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Essential Oils 101

By Edited Dec 24, 2014 0 0

Their use dates thousands of years back in human history and their robust relevance continues to this day. Essential oils are defined as “any class of volatile oils obtained from plants possessing the odor and other characteristic properties of the plant”. From use in mummification to symbolic anointing and reverence, humans have long reaped their benefits. There are three classes in which they are used commercially: pharmaceuticals, flavoring, and perfumes. However, their uses are far reaching and present a great natural and healthy alternative. They are great for those seeking to rid their homes and bodies of unnecessary chemicals and a return to natural living. 

Essential Oil

Aromatherapy

Valerie Gennari Cooksley wrote in her book, Aromatherapy: Soothing Remedies to Restore, Rejuvenate and Heal, that, “science is now confirming what has been known for centuries: essential oils have healing properties on both physical and emotional levels.”

The many exhilarating aromas essential oils yield have therapeutic properties. The different pleasing, soothing effects from essential oils have been appreciated and used by humans for thousands of years. Lavender oil has a calming effect. Rosemary Oil is used as a mental stimulant. Tea tree oil’s potent warm, piney aroma can refresh a room. Essential oil diffusers are perfect for dispersing aroma throughout a room or it is possible to place a few drops in the palm of your hands, rub them together, and then inhale.

Rosemary

Topical Application

When applied topically, essential oils can treat a wide range of skin conditions. Tea tree oil works great at naturally treating dandruff, rosemary oil’s strong anesthetic properties treat nerve and joint pain, and lavender oil has shown to maintain healthy locks and grow new hair. There is an expanse of uses, synergies, and remedies possible.

Natural Cleaning Solutions

They are great natural cleaning agents, saving your body and the environment from hard to perish and damaging chemicals. A few drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle with water kill mold and germs. Using an essential oil diffuser is a great way to purify and refresh the room. If not with a diffuser it can also be done with a bowl of water with a few drops of oil. 

Dilution

They are very strong and have been known to cause irritations and reactions when applied directly to the skin undiluted. It is very important to dilute a few drops of oil with some water before dabbing onto your skin to see how your body will react.

Lavender

Buyer Beware

They are not cure-alls. Keep this in mind when evaluating possible snake oil salesmen that have jumped on the essential oil wagon. One will not solve a litany of unassociated ailments. It is a widely unregulated industry with a market breaching fantasy. Also, there are those trying to sell watered down products. When shopping, be keen to dilution and whether or not the product is 100% on the label.

Purity Test

One way to test a product’s purity is to see whether or not it leaves a ring stain on a piece of construction paper. If it does, the product is not pure. If it doesn’t, then it is a true essential oil.

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