Wellness with Natalie: The Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils
You might have heard about using essential oils for various ailments, stress relief and other coditioas, but aren’t quite sure what they are or HOW to use them. So let’s dive in!
Knowing the basics of essential oils can help you understand more about how they are able to help you and encourage you to use them more often as a natural remedy. Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds that are extracted from parts of flowers, plants, and trees.
The oils come from the flower petals, bark, leaves, seeds, roots, and fruits. Even a single drop of oil from these parts of a plant or tree can have drastic positive impact on mental and physical health. The way they are extracted is usually by steaming the plant to separate the oil from water, which is a type of distillation process.
There are 3 main ways to use essential oils. The way you use an oil depends on what you want to achieve, because the same oil used in a different way can have a different outcome.
- Aromatically: aromatherapy, where you get the benefits from inhaling, such as with a diffuser, rubbing in your hands and inhaling or by placing it in your bathtub for a long soak.
- Internally: you can ingest oils if they are certified pure therapeutic grade, marked with “Supplementation information” and diluted properly. This can be done with a few drops in a glass of water or in capsules (***do not take oils internally unless consulting with an essential oils consultant***),
- Topically: used on your skin usually in a carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba oil) to improve absorption.
With essential oils, you have the option of using just one as a single oil for its main benefit, such as lavender to relieve stress, chamomile for insomnia, or Frankincense for allergy symptoms. You can also make blends to have a greater impact, so lavender, vetiver and chamomile in a diffuser to help with sleep .
Variation in Health Benefits
Essential oils are the most ancient form of medicine. They can be used as a natural or holistic remedy for various ailments. While they are not meant to replace medical treatment, they can help complement and aid with everything from migraines to skin conditions.
Here is a short list of the many ways essential oils can help you:
- Headaches and migraines
- Joint aches and pains
- Chronic pain
- Menstrual irregularities
- Cuts, scrapes and burns
- Fungal infections
- Signs of aging and wrinkles
- Anxiety, stress, and depression
Before you start using essential oils, there are just a few important things you need to be aware of. The following tips will make sure you are using the essential oils safely and effectively.
- Only use actual, pure essential oils. Don’t use something that says it is ‘made with essential oils’ as that is going to also have other ingredients.
- Avoid fragrance oils. These are not the same thing, and are only meant for the fragrance, similar to perfume. Real, pure essential oils aren’t just fragrant, but provide health benefits as well.
- Look for the Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade stamp and evidence of testing to ensure you’re using an oil of the highest quality. If something like Lemon Oil says “not for internal use”, you have to question why.
- Dilute oils before using topically. They are very potent and a little goes a long way.
- When combining for your own blends, chose those in the same category, and start slowly (it would be counterproductive to use an oil that energizes and relaxes at the same time).
If you want to learn more about oils we have a monthly webinar addressing various topics. The next one is January 15th.