Essential oils are distilled plant extracts that have been used for thousands of years. They’re made by steaming or pressing plants, trapping the compounds responsible for their scent. More importantly, essential oils’ unique aromas have been employed in different ways of healing, including some by coming into contact with the nose and brain. Michelle Davila, ND, who is a naturopathic doctor at Beaumont Health in Grosse Pointe and Royal Oak, Michigan says that when you breathe in an essential oil “the scent molecules travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain.” Here they interact with a region known as the limbic system — it regulates emotions and memories.
Possible Health Benefits of Essential Oils
1. Lower Stress and Anxiety
The benefits of essential oils are that they can help reduce stress and calm anxiety. Lavender is an example of a common oil people use when they feel these types of emotions and some of the other possible benefits are that it may also treat multiple sclerosis, chest pain, anxiety, insomnia, stress and neurological conditions.
2. Offer Headache and Migraine Relief
Headaches are often chronic and cause a significant amount of pain, which can affect up to 75 percent of adults worldwide. Some people turn to peppermint ambre nuit for relief, though there is limited research on how it can work for headaches. A review found that menthol, the primary active ingredient in peppermint, can be effective in calming a headache when applied superficially around the head and temple. This may be due to the cooling sensation caused by the active ingredient, menthol. There is evidence for menthol’s effect as an analgesic (pain relieving) agent when applied topically to migraine pain sites.
3. Relieve Nausea
Tired of queasiness from your pregnancy, chemotherapy, or indigestion? For these special occasions, try peppermint essential oil and ginger essential oil to help ease your discomfort. According to a review published in March 2018 in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, peppermint relaxes your muscles and lower inflammation that aggravates nausea.
Ginger, on the other hand, encourages the digestive process preventing food from lingering for too long. Studies suggest that these physiological interactions of essential oils and the gut may have real-world benefits. For example, one study published in September 2020 in the Journal of Holistic Nursing revealed that whiffing peppermint oil significantly reduced nausea and vomiting among hospitalized patients. The results were similar to those seen by aromatherapy and anti-nausea medication use.
4. Ease Pain From Menstrual Cramps
Between 16 and 91 percent of women and girls suffer from menstrual pain at some point, with many turning to over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for relief.
However, although most women tolerate little short-term use of NSAIDs, common NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen sodium (Aleve) aren’t recommended for women with bleeding disorders, asthma, an aspirin allergy, liver damage, stomach disorders, or ulcers according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
5. Encourage Sleep
Insomnia affects nearly 70 million Americans each year according to the Cleveland Clinic. Common treatments for sleep disorder include cognitive behavioral therapy, prescription sleep aids, or a combination of these two methods. Adding essential oils like lavender oil into your daily routine could be beneficial as it contains linalool, linalyl acetate, and many more compounds that can help improve your health.