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Essential oils have been growing more & more popular in recent years as people begin to discover and understand their many benefits.

When used correctly and in the right combination, essential oils can provide significant benefits to our physical and mental health. It can even be used in our homes, and approximately 1500 combinations of 90+ essential oils are used in dermatology.

To help you better understand how to use essential oils, here are 10 benefits of essential oils you may not know about.

1. Get long, luscious locks of hair

Men and women alike, we all dream of having beautiful, healthy hair. Fortunately, essential oils can help you achieve that dream.

Some studies have been done to evaluate the effectiveness of essential oils for scalp health and hair growth. Rosemary oil has been shown to increase hair count just as much as minoxidil 2%, a popular medication used for hair growth. It was also shown to lead to less scalp itching than minoxidil, and a healthy scalp is wonderful for healthy hair growth.

If you have issues with dandruff, feel free to toss out your standard anti-dandruff shampoos for a more natural alternative, as lemongrass essential oil and tea tree oil offer excellent anti-dandruff properties.

2. Achieve glowing, beautiful skin

Skin problems? There’s an essential oil out there for almost any skin ailment. Here are just some of the benefits of essential oils for skin:

Remember to always check with your doctor or dermatologist before trying any of these essential oils for your skin.

It’s also important to never apply pure essential oils directly on your skin. Instead, dilute them in a base oil (like argan oil, sweet almond oil or coconut oil) to avoid skin irritation, contact allergies and burns.

3. Calm the mind with essential oil inhalation

One of the best things about essential oils is that they smell fantastic! You can choose to inhale essential oils using a diffuser, a steam or a spray. Inhaling essential oils has been shown to activate the limbic system in your brain, which is partially responsible for your emotions, behaviours and even your long-term memory.

Most people inhale essential oils for their calming properties. The smell of essential oils, particularly sweet orange oil, is known to help in the treatment of anxiety and stress, while lavender oil is useful for helping you sleep.

4. Soothe minor wounds and burns

Many different essential oils are known for helping with a wide range of wounds and skin irritations.

Lavender oil, for example, can clean cuts and scrapes, calm stressed skin, and even speed up wound healing. Eucalyptus oil can be used to treat burns, cuts, lice and insect bites, while Chamomile oil has been shown to help with pain management and soothe burns, bruises and other skin conditions.

Again, remember to always dilute your essential oils with a base oil before applying to your skin to avoid irritating your wound even more.

5. Disinfect and clean your home

Essential oils offer a great way for you to clean your home without the use of harsh chemicals - and they often smell much better than anything you’d pick up at your local store!

Tea tree oil is a powerhouse essential oil - it has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s also a known disinfectant and when diluted with water, it can be used to clean and deodorise your home. A study suggests it may be as effective as bleach for killing bacteria like E. coli and S. epidermidis.

Lemon oil has anti-viral & anti-bacterial properties and can cut through grease with ease. A few drops of lovely smelling lavender oil (anti-bacterial) or rosemary oil (anti-bacterial and antiseptic) in your detergent can remove musty smells from your dirty laundry.

6. Enjoy a relaxing massage

Nothing is more relaxing than a massage, and essential oils have the added benefit of not only being relaxing when inhaled, but also helping to soothe muscle aches and inflammations.

Peppermint and eucalyptus oils are often used to soothe tired muscles, while chamomile and rosemary oils are also known to help with muscle inflammation.

Lavender, chamomile and bergamot oils are also great for stress relief, so while they might not actually loosen your muscles, these oils can help your massage become extra relaxing!

7. Soothe an upset stomach

Many of us enjoy sipping on a cup of peppermint tea after a particularly greasy meal or when we have an upset stomach. It may come as no surprise, that peppermint essential oil is known for its ability to soothe upset stomachs, support healthy digestion and help relieve flatulence, abdominal pain or bloating. It has even been shown to provide quick soothing relief for IBS symptoms.

The next time you’ve eaten a heavy meal, have motion sickness or feel nauseous for whatever reason, try rubbing some peppermint essential oils (diluted in an appropriate carrier oil) on your stomach.

8. Relieve your headache

For centuries, Persian cultures have applied a mix of chamomile essential oils and sesame oil to their foreheads to reduce headaches and soothe migraines.

Diluted peppermint oil and lavender oil have been shown to reduce headaches when applied directly to the skin. The wonderful news is that essential oils are also great for soothing other kinds of aches and pains, including postoperative pain, obstetrical pain and gynaecological pain.

9. Boost your energy and focus at work

We’ve touched on which essential oils are helpful when you want to relax - but how about when you need a boost of extra energy?

A study found that peppermint essential oil can increase brain oxygen concentration, helping you focus more, boosting your energy, and even contributing to better exercise performance. It’s also been shown to enhance memory and alertness.

Rosemary is another essential oil that’s been shown to enhance memory functions, while other stimulating oils include peppermint oil, sweet orange oil, grapefruit oil and lemon oil.

10. Clear congestion caused by a cold

Last but certainly not the least, when cold and flu has you reaching for the tissue box, consider also reaching for some essential oils. Eucalyptus and peppermint oils are often used to help clear nasal and chest congestion, whether you’re suffering from a cold or seasonal allergies.

Though many of these claims are today backed by science, essential oils will work differently for everyone. The best way to discover the benefits of essential oils is to try using them yourself. Create a special blend of essential oils or use them individually in the ways described here. Let us know how they work for you in the comments section below.