With several similar-sounding terms such as astringent, analgesic, antiseptic and many others, it’s easy to get confused as you read through the different essential oils properties.
What are the benefits of an essential oil with analgesic properties? How about an oil with astringent properties.
What does an anti-inflammatory oil do and how does that help our body?
Understanding what each of these terms mean for bodily functions is the key to understanding the properties of essential oils and how they help us heal.
Essential oils with analgesic properties are great for managing pain. They support pain relief by acting on the central nervous system to fortify the body’s natural defenses against inflammation and supporting relief from pain receptor sensation.
Antibacterial properties make essential oils powerful protectants against diseases triggered by bacteria. Oils with antibacterial properties are great for treating oral, digestive and urinary tract bacterial infections.
What’s great is that essential oils have no ill effects on bodily health or on the healthy natural flora that exists within the stomach and intestines. This is unlike prescription drugs that are not capable of differentiating the friendly bacteria from the harmful varieties.
When you take antibiotics you end up killing all bacteria in the body including the friendly bacteria. In the long run, it makes you more susceptible to bacterial infections.
Some essential oils have been shown to act as anticarcinogens. An anticarcinogen counters those carcinogens that can potentially develop into cancer. Whereas anticarcinomas are substances that are used to treat cancer cells after cancer has developed, anticarcinogenics act as natural defenses against the development of cancer.
As an anticoagulant, essential oils combat blood clotting, which can protect against potential health issues such as ischemic stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and myocardial infarction.
When it comes to psychological issues, the uplifting scent of a number of essential oils can combat negative thoughts and help uplift mood, both of which work together to beat depression.
While bacteria and viruses are plenty evil, fungi commonly lead to the most deadly infections, whether external or internal. Your ears, throat and nose are the most likely to become infected by fungi, the infections of which can be both excruciating and unsightly. If left untreated, fungal infections can kill, as they may spread to the brain.
Essential oils support your natural immune systems against these infections and more and are particularly effective against skin infections.
External or internal inflammation can be calmed through the use of essential oil in a soothing balm.
Any substance that is rich in antioxidants – whether fruit, beans, or essential oils – is a powerful advocate for your body. Antioxidants both protect against free radicals and repair their damage.
What are free radicals? Free radicals are destructive chemicals that invade your body, produced by substances both inside and out.
Some free radicals (or oxidants) form through normal bodily reactions, like inflammation, metabolism and aerobic respiration. Other free radicals form outside the body, but enter it due to exposure. These include harmful pollutants, toxins, smoking, alcohol, X-rays, and UV rays, to name a few.
Although our bodies produce their own antioxidants, these often become damaged as we grow older; thus, introducing antioxidants into our bodies allows these nutrients and enzymes to assist in chemical reactions which destroy the oxidants or free radicals.
Essential oils are moderate antioxidants, aiming to support natural detoxification the body of free radicals that lead to disease.
Parasites include such mites as fleas, bedbugs, tapeworms, mosquitoes and lice – pretty much any irritating insect, internal or external, which feeds off the body in one way or another. The human body is a tasty meal to parasites, which can sometimes lead to the transmission of communicable diseases through their feasting off various meals.
Essential oils that have antiparasitic properties repel mosquitoes, fleas, bedbugs and lice when applied topically. They help get rid of intestinal worms when taken orally.
Essential oils offer antiseptic properties when applied directly to wounds. They help keep away infections while also helping the wound heal more quickly.
The antispasmodic properties of essential oils make them beneficial the respiratory system.
The antiviral protection that essential oil provides empower the immune system at its core, building up a tough wall of security against bacterial infections. By boosting white blood cell count and function, this immune stimulant will ensure that your body is better prepared to protect against infections.
An astringent is a chemical compound that shrinks body tissues, which means it can aid skin issues and irritations, everything from acne to insect bites.
The astringent property of essential oil benefits everything from skin to hair to gums to muscles to intestines. As astringents, essential oils help combat muscle loss through their ability to strengthen. This astringent property also means that essential oils can support rapid healing a wound, cut or abrasion.
By supporting the reduction of excess gas buildup and/or removal of gas from the intestines, essential oil provides relief from abdominal pain, excess sweating, and uncomfortable indigestion.
By boosting the production of absorptive enzymes, the digestibility of nutrients, and the secretion of digestive juices, essential oils aid the digestive tract significantly, which can make a significant impact on your overall health by increasing those nutrients you absorb from food.
If you’re looking to lose water weight and reduce blood pressure, essential oils are your agent. The oil stimulates urination, promoting not only the loss of water weight, but the flushing of fats, uric acid, sodium, and other body toxins.
Throat or respiratory infections can be relieved through the use of essential oils. Acting as an expectorant, essential oils break up and help destroy the phlegm and mucus buildup that accompanies sinuses or respiratory infections. Inflamed throat and lungs – and, thus, coughing – can also be alleviated through the application of certain oils.
A galactogogue is a substance that enhances the body’s ability to lactate. This can help support mothers who have difficulty producing a sufficient amount of breast milk for their baby.
By supporting the relaxation of veins and arteries, essential oils help reduce blood pressure. This boosts circulation and oxygenation to the organ systems and muscles, improving their function, as well as your metabolism, while also supporting heart health.
As a laxative, essential oils supplement the body’s natural defenses against constipation by loosening stools and supporting bowel movements.
Essential oils with sedative properties help sedate and calm by reducing anxiety, excitement or irritability. Though sedatives do not alleviate pain, they do calm the patient, making them less stressed and more compliant.
Stimulants are often referred to as “uppers.” This is because they produce mental or physical improvements or temporary enhancements of your bodily functions. For instance, you may grow more alert and awake or quicker on your feet after using a stimulant.
Essential oil can provide this temporary boost in mental and physical function, especially when it comes to the immune system.
A stomachic improves stomach function, boosts appetite, and helps to tone the stomach. Essential oil does this by helping to control the stomach’s bile, acid and gastric liquids.
Essential oil benefits each of the body’s systems, whether nervous, digestive, respiratory or excretory, making it an unbeatable general tonic. The oil also supports the immune system by helping the body absorb nutrients.
A vasodilator widens blood vessels by relaxing smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls. By dilating blood vessels, blood flow is increased, thereby decreasing blood pressure. Essential oils can serve as a vasodilator and can therefore support the regulation of blood pressure.
Whether you want to address an ulcer, a cut or any internal or external wound, essential oils can be diluted with a skin cream and applied to expedite the process of healing while also protecting the wound from becoming infected.
With a better understanding of essential oils properties it is easier to understand the therapeutic benefits that each oil offers.