How Essential are Essential Oils?

December 12th, 2019

Essential oils are everywhere. There is no denying their aromas are anything short of wonderful, but is there more than meets to the eye (um, nose) to these tiny bottles of oil? Do they actually offer health benefits and effective healing properties? Here we take a closer look at essential oils and how essential they really are.

What are essential oils?

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that employs plant extracts to support health and well-being. Essential oils are heavily concentrated plant extracts that capture the natural essence (scent or flavor) of their source.

Each essential oil has its own unique aromatic compounds which create its characteristic essence and specific health benefits.  Click here for a list of commonly used oils and the health benefit claims associated with them.

Typically, the oil compounds are obtained through distillation (via steam or water) or mechanical methods such as cold pressing.


Pro Tip: Keep it natural! Chemically created oils are not considered true essential oils.

How do essential oils work?

Essential oils can either be inhaled (most commonly used with a diffuser) or diluted and applied directly to the skin. These oils are not meant to be swallowed or ingested!

Essential oils are believed to stimulate areas of the limbic system – the part of the brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviors, sense of smell, and long-term memory. Ever wonder why a certain smell will trigger a memory or emotion? You can thank the limbic system as it’s heavily involved with forming memories.

These oils are also believed to play a role in controlling several unconscious physiological functions such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Health Benefits of Essential Oils

Due to the complex compounds of essential oils, it is difficult to scientifically prove their effectiveness. However, there is certainly enough evidence to show how they treat common health problems. Some of which include:

  • Stress and anxiety – An estimated 43% percent of people who report stress and anxiety use some form of alternative therapy to relieve symptoms. The aromatics of certain essential oils are often used in conjunction with traditional therapy to ease stress and anxiety.
  • Headaches and migraines – Goodbye, Tylenol. Hello, essential oils! Certain oil combinations such as peppermint and lavender or chamomile and sesame are commonly used to relieve pain associated with headaches and migraines.
  • Sleep and insomnia – Oils such as chamomile and lavender have been known to have positive effects on sleep habits and disorders such as insomnia.
  • Reducing inflammation – Essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint, and rosemary are known to fight inflammatory conditions.
  • Antibiotic and antimicrobial – Compounds in certain oils such as lemon, eucalyptus, and tea tree help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In addition to the healing properties of essential oils, they’re often commonly used as mosquito repellants, cleaning products, deodorizers…the list goes on!

Lifestyle Lift with Essential Oils

So, do we think essential oils are essential? Yes! In fact, we commonly incorporate essential oils and aromatherapy into our massage therapy services at our South Tampa wellness studio. Around the holidays, a gift pack, diffuser, with a DrivenFit gift card makes a great gift for parents or busy professionals.

To learn more about essential oils or to schedule an appointment for massage therapy, please call or text (813) 440-3016. 

Categories: LifestyleRejuvenation

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