Essential oils 101
Oh…choices, choices, choices. Mother Nature seems to have given us a happy problem with her mesmerizing range of Essential Oils. To help you make more suitable choices, let’s get back to basics and get acquainted with Essential Oils.
What are Essential Oils anyway?
Nature is actually one huge perfumery pharmacy. And leaves, flowers, bark, rind, seeds, roots and other plant parts of flora and trees are the ingredients. Through sophisticated extraction methods that preserve the precious aromatic and delicate botanical compounds, Essential Oils are bottled and delivered to you.
Beyond their distinctive fragrances, Essential Oils are brimming with health and therapeutic benefits too. Just think of how some trees and flowers can miraculously drive away harmful pests by emitting their scents or naturally heal themselves from injuries. So when you’re using Essential Oils, you’re actually tapping into nature’s medicine and healing power.
Common ways to use Essential Oils
There are two main ways to enjoy the aromatic and restorative gifts of nature.
Through our sense of smell, the aroma of Essential Oils can calm, invigorate or uplift us. There are various clever ways you can incorporate the aromatic quality of Essential Oils into your daily life.
- Add a few drops in the oil burner or vaporizer.
- Take quick whiffs from the bottle directly.
- Sprinkle one drop in the palm, rub hands together, cup palms over your nose and inhale.
- Saturate a cotton ball with the Essential Oil and place them wherever you wish around the house or in the air vents of your car.
- In the washing machine, add a few drops to your laundry detergent and use as per normal.
- In the dryer, add a few drops to a damp wash cloth and toss it in to let it scent your clothes.
- Blend the Essential Oil with water in a spray bottle and use it to mist over linens, table tops, furniture or carpets.
2) Topical application
As Essential Oils can easily penetrate the skin, topical application can be a very effective way of enjoying their healing, healthful properties.
While Essential Oils can be readily absorbed by the skin, there’s a simple way to increase absorption - blending it with a carrier oil and applying with a gentle massage. Blending the Essential Oil with a carrier oil (jojoba, sweet almond and fractionated coconut oils are good choices) not only promotes absorption, it also dilutes the concentrated Essential Oil so it doesn’t trigger sensitivity reactions on the skin. Besides, carrier oils are also fantastic moisturizers packed with skin-nourishing properties themselves, so your skin can be lapping up additional beauty benefits too! A gentle massage with the diluted Essential Oil will increase blood flow and enhance its distribution throughout the body. The recommended dilution is one part Essential Oil to three parts of carrier oil.
More ways of topical application with Essential Oils
- Mix a few drops into your warm bath water.
- Add one or two drops of Essential Oil to your regular facial cream, body lotion, balm or shampoo to instantly crank up their efficiency.
- Soak a towelette in hot or cold water, add a few drops of Essential Oil on the damp cloth before applying the hot or cold compress on the trouble spot.
Things to note
While some websites recommend the internal consumption of Essential Oils, we don’t recommend that, since some of them could be toxic or could potentially aggravate health conditions that an individual may have. Essential Oils come in very concentrated forms, so please always remember to suitably dilute them in carrier oils or water before topical application. It’s good to do a patch test, especially if you’re going to use Essential Oils on kids. Moreover, pregnant women should always consult their doctors before using any Essential Oil.