Sometimes called the "soul" of plants, essential oils have long been the mainstay for various therapeutic and home applications in prophylactic and even culinary aspects.
Paradoxically, essential oils are not greasy, but are more watery in consistency, highly volatile, concentrated and loaded with a wide spectrum of organic properties.
Essential oils are part of aromatherapy which is a complementary medicine where plants are used as adjuvants for the prevention and treatment of conditions and diseases.
In general, essential oils are a group of aromatic molecules obtained from a part of the plant such as leaves, petals, branches, thorns, resins, seeds, wood and/or bark.
These are semi-liquid or alcohol-soluble oils obtained by a solvent extraction process that produces a low yield. For example, 500 kilos of jasmine flowers yield only one teaspoon of jasmine absolute oil and 2.5 kilos of rose petals for one teaspoon of "rose absolute".
With the distillation process, however, one teaspoon of rose essential oil requires 5,000 kilos of petals. Therefore, a Damascus rose essence costs twice the price of rose absolute regardless of whether it is considered one of the most expensive essential oils.
This is a recipe or formula derived from the combination of several essential oils. Companies that sell blended oils already have pre-combined formulas, but you can do it anyway. So, learning about essential oils can give you the confidence to make reliable blends to apply as needed.
Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils and are sometimes referred to as "base" oils. They come from a variety of sources such as nuts, seeds, trees, and vegetables. The most popular carrier oils are coconut, almond, sunflower and jojoba.
Some essential oils that may eventually be used as carriers are lavender and melaleuca or tea tree.
Most Common Ways to Use Essential Oils
Generally, essential oils are mild, and their characteristics help the person using them to reduce symptoms of tension, sore muscles, mental fatigue and many other conditions as long as they are applied correctly.
The most common ways are through inhalation, either directly, smeared on the palm of the hand, or with the help of a diffuser.
Topically by applying directly to the area to be treated. As a body massage, combined with bath water and essential oil. Combined with another essential oil for a specific effect such as pain, wounds, or burns. Or combined with another skin product (cream, shampoo, facial cleanser, moisturiser, lotion).
In some cases, but not all, it can be used internally, i.e., by ingestion.
How to Choose Your Essential Oils
If you explore essential oils a little, you will notice that the prices are much higher than conventional oils. This is because some are not very common or are more difficult to extract. If a distributor sells the oils at similar prices, it is possible that they are not pure or not the originals.
If the solvents in the oils produce any kind of adverse reaction or allergic response, you should consider not using essential oils diluted in vegetable oil as there may be residues in the final product. A practical way to detect whether the essential oil was diluted in vegetable oil is to place a drop on a sheet of paper. If, when you slide the drop, residue remains, it is likely that the essential oil has been diluted in vegetable oil.
Therapeutic essential oils, grade A are exceptionally pure and should not produce an allergic reaction of any kind when used. Pure essential oils should be stored in a dark-coloured bottle (blue, green, or amber) to better preserve their ingredients. Exposing the product to sunlight deteriorates it and causes it to lose its properties if you intend to use it for therapeutic purposes.
The 8 Essential Oils I Recommend Carrying with You
There are about 300 therapeutically relevant oils for aromatherapy. Of these oils, 101 are marketed worldwide. In most cases, each manufacturer, distributor and/or health professional has a list of "top 8 essential oils" which are never the same for anyone due to their specific needs.
I therefore suggest that you, at your own discretion, compile your own list. In the meantime, I will give you my personal list, explaining the reasons for each choice.
- Lavender essential oil
Known as the "all-healing oil", you'll see why. Lavender oil is believed to stimulate the activation of the pineal gland in the brain, and therefore helps to restore some suppressed body functions and emotions.
Lavender is particularly effective because it provides a calming and relaxing effect. It is commonly used in the preparation of skin care products and is found among the ingredients of many creams, soaps, perfumes, and household cleansers.
Lavender essential oil is highly effective and can be blended with other oils and essences to enhance its effects.
Lavender oil is considered an excellent pain reliever for muscle spasms and headaches. It helps to relieve infections, colds, bronchitis, and nasal congestion.
Lavender oil provides calming effects against mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, and hyperactivity.
- Melaleuca or Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil is pale yellow in colour and has a subtly camphoraceous aroma. It is highly active against many infections caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses, making it a very effective first aid ingredient. The healing and penetrating effect of tea tree is felt physically and emotionally.
Thanks to its action and gentleness, it can be used undiluted on the skin in cases of nail fungus, skin rashes, blisters, athlete's foot, herpes, cold sores, insect bites, acne, and abrasions on the dermis.
Vaginal yeast infection can also be relieved by sitz baths with warm water and tea tree oil. This combined with frequent abdominal massages of tea tree oil mixed with a carrier oil.
For cold symptoms and sore throat, tea tree oil helps by gargling and steaming. Also, to improve resistance to sinusitis, bronchitis, and laryngitis.
For cold symptoms and sore throat, tea tree oil helps by gargling and spraying. Also, to improve resistance to sinusitis, bronchitis, and laryngitis.
- Lemon and/or Lime Essential oil
Lemon essential oil is used to detoxify the respiratory, circulatory, and lymphatic systems. Useful for cleansing wounds and can be used for sore throats and colds due to its antibacterial properties. Neutralises acids, relieves Gout and neutralises excessive stomach acidity. It can be used to supplement treatment for rheumatism.
Lemon can be used on the skin (but not before sunbathing) against dull and oily skin, cleans dark spots and varicose veins.
Rinsing the hair with lemon essential oil after washing enhances its shine.
