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.
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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 don’t want to use a specific oil that relieves anxiety and find out that it’s mixed with other oils that are meant to increase energy or act as a stimulant.
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.
Essential oils can be used to treat nausea, aches & pains, anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, headaches, circulatory problems, infection, and fever. Click To Tweet
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 wellbeing 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 essential oil diffusers can be prone to clogging, and if you’re using too much oil it can even break. This seems to be a common problem with these devices, but the PureSpa Deluxe Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser has worked really well for me with no clogging issues.
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 passion flower tincture into your coffee in the morning to help you relax a little bit from the early morning anxiousness.
Curious about passion flower? See my article Passion Flower For Anxiety to learn more about this medicinal plant.
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.
Because essential oils are all natural and aren't being modified, there isn't a ton of room for profit. Scientists have more of an incentive to study the behavior of pharmaceuticals than herbal remedies. Click To Tweet
What are some essential oils I can use for wellbeing?
Here are some essential oils and their uses:
Chamomile is a calming essential oil which is frequently used to fight anxiety & depression. Commonly used in the evening to help people relax for bedtime.
Clove is a natural painkiller. This essential oil can be used to settle an upset stomach and help alleviate nausea.
Eucalyptus is also a natural painkiller. Very commonly used to soothe a sore throat, this is an ingredient commonly found in cough drops. This essential oil is good for the joints & muscles and can work to reduce a fever.
Geranium is an essential oil commonly found in anti-anxiety blends. This essential oil can be used to reduce inflammation and lift mood. It can also be used to treat acne.
Lavender is another essential oil that is commonly found in anti-anxiety and relaxation blends. This essential oil can be used to relieve headaches and improve mood. Lavender also enhances brain function and promotes restful sleep.
Lemon Balm (a.k.a. Melissa Officinalis) is commonly used for stress relief and to help treat insomnia. This oil can also be used to treat heart burn and cold sores.
Passion Flower is used to fight anxiety & depression. It is a mildly sedating plant that works quite well for insomnia. It also lowers blood pressure. You can read about my experience with passion flower here.
Peppermint is known for its ability to refresh the mind and relieve stress while increasing energy. This essential oil can also be used to help with digestion & stomach pain. Peppermint is commonly used to treat headaches and migraines.
Tea tree oil can be used to treat fungal infections. It is most commonly used to treat acne.
PLEASE NOTE: Use of tea tree oil in a diffuser can be toxic to house pets.
Thyme is used to regulate blood pressure. This essential oil also supports the immune system, the heart, and the nervous system.
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 extract!