The natural essence industry has gained a lot of attention and importance. Particularly, the essential oils for heart health. Aromatherapy, the science of curing by the aroma, is principally based on using the essential oil.
The oil-soluble compound from plant leaves, flowers, stem, etc. are isolated using the distillation process. The compound is hydrophobic in nature. Therefore, it does not dissolve in water.
These are then mixed with carrier oils to make what is known as essential oils.
The word essential here refers to the essence of the plant rather than to mean crucial or indispensable.
They are also known as ethereal oil and have their peculiar fragrance. Over 90 varieties of essential oils for heart health are known.
The aromatherapy stimulates the limbic part of the brain, which is associated with long term memory. It concerns emotions, behavior, and personal psychological imprints.
Essential oils are associated with some health benefits. Some examples out of a large number of benefits are:
- It reduces stress and anxiety.
Rose, Melisa, and lavender essential oils have found to relieve stress and anxiety.
2. It relieves headaches and migraines.
Peppermint, chamomile, and lavender relieves headaches.
3. It induces calmness and sleep.
Lavender essential oil calms us and induces sleep.
Similarly, many of the essential oils improve our abilities or relieve us of some uncomfortable situations.
What Types Of Essential Oils Are Good For Our Heart?
Essential oils can improve the health of the heart. In addition, they can also help us in preventing some heart conditions.
All essential oils are plant-based. It would be worthwhile discussing some essential oils for heart health:
It has soothing properties and can soothe a stressed heart. It brings back the natural rhythm of our hearts. The rhythm of the heart is essential to keep it healthy.
The soothing woody scent of cypress takes away the heart fatigue and brings back strength and enthusiasm.
It limits the build-up of low-density lipoprotein that blocks the arteries. Hence, it promotes artery health, and the supply of blood to the heart is appropriately regulated.
The ginger essential oil also helps keep the arteries of the heart in good condition.
5. Holy basil
It benefits the heart in the same way as basil. But it is less aggressive and mild.
6. Cinnamon bark
The aroma of cinnamon bark helps increase the blood circulation in the heart.
Juniper essential oil has a cleansing effect and aids blood circulation.
8. Clary sage
It has a high concentration of ester that calms the anxious heart.
Vapors of citronella help reduce blood pressure and heart rate.
It has a calming effect and reduces blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperatures.
Can Essential Oils Cause Heart Problems?
The essential oil comes under the category of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Exposure to some essential oils initially provides relief in case of heart disease or ailments. It does reduce blood pressure. However, long term usage of essential oil has shown a reverse effect. The blood pressure and heart rate have, in fact, increased in quite a few cases.
In one of the studies, researches have done considering VOC as indoor pollutants and the adverse effect it has as a pollutant on the heart. The results prove that the heart reacts adversely to prolonged exposure to VOC.
Long term use has also shown allergic reactions to manifest. The allergies can take severe and dangerous forms, if not diagnosed and treated early.
The research and data available in this area are still very less, and it is in the stage of infancy. However, there are indications that aromatherapy, if not administered properly, may lead to complications.
The reaction of the body and heart, in particular to any essential oil, is difficult to generalize. The emotional brain, which sets the response rolling, is different for different persons. The limbic system is the emotional brain and hence is bound to react differently to different people.
It is always better to test with little exposure to essential oil to judge how it suits us. If it goes well, maybe we can adopt it as a remedial or preventive therapy.
How It Actually Works?
The essential oil can be applied, inhaled, or ingested (not at all recommended). Out of these three, the first two methods are the most commonly used. Ingestion or oral administration of essential oil is not at all recommended because of the toxic nature of most of the essential oil.
Ingestion can be attempted only on the advice of a physician.
The skin is porous in nature. As a result, the skin can absorb the oil. And that is how the essential oil gets into the body system.
Absorption by skin increases if the skin is massaged or heated. That increases the blood flow, which increases the absorption.
The Limbic System
The smell of the essential oil stimulates the limbic system of the brain.
The limbic system of the brain is also known as the emotional brain, and it is associated with heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance.
Particular fragrance through the limbic system evokes different responses and different functions of the body are influenced and corrected.
In conclusion, we can say that essential oils for heart health help our body to heal itself. Along with the potency of the essential oil, the ability and intent of the body also come into play. This may vary with individuals.
The Manufacturing Of Essential Oils
Rather than making the essential oil, the process extracts it from plant parts. The essence of the liquified plant is dissolved in a solvent and taken out of the plant. According to Newdirectionsaromatics The most common method is steam distillation.
How Does steam distillation work?
- Collect the plant material in a huge vessel called the still. The plant material could be leaves, stem, bark, branches. Stainless steel being non-corrosive and non-reactive in nature is the ideal material construction for the still.
- Introduce the steam under pressure in this still. As a result, this steam releases the aromatic compound of the plant and converts it into vapor.
