If you have walked through a garden and luxuriated in the scent of a rose or inhaled the sweet fragrance of an orange peel, then you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. It’s no secret that inhaling essential oils can provide a sense of harmony and peace of mind, but did you know that they can be used to clean your house, help your skin, relieve allergies, boost your immunity and more?
Essential oils have increased in popularity over the past decade, but they are not a fad. In fact, essential oils have been used for thousands of years, dating back to pre-Biblical times. Egyptians used essential oils extensively in medical practice, beauty treatment and food preparation. Greeks used them in therapeutic massage and aromatherapy. Romans used essential oils to promote health and personal hygiene.
Nature’s Secret Weapon
An essential oil is a naturally occurring, highly concentrated liquid derived from the seeds, stems, roots, flowers, bark, leaves, or other elements of a plant. Plants have unique chemical compositions that help protect them against predators and disease. Essential oils contain the properties of the plant they are derived from and provide valuable physical and emotional benefits.
The number of uses for essential oils is seemingly endless. Boosting immunity and improving health, purifying the air, protecting skin from sunburn, mosquito repellent, aromatherapy, cooking and even crafting ones own personal care or cleaning products are just some of the ways that oils are being used today.
They have spawned a revolution in the DIY movement as well. Essential oils are added to many things, including homemade house cleaning products, lotions, deodorants, homemade shampoos, lotions, and laundry detergent.
People are turning to essential oils to avoid toxic chemicals in cleaning and personal care products and to minimize or avoid pharmaceutical drugs with negative side effects. Essential oils are natural, non-invasive and easy to apply. Many individuals even claim that essential oils have helped them avoid Doctor visits and expensive prescriptions.
If you’re ready to harness the power of some of the world’s most therapeutic compounds, here are some easy ways to get started:
1- Choose essential oils wisely: It is important to note that not all essential oils are created equal. Using high quality, therapeutic grade, 100% pure essential oils without chemical solvents or additives is key if you want to avoid adulterated oils that may contain cheap solvents or carrier oils and synthetic aromas or chemicals.
2-Start with some basic oils: The options are vast, there is much to learn and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It is, therefore, important to start with a few basic oils, learn about their uses and cautions and explore how they can fit into your life. Some popular options to start out with, include:
- Tee Tree (Melaleuca) – Renown for its cleansing and rejuvenating effect on the skin, it also protects against seasonal colds.
- Lavender – Reduces anxiety and soothes skin irritation and promotes relaxation.
- Peppermint – Supports healthy respiration and digestion, boosts energy and helps with headaches.
- Lemon – used to clean and cut grease, and as a deodorizer.
3-Use the oils: They can be a) used aromatically or diffused into the air, b) applied topically and c) the highest quality therapeutic grade oils can be taken internally. Although they are easy to get started with, like anything new, it is important to make sure you are using oils safely. Be sure to read up on each oil’s cautions and dilution ratios. Calling the company who produces the essential oils can help in determining their testing procedures for purity and how they recommend using their oils.
A Word to the Wise
Exploring essential oils can easily turn into a passion! Many people find themselves fascinated by their vast array of uses, from medicinal applications to simply enjoying the diversity of scents.
This article is intended to be an introduction to essential oils. It is highly recommended that individuals research essential oils first and understand how to safely and properly use them. There are many wonderful books about essential oils and even consultants who teach classes online or locally.