Essential oils are currently one of the hottest topics in both the beauty and health industries. These oils, which are distilled from naturally occurring plants, can be used in many different ways. In some cases, people take advantage of them for their aromatherapy benefits. Other times, they are used for medicinal purposes. Below, Dr. Usha Rajagolpal, a board-certified cosmetic surgeon, outlines some of the benefits and drawbacks of these powerful oils.
Compared to many beauty or healthcare products, essential oils are usually quite affordable. The benefits that they provide can range from healing skin-related issues to keeping unwanted insects at bay. One important thing to remember, however, is that essential oils are not subject to government regulation. To avoid any problems, they should be used with caution.
This is especially true when it comes to ingesting them. Before applying them to the skin, it is important to use a carrier oil such as almond, rosehip, or olive oil to dilute their strength.
The Advantages Of Essential Oils
Essential oils and aromatherapy go hand-in-hand. Certain oils, like sweet orange or lavender, have natural stress-relieving properties. Peppermint oil, on the other hand, can boost energy levels. Symptoms related to common health problems like colds can sometimes be alleviated using essential oils like eucalyptus.
The best way to take advantage of these properties is by diffusing the essential oils into your home. That way, anyone in the immediate vicinity can enjoy the benefits that they provide.
When applied to the skin, certain oils like eucalyptus and tea tree oil have natural antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Some oils also act as natural insect repellents and can even kill unwanted insects like ticks. Again, eucalyptus and tea tree oil both fall into this category.
Certain essential oils may aid digestion. Peppermint oil is a good example. Its antispasmodic properties can help relieve common symptoms associated with IBD.
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While there are a lot of advantages associated with essential oils, it is important to take safety considerations into account when using them. Below, Dr. Usha Rajagopal outlines some of the drawbacks of using these oils.
Disadvantages Of Essential Oils
Most essential oils haven’t been studied in-depth to determine how effective they are.
These oils are not regulated by the government. As a result, there is no way to tell for sure what each brand of oil contains. That is why it is important to purchase essential oils from well-known companies.
Even though essential oils seem safe, they actually can be harmful or toxic when used incorrectly. They should always be diluted before use.
Certain oils could be harmful to children. As a general rule of thumb, chamomile, lavender, rose, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil are believed to be safe.
Allergy sufferers should exercise caution when using essential oils particularly if their allergies are related to pollen or plants. Since essential oils are highly concentrated, they could exacerbate symptoms.
Using essential oils during pregnancy requires extreme care. Avoid coming in contact with these oils during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Don’t rely on essential oils alone to treat medical conditions. They haven’t been researched enough to understand how effective they are. They can, however, be used in conjunction with traditional medical treatments to provide better results. Anytime essential oils are used, it is important to exercise caution. This is particularly true during pregnancy or when using the oils with children.