What are essential oils?
Many people use essential oils but what are they, what do they contain and what do they do for us? In this article, we will attempt to provide answers to these questions.The term essential is given to the oils obtained from plants because it is believed that the oil obtained captures the very essence of the plant or flower from which it is obtained. For example, an oil extracted from the wintergreen plant would be called wintergreen essential oil. It is important to note that the nature of an oil is determined by the plant it comes from as well as the botanical species it identifies with.
Essential oils although oils, have a relatively low level of viscosity than regular oils. Often possessing a watery texture, they are mostly organic and highly concentrated with a great deal of volatility. Essential oils are liquids that are naturally present plants from various parts of its anatomy. Essential oils are often obtained from the grasses leaves, seeds, roots, barks, stems, fruits, flowers, resins, zest and wood of plants. The base section of a plant which is its roots are known to help secure the plant and protect it from attacks from other components of the ecosystem like animals and parasitic organisms. Essential oils are also obtained from these protective/defensive sections and are therefore highly potent due to the high concentration of healing compounds they contain. Cedarwood essential oil is an example of an oil obtained from the thicker parts of a plant like its bark. It is extracted through several methods including steam distillation and cold pressing.
Essential oils are extensively used in aromatherapy because of their highly volatile characteristic. This tendency to vaporize very readily, causes their unique scents to be transported very fast in the air. It is believed to have the ability fo fire up the “olfactory” sensors in the nose, thereby generating a sense of calmness and unity of mind and body by virtue of its unique aroma. Essential oils are used worldwide in different cultures and as such, it is hard to accurately trace their origin. Nevertheless, the first records of essential oils is believed to have come from Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome and India where they were used in various applications, ranging from health, beauty, medicine, aromatherapy massages and religious practices. Their use can be arguably traced back to priests in many cultures for incense, perfumes, suppositories and herbal mixtures.
Nowadays, different techniques for extracting essential oils can be seen. One of the most common techniques is plant distillation. This technique was developed by the Arabian culture and involves replacing the fatty oils that were used as solvents for extraction with a new solvent that they created by distilling ethyl alcohol from fermented sugar. This knowledge of the distillation technique is believed to have eventually spread to Europe and other parts of the world.
Top uses of essential oils in daily life
Essential oils have numerous uses in daily life. They are used in several personal care products: deodorants, perfumes, creams, toners, cleansers, haircare products and more. They are also extensively used in household products for cleaning the home and purifying the air. Lemon essential oil is known to have powerful cleaning and purifying properties. Pine was believed to have been used in ancient Greece by physicians like Hippocrates to address respiratory problems. For other applications, the tree’s bark was also used for its believed ability to reduce symptoms of colds, to calm inflammation and headaches, to soothe sores and infections, and to ease respiratory discomforts.
Today, Pine essential Oil continues to be used for similar therapeutic benefits. This includes: reducing cold symptoms, calming headaches and generally easing respiratory complaints. It is also a popular ingredient in the personal care industry where it is used for its unique aroma in making cosmetics, toiletries, soaps, and detergents.
For the past century, Wintergreen has continued to be used for its energizing effect and for its immune-boosting quality. It is widely used in body balms that are made to enhance circulation; heal bruises, and sores; and to reduce joint and muscular aches and pain. It is also often used in aromatherapy to help address headaches, hypertension, and even obesity, as its appetite-suppressing property is reputed to help manage cravings. Its invigorating quality creates the sense of enhanced cleanliness, making it a popular ingredient in oral hygiene products.
The food industry use essential oils in several food products. Pure therapeutic essential oils can be consumed internally for outstanding results. Some essential oils like rosemary essential oil is used for culinary preparation purposes as well as in the health industry. It is known in the health industry for its anti-microbial, anti-septic and anti-inflammatory benefits, including its ability to strengthen the body and heal organs like brain, heart and liver. The list of its uses is endless. For people that are not familiar with direct usage of essential oils, they still use it daily in store products but in often minute quantities. It is therefore important to learn about essential oils and how you can utilize them optimally in your home. Because they are highly concentrated oils, they must be diluted for most applications, particularly in skin and hair care.
