For centuries Mother Earth’s botanicals and foliage have provided bountiful medicinal remedies and applications for her occupants. Utilizing what was found in nature, people of the past were able to bring about medical healing and treatment for a wide variety of injuries and ailments long before drugs or pharmaceuticals. These natural remedies are still utilized today, what we find in nature can be transformed into what are called essential oils.
So what are essential oils exactly? I’m so glad you asked! Essential oils are aromatic, concentrated extracts from within plants, trees or herbs usually through the process of steam distillation or cold press extraction. A plant’s leaves, bark, seeds, fruit, flowers or roots may be used depending on what oil is being made. Due to the distillation process, essential oils are far more concentrated and potent than dried herbs, thus rendering them more effective. Essential oils are different from other oils such as vegetable or olive oil in that they aren’t greasy and don’t clog pores; nor do they oxidize or go rancid over time. Each oil is composed of 200-500 different bioconstituents that make them each unique, allowing them to exert different beneficial effects on the body. Essential oils have the incredible capability to penetrate through cell membranes, tissues and blood and have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties; making them useful in combating a broad spectrum of sicknesses, diseases or disorders.
Oils should be stored sealed, away from direct light and in cool or room temperatures as heat can affect the integrity of the oil. Storage is key, properly stored, essential oils have the ability to maintain its potency for years. When applying oils topically, it may be a good idea to do a quick skin test in a small area just to make sure there isn’t a reaction or allergy to the oil. I’ve never come across any kind of reaction when applying oils, but better to error on the side of caution in my opinion! You can apply the oil directly to your problem area such as a scratch or burn, a sore muscle or an undesired blemish. Or you can apply it in general areas of the body, some of my go-to spots you could try are behind the ears, the inner biceps and thighs, wrists and feet. You can also take in your oils aromatically by using a diffuser. Diffusers require a small amount of water and then just add in drops of your desired oil (usually somewhere between 10-15 drops). And don’t be afraid to mix it up, there are so many concoctions you can come up with! Finally, you can ingest oils either by placing some in a drink, in your food while cooking or in capsules. How you use oils is totally customizable and completely up to you!
Now that you know how essential oils work and the extensive benefits of their use, your next question may be, where can I snag a few? Great question! As previously mentioned, oils have indeed become popular and more widely used, thus more and more brands are on the market and sold in various stores. Places like Walmart, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, TJ Maxx and Marshalls all carry essential oils. But my favorite brand I like to use is Young Living, which you can find online. This brand is a little more on the pricey side compared to other brands sold at the stores mentioned above. That’s not to say that they don’t have good deals, sales or rewards programs because they most certainly do; what I am saying is it is certainly an investment. But any time there is an opportunity to invest in yourself and your well-being, I believe it is worth it.
The reason I like Young Living is they are all about quality, they believe in seed to seal products. Their products come from suppliers that are carefully audited to ensure they are meeting the required criteria. Once products reach production, they go through stringent distillation methods that bring about the most powerful essential oils possible. They offer single oils or blend oils that include multiple different oils in one. There are so many different oils to choose from, all you have to do is decide which is best for you! Something that has been an indispensable tool for me is the Essential Oils Pocket Reference book. This book provides information on everything essential oils, but perhaps my favorite and most used feature in this book is the extensive list of injuries, conditions and diseases listed all the way from A to Z and what oils can be used for each particular ailment.
I have been using essential oils for some time now and can say without a doubt they have been one of the best things I have invested in for my health. I’ve used oils prophylactically, as part of my every day supplements, for hair and skin care routine, sore muscles and treatment of injuries and sicknesses. It is my hope that you have been able to learn about essential oils and that it gives you a little push to try them out for yourself!
And that’s the dirt!
Essential Oils Pocket Reference 6th Edition