There has been a lot of talk in the past few years about essential oils. So, what exactly are essential oils? Essential oils are oils that have been extracted from the roots, flowers, leaves, or seeds of plants. Aromatherapy is the practice of diluting the essential oils and using them in soap, lotions, sprays, or salts, or in diffusers, which are dispersed through steam or vapor.
The use of essential oils goes back thousands of years, with our ancestors using plants to help them alleviate pain and suffering. One plant used for such things, eucalyptus, has been incorporated in recent years into such products as Vic’s Vapor Rub or Hall’s cough drops. Eucalyptus oil also keeps the bugs away and disinfects wounds. Another widely-used oil, clove oil, is found in many toothache medicines. Clove oil contains a compound called eugenol which is known for its antibacterial properties and fights dental pain, toothaches, sore gums and mouth ulcers.
Although there is no proof that essential oils can “cure” anything, the benefits of essential oils cannot be denied. Lavender, chamomile, and rose oils have been shown to help anxiety, while peppermint oil has been shown to help migraines.
According to an article in Scientific American, one recent scientific study has shown that lemon oil can help patients with dementia. Treatment of acne with tea tree oil has also shown to be effective, as well as the treatment of alopecia areata or hair loss with oils such as thyme, rosemary, lavender and cedarwood.
"Essential oils don't work for everyone, but there's no harm in trying them as long as you use them in a safe way," says Harpreet Gujral, program director of integrative medicine at Sibley Memorial Hospital. "Even if they just boost your mood, it can make a positive impact on your health and well-being."
Although more studies need to be done on essential oils, many people use them on a daily basis, as part of a holistic life-style, opting for natural remedies, rather than depending on medications, and making frequent trips to the doctor’s office.
For a list of essential oils and their benefits visit healthine.com.
Take Care of Yourself
With the threat of COVID-19 still all around us, many people are looking for ways to boost their immune systems to fight off the dreaded virus. According to Webmd.com, ways you can do this include stopping the spread of germs, eating right, getting plenty of sleep and exercise, and reducing your stress.
Stop the spread of germs
You can do your part by practicing social-distancing, wear a mask, isolate yourself when you are sick, wash your hands, and use santizer while out in public.
You might be so used to only getting 6 hours of sleep a night that you don’t realize you are not getting enough. Adults should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night. If you are not getting that much, try going to bed 15 minutes a night for a week, and then increase it to a half hour, and so on, until you get to your desired amount. You will be amazed the difference it makes. Not only will you feel more rested; you will be able to think clearer, too.
Reduce your stress
A lot of people are panicking right now, but that only creates negativity, fear, and stress. The stress hormone, corticosteroid, can lower the effectiveness of your immune system and can also cause people to cope with stress with alcohol and drugs. Another way of reducing your stress is to limit your time on Facebook or watching the news. It’s good to stay informed, but it can become too much for someone if they are already anxious.
Drinks lots of water
Because … you know … water. Hydration is extremely important when you are fighting any kind of illness, and even when you are not. Water is the foundation of life and by the time most us feel dehydrated, we are down a few quarts. Keep a bottle handy and sip on it all day long.
If you are stuck inside and don’t own exercise equipment, look online for an exercise routine. Calisthenics and dancing are great ways to keep moving. It’s good to exercise, but rest when you get tired. You don’t want to overdo it so much you stress your body out. Yoga is a great way to stretch the muscles, and reduce your stress, too.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet does not mean a cookie in each hand, but rather, try to incorporate more lean meats and fresh fruits and veggies into your diet. Watch your sugar, carb, and fat in-take, especially if you are not very active. If you are hungry, it might just mean you are dehrdtaed. Trying more water and look for recipes online for healthier snacks.
Adopt a positive attitude
It’s hard to stay positive when there is negativity all around you, but maintaining a positive attitude has shown to reduce stress, which, in turn, gives your immune system a boost.
Stay well, wear a mask, and wash your hands!