Essential oils are concentrated extractions from plants. The process of distillation is what turns their scent into a liquefied form.
Used for both recreational and medicinal purposes, alternative medicine enthusiasts have been singing the praises of these oils for centuries. But with their (claimed) health benefits, increasing accessibility, and growing popularity, they’re becoming much more mainstream.
With a wide variety of essential oils available, many have their own individual benefits. From their pleasant aroma to their supposed ability to reduce stress and increase sleep, they’re definitely worth a try if you’re looking for some healing alternatives.
They enhance meditation practice
Just like essential oils, meditation has been an integral part of many cultures for centuries. It’s the practice of stillness, centering yourself, being aware of your senses, and simply allowing yourself the space to just breathe. The tradition can make huge positive differences to your everyday life, and it helps to clear the mind, calm the body, and lift the spirit.
But when you incorporate essential oils into the practice, they can really enhance your meditating experience. From frankincense, sandalwood, and cedarwood, use these essential oils to help ground and focus the mind and reduce negative energy. They’ll also help you encourage feelings of gratitude, positivity, optimism, and determination.
They promote better sleep
Lavender essential oils are highly praised for their ability to promote and improve your quality of sleep. The extract works as an anxiolytic (anxiety reliever) and a sedative, both helping to increase a sense of calm and relaxation and to induce feelings of sleep and tiredness.
The plant interacts with GABA, a neurotransmitter, and helps slow down the activity of the brain and nervous system. This then reduces feelings of anger, agitation, aggression, and restlessness.
Getting enough sleep is imperative for our bodies to function properly. This is why introducing lavender essential oils into your bedtime routine can really benefit the number of hours your mind and body get to truly rest.
They help reduce stress and anxiety
The modern, fast-paced world can be full of daily stresses and anxieties. And when we experience these stresses, so do our bodies. Long-term stress can cause an array of different health problems if they go undetected and untreated.
The use of essential oils in daily life can address these stresses and help to reduce them. They do this by calming the nervous system, lowering blood pressure, and inducing a state of relaxation.
In regard to anxiety, it’s estimated that nearly 40 million Americans suffer from the mental health condition. Aromatherapy and essential oils have been found to combat anxiety symptoms, with people saying their anxiety levels have been dramatically reduced.
They help reduce inflammation
Inflammation happens when the immune system becomes activated. There can be many causes, from food allergies to infections. When inflammation occurs, the body senses something is wrong, so it sends blood cells to the affected area to help heal the problem.
There has been some research into essential oils and their anti-inflammatory benefits that suggest they are used as antioxidants. A 2010 study found that the following essential oils had properties that could reduce inflammation:
Introduce essential oils into your fife
Whether you’re looking for herbal alternatives to help with physical symptoms, or you simply need a little help relaxing and switching off from the busy world, incorporating the use of essential oils into your lifestyle could be the answer.
From lavender to help with sleep, to thyme for its anti-inflammatory properties, why not get in touch with your more spiritual side and give them a go?
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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