Essential oils are the oils extracted from plants that contain the “essence” of those plants, and they are beloved for their pleasant aromas and their use in diffusers. Essential oils have existed and been used for centuries, but their use has been popularized in recent years; essential oils have become big business for many people. There are over 90 essential oils, but some popular essential oils include peppermint, lavender, sandalwood, tea tree, jasmine, lemon, ylang-ylang, rose, and many others.
Essential oils are employed in aromatherapy, which many people find to be beneficial. Subsequently, many health claims that have become attached to essential oils, some with more evidence than others. Some of the benefits associated with essential oils include:
- relief of stress and anxiety
- relief from headaches
- assist in helping you get to sleep
- reduce inflammation
- provide antimicrobial support
The evidence for using essential oils for any of the above mentioned uses is not always substantiated in the research literature. There are, however, many anecdotes of people finding relief from certain health problems by using essential oils. Given that when they are used in the proper way they are generally safe, it might be beneficial to experiment with their use.
How to Use Essential Oils
By and large, essential oils are not meant to be used internally. Instead, they are meant to be used in a diffuser and used to give living spaces the aroma of whatever essential oils are being used.
Some can be added in minute quantities to a base oil, such as olive or coconut oil, and used topically on the skin. For the most part, essential oils shouldn’t be swallowed, particularly in non-diluted form.
Some like peppermint oil, clove oil, or cinnamon oil, can be added to foods for flavoring. Dosing is important, you should not swallow these in large quantities because they can make you sick. If you want to use these oils internally, talk to a doctor, naturopath, or someone well-versed in their use.
Essential Oils’ Anti-Fungal Properties
Many oils exhibit anti-fungal properties. This is among the reasons they might be beneficial in living spaces. Fungi and fungal spores can become airborne, particularly in indoor spaces, and given that many essential oils exhibit anti-fungal properties, diffusing them might be beneficial towards the end of keeping the air inside your home or place of work fungus-free. While they may be no substitute for eliminating fungus in your home or remediating if you have a mold problem, diffusing essential oils is one more line of defense against fungi in your home.
And again, before you try to take advantage of the anti-fungal effects of essential oils inside the body, consult with a physician or knowledgeable naturopath. Some supplements might already contain proper dosing of specific oils that can be used internally, but always consult with your doctor before trying a new supplement.