Ease Stress, Sleep Better: The Benefits of Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Have you ever smelled fresh cut grass and been taken back to summer childhood memories? Or, have you sniffed fresh herbs before adding them to your favorite recipe and had that trigger a pleasant and calm feeling? Our sense of smell is very powerful and can be used to improve our health and well-being through aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy, sometimes called essential oil therapy, is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural oils to treat both physical and mental health conditions. These essential oils are extracted from parts of plants and then distilled. These oils can be inhaled, directly or indirectly. Some essential oils are rubbed on the skin through lotions, bath salts or during a massage.
Although it is not a replacement for medical treatment, research has shown that aromatherapy can have many health benefits, according to an article on WebMD. Aromatherapy may:
- Ease stress, anxiety and depression
- Promote relaxation
- Improve sleep
- Relieve headaches
- Reduce nausea
- Increase attentiveness
Common essential oils and benefits:
- Lavender oil – eases stress, promotes sleep and relaxation
- Peppermint oil – eases headaches, fights fatigue, supports memory
- Chamomile oil – promotes sleep and relaxation
- Citrus oil – boosts your mood and reduces stress
- Take deep breaths of the aroma after opening the bottle
- Diffuser method: Mix essential oils and water in an essential oil diffuser. The diffuser will disperse tiny oil particles around the room so you can breathe them in. Be sure to follow the directions for the right oil-to-water ratio.
- Dry evaporation: Put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and smell the aroma.
- Steam inhalation: Put a few drops of essential oil in a bowl of hot water. Put your head over the bowl, hold a towel over your head so it looks like you have an oversized hooded sweatshirt and breath in the steam.
If you are interested in trying aromatherapy, it is important to consult with your doctor before using, as some oils may be risky to use if you have certain health conditions. Also, some oils can be dangerous for pets and children, so please conduct additional research if you have little ones or furry friends.