Many of us love the smell of essential oils but have no idea just how powerful they can be. Aromatherapy is considered a natural or ‘alternate’ therapy. It is widely believed to have benefits for many – such as lowering blood pressure and promoting inner calm.
Recognised long ago for their therapeutic properties, ancient Egyptians made essential oils by first soaking flowers, leaves, twigs or bark in oil and then using linen as a filter to isolate the oil. Thousands of years on, they are widely used today.
Here are 10 Top Essential Oils to aid with relaxation and stress relief.
1) Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is probably the best known essential oil for relieving stress. Extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant, the oil has a wonderful, sweet smell and has a calming effect. You can put a few drops in an oil burner containing water and allow its wonderful aroma to promote a calm atmosphere in a room such as a bedroom or bathroom. It helps slow down brain wave activity and for this reason, a few drops on your pillow will help with a restful night’s sleep.
2) Rose Oil
The next best essential oil for stress relief is rose oil. It is very expensive, in its purest form, because of the amount of roses required to extract even one ounce of pure rose oil. It’s a beautifully perfumed oil for women and as well as promoting stress relief, it is useful for helping with menopausal and skin problems.
3) Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil actively promotes relaxation and is popularly used in carrier oils to help in massage for muscular pain. It is believed to have the ability to stabilise cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body. It is also advantageous to breathe it in by using it in an oil burner when you’re feeling stressed.
4) Sandalwood Oil
Another essential oil that promotes stress relief is the woody but sweet-smelling Sandalwood oil. It is believed to have the capacity to boost both your immunity and your mood. It is also considered useful for reducing overall anxiety and can help with a restful night’s sleep.
5) Ylang Ylang Oil
Besides inducing mental relaxation, the essential oil of Ylang Ylang is considered to have a very sensual smell. It is a wonderful ‘bedroom’ oil and can be used as a natural aphrodisiac due to its ability to stimulate blood circulation in the body.
6) Peppermint Oil
A very effective essential oil for stress relief is peppermint oil. It is known to provide relief from headaches and ‘mental congestion’. It can also help digestive health by alleviating bloating and indigestion. The smell is believed to promote clarity thus alleviating mental and digestive congestion.
7) Orange Oil
What I call a ‘kitchen oil’, when used in a burner, the aromatic essential oil of orange is helpful create a clean smelling room. It is also believed to restore the balance of the endocrine and nervous systems.
*avoid exposure to direct sunlight for two hours after topical application of this oil directly on the skin
8) Chamomile Oil
Chamomile oil is a well-known essential oil for promoting stress relief. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can promote digestive health. The calming, sweet smell has a soothing effect on the nerves. Chamomile oil effectively treats skin ailments but you should attend a qualified aroma therapist for best and safe results.
9) Lemon Oil
Lemon oil used in a burner is another ‘kitchen’ essential oil, because of its natural deodorising properties. It induces mental relaxation and relieves stress. Use in a kitchen or bathroom to promote a sense of freshness and cleanliness. You can also use it topically to treat wounds and infections.
10) Eucalyptus Oil
Last on our list of essential oils that aid stress relief is the strong smelling, decongestant eucalyptus oil. It is useful to relieve anxiety. It is also credited with reducing mental fatigue and muscular and joint pain.
Essential oils are available in most health shops and chemists but and are very strong and concentrated. They should be diluted with carrier oils such as almond or jojoba oil.
They should not been used for a long period of time, except under the guidance of a professional aromatherapist.
Do not use during pregnancy or if you suffer from asthma and allergies.
Another great way to relieve stress is having peace of mind. Health insurance with GloHealth gives you peace of mind should anything go wrong with your health. Take some time to discover GloHealth’s Activate plan which offers fantastic flexibility with its cover depending on your needs. Visit www.GloHealth.ie for more information.
By Alvagh Cronin, Holistic Expert with www.familyfriendlyhq.ie