Essential oils coming from plants are significant in helping people stay healthy. These oils could be extracted from the different parts of the plants that include the roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. Distillation, by water and steam, is the most common method of extraction used effectively to derive the essence of these plants.
Plants occur naturally in the environment, and are the sources of these volatile oils. Here, they are not harmful to man but have the therapeutic effects, instead. These properties make essential oils ideal for aromatherapy. For these oils to give their maximum benefits, they are mixed with carrier oils namely, apricot kernel oils and grape seed oils. In aromatherapy, they help provide physical, psychological and emotional therapy that are healthy for the body. The following are some volatile oils used in aromatherapy.
Also called the melaleuca oil, the tea tree essential oils are good antibacterial and antifungal preparations. They are used in treating athlete's foot, acne, candidiasis, whooping cough, colds and flu. The volatile oil could be mixed with lemon to bring out the fresh, natural aroma of the oil. It is also believed that it may have an anti-viral property against Herpes simplex. Further studies are being done to verify its usefulness as an anti-viral alternative.
The essential oil of oregano is used to treat diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems. Through steam distillation, the yellow oil could be extracted and utilized as an antiseptic too. Oregano is an aromatic herb that could lend a more succulent taste to food such as pizza, meat, fish and vegetables. It has antioxidant properties too because of its flavonoids and phenolic components. Caution should be observed with its use though, because it could irritate the skin.
The essential oil of this plant is used in the treatment of eczema, acne, and other skin disorders. Its earthy odor helps relieve tension and exhaustion. Patchouli or Pogostemon cablin has numerous medicinal uses such as an antifungal and antibacterial property. It is also used in perfumes, incense and as insect repellants. The volatile oil is obtained using steam distillation and fermentation.
Lavender essential oil has numerous health benefits for man. It is excellent for the treatment of acne, insect bites, and skin inflammation or irritations. It helps prevent bacterial infection, bites from insects, midges and other vectors that could transmit disease. It could also be used as a hydrosol and sprayed on selected parts of the body to act as an insect repellent. As droplets on clothing, it could have allowed them to stay fragrant, fresh-smelling, and free from insects for long periods of time. It could also be used as a fragrant aerosol to eliminate odors from a room. Its refreshing scent makes it ideal for aromatherapy.
All these essential oils could be effectively used if methods are followed properly. People who decide to optimize their use should be aware that there are some essential oils that should be utilized sparingly. Essential oils come from plants so they occur naturally, and therefore, have less side effects than the therapeutic drugs. Aromatherapy brings out these scents from essential oils to produce physical, mental, and psychological benefits in man.