If you’ve never smelled an essential oil before, you’re missing out. It may sound totally coo-coo at first, but wait ’til you hear what it can do for you.
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants that you can use on your skin for all kinds of health benefits.
“If you’re using it on your skin, always dilute it in a carrier oil—that means adding three to five drops into one tablespoon of oil. Then, you can use it as often as needed,” advises Amy Galper, aromatherapist and founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies.
But besides the aroma, there’s a lot that essential oils can do you for and your health. Most people diffuse essential oils in their home since they smell so great.
There’s a reason when you smell something good that you give a sigh of relief—it’s because smells can do something to your brain that can actually provide certain kinds of relief.
One of the most popular essential oils is lavender oil because of all the benefits it provides. Head to your local health and beauty aid store (or Amazon) and pick some up—and then watch as you have these amazing reactions to it:
1. It tames anxiety
Feeling a little on edge? The scent of lavender oil has the power to calm us down. “There are some studies that show lavender inhibits certain receptors in the neuromuscular junction, which is why it may have anti-anxiety properties,” says Diane Yang, MD, internal medicine physician at UCHealth. “Traditionally, lavender has been used for anxiety, relaxation, and muscle spasms.”
2. It lessens stress
Work piling up at the office? Have a kid who just won’t eat their veggies no matter what you do? In the same way lavender oil can make you feel less anxiety, the soothing scent can immediately help us feel a sense of calm after a rough day.
3. It helps you sleep better
Having trouble falling asleep lately? One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that lavender essential oil helped people get a better quality sleep. Hint: Put a droplet on your pillow and breathe yourself into dreamland.
4. It helps you focus
If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate lately, lavender oil can help with mental clarity. When people inhaled lavender essential oils on breaks from work, this study found that it actually worked to help their concentration when they got back to it.
5. It can alleviate pain
Having cramps? “Studies have shown lavender aromatherapy can result in a reduction in pain by women who have a know history of menstrual pain,” says Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist. ‘Tis true—it was a study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine to be exact, which found that sniffing lavender oil can not only help ease menstrual cramps, but even the amount of bleeding. Lavender also helps with migraine pain as well, according to a study published in European Neurology.
6. It makes you happier
Since lavender oil has the power to calm stress and anxiety, it makes sense that it can help you feel like a happier human as well. A study published in Natural Product Communications found that it helps people’s moods so much that it might even play a role in helping control depression symptoms.
7. It repels insects
Though we humans love lavender oil, bugs actually hate it! Diffuse it in the house and you’ll probably notice a whole lot less s mosquitoes and moths in particular. Some experts even say it can help swelling from insect bites, too.
What are you waiting for? Pick up some lavender oil today! Have you ever tried essential oils before? What do you think of them?