Essential oils are an easy and effective way to calm the brain and body. Kids enjoy them and it can be part of a family’s wellness routine.
Fragrance has long been known to have an effect on one's cognition, mood, and social behavior. The use of aromatherapy to support mental health has increased during the 20th century and more recently with the rise of complementary alternative therapies. Essential oils are quite effective in supporting mood, anxiety, and a variety of health issues that impact mental health.
Essential oils can affect both the brain and body. When you inhale essential oils, it stimulates the olfactory system, which is the part of the brain connected to smell. Essential oil molecules that enter the nose or mouth pass to the lungs and eventually the brain and other parts of the body. As the molecules reach the brain, they affect several regions, including the limbic system, which is linked to the emotions, our memory and attentional systems, as well as our hormone and immune systems.
Essential oils are an easy and effective way to support your mental health. Essential oils are evidence-based tools that are used to improve attention, memory, mood, pain, and overall sense of wellness.
What's the best way to use essential oils?
Essential oils can be diffused, taken internally, or directly applied to the skin (typically with carrier oil). Diffusing oils is an easy way for people to get the benefits of essential oils.
Many people apply essential oils to the bottom of their feet because the tough skin there can handle the application.
Are essential oils safe?
Essential oils are generally safe when used externally with a diffuser or applied to the skin in low concentrations.
When applying essential oils to the skin, using concentrations no higher than 5% by diluting the oil in a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba is recommended otherwise skin irritation can result.
It is also important to use an essential oil diffuser and not put the oils in a humidifier, or nebulizer, or anything that isn’t made of plastics of high enough grade to handle the oils.
Not every essential oil can or should be ingested and consulting with an herbalist or naturopathic physician when looking to support a health issue is recommended.
Adding food grade essential oils such as lemon, lime, cilantro, etc. to your water or food is a great way to improve the taste of what you are drinking or eating.
One needs to be especially careful when using essential oils around pets, as many can be toxic for pets. Consulting the pet poison helpline for cats and dogs is important before you use an essential oil.
If you are concerned about safety or reacting to an essential oil, apply a small amount with a carrier oil to a test area and wait 48 hours before using it again.
What essential oils work best for specific mental health issues?
Check out my blogs that dive into which essential oils support anxiety, attention, and support the brain:
Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime.
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