A bath with this oil helps to recover from mental fatigue and vigour after continuous physical activity.
Ideal before meditation as it frees the mind from thoughts that impede concentration.
It is particularly sensitive to light, therefore should not be applied 24 hours before exposure to the sun. People with particularly sensitive skin should avoid it.
Use in minimal quantities: No more than three drops in the bath; either carrier oil or massage cream should not contain more than 1 ml of lemon essential oil.
- Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is virtually colourless and has a strong, pungent odour. The characteristic pungent odour comes from menthol, which has a dominant presence in amounts ranging from 50-80%. Peppermint is very refreshing, energising and provides a soothing sensation. It is mainly used to relieve headaches due to its analgesic properties.
Several stomach complaints respond well to abdominal massage combined with peppermint oil. Some of these conditions include diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, flatulence, motion sickness, colon spasms and nausea.
Arthritis pains, leg spasms, muscle aches, menstrual cramps can be improved with the application of peppermint oil through massage.
Applying it to the chest relieves bronchitis, colds, coughs, asthma, and sinusitis. Peppermint oil is also a reliable antiviral and helps to eliminate herpes and flu.
When used as an antiseptic, the essential oil can be useful in preventing tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.
Inhalation of this oil improves mental clarity and concentration.
Allergic reactions may occur when used on sensitive skin. In this case, always use with carrier oil or dissolved in water.
Peppermint should not be used by children under five years of age due to the likelihood of reaction to the high levels of menthol.
- Oregano Essential Oil
In the traditional medicine of many cultures, the various species of oregano are used against asthma, indigestion, headache, rheumatism and as a disinfectant.
The active principles of oregano can act in one or more of the stages of the oxidative sequence. The polyphenols are responsible for this action, which is influenced by their molecular structure, in particular the degree of hydroxylation and the position of the oshydryls.
Although their antioxidant activity is associated with several mechanisms, their high reactivity to active free radicals is the main mechanism.
Some people with very sensitive skin may experience irritation so test on a small area of skin or combine with a carrier oil.
- Rosemary Essential Oil
Due to the widespread use of rosemary essential oil in traditional Medicine preparations of many cultures , science is exploring its potential health benefits.
Among Rosemary’s Essential oil proven benefits are,
- Improved brain function. Research indicates that inhaling rosemary oil helps prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical important for concentration and memory (study) and (study).
- Stimulates hair growth. Experiments have shown that rosemary oil helps in the treatment of androgenic alopecia by preventing a residue of testosterone from attacking the hair follicles that causes this condition, which also affects women.
It was reported that after applying rosemary oil to the scalp twice daily for 6 months, those treated not only experienced thickening of the hair, like those using minoxidil (Rogaine), but also less itching than minoxidil, suggesting that rosemary oil is more tolerable than minoxidil.
- It can help relieve physical pain in both humans and animals.
- It repels some insects, including black-legged ticks, red mites and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that are the spreaders of the Zika virus. (report)
- Helps reduce stress.
- Increases circulation
- Helps reduce inflammation
Caution, avoid applying rosemary essential oil and other essential oils to damaged skin or near sensitive areas such as the eyes and inner ears.
- Protective Blend
The combination of oils to achieve the protective blend is composed of potent oils such as clove, lemongrass, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary.
Some of the protective properties of this blend include antimicrobial properties, strengthening the immune system, promoting respiratory and cardiovascular health, stimulating mood, alertness and reducing feelings of stress or anxiety.
This blend is often used inhaled or topically at the first signs of a cold or flu.
Adding a few drops to water for use as an all-purpose cleaner.
Combine a few drops with a little fractionated coconut oil and use for hand washing.
Irritation to very sensitive skin.
Keep out of reach of children
If pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a doctor before use.
Avoid contact with eyes, ears and sensitive areas.
Avoid direct sun exposure for up to 12 hours after topical application of this oil.
- Digestive Blend
This blend of essential oils can improve digestion, soothe occasional upset stomach and maintain good digestive health. Some ingredients may vary by brand, but in general, they contain fennel, coriander seed, anise, peppermint, tarragon, and cumin seeds to aid digestion and help maintain a healthy intestinal tract.
You can swallow a few drops directly or dissolve them in a little water. You will immediately feel relief thanks to the proportions of each of the oils used in the mixture.
- To relieve stomach upset
- To relieve motion sickness during air and/or road travel.
- Take the digestive blend when travelling or when trying a new food in case of stomach upset.
- To maintain good gastrointestinal health.
Possible skin sensitivity.
Keep away from children
If pregnant or nursing or under medical care, consult your doctor.
Avoid contact with eyes, ears and very sensitive areas.
There are many oils to choose from when you want to relieve stress, aches and pains, improve mood and other conditions. The extract varies in its purpose due to its constituents, and so while some are used to heal skin breakouts, others are used more as an adjuvant for pain or discomfort.
I encourage you to explore and experiment with essential oils as they are a natural alternative with multiple applications for you, your family, your home, and your environment.
How to Buy Good Quality Essential Oils
Unfortunately, there are no shops or warehouses that sell the products directly, but you can do so in several ways:
The distribution of both DoTerra and Young Living essential oils is done through associated consultants. So, you can order them by contacting me or through someone else who distributes them.
Learn These 3 Effective Uses
- Headache: Applying peppermint essential oil with lavender essential oil behind the ears and neck helps to relieve migraine headaches.
- Superficial wounds and burns: Together with melaleuca (tea tree) it is used on the affected area to accelerate the healing process.
- Throat infection or flu: dilute 1-3 drops of oregano essential oil in half a glass of water and drink. Do not swallow directly as it may cause burning.