Essential oils are a complex mixture of aromatic volatile components that are produced as products of secondary metabolism by plants. They are a mixture of different compounds: hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, organic acids, phenols, etc. The production of essential oils takes place especially in the leaves and flowers of the plant, but they can also be found in roots, bark, wood, fruits, and seeds.
The composition of the essential oil depends on the conditions of the environment in which the plant grows, above all the climate.
The benefits of essential oils, as well as the wide possibilities of their application, are presented below.
Besides to be a pleasant fragrance, essential oils have a therapeutic, psycho-emotional and energetic effect. Essential oils have a very wide application — from cooking, perfume making to treating various diseases and eliminating problems. They should be selected, with an emphasis on their quality.
The therapeutic effect of essential oils
Aromatherapy, (fragrance treatment), is an ancient treatment based on the use of essential and vegetable oils. Aromatherapy is part of phytotherapy, a medical discipline that uses whole plants or parts of plants, extracts derived from them, for healing, preventing disease and preserving health.
Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, wrote about the use of aromatic plants. In Ancient Egypt, essential oils were used to prevent and treat various diseases. Later, the Greeks and Romans inherited the practice of using essential oils in aromatherapy and greatly expanded their application.
Essential oils are applied in the form of scent sticks that emit a pleasant aroma. They are also used as scented candles, scented flowers and in combination with scented lamps.
The most common form of aromatherapy is touch therapy. This method combines the physical and emotional effects of massage with the healing and psychotherapeutic characteristics of plant essences.
Aromatherapy is used to relieve PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and menopausal disorders. It can also relieve milder forms of depression, insomnia, headache, muscle aches … It is also used for preventative purposes, for good appearance and pleasant scent, for relaxation and a comfortable atmosphere.
In aromatherapy, it is very important to choose the right oils that will best suit and assist the patient in healing and achieving psycho-physical balance. A very important feature of essential oils is their bactericidal and antiviral effects in the control of infections resistant to conventional medicine methods.
Some essential oils stimulate the renewal and growth of healthy cells and also regulate the physical, emotional and psychological balance of a person. They stimulate the regeneration of our entire bio system and boost immunity, freshen up the tired body, soothe nerves and improve mood.
No oil affects only one area, one organ or problem, and type of discomfort, their effect is often multifaceted and versatile. There are no side effects because the oils only destroy the harmful factors without damaging the tissues and cells.
Very useful citrus essential oils, except in aromatherapy, are used extensively in the perfume, food and pharmaceutical industries.
Essential oils to relieve anxiety and depression
There is a strong relationship between the smell and the brain. The olfactory receptors in the nose send special chemical messages to the brain, the part that is responsible for emotions and memory. Aromatic signals from essential oils positively stimulate nasal receptors, thus affecting mental and physical health. Keep in mind that some essential oils have a dual effect, so they work against depression and anxiety.
To relieve depression:
Essential oils are not taken orally but are inhaled or applied to the skin. Because essential oils are very concentrated, they are usually not applied as such directly to the skin. It is diluted in one of the other oils. You can also add it to one of your body lotions or add a few drops to your bath.
How to inhale essential oils?
You can add 1-2 drops to a pot of hot water and inhale. You can put a few drops in a spray bottle of water and spray it in the air. You can also get an essential oil sprayer. You can also make various blends of essential oils. You can hardly go wrong when mixing essential oils. Blending essential oils often increases their effect.
Aromatherapy with the help of essential oils affects the physical body, emotions, mind, and soul. So the aromatherapist views the human being as a whole being, not as separate organs. Once the balance in the physical body is established and the emotions are balanced, the quality of thought and state of mind are automatically affected. The skill of aromatherapy consists in the proper selection of oils, which will be most appropriate and assist the client in his healing and achieving psycho-physical balance.
Application of essential oils in cooking
Few remain indifferent to the refreshing scents of essential oils. That is why, except for refreshing the air or bath, some of them can be used in the diet. Old Turkish baklava recipes contain rose oil which gave this delicious treat a special aroma. Citrus essential oils are used in cooking.
Thanks to the intense aroma and concentration of the active ingredients, just a few drops of a particular essential oil are enough to give the dish a distinct taste and aroma. You do not need to pour the oil directly into the water as it stays on the surface or sinks to the bottom but generally dissolves with a spoonful of edible oil or mixes in milk, sour and sweet-sour cream, egg yolks or honey. Also, it is important to carefully dose it, so one drop of oil is sufficient for one person.
Otherwise, it can completely change the taste of the food
and irritate the mouth and stomach. Essential oils used in the kitchen must be
100% pure and natural, preferably produced from organically grown herbs,
without additives, artificial fertilizers, pesticides or any chemicals.
The benefits of essential oils are reflected in medicine, pharmacy, food, cosmetics, followed by alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as in the paint and varnish industry. Microbiological safety, improved physicochemical properties of essential oil products make them acceptable, the body adopts them, with no side effects. For this reason, essential oils are most commonly used in the production of the highly valued and valuable biologically healthy products that we all use in our daily lives.