Essential Oils For Your Post-Workout.

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Have you been training hard for your next race? Did you just complete a race with your best effort? Or maybe you just had an awesome cross-fit or spinning session.

Whether you are a seasoned athlete, or doing sports for recreation, there are times when aches and strains surface after the intensive activity. Essential oils may help to relieve these temporary discomforts.

Check out these 5 essential oils that are commonly found in blends for post work-out.

Lavender

The scent of lavender is a familiar one to many of us.  Well known for inducing relaxation, the lavender oil has both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties to keep nasty germs away while your body defense are down from physical exhaustion. A few drops of lavender oil into your warm footbath could give relief to your fatigue feet.

Above all, it is one of the oils that is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing.

Cypress

Native to the Mediteranean region, the tree of cypress is tall, coniferous and evergreen. Among its range of  therapeutic qualities are anti-rheumatic, antiseptic and tonic which contributes to the soothing relief to muscular-skeletal complaints such as stiffness, strains, soreness and cramps which are common after prolonged or intensive exercise.

The cypress oil is relatively non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing.

Basil

Basil is a popular culinary herb, especially in Italy and France. In the West, it is also known to be a “cooling” herb which offers relief rheumatic discomfort, irritable skin condition and to calm down down one’s nervous state of mind. Its restorative properties could work to strengthen and revive our body systems which is beneficial in our post-training recovery.

The basil oil is relatively non-toxic and non-irritant. However, sensitization may occur in some individuals.

Eucalyptus

The eucalyptus plant is native to Australia, where its tree is the main food for the koalas. A hospital disinfectant in the early 19th century, it is also a common ingredient found in over the counter medication for coughs and colds as well as dental products such as toothpaste and oral rinse.  Laboratory studies indicate that the substances in eucalyptus has analgesic properties which contribute towards positive pain management and inflammation control. These are particularly helpful in relieving our over-worked muscles and joints.

It is important to note that eucalyptus oils are externally non-toxic, non-irritant when diluted, and non-sensitizing. However, it is toxic when taken internally and has been reported fatal with as little has 3.5ml.

Sweet Majoram

Native to the Mediterranean region, Egypt and North Africa. the sweet majoram as a whole plant is strongly aromatic. With its unique combination of soothing, fortifying and warming effect, the oil of this versatile herb can be added to your bath or massage oil. Its analgesic action provides relief to rheumatic and muscular pains, strains, stiff joints and bruises. In addition, the sweet majoram oil is anti-oxidant, meaning it seeks out and restore damaged cells, aiding recovery from your workout.

As with the oils above, the sweet majoram is non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing. However, it must not be used during pregnancy.

Conclusion

Despite the recognized therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy for post workout, we should bear in mind that it is only a part of the recovery regime. Appropriate cool-down and stretching, hydration, nutrition, and rest are also collectively essential to the restoration of the body after the physical demands. Only with such wholesome approach, then the body can recharge well before taking on the next physical challenge.

Sources:

  • Lawless, Julie. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Conari Press. 2013.
  • Keville and Green. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. 2012.
  • University of Maryland Medical Centre. http://www.umm.edu/Health/Medical/AltMed/Herb/Eucalyptus Last updated on April 29 2015. Accessed on September 1 2017
  • Yang Suk Jun, Purum Kang, Sun Seek Min, Jeong-Min Lee, Hyo-Keun Kim, and Geun Hee Seol, “Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 502727, 7 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/502727 https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/502727/ Received 2 April 2013; Revised 7 June 2013; Accepted 7 June 2013. Accessed 1 September 2017.

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