Essential oils have a number of benefits, but many of my clients consider them a mystery. What are essential oils? How do you use them? What are their health benefits?
In this article, I want to take the mystery out of using essential oils so that you can confidently make the decision that is right for yourself and your family. After all, essential oils have been around for thousands of years. They are mentioned in the Bible and many other ancient texts as a staple for everyday life. So let’s learn what the ancients knew and apply the benefits today!
First, essential oils are the highly concentrated natural oils found in plants. These oils are extracted from the plants by the process of distillation, which is done by water or steam from the bark, flowers, stems, leaves, and roots of the plant. Because essential oils are more concentrated than the actual plant, you need only a few drops – usually mixed with water in an essential oil diffuser – to get the benefits of the oil. Many essential oil manufacturers create ready-made blends for you. For example, I recommend Young Living Essential Oils, because I trust their products and company philosophy. It is important to use certified organic oils and to know where they came from. So, in short, I trust Young Living. Their Marjoram and Ylang Ylang essential oil blend is great aromatherapy for energizing your spirit. To use it, you will need to purchase a diffuser, similar to this one.
Fill the unit to the ‘full-line’ with water and then add about 5 drops of oil. When you turn the diffuser on, it will diffuse the oil into the air and you will enjoy the scent of Marjoram and Ylang Ylang for hours.
You can also apply essential oils to your skin, but you must mix it with a carrier oil. This step is very important because often essential oils, being highly concentrated can irritate the skin. Mix a carrier oil, like almond oil, either ordered online or from your local grocery store. To make a 2% dilution using the by-the-drop method it is important that you measure.
Add 12 drops of essential oil (use a dropper like this one) to each fluid ounce (30 ml) of cold pressed carrier oil, like almond oil. Then you can apply an oil, such as tea tree to the bottoms of your feet to help heal dry and cracked skin. Put on socks and leave it on overnight for smooth feet!
You can also cook with some essential oils such as cinnamon, peppermint, citrus, and ginger. Be sure to use your dilution formula (above) so as not to overdo it. Remember, essential oils are concentrated and will add powerful flavor to foods if not diluted with a carrier oil. Water won’t work here, so be sure to mix the essential oil with the carrier oil before adding to dishes, drinks or smoothies. For smoothies, blend vigorously to emulsify the oil blend. Essential oils are a wonderful natural way to add flavor to foods, aromatherapy to your home, and soothing elements to the body when used properly. I hope this article helps to remove some of the mystery and give you the confidence to try essential oils at home.