Essential Oils and How They Work

Essential Oils and How They Work

Hailey Jentz, Reporter

There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each with its own unique smell and potential health benefits. Essential Oils are used in Aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine that engage plant extracts to support health and well-being.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants.  The oils capture the plant’s scent and flavor, or “essence.” What gives the essential oil its own characteristical essence is the unique aromatic compounds.

How do essential oils work?

There are many ways you can use essential oils.  Essential oils are not meant to be swallowed.  When applied to the skin, some plant chemicals are absorbed.  Inhaling the aromas from essential oils can stimulate areas of your limbic system, which is a part of your brain that plays a role in behaviors, sense of smell, long-term memory, and emotions.  Along with inhaling essential oils, sometimes familiar smells can trigger memories or emotions by the limbic system being involved in forming memories.

“I use essential oils and I like them. My favorite kind is Armor and I mainly use essential oils when I am sick,” sophomore Mattea Kramer states.

Popular Types

Here’s a list of top 10 popular essential oils and the health claims associated with them.

  1. Peppermint: used to boost energy and aid digestion
  2. Lavender: used to relieve stress
  3. Sandalwood: used to calm nerves and help with focus
  4. Bergamont: used to reduce stress and improve skin condition like eczema
  5. Rose: used to improve mood and reduce anxiety
  6. Chamomile: used to improve mood and relaxation
  7. Ylang-Ylang: used to treat headaches, nausea, and skin conditions
  8. Tea Tree: used to fight infections and boost immunity
  9. Jasmine: used to help with depression, childbirth, and libido
  10. Lemon: used to aid digestion, mood, headaches, and more

Essential oils are not only used for Aromatherapy. They also can be used in and around the home, as a natural mosquito repellent, or industrially to make cosmetics.

There are so many different views on whether essential oils work or not. Many people in our school use essential oils and like the results.  There are so many different uses for them and many kinds to choose from. Essential oils are great to have at all times.

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