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Extraordinary Benefits of Essential Oils Infographic

9 Key Essential Oils for Improving Health Infographic

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The practice of using essential oils, or concentrated and aromatic plant extracts, is not entirely new. For thousands of years, these oils were used for emotional, cosmetic, medicinal and spiritual purposes. Records even showed that some of the world's earliest physicians promoted oils for therapeutic use because of their diverse purposes.1

What Are the Most Popular Essential Oils?

Essential oils are made from various types of plants, herbs and even spices. However, there are some that stand out because of their effectivity in boosting health and well-being. These 9 essential oils are some of the most popular:

  1. Clove BudThere are three types of clove essential oils available today, with clove bud oil being the most popular.
  2. EucalyptusIt's made from dried leaves of the eucalyptus, a tree that's native to Australia.
  3. FrankincenseThis oil is obtained from gum resin, which is derived from Boswellia trees that are abundant in African and Arabian regions.
  4. LavenderThe word "lavender" comes from the Latin word "lavare," meaning "to wash." Traditionally, lavender was added to bathwater, or hand or foot soaks.
  5. LemonThe oil is extracted from lemon peels — it's said that around 1,000 lemons are needed to produce a pound of lemon oil.
  6. OreganoIn ancient times, oregano was regarded as a symbol of happiness. Its name, in fact, means "joy of the mountains."
  7. PeppermintThe peppermint plant called Mentha piperita is used to make this essential oil.
  8. RosemaryThis oil comes from the Rosmarinus officinalis plant that's widely known in the Mediterranean.
  9. Tea TreeA long historical use of tea tree oil was recorded among different native communities who lived in the east coast of Australia.

5 Health Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils are created using two primary methods: distillation and expression or cold pressing.2 Through these procedures, many people are able to reap the benefits that essential oils can offer. Essential oils contain high concentrations of biologically active volatile compounds,3 which are responsible for health benefits like:

  • Alleviating stress, pain and nausea4
  • Stabilizing mood5
  • Improving sleep conditions6
  • Boosting memory7 and energy levels8
  • Easing nausea and vomiting,9 and certain skin conditions such as dry skin and eczema10
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Safety Considerations When Using Essential Oils

Talk to a physician or health expert and take an allergen test prior to using any type of essential oil. An allergen or patch test entails applying a diluted amount of oil onto the skin and observing for allergic reactions such as a rash or hives. If there are side effects, do not use the oil. These steps are crucial in making essential oils work for you. Remember that some oils are not recommended for people with certain medical conditions, and there are oils that can interfere with medications.11

Before applying essential oils topically, dilute them first in a safe and mild carrier oil like coconut, olive, almond or jojoba oil. Use essential oils in moderation too, because just like any food or health product, they have their own health risks that can be triggered by excessive use.12 Although these oils can have uplifting effects on your well-being, remember that they aren't instant cures for ailments and conditions, and are not substitutes for a nutritious and balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle.