Have you ever wondered why forest trees make you feel calm? Why does a flower’s scent make you smile? Why do oils ease muscle tension?
Science explains that this happens because of the unique chemistry of nature.
In fact, every tree, flower, and herb on this planet has natural chemicals that can affect how your mind and body functions. It may uplift your mood, give you energy, help you focus, keep you happy, offer you relaxation, boost your confidence, etc.
However, you cannot always bring along a tree or a flower with you all the time. This is why people extracted these soothing chemicals from plants and stored them in handy containers that you could keep even in your smallest pocket. These extracted chemicals are what we now know as “essential oils”.
What are the effects of essential oils?
The following are some therapeutic effects that you can expect from various essential oils:
- Energy boost, from basil, melissa, ginger, lemon, orange, clove, or nutmeg;
- Creativity, playfulness, and spontaneity, from neroli, orange, linden, geranium, or patchouli;
- Focus and attention, from rosemary, orange, peppermint, lemon, or petitgrain;
- Confidence, from lemon, ginger, pine, fir, or cypress;
- Happiness and joy, from melissa, tangerine, orange, lemongrass, rose, bergamot, citronella, jasmine, palmarosa, or ylang-ylang;
- Love, from rose, jasmine, geranium, or ylang-ylang;
- Relaxation, from vetiver, lavender, or clary sage;
- Calmness, serenity, and peace, from lavender, frankincense, eucalyptus, patchouli, camphor, or juniper;
- Spiritual awareness, from sandalwood, frankincense, clary sage, myrrh, or camphor;
- Gratitude and appreciation, from lavender, balsam fir, coriander, vetiver, bergamot, or myrrh;
- Courage, from cedarwood or cypress; or
- Positivity, from basil, myrrh, frankincense, lemongrass, or geranium.
How to use essential oils?
Traditionally, religious cultures used essential oils in candles and incense to carry out rituals and to ward off evil.
Nowadays, essential oils are more popular in the field of alternative medicine as natural remedies for stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and other forms of discomfort. You can use any of the following methods:
In aromatherapy, you can inhale the natural aromatic essences to help enhance your physical well-being. You can do so:
- By inhaling from a diffuser – Just pour a few drops of essential oil in a diffuser, which will disperse the oil in the air.
- By rubbing it in your hands – Pour 1-2 drops of essential oil on your hands, rub it on your palms, and breathe in the aroma.
- By sniffing directly – Simply sniff the oil from its container.
- By using reeds in a bottle – Fill up the bottle with an essential oil and a carrier oil.
- By wearing an essential oil jewelry – Pour a few drops on your bracelet, necklace, or pendant and carry it with you throughout the day.
2. Topical application
If you feel pain or tenderness in some areas of your body, you can apply the essential oils directly on that part. The skin absorbs the oil, which in turn relaxes your tensed nerves, muscles, or joints. You can rub the oil on your forehead, temples, nose, chest, lower back, soles of the feet, etc.
Remember to dilute the essential oil first before applying it to your skin. Since they are highly concentrated and potent, they may cause skin irritations if not diluted. You can use a carrier oil (e.g. jojoba oil or coconut oil) for this purpose.
3. Massage therapy
Bored at home? You can always visit the nearest spa around you. Your masseur or therapist will also use essential oils to soothe your aching muscles.
Does your room feel dusty or moldy? You may not realize it but your untidy room can greatly affect your mood. Spray citrus essential oil to make your place feel fresh and vibrant. Just fill a spray bottle with water, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and spray it all over your room. You can still get the oil’s therapeutic benefits by breathing in the air around you.
5. Shower or bath
A hot bath or shower is more relaxing with a sweet scent of flowers. Pour a few drops of your favorite oil in your bathtub. Throw in some cornstarch or butter. Let them melt and vaporize. And enjoy the soothing fragrance as you take your bath.
Dealing with stress and negative feelings is not easy. As much as possible, you want to uplift your mood and be happy. But you may find it difficult to switch from a frown to a smile unless there is a trigger to that switch. One such trigger is a whiff or two of essential oils.
Essential oils are natural mood boosters. These can help you feel energized when you feel tired, happy when you feel sullen, confident when you feel embarrassed, calm when you feel agitated, restful when you feel anxious, etc.
Aromatherapy, topical application, massage therapy, sprays, or showers using these oils can help improve your mood. If one essential oil is not enough, you can always resort to mixing oils to create that perfect blend for your taste.