Okay, if you know me, you might’ve heard me talk about my beloved essential oils numerous times. You might have even been in my room and smelled one of my favorite blends.
A common question that I’m always asked is – do they work? The answer? YES!
I’m going to briefly share with you what essential oils are, ways they can be used, and how to get the most benefits from them. You can think of this post as your introduction to essential oils!
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What are essential oils?
Essential oils, simply put, are compounds extracted from a plant. They are extracted via steam distillation, causing these compounds to contain not only the scent of the plant, but also its flavor and therapeutic effects.
Believe it or not, the distillation process is so specific, so detailed for each plant that if any part is missed, the plant can go to waste and you may not the full benefits of that oil.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized essential oils are in a lot of the products we use on a daily basis. They’re in candles, candy, laundry detergent, and so much more. However, most of these are synthetic (unless stated otherwise) and cannot be used therapeutically. This is due to the lack of federal regulation in this industry.
Why should you use them?
According to Grand View Research, Inc., the global aromatherapy market size is expected to expand at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10.4% by 2026. Why? Because more and more people are beginning to learn about the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. I’m assuming that’s why you’re reading this post!
Since learning about various harmful chemicals in organic chemistry and environmental toxicology courses, I decided to make a shift for my health. I started researching things before I used them and began to implement a “low-tox” lifestyle. Rather than reaching for Advil the moment I get a headache, I’m going to use peppermint and lavender essential oils. What’s the difference? Advil will simply mask the symptoms, while the essential oil will help increase blood flow after local application. Just one example.
Essential Oil Benefits
Although there isn’t enough research to determine how effective essential oils are, there’s no doubt that oils have been used as natural remedies for years and years. I myself have used oils for a variety of things, and my goodness – they ARE effective!
A lab at Johns Hopkins found that essential oils from garlic and other herbs kill persistent Lyme disease bacteria…and the article even suggests that they may be better than the current antibiotics that are prescribed.
In a nutshell, essential oils should be used to aid and support your body’s natural capabilities. As with medication, essential oils aren’t magical and they don’t just erase symptoms you may be having in 1 second.
How can you use them?
Pure, natural essential oils can be used to assist you in your health, and were actually used for a long time in western medicine. They can aid your body’s function and health by supporting all of the major body systems such as endocrine (hormones), cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, immune, and so on.
Oils are meant to be an aide to your body, not a cure. They help your body do what your body was designed to do; they don’t mask symptoms like common over-the-counter drugs do.
Essential oils can be used in three ways:
Topically – applied directly onto your skin (they can, and often should, be diluted). I like to dilute my oils with a carrier oil such as coconut oil.
Aromatically – this is primarily by putting them in a diffuser. You can also put them on ornaments/decorations and smell them that way. Amazon has some great, low-cost diffusers that are also stylish!
Internally – pure essential oils can be ingested. It is important to read the label and make sure that you are buying quality oils. I also get my oils from Young Living, and they have a strict Seed to Seal policy that guarantees the pureness of your oils.
Fun fact: oils can reach every part of your body within minutes of using, or breathing in the oil.
Here are some simple tips that can help you get more benefits from your essential oils:
- Use a carrier oil. As I mentioned above, essential oils can be diluted with a carrier oil. Some oils actually require being diluted. Popular oils used for dilution are coconut or jojoba oil.
- Do a patch test. Before trying a new oil, it’s important to test a small area of your skin first. Not every oil will agree with your body!
- Read labels. There are oils suitable for digestion, however not every oil should be consumed. Especially if the oil isn’t pure, which leads me to my last point.
- Use “pure” essential oils. Sixty to seventy percent of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our bodies. So – harmful chemicals with prolonged use can cause problems slowly but surely. This is why I get my essential oils from Young Living. They have a Seed to Seal policy that states their commitment to providing quality essential oils + maintaining their top-tier standards.
According to the Environmental Working Group, women use an average of 12 products each day, containing an average of 168 different chemicals. Men use fewer products, but still put an average of 85 chemicals on their bodies.”SYDNEY LUPKIN
What are some popular oils?
I got started using essential oils when I bought my premium starter kit (PSK) from Young Living. It comes with 12 of their most popular oils, a diffuser, and samples of some other truly awesome products like Thieves and Ningxia Red. From buying this kit, I was able to learn about specific essential oil benefits and how I could use them for my health. Here are some of those popular oils along with their common uses.
- Lavender: calming + great for skin. You can add this to your diffuser at bedtime, or even add it to your moisturizer to aid in your skin care.
- Lemon: immune support + home cleaning (gets rid of goo) + emotional support. Use this in your diffuser for a clean home smell, or drop it in your water for some health benefits!
- Peppermint: perfect for focus + clarity AND digestive support! I like to add a drop to water for that cooling effect peppermint gives, or even applying this before a workout.
- Stress Away: this is one of my favs! Rub it on your neck or pop it in the diffuser for an amazing smell and to help ease your worries!
- Panaway: TLC for sore muscles + head tension. Need I say more?
- Thieves: this does wonders for immune support! Rub it on your feet at bedtime to feel renewed in the morning!
Essential Oil Accessories
Soon after I began using essential oils, I realized there were some key accessories to help me get the most use of my oils.
As you begin to collect more oils, it’s important that you’ll have a place to store them…neatly. There are several styles you can choose from.
If you’re into wooden appearances, this wooden essential oil storage box can hold 75 bottles.
If you’re looking for storage while on the go, this hard shell carrying case may be for you.
If you want something more stylish, this wall-mounted nail polish rack holder can serve as an organizer for your oils.
If you don’t already have a diffuser, there are a variety of styles that you can find from Amazon, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Some of my favorites from Amazon include:
- This sleek portable diffuser would be great whether you’re traveling or would like a small diffuser for your desk.
- This stylish ceramic diffuser would look great in your bedroom or living room!
Jewelry, Droppers, Bottles
Yes, I said jewelry!! Two of my favorite ways to wear my essential oils are with a diffuser necklace, or a bottle necklace.
In addition, if you want to create your own blends and store your favorites, you may want to invest in a dropper bottle. I put my favorite blend in there so it’s easy to drop into my diffuser since I use it so frequently!
Lastly, bottles. If you like to DIY, bottles may also be for you! I have spray bottles from Amazon, but I also like to support my fellow small business owners and shop small when I can! Some of my favorite shops on Etsy include: Sonnel Essentials, Blooming Rae Designs, and The Oil Haven Boutique.
Essential oils are an incredibly underrated resource that can help you immensely when it comes to your health + self care needs.
Whether you plan on using oils to help your headaches, boost your immense system, or simply make your house smell amazing, I’m excited for you to start your journey on exploring essential oil benefits.