The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy
Essential Oils – What Are They and How To Use Them
In case you haven’t heard, more and more people are exploring the wonders of essential oils for relaxation, better sleep, more energy, better focus, stress reduction, emotional wellbeing and immune support.
So what are essential oils anyway?
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts of plant material — such as seeds, flowers, stems or roots. The term ‘essential’ is used because the oil captures the essence of the plant itself. Extraction of essential oils requires a careful process of distillation, either via steam or water, and other mechanical methods such as pressing.
No, there is a large degree of difference between pure or synthetic essential oils. Pure oils are aromatic compounds extracted directly from the plant while synthetic oils are compounds synthesized in labs.
There is a large difference between pure, high grade oils and inexpensive synthetic oils and it’s important to consider this quality difference whenever you consider purchasing essential oils. Always buy your oils from a trusted source and use as recommended.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy (sometimes called essential oil therapy) is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote physical and emotional health and well-being. Each essential oil has an array of unique healing properties, uses, and effects and when you combine them you can create synergistic blends for even more benefits.
Many people use aromatherapy to enhance and improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit through the sense of smell and skin absorption. Overall it’s a very pleasant way to relax and reduce stressful feelings while supporting the health of your body systems and emotional wellbeing.
How do you use essential oils?
Most essential oils are inhaled via diffusion or applied topically to the skin after being mixed with a carrier oil. You can also enjoy essential oils in aromatic sprays, inhalers, bathing salts, body oils, creams or lotions for massage or topical application, facial steamers, hot and cold compresses and clay masks. Therapeutic grade oils that are specified as supplements can also be taken internally.
Some of the most popular and commonly used essential oils are:
Lavender essential oil is a must-have for its calming & relaxing properties. Many people will apply Lavender oil for a peaceful sleep or to ease feelings of tension. You can also use this oil for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Due to Lavender’s versatility, it is considered the must-have oil to have on hand at all times.
Lemon is known for its clean, fresh citrus aroma and purifying properties. Often used in cleaning products and air purifiers, Lemon has distinct cleansing and deodorizing characteristics that make it a popular choice for cleaning surfaces and purifying the air.
Peppermint is an essential oil that is well known for its ability to help alleviate the occasional upset stomach and promote healthy respiratory function. This oil can also be used aromatically to enliven the senses and promote a feeling of energy.
Tea Tree is mostly known for its cleansing and rejuvenating effect on the skin, including soothing irritated skin. What many people don’t know is that it’s also great for diffusing throughout your home to help purify and freshen the air.
Oregano oil is one of the most potent and powerful essential oils and has been used for centuries in traditional practices. This oil is helpful in supporting the immune system, healthy digestion and respiratory function when used internally. It is also a powerful cleansing and purifying agent.
Frankincense is one of the most prized and precious essential oils and it has extraordinary health benefits including helping to reduce minor skin imperfections. It also helps to support a healthy immune and nervous system function.
Copaiba essential oil is widely used in cosmetic products including soaps, creams, lotions, and perfumes. It is similar to Black Pepper essential oil and can help soothe anxious feelings. This oil can also be applied to the skin to promote a clear, smooth complexion.
When it is taken internally, Copaiba essential oil can help support the health of the cardiovascular, immune, digestive, and nervous systems.* It also helps support a healthy inflammatory response.
Clary Sage oil is known for its calming properties and benefits to the skin. It can promote healthy-looking hair and scalp. Inhaling Clary Sage essential oil adds to a relaxing environment, and internal use promotes a restful night’s sleep.*
One of the more enjoyable ways to enjoy Clary Sage is to combine it with Roman Chamomile and add to bath water for a stress-relieving bath.
Cypress has a fresh, clean aroma that’s energizing and refreshing which is why it’s frequently used in spas and by massage therapists. Many people will diffuse the clean, fresh aroma of Cypress essential oil with citrus oils such as Lemon or Grapefruit for an uplifting aroma.
Eucalyptus oil can help promote feelings of relaxation and clear breathing and is oftentimes used to clean surfaces and the air. Studies have shown that Eucalyptus oil is effective in helping lessen tension. This oil can also be found in mouth rinses to freshen breath and promote oral health.
Rosemary essential oil has long been revered by many cultures for its internal benefits, flavor addition and energizing scent. Rosemary can help support healthy digestion and help to reduce nervous tension and tiredness.
Ylang Ylang is used to lessen tension and stress while promoting a positive outlook. This essential oil is also frequently used in luxurious hair and skin products for its scent and nourishing and protective properties. This essential oil blends exceptionally well with Bergamot, Geranium, Grapefruit, and Vetiver.
More and more people are considering essential oils for the wide variety of physical, emotional and spiritual wellness benefits they provide. In some way, essential oils can actually be considered traditional medicine which has been in practice since ancient times and is still being used today.
Now that you know more about the benefits of essential oils for helping with relaxation and sleep, boosting your confidence and mood and helping you to combat diseases, you hopefully have a better understanding of which ones can possibly help you.
Please reach out if you have any questions, comments or need any advice. We would love to help you!