The Benefits of Essential Oils
Healing Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils are very healing and important to add to your life. They benefit our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. They are very concentrated compounds that are extracted from plants. Essential Oils capture the plant's scent and flavor, also called its essence. They come from sources such as the bark, roots, stems, flowers or seeds of a plant. Essential oils have many therapeutic and healing properties. They have been used throughout the ages for their healing benefits.
The most common use of Essential Oils is through Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the ancient art of using essential oils for mental and physical well being. Essential Oils are absorbed through the skin and through inhalation to promote healing and balance. Essential Oils can be used directly on the skin but should be mixed with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or coconut oil. Putting essential oils directly on the skin can cause irritation so it is best to either mix them with a carrier oil or even unscented lotion. Two oils that are safe to use directly on the skin are lavender and tea tree oil.
Generally, essential oils have a shelf life of 2-3 years. It is recommended to store essential oils in dark glass bottles, out of sunlight, with the caps tightly closed. You can also refrigerate them to make them last even longer! You can tell if an essential oil has “spoiled” if the aroma has changed, it has thickened, or it becomes murky or cloudy in nature.
A high quality essential oil should have the scientific name for the plant on the label. For example Lavender is Lavandula angustifolia. Some bottles may indicate that they are 100 percent pure, but that is not always true. Look for the word “organic” which indicates the plants were grown without pesticides. Sometimes non-organic oils are grown without pesticides. It is important to research the brand before you buy!
It is estimated that at least 78% of essential oils on the market are synthetic and these oils have little to no therapeutic value. They may also be toxic and unsafe to use. It is estimated that about 20% of essential oils on the market contain fillers and/or toxic chemicals.
There are many ways to use essential oils:
Inhalation is great for treating respiratory problems such as the common cold or respiratory allergies. To treat a cold add 6-12 drops of an essential oil such as Eucalyptus, Lavender or Tea Tree Oil to a bowl of steaming hot water (use caution) and place a towel over your head and breathe deeply.
Baths: are another great way to enjoy essential oils. Run hot water and 5-10 drops of the essential oil that will benefit you. For example, if you need to relax use lavender oil. Add 5 to 10 drops to the water and soak for 15 minutes. For sensitive skin dilute oils with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil.
Diffusers: This is a great way to breathe in essential oils. Diffusers are fairly inexpensive, and you can get them on Amazon for around $20.00. Add distilled water to the diffuser and 5-10 drops of essential oils of your choice. To promote relaxation and sleep use Lavender Oil, Sweet Orange Oil or Roman Chamomile. To elevate your mood use either Rose Oil, Jasmine Oil or Sandalwood Oil. To ward off illness use Tea Tree Oil, Lemon Oil or Rosemary Oil.
Essential oils are very healing and they have many benefits. Remember to make sure that you use a higher grade and quality oil free of impurities to get the most benefits.