Way way back, when I was younger, more energetic and wasn’t phased at all, by the idea of commuting 1 and a half hours, working in a full time corporate sales role and studying knocking off two college classes before the commuting 1 and a half hours home, I really became interested in essential oils.
If course, I got older, work encroached on any study time and the dysfunctional transport and road network of Sydney stretched out the commute time and it all went by the way-side as life caught up.
But recently, after renewed vigour in my fitness and health regime, I’ve started to incorporate essential oils back into my life. So let’s start at the beginning.
What are Essential Oils?
Maybe you have heard the term “essential oils” but didn’t quite know what it meant? You might have had a vague idea that it was connected in some way with aromatherapy, but didn’t know how. You may even have considered it the realm of those “hippy types”.
Let’s look at where they come from. Essential oils are made from different parts of plants. They can be made from leaves, like peppermint oil. They can be made from petals, like rose oil. Some are made from bark or wood, like sandalwood or cinnamon.
Now there are a lot on the market and we will get to that later – but true essential oil also does not have synthetic ingredients.
Essential oils are usually made by distillation to make the natural oils in a plant substance very concentrated. It takes an enormous amount of plant material to make just a small amount of essential oils. Rose oil for instance takes over a million rose petals to make 30mls of oil. For this reason, they are very expensive. You’ll find, because of the different amounts of plant required, the prices across a range of oils will vary widely. A sure sign to be suspicious is when every oil in a range is the same price. It’s more than likely full of synthetic ingredients.
I use a couple of different oils. Essenze, Essential Therapuetics and doTERRA® – all therapeutic grade. doTERRA® are the only ones I use in food.
While some oils might seem pricey remember a bottle can last a long time. It only takes a few drops of these essential oils to have a powerful effect.
Using Essential Oils.
There are a number of ways to use essential oils. Most oils are not used directly on the skin. They are either diffused in the air or applied in a carrier oil or lotion, or can be used in a bath. Some oils (therapeutic food grade) can be taken internally (I certainly use certain oils in cooking) – but they must be listed as such – taking the wrong ones internally can be toxic.
You can buy individual essential oils or you can buy blends. If you buy blends, it’s up to the maker to decide what oils to mix together and in what proportions. You can save money this way, because you only have to buy one bottle of a blend rather than several bottles to mix yourself. If money is no object, you might like to have the choice.
Essential oils have been used for centuries to promote physical and mental well-being. There are many varieties of essential oils and there are different ones for almost every ailment out there.
If you find you are sensitive to a particular smell remember there are often several choices for many conditions.
When essential oils are inhaled, they reach the limbic system of the brain and go on to affect all the systems that it interfaces with. These include the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the endocrine system, and memory. In the bloodstream, they affect the organs as well. When you have had a massage treatment with essential oils, it is wise not to bathe or wash it off for a couple of hours. This is because the systems of the body take time to absorb the oils from the skin.
Both psychological and medical conditions have been treated with aromatherapy through the use of essential oils. Some can be very expensive, especially those that come from exotic plants. However, by using the few drops as recommended, a small bottle can last a long time.
Essential oils are effective tools in controlling uncomfortable symptoms.
And if nothing else – they make the house smell great!
I use oils in a diffuser at night to help sleep, during the day to create an energetic mood while I’m working, in food for flavouring and in my water to help with digestion.
Do you use oils? What are your favourite and how do you use them?