In this introductory guide you will learn to know better the essential oils in their fundamental aspects: what they are in practice, when they are used and in what way.
You will also understand why not all essential oils are the same and what are the aspects to which the maximum is given attention in the choice and in their use.
- 1 ESSENTIAL OILS: WHAT ARE THEY?
ESSENTIAL OILS: WHAT ARE THEY?
- essential oils they are made up of the oily and volatile essences of aromatic plants. Each natural essential oil is formed by the sum of several different phytochemical species to form a specific chemotype.
The molecules that form the essential oil are pharmacologically active and must be treated with caution. If you don't get the right directions for use, it's easy to mistreat them as a common plant extract and possibly have adverse reactions due to a overdosing.
For this reason I anticipate that at present the most effective and safe form of use is the olfactory one. Essential oils then simply sniff...
Or you can also use them with size for the skin applications (massages or applications in specific areas). In fact, even the skin absorbs a part of essential oil transdermally.
Essential oils express two faces ... one is that of the sweet remedy and the other is that of the natural compound with a high concentration of biologically active molecules.
If used in the right way, and using the right product (quality traced and guaranteed), essential oils are natural remedies by extraordinary effectiveness.
On the contrary using shoddy products you risk worsening your health (instead of improving it). For example, consider a fundamental aspect of essential oils. In other words, these are lipid substances (fats) in which some may concentrate fat-soluble toxins, like some pesticides.
Unfortunately, essential oils lend themselves to being sold in an improper and poor form. This happens for two reasons:
1) Essential oils (good) are a bit expensive and for this reason some poor producers can try to lower the selling price and / or increase the profit margin reducing the quality of essential oils in various ways. An example? through a dilution or using synthetic essences (less expensive than natural ones) added to vegetable oil.
2) Essential oils, a bit like goji berries, are now found everywhere from markets to Indian clothing stores (!). And what kind of quality can you expect from this type of distribution channel?
Certainly not the best ...
In these cases you could risk taking essential oils that you don't know where they come from or what level of quality they have: will they be diluted with vegetable oils? will they have harmful pesticide residues inside? will they consist exclusively of synthetic essences? boh, anything is possible. Would you like to risk it?
But the essential oils you take them practically to contact with your brain! (or in the immediate vicinity). It is better to make sure of their quality before sniff and thus bringing them into contact with the epithelium of the nasal cavities (highly vascularized).
The same applies to theskin application or oral one.
ESSENTIAL OILS: WHAT ARE THEY FOR?
Essential oils have an area of elective action in which they emit maximum utility and effectiveness ...
The CNS (Central Nervous System).
Sorry if it is little ...
The CNS (brain and spinal cord) is the one that triggers emotions and is related to psychic states and to well-being of the mind and body.
So we have already defined a first relationship between essential oils and wellness.
And that is the essential oils act on emotions (as they act on the CNS).
Numerous studies exist in this regard. In fact, there are so many studies on the effectiveness of essential oils that I want to avoid bringing back a half-meter long drawing in the "sources and resources" section.
Instead I thought of pointing you out good text inside which numerous studies related to each essence are incorporated. You can find it at the bottom of this article.
Essential oils are composed of volatile molecules who have a great propensity to move in the air.
When they come dispersed in the environment through a diffuser or simply sniff, they go straight to stimulate the CNS. Here they trigger a biochemical reaction mediated by one signal transduction at specific cellular receptors (chemoreceptors).
That is, the essential oil releases its volatile molecules into the air, these are smelled and reach the receptor cells placed inside the nasal cavities (just below the brain).
From there they can easily interact with the brain thanks to the nerve pathways of communication through which they travel odorous signals.
So the most interesting fields of use are certainly in relation to:
- States of anxiety and fears
- States of sadness
How handy it is to keep a small bottle of essential oil in your pocket or purse to use immediately when needed, finding a quick relief!
Moreover, also for the support of memory and concentration.
The extraordinary ability of essential oils to carry a message to the SNC also leads to a secondary effect throughout the body. This secondary effect in the whole body occurs through a large and complex control mechanism:
Il neurovegetative system.
The neurovegetative system is none other than the autonomous nervous control system (automatic and unconscious) that supervises:
- Cardio circulatory system
- Sexual-reproductive system
- Immune system
- Respiratory system
- Digestive system
So for a gentle but effective re-balancing of the affected system, essential oils can also be used.
Furthermore, lto relationship between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-immunity axis revealed by PNEI (the discipline of psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology) shows that ...
- From brain (from the hypothalamus) electrical signals start
- These signals can be activators or inhibitors and reach the pituitary gland (an endocrine gland that produces different hormones with different and fundamental actions for the normal functioning of the body) telling him what to do
- The pituitary gland in response to the hypothalamus signals will produce specific hormones that are used for distance communication between organs
- These hormones produced and secreted by the pituitary gland are released into the blood and reach a specific one target organ
- The target organ reacts based on the specific mark received by the pituitary gland
In summary this is one of the most important mechanisms by which the brain finely controls the body's reactions.
This was just a taste of the deep integration that exists between psyche-brain and body. An essential oil can act in the direction of the psyche-brain in a gentle and effective way by shifting emotional balance towards greater stability.
This will certainly also have a positive impact on the health conditions of the body since emotions act right into the DNA structure. Imagine reducing the emotions of anxiety and fear in favor of the emotions of calm and alert relaxation. Change everything!
