Aromatherapy Oils and Their Uses – Essential Oils Guide
Essential oils – beyond the aroma
Essential oils have been used by mankind for millennia with vast array of proven physical, mental and emotional benefits.
What are essential oils?
It wasn’t until recent decades that aromatic science became mainstream. The parts of a plant that produce the essential oils are the tiny microscopic oil sacks that contain the plant’s immune systems.
Think of when you touch a rosemary, basil or peppermint plant, your hand immediately picks up the aroma of the essential oil. In addition to the leaves, these volatile aromatic compounds can also be found in roots, bark, stems, flowers, wood cores, seeds and fruit.
When plants grow, their internal chemistry is constantly changing. It’s both an art and a science to extract the essential oils from the plants. There is an optimal time to harvest and distill the plant material in order to capture the chemical profile (in a bottled essential oil form) which contains the most beneficial health properties offered by the plant species.
The parts of plants used for extraction, the time from harvesting to distillation, purity of seeds, growing methods and numerous other factors are significant for producing both the pure AND potent essential oils that I choose to use and share.
How do essential oils safely get from plants into bottles?
Most essential oils are extracted by steam distillation. Citrus oils are typically cold-pressed from the rinds. Chemistry profiles are checked to be sure the words on the bottle match what’s in the bottle. I’m proud to represent the company which holds the gold standard for quality testing of essential oils – on-site at the distillery, by third party labs, then again at the doTERRA® bottling facilities.
Since plant extract products are some of the most adulterated in the world, testing standards also must include checking for adulterants (additives, similar smelling products, synthetics, pesticides, herbicides, etc.)
Knowing the source of the essential oils you choose to use for your family is imperative.
Why is sourcing essential oils from their natural habitats important?
Like other organisms, plants must survive growing conditions, weather, diseases, predators, terrain, soil and more all play an important part in harvesting the best oils. Plants that survive where they grow indigenously tend to be the most robust in the world, producing the best flowers, fruit and seeds to keep the species in existence.
One of the many reasons I choose to represent doTERRA® is because of their sourcing standards. If a plant is to survive anywhere on the planet and grow on its own, it is typically strong. Their inherent chemical constituents determine what therapeutic value they have for the protection, support, uplifting, relaxing or other benefits for our bodies, too.
How do I use essential oils?
Essential oils can be used aromatically, topically and in some cases internally.
Less is more! Pure and potent therapeutic grade essential oils require a minimal number of drops for a desired effect. This makes them super economical!
Think aromatherapy – aromatic compounds can affect us emotionally, physically, mentally, physiologically. Essential oils can effect moods, too, so be clear on your intent (relax, energize, focus, etc.) when inhaling or diffusing your oils.
Essential oils evaporate fast because they are volatile aromatic compounds, so don’t leave your bottles of oils open on your kitchen counter all day!
To inhale: Inhale directly from the bottle or put a drop or two on your hands, rub them together and breathe in deeply. Alternatively, put a drop on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale.
To diffuse: Put a few drops or make a blend of essential oils in a diffuser to dissipate into your room or car.
Essential oils can be applied several ways to the skin – typically for symptomatic relief. Topical application will mean that the essential oils will be absorbed into your bloodstream – another importance of purity testing standards.
Most common topical uses can include massage, compresses, spraying from glass spray bottles, adding to bath salts, and applying to reflexology points on feet and hands.
Because of the super concentration of the plant extracts, some “hot” essential oils will need to be diluted in a carrier oils for skin sensitivity reasons. Hot oils include oregano or cinnamon bark oils and others.
A benefit of diluting any oils you use topically with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, is that it spreads better and won’t evaporate into the air as quickly, still giving the desired benefit.
Like herbs and other plants that can be eaten as foods, some pure essential oils can be taken internally. Because they are fat-soluble, they are readily absorbed into our organs.
Consuming essential oils in small amounts – a drop or two – is all that is typically needed for our bodies to have the benefit.
Some oils such as most citrus oils, ginger, peppermint or fennel are commonly added to water as a refreshing drink and alternative to soft drinks. Be sure to always use glass or stainless steel containers when enjoying essential oils in your water.
Consuming with honey, putting in a vegetable gel capsule, and adding to tea or enhancing recipes are wonderful options to enjoy the benefits and flavors of essential oils.
Note: To know if you can consume an essential oil or essential oil product, the bottle must be labeled with the word “supplement” or else you must limit the usage of the oil to aromatic or topical only.
If you are ready to get started with your own essential oil kit, have questions about a specific situation or want to discuss your overall wellness goals, connect with me for a no-obligation consultation!