Taking care of your heart isn’t just about living for a long time. (Although heart problems are the #1 cause of death in the United States.)
Heart health has a big effect on your everyday wellness too because it helps determine your daily energy levels, stress levels, blood circulation patterns, mental health, and more!
There’s hardly a better investment you can make than taking good, daily care of your heart— but just how do you do that? And how can essential oils help?
3 Best Practices for Using Essential Oils to Support Heart Health
Many essential oils carry properties, such as antioxidant, cardioprotective, and even sedative properties, that can benefit your heart.
But rather than just using essential oils by themselves—you’re most likely to see the greatest benefits to your heart when you use your essential oils to enhance other heart-healthy practices!
1. Use your oils to create an effective and regular bedtime routine.
Your heart is a hard worker, beating over 100,000 times every day, and it needs regular rest in order to function well.
This is vital because a full night’s rest, consisting of 4-6 sleep cycles, allows your heart to slow down and recover from the day’s work.
If, however, your sleep quality is poor, your heart can’t recover as it needs to! And this can lead to increases in blood pressure, daytime stress levels, and can even contribute to heart attacks and strokes in the long run!
Fortunately, when regularly implemented, essential oils can help you get the quality sleep your heart deserves!
Use them to create and maintain a pre-bedtime routine that will 1) help you relax in that critical half-hour before bedtime and 2) go to sleep at the same time every night.
Top recommended oils: Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Black Spruce, Helichrysum
2. Use oils to help you exercise (especially aerobic/cardio!)
Your heart is a muscle. And just like any muscle, it becomes stronger if you exercise it!
But a lack of exercise can weaken your heart and allow unhealthy cholesterol to build up within it.
In order to keep up a healthy heart, the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week for all adults. This may include walking, running, dancing, cycling, swimming, or anything else that really keeps your heart rate up!
And not only will regular exercise strengthen your heart—it will also improve your blood pressure, lower your stress, and even help keep heart disease at bay!
Of course, it can be difficult to start and maintain a regular exercise habit. So use your essential oils to help get your body and mind going!:
- Use energizing ginger and citrus oils to help you feel energized and willing to start exercising.
- Use peppermint and eucalyptus oil (note: do not ingest eucalyptus oil) to open up your lungs and improve your exercise performance and endurance.
- Use cool or warm oils (your choice!) to treat your muscles post-workout and help you relax and recover.
And if you are new to exercising, remember that it’s okay to build up your exercise habits with baby steps. Remember: the key to creating new habits is diligence not intensity.
Top recommended oils: Ginger, Tangerine, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Marjoram, Clove, Wintergreen, Black Pepper
3. Use oils to reduce your stress levels (and even increase your ability to cope with stress).
Stress equals high blood pressure, which is not the kind of exercise that is good for your heart.
High blood pressure can lead to all kinds of long- and short-term wellness problems, including headaches, reduced mental function, kidney damage, heart attacks, and more.
This is why it’s important to know 1) when you are stressed, 2) how to employ stress-reduction strategies that will also lower your blood pressure. It may take practice and patience to develop good stress-management skills, but the benefits are definitely worth it!
Use your essential oils to enhance other stress-combative practices like:
- Yoga and other movement-based practices
- Relaxing hobbies and crafts
- Regular exercise
- And more
Top recommended oils: Lavender, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Cardamom, Frankincense, Patchouli, Marjoram, Cypress, Geranium, Turmeric, Ylang ylang
What else can I do to support my heart health?
- Eat healthily.
- Laugh often.
- Get enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet (found in certain breads, fish products, flaxseeds, and supplements).
- Watch your blood sugar and blood alcohol levels.