Let’s talk about essential oils.
When we mention oils, the first thing that comes to mind are oils like coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, jojoba oil, etc.
But the oils we are talking about are quite different.
Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants, usually the flower, leaf, fruit, root or seed of a plant or a tree.
They are highly concentrated, which makes them have a strong aroma and just a drop of these oils can have powerful health benefits.
They have the ability to improve physical, mental and emotional health. So, yeah, essentials oils are not just for the skin but provide holistic healing properties.
What are the benefits of essential oils?
Essential oils provide a lot of benefits not only to your skin but to your whole body. Here are some of them:
- Many essential oils contain antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal and antiviral properties which helps to boost the immune system and fight against infections.
- Essential oils such as geranium, clary sage and thyme essential oils can help to balance the levels of progesterone and estrogen in your body, thereby reducing the occurrence of hormonal imbalance.
- Essential oils like ginger, fennel, lemongrass essential oil help to aid digestion, relieve stomach upset, diarrhea and stomach spasms.
- Essential oils like peppermint and rosemary essential oil help to boost energy levels by increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain which leaves you feeling energized and refreshed.
- Essential oils like lavender and frankincense oils have the ability to reduce emotional stress and anxiety. They contain sedative properties that put you in a relaxed and peaceful mood.
- Some essential oils relieve pains and aches especially when applied on or used to massage the affected area. They also relieve headaches and migraines.
Essential oils you should always have at home
Here are some essential oils you should always have at home:
Lavender essential oil
This is one of the most popular essential oils there are. It is calming and relaxing and it possesses a floral scent.
Inhaling this floral scent can put you in a relaxed mood, relieve anxiety, and help you sleep. Also, it has been found to help some people relieve headaches when they breathe it in.
And if you use it on your skin, it may help to reduce swelling and itching from bug bites.
It is usually used in body oils, lotions, cleansers perfumes, shampoos, conditioners, hair serums, etc.
Peppermint essential oil
This oil has a minty herbal scent when you inhale it.
It can be used to help relieve headaches and indigestions. Also, when you apply, it provides a cooling effect on your skin.
It helps to relieve sunburn on the skin and stop itching on the skin especially when the itching is caused by insect bites or the poison ivy.
It can also help with body pains like muscle pains, and boost energy.
Lemon oil does a lot of wonders for your skin.
It contains antioxidants that help to fight off free radicals and reduce the appearance of aging signs. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce skin inflammation and reduce flare-ups of inflammatory skin conditions like acne.
Apart from that, it helps to fight against anemia, relieve nausea and boost your energy levels.
Note: Use it only at night especially if you are applying it on your skin. Exposure to sunlight can cause reactions like dark skin patches.
This essential oil fills the room with a balsamic aroma.
It is one of the oldest oils used in making incense and perfumes. It helps to relieve anxiety and emotional stress. It also provides a calming effect. Little wonder why it is used while meditating and during yoga.
It can also be used in diffusion and air freshening.
It is usually added to body oils, meditation roll-ons, and mists, yoga mists, massage oils, diffusions, and perfumes.
Rose oil has a lot of skincare benefits.
It contains antioxidant properties that help to treat acne and aging signs like wrinkles. It gives your skin a unique glow, improves your skin tone and complexion and gives you an overall younger look.
When inhaled, it can be used to relieve anxiety and stress and it also helps to keep you in a calm state of mind.
How best to use essential oils?
Since essential oils are highly concentrated, it is not advisable to use them alone, especially on your skin. you have to dilute them first.
You can add a few drops to your natural oils, skincare products, hair products, room fresheners, baths, etc.
Essential oils can easily cause reactions because of the high concentration. So, it is best that you use a few drops at time.
Also, it is very important that you do not swallow essential oils. They can irritate sensitive cells inside the body. Even if you have to take oral capsules that have essential oils, it is important that you do this under the guidance of your doctor.
Apart from swallowing essential oils, they should not be kept in places where they may enter delicate parts of the body like the vagina, ear, anus or the eyes.
If you have to use them to massage your skin, you should add a few drops to a carrier oil and then use it for the massage.
Are there side effects to watch out for?
Some side effects might occur because these oils are highly concentrated.
This is one of the reasons why I said you have to use them in very minute quantities, and they should be properly diluted first.
You might experience irritation or a burning sensation on your skin if the essential oil is not properly diluted.
Even though inhaling essential oils help some people relieve headaches, it may also lead to headaches if you inhale too much of it.
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Where can I get unadulterated essential oils in Lagos?
You can get unadulterated oils in skincare or beauty stores. Just read the ingredients on the label before buying.