Have you ever wondered why everyone is talking about essential oils? They’re definitely popular for a reason! From health benefits to pleasant smells, there is a lot to love about this plant-based wonder. In this helpful post, we’re talking all about the history of essential oils, what you should look for, and how to use them. Read on to learn more!
Essential Oils: Powerful Plant-Based Wonders
History of Essential Oils
Essential oils have been gaining popularity in the U.S. in recent years, but in other parts of the world, they have been used for thousands of years. The use of essential oils dates back to as early as 2000 B.C. when ancient Egyptians were known to use essential oils daily for medicinal benefits, beauty care, and spiritual enhancement.
These oils were also revered during Biblical times. Several are mentioned in both the Old and New Testament. It is easy to recall frankincense and myrrh, which were given to Jesus by the Magi, however others referenced in the Bible are clove, cinnamon, cedarwood, fir, and myrtle.
It is still commonplace, in several parts of the world, for healthcare providers to offer an essential oil for health benefits rather than medication.
Why Are Oils Finally Making “Scents” Now?
As more people look for natural and alternative ways to maintain their health, essential oils have become a worthwhile choice. With a strong safety profile, many have adopted these fragrant oils into their daily lives for their beaucoup benefits.
Not All Oils Are Created Equal
I recommend doing your research before grabbing an oil off the store shelf. There is a purity and safety concern to consider before purchasing your oils. If you are not careful, you could be subjecting your family or yourself to synthetic, impure, and/or contaminated oils. We want the greatest benefits from our oils, so follow this guideline carefully:
- Purchase oils from reputable brands that have strict purity standards and use third party testing. These oils will have the highest grade of beneficial properties and will be free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
- The oils should only be extracted by steam distillation or cold pressed without chemicals.
- All oils should be bottled in dark colored glass bottles to protect from sunlight which will degrade the oils.
How To Use Essential Oils
The most common way to use essential oils is by enjoying their smells through a diffuser or by simply using a couple of drops in the palms of your hands and rubbing them together, cupping over your nose and taking slow, deep inhalations. There is an immediate benefit since the olfactory sense is directly linked to the brain.
Topical uses on our skin can provide powerful systemic benefits. Some oils can be used neat (straight from the bottle), while others will need to be mixed with a carrier oil, like fractionated coconut oil or avocado oil. Most of the citrus scents and blends should not be used on the skin before prolonged sun exposure because it will increase your risk for sunburn. If this will be the case, you must thoroughly wash the skin exposed to the oil with soap and water, and always remember to take precautions in the warm sunshine to protect from sunburn.
Oral use of essential oils are saved for a select few. One of the many reasons I love and use oils from Young Living is because they have their own Vitality line that is safe for ingestion. Several oils like oregano and garlic have antibacterial and antiviral properties. A few drops of these oils can be added as a finish to a meal before you eat or placed in capsules and swallowed down.
Several oils can also be used in cooking and flavoring. Add lemon or orange oil to your water, lime oil to a gin and tonic, or oregano oil to your stew. Peppermint oil can be added to hot water with a little honey to help satisfy an after dinner sweet tooth.
Cleaning with essential oils are both safe and effective. Thieves is my favorite, not only because I love the smell, but because it has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Replacing your toxic household cleaning products with oils will benefit the whole family.
Types of Oils
There are several types of essential oils. Each has its own benefits. Some of my favorites are:
- Lavender: relaxing, soothing, provides stress reduction and promotes sleep. I use about 10 drops in my Epsom salt bath at night. It is also great for scrapes and on insect bites to reduce inflammation.
- Di-Gize (Young Living Blend): this is a blend and has amazing properties for help with tummy aches and nausea. It is a blend of tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise, and patchouli.
- RC (Young Living Blend): this is another blend made of spruce, cypress, and three types of eucalyptus oils. It has helpful qualities to reduce inflammation and other symptoms of colds and flu. Studies have found that eucalyptol, a component found in eucalyptus oil, has antibacterial properties.
Everyone will find their own favorites. I use my oils daily and have replaced my candles with a diffuser and even make my own bathroom spray. These are just two of several ways to enjoy these potent and powerful gifts from nature.
For further information on how you can begin to enjoy your own oils at home, please contact our Essential Oil Educator, Cindy Kennedy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website to make a purchase here.