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Essential Oil Guide for Good Health

Essential Oil Guide for Good Health

For thousands of years, essential oils have aided in healing wounds and illness. From reducing swelling to curing the flu, the healing properties of these oils are endless. But, for as much good as they provide, they can also be harmful if used improperly.

Before using any essential oils, it’s important to know what they are and how to apply them.

You’ll need to know the practical applications of oils. You should know how to use them. What to use them for. What oils blend well with others. And what to look for when purchasing essential oils.

With so much information, it’s important to start at the beginning.

How to use essential oils

While aromatherapy was the original intent of essential oils, there are two commonly accepted ways to benefit from essential oils. Aromatic applications and topical applications. Both methods provide healing properties, however, there are cases when one method is better.

Aromatherapy with essential oils

While aromatherapy was the original intent of essential oils, there are two commonly accepted ways to benefit from essential oils. Aromatic applications and topical applications. Both methods provide healing properties, however, there are cases when one method is better.

Aromatherapy with essential oils

Aromatherapy with essential oils includes:

  • Inhaling directly from oil bottle
  • Steam infusion
  • Room diffuser

Aromatherapy is the art of using scents to improve psychological and physical well-being. The brain processes certain scents when they enter the air around us. This promotes an immediate physical or emotional reaction.

Depending on the brain’s response to different smells, inhaling essential oils can aid in relaxation, breathing restoration, room disinfecting, and more.  Unless you’re inhaling the oil directly from the bottle, using a room diffuser is the best way to experience essential oils.

Diffusing essential oils

Diffusing essential oils is a healthier alternative to toxic air fresheners and candles. With the right blend of oils, such as lemon or eucalyptus, you can diffuse unwanted smells from your home.

Diffusers are relatively easy to use as well. Depending on the diffuser size, only 4-5 drops of oil mixed with water can fill the room.

Essential oil diffusers range in size, color, and price. Some use distilled water while others call for tap. Be sure to know your room size and follow the instructions on the diffuser you choose.

Topical uses of essential oils

Topical uses include:

  • Targeted problem area such as neck or shoulders
  • Warm bathtub
  • Aromatherapy massage

Because of their natural make up, essential oils absorb rapidly in the skin. This makes topical treatments a great application for aching muscles, joint pain, and headaches.

While the benefits of topical contact are great, you should never apply an essential oil directly to your skin. Direct contact can burn your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

To dilute an oil properly, use a carrier oil such as Hazelnut, Rosehip, or Hemp. Adding 1-2 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil is all that’s needed to reap the benefits.  

Carrier oils

Carrier oils are oils used to dilute essential oils to make them safe for use without stripping them of their healing properties. Cold pressed vegetable or fruit based oils such as olive, avocado, coconut, and jojoba are great carrier oils and also provide antioxidants and vitamins.

Essential oils uses

Uses for essential oils are everywhere. From laundry and household cleaning to curing headaches and upset stomachs, the list of their healing powers is endless.

Stuffy noses and the common cold

Using essential oils such as Frankincense, Tea Tree, or Bergamot in your laundry can help keep sickness at bay.  Just add a few drops inside your washer before starting.

Diffusing oils such as Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Wintergreen can clear a stuffy nose and allow you to enjoy a breathable night’s sleep. Add a few drops or create your own blend to the diffuser beside your bed.

Head tension, muscle aches, and joint pain

Helichrysum and Mace are known healers of headaches and migraines. Their anti-inflammatory properties work to relieve stress and calm nerves.

Mixed with a carrier oil, rub a few drops of either of these oils onto your temples and forehead in slow circular motions. Slowly inhale their aromatic properties and relax.

For muscle pain, massaging diluted oils such as Cedarwood, Cinnamon leaf, or Sandalwood directly on your aching body can soothe the pain away.  Mix a few drops of your favorite oil or create a blend of muscle relaxing oils into a carrier oil.

Slowly massage the oil blend onto your muscles while inhaling the pleasant aroma. The oils will absorb quickly into your skin and in time, you’ll feel the effects.

Mental stress and anxiety

Inhaling essential oils to reduce stress and anxiety has been practiced for years. Essential oils such as Lavender, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, and Vetiver have calming properties. These oils can be used inhaled directly from their bottles to calm nerves during a stressful period.

Geranium oil has been shown to relieve anxiety as well. Putting a few drops on your hands and inhaling the floral scent can ease your trepidation and give you a great sense of well-being.

Soaking in a warm bath with a few drops of Chamomile and Lavender can soothe a restless mind after a long day.

When anxiety rises, spritzing a blend of calming peppermint or eucalyptus oils on your face will help ease your heart rate and calm your nerves.

Mental fatigue and lack of focus

When the day is just too long to stay engaged, essential oils can play a big role. Oils such as Cinnamon leaf, and Jasmine can create a sense of optimism and confidence. With a few sniffs of these late in the day you can lift your mood.

Wild Orange and Lemon both promote concentration and clarity. Lemon also has antibacterial properties which boosts your body’s immune system thus improving circulation.

 Using a roll on bottle, apply any of these oils along with a carrier oil along your forehead or temples. The scent will pick you up and put a smile on your face.

