Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants with tremendous healing properties. Using essential oils for healing purposes is often called aromatherapy, which is a holistic treatment seeking to improve physical, mental and emotional health. For over 5,000 years, many different cultures have used these healing plant oils for a variety of health conditions. They are often used for relaxation, beauty care, home cleaning and most often used as natural medicine. Just adding some of the most common essential oils like lavender, frankincense, lemon, peppermint and tea tree oil to your natural medicine cabinet can:
- Fight cold and flu symptoms
- Relax your body and soothe sore muscles
- Heal skin conditions
- Alleviate pain
- Balance hormones
- Improve digestion
- Reduce cellulite and wrinkles
- Clean your home
- Used in homemade personal care products
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree, and just one drop can have powerful health benefits. They are typically created through the process of distillation, which separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming.
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma. By concentrating the oils of these plants, you are literally separating the most powerful healing compounds of a plant into a single oil. For instance, in order to get 1 single 15ml bottle of rose essential oil, it takes 65 pounds of rose petals.
These therapeutic oils in plants protect the plant from insects, shield the plant from a harsh environment and help them adapt to their surroundings. By taking essential oils, you are harnessing the protective and healing powers of a plant.
Essential oils are composed of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some compounds in essential oils can even cross the blood-brain barrier. They differ from fatty oils (like those in vegetables or nuts) that come from large molecules because they cannot penetrate your cells, so they are not therapeutic in the same manner.
Top 12 Essential Oils Health Benefits
Each essential oil contains compounds with unique healing and therapeutic benefits. Here are some of the most popular essential oils and how to use them.
1. Cypress: Improves circulation, reduces varicose veins, lifts confidence and can help heal broken bones.
2. Eucalyptus: Improves respiratory issues like bronchitis, sinusitis and allergies. Also invigorates and purifies the body.
3. Frankincense: Builds immunity, reduces inflammation, heals age spots, and supports brain function.
4. Ginger: Reduces inflammation, supports joints, improves digestion and relieves nausea.
5. Grapefruit: Supports metabolism and cellulite reduction. Mix with coconut oil and rub on areas of cellulite.
6. Lavender: Helps with relaxation, improves mood and heals burns and cuts.
7. Lemon: Great to use in homemade cleaning products, improves lymph drainage and cleanses the body.
8. Oregano: Powerful anti-microbial properties, can kill fungus and help you kick a cold fast.
9. Peppermint: Supports digestion, improves focus, boosts energy, fever reducer, headache and muscle pain relief.
10. Rosemary: Can naturally thicken hair so it is great to add to homemade shampoos. Also, it improves brain function and memory so it’s great to used when working, reading or studying.
11. Tea tree oil: Natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, reduces bad odors and can help stimulate the immune system.
12. Sandalwood: Natural aphrodisiac that improves libido and can also improve energy.
Different oils can be blended together to enhance each’s energy or can be blended with a base oil to be used for massage, shower gels or body lotions.
Essential Oil Applications
Ready to let essential oils guide you back to health? Here are the four most common ways these healing oils are used today:
Topically: Essential oils have a very small size and of the chemical weight of less than 1000m (m=weight of molecule). According to scientific testing, any substance with a molecular weight below 1000m should be absorbed by the skin.
This means that essential oils are able to penetrate the skin and pass into the blood stream and into different areas of the body for internal therapeutic benefits.
Aromatically: There is great evidence that essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream when inhaled. The large amount of blood vessels in the lungs absorb the oils and then circulate them throughout the body.
Using a diffuser can help you experience the benefits of essential oils. You can diffuse lavender to reduce stress, melaleuca to cleanse the air, wild orange to improve mood, frankincense for spiritual enlightenment and peppermint to improve focus and energy.
Ingestion: Essential oils can be used as a powerful form of medicine but it should be remembered that again, essential oils are potent. Most essential oils are safe for internal use, but make sure the brand you choose is suitable for ingestion. A little bit goes a long way therefore usually 1-3 drops is plenty mixed with water.
