Essential oils are natural constituents extracted by steam distillation from a plant or a specified botanical source and having the characteristic odor from which it is extracted. Essential oils have been described as the “life force” or “essence” of plants. Aromatherapy is a method of employing essential oils to protect, heal and beautify. Essential oils can help the body mitigate everyday ailments; strengthen your immune system, organs, and glands, fight bacteria, fungi and viruses; lower your stress levels; and tone, relax and strengthen your muscles. They can assist in healing the body itself, help to keep your skin and hair in tiptop condition and your home fragrant and clean.
Essential oils, contrary to the use of the word “oil” are not really oily, and they are clear and volatile. There are seemingly endless choices when it comes to buying essential oils, and for every oil, there are at least a dozen uses. There are many ways to use essential oils:
- Incorporate with carrier oils to make massage oils
- Add in minute quantities to bath, along with a carrier such as milk
- Incorporate with a carrier oil to make insect repellent
- Incorporate in cosmetic, lotion and healing ointments
- Use in shampoos, conditioners and hair products
- Use to add antibacterial and antiviral qualities to room-fresher sprays
- Add to basic kitchen ingredients for cleaning
- Use in a vaporizer to improve the air quality
- Use in a pocket inhaler or aromatic jewelry to revive, restore or relax
How Essential Oils Enter the Body
Essential oils primarily enter the body in three ways:
- Absorption through inhalation (olfactory and respiratory systems)
- Absorption through the skin (dermal absorption) – Direct Application
- Absorption through ingestion (internal metabolic pathways) or mucous membranes
The best way for a body to absorb the therapeutic qualities of essential oils is through inhalation and dermal absorption.
You may click here to find out the ways essential oils can be applied.
There is a lot written on the internet about ingesting essential oils, and I’m not advising oral ingestion with essential oils as the oil molecules may have been chemically altered during gastric processing, not just causing gastritis and even more serious reactions
Benefits of Essential Oil
We can use them for supporting a healthy immune system, for relaxation and better sleep, for stamina and boosting energy, and for uplifting our spirit. Essential oils can use to clean house, to nourish and heal skin, in your hair care routines, for occasional headaches and discomforts and more others associated with everyday life.
Getting Started With Essential Oils
Getting started with essential oils is easy. Most essential oils have healing properties. You can start exploring with just 5 essential oils and 1 carrier oil. The following 5 oils are what I recommend starting with.
To begin with, lavender and tea tree are among your first purchases, followed by peppermint, lemon, and Roman chamomile. As you can read through DIY/recipes, you will notice immediately how often these remarkable essential oils are used. Lavender, in particular, has a reputation for being gentle and safe enough to use.
Later in the post, I shall share with you some simple recipes that you can start with these 5 essential oils.
Lavender is the most loved and used essential oil. If you can afford only 1 oil, Lavender is definitely the choice: it is safe, versatile and gentle. Lavender essential oil, with its balancing qualities, is primarily thought of as calming and relaxing, but it is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and stimulating to the immune system. This all-purpose oil can be used as an anti-anxiety sleep aid, a muscle relaxant, a pain reliever, an antibacterial for wounds and burns, and a topical treatment for dry skin, eczema, and insect bites.
Tea Tree is top when it comes to healing oil. It has many outstanding properties, best known for its capacity to stimulate the immune system, inhibit the growth of viruses, prevent or destroy fungal infections and kill bacteria. Tea Tree oil is a “first aid in a bottle” treatment for acne, athlete’s foot, blisters, minor burns, rashes, insect bites, diaper rash and infected wounds.
Peppermint is a natural anti-inflammatory, can be used as an antiseptic to clear our breathing passage, treat the flu and colds, and help with digestive issues. Peppermint’s most important chemical component is menthol, from which menthol crystals are formed. The oil is extracted from the leaves by steam distillation and is refreshing, cooling and warming. The perfume is highly penetrating and minty, is a good deterrent to insects. Peppermint and lavender oils have an affinity for each other and work in a complementary and synergistic way.
This antiseptic oil is your go-to for cleaning; you can use it straight on a sponge as you wipe down your kitchen counters. Lemon is an ideal oil to combine with others since it will increase the therapeutic effect. A source for your daily antioxidant and vitamin C, this oil helps your body process toxins.
Frankincense is considered a holy oil in the Middle East, where it has been used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. It has a sweet, warm, balsamic aroma that is stimulating and elevating to the mind. It has comforting properties that help with focusing the mind and overcoming stress and despair. Frankincense is also a valuable ingredient in skin care products for aging and dry skin. However, this is an expensive essential oil so unless you can afford or willing to pay for as a starter, if not, you may want to leave this essential out for later.
With lavender, peppermint, tea tree, lemon and frankincense essential oils on hand, and a few simple formulas, you are ready to start exploring everyday self-care and reaping its rewards. Enjoy!