What Exactly Are Essential Oils?
Despite what you may think, essential oils are actually not real oils, they just share the same reaction to water as regular oils do. If you were to test out an essential oil and a cooking oil like canola oil, you’d find that they are in fact very different. Regular cooking oils take a very long time to evaporate, unlike essential oils, which evaporate very quickly and feed off amazing smells.
What are Essential Oils made of? Have you heard of VOCs? Aka Volatile Organic Compounds. Well, just like terpenes, essential oils are part of a specific plant’s secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites are chemical profiles that make a plant unique and distinguish it from other plants.
Plant’s use their essential oils to protect themselves from the world. And we as humans can use essential oils orally, topically, and by way of inhalation.
Can I Inhale Essential Oils?
Essential oils have been shown in studies to be healthy, safe and therapeutic. Inhaling essential oils can stimulate the olfactory system. The olfactory system is the part of the brain connected to your sense of smell, including the nose and the brain. After inhaling, either through the mouth or nose, the essential oils will pass through your lungs and then to other parts of your body until they reach the limbic system. The limbic system is correlated with emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance.
Essential oils are not a cure-all for whatever condition you are hoping to relieve. They should simply be used as an aid in whatever your main source of therapy is. However, the therapeutic benefits that essential oils have been shown to help include but aren’t limited to:
It should be stated that essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, so use them with caution, do your research, and consult with a health professional most notably an aromatherapist.
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