If you’re experiencing chronic illness and nothing seems to alleviate your symptoms, consider giving essential oils a try. Essential oils are a natural extract from plants that offer many medicinal and therapeutic benefits. These oils have been known to help ease anxiety, lower blood pressure, treat fungal infections and much more. Read on to learn about 10 common chronic illnesses and how essential oils can help reduce their symptoms.
1. Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is an intestinal disorder that can cause frequent abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. There are somewhere around 30 million people suffering from IBS in the United States alone. While it’s always important to listen to your doctor, sometimes one treatment just isn’t enough.That’s where essential oils come in.
Certain essential oils have helped many people control their IBS symptoms. Some of the best oils for IBS include peppermint, anise and fennel. Peppermint oil is especially effective thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Chronic stress and fatigue
Stress and fatigue are terrible issues that many people suffer from. When suffering from chronic stress, you might find it hard to work or engage with others. Many people suffering from stress find comfort in things like therapy and meditation. Essential oils can also help ease some of that stress and fatigue.
Lavender oil is well-known for helping those suffering from stress thanks to its relaxing scent. Bergamot, patchouli, cedarwood and German chamomile essential oils are great for stress, as well. These oils are often used in aromatherapy, which involves evoking the therapeutic properties of certain smells. When it comes to fatigue, use a spearmint or rosemary essential oil.
3. Insomnia and restless sleep
Lack of sleep can greatly affect your health and well-being. Those not getting enough sleep will have trouble concentrating and could develop other chronic conditions—everything from depression, to anxiety, to persistent aches and pains. Essential oils offer an easy and effective way to sleep better at night. Certain essential oils can promote a good night’s sleep and help you to fall asleep faster. Some of the include lavender, Roman chamomile and vetiver—all of which soothe the senses and induce relaxation by putting you into the parasympathatic “rest and digest” state.
4. Congestion and brain fog
Congestion and brain fog will cause you to slow down during the day. They make completing even the simplest tasks a major challenge. Thankfully, you can combat mental fogginess through the use of essential oils. Rosemary, peppermint and lavender are all known to help reduce brain fog. If you’re suffering from congestion, try eucalyptus, tea tree or oregano essential oils, as well. Many of these are great mixed into a tea, or diffused to induce a clarifying atmosphere in your space.
5. Chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation affects each person differently, but the common symptom is discomfort—whether it’s joint pain, rashes or persistent soreness. Certain essential oils are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, including limonene-rich citrus oils (orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon), eucalyptus and lavender. Depending on the nature of your condition, you could rub these essential oils into your skin, use them in a diffuser or ingest them in a gel capsule. Be careful with topical applications as essential oils should never be applied “neat” (i.e. undiluted), or they could irritate your skin even further. Before you ingest them, be sure to consult with your medical doctor because they can cause adverse drug interactions.
All essential oils are antimicrobial in nature and some are more potent against bacteria, fungi and viruses than others. For bacterial infections the best essential oils include oregano, lemongrass oil and thyme oil. For fungal infections try clove and tea tree. There’s an abundance of options out there for antibacterial rinses and soaps, with essential oils as the primary ingredient(s).
7. Acne and blemishes
One benefit of essential oils that many people don’t know about is that they can help treat and prevent acne and rosacea. And don’t forget to avoid chemical creams on your skin to treat acne. Instead trying mixing 3 – 6 drops of one of these essential oils with a non-greasy carrier oil like jojoba and dab on blemishes: tea tree, lavender, orange, rosemary or helichrysum.
8. Chronic pain relief
There are many things that can cause chronic pain, including poor posture, being overweight, a traumatic injury and much more. Certain disorders can also cause chronic pain, including fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. If nothing you’ve tried has helped alleviate your chronic pain, consider essential oils. Copaiba oil is known for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Peppermint oil helps relax the muscles, which aids in reducing pain. Other great essential oils for chronic pain relief include wintergreen, frankincense, copaiba, and camphor.
9. Arthritis joint relief
Joint pain is sometimes constant for those suffering from arthritis. If you suffer from arthritis and are tired of joint pain, try essential oils made from rosemary, sweet marjoram, eucalyptus and turmeric. These essential oils are especially helpful when it comes to the easing of certain arthritis symptoms, including inflammation, swelling and stiffness.
Always listen to your doctor when it comes to treatment for your chronic illness. If you’re looking for something helpful to add to your treatment programs, consider essential oils. Essential oils are a great way to relieve pain, reduce stress, fight inflammation and much more. Pair them with doctor-recommended treatment options for best results.
10. Mood Issues
Geranium, clary sage, lavender, and ylang ylang are powerful floral aromas that have been shown to reduce anxiety and symptoms of worry and stress in clinical trials. Try mixing 1 drop each and putting into your water diffuser. Or, mix 2 drops each with 1 ounce of coconut oil and apply after you get out of the shower.
The key is to discover which oils work for you, and that may very well change over time as your diet and lifestyle changes. Be patient, enjoy the journey and get empowered to regain control of your health using essential oils!