What is an essential oil?
Essential Oils are naturally occurring oils that are extracted directly from different parts of plants depending on the oil. Some are extracted from flowers, some from leaves, some from stems, some from rinds of fruit, berries and roots. Essential oils are the life blood of the plant for which they come from. The plant cannot exist without the oils thus making the oils essential. The oils are very complex, pure and concentrated when extracted properly. Essential oils have been around for thousands of years. Many of them are referenced in the bible; for example Frankincense, Myrrh and Cinnamon to name a few.
Not all essential oils are considered equal. Unfortunately, there are no regulations on essentials. Therefore it is necessary that you do your homework when choosing oils. When buying oils make sure they are 100 percent pure essential oil. Pure oils used responsibly can be very beneficial in a healthy natural health regimen. Essential oils are very fragrant. Due to the wild popularity of essential oils and the lack of regulations around them some sellers are selling synthetic oils as pure essential oils. Synthetic aromatics or scents, with regard to their health benefits, are the complete opposite of natural pure essential oils.
Synthetic scents found in essentials oils, candles, air fresheners, fabric sheets, shampoos, conditioners, soap, deodorants, perfumes and laundry detergent (to name a few) are carcinogenic (cancer causing)! Yep, you read that right and it’s only the beginning. Not many people are aware of the dangers of artificial scents; there is science to prove that we should all be avoiding them. Fake scents are made up of some very bad for us chemicals. The best thing we can do for our own health and the environment is to embrace and use natural pure essential oils.
Benefits of essential oils
Essential oils have so many benefits, following are just a few:
Boost immunity and help to fight immunity – many have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties that help fight infections. Some of the best oils for immunity are oregano, myrrh, ginger, peppermint, frankincense and cinnamon.
Support digestion – some oils that help with the digestive system are ginger, peppermint, fennel, black pepper and juniper berry.
Boost in energy – essential oils can aid in boosting your energy levels. Some essentials that boost energy are grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, lemongrass and rosemary.
Improve mood and reduce anxiety – some oils have sedative properties that promote calmness, peacefulness, improved mood and relaxation. The most popular in this category is lavender. Others include orange, bergamot, rose and chamomile.
Safe uses of essential oils
Essential oils can be used topically. Most oils should be diluted with carrier oils like grapeseed, almond or coconut oil before applying directly onto your skin. With the exception of a few essential oils, be sure to always dilute.
Essential oils can be breathed in by inhaling the oil directly from the container or by placing a drop on your hands. Remember to always dilute most oils that are placed directly onto your skin.
The most popular way that we enjoy essential oils today is via a diffuser. Diffusers are amazing and relatively easy to use. They allow your environment to smell amazing and give you the benefit of the essential oil with the least effort.
I am hesitant to mention this last way as it is not recommended without professional supervision or guidance. That way is ingestion. Ingestion of essential oils can be dangerous and should not be done without professional supervision.
My favorite essential oils
I love essential oils. My favorite way to use them is to inhale them directly from the container and to diffuse them. Following are 4 of my favorites and how I use them:
Lavender: I use lavender for its calming properties. I use it to reduce anxiety and to help with a good and restful sleep. During the summer, I use it to relieve the itchiness and pain of mosquitos and bug bites
Peppermint: I use peppermint for energy. It also provides focus and clarity. I inhale it prior to all meetings especially when I’m the facilitator. Also, because I don’t use deodorant, I use it diluted with a carrier oil under my arms in stressful situations to kill the bacteria caused by sweating.
Lemon: boosts your immune system and helps relieve respiratory issues and from a diffuser it just smells really clean and fresh.
In conclusion, hopefully I’ve provided just enough of an introduction to essential oils to pique your curiosity. There are excellent resources available on the internet and in your local libraries if you are interested in additional information.