What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are quite simply the pure, unadulterated liquid extracts of plants and natural substances, they are the ‘essence’ of a plant’s fragrance. Not to be confused with perfumes or fragrances which often contain other chemical compounds, essential oils contain only what naturally occurs in the plants they are extracted from. They are created most often by using steam to separate oils from the plant, but can also be cold pressed or expressed out using heat. Essential oils have a great many uses and serve as natural fragrances and additives for perfumes, cosmetics, cleaning products and even sometimes food and beverages.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a traditional cultural practice from around the world and also alternative medical practice which uses scents to promote function, well-being and healing within the body, mind, and environment. It often utilizes pure essential oils to harness the power of nature and the positive properties many plants have to offer.
Aromatherapy is often used for relaxation and rejuvenation, and can be incorporated into massages, spa treatments, and even public gathering spaces. It can be used as a complementary therapy for those experiencing physical or psychological issues, and each essential oil has its own uses and indications.
Are Essential Oils Dangerous?
As with all things, moderation and knowledge are the key to using a substance. Essential oils are not generally considered dangerous, but each comes from a different plant with different properties which people or pets can react to in different ways. Improper use of essential oils may cause harm including allergic reactions , inflammation and skin irritation, and children may be particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of improper use. You should always research any new oils before using them in your home or on your body, and make sure they are properly diluted if necessary.
Buying essential oils from reputable brands and companies can alleviate many of these risks, as they will include directions for proper use and warnings for common allergies or restrictions. Some oils should not be placed on the skin directly and must be diluted first, others should not be eaten, others should not be used near certain animals. As long as you take reasonable care, essential oils can have a positive effect on your life and are not dangerous.
How Can I Use Essential Oils?
There are a variety of popular uses for essential oils that you likely will have seen or heard about, and others that are less well known but no less useful. Steam diffusion is a popular way to scent homes, spas, and gathering places and require the use of a specialized diffuser which vaporizes water that you add drops of essential oils to. Diffusion disperses the essential oils throughout the air in a space, and there are many ‘recipes’ or combinations of oils you can use to promote relaxation or other positive effects.
Essential oils can also be used as fragrance in food, beverages, cosmetics, cleaning products and perfume – some can be directly ingested or worn on the skin, while others are not meant to be taken internally. It is best to research what oils are best for the effects and applications you personally need. Certain essential oils are believed to promote healing and have antiseptic or soothing properties, which can be helpful for cold and flu season or even treating a sunburn.
Starter Sets of Essential Oils
If you’re ready to get started using essential oils, there is no better way than to purchase a kit of pure 100% therapeutic grade oils. There are many sets available with a variety of scent types, allowing you to make combinations on your own or by following ‘recipes’ others have created. Here are several great choices to start your essential oil journey:
Essential Oil Blends
Combination of essential oils to promote different effects are often called ‘blends’, and many companies sell oils in this way so that you don’t have to mix them yourself. Blends are a great way to start your essential oil journey or even use as a veteran because they are quick and easy and often smell wonderful as they are curated by experts. Here are some fantastic blended essential oils for your consideration:
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts and feelings about essential oils? Are you experienced with oils and aromatherapy, or are you simply curious and looking to start something new? We’d love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment down below. Also, if you have any favorite blends or ‘recipes’ to share, please do!