Before there were any pharmaceuticals, many people relied on natural remedies and essential oils for thousands of years. They were especially used in ancient China, Egypt, Greece, India and Rome as perfumes, in cosmetics, and as medicines. Of course, the oils didn’t come in cute bottles and packages where you could buy them at a high-end, organic, all natural store, but they still had the same effects. Although it may seem as if aromatherapies are not as practical with today’s medicine, they still can enhance your psychological and physical well-being.

Typically, the contents of essential oils are extracts from flowers, stems, leaves, roots and other parts of a plant. When the aroma from the oils are inhaled, it’s believed to stimulate brain function and promote whole body healing when massaged into the skin. Every essential oil has its own healing property. Some have the effects for pain relief, enhancing one’s mood and increase cognitive function.

Although there’s not enough research on aromatherapies and the effects of oils, researchers believe that the sense of smell is the integral part of it all. Our “smell” receptors in our noses communicate with parts of our brain that associate the smells with our emotions and memories. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s website, some researchers believe the oils stimulate parts of your brain and influence physical, emotional, and mental health. While others believe molecules from the essential oils may interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes, affecting our bodies.

There are several well-known oils that have been proven to better moods like lavender, rose, bergamot, peppermint, lemon, sandalwood, frankincense and others have shown to relieve anxiety, stress and depression. Using oils during a massage can also be beneficial in that it relaxes your body and improves your mood to a more calming state of being, rather than a worrisome mood.

Not only can essential oils be used to lift spirits and encourage better mood, but some oils can also be used for cleaning your home; as a mosquito repellant, eliminating mold, kill pests, and more. As mentioned, essential oils can be used as natural remedies and for relaxation to improve sleep, relieve tension, and more. They can also be used for skin and beauty like to strengthen nails, in sugar scrubs, teeth whiteners, and more. There are just endless ways you can use essential oils in your everyday life to improve your physical and mental well-being.