Essential Oils, What are they?
Essential oils have really gained a myriad amount of popularity throughout the years, but what exactly are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated extracts of various plants which include grass, flowers, leaves, needles, twigs, bark, peels of fruit, seeds and roots. The oil is obtained through distillation (steam) or mechanical methods (cold pressed). Essential oils are extremely potent, so it is advised to pair them with a carrier oil such as almond, olive, coconut, jojoba, vitamin E etc.
Essential oils can be used in various ways:
- Topical: (Use a carrier oil and test a small part of your skin first)
- Diffuse / inhale: Aromatherapy is one of the most popular uses of essential oils.
- Oral: though this is not recommended at all unless consulting with a health professional or knowing that your oil is completely pure).
How to tell the quality of your Essential Oils:
- They should always be stored in glass container. They should never be in plastic due to the chemical compounds that can break down and react with there plastic. They also need to be stored in a cool, dark place because the heat can mess with the chemical composition of the oils.
- Look for companies that are transparent. It should always state the botanical name when you order on the company website, which tells the genus and species of the plant. Know how it was distilled and what are of the plant was used.
- Don't be fooled by price. The higher the price doesn't always mean the highest quality. However, do be weary of essential oils that are super-cheap. Essential oils can be costly. Remember it takes a myriad amount of plant material to fill one single bottle. Think of when you use your juicer how many fruit and veggies you use to fill up one cup. The rarer or scarce the plant, the higher the price.
- How does the oil feel, look and pour are all VERY important. Noticed how it is sealed. It should ALWAYS (unless it comes with a dropper) have an "orifice reducer", which is the plug that controls the amount of drops that come out of the bottle. The feel of the oils should not feel greasy or thick, but should have some slip to them. However rich color, heavy essential oils are an exception (see list below is the next category)
How to spot a fake essential oil:
Get a white piece of paper. Place a single drop on the paper and let it dry. If you see an oily ring left behind then you know that it is fake and not a pure essential oil. However some essential oils are heavier and deeper in color than others and are an exception to this test. Examples of those oils are: German Chamomile, Vetiver, Sandalwood, and Patchouli.
Benefits of Essential Oils:
Essential oils have a myriad amount of health benefits. Each oils is different and has different uses. You can use them for headaches, memory aid, energy aid, improve sleeping, improve concentration, improve body circulation, muscle aches and pains, fever, menstrual cramps and so much more!
- Basil and Peppermint are great essential oils for clearing up a headache.
- Peppermint also aids in concentration and increased energy.
- Eucalyptus is excellent for helping your body during a cold or the flu. As is peppermint especially when you have a stuffy nose.
- Lavender is great for promoting relaxing and getting a good night sleep.
- Lemon helps improve the mood by giving you an instant lift.
- Rosemary is great for improving body circulation.
These are just a small list of benefits of Essential Oils. Also oils have various different benefits, not not just one use. Have fun experimenting and trying our various oils and their uses!
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