I LOVE using essential oils! Whether I’m feeling down or when I’m not – if I want to relax or a get a boost of energy. They can be used in the bath, to freshen a room, in DIY cleaning products and even beauty products. Basically, I use them every single day.
What are Essential OIls?
Essential oils seem to be everywhere these days. But what exactly is an essential oil? It’s important to know the difference between an essential oil and other types of plant extracts so that you get the most benefit.
All plants have oils inside of them. These oils play a role in the life cycle of the plant from attracting pollinating insects to defending the plant from predators and microbes to securing its place in the environment.
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils extracted from plants. In order to create this highly concentrated version, a process called distillation is used. All parts of a plant from roots to flowers can contain the oils. Distillation uses steam to extract the oils and separate them into a more highly concentrated form.
Some essential oils are extracted using mechanical means and are pressed out of the plant. This is particularly true for essential oils derived from citrus fruits. In still other cases, chemicals are used to extract the oils.
Just as essential oils work to protect and nurture plants, they can also be used to help people.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is defined as “inhalation or bodily application (as by massage) of fragrant essential oils (as from flowers and fruits) for therapeutic purposes” (Merriam Webster Dictionary);
Aromatherapy provides a natural way to prevent illness, treat health conditions, and provide natural healing. Here are some of the ways that aromatherapy can help you deal with some common health issues.
Using Essential Oils for your Health
One of the greatest benefits of aromatherapy is stress relief. People turn to aromatherapy time and time again in order to feel more relaxed and reduce anxiety. Oils such as lemon, lavender, chamomile, and peppermint can all be used to help de-stress.
APPLICATION: Place a few drops of essential oil on top of 1 cup of Epsom salts. Pour the salts into the bath water for a relaxing soak.
Many people also use aromatherapy to reduce depression and improve mood. Chamomile, peppermint, jasmine, and lavender are commonly used to help with mood. It’s important, though, not to rely only on essential oils to treat a potentially complicated condition such as depression. Essential oils can, however, be used in conjunction with professional help.
APPLICATION: Put a few drops of essential oil along with a carrier oil into a small dark glass bottle. Inhale this mixture directly from the bottle whenever you need.
There are many essential oils that can boost energy. If you reach the point in the day where you feel you are dragging, a quick diffusion of essential oils can help to increase your circulation, stimulate your mind, and give you a pick-me-up. Oils such as cardamom, cinnamon, clove, rosemary, and sage are helpful for energy.
APPLICATION: Mix a few drops of your favorite scent with a carrier oil in a small glass bottle. Put a few drops on your hands and rub together – inhale the scent from your cupped hands.
Many people suffer from headaches and essential oils can help reduce headaches or even eliminate them. Peppermint, sandalwood, rosemary, and eucalyptus can be used alone or in combination when headaches come on.
APPLICATION: Add few drops of the essential oil to a carrier oil (jojoba is a great one!) and massage into your temples and neck for relief.
If you suffer from arthritis or other pain, aromatherapy can be very beneficial. Lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, chamomile, and juniper oils help to relieve pain without negative side effects.
APPLICATION: Add two drops to a teaspoon of an unscented moisturizer or coconut oil and massage on the painful area.
NB: ALWAYS do a skin patch test when using oils on your skin to ensure you do not have any adverse reactions.
6- IMMUNE SYSTEM
If you suffer from frequent colds or infections, you can use aromatherapy to boost your immune system and keep them at bay. The best essential oils for your immune system include frankincense, lemon, cinnamon, peppermint, and eucalyptus. They help to increase your body’s natural immunity while fighting off bacteria and viruses.
APPLICATION: Put two to three drops of essential oils on a tissue and inhale as needed.
If insomnia is a problem that causes you to have low energy throughout the day, essential oils can provide a solution. Using chamomile, rose, ylang-ylang, and lavender can help to provide you with a good night’s sleep.
APPLICATION: Add a few drops of essential oil to your diffuser. Run the diffuser for about 2 hours before bedtime OR mix essential oils with distilled water in a spray bottle for a scented pillow and sheet spritz.
When it comes to digestion, aromatherapy can be very beneficial. Whether you suffer from nausea, constipation, or diarrhea, there’s an essential oil that can bring relief. Ginger and peppermint can relieve nausea while lemon and orange can be used to improve other digestive maladies.
APPLICATION: Put two or three drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand, rub hands together then cup hands over nose and inhale. Alternatively, mix essential oils with a carrier oil and massage over the abdomen.
Purchasing Essential OIls
It’s important that you look for true essential oils if you want to use them therapeutically. Essential oils are all natural and shouldn’t be confused with perfume oils that are synthetically developed in a lab. Perfume oils don’t have any therapeutic value.
You can purchase essential oils as individual, pure products. You can also buy them in blends and/or added to carrier oils. Purchasing them individually gives you the most potent form. However, buying blended versions can also be beneficial, particularly if you are new to using them.
A blend will often contain oils that work together in harmony for a specific need. For example, a headache blend that contains several essential oils known for headache relief. You can also purchase individual oils and create your own blends.
Currently, there is no industry standard for certifying the purity of essential oils, so you’ll need to look for oils from reputable companies that guarantee quality. Look for a 100% pure essential oil that doesn’t contain fillers or added chemicals.
When you purchase essential oils you should store them at room temperature in their original container. If you create blends or lotions, make sure you store them in dark glass to preserve them properly.
Wondering where you should buy your essential oils? Rocky Mountain Oils is my “go-to” when it comes to buying ALL of my essential oils! They also have beautiful skin products – their cleanser is my favorite! *My affiliate link is here.
All in all, when you use aromatherapy you can improve your health and wellness. Some people choose to use aromatherapy on its own while others find that it’s a good complement to traditional medical therapies.
Regardless of how you choose to use it, aromatherapy provides healing and wellness without adding harmful side effects the way that many pharmaceuticals can. At the same time, it’s important to remember that even herbal medicine can have side effects or interact with medical conditions.
Harnessing the power of nature, aromatherapy will help you have better physical and mental health without harsh chemicals. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you’re using natural solutions that really work.
Looking for more ways to use Essential Oils? Go to my website here and download my Aromatherapy Cheat Sheet for even more ways to incorporate essential oils into your life AND “Like” us on Facebook where I regularly post tips, tricks, and recipes for using essential oils.
*Links on this page may be Affiliate Links, which means I get a small commission if you decide to purchase something after clicking the link. There is no additional cost to you, but sometimes there is a special discount you can’t get anywhere else! I will never recommend a product that I haven’t used and enjoyed personally.