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Do Essential Oils Really Work?


Is the buzz around essential oils all talk, or is there actually some truth to it? Find out what the science says.

There has been a lot of buzz about essential oils and aromatherapy over the past few years. Some people swear by it, while others say it’s total hooey. How can we be sure whether it actually works? What does the research say?


Current scientific studies have found no evidence that essential oils can cure any disease or condition. However, some studies into other possible benefits of essential oils have shown promising results. 

Of course, there’s also the simple fact that good smells make you feel good. If you’ve ever come home after a long day and lit a scented candle to relax, you know what I’m talking about.

Let’s take a look at what the research says about aromatherapy’s effectiveness, and clarify what it can and can’t do.

What are essential oils?


Essential oils are fragrant oils extracted from some portion of a plant, whether that be its roots, flowers, leaves, or seeds. The oils are deemed “essential” because they contain the chemicals from the plant that provide its distinct aroma, or “essence”. 

The first documented use of essential oils dates back to around 4500 B.C.E., in ancient Egypt, where it was a part of daily life and utilized in many of their cultural practices. For centuries, essential oils have been a significant part of several cultures, and some uses of it are still employed today.

What does the research say?


Essential oils won’t “cure” anxiety, agitation, or other negative mental health states, but studies have shown that they may provide some relief from them. One small study found aromatherapy using rosewater was effective for reducing anxiety in patients with end-stage renal disease. Another study found it reduced agitation in dementia patients. And an overview of several aromatherapy studies found that it was effective at reducing anxiety, no matter the cause. 

More research is needed, but as of right now, there appears to be some evidence supporting the use of essential oils for people in stressful situations, or those who deal with anxiety. In a medical setting, essential oils can be considered more of a complementary therapy rather than a sole treatment, meaning they’re used alongside other medical treatments. And they can be effectively used at home to help cope with stress.

Research has also shown that aromatherapy, when done correctly, has very few - if any - negative side effects. So if you’re dealing with anxiety, there’s no downside to trying it out.

Good scents make you feel good


While there is some evidence that essential oil aromas have a positive effect on the brain, there’s also the simple fact that, well, they smell good! They make the room a more pleasant place to be in, and can encourage you to take deeper breaths, which leads to more relaxation. 

Essential oils can be easily incorporated into your daily self-care routine. Use an oil diffuser, light a candle, or use products containing them, such as our soap! 

Zyfe soap is naturally scented with essential oils, and also contains vitamins that help keep your skin feeling soft and hydrated.

Want to learn more about our ingredients? Check out our infographic on what vitamins are included in our soap, and how they can help you avoid cracked, dry, irritated skin.


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