Science-Backed Uses For Essential Oils

People online make big claims about the benefits of essential oils. Some believable, some outlandish, and a whole lot of pseudo-science.

Some sources state that essential oils can cure sleep disturbances, alleviate depression and heal PCOS. But how much of these claims are true? Well, as it goes, there’s more to the medicinal world of essential oils than you might realise.

I’d hate to find out how much money I’ve spent in health shops over the years, but although I’ve curbed habit for expensive healthy treats and skincare products, I still like to treat myself to a bottle of essential oil now and again. I want my home fragrance to inspire me for whatever is planned that day: When I wake up in the morning, I’ll burn a citrus scented oil to liven up the place, and in the evening I’ll burn something warmer and more soothing to relax.

Beyond simply enjoying the scents the oils give off, I’d never taken the – sometimes outrageous – medicinal claims about essential oils seriously. It turns out though that there is growing body of medical and psychological research being compiled on essential oils.

That being said, there is still much work to be done. There are no official medical guidelines on the safe use of essential oils so it’s important to make sure that you understand how to use them correctly at home. Definitely don’t go taking spoonfuls of the stuff or rubbing it in to your skin or eyes neat. Some oils can burn and need to be diluted with a carrier oil or butter first. Outlets like New Directions Aromatics Essential Oils have a good range of raw materials for mixing, as well as tubs and bottles for storage.

 

5 Science-Backed Uses For Essential Oils.

Mood and Behaviour

It’s no surprise that smells can influence your mood. Anyone who’s ever walked within a mile of an Abercrombie and Fitch on a Saturday afternoon has experienced first hand how brands use fragrances to change your mood in an attempt to pry your purse open. In the case of Abercrombie though, the practice backfired and they ended up making people more anxious. Maybe they should have used essential oils instead, as time and again studies show that aromatherapy can decrease anxiety symptoms.

One study focused on the stress levels of hospital staff. The researchers gave staff a roll-on containing a mixture of 12 oils to apply 3 times a day. The result was that a large majority were able to control stress levels without any other treatment.

A study in March of this year showed that aromatherapy can reduce stress in the workplace by balancing the autonomic nervous system – that’s the system that takes care of all of those important bodily functions we need in order to survive, but most of the time don’t even notice; like breathing, heart beat etc.

 

IBS

Anise oil, Curcumin and Fennel Essential Oil, Lemon balm and coriander have all been used in recent IBS research, and the results are promising for sufferers, but more trials are needed before these oils are cleared as medical treatments.

However, peppermint oil has been treating IBS for ages. The NHS website has an informative write-up on how it can help sooth bloating and cramps. Make sure to learn how to prepare this treatment though or you could end up feeling even worse with an itchy backside!

 

Hair Loss

You all know about my PCOS hairloss so I was excited to learn about a study that showed how rosemary oil could work as effectively as Rogaine 2% Minoxidil. Increasing hair count in androgenetic alopecia patients. Researched noted a significant increase after 6 months of usage. Do your research though! Rosemary oil needs to be diluted.

 

Head Lice

Although larger studies are needed to confirm this claim, early research has shown Tea Tree oil to be just as effective as an over the counter nit-busting pharmaceutical product. I would personally always go with the medicated product when it comes to lice, but this would be useful if I couldn’t get to the shops.

 

Super Bugs

It’s long been known that essential oils kill deadly bacteria such as MRSA. An antibacterial hand-gel of thyme and lemongrass showed to be effective against fighting MRSA in this study.

 

There’s no doubting that researchers believe in the power of essential oils, and these results back up their beliefs, but more clinical funding is needed before we can get the solid facts. This is proving difficult though, as essential oils are a naturally occurring treatment, meaning they can’t be patented. Meaning the organisations that could afford to fund trials have no interest because there would be no profit in doing so.

 

What are your thoughts? I want to hear about any success stories you’ve had with essential oils. 🙂

 

 

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