Essential oils for Sleep and Stress

In Aromatherapy, Natural Healing by Debra Reis

Plants have played an important role throughout our health history. They were one of our first remedies to treat and prevent conditions.  Traditional healers have long used plants and plant products to treat and prevent conditions. Essential oils, alone or in combination with other complementary modalities, can be part of your health plan.

Essential oil quality is very important. According to Dr. David Stewart, it is estimated that over 95% of oils are flavor or fragrance quality and therefore do not fulfill therapeutic guidelines. Even Kurt Schnaubelt, a world renowned aromatherapist, states that most essential oils used for aromatherapy in the US are fabrications and not genuine which can change the composition and effect if we use them.

How can we use essential oils for our health? And what are these concerns that affect us today that our ancestors used plants and oils for treatment? Well the biggest one is Stress. The best way to obtain an outcome in a matter of seconds in through inhalation of the essential oil. It is easy and very effective. A 2007 study showed that inhalation of essential oils such as lavender and rosemary lowered cortisol levels or stress hormones in the body.

Another essential oil that can bring calmness to the nervous system under stress is sweet orange.    Orange essential oil is expressed from the peel and is known for its benefits to provide general relaxation (Price & Price, 2012). Orange oil has been studied to reduce anxiety with inhalation.

Insomnia or poor sleep quality is another condition that has been a concern for humans for a long, long time. Poor sleep can be related to many factors including stress. One of the most studied essential oils for sleep is lavender. Research results demonstrate that lavender oil had mild to moderate benefits for insomnia. Populations included elderly, hospital patient, college students and more. And the best way to use lavender to help with sleep is inhalation. Use it on a cotton ball, under the pillow or place a few drops in a dish and place next to your bed.

These essential oils can be very cost effective and better for your health for conditions such as stress or problems with sleeping. For more information or to schedule an assessment, contact me.