Essential oils have been long used as a natural way to combat depression, fight bacteria and strengthen the immune system. They have been used to heal the mind, body and spirit for centuries. You can inhale them, infuse them, or apply them topically. People have been using essential oils to improve moods, assist with anxiety, and heal using the olfactory lobes. Even some hospitals are now using essential oils in their ventilation systems.
Essential oils are highly concentrated components of plants. The aromatic compounds are extracted from the bark, the seeds and stems, roots, leaves and flowers of a plant. This means it takes a LOT of plants to extract a pound of oil. It can take 4,000 pounds of roses to get just one pound of oil. And in case you were wondering, one drop of peppermint oil is the same as 28 glasses of peppermint tea!
At Gorelik dentistry, we recommend using only high-quality therapeutic-grade oils. When applying them topically, be sure start in a small area and see how your body reacts, sometimes you may need to dilute them with a carrier oil, or water, to avoid irritation. Carrier oils such as jojoba or almond oil are an effective choice. This is important because “hot” oils can cause a warming or burning sensation. Hot oils include cinnamon/bark, clove, and oregano. Conversely, “cool” oils cause a cooling, tingling sensation. Cool oils include eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen and thyme.
Photosensitive oils create a reaction on your skin when they are exposed to direct sunlight. This sensitivity can last from 12 to 72 hours after you apply them and can result in a burn. Phototoxic oils include all citruses, such as bergamot, bitter orange, grapefruit, lemon/lemon verbena, lime, mandarin orange, orange, tangerine, as well as dill, ginger, yuzu. What this means is that you want to know your oils and their effects when using them.
So whether you are inhaling EO’s or diffusing them, what happens is that a large percent of the vapors are absorbed by your body. This triggers parts of the brain, stimulating the neurochemistry of other systems and altering the mind and body. Sniffing the oil can give you an idea of how well you are tolerating a particular oil. Please use caution not to touch the oil with your nose to avoid microparticles traveling to your brain’s olfactory system that triggers the limbic system. As you inhale the oil and it travels through your respiratory system it absorbs into the lungs as well as your bloodstream. Essentially, EO’s profoundly affect your endocrine system and hormones.
You can inhale them via a cotton ball to elevate your mood, combat odors, cleanse the air, or spray onto your bedding help you sleep better. When diffusing EO’s, you simply use a machine that puts out a fine mist, as the oils are combined with water, to benefit the respiratory system. In the home, this is a good way to utilize the oil’s healing qualities. You can also use steam or water vapor by warming some water, adding some drops of EO and deeply inhaling the steam. When showering you can also add a drop of oil onto a cotton ball and let the shower steam diffuse the oil.
What are some oils that might benefit every household?
A tiny drop of EO in your cooking can provide the same flavor without having to use tablespoons of the actual herb. People have been using peppermint to overcome halitosis, soothe stomach issues, provide relief for colic, gas, headaches, heartburn and even indigestion. Peppermint is used to calm anger, help with depression and diminish fatigue. So try adding a few drops to your coffee or tea to help with indigestion. Or dilute with a carrier oil and place a few drops on the back of your neck and shoulder areas to elevate your energy level. A drop or two on your temples, forehead and sinus areas can help with headaches and sinus pressure. Rubbed on the stomach, peppermint can relieve stomach issues, and a few drops on the bottom of your feet can lower a fever. It can also help combat itching from bug bites. If you are trying to lose weight, inhaling peppermint oil can lower your appetite. It can boost your mood and lessen fatigue when inhaled before you exercise, as well as afterward. If you are studying or working, diffuse peppermint to boost focus and concentration. Misting yourself with a few drops in a bottle of water helps lessen hot flashes.
Are you experiencing frequent tension headaches? You can use a drop of lavender oil to relax the body. Lavender is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and frequently used as an anti-depressant. Have a stuffy nose? Just add 5 drops to a humidifier to find relief. And if you have trouble sleeping, put a few drops on your bedding and pillows to help you relax. If you have acne, adding a few drops of lavender oil to witch hazel can help. Dandruff sufferers can rinse their hair with lavender tea. You can mix lavender with peppermint oil and a carrier oil for headache relief on your temples. Going hiking? Spray some diluted lavender oil on you to discourage mosquitoes. Keep moths away by putting dried lavender sachets in your drawers and closets. To freshen your home try simmering dried lavender with citrus peels in some water. If you want to boost your household cleaning, you can add lavender and water with rubbing alcohol and baking soda to spray surfaces.
This essential oil helps heal burns, rashes, cuts and scrapes. Massaging it with a carrier oil onto the skin both purifies the skin and protects the aura from other people’s negativity. Rubbed behind the ears and wrists can lower anxiety while diffusing it lifts your mood. To help keep acne away, like lavender, you can add a few drops to a lotion or soap. Rubbed with a carrier oil onto the bottoms of feet can help with better sleep and boost the immune system. For a stuffy nose, a few drops inhaled in a handkerchief can ease symptoms, in addition to asthma and allergies. To combat menstrual pains, soak in a bath for 20 minutes after adding 8 – 10 drops to your bathwater. It has also been used to lessen the symptoms of arthritis. *If you are on blood thinners (Plavix) or are pregnant or nursing, please avoid using frankincense oil.
Inhaling lemon essential oil has been can lift your mood and enhance your home and wellbeing. A drop or two in water helps to purify the drink. Inhaling lemon essential oil lessens your cravings for sweet treats. You can brighten your skin with a couple of drops added to a moisturizer. To clarify your hair and make it shine, simply add a few drops to your shampoo. If you have a problem with bad breath, just adding a few drops to a teaspoon of honey can help. If you have the flu and want to feel better, drink some warm water, honey and a couple of drops of lemon oil. When cleaning your home, a few drops on cutting boards or cleaning water helps get rid of odors and bacteria.
This essential oil helps you feel less afraid, replacing fear with a sense of calm and serenity. If you have a weakened immune system, oregano oil can help. It’s antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic so it can fight infection, and lower inflammation as well as bodily pain. Just remember to dilute it with a carrier oil because of its high concentration. To treat foot fungus, place one teaspoon of oregano oil in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and rub on the feet several times a day. Having digestive troubles? Add 1-2 drops to a mug of milk. Experiencing sinus congestion? Try adding 3 drops to a glass of juice and several times a day. If you have a sore throat, place 3 drops of oregano in a glass of orange juice and drink daily until symptoms subside. This oil is also used to disinfect the household; just add a few drops to a bottle of water and spray counter tops to get rid of bacteria and odors. *Because of its hormonal effects, this oil should not be ingested if you are pregnant or nursing, or for children under six.
We hope this blog has inspired you to learn more about the life-enhancing healthful properties of essential oils. To speak with a member of our caring staff you can call us at 704-553-1627. At Gorelik Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Julia Gorelik our team are here for your healthy smile!