Essential Oils by definition:
“a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic odour of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.” – Google Dictionary.
I threw myself into the world of essential oils at the end of last year when I started to focus more strongly on natural beauty and holistic remedies. I always knew that they existed, but like a lot of people, had no idea what to really do with them. I thought they were miniature perfume air diffusers, and they are in a sense, but they are also so so much more. I am definitely not en expert on the topic, however, I still wanted to mention my favourite oils and how I use them.
How They Work
Essential Oils can be used to enter the body in two main ways: inhalation or topically onto the skin. They can also be ingested but I stay away from this method due to concern of the oil clinging to my internal organs.
When applied topically to the skin, it is common and also recommended to dilute the essential into a carrier oil such as jojoba or even coconut oil. This makes it easier for the oils to be applied and massaged into the skin. It also doesn’t give such a potent does as essentials can be quite strong. Each essential oil can achieve different things, for example Tea Tree is great for helping acne and Chamomile can help with the treatment of eczema. Other oils can reduce bloating when massaged onto the stomach area or reduce pains in specific areas.
Inhaling essential oils straight from the bottle can have great benefits. Taking Charge.csh tells readers about the benefits of inhalation:
“During inhalation, odor molecules travel through the nose and affect the brain through a variety of receptor sites, one of which is the limbic system, which is commonly referred to as the “emotional brain.”
The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance (Higley & Higley, 1998). This relationship helps explain why smells often trigger emotions. Knowing this, we can hypothesize how inhalation of essential oils can have some very profound physiological and psychological effects!”
Again, each essential oil can have different benefits. For example, Lavender is commonly used for relaxation and to help with improving sleeping. Eucalyptus can help with a blocked nose or a cough and Peppermint can reduce nausea (it can also help to keep spiders away.)
Additional benefits according to Dr Axe include:
- Soothe sore muscles.
- Balance hormones.
- Improve digestion.
- Reduce cellulite and wrinkles.
- Homemade personal care products.
My Favourite Essential Oils
Tea Tree: Tea Tree has very high antiseptic properties as well as the ability to treat wounds. I use this for my spots as I have very acne prone skin. It really is a life saver at improving the appearance of blemishes. However, the scent can be quite strong for some people are it’s important to direct the product directly into the break out area, and avoid UV rays. Tea Tree is best to be applied at night time. Also, some brands haven’t worked as well for this purpose as others, but the 100% pure tea tree shown in this post is my favourite and available at Boots and on eBay.
Lavender: Lavender has multiple uses and benefits which include “the ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems” – Organic Facts. I like to use lavender to relax. I inhale it during stressful situations to calm my nervous system and add into my bath on an evening to unwind.
Eucalyptus: Like Tea Tree, Eucalyptus is also antiseptic and antibacterial. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory and medicinal qualities. It can be used to treat a blocked nose during a cold and can help with coughing. This is what I use it for these exact reasons: when I am suffering from really bad cold symptoms.
Lemon Grass: Lemon Grass can reduce body aches, relieve muscles pains and help with the digestive system. I use this to drop into a carrier oil and massage onto my stomach when I am suffering a stomach pain. I also use this oil to help me remove the labels from jars as it helps to remove the sticky glue.
Peppermint: Peppermint is cooling and can have a calming effect on the body. I love Peppermint when diffused as it smells so fresh, and as a bonus it keeps spiders away. Rubbing a small amount of the oil into the lips can also help with plumping them naturally, too.
There are so many different oils available online and from health food stores. I really like collecting different ones even if it’s only for my diffuser, or to add a few drops into my bath to get the aromatherapy scent. I am definitely interested into looking deeper into this topic.