How Essential Oils Work

how essential oils work

Essential oils work in a variety of ways. They may be able to relieve the symptoms of pain or depression or even improve a patient’s health. However, there are some side effects to consider and you need to be aware of these before you decide to try one of these essential oils.


If you have respiratory problems, such as a cough, sore throat, or asthma, inhaling essential oils can help you. It can also help reduce stress and improve your mood. In fact, it has been shown to have a significant effect on the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Although inhalation is a safe way of getting essential oil into your body, it can still present some risks. You should make sure to consult with a certified aromatherapist or a doctor before using it. Some oils, such as peppermint, can cause breathing difficulties, so make sure you don’t inhale them near young children.

To get the most benefits from inhalation, you should choose a time when you can focus on quieting your mind and heart. Make sure to take breaks while inhaling and that you don’t breathe for more than a few minutes at a time.

Essential oils enter your body through two main routes, inhalation and skin absorption. When inhaled, they reach the olfactory bulb, a small area of the brain that receives odor-evoked responses. They then enter the dorsomedial lobes of the brain and pass to the limbic region.

The olfactory system is a complex and intricate organ. Because of this, ill effects from inhalation of essential oils are very rare.

When inhaled, essential oils interact with the olfactory bulb to produce a “smell experience.” This odor-evoked response is processed by higher-order processes. Once the brain recognizes the molecule, it is able to trigger its effects.

For inhalation, it is recommended to use a diffuser or an electric vaporizer. These devices are relatively safe, but you should always keep them turned on at a low temperature. Ensure the oil you choose doesn’t contain phototoxic components. Also, don’t expose yourself to direct sunlight for a long period after inhalation.

In addition to inhalation, some essential oils can be used for topical application. This can be done through the skin, through a towel or a shirt, or through a pillow. Depending on the problem you are treating, it is best to choose the most effective route.

Topical application

Topical application of essential oils is a way to benefit the skin. Aside from its beauty benefits, it can help with acne, inflammation, wrinkles, and balancing oily skin. It can also improve the overall appearance of your skin and give it a healthy glow.

Using essential oils topically is safer than using them internally. However, it is important to understand the risks of topical application and how to avoid them.

First, make sure you’re applying it in the right place. The best places to apply them are your wrists and feet. These areas absorb the oils fastest.

Second, make sure the dilution is correct. Some essential oils need to be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied. Other essential oils can be applied directly to the skin without any dilution.

Third, be cautious of mixing essential oils with other oils. This can lead to increased allergy risk. If you have allergies, be sure to perform an allergy test before using any product that contains these oils.

For topical use, choose a carrier oil that is suitable for your needs. Carrier oils are generally made of fatty acids that are not irritating to the skin. Examples include fractionated coconut oil and olive oil.

Finally, ensure that your essential oils are of high quality. Check online reviews and see if the vendor has a good business history.

While topical application is a great way to benefit the skin, it is a much more complicated process than simply rubbing a body lotion on your skin. To maximize the benefits, you need to learn how to use essential oils safely.

Essential oils are a potent substance, and they can cause skin irritation, especially if you apply them improperly. Make sure you read the label and follow the proper dilution rules. Inhaling them can also cause side effects.

If you want to learn more about the topical application of essential oils, read Essential Oil Safety by Rodney Young. Also, check out AromaWeb’s article on essential oils that may cause skin sensitization.

Applying these oils correctly can provide the all-natural cleansing and calming you need. They are secure and safe, and they can be used for a variety of health concerns.

Interaction with cells

Essential oils interact with the cellular membrane in a multitude of ways. They can also influence outflow from the cells. In the bacterial cell, these effects include altering the quorum sensing system and increasing the intracellular insertion of important active substances. Essential oils are also thought to be safe alternatives to synthetic preservatives.

Essential oils are made up of hydrophobic molecules, meaning they are able to partition into the lipids of the cellular membrane. Their properties of liposolubility and polarity make them a prime candidate for bioactive molecule partitioning. Besides their ability to dismantle cellular membrane structures, they are known to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It is also worth noting that essential oils have the capability to displace genetic material.

In the simplest sense, essential oils can be considered as a cocktail of secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites play an important role in inhibiting bacterial growth. For example, the tetracycline family is considered to be the best antibiotic for the treatment of Ehrlichia. The chemical compounds are derived from the natural plant sources and they largely affect the microbial population without causing side effects. Several essential oils have been tested for their antibacterial properties. Among them are the lemongrass oil, the lime oil, the cinnamon bark oil, and the orange oil. Some studies have indicated that these EOs have a synergistic effect and a positive influence on the cytotoxic capacity of tetracycline.

Aside from the microbial inhibition, these compounds exhibit a biostatic effect, which limits the intracellular metabolic activity of the cells. This makes them a good fit for a potential veterinary drug. Although there are few unbiased studies that examine the interaction of essential oils and cellular function, it is known that a variety of compounds interact with the bacterial cell in a number of different ways.

Essential oils are not without their flaws, but they are also not without their high points. However, despite their limitations, the essential oils are considered to be effective and safe alternatives to synthetic preservatives. Furthermore, they are able to completely change the morphology of a bacterial cell.

Side effects

Essential oils are concentrated extracts of various plants. These oils can be applied to the skin or taken orally. They have a variety of effects, including antiseptic, odor-suppressing, and insecticide and repellent properties.

But before using essential oils, it is important to know the risks and side effects. Several types of essential oils can be toxic and pose a risk to your health. Some can cause skin irritation and mood changes.

Other essential oils, such as lavender, may affect the endocrine system, causing hormonal imbalances and other problems. If you are pregnant, avoid the use of bergamot and clary sage oils.

Before applying essential oils to your skin, make sure that you dilute them with a carrier oil. This will reduce the strength of the reaction. It is also advisable to do a patch test before exposing yourself to the oils. Apply a small amount to an innocuous part of the body, then cover it with a bandage for 24 hours. Immediately remove the bandage if you feel any discomfort.

Essential oils are also contraindicated during pregnancy. Using essential oils during pregnancy can lead to malformations in the fetus. You should discuss this matter with your doctor prior to using them.

The National Capital Poison Center reports that misuse of essential oils can result in serious poisoning. They recommend keeping the products out of reach of children and pets.

Essential oils can interact with other medications and cause adverse reactions. So be sure to check with your doctor or dentist before using them.

Many essential oils are highly concentrated, and can cause toxicity in high doses. There are also terpenoids present in some essential oils that may lead to spasms and seizures. Therefore, if you are allergic to terpenoids, you should avoid all products containing these compounds.

Depending on the plant and the extraction process, toxicity levels of essential oils vary. Typically, they are safe for ingestion. However, they are not regulated by the FDA.

Before buying essential oils, it is advisable to read reviews on the product. You can also talk to an aromatherapy expert for more information.