When it comes to the efficacy of essential oils, many consumers have yet to decide—beneficial or hocus pocus? While there are profit-hungry companies out there extoling the miraculous benefits of essential oils, the truth is there’s a reason essential oils have been used as part of holistic healing for centuries. We’ve gathered 6 surprising benefits you may notice when incorporating oils into your personal wellness protocol.
Reduction in Stress & Anxiety
Oils have long been used to promote a sense of calm and wellbeing, and recent research supports such use. A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found chamomile oil to be an effective treatment for generalized anxiety.
During the Middle Ages, oil of clary sage was used to treat various skin ailments—and it turns out those medieval healers were onto something. Modern studies have found clary sage oil, when used topically, to be an effective treatment against bacterial infections of the skin. When used aromatically, clary sage oil was proven to promote relaxation in medical patients awaiting testing.
Clears Sinus Congestion
The pungent aroma of eucalyptus oil is in many bath and skincare products. For example, Vicks VapoRub, a staple in many home medicine cabinets, contains over 1% eucalyptus oil, giving it its unique smell.
Adding eucalyptus oil to a warm shower releases the oil into the steam and, once inhaled, the oil enters the chest, loosening mucus and reducing respiratory symptoms.
Lavender has long been associated with improved sleep, and recent studies support the claim that oil from this fragrant plant can help fight insomnia and promote more restful sleep. A recent study found lavender, when used aromatically, helped nursing home patients fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and report a higher quality of sleep upon waking.
Treats Tension Headaches
No one wants a headache, but many people are reluctant to take over-the-counter medication to find relief. Thankfully, essential oils can help. Studies have found the topical application of peppermint oil to be an effective treatment option for patients suffering from tension headaches.
Improves Alertness & Concentration
The bright and arresting scent of lemon oil may help you stay alert and concentrate, according to two separate studies. In the first, researchers found that aromatherapy in conjunction with lemon oil improved the cognitive function of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In the second, students taking exams in rooms where lemon oil was diffused performed better on their tests.
Don’t write off essential oils as an age-old treatment that has been left behind in the wake of modern medicine. There is still room for these natural remedies as part of your wellness program, remedies that can provide relief from a variety of conditions and enhance services such as massage therapy.
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