The Power of Essential Oils

Essential oils are composed of the botanical essence of plants, removed by steam distillation. Although the use of essential oils to help improve life and health has grown in popularity during the 21st century, they are nothing new. Upper-class ancient Egyptians wore essential oils as perfumes to convey their status, and medieval healers even used botanical extractions to treat the ill and injured.

Today, science tends to go back and forth on the effectiveness of essential oils and aromatherapy as a healing technique. Aromatherapy stimulates smell receptors in the nose, sending messages to the limbic system (the function of the nervous system responsible for controlling emotions). The oils may be inhaled and/or diffused, used as bath salts, or applied directly to the skin as a method of stimulating said receptors. Although research on aromatherapy is new and mostly inconclusive, even Mayo Clinic claims essential oils have the power to “improve quality of life.” I read an article in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Sure, Essential Oils Smell Great. But Are They Good for Anything Else?” by Lily Dayton, in which after interpreting studies and scientific fact, she concluded that if you believe essential oils have the power to improve your mood or cure your muscle pains, they will.

What is great about essential oils is that they are organic and all natural, but bear in mind this means they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so be conscious of the possibility of developing any allergic reactions or irritation.

My experience with essential oils is fairly limited, as I only started using them quite recently. However, I can assure you that, from my experience, they have rocked my world.

I woke up on the morning of a game day, got out of bed, and fell right back into bed. I was having the absolute worst menstrual cramps of my life. I took pain medication I had at home with me, but after an hour I felt no relief. I texted my coach, knowing she is an avid essential oil user and that I was grasping for straws. She brought me the oil Deep Blue in the form of a cream that I rubbed on my stomach, sides, and back. I’ll admit, I doubted it would work. To my pleasant surprise, I was able to run out onto the court for half time in no pain, moving freely and enjoying every second of it. From then on, I have relied on her essential oils for just about anything and everything. I’ve already said it and I’ll say it again––essential oils have rocked my world.

Hoping to supply you all with the same relief I have received from essential oils, I have listed below some oils I consider effective and reliable, with a few additions I have yet to try, but that seems to be the most appreciated by medical professionals:

Deep Blue

Photo Courtesy of doTERRA

Deep Blue is known for alleviating cramps and calming muscle spasms. Similar to Icy-Hot, it is most effective in its cream form.

 

Eucalyptus

Photo Courtesy of Annie Spratt on Unsplash

This mint oil is credited for regulating breathing and calming the cough reflex, especially in those suffering from asthma or bronchitis.

Lavender

Photo Courtesy of Rockwool on Unsplash

Lavender is most commonly known for its calming powers and sleep-inducing scent, but do not forget, it also has the power to reduce headaches and minimize pain. Effective through digestion and inhalation, it is also a delicious smoothie or ice cream flavor.

 

Peppermint

Photo Courtesy of Josefin on Unsplash

This mint extract can calm indigestion and alleviate nausea.

Tea Tree

Image Courtesy of Burst-Shopify

Tea tree oil is a common method to target acne as well as kill fungus, such as that causing athlete's foot. It is most often used as a thick liquid-like serum to rub on the skin.

Rosemary

Photo Courtesy of Norwood Themes 

Thought to improve concentration and retention, Rosemary is a great oil to dab under the nose or munch on while studying.

Ylang Ylang

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Ylang Ylang is an oil that is unknown to many but strongly supported in its power to reduce anxiety and stress.