Essential oils have moved on from being mere additions to fun DIY recipes to a vital part of most people’s medicine cabinets. And, while they are versatile enough to be used in different ways, diffusing them might give you some unparalleled benefits. Here are a few that you should know of.
1. Cleanses Air
An easy way to improve the air quality of your home is to diffuse an essential oil in each of your rooms. Studies show that certain types, including lemongrass, tea tree, peppermint, lemon, and sweet orange are effective disinfecting and cleaning agents.1
Additionally, research also shows that the above mentioned essential oils might inhibit the growth of bacteria, virus, and fungi.2 Hence, it might do your health a world of good if you regularly diffuse essential oils in your home.3
2. Eliminates Unpleasant Smells
If you tend to rely on air fresheners a lot, you could end up with a few health complications. Statistics show that almost 34.7% of Americans experience breathing difficulties, headaches, dizziness, rashes, congestion, seizures, and nausea when they’re exposed to air fresheners.
In fact, even the products that were labeled “green” and “all natural” were found to emit harmful pollutants.4 Instead, try mildly-fragrant essential oils like jojoba, bergamot, chamomile, and sandalwood.
3. Improves Cognition
Whether you’re trying to get some last minute studying done or working on an important presentation, an essential oil might help improve your focus. The most popular options for this are rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon and Siberian Fir.5
Additionally, oils like peppermint and ylang-ylang improve memory and overall cognitive performance.6
4. Increases Alertness
Closely related to the earlier benefit, essential oils make for a good wake up call. For instance, lemongrass is believed to make people feel more awake, attentive, and alert.7
Additionally, mixing “cheery” fragrances like lemon, lime, and grapefruit with peppermint, spearmint, or laurel leaf is believed to be just as effective at waking people up. This makes essential oils a good accompaniment to your morning cup of coffee.8
5. Boosts Mood
Essential oils might have the potential to boost your mood. Research states that bergamot is especially effective at improving one’s mood and perking them up.
When added to lavender and Frankincense, this benefit is believed to extend to individuals with depression and chronic pain.9 Additionally, geranium, clary sage, and rosemary are popular mood-boosting essential oils.10
6. Eases Stress And Anxiety
If you lead a stressful life, be sure to add essential oils to your life. Research indicates that lavender, chamomile, cedarwood, rosewood, sweet orange, grapefruit, and frankincense induce feelings of calmness often as effectively as diazepam (a drug that has a calming effect) does.
Additionally, hinoki (cedarwood) essential oil positively affects the autonomic nervous system, slows down the heart rate and relieves anxiety. However, it’s important to note that essential oils aren’t alternatives to conventional treatment.11
7. Aids Weight Loss
Essential oils might be a good addition to your diet and exercise regime. Research states that peppermint improves digestion and curbs appetite, hence preventing overeating.12
Lemon oil, meanwhile, is believed to improve metabolism and reduce cravings. Not to mention, based on earlier benefits, essential oils can perk you up and motivate you to exercise when you’re feeling low.13
8. Induces Sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep, then you could try diffusing lavender, peppermint, chamomile, or jasmine essential oil. Inhalation of these oils is believed to reduce restlessness and induce sleep.
Researchers believe that most essential oils have upwards of 50 compounds that work together to promote a therapeutic effect. Of these, sters and alcohols are responsible for a drowsy feeling. This could be why essential oils are believed to be an effective treatment for insomnia.14
9. Promotes Good Health
Essential oils might come in handy during the flu season. Studies show that lemon essential oil improves immunity and cleanses the lymphatic system. Eucalyptus, meanwhile, fights respiratory and sinus infections.
Tea tree and lavender, meanwhile, have anti-inflammatory properties, hence preventing allergies and relieving skin disorders.15
It’s important to note that while essential oils are beneficial, they can’t replace conventional medicine. That said, it wouldn’t hurt to go buy a diffuser and see what aromatherapy has to offer.
|↑1, ↑8||Aromatherapy 101: Essential oils for college students. Penn State University.|
|↑2||Inouye, S., K. Uchida, and H. Yamaguchi. “In‐vitro and in‐vivo anti‐Trichophyton activity of essential oils by vapour contact.” Mycoses 44, no. 3‐4 (2001): 99-107.|
|↑3||Borrego, Sofía, Oderlaise Valdés, Isbel Vivar, Paola Lavin, Patricia Guiamet, Patricia Battistoni, Sandra Gómez de Saravia, and Pedro Borges. “Essential oils of plants as biocides against microorganisms isolated from Cuban and Argentine documentary heritage.” ISRN microbiology 2012 (2012).|
|↑4||Fragranced products: risks for people and profits? The University Of Melbourne.|
|↑5, ↑7, ↑10||5 Delightful And Work-Enhancing Essential Oils For The Office. American College Of Healthcare Sciences.|
|↑6||Moss, Mark, Steven Hewitt, Lucy Moss, and Keith Wesnes. “Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang.” International Journal of Neuroscience 118, no. 1 (2008): 59-77.|
|↑9||Anxious Or Feeling Down: Can Essential Oils Help? American College Of Healthcare Sciences.|
|↑11||Anxious Or Feeling Down: Can Essential Oils Help? American College Of Healthcare Sciences.|
|↑12||Common Essential Oils. Western Michigan University.|
|↑13||Asnaashari, Solmaz, Abbas Delazar, Bohlol Habibi, Roghayeh Vasfi, Lutfun Nahar, Sanaz Hamedeyazdan, and Satyajit D. Sarker. “Essential Oil from Citrus aurantifolia prevents ketotifen‐induced weight‐gain in mice.” Phytotherapy research 24, no. 12 (2010): 1893-1897.|
|↑14||Sleepless night? Try essential oils. University Of Minnesota.|
|↑15||Common Essential Oils. Western Michigan University.|