Natural Health and Wellbeing are just a few drops away: a beginners guide to essential oils.
When our health starts to suffer, our natural instinct is to head off to the chemist, or the Doctor, and find the most appropriate drug to take the symptoms away. However, this doesn’t always address the real issue, or fix the root cause. What if I told you there’s another, more natural way, to boost mental and physical wellbeing, including great skin, using essential oils? You would be wise to invest a little in some basic essential oils, and keep these in your medicine cabinet.
Why essential oils?
They are more than just an assault on the senses; essential oils are made to heal. Essential oils penetrate the skin easier and faster due to their small molecular size, delivering the healing properties where you need them, and when you need them. Funnily enough, when you’re using essential oils as a remedy for a headache, cold, or even stress, speed is key.
Research shows certain oils have the ability to affect our central nervous system—meaning they have the power to lower blood pressure, calm you down, or give you an energy boost for the afternoon slump. And as more people are considering an alternative route to good health, the ease and simplicity of essential oils contribute to this growing trend.
How to use essential oils
Inhalations via a diffuser or hot water facial steams.This method uses about 10 drops and is best for colds, sinus problems, headaches, and stress relief.
A bath can create the ultimate healing retreat without leaving your home. Be sure to mix essential oils (8 drops) with an emulsifier like soothing salts or a carrier oil like coconut or almond (3/4 of a cup). Without it, the oils won’t disperse evenly. Best for muscle aches, skin issues, circulatory and respiratory health, sleep issues, and relaxation.
Massages with a low concentration of essential oils is a classic way to relieve muscle tension and relax. Mix a few drops with a carrier oil such as coconut, and massage into to the skin.
How to purchase essential oils
Not all essential oils are make equally, and it’s not as easy to spot a fake.
Labelling is key. Look for a bottle that includes the plant’s Latin name on the label.
Packaging is important. Plastic bottles are inefficient due to the strong compounds in pure essential oils that can break it down. Look for a glass bottle that’s dark or amber coloured—it helps protect against oil-degrading ultraviolet light.
Try the ring test. Place a single drop of your new oil on white printer paper and let dry. If there’s an oily ring left behind, it’s not a pure essential oil. (with some exceptions: heavier, darker oils like sandalwood and patchouli).
Go organic. To be sure you aren’t exposed to pesticides, look for the Organic Soil association, or the term wild-crafted on the label.
Create your collection
Start your essential oil collection with these most popular essential oils.
The most popular of the essential oils due to its many properties. There’s very little this scent can’t do for you, and the only safe to use directly on the skin. Lavender oil goes to good use in beauty products. Naturally soothing, it’s calming for your mind, body and wellbeing, and perfect for relaxing before bedtime. Research has also shown its use as pain relief. In one research study, gastric bypass surgery patients who had lavender oil applied post-operatively to the oxygen face mask required significantly less morphine after surgery than a control group of patients that received non-scented baby oil.
When you have a cold or sinus problems, eucalyptus is your best friend. This natural decongestant is known to soothe respiratory problems. Add a few drops into your diffuser to keep germs away and help you breathe easily, or inhale some from a steaming hot bowl to clear the nasal passages and lungs.
Harness the cooling and refreshing powers of peppermint on a hot summer day by mixing a few drops in a spray bottle with spring water and spritzing where it’s needed. Peppermint is also good for anyone who suffers with digestive problems: not only is it a years-old remedy for nausea, but newer research shows peppermint can treat the symptoms of IBS, bloating, gas, and diarrhoea. Try dinking peppermint tea after meals. Plus, you can always take a sniff if you’re feeling light-headed, too.
Tea Tree Oil
Gently cleansing and astringent, naturally antiseptic, and purifying for the skin—this is a proven antiviral and antibacterial that, when mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil or aloe vera gel, can treat cuts, bug bites, warts, fungal infections and even acne. Use it to clean your kitchen work surface, too!
Extracted from the delicate flowers, this scent makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, and it’s not by chance. Its sensual and sweet, nourishing for the skin, and boost self-confidence. Jasmine is also quite sensual and is often used to spark romance or treat sexual disorders. It’s also been shown to fade scars and dark spots, fight depression, and act as an antiseptic or disinfectant.
Most people see chamomile as a bed time drink, in fact, chamomile is actually a remarkable anti-inflammatory. If inflammatory responses are high for too long, it can cause chronic inflammation, which has been associated with everything from joint pain to depression to cancer. Chamomile helps regulate it. It’s also calming for your skin, and caring for your emotions; if you’re having an anxiety attack, put a drop of this oil in each hand and breathe in the scent.
When life gives you Lemons, make essential oils