Essential oils have become popular in recent years, especially as a part of one’s self-care routine. However, many people are not aware of what essential oils are, along with the benefits they provide and how to use them.

Essential oils are extracted from plants, and capture its flavor or scent. Distillation and cold pressing are two of the most common methods of extracting essential oils.

How to use essential oils

Essential oils are usually used in aromatherapy where they are inhaled either through a diffuser or humidifier or out of a bottle. If applying directly to the skin, it is important to mix them with a therapeutic-grade carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba oil. Do a patch test before applying any oils to larger areas. Essential oils should not be taken orally, as many of them are toxic.

You can also add the mixture to a bath, body wash or shampoo. It is recommended that essential oils should be avoided by children under 12 years of age, older adults and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

You can even consult a doctor or a certified aromatherapist before using essential oils to be aware of any potential side-effects a particular essential oil might have. For instance, avoid oils derived from nuts if you have nut allergies.

Types of oils

A variety of essential oils are easily available with their versatile uses. They’re an affordable way to improve your health.

Lavender: Lavender is one of the most widely used essential oils. It has a calming effect which may help insomnia, headaches and anxiety. It may also improve minor physical issues such as cramping and skin injuries.

Tea tree: Tea tree oil has a strong scent, but it should not be overlooked. It is known to be great for skin care as it can help treat fungal infection and acne. It may also boost immunity.

Lemon: Lemon is another essential oil that may boost immunity, along with improving circulation. Pimples, bug bites and boils can be treated with lemon oil. However, you should be aware that it can cause photosensitivity on skin, that is, it can cause burns on your skin when exposed to sunlight.

Peppermint: If you’re looking to improve your respiratory functions or relieve sinus congestion, peppermint essential oil will come in handy. The scent of peppermint may also aid in relieving nausea.

Sandalwood: Sandalwood is known for its amazing fragrance. It may improve your sleep and relieve anxiety.

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus oil may ease sinus infection, sinus congestion and other cold symptoms. It can often be found as an ingredient in vapor rubs due to this benefit.

Rose: Rose oil has antioxidant properties that may improve one’s complexion and help treat acne. Similar to other oils, rose oil’s sweet scent may also help reduce anxiety.

These are just a few of the many types of essential oils and, as can be seen, they can serve different purposes. The quality of essential oils can vary as they exist in an unregulated industry, so it is important to choose the right essential oils to reap their full benefits.