For help with staying focused or on task, oils such as Lemon, Clary Sage, Peppermint, and Rosemary are known to help. Using a roll on, apply any of these oils to the back of your neck and wrists before a big meeting or test.

The scent of Vetiver can actually help you focus and bring you to center. Rubbing the oil on your feet at night can help with concentration the following day. Blending Vetiver with another oil such as Lavender can boost the focusing power and smell great too.

Sleep aid

Whether you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, essential oils can help. Lavender has many healing properties, so it often ends up on the list for everything. But, the calming properties of Lavender can help lull you to sleep.

Cedarwood acts as a sedative and is known to decrease blood pressure and heart rate. It’s no wonder this oil is an effective sleep aid.

Vetiver and Ylang Ylang both have calming properties. Adding a few drops of each in a diffuser 30 minutes before you lay down will help you sleep and ease your anxiety.

Valerian is known for aiding in anxiety and panic attacks. However, the oil has also been a documented aid for insomnia since the 17th century. Not only does this oil help you relax faster, you’ll find you sleep deeper and wake up more refreshed.

Blending Oils

While most essential oils are great on their own, each oil has a few weaker elements that may benefit from blending with another oil.

Before blending essential oils, it’s important to understand the properties of each oil and what you hope to accomplish from blending. For some, the reason for blending may be to create a more pleasant aroma. While for others, it may be to create a deeper healing power. In either case, there are a few things you should consider prior to blending oils.

Grouping oils

Typically, it takes between two and five different oils to create a good blend. Grouping essential oils can be done in three ways. Either by healing qualities, scent, or notes (how fast the scent evaporates).

Blending by qualities

Oils have healing qualities such as calming, energizing, pain relief, disinfecting, dog care, and more. To break it down further, here is a list of some more popular oils in each category:

Calming oils

Lavender, Geranium, Melissa, Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Patchouli, and Mandarin

Energizing oils

Clary Sage, Tea Tree, Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Pine, and Spearmint.

Pain Relief oils

Chamomile, Rosemary, peppermint, Lavender, Wintergreen, Eucalyptus, and Juniper.

Disinfecting oils

Rosemary, Lemongrass, Lemon, Lavender, Orange, Tea Tree, and Frankincense.

Dog Care oils

Fennel, Spearmint, Helichrysum, Frankincense, Lavender, and Cardamom.

Blending by scent types

Grouping essential oils by scent is a practical way to enjoy the properties of an oil while leaving a pleasant aroma for your nose. Oils have five basic scent types flowery, fruity, spicy, woodsy, and herbal and each grouping tends to blend well aromatically.

Flowery oils include

Jasmine, Lavender, Chamomile, and Ylang Ylang

Citrus or Fruity oils include

Orange, Lemongrass, Bergamot, and Citronella

Spicy oils include

Cinnamon leaf, Clove, Pepper, and Nutmeg

Woodsy oils include

Sandalwood, Frankincense, Fir, and Patchouli

Herbal oils include

Basil, Clary Sage, Tea Tree, and Oregano

Blending by notes

Blending oils by notes is the practice every perfume designer has used for years. An oil’s note is based on the amount of time the scent takes to dissipate. Top notes, for example are the quickest to fade. While bottom notes are the scents that stick around the longest.

Blending essential oils by note is not an easy task, but it can certainly be accomplished. Here are a few oils from each note.

Top note oils- lasting up to 2 hours

Bergamot, Peppermint, Orange, and Lavender

Middle note oils- lasting up to 4 hours

Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Rosemary, and Tea Tree

Bottom note oils- lasting up to 2 days

Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla, and Cedarwood.

How to blend oils

There’s no right or wrong way to blend essential oils together. However, once you’ve decided which oil blending path to take, you should have the right equipment. Be sure you keep notes of what oils you use and how many drops of each oil is poured into your new bottle. When blending, use an amber or dark blue bottle.  And, like all essential oils, keep your blended oils away from direct sunlight and keep the lid on tight.

What to look for when buying essential oils

With so many essential oil companies on the market today, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with choices. All oils are not created equally. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for when buying oils.

Pricing

Every essential oil is harvested from different plants, parts of plants, regions of the world, and in different ways. With so many methods of extraction, it only makes sense that every oil is priced differently. If you’re looking at oils that are priced exactly the same, there’s a good chance they are all of low quality.

Dilutions

If a company does not list what an oil is diluted with, buyer beware. Some companies use vegetable oil to dilute their essential oils. This greatly diminishes the oil quality and should be avoided.

Names

A company that lists an oil’s Latin name and harvesting origin will have a true love of oil sustainability. This shows they care where the oil comes from and it can insure you get the right type of oil as well.

Bottling

Lastly, how a company sells their oils is a tell-tell sign of their quality. Oils should be sold in dark blue or amber bottles to prevent unfiltered light from spoiling the oil.

The wonderful world of essential oils

Essential oils can provide homeopathic and aromatic healing like no other product on the market. With an understanding of how they work. How to use them. And, what oils work well with others, you can experience the wonderful world of essential oils every day.

Your home can be cleaner. Your children, healthier. And you can find yourself at peace. It just takes a little research and a little experimenting.

Which oil will you try first?

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