What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated organic compounds extracted from various plant parts that contain remarkable healing properties. Distillation is the process of extracting the essential oils from the plant. During the distillation process water or steam extracts the oil membranes in the plant and release the essential oil. These oils are typically distilled from seeds, leaves, roots, flowers and other plant parts. Essential oils are what give flowers their unique and pleasant smell.
Numerous cultures from around the world have used essential oils for their medicinal and theraputic benefits. The first recorded use of essential oils is still unknow. Many scientists believe that the Egyptians were some of the first to use botanical oils. Botanical oils were a sign of wealth and luxury and were often used during the mummification process. Many cultures still use essential oils for thier numerous benefits. Their modern application mostly includes relaxation, pain relief, beauty care, home cleaning and natural medicine. With so many applications and health benefits, these oils are widely regarded as a staple of holistic care.
Applications of Essential Oils
There are three main applications for the use of essential oils.
Many are surprised to hear that many essential oils can be used internally. That being said, not all essential oils should be used internally. Here is a list from the FDA outlining which essential oils are considered safe for internal use. Please read carefully before ingesting any essential oils and always keep essential oils out of reach of children. Now that we got that out of the way, some oils that are considered healthy to ingest would be peppermint. One drop of peppermint oil added to water can support healthy digestion and increase energy.
Essential oils are very potent. It is important to dilute them with water before applying to your skin. Don’t worry this won’t decrease the effectiveness. If you have sensitive skin it is always best to apply a small amount to your hand to see if you have any negative reactions. Massage is one of the most common topical uses for essential oils. Using oils such as lavender or peppermint can be deeply relaxing and invigorating. Again, make sure to dilute with water and spread evenly to avoid irritation.
The most common application of essential oils is through aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment which seeks to improve psychological or physical well-being using smell. Aromatherapy is where healing effects are achieved through the aromas of the essential oils. A very popular way to enjoy aromatherapy is with an oil diffuser. Just put a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil into your diffuser and enjoy!
Health Benefits of Essential Oils
There are many health benefits to be had from essential oils. Essential oils can be used individually or in complex blends depending on the desired outcome or benefit. Here are just a few of the amazing health benefits of essential oils:
- Balance hormones
- Pain relief
- Digestive aid
- Fight cold
- Fight Flu
- Boost immune system
- Tension relief
- Reduce cellulite
- Anxiety reduction
- Reduce wrinkles
- Improve sleep
- Boost mood
- Improve skin
- Itchy skin relief
- Teeth whitener
Our Top 10 Essential Oils
The pleasant and soothing scent of lavender is very effective for relaxation and boosting mood. It is also effective at healing cuts and burns.
Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is very effective at reducing bad odors. This is because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It is also effective at boosting the immune system.
Peppermint is great at increasing energy and focus. It acts as a natural stimulant. It is also a very effective pain reducer and is great for alleviating headaches.
Rosemary oil is very beneficial for hair growth. Try adding a few drops to your natural shampoo. It can also act an effective study aid by increasing memory and focus.
Known as the oil of empowerment, ginger oil has wonderful warming and soothing properties. It is especially effective as a digestive aid and is great at alleviating on upset stomach.
This invigorating oil is great for relieving tension and rejuvenating the mind. Eucalyptus also has purifying properties that make it a very effective detoxifier.
This energizing oil is great for uplifting mood and boosting vitality. Cypress oil also has amazing skin benefits and can help improve the appearance of oily skin.
Rose oil has a rich, intoxicating aroma that’s one could expect for the most beautiful flower in the world. Because it takes so many roses to make rose oil, 22 pounds of rose petals for a 5ml bottle, it is the most expensive essential oil on our list. Rose oil is highly effective in healing skin disorders. Rose oil is very effective at reducing skin inflammation and makes a great moisturizer.
Most natural cleaning products contain lemon oil. Because lemon oil is a natural disinfectant it is great for cleaning around the house. Lemon oil can eliminate odors and infuse your whole home with a clean, fresh lemon scent. Lemon oil is also a natural astringent and is great for restoring the luster of dull skin.
Oregano oil has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. This makes oregano oil very effective at treating bacterial and fungal infections. Oregano oil is also effective topically. It can be effective in the treatment of athletes foot and nail fungus. Oregano oil also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
High Quality Essential Oils
It’s important to note that not all essential oils are of equal quality. Essential oils vary greatly both in quality and price. Many recommend using only therapeutic grade essential oils. However, this is a little misleading. There are no third party agencies that grade the quality of essential oils. This is really just a marketing tactic. How do you find high quality essential oils? Well, some reputable essential oil brands that we recommend include:
- Young Living Essential Oils
- dōTERRA® Essential Oils
- Rocky Mountain Oils
- Now Foods (NOW®) Essential Oils
- Radha Beauty Essential Oils
It’s important that you do your research and check with you doctor before using any essential oils for external or internal use. Numerous cultures around the world have been using essential oils for thousands of years. Essential oils can aid in the treatment of numerous ailments. You can use essential oils topically, internally and aromatically. All of these applications have healing effects and are beneficial for the mind and body. It is important to use only high quality essential oils. Look for a reputable company that has positive customer reviews and outlines their manufacturing and distillation process.
What essential oils are your favorite and why?