Essential oils have been around and used medicinally for as long as plants have been around. They are a powerful tool that nature has provided us which makes us believe they can only do us good. But do they really work?
The efficacy of essential oils
There are many people that claim essential oils can be used to treat certain disorders and conditions. Some have seen oils do wonders in their lives and some even claim oils have saved their lives. The only problem is, the scientific evidence is greatly lacking which leads us to wonder if essential oils are truly effective or just based on old folklore.
There is a lot we DON’T know about essential oils. Why? Because there are not many studies that are done on them. Even in the studies that have been done, they are hard to tell whether the results are accurate. I mean, think about it. If you were a participant in an essential oil study and was asked to breathe in an aroma, especially something like lavender (which is easily recognizable) your already going into the study knowing what you know about lavender oil. Don’t you think that will affect the study? It is simply hard to test the effectiveness of something that is hard to mask (smell-wise).
What we DO know is that when we breathe in aromas, any aromas, they affect the limbic system. The limbic system deals with memory, feelings and our emotion. According to Scientific American, “No other sensory system has this type of intimate link with the neural areas of emotion and associative learning, therefore there is a strong neurological basis for why odors trigger emotional connections.” So it is hard to believe that something so potent and powerful that obviously affects our emotions, can’t help us in some way.
So do They work?
I know you are looking for one clear-cut answer but I can’t give that to you. Do they work for me? Yes. Will they work for you? If you learn how to use them properly, I believe they will!
Ask yourself this. Do you feel more calm immediately upon walking into a spa? Does the smell of fresh cut grass make you feel energetic? Does the smell of apple pie in the oven comfort you?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, I am very confident that essential oils will work for you especially if you are looking to increase happiness and your overall well being. Both of which are guaranteed to help minimize stress. And stress, as we know, leads to illness.
I believe essential oils do have the power to do some amazing things medicinally however, we may never know their full potential. At least, not in this lifetime. If you are contemplating using essential oils, I encourage you to do all of your research first so you educate yourself. Talk to your doctor or a holistic professional to ensure you are using the oils safely. Then, purchase a quality oil to start off with and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.