HOW ESSENTIAL OILS CAN HELP SOOTHE INFLAMMATION
If you’re not familiar with essential oils, they are compound that extracted from plants before being distilled and combined with a carrier oil. This combination of carrier and essential oils has been proven effective in treating a variety of health problems while also promoting relaxation.
Beyond that, essential oils are well-regarded for their unique aromatic compounds, which can vary depending upon the type of oil being used. It is important to note that the distillation process plays a critical role when it comes to the potency of each essential oil.
To put this into context, essential oils that have been cold pressed or processed via steam or water are more potent and effective than their chemically processed counterparts. In this article, we will take a closer look at the benefits of using essential oils to treat inflammation and combining different oils to help achieve optimal results.
SAFETY AND EFFICACY
Essential oils are often used as a form of aromatherapy, meaning the chemical compounds are inhaled. Also, they can be diluted and applied topically to achieve similar results. All in all, essential oils are safe; however, there are a few things that should be noted when it comes to using these products. Firstly, essential oils should never be swallowed. Also, all essential oils must be diluted with water or carrier oils to prevent irritation when being applied topically.
USING ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils affect the body in different ways based upon usage; for example, when essential oils are applied directly to the skin, plant compounds are absorbed at the same time, which delivers optimal results quickly.
This option is commonly used to soothe inflammation and resolve skin irritation. Inhaling essential oils is a great way to stimulate the limbic system, which is the part of the brain responsible for emotions, behaviors, sense of smell, and long-term memory. This option can be used to promote relaxation and resolve feelings of anxiety and depression.
WHAT CAUSES INFLAMMATION?
When it comes to inflammation, it is important to recognize that it is the body’s natural way of protecting itself from infection or possible injury. As such, the swelling and pain that we experience signify that the body is working to increase blood flow and heat a specific area.(1)
Inflammation also occurs in response to certain health conditions like arthritis, for example. Certain essential oils have anti-inflammatory agents that can resolve many of the aches and pains that are brought on by inflammation. Some of these essential oils include
- Clary sage
- Roman chamomile
- Sweet almond oil
- Jojoba oil
- Lemon oil
- Tea tree oil
Now that we have a general understanding of the types of oils that are effective in combatting inflammation, let’s take a look at how to use them effectively.
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR GENERAL INFLAMMATION
Inflammation can take on many forms and is often coupled with aches and pains. In these cases, an all-purpose blend of various essential oils can help provide some relief. That said, consider combining the following oils for best results:
- 6 drops of Roman chamomile
- 19 drops of frankincense
- 31 drops of Helichrysum
- 44 drops of lavender
Once the essential oils have been mixed together, there are several ways to go about applying it to the inflamed areas of the body including
Compress: Add 6 drops of the anti-inflammatory, 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil, and 1 cup of water in a bowl. Stir the combined ingredients and soak a cloth in the mixture. Next, wring out any excess water and oil before applying the cloth to the affected areas.
Massage: Add 6 drops of the essential oil combination along with to 2 teaspoons of sweet almond oil. Next, massage the combined ingredients into the inflamed areas. Also, if you prefer, grapeseed oil can be substituted with sweet almond oil.
Salve: Combine 1/4 ounce of beeswax with a 1/4 cup of melted jojoba oil before pouring the mixture into a 1-2 ounce jar. Next, add 30 drops of the essential oil combination, shake to blend until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Allow the mixture to cool and harden before using it as a salve on the affected areas.
Roll-on: To use this essential oil blend as a roll-on, mix 10-12 drops of the essential oil mixture and pour into a 10 ml glass bottle with a roller ball. Shake the bottle to ensure all ingredients well mixed and apply the mixture to the affected areas, using the roller ball for easy and consistent application.
For those in need of both analgesic and inflammation relief, peppermint, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, rose, eucalyptus, clove, bergamot, and fennel are a must-have as these oils are best known for resolving localized pain. This essential oil combination is great for soothing post-workout aches and pains. Here is what you will need to get started:
- 5 drops of lavender
- 1 drop of peppermint oil
- 3 drops of rosemary
- 3 drops of eucalyptus
Mix all of the essential oil and pour into a 10 ml bottle topped with a roller ball. Next, add enough carrier oil to fill the bottle; lastly, replace the rollerball cap and shake all of the ingredients well before using the roller ball the mixture to the affected area.
If you struggle with skin inflammation like acne, eczema, or sunburn, for example, combining Roman chamomile, ylang-ylang, and patchouli essential oils can provide considerable relief. Here is what you will need to get started:
- 3 drops of ylang-ylang
- 4 drops of Roman chamomile
- 2 full tablespoons of rose hydrosol
- 2 drops of patchouli
Mix all of the essential oils, along with rose hydrosol, and 2 ounces of an unscented cream base. Next, apply liberal amounts of the mixture to the affected area until pain and inflammation have subsided.
For those who struggle with respiratory inflammation, especially bronchitis and laryngitis, essential oils can provide some much-needed relief. For best results, combine the following oils:
- 7 drops of tea tree
- 7 drops of lemon oil
- 25 drops of eucalyptus
- 5 drops of peppermint
- 5 drops of rosemary
For best results, mix 6 drops of the essential oil along with 2 full teaspoons of grapeseed oil. Next, use the blended ingredients to relieve respiratory inflammation, typically brought on by sinus congestion, colds, and chronic coughs. As a side note, the best way to apply this combination of essential oils is via compress or massage.
STIFF JOINTS AND MUSCLES
If you struggle with stiff joints or muscle fatigue, you will undoubtedly want to start feeling like yourself again. For many people, mixing several essential oils is a great way to reduce inflammation and improve range of motion. Here is what you will need to get started:
- 3 drops of eucalyptus
- 1 drop of peppermint
- 5 drops of lavender
- 3 drops of rosemary
Mix all of the listed essential oil drops and pour the contents into a10ml bottle topped with a roller ball. Fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil of your choice to dilute the ingredients. Lastly, replace the rollerball cap and shake to further blend everything before applying the mixture to the affected areas.
It is important to note that the effectiveness of certain essential oils can vary from person to person. In most cases, finding the right essential oil blend or the right blend can come down to trial and error.
Nonetheless, nearly all essential oils currently on the market contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe inflammation and other aches and pains. If you are struggling to find the right essential oils, consider working with a NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) certified aromatherapist or an essential oil specialist that can help you choose the right oils for your needs. For more information on essential oils and to find a registered practitioner in your area, consider visiting naha.org
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