By Jessica Sanders

Essential oils have been used for centuries, known for their many natural health benefits and aromatic qualities. However, there’s much more to these extracted oils than meets the eye. It will be hard not to run out and buy them for yourself when you find out where they come from and how they can benefit you.

Plant to Oil Process

The reason essential oils are so essential is that they’re made from all natural sources that come from plants and vegetation of all kinds. This includes bark, flowers, trees, plants, and fruit peels like oranges and lemons. The extraction process varies for each type of plant, but most commonly this is done through distilling.

essential oil informationA very simplified look at the distilling process involves:

  • Extracting oil from the plant through steam.
  • Moving the steam through the plant, taking the oil with it and depositing it out at the end.

It is clear that essential oils are beneficial because of their purity.

Reaping the Benefits of Essential Oils

Humans have been using essential oils for much longer than modern medicine has been around, and most often for their many health benefits. These benefits vary depending on the kind of oil and how you use it—on the skin or orally. However, one thing remains the same; essential oils provide a variety of natural health benefits to anyone who uses them.  Here are some of the more popular oils available and how to enjoy their healing properties.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint has long been praised for its health benefits. Thanks to its carminative properties, which help your body expel gas from your stomach and intestines, this oil can aid in decreasing flatulence and abdominal pain related to digestion. The primary active ingredient in peppermint oil, menthol, aids in respiratory issues such as colds or congestion.

  • How to Use Peppermint Oil: To rid nausea, massage the oil onto your abdomen, wrists or inhale. Put a drop of oil into a humidifier to clear cold and sinuses. You can also take a peppermint oil steam for a similar effect.

Pine Oil

The scent of pine may transport you memories of the Christmas season, but the extract of pine needles is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. High concentrations of phenols, similar to eucalyptus and tea tree oil, provide the anti-bacterial properties to help fight germs. However, the analgesic properties make the oil fit for anti-inflammatory uses, as well.

Pine oil may also be useful with a variety of skin conditions due to its strong antiseptic capacities. This includes psoriasis, acne, boils, Athlete’s foot, eczema and itching. Applied topically, it can also be used for a remedy of the scalp, especially in cases of dryness and dandruff.

  • How to Use Pine Oil: You can make your own cleaning products with one cup of water and 10-20 drops of pine oil. Or, add 4 drops to basic, unscented lotion and rub on your body for inflammation and joint pain.

Lemon Oil

essential oil benefits_With strong alkaline and antiseptic properties, lemon oil is known to clean toxins from your body and improve hair and skin. Not to mention, it’s strong citrus scent is revitalizing, providing energy and may even calm anxiety or nerves. Keep this essential oil handy all day long to reap the most natural health benefits.

  • How to Use Lemon Oil: Drop oil in your morning or afternoon tea for a quick pick me up, rub it on your skin to improve circulation, or add it to your marinades for a cleansing dinner.

Clove Oil

Clove oil can be beneficial in a number of ways, thanks to its various antioxidant properties that all rank high on the Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) scale. As a source of manganese, clove oil can be used to speed up your metabolism, therefore reducing excess fat.  A high concentration of eugenol makes it beneficial in dental pain relief, as well.

  • How to Use Clove Oil: Add a small amount of clove oil to food for a metabolism revving meal. Some people also like to add clove (and cinnamon) to smoothies. Relieve dental pain by putting a few drops on a cotton ball, and placing it on your sore tooth. Or, make a pain-relieving mixture to swoosh around your mouth with 6 drops of clove oil, a cup of water and salt. Some researchers have even found clove oil to be a natural repellant against mosquitos!

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a must-have essential oil in any natural household. Benefits run the gamut from improving athlete’s foot to clearing acne and healing minor scrapes and cuts. Two active ingredients are responsible for the bulk of this oil’s healing abilities: terpinen and cineole. The former helps with healing and the latter with disinfecting.

  • How to Use Tea Tree Oil: Apply tea tree oil topically to help with itching or stinging and athlete’s foot. The amount of tea tree oil needed depends upon the severity of these conditions. You can put drops in your humidifier to relieve respiratory sickness, as well.

Essential oils may be the miracles cures you are looking for. Throughout history they’ve been credited with treating problems including digestion issues and acne; increasing concentration; killing germs and much more.

Whether you need to heal a bad case of athlete’s foot or get a boost of energy first thing in the morning, consider peppermint oil, lemon oil, pine oil, clove oil and tree tea oil to benefit your everyday life.

How do you use essential oils?

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