Essential oils have been used for centuries for their therapeutic properties but they may seem unattainable and confusing to the average person. Why shouldn’t they? Potent little drops used for amazing things – these oils are every bit as intimidating as they seem. But with a little knowledge and practice, anyone can master essential oils and incorporate them into their average life.
What are Essential Oils and Why Should You Use Them?
It’s likely you’ve heard about essential oils before and wondered what all the hubbub is about. Truth is, essential oils deserve all the hype they’re getting lately. Distilled from elements of nature (eg shrubs, flowers, fruit, wood, leaves etc.), they’re the essence of the plant they come from, containing all of the amazing therapeutic qualities found in mother nature. The method of distillation varies from plant to plant, but the resulting essential oil is pure and potent, composed of specific chemical components that contribute to the oils overall effect and qualities.
However unlike any other pharmaceutical solution you can come up with, the small molecules of essential oils have an innate ability to spread through your body in a fashion that only heightens their effectiveness. In fact, tests revealed that 22 seconds after contact with an oil, the molecules reach the brain and cross the blood brain barrier to get right to work. In about 2 minutes, those same essential oils will be found in the bloodstream and after only 20 minutes they were affect every cell in the body. I dunno about you, but when I heard these statistics I was blown away. These little drops are amazing and that was only the beginning of my oily journey. A journey where I’m blown away nearly every day.
Learn to Identify the Problem and Diagnose
It didn’t take long in my use of essential oils for me to begin to turn to them for everything and I want the same for you. So let’s begin with self diagnosis. It begins with identifying the underlying problem you’d like to fix. Whether it’s your dry itchy scalp or a stinky trash can, there are so many problems for which oils are the perfect solution. With your problem in mind, the next step is finding the perfect essential oil. Now this takes a bit of practice as there are tons of amazing oils out there and it takes some time to begin to understand all of their amazing properties and effects. But with a few good resources, you’ll find your solution in no time. Two of my favorite are Life Science Publishing’s Essential Oil Pocket Reference and the phone app Essential Oils Reference Guide. Between these two extensive resources, you can easily find any amount of information about each oil and likely the problem you’re looking to solve. Not to mention a simple google search of “benefits of blank essential oil” can return endless pages of information.
Essential Oil Constituents
However if you have an interest in the science behind oils and becoming a true expert, look no further than the common constituents found in every oil. For example, peppermint oil contains the constituent “menthol,” a name you likely recognize. This chemical is renowned for it’s anesthetic properties, making it the perfect choice for topical pain relief. That’s why you can find peppermint essential oil in pain medications like Advil and Tylenol. But why should we have to turn to pain medications when we need some relief? Why not go straight to the source? A source we know is natural and pure, untainted by chemicals that could be dangerous for us and our loved ones? This, my friend, is why me and so many people have turned to essential oils to start solving our problems instead of paying attention to the pharmaceutical commercial for the pill that has 5 million horrible side effects they list off rather quickly.
Some other notable constituents include linalool, known for it’s antiseptic, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties with very few side effects, which makes lavender the swiss army knife of any essential oil lover. It can be used for so many purposes and is perfect for sensitive skin since it’s so gentle. Obviously diving into the chemical compounds that make up essential oils is a topic that is going to take more than one section of a blog post. But it’s a topic I plan to readdress in my research and now that you know about it, you can begin your research as well.
The Best Essential Oils to Start With
Now I can’t talk about oils and introduce their constituents without also identifying a few essential oils I think are perfect to start with. These oils are versatile and effective, becoming the super hero of any situation you use them in.
- The first will come at no surprise to anyone: lavender. This essential oil isn’t called the swiss army knife of essential oils for no reason. It boasts some wonderful uses and is often the perfect solution for any problem. Whether for personal care, sleep support, emotional support, using with children, using with animals, aromatically, in your bath, in some lemonade, on your big toe; this oil can do it all.
- My second choice for any essential oil arsenal would be peppermint. Some of my favorite ways to use oils involve this bad boy – including delicious peppermint brownies (just a few drops in your favorite brownie batter) and for help on long, nauseating car rides. Not to mention it does wonders for pepping you up when you’re tired.
- Third comes lemon, an oil that tastes as good as you’re imagining. It’s perfect to add to water for a fresh lemon twist (please please make sure you’re using food-grade quality oil – I cannot stress this enough). It also can freshen up any stinky situation and has the miraculous skill of removing sticky residue from stickers! It’s a real crowd pleaser that lemon.
- Fourth comes an oil some might not consider good for beginners but I disagree: frankincense. This oil is amazing and I think is a good step for beginners to truly start to understand everything oils can do for you. My favorite way to use it is in my facial care. Adding a drop to your lotion every day does wonders for your skin and I love the smell of it washing over me. In fact, most people adore frankincense for it’s grounding aroma. It’s cherished for meditation and yoga routines alike and I love to use it whenever I need to center myself. Just thinking about it’s effect has me relaxing right now. This oil would be the perfect choice to apply every day to lava bead diffuser jewelry.
It goes without saying that no one begins an essential oil expert within minutes of picking up their first bottle. But I think that’s what’s so amazing about oils – there’s no end to what you can learn about them. They can be used in so many ways and really do fit any purpose you can come up with. Hopefully this post can help you on your first steps to essential oil expertise.
Be sure to check out this safety with essential oils post full of valuable info about using oils safely!
*Information on this page has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. I am not taking the place of your licensed medical professional, and cannot take responsibility for your health. I encourage you to do your research on essential oils before using them for yourself and your family. Please read our full disclaimer for more information