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Why is it that essential oils are called essential? Essential oils are called “essential” because they carry the essence (fragrance) of the herbs from which they were extracted. From afar, therefore, you can readily guess (even without reading the oil bottle label) if someone is using peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, or a patchouli oil by simply sniffing the fragrance exuded by the essential oil.

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Historical Use Of Essential Oils

The use of essential oil is not new! In fact, essential oils had already been used and had been highly sought-after in ancient times. However, the use and demand for essential oils only became widespread as aromatherapy (one of the branches of alternative medicine) grew in popularity worldwide. Aromatherapists generally use essential oils to bring healing to their patients; hence they are partly to blame for this renewed interest for essential oils.

Healing Potential Of Essential Oils

A lot of people would surely attest to the healing properties of essential oils, for essential oils truly have many useful therapeutic properties such as improving immunity systems of the body, balancing bodily hormones, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, and many more. Moreover, essential oils can treat a wide range of bodily maladies whether these maladies be physical, emotional, or mental. Some types of essential oils are also generally used to improve skin condition, and here are seven of the most commonly used essential oils for skin improvement:

Clary Sage Oil

Aside from its healing aroma which can immediately reduce anxiety and stress, clary sage essential oil has effective components like linalyl acetate. These effective components of clary sage soothe the skin and prevent inflammation and bacterial infections. Moreover, clary sage oil is effective in regulating the sebaceous gland’s production of sebum—an oily and waxy substance. Too much production of sebum usually leads to skin infection. Hence, regulating the production of this substance can lead to the prevention of skin infections and acne flare-ups [1].

Clary sage is produced from the extract of an herb that is scientifically called Salvia Sclarea which is native to Europe and the Middle East. Clary Sage can be blended with other oils like bergamot, cypress, geranium, and wild orange. If you want to experience the range of benefits afforded by clary sage oil and improve your skin at the same time, you should include clary sage on your bucket list of essential oils.

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Rosemary Oil

One of the most popular essential oils and most beneficial to the skin is the rosemary essential oil. It is, in fact, the most effective when it comes to regulating the sebum levels of the skin [2]. Extracted from the woody herb of rosemary which is a native herb to the Mediterranean region, this essential oil carries a soothing fragrance that could readily fill a room.

Rosemary oil contains various healing compounds like camphor and rosmarinic acid. Rosemary oil is also proven to have antiseptic and antibacterial properties that could reduce the onset of acne and other skin inflammations. Moreover, rosemary oil can help relieve the scalp of dryness and dandruff [3]. Combined with lavender and lemon, or diluted with olive oil, it could provide a healing and soothing effect on your skin.

Geranium Oil

Geranium Oil is an essential element in aromatherapy. It produces a holistic effect on the human body by improving the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of a person. In the ancient times, the ancient Egyptians made use of geranium oil to promote radiant, beautiful skin. At present, however, geranium oil is widely used to treat skin inflammation and acne. It has a sweet fragrance that readily relaxes and soothes the senses. Other health benefits of Geranium oil include its ability to balance hormones, reduce inflammation, relieve depression and stress, improve blood circulation, and many other benefits [4].

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is generally extracted via steam distillation of the herb’s leaves. A randomized study in Australia has shown that tea tree oil can be effective in treating acne and other skin conditions. It is also known to reduce dandruff, help prevent dry scalp, and improve hair tone. Its essential components include the compound terpinen-4-ol which gives tea tree oil its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties [5]. Moreover, it is typically used in low concentrations as a skin treatment.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is definitely very effective as a sebum regulating oil. Extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant, which is native to southwestern parts of the United States, jojoba oil has long been used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes such as in curing wounds and sores. Since jojoba oil is very similar to the natural skin sebum, it is often used as a complementary replenishment for the skin’s lack of sebum, especially, for those who have dry skin [6]. Moreover, it is effective in treating damaged scalps and preventing the onset of dandruff. At present, jojoba oil is utilized as an essential component of moisturizers, lotions, shampoos, and conditioners.

Juniper Berry Oil

Juniper Berry Oil has myriads of health benefits like those of preventing sepsis, fighting arthritis, and purifying the blood. Juniper berry is rich in flavonoid and polyphenol. These substances are antioxidants that can help check free radicals within the body cells [7]. But when it comes to skin protection, juniper oil is known to promote sweating, making your skin less dry. It is also an effective agent in rendering more color to your skin because it has a rubefacient effect when applied to the skin. Moreover, it can improve the tone of your skin and make your skin look younger.

Melissa Essential Oil

Melissa essential oil is extracted from buds, twigs, and leaves of Melissa plant (Melissa Officinalis), an herb that grows naturally in the Mediterranean region. This fantastic essential oil has antibacterial properties and can promote sweating to enable the skin to expel toxin. As a tonic, it can make your skin look beautiful. Lastly, although seldom use for topical remedy because it is very expensive, it can, however, be used to treat certain skin conditions like warts, eczema, herpes, and foot-and-mouth disease [8].

Final Thoughts

Essential oils have been used throughout our recorded history as a means of therapeutic aid for many numbers of health concerns. We’ve seen a recent surge in popularity towards essential oils and feel everyone stands to benefit from learning more about them. The essential oils mentioned here are only a few of many that science has demonstrated potential health benefits for. We suggest taking time to get to know each and take an honest assessment of how they affect your wellbeing.

References

  1. Sienkiewicz, Monika, et al. “The Effect of Clary Sage Oil on Staphylococci Responsible for Wound Infections.” Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postȩpy Dermatologii i Alergologii, Termedia Publishing House, Feb. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4360007/.
  2. Tsai, Tsung-Hsien, et al. “Rosmarinus Officinalis Extract Suppresses Propionibacterium Acnes–Induced Inflammatory Responses.” Journal of Medicinal Food, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Apr. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3624774/.
  3. Panahi, Y. “Rosemary Oil vs Minoxidil 2% for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia: a Randomized Comparative Trial.” Skinmed., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25842469.
  4. Sowndhararajan, Kandhasamy, and Songmun Kim. “Influence of Fragrances on Human Psychophysiological Activity: With Special Reference to Human Electroencephalographic Response.” Scientia Pharmaceutica, MDPI, 29 Nov. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198031/.
  5. Carson, C. F., et al. “Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews, American Society for Microbiology, Jan. 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/.
  6. Wertz, P W. “Human Synthetic Sebum Formulation and Stability under Conditions of Use and Storage.” International Journal of Cosmetic Science., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19134124.
  7. Höferl, Martina, et al. “Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Juniper Berry (Juniperus Communis L.) Essential Oil.” Antioxidants, MDPI, Mar. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4665443/.
  8. Joukar, Siyavash, et al. “Efficacy of Melissa Officinalis in Suppressing Ventricular Arrhythmias Following Ischemia-Reperfusion of the Heart: A Comparison with Amiodarone.” Medical Principles and Practice, S. Karger AG, July 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5586902/.

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