By: Sherilyn Regalado
Have you ever heard of essential oils craze nowadays? I came across a facebook post of a close friend of mine, where she shared her first-hand experience with it and the result as she said was amazing. Even some of my friends turned into “oil”-bularyos and “oil”-bularyas as well as many call them. I’ve seen their social media posts containing their love for it and it got me curious because of the various natural healing properties it brings. From soothing anxieties, relieving headaches and insect bites, promoting restful sleep and many more. So let us explore more about this product.
What is essential oil?
Essentials oils have been used for centuries now. It is commonly an ingredient to some of our household products like soap, hand-washing liquids, body wash, air freshener and detergents. It is also used in the cosmetics industry to produce perfumes and make-ups.
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants and are obtained through distillation. The oils capture the plant’s scent and flavor or “essence”, hence the term essential oils.
How do essential oils work?
Essential oils can be inhaled, diluted and even applied to the skin. They may stimulate your sense of smell or have medicinal effects when absorbed.
There are over 90 commonly used essential oils, each associated with certain health claims. Popular oils include peppermint, lavender, and sandalwood.
Health benefits of essential oils
Essential oils may have some interesting health applications:
- Stress and anxiety
- Headaches and migraines
- Sleep and insomnia
- Reducing inflammation
- Antibiotic and antimicrobial
How to choose the right essential oils
Keep the following tips in mind when choosing essential oils:
- Purity: Find an oil that contains only aromatic plant compounds, without additives or synthetic oils. Pure oils usually list the plant’s botanical name (such as Lavandula officinalis) rather than terms like “essential oil of lavender.”
- Quality: True essential oils are the ones that have been changed the least by the extraction process. Choose a chemical-free essential oil that has been extracted through distillation or mechanical cold pressing.
- Reputation: Purchase a brand with a reputation for producing high-quality products.
Safety and side effects
Essential oils are generally considered safe. However, they may cause serious side effects for some people, especially if applied directly to the skin or ingested. So care must be given when handling essential oils. Let us be mindful of our environment and the people around us when we use this.
Some side effects may include but not limited to the following:
- asthma attacks
- allergic reactions