Health Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils

Essential oils can lift the mood, smell wonderful and may offer some health benefits. However, they are not a replacement for seeing your healthcare provider, according to integrative medicine expert Sandra Davila.

When diluted with a carrier oil, some can be applied to the skin to soothe aches and pains. Eucalyptus, for example, can soothe a sore throat and help clear your sinuses.


The scent of an essential oil activates the olfactory nerves in your nose and sends signals to your limbic system, which regulates mood, long-term memory, hormone production and the fight or flight response. Aromatherapy can help reduce anxiety, boost mood and enhance focus.

Anecdotally and scientifically in various studies, essential oils have been shown to calm a frazzled mind. Lavender is the most well-known for its calming effects, but a number of other oils are also effective at soothing anxious feelings. Ylang ylang, orange and frankincense are high in the chemical constituent linalool, which reduces sad or anxious feelings.

Diffuse or apply diluted essential oils to calm the mind. Always use a carrier oil to dilute the oils because undiluted essential oils can cause a skin reaction in some people. Store the oils in dark glass bottles to protect them from light, which degrades the chemicals. Make sure the oils are labeled and kept out of reach of children as ingestion can cause toxicity.


Essential oils contain therapeutic properties that can improve your indoor air quality by killing bacteria and odors. They have a wide range of antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial qualities. They contain aromatic compounds that support respiratory health by eliminating stale air and opening blocked airways. Compounds like 1,8-cineole, found in Eucalyptus Globulus, have a mucolytic and spasmolytic effect on the respiratory tract, while limonene, found in citrus oils, kills airborne germs and odors.

Most essential oils are considered safe to inhale or apply to the skin when mixed with a carrier oil, but you should avoid certain oils that have been linked to more serious side effects like rashes and allergic reactions. Make sure you purchase high-quality oils and follow the instructions on the label. Avoid putting any essential oil near your eyes, ears, or nose.


If you’re feeling exhausted and low on energy, Essential Oils can help. Their powerful aromatic compounds can quickly pass through the blood-brain barrier to stimulate your emotions and energize your body and mind.

Pine Essential Oil – The invigorating scent of this oil is reminiscent of a forest walk or Christmas trees and is known to stimulate the senses, boost the mood, relieve stress and encourage creativity.

Ginger Root Oil – A spicy, warming and stimulating oil, it is renowned for alleviating lethargy and fatigue. It can also be used to enhance concentration and natural energy levels.

Lemon Essential Oil – A bright citrus aroma is the star of many energizing oils blends. It is known to uplift the mood and improve focus, while balancing emotions. It may also aid in relieving mental fatigue and boosting the immune system. It can also be used to relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. It may cause photosensitivity, so avoid direct sunlight after applying the oil.

Mood Lifting

Many essential oils feature uplifting aromas that inspire mood-enhancing effects. Inhaling the scent of an oil’s signature fragrance triggers a response from your limbic system, which manages emotional responses such as stress and hormone levels, memory, and heart rate regulation, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

The limonene chemical in citrus orange oil has been shown to reduce anxiety and lower your heart rate. This can be useful if you need to focus and perform well, especially when the pressure is on.

A study from 2008 found that inhaling lemon oil reliably enhances positive mood, while a 2013 study showed that peppermint essential oil could boost exercise performance and decrease fatigue. Try diffusing a few drops of either in your diffuser or inhaling directly from the bottle for a natural, quick pick-me-up. You can also apply the oil topically to your skin, but be sure to dilute it first with a jojoba or coconut oil. Be cautious when using topically and only apply one new oil at a time to see how your body reacts to it.