of the essential oil of your choosing. Once turned on, the device creates water vapor that is scented with the specific oil you chose. All you have to do to receive the benefits of the essential oils is to hang out around the diffuser. Aromatherapy diffusers are fantastic devices to have, especially to keep by your bedside stand or in your office.
The motors in diffusers tend to clog up from the oil sometimes, and if you’re using too much oil it can even break. This seems to be a common problem with these devices, but here’s a diffuser that has worked really well for me with no clogging issues: PureSpa Deluxe Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser
In addition to diffusers, people also use essential oils as topical solutions such as balms and lotions. It’s not uncommon to use an essential oil solution on your pulse points. For example, I have a blend of essential oils that I keep with me that is specifically mixed to counteract anxiety. If I’m out and catch myself getting really overwhelmed, I rub some behind my ears and on my wrists. The idea is that the body can absorb the oil to receive the benefits, but you have to do be wise about where you apply it. The key is to get these oils absorbed into the bloodstream.
There are also tinctures, which are a different form of extract that are commonly made with alcohol. For example, you might put a few drops of a passionflower tincture into your coffee in the morning to help you relax a little bit from the early morning anxiousness. Here’s an article I wrote that talks about my experience with passionflower and some of the different ways you can use it: Passion Flower For Anxiety.
Jon, what are your thoughts on using essential oils for wellbeing?
I’ve always thought that using essential oils for wellbeing just made sense. This all really ties in to ancient medicine and going back to the times when ailments were treated with herbs. Does it work for everything? No, of course not. Can it help? Absolutely.
Essential oils are another topic – like Light Therapy For Depression or Himalayan Salt Lamps For Anxiety – where the argument continues to be “well, you’re not going to have life-changing results”, and that’s true. However, if something could help you, even a teeny-tiny bit, wouldn’t you want to know about it?
Personally, I’ve used essential oils for about three years now and they have definitely impacted my treatment and my overall wellbeing.
Is there any research behind using essential oils for wellbeing?
Using essential oils in conjunction with a diffuser to treat ailments is known as aromatherapy, or essential oil therapy. Per Medical News Today, aromatherapy is what’s known as a complementary therapy, which essentially supports treatment (Aromatherapy: What Do You Need To Know, Benefits). If you’re interested in a more aggressive approach, you might even do a search for a local aromatherapist.
The issue that really comes into play with essential oils is that creating a double-blind study can be difficult due to the fact that we’re dealing with aromas, which can be easily recognizable for some people.
This article from LiveScience explains that while there is some great information behind the efficacy of essential oils, there is still a lot of information lacking. Specifically, more information is needed about specific oils and what they do and don’t help for, such as Lavender. The challenge, however, is that because these oils are all natural and aren’t being modified, there isn’t a lot of room for profit. This means that scientists have more of an incentive to study the behavior of pharmaceuticals rather than herbal remedies.
What are some essential oils I can use for wellbeing?
Here are some essential oils and their uses:
- Chamomile – Calming, fights anxiety & depression
- Clove – painkiller, settles stomach & helps nausea
- Eucalyptus – painkiller – good for joints & muscles, great for sore throat, reduces fever
- Geranium – treats acne, lifts mood, reduces inflammation, fights anxiety
- Lavender – promotes restful sleep, relieves headaches, improves mood, enhances brain function
- Lemon Balm – insomnia, cold sores, heartburn, stress relief
- Passionflower – fights anxiety & depression, good for insomnia (mildly sedating), lowers blood pressure
- Peppermint – helps digestion & stomach pain, refreshes the mind, relieves stress, increases energy
- Tea Tree – fungal infections, clears up skin (commonly used for acne)
- Thyme – supports immune system, heart, & nervous system, regulates blood pressure
Check out this Therapeutic-Grade Aromatherapy Essential Oil Set on Amazon, which comes with oils such as peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and eucalyptus.
Once you really start to enjoy using essential oils for wellbeing, you can start to have some fun with it and make your own blends. Eventually, you’ll learn which oils your body does and doesn’t respond well to. If you’re picking out your own oils, make sure that they’re 100% pure!