Ancient cultures have utilized essential oils for rituals, beautification, social reasons, food preparation, currency, and well-being for centuries. Ancient texts and archaeological evidence suggest aromatic essences were an integral part of Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Roman and Greek cultures. Today, scientists are validating the benefits of essential oils, reinforcing the far-reaching impact on human wellness.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are natural highly volatile compounds extracted from plants. They are lipid- or fat soluble substances that tend to combine with or dissolve in lipids or fats. Most commonly, these precious oils are obtained from plants through steam distillation, though they can also be extracted in many other ways including expression, common with citrus fruits. As highly concentrated substances, they are significantly more potent than their herbal cousins, and offer faster and more complete benefits.
Several factors make essential oils ideal choices when it comes to optimum well-being:
Essential oils act holistically, simultaneously affecting the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspects of well-being.
Essential oils have unmatched versatility – one essential oils can be used for many purposes.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and potent, which allows them to provide rapid benefits, encourage regeneration, and support balance.
Essential oils are safe when used responsibly and prudently.
Easy to use
Essential oils are easy to use and enjoy.
The Benefits of Essential Oils to Human Wellness
In humans, essential oils serve to encourage homeostasis and balance and promote an environment where optimum wellness can thrive. Just as essential oils can defend plants against harmful organisms, scientists have demonstrated that essential oils may defend humans from invasion and infection by germs. Hundreds to thousands of studies reveal that many essential oils possess properties beneficial to human wellness.
French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse healed his badly burned hand with lavender oil after a laboratory accident in 1910.
French physician Dr. Jean Valnet employed essential oils as he addressed wounds received by soldiers during World War II.
Being lipid-soluble, essential oils rapidly penetrate the tissues, enter the blood stream and interact with cells. These interactions help to encourage normal cellular activity and behavior. Scientists have discovered that some essential oils protect cells from free-radical and DNA damage that can cause cellular dysfunction. This property is important for overall well-being because healthy cells lead to healthy tissues, healthy tissues lead to healthy organs, and healthy organs lead to organ systems that thrive.
How Essential Oils Work
The best way to enjoy essential oils is through an “aromatic lifestyle”, meaning daily use will amplify their benefits. Regular use of essential oils will encourage balance emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Two ways to easily incorporate essential oils into your daily routine are to use them aromatically and topically.
Inhaling an aroma of essential oils is not just pleasing to the senses, but is also has profound psychological effects on the human body. When you inhale the aroma of an essential oil, odor molecules make their way to the limbic system. The limbic system is a complex set of structures that regulates the nervous and endocrine systems. Indeed, essential oils can influence sleep, libido, memory, learning, appetite, heart rate, blood pressure, stress levels, respiratory rate and even hormone balance through their effects on the limbic system.
When essential oils are applied to the skin, essential oils molecules penetrate through the skin and enter the bloodstream. From here thy are rapidly circulated to the cells and tissues that need them the most. Each cell in the body is surrounded by a lipid membrane which essential oils are attracted to and able to penetrate. Inside the cell, essential oils molecules influence cell function and behavior.
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