What Are Essential Oils?
If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential oils provide plants with protection against environmental threats and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.
Processing of Essential Oils
During a very carefully executed distillation process, essential oils are extracted from leaves, flowers, seeds, roots and resins. The unique combination of harvested plants with scientific processes ensures essential oils retain 100% purity.
Imagine smelling a vibrant garden of roses in a single breath and that’s what you’ll find in Rose Essential oil. An entire rose bush might only produce a single drop of essential oil during distillation, creating highly concentrated oil. In a careful process of boiling fresh plants, steam is captured and transferred to a container. Essential oil slowly separates from the water and is extracted for bottling.
Although most are clear liquids, some essential oils have a warm amber coloring such as Roman Chamomile and Patchouli. Only the essence of the plant is caught in our bottles, making the aroma and usage more potent and remarkably, more beneficial.
The History of Essential Oils
For centuries, civilizations have utilized the benefits of essential oils. Myrrh was used by the Ancient Grecians and Romans to heal wounds and as act an anti-inflammatory. During the outbreak of the Bubonic Plague in the 12th Century, Cinnamon, Ginger and Sandalwood served as lifesaving antibiotics. In the 1920s, Famous French Chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse was badly burned in an accident in his lab and observed that by dipping his skin into Lavender, he eliminated infection and prevented scarring.
Not only are essential oils highly therapeutic, they have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties. With hundreds of vitamins and organic compounds, essential oils act as adaptogens that promote homeostasis. Many work on the peripheral and ventral nervous system. Essential oils are non-greasy and require only a few drops to have tremendous effects on emotional wellbeing, physical health or spiritual mindfulness.
Many use essential oils to steal moments away to relax and refresh while others embrace essential oils for more mental alertness and lucidity when feeling lethargic or clouded. The healing and holistic medicinal properties of essential oils have been known to treat everything from minor colds to diabetes.
Essential oils are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends in one of three methods:
Certain essential oils, when diffused, can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Diffusing essential oils can also cleanse and purify the air of unwanted odors.
Additional aromatic uses For Essential Oils Include:
- Apply oil to a cotton ball and place in the air vents of your vehicle
- Mix oils in a spray bottle with water and mist over furniture, carpet, or linens
- Add oil to a batch of laundry or to dryer sheets
- Use in household surface cleaners
Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically.
Beneficial Areas You Can Apply Essential Oils:
- Forehead and temples
- Chest and abdomen
- Arms, legs, bottom of feet
Other Effective Methods of Topical Application:
- Add a few drops of oil to a warm bath
- Make a hot or cold compress by soaking a towel or cloth in water, adding essential oils, and then applying to the desired area
- Add oil to a lotion or moisturizer and then apply to skin
Sensitive Areas to be Avoided:
- Some facial areas, such as the skin around the eyes
- Eyes and inner ears
- Broken, damaged, or otherwise injured skin
Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements for targeted wellness.
Effective Methods of Internal Application:
- Use oils in recipes for cooking or baking to replace fresh or dried herbs and spices
- Remember that essential oils are much more potent than dried or fresh herbs and spices, so start with a very small amount
- For more potent oils, it may be better to administer them by toothpicks (dip the end of a clean toothpick into the oil and then add to the food) rather than drops
- Add essential oils to water, smoothies, milk, tea, or other drinks
- Take essential oils internally in a veggie capsule or add to a small amount of applesauce or yogurt
Essential oils are both exciting and promising when it comes to taking care of your own and your family’s health. Whether you’re applying essential oils topically, enjoying the aromatic benefits through diffusing, or taking essential oils internally, the positive effects of essential oils are boundless.
That’s why you’ll want to ensure that the essential oils you are using are capable of delivering on their promise. You’ll want to make sure that you are choosing essential oils for their potency and their purity.
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