Over the past few years, I’ve met people who swear by aromatherapy. I’ve seen posts on Facebook and advertisements on television praising such remedies. The essential oils used in aromatherapy have the power to boost your immune system, combat insomnia, and dull pain, among other things.
Aromatherapy is a form of holistic healing, where essential oils are therapeutically applied or used medicinally. This form of healing, coined in 1937 by French perfumer and chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, has increasingly become more common among people of all generations.
Essential oils are “made from fragrant essences found in many plants.” When the plants are naturally crushed, the essences are released. Each type of plant hosts unique essences with distinct scents and healing abilities.
There are two safe ways to reap the benefits of essential oils. One way is through skin application. Since your skin is somewhat permeable, massaging the oils onto your skin allows the oil to infuse into your body. Another way for the oils to enter the body is through inhalation. The most common way for inhalation to happen is to put the essential oils into a diffuser and let the aroma enter the air of your home.
Since all essential oils have different healing abilities, you should identify your specific needs before you purchase an oil. Below are some popular oils that have a history of alleviating common issues found in older adults.
Many essential oils have more than one benefit, and eucalyptus is no exception. Perhaps eucalyptus’s biggest claim to fame is its decongestant properties. Breathing in the steam or rubbing the oil on your chest can open your lungs and help you breathe.
As with most essential oils, eucalyptus also promotes feelings of relaxation.
Frankincense exudes a “mellow aroma…of wood, earth, balsam and citrus.” The oil has a long list of benefits. When applied topically, frankincense is a wonderful moisturizer, healing dry hands caused from the cold winter weather and razor bumps. Frankincense also has anti-inflammatory powers and is known to provide relief for arthritis pain.
Lavender’s most attractive power is its ability to promote sleep. The oil combats insomnia and its benefits have been proven in multiple research studies. An article by Prevention outlines several studies regarding the relationship between lavender and sleep. Research conducted at the University of Southampton in Great Britain found that participants who slept in a room where lavender was diffused slept more soundly than participants who slept in a room diffusing a placebo.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil was first used by aboriginal people of Australia to treat wounds and cuts. Today, people all over the world use the oil for the same reason. Tea tree oil can heal all kinds of things including infections, cold sores, burns, and bug bites. You can also use tea tree oil as a homeopathic remedy to combat acne.
While essential oils are growing in popularity, please use caution when using them for the first time and talk to your doctor beforehand. Essentials oils are not yet regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so make sure you are only using products from a credible manufacturer. Look for sellers that are members of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), a national trade association that places a strong emphasis on self-regulation and ethics.
Are you considering using essential oils but are not sure what oil is best for you? Ask A Pup and we will help you find the best remedy for you!
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