Whatever the cause, there are some issues that are common in men’s health. The most common issues include cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, alcoholism, diabetes, prostate cancer, excess stress levels, and many other issues.
Though tackling these issues involves a range of approaches like reducing stress levels, changing public attitudes about men’s health in general, and being conscious about living a healthy lifestyle that decreases the risk of common issues like cardiovascular disease. In addition to these prevention methods, essential oils can be a great additional way of supporting men’s health. Some of the best essential oils for this are highlighted below.
Essential Oils for Stress
Men often struggle with their mental health. Anxiety and depression are quite common in men, and adult men are far less likely to seek advice or help for their symptoms than women are.1 Essential oils are not a substitute for professional advice when it comes to anxiety and depression, but they can be helpful in a lot of ways.
Using essential oils can help you relax and unwind and can also help to balance emotions and reduce feelings of low-grade stress. Prolonged stress can actually produce physical changes, which can result in anxiety disorders and other issues.2 Because of this, finding ways to cope with stress productively can be invaluable.
Two of the top essential oils for reducing stress include lavender and bergamot.
Lavender Essential Oil
Clinical trials into aromatherapy with lavender have found that it can help to reduce stress and anxiety in certain circumstances, according to a study looking at individuals undergoing MRI procedures. Studies also show that aromatherapy with oils such as lavender can help regulate moods and behavior.3,4
Bergamot Essential Oil
This is another great essential oil that can help with low moods and boost feelings of well-being. One recent study worked with a group of hospice patients and found that treatment with a blend of lavender, bergamot, and frankincense helped to improve well-being and improve mood.5
Essential Oils for Skin and Hair
Men are quite lucky in that shaving the face can be good for the skin. Shaving helps slough off dead skin, being a simple and effective form of exfoliation. However, in some cases, it can irritate the skin and leave you with a feeling of dryness and itchiness. Using essential oils on the skin can help reduce that feeling, and the oils can also serve as a natural antibacterial agent.
Melaleuca (also known as tea tree oil) is an antimicrobial and antibacterial agent that many men will already be familiar with because it is popular among wrestlers and other athletes. Tea tree oil is frequently recommended by high school coaches as a way to ward off ringworm and other infections and with good reason.
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Studies show that the terpenes in tea tree oil are effective at fighting many kinds of bacteria, including various forms of streptococcus, as well as lactobacillus and Staphylococcus aureus.6
Additionally, men who struggle with male pattern baldness sometimes turn to essential oils to help them. Unfortunately, not all forms of baldness can be remedied, and even ones that can be treated require different treatments because there are many things that can interfere with hair growth.
If you are suffering from a form of baldness that is caused by scalp irritation, then it could be that using mild essential oil solutions topically could help you. Note that essential oils must be mixed into a carrier oil before being applied directly to the skin to ensure that they do not cause irritation. Cedarwood, lavender, and rosemary are all oils which can soothe irritated skin.
Essential Oils for the Mind
Many modern jobs require a lot of concentration, focus, and motivation. The jobs that people do today are rather different than the jobs from a few decades ago. People spend more time sitting in front of a computer or hunched over a desk and far less time walking, running, or enjoying nature. It is all too easy to turn to pre-workouts, stimulants, and junk food to stay focused, alleviate boredom, and keep the minds sharp.
If you’re stuck in an office all day, then diffusing essential oils into your workspace could be the answer to your mind-fog problems. It’s no substitute for getting out there and going for a walk in a real forest, but it can help to take away some of the fatigue.
Useful essential oils for improving your concentration include rosemary and peppermint.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Studies show that rosemary essential oil can help boost memory, recall, and concentration in children.7 Researchers at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England found that adults can enjoy similar benefits from breathing the essential oil.8
The idea of using rosemary to improve memory is nothing new. In fact, ancient Greek students would wear garlands of rosemary when taking examinations, and in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the character Ophelia comments that rosemary is used for remembrance.
Our forefathers may not have known exactly how the herb worked, but they did have an understanding that it had beneficial effects.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Another essential oil which has been found to improve memory and cognition is peppermint. Studies show that it can help enhance memory and improve calmness, as well as combat cravings as well, which may be useful if you are struggling with a desire to snack while at work.9
Essential Oils for Sleep
Many men do not get enough sleep or get very poor quality of sleep. Sleep disturbances can be a serious threat to physical, emotional and mental health and our overall well-being.10 A lot of men simply do not realize that they are not getting enough sleep. When you are sleep deprived for a long time, the chronic tiredness that you feel can become your new normal. Common symptoms of sleep deprivation include: 11
- Feeling tired and lacking energy during day-to-day activities
- Having your mind wander during meetings
- Struggling to get motivated at work or in leisure activities
- Needing to use an alarm clock to wake up each day
- Feeling irritable and grouchy
- Struggling to stay awake when driving
Most people have to stick to a timetable set by college or a workplace, which means getting up at a certain time, staying awake during the day, and then going to bed suitably early. Many people find that because they loaded up on stimulants during the day, they are unable to fall asleep at night. This leaves them tired and irritable the following day, so they must fall back on stimulants again to get through that day, creating a destructive cycle.
Essential oils can help with sleep issues. Lavender has been found to be particularly effective in improving the quality and duration of both light sleep and REM sleep in men and women.12 It is a simple, non-invasive option that is generally well-tolerated and that could help those who are struggling with sleep quality to enjoy more refreshing rest.
Effective Ways to Use Essential Oils
The most common ways of using essential oils are through vaporizers and diffusers, but there are other options. If you work in an office and don’t want to offend your coworkers by exposing them to essential oils that they may not like, then you have the option of using essential oils in other ways, such as topically with a spray or compress, using massage oil, adding a few drops into a bath, using them in a personal diffuser like Healthy or Zen MONQ, or even putting some on your clothes to discreetly smell throughout the day.
To get the most of essential oils, consider what you want to use them for:
- If you do manual labor and want to treat wounds, scuffs, and scrapes, topical applications are a good option.
- For mood-boosting, aromatic use is ideal since it is fast-acting.
- Taking a bath with a few drops of essential oils added to the water provides the best of both worlds.
Choosing an Essential Oil
If you are considering buying essential oils, then it is important that you look for the highest quality oil that you can find. Oils which are certified organic are a good choice, as are ones that come directly from the source habitat. Avoid oils that contain parabens, synthetic fragrances, or ingredients that come from animals. This is especially important if you are buying oils with the intent of putting them on your skin.
If you are planning on using essential oils, then you should dilute them with a carrier oil before you use it. Some people are sensitive to the terpenes in some oils, and it can be hard to predict which oils may cause problems. For this reason, it is advisable to perform a patch test on a small area of skin such as the crook of the elbow and leave the test overnight to see if any reactions occur.
Some oils can lead to photosensitivity, so if you are applying oils topically make sure to keep the skin covered if you go out into the sun. You can use essential oils as an alternative to cologne, but if you do this then you should remember that the oils will not last as long as traditional fragrances because of the lack of preservatives.
An important part of tackling issues in men’s health is prevention through methods like alleviating stress and staying active. Essential oils are a great way to supplement this prevention and improve overall health and well-being. Try out some of the essential oils highlighted above based on your specific needs and get ready to reap the benefits that these potent oils provide.
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