If you’re like most nature lovers, chances are you have at least one bottle of essential oil lying around your house.
And while essential oils are best known for their role in aromatherapy, it’s important to note that their benefits go way beyond their pleasant smell.
In fact, reflexologists even recommend using certain oils under your feet to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Here’s how it works.
How Your Feet Absorb Oils
The soles of your feet have five layers of skin and no hair follicles.
The pores found in this area are particularly absorbent and can quickly pull the essential oil into the bloodstream. When applied to the entire foot, traces of essential oil can be found throughout the body in less than 20 minutes (1).
This is because your soles and palms are the only sites on your body without sebaceous glands (2).
Sebum, which is produced by sebaceous glands all over the skin, is an oily substance that functions as a protective shield and weakens the skin’s ability to absorb foreign materials.
Because the palms of your hands and soles of your feet do not have sebaceous glands, these areas have no barrier between the essential oils and your pores.
More On How It Works
That;s why, for centuries, East Asian medicine has treated various illnesses and symptoms by simply accessing the right nerves with the feet.
According to reflexology, applying essential oil to your feet allows the oil’s benefits to reach multiple organs and systems and bring about full-body healing.
Some essential oils are considered too concentrated for most parts of the body, and it’s recommended to dilute them with water or coconut oil before applying to the skin. This is done to reduce the possibility of irritation or swelling.
Fortunately, the skin on your feet is one of the least sensitive areas throughout your body, so oils of all strengths can be safely applied directly to your soles (6).
Also, since you’re applying the oil topically and not ingesting it, the active compounds go straight into your bloodstream instead of going through the lengthy digestive process and making your liver do the work.
If you’re curious about giving it a try, talk to your naturopath to find what oils can help your heal.