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Essential oils go way back in time. They have been used for thousands of years to enhance the lives of people and even animals. I am a huge advocate for essential oils because I have seen the miracles that they perform. There is controversy over the use of them but that is an entirely different topic. In this post, I will be discussing the benefits and uses of essential oils.
Benefits of essential oils
There is literally an essential oil for everything! If you have a headache, there is an oil for that. If you have an illness such as a cold or the flu, there is an oil for that. If you have problems regulating your hormones, there is an oil for that. If you need to stay focused, there is an oil for that. If you are stressed and need to relax your mind, there is an oil for that. The list just goes on and on! When used correctly the benefits are phenomenal!
Here is a common list of benefits from the use of essential oils…
- Balance hormones
- Prevent and heal infections
- Cure illness without medicines
- Improves mental clarity
- Improves emotional state
- Great for making DIY cleaning products
- Great for making DIY beauty, hair, and skin products
- Use on animals
- Use on babies and children
- Improve immunity
- Enhances physical wellness
- Enhances spirituality
The benefits go on and on.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are a highly concentrated liquid substance. The oils are made through the process of distilling plants. They are very potent substances because they contain phytochemicals. Therefore, they need to be used with caution. Essential oils provide a ton of amazing benefits but they can be harmful if used incorrectly. Essential oils are highly volatile, meaning they evaporate quickly while maintaining their benefits.
It is important to know that not all essential oil brands are safe. Quality is extremely important if you want to receive all of the benefits the oils can offer. High-quality essential oils can be quite expensive but “you get what you pay for.” Generally, high-quality oils are only available through special order from companies such as YoungLiving Oils or doTerra. Superior oils receive the full oil potency from the plants that the oil was distilled from. This is due to the fact that the distilling process is completed in a natural environment using organic plants.
If an oil is a high grade it will be produced without chemicals and originate from the plant itself. The plants will be organic and grown in a natural environment. The FDA and third-parties will approve of the quality and it will be safe to use. These are the most trusted oils.
Low-grade oils are easily accessible. You can find them in drug stores, gas stations, malls, etc. It is important to do your research and know exactly what oils are good and what oils you should stay away from. People will market anything they can get away with. Just because it is an essential oil and they tell you the benefits does not mean that the quality can be trusted. Many oils that are available commercially are altered with other oils and substances. Most likely, they will not pass third-party testing either because of their lack of quality.
How to use essential oils?
Essential oils can be used topically, internally, and aromatically. A few drops goes a long way. The high-potency is what provides the endless benefits.
Essential oils contain a ton of tiny molecules. When applied to the skin topically it is absorbed quickly and easily. Therefore, the body is able to retain the benefits almost immediately because of the fast-reacting time for the high-quality oils. This is why it is important to be sure you are following guidelines and making sure that you are using good oils and staying away from the bad. You do not want to end up causing more harm than good.
It is recommended before applying essential oils directly to your skin, to dilute them with a carrier oil. Using a carrier oil will dilute the potency assuring that you are not consuming too much of the oil which could lead to irritation.
What is a carrier oil?
An oil that is naturally acquired from a vegetarian source. They have no smell or high-potency therefore, they are a great way to dilute essential oils. Carrier oils are not volatile. Therefore, they are recommended to be paired with the topical use of essential oils because they reduce the concentration of the essential oils without eliminating the benefits.
How to use carrier oils
Carrier oils give you the ability to control the concentration and potency of the essential oil that you are applying directly to your skin. To mix both you simply apply the carrier oil topically and then apply your essential oil. Mix both oils into your skin together. During the process, you are absorbing both oils into your skin and do not worry carrier oils are not harmful!
Types of carrier oils
- V-6 Oil: You can purchase this formula from Young Living Oils. It is a combination of coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oils, wheat germ oil, vitamin E, sunflower oil, and olive oil. This oil is meant to moisturize and nourish your skin along with use making it a great choice of carrier oil.
- Grapeseed Oil: A moisturizing oil that has a thin consistency leaving a shine to your skin after use. It is high in linoleic acid and does not contain a long shelf life. Therefore, it needs to be used within a certain time period of initial use.
- Sweet Almond Oil: A moisturizing oil that contains a sweet, nutty scent. It has a medium consistency that quickly absorbs into your skin after application. It is rich in vitamin E and oleic acid.
- Jojoba Oil: A moisturizing, medium consistency oil that has a nutty scent similar to Sweet Almond Oil. It can be used to moisturize skin and hair without leaving a greasy residue. It has a long shelf life.
- Olive Oil: A popular oil that is used for cooking. It has a thick consistency that will leave an oily residue on your skin when applied. It is a great source of omega fatty acids. Shelf life is limited.
- Coconut Oil: This is an amazing oil that has a ton of great benefits! Using it along with essential oils is an awesome combination. Coconut oil maintains a solid form when it is at room temperature. When it reaches high heat, it becomes a liquid form. It has a coconut scent and is extremely moisturizing to skin and hair. Coconut oil also contains a long shelf life.
- Cocoa Butter: A chocolate scented butter that is solid at room temperature. It is best to use when it is melted for easier application.
- Shea Butter: A moisturizing butter that is cream colored and smells like nuts. It is solid at room temperature and is very moisturizing.
Before you ever consider using essential oils internally, MAKE SURE they are safe and certified by the FDA. Also, you need to be sure that the quality of the oil is 100% natural and pure. There must not be any synthetic additives or chemicals used. The essential oils must not be altered in any way. They should be 100% organic and natural.
There are several different ways that you can contain essential oil benefits through internal use. But keep in mind they are highly potent! One drop of oil goes a long way and trust me, the taste is strong. So make sure not to put too many drops.
- Adding drops of preferred oil/oils to water or similar substance
- In capsules
- Directly applied to tongue or roof of the mouth
- Cooking with them
- Vaginally in women
Diffusing oils is one of my favorite things to do! To diffuse oils, you will need to purchase an oil diffuser. There are a ton of different kinds and brands on the market. Pricing can get significantly expensive depending on the brand and type of diffusers. I have this diffuser (actually, I have a couple!) and it is awesome! It holds up to 500mL of water which runs continuously for about 10-12 hours depending on your setting preference. You can adjust the color of the diffuser or have it change automatically. There are controls to set the time of the diffuser to run as well. I absolutely love mine and use them all of the time!
How to diffuse oils
It is a simple process. You can diffuse one oil or as many as you want. There are tons of different oil blends that are great combinations together.
First, you will fill the diffuser with water (to your preference of how full) and then place drops of oil/s. You will need to adjust the number of drops that you use depending on how many oils your are diffusing at once as well as how much water you put in the diffuser. If you fill it full to the 500mL mark you will use about 15 drops total.
Next, you turn the diffuser on and adjust the setting that you wish to have it on. You can set it to run continuously or on a timer. You also have the ability to adjust the light setting as well as the air flow.
Trusted retailers of essential oils
There are a ton of essential oil brands available on the market. There are some brands that are trusted and good quality but I personally would only trust Young Living and doTerra. Young Living is a phenomenal company and I trust them whole-heartedly! Their oils are 100% natural and pure. Young Living oils are made directly from the plant source and contain high potency. Their products provide all of the necessary benefits to individuals.
If you have never used essential oils before, use with caution. Make sure that you do your research on the benefits, risks, quality, brand, etc. If you have health issues and are on medications I would advise speaking with a doctor before you utilize essential oils.