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What Are Essential Oils? An Introduction to Natural Aromatherapy


Essential oils can be beneficial in many ways and are often used to calm one’s agitated senses from life's daily stressors.

Interested in learning more?

Continue reading to find out the basics when using the best essential oils.

what are essential oils

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are concentrated natural compounds found in nature. These oils are commonly obtained from a plant or flower through means of distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing.

Once these processes are complete, what is left is a highly concentrated version of the plant's oils. Not only do the oils hold the plant's aromatic scent, but the chemicals within them can interact with your body, providing many benefits. In fact, humans have cherished many medicinal and beautifying oils for centuries with evidence dating as far back as 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt.

Aromatherapy

The art of perfecting essential oil extraction is a science that is continually being studied and developed by many companies around the World. Studies show that the potency of these oils can vary and their many known therapeutic uses are frequently used in the holistic healing community. This form of aromatic essential oil treatment is called aromatherapy and has been used for improving the health of the body, mind, and spirit, ranging from treatment of anxiety to poor sleep to skin issues and hair care.

Types of Essential Oils

There are dozens of essential oils on the market today, with more being continually sourced around the planet. Thinking about the number of different flower and plant species this not surprising. It is important to find 100% pure oils with top potency, however, which is why going with a well-known reputable brand is key. Click here for more info on the largest essential oil company in the World.

Perhaps the most popular essential oil used is lavender. While it is known for its calming and relaxing properties, it also has capabilities of reducing the appearance of skin imperfections.

Another commonly used essential oil is peppermint. It is the go-to oil for nausea, indigestion, and promotes clear breathing and healthy respiratory function.

Tea tree oil, or melaleuca, has gained quite the global acceptance in aromatherapy as well. It has been used by the Aboriginal people of Australia for centuries and is known for its purifying properties. You may also use it on skin irritations and for cleansing skin and nails for a healthy-looking complexion.

There are many more essential oils with a myriad of benefits. Click here to browse different kinds.

How To Use Essential Oils

There are three ways to use essential oils: topically, internally, and by diffusion, better known as aromatically.

Aromatically

For aromatherapy, it’s common to use an essential oil diffuser, which is sometimes customized with optional light settings and multiple time settings for the intermittent or continual release of essential oils. Most diffusers require a small amount of water and a few drops of your favorite oil to start. Diffusers will either use heat, fans, or contain a ceramic disc that vibrates, creating ultrasonic waves that break the oil into microscopic particles. The diffuser releases a fine mist of essential oils and water vapor into the air, which you can easily inhale as a scented stream.

As you inhale the essential oil molecules, they stimulate the olfactory system (the nose and part of the brain connected to smell), as well as the limbic system, (a region of the brain known to be involved in emotions, the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress and hormone balance).

Why not try one and transform your room or office into a serene or uplifting environment!

A quicker way to experience essential oils is via dry evaporation. Try adding 1-2 drops of the essential oil onto the palms of your hands and cupping gently around your nose. Certain oils are much stronger than others so it is always best to proceed cautiously. You may also try placing a cotton ball, with a few drops of the oil, a few inches from your nose and inhaling for a milder experience. Remember this direct route is never a good idea with babies, children, or pets. They are much more sensitive so dilution and distance are key.

Topically

A great way to experience essential oils is through direct contact via the skin, such as with a relaxing aromatherapy massage. This could mean simultaneously using a diffuser in the treatment room while blending the essential oils with the massaging oil. As the plant oils infuse your skin, they are able to penetrate easily as the skin is fairly permeable to fat-soluble substances. A massage helps to increase both the rate of blood circulation and skin temperature, allowing for enhanced absorption.

Why not try making your own essential oil lotion? Take your favorite carrier oil or cream such as jojoba oil, shea butter, or coconut oil and add a few drops of essential oils. Stir and pour into a squeeze or pump bottle. Apply to skin for various uses. I love adding peppermint oil for its cooling effects on aching muscles, sunburn, or itches.

Internally

Using oils internally is a method that is to be taken with caution. Not every brand is labeled for ingestion and not all oils are safe for internal use. Always best to check dosage and labels. Remember, you only need a drop or two at a time to reap the benefits of the oil. Having said this, essential oils are typically taken internally for specific areas of concern such as immune system support, respiratory health, digestion issues, blood sugar regulation, to name a few.

There are a variety of ways to take the oil internally, a drop under your tongue, in a glass of water, putting them in a veggie capsule, or even cooking with them. Try adding a few drops of lemon oil to your smoothie, salad dressing, or fish and see how they enhance the flavor.

Essential Oils Are Worth It

Now that we’ve described essential oils and some of their uses, why not choose an oil that best fits your needs. 

Click here to learn about the safest essential oil company that uses 54 different scientific tests to prove the purity of their oils, and labels their oils for internal use when applicable. In fact, they are recognized as leaders in the essential oil community and opened several integrative health clinics using their oils as therapeutic based treatment.

If you are still wanting to learn more, join our next virtual essential oil party with educational videos, prizes and fun interaction! RSVP here.