Certain essential oils have also been used by midwives to help reduce fear and anxiety during childbirth. A 2007 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that women who used aromatherapy during labor reported less pain overall and were able to use fewer pain medications. (2b) In fact, a 2016 study published in Pain Research and Treatment showed that “aromatherapy can successfully treat pain when combined with conventional treatments.” (3)
After asking the patients to record their headache severity and associated symptoms every 30 minutes for a total of 2 hours, researchers found that the difference between the controls and treated patients was statistically significant. From 129 headache attacks in the treatment group, 92 responded entirely or partially to lavender. In the control group, 32 out of 68 headache attacks responded to the placebo. (19)
Another useful essential oil for digestion is peppermint. Research shows that peppermint oil works to provide rapid relief of IBS symptoms. In a 4-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 72 patients with IBS received either peppermint oil or placebo. The peppermint group experienced a 40 percent reduction in total IBS symptoms after 4 weeks, which was superior to the 24 percent decrease of symptoms reported by the patients in the placebo group. After just 24 hours of using peppermint oil, the treatment group experienced a decrease in symptoms of 19.6 percent. (8)
Never apply a pure essential oil directly to your skin. Essential oils are extremely potent in their undiluted form and need to be added to carrier oil, such as almond, apricot kernel or olive oil. Do not ingest essential oils 12. If you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition, check with your doctor before using essential oils, as some can interact with medications 2. Pregnant women and young children should not use essential oils unless under the guidance of a medical professional 2.

Using essential oils on your skin and in hair and beauty products is a natural and effective way to keep up your personal care regimes without having to use products that are made with chemicals and hydrogenated oils. Essential oils may calm irritated skin, reduce signs of aging, like age spots, improve acne, protect your skin from sun damage and thicken your hair.
The intervention group inhaled lavender oil for 15 days and researchers found that they showed significantly significant differences in their sleep quality compared to the control group that received no form of therapy. Researchers pointed out that lavender oil is a non-invasive, inexpensive and easily applicable intervention for hospital patients who are having trouble sleeping and experiencing anxiety. (21)
Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon! Connect with Debra Maslowski on G+.
And a 2014 study involving 82 participants evaluated the effectiveness of aromatherapy for elderly people with chronic pain and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Researchers found that after four weeks of treatment with essential oils, there was a significant reduction in negative emotions, including feelings of anxiety, stress and depression, among the intervention group. (13)
Improve blood flow to brain. Eucalyptus oil is known to be a vasodilator, meaning it dilates, or opens, blood vessels. In 1994, Austrian researchers discovered that eucalyptol, a phytochemical in eucalyptus oil (also known as 1,8-cineol), improved global blood flow to the brain after only 20 minutes of inhalation.9 A newer study released in 2016 by Korean researchers found that eucalyptol is also able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, a protective membrane that separates potentially harmful substances from harming delicate brain tissues. This research also found eucalyptol’s high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to be helpful in the management of chronic conditions such as respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and degenerative nerve and brain diseases.10
Tabitha has been named Tampa Bay's most influential mommy blogger and is the writer behind FreshMommyBlog.com as well as hosts her own online cooking show, KitchenWise . She has made appearances on Daytime TV and has been featured multiple times in print and online magazines, other blogs and websites. She's a sought after speaker and has represented many large brands as spokesmodel, including Mitsubishi Motors. In her own words, "I want to live authentically with as much heart as I can muster, loving those around me to their fullest potential and biggest dreams. Yes, maybe a little dramatic, but living fiercely is part of my make up."
I’ve long been a candle addict. There’s nothing like lit candles, good music and the ambiance it creates for a relaxing evening at home. And while I haven’t completely kicked the candle habit to the curb, I’m being wiser about my choices for the more occasional lighting of only soy or beeswax while avoiding the paraffin (toxin releasing) candles.  But an even better option, which I pretty much use all day long while at home are our essential oil diffusers. Definitely a new kind of addiction. Another plus? It’s elicited more, “Wow, it smells great in here,” comments from guests than my mix of candles ever did!
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