What is an essential oil? Typically created through the process of distillation — which separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming — they are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma. In fact, sometimes they are called volatile aromatic oils because of their high concentration of the aromatic compounds. (1) They also are simply called aromatherapy oils.
Despite the sudden burst in popularity, essential oils are not a new thing. The ancient Egyptians were among the first people to use aromatic essential oils, incorporating them into their daily lives. Pure essential oils were incredibly valuable and saved for priests and royals. Ancient books such as the Bible also talk about the use of essential oils. According to the book, Essential Oils for Beginners, the Old and New Testament reference essential oils over two hundred times.
Topically – this is the most popular way to use it. (and what I do most of the time) Place on your head (around the crown), behind ears, wrists or on the vita flex points. You can dilute the oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil (any natural vegetable oil is fine too, such as grape seed, olive, avocado or jojoba) to reduce the strength or smell of the oil if it’s too much.
With its bright and joyful aroma, Lemon oil benefits skin and hair as much as its aroma enhances your environment. This best-selling oil can be used in a variety of ways: Mix it with your cleaning products, add a drop to your water, use it during your nighttime skin care routine, or add a drop to your conditioner for a great scent. This oil is a key ingredient in many hair and skin care products. Because citrus oil can cause photosensitivity, avoid applying Lemon to exposed skin before spending time outside. Supports your liver, lymphatic and immune system.
Internally – you can also start using them internally by ingesting them. Young Living came out with its own Vitality brand that is approved by the FDA to ingest. This allows you to get the maximum benefit of the oil and fastest absorption rate. I’ve even used them in cooking, like oregano or black pepper oil for my pasta sauce or lemon oil for my Lemon Raspberry Protein Muffins.
Whilst many people think that the ‘massage’ element is the main event when they go for an Aromatherapy treatment, it is actually more about choosing the best essential oils and allowing them to work their magic. It is the power of the essential oils that is key: the massage therapy simply creates an environment that allows the oils to work at their best, with the help of trained professionals. However, this doesn’t mean that beginners can’t use essential oils at home; you can - the art is just in selecting the most appropriate oils and using them safely to create the desired effects.
What are essential oils good for? Well, here are the many oils uses for your body (including oral, hair and skin care), general health (such as for allergies, digestion and sleep), the home (DIY all-purpose cleaner, mold killer, etc.) and recipes (including with healthy foods, drinks and sweets!). And see my handy essential oils uses chart to tell you exactly how much of each oil to utilize.
Peppermint is a very recognizable scent, after all they make gum that smells like peppermint. But Peppermint is so much more than just a nostalgic, fresh aroma. This oil can be diffused to create a stimulating, focused atmosphere for daily tasks. You can also apply it topically to create a cool, tingling sensation on the skin, which can be very soothing after hard physical activity. Peppermint can help relieve headaches, curb appetite, settle an upset tummy and is great for an afternoon pick me up.