Essential oils are fragrant, concentrated extracts derived from plants. Beyond carrying plants’ aromas, essential oils also contain the compounds that give them antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, or make them healthy in some other way.
The field of aromatherapy harnesses the smells and properties of these oils to promote state changes in the body. Research shows that certain smells — like those listed below — can send a quick signal to the brain that it’s time to relax (the nose and brain are linked by the olfactory bulb, don’t forget). While smelling essential oils is the easiest and most popular way to reap their benefits before bed, you can also apply them topically or ingest them (if the product is specifically designed for oral consumption, of course), but these methods must be done very carefully. and they’re not suitable for all oils.