Essential oils have been incorporated in ways to improve our wellbeing but how beneficial is it?
Look in any pharmacy or even beauty centres and you’ll find that there are many products on the shelves that uses essential oils in their formulations. How does this improve the product and your wellbeing?
Read on to find out if this is the case !
From a layman’s point of view, just the fragrance of these oils can imbue a certain calmness and relief. Aromatherapy is often maligned as pseudoscience and hocus pocus. However, our olfactory gland has more than 400 receptors for scent molecules, whereas the eye has only 3 different receptor genes differentiating the colours red, green and blue. Look at how many colours we can actually ‘see’ with just a combination of these three different receptors being activated. So with 400 different receptors, imagine the variety of scents that we can smell.
Plants and animals all excrete scents and pheromones. They can communicate via these olfactory signals. Essential oils are very concentrated form of these scents distilled from large quantities of the original material such as flowers, fruits or sap of a tree.
Additionally, in the world of conventional medicine, we use inhalants (salbutamol, salmeterol), anaesthetic gas (nitrous oxide) and of course many other poisonous chemicals to exert an effect on our bodies.
So, it is not impossible that aromatherapy can exert beneficial effects on ourselves when used correctly and judiciously.
Quite a few actually, as the inhalants can exert direct effects on lung and bronchial tissues, but it can also have indirect effects by modulating neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers in the brain, either to calm a person or to stimulate.
Camphor is FDA approved as chest rubs in concentrations less than 11 percent. It is likely safe to inhale in low concentrations as well. Not more than one tablespoon of camphor solution per quart of water. Keep in mind to never heat camphor in the microwave as it can explode.
It is possible to get irritation and hypersensitisation. Once hypersensitised, it would be a disaster to use it again because it will irritate your skin further. This is probably due to its very concentrated form.
Either run water on it, to dilute and wash it away or apply some coconut oil. If the reaction persists, do visit your doctor who may then prescribe appropriate medication.
Using a diffuser to diffuse any essential oil is very safe as you’re dispersing it into the air. Diluting it in a carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil is a must before applying it directly on your skin.
Though there are some benefits in incorporating essential oils in our wellness regimen, it is best to have a balanced approached to our lifestyle for there is no magic cure or bullet, it takes an all-rounded strategy. Eating nutritious healthy food, exercising, sleeping well, reducing stress and overall just being happy with oneself are definite ways to better wellbeing.