- The essence or the vapor collected is hydrophobic. In other words, it is not soluble in water.
- The aromatic vapor that comes out of the still is passed through a ‘condenser.’ The condenser then condenses the vapor into liquid. The cold water will pass through the outer chamber of the condenser.
- Collect the condensed liquid in a vessel called the separator. The collected liquid is in two layers: the lower layer which is the water, and the upper layer which is the essential oil.
- The upper layer of essential oil is carefully drained and collected. This will be the concentrate of essential oil.
- Mix this concentrate with a carrier oil, like olive oil or almond or coconut oil in a fixed proportion, and the commercial essential oil is ready.
The solvent extraction method is very popular. In this method, a food-grade solvent like hexane or ethanol will be introduced with the plant material in order to form a waxy aromatic compound called concrete.
Introduce alcohol to the concrete. The aromatic compound from the concrete dissolves in the alcohol. The perfumery industries carry on the further process of this product.
There are a few more methods of extracting the essential oil. The techniques adopted depend very much on the plant and its properties. Commercial considerations are imperative factors to determine which process is most suitable.
How To Apply Essential Oils?
The essential oil is available in small packs of 10ml or 15 ml.
Take a few drops of the essential oil in water. Diffuse this aromatic water in a diffuser. For applying on the skin, mix a few drops of essential oil with any base oil like coconut or almond and gently spread it over the skin.
How Can I Strengthen My Heart Naturally?
Prevention is better than cure. In other words, it is always better to have a healthy heart and prevent ailments. There are some simple ways by which you can strengthen your heart.
- Get some exercise for your heart.
The heart, being a muscular organ needs exercise to strengthen itself. The heart rate is the indirect measure of heart exercise. Hence, find any activity to do, which will pump up your heart rate and do that exercise regularly.
Some physical activities which are fun and good for your heart are:
Brisk walking for 20-30 minutes every day will exercise our heart well
It is an all-round exercise for your body and particularly very good for our heart.
3. Weight training
It is excellent to tone up our whole body and equally suitable for the heart, lungs, and digestive system.
Ancient Indian yoga exercises and asanas can help strengthen the body and heart.
In general, we can do aerobic exercises, resistance training (strength), and stretching exercises.
We can select and decide on any of the above exercises, depending on our interest and infrastructure availability.
Some Lifestyle Changes
- Stop smoking. Smoking weakens our heart and lungs, and it should be stopped immediately. Above all, the tar and carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide fumes are severely harmful to the lungs and muscles of the heart.
- Eat healthy fats (unsaturated), which are suitable for your heart. It is essential to nourish the heart muscles well to prevent its fatigue and breakdown.
- Include proteins, minerals, vitamins in your diet in the right proportion. In addition to this, refer to the food pyramid to schedule a healthy diet plan.
- Avoid overeating and increasing your weight beyond healthy limits. The heavy body is always a strain on the heart. Pumping blood through an obese body is a real challenge, and blocked arteries worsen the situation and make the job of the heart more strenuous.
- Never overstress as it is not at all good for your heart.
- Stress weakens the heart and disturbs the rhythm of the heartbeat. In addition, it can lead to severe complications of the heart.
How To Stop A Heart Attack Immediately?
A heart attack is a fatal medical condition. Furthermore, a clot or obstruction in the artery blocks the blood flow to the heart.
It results in the death of the heart muscles, and the heart stops.
We can try to stop a heart track mid-track, only if we know the symptoms. So let us quickly see the symptoms which occur before the cardiac arrest strikes.
- A feeling of heaviness, pain, or discomfort in the center of the chest.
- It may come and go for a few minutes or persists for some time.
- General discomfort in the upper body like the shoulder, arms, back, and neck. In addition, the feeling could be of the heaviness of uneasiness.
- The breath may go short, accompanied, or independent of uneasiness in the chest.
- Dizziness, cold sweat, nausea, vomiting are also some symptoms of an impending heart attack.
Act To Save
The above symptoms could mean something is wrong, and before the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrives, we can take some action to delay or dilute the intensity of the attack.
- Call the emergency number 911 or any other local emergency number you have. After that, clearly tell the operator about your symptoms and how you feel.
- If possible, call a neighbor or a friend.
- Chew an uncoated adult aspirin tablet. Above all, it keeps your blood thin and prevents the clots from getting fatal.
- Take nitroglycerin tablets if prescribed.
- Lie down to rest. It is very important that you remain calm at all times.
- It would help if someone can administer CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation).
- Try to cool your body. For instance, put the wet cloth in your armpits or on your wrists.
- Do not panic.
Aromatherapy has gained popularity as a wellness technique. Being simple, effective, and easy to use, many people resort to it to resolve simple ailments. In a way that it can keep the heart-healthy.
However, avoid indiscriminate and over-usage. In case any complication arises, we should consult the doctor immediately.