By: Charlyn Martin Gardner for Purple Leaf Industries

Essential oils are a trendy new craze, adored for being an ancient remedy. It can be found in a variety of products, across multiple markets. But don’t be fooled: essential oils are no cure. Rather, think of essential oils as a balancing tool. Essential oils activate (typically through aromatherapy) your limbic system; a neurological system within the brain. This system is responsible for emotions, memories, and hormonal balance. 

In other words; it won’t cure your anxiety- but it may help you find relief for the symptoms of anxiety. 

So how exactly do essential oils help? 

Essential oils naturally occur in plants as a protective compound. These compounds are lightweight and therefore can easily interact with our receptors through smell or topical absorption. Most essential oil compounds are either terpenes or aromatic. Terpenes being chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms; and aromatic compounds being flat ring arrangements of those same elements. Because of essential oils relation to terpenes, consumers will often find essential oils with CBD (cannabidiol) products. Both agents are excellent balancing tools for the body; with essential oils interacting with the limbic system and CBD engaging with the endocannabinoid system. 

Usually essential oils are used in aromatherapy because through the sense of smell, the compounds in the oils can engage with your neurological receptors without a filter such as the transdermal surface plain of your skin. Essential oils are added to products such as candles and lotions, to invoke a specific sense of relief as it balances with your limbic system. For example, lavender is often added to promote a calm feeling. Whereas a citrus essential oil may be used to create an energizing feeling.

Essential oils can be a helpful addition to your everyday lifestyle, but because there is limited research please be sure to do your own. While many consumers report positive effects, it is important to have realistic expectations of what essential oils can do for you. Cultures through the centuries have been using essential oils to promote wellness. 

Find your wellness with an essential oil marketed not as a cure, but as an elevating tool. This naturally occurring remedy with an ancient history could be just what you needed to find balance.

Citations:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/aromatherapyH

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