What are essential oils?
Have you enjoyed the scent of a freshly cut, juicy, lemon? Then you've experienced the joy of essential oils!
Essential oils are natural oils obtained by distillation from different parts of a plants, fruits and flowers. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.
Essential Oils can be used in the following ways:
The sense of smell is a tool that can elicit powerful physiologic, mental, and emotional responses. Some essential oils induce uplifting or invigorating effects, while others are more calming. Diffusion is one of the simplest methods for using essential oils aromatically. Diffusers that use cold air or water are ideal. However, using essential oils aromatically does not require any special diffusing devices.
You can achieve the same health benefits by simply placing a few drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand that is then cupped around the nose as you breathe deeply (I personally love lavender or mixing peppermint with wild orange).
Topical application is a very effective method for applying essential oils. Because essential oils have low molecular weights and are lipid soluble, they easily penetrate the skin. Once absorbed, they stay in the applied area for a localized benefit.
Pure essential oils are strong, so to decrease the likelihood of developing a skin sensitivity, especially on young or sensitive skin, it's important to use a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) to dilute more potent oils and when trying an oil for the first time. The recommended dilution ratio is typically one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil.
Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. When you sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal, sip a mug of peppermint tea, or add fresh basil leaves to your spaghetti, you're actually consuming some aromatic essential oil compounds.
Essential oil contributes many health benefits as well as flavoring and aroma properties to foods. When in their concentrated form, essential oils can be used as dietary supplements for more targeted and potent health benefits.
Are you interested in getting weekly education on essential oils straight to your Inbox? Sign up for our newsletter!