Health

Can essential oils cure what ails you?

By: Canadian Living
Canadian Living
Health

Can essential oils cure what ails you?

By: Canadian Living

Aromatherapy Have you ever tried using the scent of lavender to calm your nerves? Or opened a bottle of valerian oil to help yourself get to sleep? If not, you might want to try it. Essential oils and aromatherapy have been growing in popularity among people who trust them to relieve stress, promote sleep, ease pain and more. But how do they work and how do you know if these oils could offer the solution you need? I spoke with essential oil expert Kate Ross LeBlanc, who is the CEO and founder of Saje, a natural wellness retailer, and asked her all about how these plant-based oils can benefit your health. Here's what she had to say. How can essential oils affect your physical and mental well-being?  Essential oil molecules can be absorbed into the body three ways. The first is through direct contact with the brain’s receptive neurons, which live at the top of olfactory systems. These systems are connected to the limbic system—the fight or flight part of the brain. The second is through inhalation into the respiratory system and the third is through topical application. Our circulatory system then carries the molecules through our bodies, sending them to various organs and systems. Have the benefits of essential oils been studied? When we first started in this business, most of the research about essential oils was based on their traditional and historical uses and effects.  But in recent years, essential oils have been highlighted in many scientific and clinical studies occurring around the world.  In fact, at Saje, we had to go through our own rigorous process with Health Canada in order to receive our natural product licenses.  This included proving our product's safety, quality, and efficacy as medicinal products. How do different oils promote different kinds of wellness? Essential oils amplify the body’s natural healing capabilities, as different oils have different effects on the body. For example, lavender offers calm in the nervous system, eucalyptus can soothe the respiratory system, tea tree can boost the immune system, fennel and peppermint can be beneficial for the digestive system, lavender and rosemary can soothe the muscular system, and geranium and clary sage can help balance the hormonal system. For a remedy to be effective, it will be made up of several essential oils that are synergistic to each other and make up a completeness of a base note, married to a middle note, married to a top note. Therefore, the blends of essential oils are more effective than single note essential oils. What essential oils relieve pain? How do they work?  Lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, chamomile and citrus oils (particularly tangerine) are all great pain relievers. They work through our olfactory system, which is our sense of smell that connects to the limbic system. It is the one sense that is directly connected to our subconscious, which includes our memories and our emotions. Simply smelling something that relaxes us or makes us feel good can relieve pain by enabling the body to relax and thus, takes muscular pressure off constricted blood vessels. When blood can flow properly, inflammation starts to reverse and fresher oxygen is able to reach the cells, making way for healing and relief. Another fantastic way of relieving pain is through topical application of essential oil remedies, which allow for even deeper healing as the oils absorb into the bloodstream. What essential oils relieve stress?  Most essential oils relieve stress; however, the main ones are lavender, roman chamomile, marjoram, rose, and neroli. Which ones promote sleep? Valerian, blue chamomile, roman chamomile, marjoram, lavender and vetiver. Which essential oils can you not live without? If I had to choose a go-to, I would have to mention our Arrive Revive Blend, which helps me stay grounded and healthy while travelling. Arrive Revive features essential oils of lemon, lavender, rosemary and palmarosa. (Photography: Thinkstock) 
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Can essential oils cure what ails you?

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