Health Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated, natural plant extracts that can be used in many ways. There is growing interest in these oils for their potential health benefits, from reducing stress to helping with sleep issues and nausea.

While more research is needed, essential oils may be a useful tool to support healthy living along with the guidance of your professional healthcare provider.


Aromatherapy is a practice that involves using essential oils for emotional and physical well-being. It is a form of alternative or complementary medicine that has been used for nearly 6,000 years.

These liquid plant extracts have many potential benefits and may be used in a variety of ways, including as scents for personal care products or to enhance the mood. They are often considered safer than some other forms of natural therapy, but can cause side effects in some people.

They are typically distilled from the flowers, leaves, fruit peels or bark of plants, and are then mixed with a carrier oil to be inhaled or applied to the skin (although some can be taken orally). The molecules that make up the oil travel through your nose, stimulating the olfactory system in the brain and interacting with smell receptors. When applied to the skin, the oils can also enter your bloodstream and affect other parts of your body.

Topical application

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that contain a variety of potentially beneficial chemicals. They are used in natural and alternative health practices, such as aromatherapy and naturopathy. Research on the use of essential oils for medical purposes is ongoing.

Peppermint oil, for example, may help relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms when taken orally in enteric-coated capsules. It also appears to calm nervous tension and promote relaxation. Other studies have found that lemon and orange oils can be used as an effective, natural mosquito repellent.

People can apply essential oils directly to the skin, but they should be diluted first. If they are not diluted, the oils can cause irritation or even poisoning, depending on the chemical makeup of the oil and how it is extracted and stored. If you notice any signs of skin irritation or an allergic reaction to essential oils, call your healthcare provider right away. They can advise you on how to treat the issue and prevent future problems.


Inhalation is arguably the safest method of using essential oils. It is also the quickest way to get them into your bloodstream. You can inhale directly from the bottle or use a diffuser to disperse the oil into the air and then breathe it in through your nose.

This can help reduce nausea, fatigue, depression and stress. It can also ease cold symptoms, sinus congestion, asthma and headaches. It can increase alertness and energy levels. It can even help you repel mosquitoes and other insects.

Always use caution when applying essential oils and follow safety guidelines. It is important to use a carrier oil when applying them to the skin and to do a patch test. Also, remember that essential oils are highly flammable and should not be used near candles, gas stoves or lit cigarettes. If you do experience a negative side effect, such as irritation or allergic reaction, it is recommended that you immediately flush the area with cool water.


Essential oils can be used in cooking to enhance flavor and as a natural alternative for herb and spice based seasonings. Because essential oil is so concentrated and potent, it’s important to follow safety guidelines and use caution when using in food preparation. It is recommended to dilute the oil in a carrier oil before adding to food.

Only a drop of oil is needed to add intense flavor and fragrance. Essential oils are very volatile and will evaporate quickly when exposed to heat. Typically it is best to add the essential oil at the end of the cooking process, as heat can degrade their properties and diminish the aroma.

When choosing a culinary grade oil, look for “Food Grade” on the label and ensure that the oil is steam or expeller distilled to maintain its purity. LorAnn Oils only sells quality essential oils that are distilled and approved for food use. For additional safety, please consult your healthcare provider before attempting any internal usage of essential oils.