If you had a rough day or if you suffer from stress day in and day out, having a natural go-to solution, like an essential oil on hand, can help to relieve stress symptoms without the side effect of drugs, and do wonders for calming your anxiety and relaxing the mind.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years as remedies, skin therapies, and personal fragrances. The ancient Egyptians, Greek, Indians, and Chinese all used concentrated oil from plants and herbs for a multitude of purposes. Today, essential oils are as effective as ever, but with so many different types, it’s hard to know where to begin.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts, and we obtain essential oils through a few different extraction methods, and the part of the plant we get the essential oil from can be different depending on the oil but is typically the most aromatic part. Rose oil, for example, comes from the petals of the rose, white citrus oils come from the rind.
These oils are the extracted oils from various plants and herbs which are concentrated for some therapeutic benefit. They can be used for health purposes, aromatherapy, cleaning, and beautification. Ayurvedic medicine has its roots in their use and certain essential oils are iconic scents for different cultures.
What Can Essential Oils Be Used For?
Aromatherapy, treating skin conditions, soothing muscle inflammation… the benefits of essential oils abound. These oils can be used in personal care products, in home cleaning products, for general well-being in the context of emotional support, and many other ways. This versatility extends to the scents themselves. Some of the most popular essential oils, like lavender and sweet orange, cross over into many categories and can be used effectively for many applications.
Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
The earthy, spicy aromas of sandalwood, cinnamon and ginger are a common Indian blend, while in Egypt eucalyptus, Cyprus, and cedar were some of the most favorite scents. These ancient cultures had an array of different blends and purposes for individual oils, used to treat ailments or anoint the dead before burial. If they weren’t healing sick, they were used as perfumes and household essences. Some essential oils are even able to be consumed in small, diluted doses to treat stomach maladies, detox, or improve your general wellbeing.
How Should I Dilute My Oils?
In addition to avoiding a potential skin reaction, diluting essential oils allows them to work better, when exposed to air alone, the molecules of the pure essential oils tend to evaporate very quickly. Adding the essential oil to a carrier substance better facilitates the absorption of the oil by the body. In most cases, you’ll need carrier oil, neutral, plant-based oil that can act as a base. Common carrier oils include sweet almond, jojoba, olive, sunflower seed, avocado, and grapeseed.
While specific dilutions can vary based on personal needs and individual essential oils, the general rule of thumb is to aim for a one to five percent dilution. A one percent blend is six drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier, while a five percent blend would be 30 drops per ounce of carrier.
Ways to instantly harness the medicinal powers of Essential Oils
Rub 1-2 drops in cupped palms and take a long, deep breath
Rub 1-2 drops of oil into your templates, wrists or anywhere, for full body relaxation
Put a few drops on a handkerchief, cotton pad or on a scarf and inhale as needed. You’ll get instant calming support throughout your day.
Add to your shower
Immerse yourself in an essential oil steam by adding a couple of drops in your shower. Remember to plug or cover the drain and inhale deeply.
Use a diffuserTo get long-lasting benefit, use a diffuser.