Essential oils for skin
One of the many applications of essential oils is in skincare. Several essential oils are known for their potency in maintaining youthful and beautiful skin. However, it is important to use only pure essential oils in order to obtain their full benefits. One popular essential oil used extensively in skincare is Lavender essential oil. Because of its calming effect, it is often used in baths and laundry for its fragrant properties. With a calming, physically and emotionally balancing fragrance, it has commonly been used for its relaxing effects on the skin and body in general. It is also known to promote speedy healing of irritated and scarred skin, and to relieve muscle tension when used in a massage.
Grapefruit essential oil is an orange-tinted, citrus-scented oil frequently used in aromatherapy.
Through a method known as cold-pressing, the oil is extracted from glands located in the peel of the grapefruit.Grapefruit essential oil may contribute to healthy skin by preventing and treating skin conditions like acne. Many brands of face lotions and creams include citrus essential oils because of their refreshing scent and potent antibacterial and antioxidant activity. These oils helps keep your skin bacteria-free, which in turn, promotes the acne healing process. In general, other citrus essential oils like tangerine essential oil and orange essential oil are known to not only smell refreshing, but possess astringent properties that make them wonderful skin cleansers.
Essential oils for hair
All citrus essential oils are great for the hair and scalp because of their ability to thoroughly cleanse, stimulate and purify the scalp and hair follicles. They are processed by steam distillation or cold press method to extract their oils. They contain naturally-occurring components that kill bacteria and other problematic micro-organisms. This makes them able to treat dandruff, and other scalp infections that can inhibit hair growth.
Lemon grass essential oil:
Lemongrass essential oil is an important source of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate and vitamin C. It also provides essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron. It strengthens hair follicles. People struggling with hair loss and scalp irritations will benefit greatly from the soothing and bacteria-killing properties of lemon grass essential oil. It keeps the hair shiny, fresh, and odor free.
Grapefruit essential oil
Grapefruit essential oil is an extraordinary essential oil that works wonders on the hair, skin and the whole body. It reduces the risk of hair loss and dandruff. Dandruff is an embarrassing condition characterized by white unsightly flakes that often fall from the hair onto the shoulders. Grapefruit essential oil keeps it away for good.
Wintergreen essential oil is commonly used in hair care as well as in topical products that help diminish cellulite. It helps alleviate symptoms of eczema and psoriasis, ailments that are known to inhibit hair growth.
Bergamot essential oil:
Citrus bergamia, better known as Bergamot essential oil, belongs to the Rutaceae family, which is better identified by the name Citrus. This tree’s fruit is a cross between the lemon and the orange, giving the small, round fruit a slight pear-shaped, and a yellow coloring. Bergamot is a popular scent in the fragrance industry, and its powerful fragrance makes it an important constituent in many perfumes in which it acts as the top layer. This essential oil gives your DIY skin and hair products a refreshing beautiful scent.
Peppermint essential oil:
Peppermint also known by its botanical name menthe piperita is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean but has also been cultivated in the USA, Italy, Great Britain, and Japan.
Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the peppermint herb and has been called one of the most versatile oils in the world, side by side with Lavender. It works great in skin care, dental care due to its anti-microbial properties. There are countless issues for which it is beneficial, promoting the wellness of body, mind, and overall health. The scent of Peppermint can be described as being fresh, sharp and comparable to Menthol, and the components of this multi-purpose oil are used internationally in cosmetic, culinary, and health industries. The scent of peppermint essential oil is easily distinguishable. However, its benefits and characteristics go beyond a simple fresh aroma. When diffused, it provides a relaxing atmosphere and creates a pleasant tingling sensation on the skin. This can be significantly soothing after exercise. It also stimulates the scalp and promotes blood flow to hair follicles. This is believed to promote hair growth and flourishing.
How to use essential oils
Essential oils are God’s gift to humanity but it is necessary to learn their various benefits and to familiarize yourself with them in order to apply them to their maximum potential. An initial step to getting to know essential oils is to incorporate them in your DIY personal care products for a life changing experience. We are excited to announce that we now carry a pure therapeutic line up of essential oils. This is brought to you from Young Living. The young living essential oils that we carry can also be used internally because of the high level of purity. In our new collection, you will find a broad selection of essential oils that have outstanding benefits for skin, hair and overall personal care. As mentioned earlier, essential oils are highly concentrated and should not be used directly on the skin. For healthy hair, simply massage the scalp frequently with our organic hair massage oil infused with essential oils from our line up. For healthy skin, simply massage the body with our organic face and body oil infused with essential oils from our line up.