A Starter’s Guide To Essential Oils

benefits of essential oils essential oils for focus

Essential oils have been used for centuries to balance the body and mind. Here, we break down how to add them to your lifestyle.

By Ashley Tibbits

Over the past few years, so many peoples’ focus has shifted to taking better care of their bodies — both inside and out. That might include more mindful practices (such as meditation), improved eating habits, or regular exercise. And if you’ve dipped your toe into the world of wellness, you should have a sense of the sheer number of routes there are to improve your mental and physical health — and you’ve likely come across essential oils more than a few times. But what are essential oils? 

Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants through a distillation process or by cold-pressing. The oils can come from the botanical’s fruit, leaves, flowers, roots or even stems and in addition to the aromas they offer, it has been believed for some time that they offer medicinal benefits. While it’s not totally clear when and why essential oils started showing up on the scene, there are records of essential oils’ use in beauty and health rituals dating back to ancient Egypt. They also have a lengthy history in Chinese and Indian culture, including a prominent use in Ayurvedic medicine. Today, alternative and plant-based remedies like these are finally starting to get scientific validation, with different studies validating their benefits to common issues like stress, lack of energy and poor sleeping habits, among many others. 

If you’re new to the world of essential oils, it can be intimidating to dive in, but a great place to start by focusing on three of the most common — but important! — benefits they can offer for daily wellness: focus, emotional support and body balance.

Ahead find out which oils can help with each (and some data to back it up) plus learn how CBD can boost these benefits. 

Essential Oils for Focus

Feeling a little foggy? Some studies have shown that peppermint oil can actually improve cognitive function. In one study for example, in comparison to the use of ylang ylang or no aroma at all, peppermint improved the memory and increased the alertness of the subjects. 

Rosemary is another essential oil thought to help you beat the afternoon slump or provide an extra boost of focus to tackle your to-do list. It has been shown to offer those who use it for aromatherapy an uplifted feelingSome studies have found that inhaling rosemary is linked to an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. All of this translates to an energy boost, which is why we’ve incorporated it into our GO tincture

Essential Oils and Emotions

Like the clarifying and uplifting benefits of peppermint and rosemary, essential oils across the spectrum have been used to help achieve a more balanced emotional state for centuries. For example, if you are looking to promote feelings of calmness, try sweet fennel. The leaves, seeds, and bulb of this licorish-y vegetable have all been part of plant-based medicine throughout various cultures. An article in the Arabian Journal of Chemistry explained that drinking fennel tea is an established practice in traditional medicine for the reduction of stress. 

Bergamont is also thought to be an excellent stress reliever. The fragrant citrus fruit is what gives Earl Grey tea its lemony flavor, but it is also revered for its ability to combat stress.

According to an article from Psychology Today, five out of six studies between 2009 to 2013 showed that aromatherapy using bergamot essential oil actually lowered heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels.

You can try reaping the benefits by diffusing the oil into the air or adding it to topical products for your body, or you can also use it with a trifecta of other ingredients (CBD, lemongrass, and ylang ylang) in our Ease blend, specifically formulated for stress relief. 

Essential Oils for Body Balance

Just as there are oils to help balance your mood, there are those to help get your body better balanced. 

Ginger, one of the most widely-known essential oils, has long been used in traditional medicine to ease upset stomachs and help balance digestion. To put its powers to the test, a study used ginger essential oils to treat nausea and vomiting in post-anesthesia patients, resulting in a 20 percent reduction of such symptoms. 

Lavender is another one of the most popular essential oils — and for good reason. You’ve probably seen it touted as a primary ingredient in soothing eye pillows or linen sprays, and that’s because it’s shown to help you get a better sleep. Preliminary studies show that lavender essential oil can help ease long-term sleep problems for those under stress, and a clinical trial to test its ability to ease insomnia is also currently underway. Because of this, it’s a key component of our Stop tincture, which also includes sleep-promoting chamomile, valerian root and CBD to naturally promote restfulness. 

Essential Oils & CBD

There are a number of ways to utilize essential oils, including topically (as added to lotions, oils, and other skincare and bodycare products), or diffused into the air for aromatherapeutic effect. At The Root of It All, we’ve carefully combined multiple essential oils into each of our tinctures and topical creams, creating formulas like Stop (which has lavender for its sleep-promoting properties), Settle (which has ginger for stomach-soothing), and Go (with rosemary for an instant uplift). Each of our products also contain CBD, which is thought to have many of the same soothing and balancing effects as essential oils, therefore amplifying their effectiveness. Together, they can become a naturally powerful part of unlocking a healthier, more balanced life. 

Final Thoughts

When in doubt, be sure to consult your doctor or regular medical practitioner before jumping in.  

But no matter how you choose to give essential oils a try, remember to start slow and keep track of how you feel as you add them into your routine more consistently so you can find exactly what works best for you. Once you do, you’ll find essential oils are an integral part of building a routine that helps you achieve the ultimate mind-body balance.

Sources:

A systematic review of the effect of inhaled essential oils on sleep 

Six Aromatherapy Essential Oils for Stress Relief and Sleep - Psychology Today

Zingiber officinale Rosc. essential oil, a review on its composition and bioactivity

Effects of Inhaled Rosemary Oil on Subjective Feelings and Activities of the Nervous System 

5 benefits of fennel tea - Medical News Today

Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition

Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review

Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang

Lavender Fragrance Essential Oil and the Quality of Sleep in Postpartum Women

Lavender Aromatherapy on Sleep Quality and Metabolic Parameters of Type 2 Diabetic Patients With Insomnia

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