Essential oils have been around for thousands of years. Their benefits for healing and emotional well-being have been well-documented all over the world. But in the US and certain other parts of the world, this product has just started re-gaining popularity in the last decade or so and scientists are beginning to study its benefits. Here are some fun facts you may not have known about essential oils.
The scent of lemon can make you happy.
Lemon isn’t the only scent you can use for a mood-booster. Diffusing oils like orange, bergamot, peppermint, and rosemary are commonly used to help people feel better. The procedure, which is known as aromatherapy, has long been known for helping people overcome emotional problems – including anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Citrus scents, in particular, have an uplifting effect on the brain. Whereas scents like lavender, bergamot, and jasmine can help calm the nerves. Together these scents are powerful antidepressants and mood-stabilizers.
Essential oils are not actually oils.
Oil is defined by Britannica as any greasy substance that is liquid at room temperature and insoluble in water. Unless you handle essential oils regularly, you may not realize that they don’t meet this criteria. In the classic sense of the word, essential oils are not oils. They contain no fatty acids, so they are not greasy. However, they are hydrophobic, meaning that they don’t mix well with water.
You can test the purity of essential oils on a sheet of paper.
Many over-the-counter essential oil products are of poor-quality and not entirely pure. This usually has something to do with the distilling process or the additions made to the product. You should only buy essential oils that are labeled “100 percent pure.” To test this, you can put a drop of oil onto a sheet of white paper. Once it dries, it should not leave an oil ring. If it does, the product is not pure. Because essential oils are not technically oils, they should not leave behind any greasy residue.
Essential oils can banish wrinkles.
Essential oils have some of the most powerful anti-aging benefits available today. Frankincense, for example, tightens pores and promotes skin cell growth. It’s also effective for reducing the appearance of age spots and stretch marks. Lavender and pure rose oil are powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. This helps reduce redness and puffiness, which can be especially troubling around the eyes as we age. Rose oil is also thought to promote new skin cell growth.
“Aromatherapy” is a fairly new word.
While essential oils have been around for centuries, the term “aromatherapy” is actually pretty new in comparison. The word was dubbed by French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse in 1937 after his discovery of the healing benefits of lavender. The story goes that the scientist dunked his hand into a tub of lavender essential oil after he burned his hand during an experiment. He was so amazed at how quickly the burn healed, that he started a series of experiments on the substance.
Bodies were once embalmed with essential oils.
In ancient civilization, certain tribes of people believed that body preservation was essential for making it into the afterlife. Egyptians especially, had fairly elaborate means for preserving their dead. But one method they used that remained popular for many years was natural preservation with essential oils. In fact, it is said that vials of the precious oils were found in tombs belonging to famous historical figures, such as King Tut and Cleopatra.