Best Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy
Essential oils are extremely small so they can pass through the skin and into the body quickly. But if you want to keep the oils on your skin, dilute them to create more gentleness on the skin by combining them with carrier oils. These larger oils that come from the fatty part of the plant can increase the length of time the essential oils stay on your skin and also prolong the aromatherapy effects.
Some people mistakenly think using carrier oils reduces the effectiveness of the oil but really it can be the opposite. Dilution increases the surface area of absorption and with certain oils can prevent sensitivities.
Common carrier oils include:
- Almond oil
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
For most people, a 10 percent dilution, which is 5 drops of oil per 1/2 teaspoon.
Essential Oils For Skin and Beauty
The skin and beauty industry is a billion dollar industry. Unfortunately it is filled with chemicals and hydrogenated oils that cause internal toxicity in the body.
The good news is you can create your own skin and beauty products that are also effective. Here are some benefits of specific oils:
Calm irritated skin – lavender and roman chamomile
Reduce age spots – frankincense
Thicken hair – rosemary and sage
Improve acne – melaleuca (tea tree) and geranium
Essential Oils For Hair Growth
Essential oils for hair loss can make a significant difference at stopping it in its tracks. Oils of rosemary, lavender and sage can all help naturally thicken hair by stimulating the hair follicles.
Clary sage and lavender support hair growth by balancing estrogen levels and rosemary essential oil works by inhibiting DHT (dihydroxy-testosterone) which stops hair loss. Here is how to naturally thicken hair with essential oils:
1. Put 10 drops of rosemary oil and 5 drops of lavender oil on different areas of your scalp
2. Gently massage into scalp for 2 minutes
3. Put a hot towel around your head and sit for 20 minutes
4. Finally, wash hair with natural homemade shampoo
Essential Oil Quality
This is one of the most vital things you must know about essential oils… Not all essential oils are created equally. In fact, most of them are worthless to your health and often synthetic. When buying essential oils make sure they are certified pure therapeutic grade.
What are your favorite essential oils? How do you use them? Email your answers to [email protected] for a chance to win essential oils
Products You Might Be Interested In
Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Skin Care Oil
Aura Cacia sweet almond oil has a rich, skin nurturing consistency that provides a nice glide during massage. It is excellent in bath, after-shower applications, and general skin care.
Aura Cacia Organic Rejuvenating Argan Oil
Aura Cacia 100% Pure Argan Oil is sustainably sourced from the kernels of a native desert tree in Morocco. Argan oil contains high levels of skin rejuvenating essential fatty acids and is great for moisturizing and nourishing the skin.
Aura Cacia Eucalyptus Certified Organic 100% Pure Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil has a vibrant, clarifying aroma that's great as an invigorating mist, a warming massage oil, or a therapeutic chest rub. A diffusion of eucalyptus purifies the atmosphere and clears negative energy.
Aura Cacia Organic Nourishing Tamanu Oil
Aura Cacia 100% Pure Tamanu Oil is sustainably sourced from the nuts of the tamanu tree. Emerald green tamanu oil contains a dense array of powerful antioxidant essential fatty acids and is indispensable for promoting the vibrancy of the skin.
Aura Cacia Lavender Essential Oil
Aura Cacia lavender is distilled from the premium species to inspire relaxation throughout your day. Lavender is well known for its calming and relaxing effects. It can be applied topically or diffused in the air. It is commonly used in pillow sprays, personal care products, and bath blends.
Aura Cacia Grapefruit Essential Oil
Grapefruit has a tangy, citrus scent that is especially appreciated by children. Combine it with lavender in a bubble bath, or make a refreshing travel mist by blending it with peppermint and water in a spritzer bottle.
Aura Cacia Precious Essentials Sandalwood Blended with Jojoba Oil
Aura Cacia aromatherapy precious essentials oil sandalwood with Jojoba, Sandalwood is a valuable perfume fixative with a powerful earthy, woody scent. Dab a single drop on the middle of the forehead to inspire insight and emotional stability.