The Therapeutic Power of Essential Oils

For thousands of years, people have been using oils for medicinal cures, boosting positive emotions, and cosmetic purposes. Distilling parts of different plants, there now exists a vast range of essential oils that can be used in countless ways.

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy lists the following oils as some of the most commonly used:

  • Clary sage

  • Eucalyptus

  • Lavender

  • Mandarin

  • Peppermint

But why do people continue to use these essential oils? What kind of benefits do users see?

Let’s begin with clary sage. The Sustainable Baby Steps website describes clary sage as “an essential oil derived from a steam distillation of the flowering plant.” Its primary benefits include the easing of menstrual cramps, hormone balance and soothing of nerves/stress. Clary sage helps provide clarity, and is “often used on the brow and during meditation, contemplation, or creative work.”

Eucalyptus oil is derived from the dehydrated leaves of the eucalyptus tree. According to Medline Plus, the oil “is taken orally for pain and inflammation of respiratory tract mucous membranes, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, sinus pain and inflammation, and respiratory infections. It is also used as an antiseptic, insect repellant, and treatment option for wounds, burns, and ulcer.” Eucalyptus oil is even known to fight tooth-decaying agents! stresses the use of lavender oil for its resourcefulness. Aside from its calming nature, lavender can be used as a sleep aid and it can even improve digestion, alleviate nausea, and treat skin disorders. Lavender is useful for its ability to improve blood circulation and, like the aforementioned eucalyptus, can repel insects.

Mandarin oil, developed from compression of fresh mandarin orange peels, also has great medicinal benefits. This oil promotes good blood circulation and cell growth. It’s even been pinpointed as a cancerous tumor fighter; mandarin oil has proven to diminish the growth of tumors. It’s also a great way to reduce your anxiety and treat acne, stretch marks and scars. Because of mandarin oil’s calming properties, it’s also proved to be useful in treating epilepsy and insomnia.

Finally, possibly one of the most commonly known essential oils- peppermint. Although many are attracted to its pleasing scent, peppermint has been used for counteracting dietary issues. It’s often been used to eradicate heartburn and indigestion, as well as liver and gallbladder problems. Peppermint oil may also be used by cancer patients to ease feelings of nausea brought on by chemotherapy. Peppermint has been used as a respiratory decongestant and it’s even been shown to encourage memory and alertness.

Any essential oils ought to be used with a full understanding of any potential side effects, since some people may have sensitivities. It’s also advised that some essential oils, such as peppermint, are not taken daily. Peppermint oil, in particular, can be overdosed on. However, when safely and smartly used, essential oils can become important and integral sources of natural therapy.

Pearl Yoga & Fitness will be hosting an insightful, free “Intro to Essential Oils” class on Wednesday, June 7, from 7:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Come and see how you can use essential oils in your life!

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