What are essential oils?
Essential oils are aromatic liquids obtained from seeds, roots, flowers, leaves, shrubs, herbs and trees by gentle steam distillation or cold pressing. They have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal and emotionally uplifting properties.
Essential oils have the same function in a plant as blood does in humans, they work as the plant’s defense system, oxygenating them and carrying nutrients to each and every cell. They contain healing nutrients including hormones, minerals and vitamins to assist the plant in killing infection, repairing damage and promoting healthy cell growth.
When essential oils are applied to human skin they carry the same healing force as they do to the plant. They will be absorbed into your bloodstream and are able to produce the highest level of oxygenating molecules in our system than any other substance on earth. Because of their high levels of oxygen, they are able to detoxify the body, increasing oxygen intake of our cells and enhancing cellular respiration. Whilst some oils can be applied neat, others should be diluted with a carrier oil like almond oil. If you’re applying oils to children you should check the dilution standards first.
As well as promoting physiological wellness, essential oils also have the ability to access and affect the brain’s limbic system – the centre of emotion and memory. Many oils can be used to create positive feelings, relaxation and emotional balance. Think of the feelings you experience when you smell the oil that is released when you peel an orange, or the sense of calm that cut lavender imparts or the invigoration you might experience when you rub peppermint leaves between your fingers and breathe in the scent.
How do you use them…
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways including: inhaling, diffusing, applying topically (directly to the skin), in massage, to make homemade remedies, balms and ointments, or in home cleaning recipes to clean your home without using toxic chemicals. You can read up on ways we use oils here
What type of oils should I use?
Not all oils are created equally. I strongly recommend you choose 100% pure essential oils (this means they are never ever diluted or adulterated) from a reputable brand. I use mostly Young Living and Neals Yard oils both of which are really high quality. There are a number of great oil brands out there but also a number of cheap, poor quality ones. I recommend you do some research before buying and don’t feel afraid to use oils from a few different brands – you don’t have to be loyal to only one producer.