Essential oils are such an integral part of a holistic lifestyle. They’re versatile, incredibly healing, easy to implement and support multiple areas of your life. They’re also a great way to venture into using natural products, cleaning up your lifestyle and can be used without requiring a lot of discipline (like a diet does). This is what makes them such a favourite for a lot of people, no matter where you are on your health and healing journey.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are highly concentrated, volatile plant extracts and this is what makes them incredibly potent. They are considered a complementary therapy which work to improve mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. A couple of drops go a long way, so a single bottle can last you a very long time. They are believed to be 75% more powerful than dried herbs – so you can imagine how healing these oils can be for us. So the next questions are, how do we use them and where should we buy them from?
WHERE TO BUY ESSENTIAL OILS:
Firstly, just like food and supplements, essential oils are not all created equal. Simply put, you get what you pay for. You may be able to get some cheap oils down at the local health store, but you usually can’t ingest these. Given that whatever we put on our skin or breath into our lungs, enters our body.. we should be just as picky about these product than those we eat. We often can’t ingest these because they’re not pure essential oil. Sometimes they have used a cheaper alternative just to achieve the same smell and sometimes they’ve added fillers to save money. My opinion is that you’re better off investing in 1 or 2 high quality oils with versatile uses, than you are a whole collection of low quality oils. I’ll share more on this below, with what oils are best for getting started!
Let’s take a look at some common symptoms that could be helped with the right essential oil;
Best oils for sleep; lavender, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, chamomile, neroli, marjoram, cedar, bergamot, clary sage, frankincense, rose
One study found that when ICU patients sniffed lavender, chamomile, and neroli, their anxiety levels dipped significantly and their sleep quality improved. Another found that the scent of lavender increased slow wave (deep) sleep, particularly in women. Just taking a whiff of any sleep-inducing oil before bed can help, but to reap the benefits all night long, consider keeping an open jar of an oil dilution on your nightstand or using a pillow spray.
The study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3588400/
Best oils for menstrual cycles; clary sage, lavender, rose, clove, cinnamon
This is a common complaint and often women need to rely on Ibuprofen or Paracetemol to get through their monthly cycle – but essential oils can help, particularly Clary Sage. Applying a few drops with a carrier oil to the abdomen a few days before and during your period, can help relieve period pains.
A 2013 study examined a combination of oils from:
These oils were added to almond oil. Women in the study were instructed to massage the oil combo into the abdomens. This study also found that women using the essential oils reported less pain and bleeding during menstruation than women who used the placebo treatment.
Best oils for relaxation; rose, clary sage, frankincense, lavender, bergamot, marjoram, ylang-ylang, lemon, geranium, orange, sandalwood, chamomile, vetiver
Who doesn’t feel stressed or anxious from time to time? We all do – and that’s why having some oils on hand can be a God send. Diffusing in particular can enable you to combine the oils with breathing techniques, to really get the best out of both methods. Another great method is to massage an oil with a carrier oil into your temples and pressure points. This can also assist with tension headaches.
MEMORY / CONCENTRATION
Best oils for concentration; rosemary, basil, peppermint, helichrysum, cedar, vetiver, grapefruit, pine, juniper
Did you know oils can actually help you at work or during studies? One study shows that sniffing rosemary can increase memory by 75%, while peppermint improves recall as well as a sustained focus. Other research has shown that peppermint, basil and helichrysum helps with burnout and mental fatigue. Of course this doesn’t replace creating a work life balance, but they can be a great support for those times we’re in need of a little boost or helping hand.
Best oils for energy; lemon, orange, grapefruit, eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, ginger, rosemary, spearmint, black pepper, jasmine
Who doesn’t want more energy? Skip the coffee and use uplifting essential oils instead! Citruses are specifically associated with boosting both mood and energy levels, alleviating fatigue-inducing anxiety and stress to boot. One study found that peppermint oil can even lead to a boost in exercise performance.
Best oils for skin; tea tree oil, lavender, oregano, bergamot, rosemary, helichrysum, patchouli
Many plants are natural antiseptics, anti-inflammatories, antimicrobials, and antivirals, so when concentrated into essential oil form, they can function as highly effective remedies for acne, muscle soreness, sore throats, and more. Tea tree oil is an editor-loved remedy for shriveling up zits in a matter of hours, especially since it’s one of the only essential oils (along with lavender) that can safely be applied directly to the skin. Dab a few drops on a blemish to zap bacteria and soothe any redness. Got angry, inflamed skin from sunburn, rosacea, or other sensitivities? Mist on some rose water or a lavender hydrosol for instant relief.
For getting started, I would opt for the following oils;
Lavender: Associated with aiding sleep and encouraging relaxation. Lavender oil is one of the safest and most versatile essential oils available. As well as helping you feel relaxed, it can also aid with pain relief, it has antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial properties, and you can use it as a decongestant and as an insect repellent.
Tea Tree: Another very popular essential oil. Tea Tree can be utilised as a treatment for colds, flu, cold sores, warts and acne. You may find it in many anti-acne face washes, soaps and creams – but be careful to check your labels, some manufacturers may only add the smallest amount of the essential oil in it, which may not help at all. It’s not believed to be a skin irritant but if you have sensitive skin and you’re looking to apply the oil directly (neat or blended) then try a little test patch first, in case you get a reaction.
Patchouli: This oil has long been used in traditional Asian medicine and is commonly used to treat skin and hair ailments such as dermatitis, eczema, acne, dry skin, dandruff and oily scalps. When employed in small doses the therapeutic oil can lift the spirits, and when used in large doses it can cause a sedative state, so it is also often used to treat depression and anxiety as well.
Eucalyptus: This oil is great to have around during the cold season. It’s antiviral, antibacterial and a decongestant. As well as using the oil to inhale when you have a cold or flu, it works brilliantly to keep insects away from the house in the summer. Burn eucalyptus oil in an aromatherapy burner or diffuser, and the scent should deter any insects which are hovering around.
To order your oils, I would highly recommend DoTerra. These oils are made to the highest standards and can be ingested, diffused and applied topically, meaning you get the full benefits of every oil. To get started;
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
To good health,