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    What Are Essential Oils?

    Picture of Team Sofia Health
    By Team Sofia Health on February, 22 2021
    essential oils

    Whether you want to add a pleasant fragrance to your home or you need to address an ailment, essential oils offer a helpful solution. These oils have been known for their healing properties for centuries, and now they're more popular than ever. If you're curious about essential oils and how to use them, read on to learn more.



    What are Essential Oils?

    Essential oils are actually organic compounds that are extracted directly from a variety of plants. These compounds create a natural oil that captures the plant's flavor, scent, or essence, which is where the term got its name. Since each plant has its own unique scent and characteristics, the oils all have different properties, fragrances, and names depending on the origin. In order to process essential oils, the plant must go through a distillation process that uses steam, or a mechanical method like cold pressing. The extracts are then combined with a carrier oil to create a safe and sellable product.



    The Best Essential Oils for Anxiety and Other  Conditions

    lavender essential oil with fresh lavender sprigs

    Essential oils can be used for aromatherapy, or they may be used to help with a range of health conditions. There are hundreds of different essential oils available, but some types are considered the best option for general use. Peppermint oil is often used to help boost energy levels and to help with digestive problems. If you're coping with anxiety or nerves, try lavender to reduce stress or sandalwood to help calm your nerves and restore focus. Bergamot essential oil also reduces stress, and it may also help to improve a variety of skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.


    If you're looking to boost your mood while reducing anxiety, give rose essential oil or chamomile oil a try. Ylang-ylang is a strong essential oil that is often used to treat headaches, nausea, and some specific skin conditions. You've probably heard of tea tree oil, which is a popular choice to help boost immunity, clear the skin, and fight infections. Jasmine oil can help with depression, and lemon oil may be a good option if you need to reduce headache symptoms or enhance your mood.



    essential oil diffuser

    How to Use Essential Oils

    Most essential oils are used as aromatherapy either in an oil diffuser or sachet, where they are inhaled. You should never consume essential oils by swallowing them, since the compounds may cause inadvertent reactions or allergies. Some plant chemicals can be absorbed into the skin when using essential oils as a topical treatment, so it's best to only use products that contain these oils as part of the ingredients rather than applying them directly to the skin. Inhaling essential oil aromas can stimulate the part of your brain that regulates behaviors and emotions as well as long-term memory to help with a variety of physical conditions.



    Organic Essential Oils

    To ensure the best purity and quality, look for products that are labeled organic. These products should contain only aromatic compounds without the use of chemicals, synthetics, or other additives. Pure organic oils should list the plant's scientific name on the packaging. Look for oils that are extracted using either distillation or mechanical cold pressing, and always purchase your oils from a respected, trusted brand. Anything with the USDA Organic symbol on the label indicates the essential oil is organic and therefore, safe and effective.


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