5 Essential Benefits of Essential Oils

Are you in need of an inexpensive, completely natural solution to heal bug bites and also reduce anxiety? Look no further than a $5.99 bottle of lavender oil!

Essential oils are distilled and highly concentrated oils extracted from the bark, leaf, seed, flower, and fruit of a plant or tree. A single liquid drop of one of these oils not only captures the “essence” of the plant it is extracted from, but also provides a tremendous array of healing and health benefits. Essential oils have long served as the foundation of aromatherapy and have also been a large component in natural medicine and ancient healing techniques throughout human history. Whether found streaming in oil diffusers or incorporated into lotions, the use of these oils is as “essential” as their names read.

So what exactly are the benefits of essential oil use? There are hundreds of answers to this question, but here are my top 5.

1. Alleviating Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety

With the never-ending challenges we face as college students both in and out of the classroom setting, incorporating the use of essential oils into your daily routine can alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety. In particular, lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils for this purpose as it is proven to lower anxiety levels, improve mood, and promote relaxation. Rosemary oil is also found to promote calmness, improve focus and mental clarity, and even reduce levels of test anxiety. It is an excellent idea to combine 2-3 drops of lavender and rosemary oil together in a diffuser and allow it to run throughout the day, especially at night. Other ideas are to add a few drops of these oils to a bath and to your pillow at night; these simple techniques will help you reduce your stress immediately!

2. Helping with Insomnia

An obvious and immediate-acting benefit of many essential oils is to help promote relaxation, which tackles the barrier that insomnia poses on a good night’s sleep. Again, lavender oil is the most popular essential oil for this relaxation benefit. In 2015, a study was conducted on 79 college students with self-reported sleep problems who all found inhaling lavender oil at bedtime improved daytime energy and vibrancy. Lavender aromatherapy is also known to improve sleep onset, quality, and duration, and is often used in nursing homes and in healthcare practice for that reason. It’s as easy as putting a few drops on your pillow or in a diffuser at bedtime, and there are also many pillow sprays available for purchase - all of which improve rest.

3. Boosting the Immune System

There are a wide variety of essential oils known to provide health benefits by boosting immunity, and combining these oils can especially create successful and beneficial outcomes. Lemon, peppermint, tea tree, frankincense, and sweet orange are just a few oils that work together for enhancing immunity. Together, these oils work as antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties by decreasing the amount of cortisol (the ultimate stress hormone) in the blood. This can lower blood pressure, enhance relaxation, and create a healthier, happier you!

4. Improving Skin

In lieu of what seems like an eternal supply of chemically based skin products on the market, essential oils are an effective and realistic alternative to consider investing in! Shown to have benefits on redness and irritation (lavender and roman chamomile), reducing age spots (frankincense), improving acne (tea tree), and acting as a natural SPF (myrrh and helichrysum), consider heading to the aromatherapy department for your next skincare purchase!

5. Role in Weight Loss

Alongside a healthy diet and exercise, essential oils can be used as an “extra boost” to encourage healthy weight loss. Grapefruit, peppermint, cinnamon bark, and and ginger oil are four oils shown to have these effects. Ultimately, they work to speed metabolism, suppress cravings, improve digestive enzyme activity, and help balance blood sugar levels. It’s as easy as a drop in your next morning cup of tea!

With all of the essential benefits found in essential oils, it’s important to use these oils in moderation and handle with care. Through safe use, the effects of incorporating aromatherapy into your daily life are promised to shine instantly!