5 Great Reasons to Use Essential Oils for Relaxation and Mental Health

The use of aromas to achieve altered states of consciousness is a scientifically-proven approach to the improvement of one’s mental health. This is because aromas result from air-borne molecules entering one’s nasal passages. The molecules don’t stop there: they are absorbed into the bloodstream, circulated around the body, and finally cross the blood-brain barrier where they have various effects on the brain. But we have to choose our aromas carefully to ensure we achieve the right outcome. Each type of essential oil will cause a different effect because each oil is made of different types of molecules with unique properties.

5 Great Reasons to Use Essential Oils for Relaxation and Mental Health

As an example, leading retail outlets in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, commonly sell the two essential oils jasmine and lavender, where they sit on the shelf side by side like salt and pepper shakers. One must take care to buy them together because of their complementary relationship (like yin and yang), where too much of one will make you too stimulated to sleep whilst the other might make you lethargic. It is common for the tourist to buy one and later return for the other after discovering this effect purely by accident. Too much jasmine will overstimulate you, whereas too much lavender will make you unproductive.

The term ‘essential oil’ is derived from the Latin expression ‘quinta essentia’ which translates into English as ‘the fifth element’. Hence, according to alchemy, an essential oil is the spirit or life force of the plant, captured and stored in a bottle. Similar to alcoholic spirits, they are produced by distillation and have properties that have captured the imagination of people for nearly a thousand years since the technology was developed in the 13th century by Arab pioneers.

When purchasing essential oils to be used in aromatherapy, either with massage or another form of therapy, one must take care to ensure that the oil is authentic. Strictly avoid cheap products, because it is impossible for them to be marketed below a certain price. Cheap products are mixed with carrier oils, or even worse, they can be mixed with undesirable by-products of industry, making them potentially bad for one’s health. Thus, ensure you purchase from a reputable supplier before putting them onto, or into, your body.


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