I talk a lot about essential oils on my blog, mainly because I have seen so many positive results from using them for my mental, emotional and physical health plus they’re great for cleaning all sorts of things around your home.
For those who may not be familiar with essential oils, they are organic compounds extracted from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree. They are typically created through the process of distillation, which separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming. It takes 65 pounds of rose petals to get 1 15ml bottle of rose essential oil. That’s how potent these oils are!
These therapeutic oils in plants protect the plant from insects, shield the plant from a harsh environment and help them adapt to their surroundings. By taking essential oils, you are harnessing the protective and healing powers of a plant.
Essential oils are composed of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some compounds in essential oils can even cross the blood-brain barrier (perfect for us Lymies!). They differ from fatty oils (like those in vegetables or nuts) that come from large molecules because they cannot penetrate your cells, so they are not therapeutic in the same manner.
For over 5,000 years, many different cultures have used these healing plant oils for a variety of health conditions. They are often used for relaxation, beauty care, home cleaning and most often used as natural medicine.
Using some of the most common essential oils like lavender, frankincense, lemon, peppermint and tea tree oil to your natural medicine cabinet can:
- Fight cold and flu symptoms
- Relax your body and soothe sore muscles
- Heal skin conditions
- Alleviate pain
- Balance hormones
- Improve digestion
- Reduce cellulite and wrinkles
- Clean your home
- Used in homemade personal care products and candles
Ways to use essential oils-
Topically – Essential oils are able to penetrate the skin and pass into the blood stream and into different areas of the body for internal therapeutic benefits. I suggest mixing oils with a carrier oil to avoid skin irritation such as coconut, olive, or any of your favorite skin oils.
Aromatically – There is great evidence that essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream when inhaled. The large amount of blood vessels in the lungs absorb the oils and then circulate them throughout the body. Using a diffuser can help you experience the benefits of essential oils. You can diffuse lavender to reduce stress, melaleuca to cleanse the air, wild orange to improve mood, frankincense for spiritual enlightenment and peppermint to improve focus and energy.
Ingestion – Essential oils can be used as a powerful form of medicine but it should be remembered that again, essential oils are powerful. Most essential oils are safe for internal use but a little bit goes a long way. Usually 1-3 drops is plenty mixed with water.
Oils like peppermint, lemon and frankincense have great internal benefits and can be taken with water. Other essential oils like clove and oregano need to be diluted and shouldn’t be taken internally for more than 1 week.
Make sure the oils you are using state on the bottle that they are for internal use. My top two brands that are safe for internal use are Young Living and DoTerra.
Personal Care – Today, the fastest way essential oils are being used is by making homemade DIY personal care products. This is an excellent away to take advantage of essential oils to improve your beauty, home and long term health. Some of the best DIY recipes to use essential oils with include shampoo, body butter, toothpaste, bug spray, lip balm and household cleaners.
Not all essential oils are created equal. Most of the ones on the market are often synthetic or ineffective for your health. Make sure they are certified pure therapeutic grade for internal and external use. I always recommend Young Living and DoTerra brands of oils.
What are your favorite essential oils? How do you use them? To see some of my essential oil recipes, visit here.