In the past year alone, U.S. retail sales of essential oils soared 14% to $133 million, according to market research firm SPINS. Essential oils are natural plant-based oils, which are concentrated and distilled to mimic the smell of the plant it was extracted from. While essential oils are widely known for the hair and skin benefits they provide, they can also be used to lower stress and anxiety, which are risk factors for heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, physiological stress may affect major risk factors of heart disease like high blood pressure, cholesterol, overeating and more. Although it is not scientifically proven that essential oils decrease your risk of heart disease, they could help reduce your stress levels.
Lavender, cypress, lemon and clary sage can soothe the mind and relieve stress, which lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. However, if you have high blood pressure, try to avoid stimulating essential oils such as rosemary, sage, and thyme, which are known to increase heart rate and blood pressure, according to Amazing Wellness Magazine.
Aromatherapists use therapeutic essential oils in various ways. Try following these tips to boost your heart health:
- Mix oils together and apply directly to the skin as a lotion or massage oil. Rub a small amount on your temples or under your nose to calm your nerves.
- Pour essential oils into a diffuser. The diffuser will disperse the essential oils so their aroma will fill the room with its natural fragrance so all you have to do is breathe in and out to get a relaxing feel.
When used properly, essential oils clear the mind, calm the body, and create a soothing aroma. In addition to reducing stress, they can also relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. However, be sure to always consult with your doctor before using essential oils.