Alternative therapies and natural remedies are slowly finding their way back into our mostly synthetic modern lives. Many of us are seeking to sift through our age-old traditions to find varied ways to avoid harmful chemicals in our day to day living. The wellness scene is changing rapidly, with natural health fixes for numerous health concerns.
One of these natural remedies is the use of Essential Oils, which are essentially plant extracts in their most potent form. They are the very essence of plants which are obtained from different parts of a plant like a stem, flower, leaves, seeds or roots. These aromatic compounds have been used in diverse ways to heal and support well-being by many different cultures of the world for thousands of years. Aromatherapy, as the word suggests, uses these potent aromatic compounds to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. Ayurveda has utilised Essential Oils for healing and balancing the doshas since its origin in the 6th century BC.
Here we endeavour to explore their uses and benefits as well as to list down some of the Essential Oils for basic self-care.
How to use Essential Oils?
There are three basic ways to incorporate Essential Oils into your life.
Diffusing is a process in which the essential oils are broken into smaller particles which are easily breathable and disperse in the air to make the air more relaxing and calming. Each essential oil cites different benefits to mind, body and spirit. Many times, a blend of various essential oils can deliver better results.
There are many different diffusers available in the market from ceramic lamp diffusers to electric diffusers to humidifiers.
Diluted Topical Use is when the essential oil is mixed with a carrier oil to be used for application directly to the affected area. You can add 1-2 drops of EO to a tablespoon of any carrier oils like olive oil, coconut oil or castor oil. For hair, a few drops of EOs can be added to your regular shampoo or conditioner too. Of course, a massage with an EO and carrier oil is a great option again for skin or hair alike.
Adding essential oils to your bath is a neat way to get the benefits of the oils while relaxing and letting them seep into your skin for a longer time. You can add 8-10 drops of any EO while running the bath.
Radiant, glowing skin indicates a healthy body and mind. Currently, when stresses to body and mind have become a lifestyle disorder, we must work extra hard to take care of our fragile skin.
Some of the best Essential Oils for healthy skin are:
Clary Sage EO for oily skin:
This oil has an excellent reputation as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory oil. It is known to balance the natural sebum production in the skin and thus works great for preventing and treating acne.
Lavender for dry skin:
This oil is a top favourite for relief to dry patchy skin. It helps reduce redness and inflammation caused due to naturally dry skin. Having hydrating properties, it can soothe eczema and painful acne breakouts.
Tea Tree for acne-prone skin:
This antiseptic oil has remarkable antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The component terpinen-4-ol is responsible for its acne-treating property.
Rosehip for anti-ageing:
The vitamin A and C content in rosehip EO helps in collagen production, which is essential for the elasticity and firmness of the skin, making it an extraordinary oil for mature skin.
Carrot seed for hyperpigmentation:
This oil can inhibit the production of tyrosinase which produces melanin in the skin. This property helps reduce pigmentation along with its high content of beta-carotene, which is known to even the skin tone.
The beauty and therapeutic properties of essential oils are not limited to relaxation and skincare but are significant in hair care too. This life-force of a plant can have an enhanced effect on the health of your tresses.
Peppermint for hair growth:
This popular essential oil is favoured as an ingredient in many hair care products. It is because of its stimulating property. Peppermint EO is known to arouse dormant hair follicles to induce hair growth. It is touted to increase blood flow and thus the increases the number of hair follicles.
Bergamot for hair growth:
This essential oil directs blood flow to the follicles and increases oxygen as well as nutrients to the hair follicles. Its antimicrobial property helps fight against fungal dandruff and other scalp disorders.
Cedarwood for thinning hair:
This particular oil has a reputation in reversing thinning hair and treating fungal infections and dandruff. It is known to balance the oil-producing glands and helps to keep a healthy scalp.
Ylang Ylang for scalp health:
This is a great oil to stimulate hair growth. As it is known to relax the tight scalp muscles and balance scalp oils, it is an excellent choice for dry, dull hair and oily hair alike.
Lemongrass for dandruff:
This oil has incredible antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. A study has shown that regular use of lemongrass EO can reduce dandruff in two weeks.
Article by Payal Kurian