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Essential oils are natural oils obtained from plants by distillation and have the characteristic fragrance of the plant they are extracted from. They are referred to as essential because they contain the essence of the plant they are derived from. Essential oils are used for cosmetic products, soaps, perfumes, flavoring foods and beverages, for incense as well as for home remedies.
Essential oils popularity both for cosmetic use and as home remedies is growing tremendously. This popularity can be attributed to the fact that they act as natural medicine with minimal or no side effects. Essential oils get their useful characteristics from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
Numerous essential oils are used for different purposes. However, some are more common than others. Several factors that make them more common including availability, numerous uses, ease of production as well as cost. Different essential oils are used for various purposes, although most have several uses, and the applications may overlap. Some of the common essential oils and their uses include:
Peppermint is widely used for oral hygiene. It is great oil for relieving nausea and curbing food cravings. It is also used to treat poison oak. Peppermint is a great flavor for tea, besides boosting energy and releasing tight muscles.
Lavender oil is the most used essential oil in the world. It reduces stress and anxiety. Lavender oil also alleviates insomnia and improves sleep. It has powerful antioxidants that help in slowing aging. It repairs the skin and is useful for healing burns and wounds as well as reducing acne and restoring skin complexion. Lavender oil is widely used for baking, and may also be added to a detox bath.
Eucalyptus oil is used as a disinfectant by adding to cleaning water. It is a good mold killer and has insect control qualities. Eucalyptus oil is mixed with peppermint and added to paint to detoxify the air. When mixed with lemon oil and used in a foot bath, it soothes the feet. Eucalyptus oil has powerful abilities to fight coughs and open airways, while relieving bronchitis and asthma. It is often mixed with wintergreen and cypress to treat aching muscles.
Rosemary oil has a woody, evergreen like scent, and belongs to the mint family. It is aromatic oil that tastes great in multiple dishes. It boosts nerve growth and supports healing of neurological tissues. It also enhances brain function and improves memory. Lately, it has become a popular ingredient in skin and hair care products. It is an awesome air freshener and is known to cure dandruff.
Mostly known as a seasoning for food, it also works well in relieving muscle pain and arthritis. Lemongrass oil is an excellent antibacterial oil, and it wards off insects as well. It is also used as a fragrance for cosmetics. It reduces fever and also boosts energy.
Lemon oil is a natural disinfectant. It acts as an all-purpose cleaner, besides reducing odor. It works perfectly in nourishing the skin and may be used for weight loss programs too. Also used to whiten teeth and as a face-wash.
Besides having cancer-fighting properties, frankincense also calms the nerves. It is good for meditation and reducing anxiety. Strengthen nails, reduces age spots and boosts the body’s immunity.
Patchouli oil is mainly used to fight depression and boost the immune system. It is a natural deodorant and also stops fungal growth. It fights fever, treat skin conditions and reduce inflammation as well.
Geranium is widely used in aromatherapy for its health benefits such as balancing hormones, relieving stress and reducing depression. It improves blood circulation yet reduces blood pressure. It is an excellent skin toner that reduces wrinkles as well.
Not many people are aware, but citronella oil is a natural insect repellant. It fights bacteria, fungi and free radicals in the body. It promotes relaxation, relieves muscle pain and reduces inflammation too. It may also be used to control pet behavior.
Myrrh oil has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is used as an antiseptic to clean wounds and to stop bleeding as well. It also treats hay fever besides flavoring food. It is a natural fragrance that is used in embalming.
Rose oil is produced from the petals of various rose flower plants. It is quite expensive due to the intensive labor needed for extraction. It has a strong floral fragrance that is romantic and luxurious. Rose oil is both an antidepressant and an aphrodisiac. It also has antiseptic qualities and is used to treat wounds.
Essential Oils for Skin and Beauty Care Purposes
Certain essential oils are commonly known for skin and beauty care. Lavender, for instance, has been used for centuries to calm irritated skin. Geranium, on the other hand, treats skin conditions, most notably acne. Frankincense oil acts as an anti-aging agent and does a great deal in reducing age spots. These are beside the many essential oils used in fragrances.
Other notable beauty care essential oils are rosemary, lavender, and sage. They are used in hair care products to boost hair growth. There are other essential oils for hair growth besides these three.
Quality of Essential Oils
The issue of quality essential oils is a very tricky affair. The lack of a definite regulatory body to access essential oils leaves the consumers at the mercies of the industry players.
However, one can use a checklist to try and get hold of the best quality essential oils. Before applying the checklist, one must first find a trusted vendor, preferably an aromatherapist. The vendor should be one with integrity and straightforward such as not to alter the products or the labeling.
Secondly, use a checklist. The checklist has a list of things to look out for, which include:
If you are satisfied with the answers provided to this checklist, then you will definitely be satisfied with the product. Remember, the best quality essential oils are unadulterated.