I’ll bet you’ve been hearing an awful lot about essential oils and thought what are essential oils and how do I use them? Well, today I am going tell you all you need to know about essential oils.
In recent years, aromatherapy has become mainstream and the general population is enjoying the benefits of essential oils.
I’ll be going through what essential oils are, how they’re made, and the benefits of essential oils so that you finally know what all the buzz is about.
So let’s get started!
Do you like the scent of a beautiful red rose?
If you do then you’re acquainted with the aromatic properties of an essential oil.
Then, what are essential oils?
Essential oils are naturally occurring compounds that are found in roots, flowers, seeds, barks, and stems. And they’re responsible for giving each plant its distinctive fragrance.
Essential oils have been used by humans for beauty treatments, preparing foods, and health care.
Other than that, essential oils have effects on our physical as well as emotional wellness. But, we’ll get into that a little later.
To better understand what are essential oils, let’s take a look at how essential oils are made.
Did you know that to date over 3,000 essential oils that have been identified?
Essential oils are not manmade but they are extracted from nature using two key techniques.
Let’s take a look.
Distillation is a really old practice that has been used to extract essential oils for years. The process of distillation is easy.
Organic material (like flowers, leaves, etc.) is placed on a grill inside a still and is sealed. During the distillation process, the volatile constituents (essential oils) rise up and travel via the connected pipe to the condenser.
From here the vapor is cooled down to its liquid form and the essential oil forms a layer on top of the water.
Three types of distillation processes are used to extract essential oils:
- Water distillation
- Water and steam distillation
- Steam distillation
The modern method of cold pressing is known as ecuelle a piquer.
In this method, the rind of the citrus fruit is placed in a container that has spikes that puncture the peel as the device is rotating. This puncturing releases the essential oils.
The essential oils are collected in a small section of the container.
After the collection process, the essential oil is allowed to stand for a while to separate the essential oil from water/juice.
Like I mentioned earlier, essential oils have a lot of benefits. So let’s take a look at all of these, shall we?
- Improves your sleep: Did you know that using Lavender essential oil can help alleviate your insomnia?
All you have to do is add a few drops of it to your pillow and it’ll help you in falling asleep!
- Making body butter: You can save some dollars and make your own body butter at home by mixing shea butter, coconut oil, essential oils, and magnesium oil!
- Relief from depression: Essential oils like rose oil are known to help boost mood and relieve depression.All you need to do is add a few drops of rose oil to your diffusers to help improve mood.
- Migraine relief: If you suffer from migraines you should combine a few drops of lavender essential oil with peppermint oil and apply the mixture to the affected area.
- Relief from PMS: To help with the symptoms of PMS, simply mix two drops of basil, rosemary, and sage essential oils then apply to apply it to the abdomen.
- Helps with allergies: Rubbing some frankincense essential oil and lavender essential oil on your palms and inhaling deeply can help relieve a sore throat and itchy eyes.
- Helps in killing pests: Spraying some orange or clove essential oil can help kill pests naturally!
- Amazing smelling home: If you diffuse rosemary, clove, and orange essential oils will make your house smell amazing and inviting.
No need to buy a room freshener!
- Cleans air: Cinnamon essential oil is known to have antimicrobial properties and if you diffuse it in your house, you’ll have some clean air and a house that smells like a Cinnabon!That’s a win-win.
- All-purpose cleaner: You can add a few drops of tea tree oil with lemon oil to a warm water, and spray it to naturally disinfect your kitchen.
There are two ways you can reap the benefits of essential oils—by directly applying them to your body or by diffusing them in the air.
Let’s talk about these…
Applying essential oils topically is a good method because they can penetrate the skin for localized benefit.
The problem here comes with the absorption.
Massaging the oil in can help increase the absorption as it helps increase the blood flow in the area.
There’s another way…
You can use a carrier oil to increase the absorption as well. This method helps when you’ve got dry skin.
But there’s a problem with this method.
It can’t be used in the sensitive areas like the eyes, ears, etc. And that’s where diffusing the essential oils helps!
An essential oil diffuser helps distribute the essential oil molecules through the air. Now, these molecules find their way into our nervous system through our nose when we inhale.
There are four different diffusers that we currently use.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
An ultrasonic diffuser basically uses electronic frequencies that cause a small disk to vibrate at a fast rate. These vibrations help break down the essential oil into micro-particles, and it also disperses the oil.
A nebulizing diffuser atomizes the essential oils you put in it and then diffuses them. All you need to do is add just a few drops of essential oils and you’re good to go.
A reed diffuser is a good alternative to scented candles. In this method, the reeds simply soak up the fragrance oil from and then just disperse it in it air.
Humidifiers are basically devices that emit steam or water vapor to help increase moisture levels in the air. This water vapor also contains essential oils that are dispersed along with it.
You know what’s better than one essential oil?
Two essential oils combined!
Blending essential oils is all about your nose and getting some aromatherapy in. It comes with the bonus of enjoying the benefits of two or more essential oils!
Let’s take a look at a few common essential oil blends, shall we?
- Blending Rosemary, Lemon, Hyssop, and Peppermint can help in improving memory and concentration
- A Peppermint and Grapefruit blend can help you feel energized and ready for a workout!
- Blending Vanilla, Sandalwood, Jasmine, and Ylang Ylang essential oils help set the mood when you’re with your significant other!
- Combining Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Thyme, and Rosemary essential oils is a great way to repel all the bugs in summer
- Mixing Vetiver, Clary Sage, Lavender, and Citrus can help relieve you of stress
But, that’s not all! You can be creative with the way you’d want to blend your essential oils and reap the benefits of your favorite essential oils whilst enjoying the amazing fragrance!
Quality Essential Oils: Finding Your Diamond In The Rough
Not all essential oils being sold are of the highest quality. In fact, some contain a very small amount of essential oil!
So, how do you make sure you invest your money in a good-quality essential oil?
I’ll help you!
- Look at the ingredients: The biggest giveaway is the ‘ingredients’ section. If you see something other than the oil itself, don’t buy it
- Synthetic fragrance: Sometimes, cheaper and synthetic alternatives of the essential oils are used, so keep an eye out for them
- Company reliability: Buy oils only from companies that have been known to be reliable
- Plastic bottles: If an essential oil is being sold in a plastic bottle, don’t buy it as it’s a fake!
Essential oils have been around for years and have a lot of benefits for our health and wellbeing. In fact, over 3000 different essential oils have been discovered!
The benefits of essential oils include relief from pain, migraines, cooking food, helping with insomnia, repelling insects, etc.
There are two ways you can extract essential oils from its organic source:
- Cold-pressing (Expression)
You can use essential oils in two ways—topical application and diffusion. With topical application, the effects are only localized while diffusion isn’t recommended for those who’ve got asthma and other respiratory issues.
I hope this has answered the question of what are essential oils?
Leave comments if you feel that I might have missed something. We always love reading your comments.