ESSENTIAL OILS: HOW TO USE IT?
OPTION # 1 Oral (no - best avoided unless otherwise indicated by your doctor)
I know that essential oils have always been used (and still are today) orally. But perhaps it is not the most effective way to use them, nor the safest.
If you think about the nature of the essential oil, its faster action and direct expresses it at the level of the nervous system via the transduction pathway of the olfactory signal.
Another advantage of this way is that it is difficult if not impossible to risk an overdose why:
- One happens quickly saturation of olfactory cells. Have you ever noticed that if you continue to smell a certain smell then you no longer perceive it? this phenomenon is due to the salutation of the receptors of these cells.
- The essence vapor naturally transported from the air does not reach concentrations such as to cause an overdose.
Also, do you want to put the taste of smelling a perfumed essence ?? mmmh, fantastic.
The right essence in two seconds can make you splash into another inner dimension.
... maybe it will reconnect you to a certain pleasant memory of your past or it will activate one enhanced mental state (introspection, calm, strength, serenity, courage and so on ...).
OPTION # 2 Cutaneous route - transdermal (yes)
Well, a nice one massage with essential oils (appropriately diluted in a vegetable oil like almond, jojoba, etc.) it is one of the most pleasant ways of "assuming" a certain essence.
There is a certain transdermal passage (through the skin) of the active molecules of the essential oil.
So, you know that applying them on the skin one part of these will pass to the bloodstream carrying out their action. Also some oils are beneficial to the skin itself.
OPTION # 3 Via Olfattiva (yes - the best)
From everything you've read before maybe you agree that this is the best form of taking essential oils.
It is also the most appreciated form by wellness operators, who over the decades have increasingly understood it advantages over other forms of employment.
ESSENTIAL OILS: WHAT ARE THE MOST SECURE?
But all these extraordinary benefits of essential oils can be canceled or even reversed by the use of apoor essence.
I have indicated it to you in the first part of the article. The essential oils unfortunately lend themselves to being marketed in improper forms and this can be counterproductive for the effectiveness of the essence and ultimately also for the health of those who use them.
For these reasons you should rely on some features of the product before buying them. The features that can guarantee the product quality and safety are in general the following:
- Knowledge and experience in the use of plants and their effects
- Geographical origin of the plants used in the essences
- Spontaneous collection e organic cultivation or biodynamic
- Balsamic time of the harvest (when the essences are at their maximum)
- Technique of extraction
- Storage of essential oils
- detailed description of all the characteristics of the essential oil well exposed in the package, including titration and chemotype (the major chemical species present)
One of the Italian companies that guarantee the satisfaction of the 7 points indicated above is the company Flora® and the line of essential oils is called SPRING. The choice of oils is wide and the supply chain is probably one of the most guaranteed.
If you are interested in learning more, find it on this website: http://www.flora.bio/it/ and herbal medicine.
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR THE BODY: WELL-BEING TREATMENTS
A couple of top quality and seniority companies in the sector for essential oil wellness treatments are certainly Weleda e Dr. Hauschka. Both follow the most important quality assurance requirements for the essences used in them body treatments.
- For Weleda body oils this is the website: http://www.weleda.it/cosmetici/corpo/oli-corpo
- For the oils after shower by Dr. Hauschka this is the website: https://www.dr.hauschka.com/it_IT/products/bagno-benessere/
Other quality companies may also be available, but these have a long and solid history history behind it. I personally use products from both of these companies. It is also nice to test various products with different characteristics ...
ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE ACTIONS OF ESSENTIAL OILS: AGAINST ANXIETY AND STRESS
We have already said that the relationship between volatile molecules of essential oils is nervous system it's important.
What better scope of essential oil than the problems of anxiety who now disturbs so many people? (also because of it ubiquitous stress...).
Well, there is a gem among essential oils that appears to be the N ° 1 against anxiety, emotionality, somatization and panic attacks. Smell to believe?
In the next article we face it seriously, for now I am having a little fun letting you guess the mysterious object…?
You understand why essential oils should not be bought lightly in whatever form you propose them. They could be contaminated by pesticide residues or contain nothing more than oil with the addition of synthetic essence.
The most preferred way of employment today by most wellness operators is that olfactory. Because it is the safer and offers the advantages of a rapid physiological response mediated by the nerve pathways associated with the olfactory epithelium. Sniff and stimulate the CNS immediately ...
The greatest effectiveness of essential oils is expressed on neurovegetative system (control of sexuality, digestion and respiration) and in relation to emozioni.
Essential oils are used successfully in reducing anxiety and stress. As well as to stimulate theattention and vigilance (peppermint).
Next time we will address essential oils that are especially effective againstanxiety and stress. In the meantime, I invite you to take a look at another remarkably simple way to relax using the breath that I illustrated in the article: "Diaphragmatic breathing: how to calm the mind thanks to abdominal breathing (2 simple exercises + video)".
Have you already had any experience in the field of essential oils? for example against infections (such as tea tree) or simply to perfume your home or relax in the bath ... Write a comment in the appropriate area at the bottom of the article and let me know your point of view!
See you soon,
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Sources and resources:
Essential oils today - Scientific Aromatherapy Manual - by Paolo Campagna ed. Flora
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