Getting started with Essential Oils can be very overwhelming. I put it off for a long time because there are so many oils, so many uses, and no one I knew personally had ever used them. I didn’t know where to start, so I just kept pushing it off until I could “find the time”. Lets face it though, everything that gets pushed off until there is enough time never actually gets done. It wasn’t until I was approached by someone who used them and knew I was interested that I really got jump started. I hope that this little introduction for beginners on exploring essential oils will help you jump start your journey with using them and not keep pushing it off like I did.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are derived from flowers, plants, seeds and bark. They are highly concentrated which gives them their medicinal properties. When choosing an essential oil it is important to purchase those which are “Therapeutic Grade”. This means that they are carefully derived from a pure source, usually by a steam distillation, and do not contain any additives.
You’ll find you are already familiar with many different sources of essential oils:
- Tea Tree
Just to name a few!
How Do I Use Essential Oils?
Aromatic – Inhalation of essential oils is quick and easy. It can be as simple as breathing in the scent from the bottle, placing a drop or two in the palm of your hands and breathing deeply, or dropping in steaming water. Using an electric diffuser like the one pictured above is an extremely effective way to not only scent your home naturally but to allow the entire family to gain the healing benefits of essential oils. Essential oils give the greatest benefit when used aromatically.
Internal– Since essential oils are made from things like flowers and plants they are generally safe to ingest according to many of the companies that distribute them. Not all essential oils are to be ingested. However, an oil like lemon, for example, is just extracted from lemon peels so it can act as a dietary supplement. You might add essential oils to water and drink them or add them in to gel capsules to be swallowed. You will want to research which essential oils can be ingested and what they will do. You may also wish to consult with a Certified Aromatherapist when using oils internally.
Topical – Some essential oils can be applied directly on the skin, know as “neat” application. Others must be diluted with a carrier oil. Using a carrier oil is actually the preferred method of topical application because it allows the oil to be more readily absorbed by the body and lets you cover a larger surface area. Contrary to what many people think using a carrier oil actually makes the essential oil MORE and not less effective. Please note that any and all essential oils used on children should be diluted and some essential oils should never be used on children. Carrier oils should have a light aroma or none at all and can be important to use for maximal skin absorption. There are many different oils which can be used as a carrier and some you likely already have in your kitchen.
Examples of carrier oils:
- olive oil
- fractionated coconut oil
- sweet almond oil
- argan oil
- avocado oil
- grapeseed oil
Again, just to name a few!
Why Should I Use Essential Oils?
Essential oils can offer easy and natural health solutions to allow your body to perform to its fullest potential. Using essential oils can be beneficial for many common ailments. We have used them to help with muscle pain, congestion, headache, and improved sleep quality. They are considered to be very safe when used appropriately (as with any medicinal product like over-the-counter medicines and herbs) and effective when used as directed. What I love most about essential oils is their preventive health abilities and that they can work in conjunction with other medical treatments. Aside from the direct health benefits they can also be used to detox your home by being included in cleaning products, air fresheners, soaps, body lotions and cooking!
Who Should Use Essential Oils?
EVERYONE! Seriously. Everyone can gain benefits from using essential oils. People have found help from oils with just about every ailment from nerve and muscle pain to managing blood sugar levels. Essential Oils are especially effective for acute problems such as a mucousy cought or a muscle ache. They can be used as a preventive measure as well to keep your immune system functioning at an optimal level or keep your metabolism revved up.
Are Essential Oils Safe?
When used correctly essential oils are very safe. Because they can have powerful health effects you should always research how to properly use each one. There are wonderful scientific resources on essential oils and anyone using them should have one on hand. Additionally, some oils should be avoided if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have medical conditions like high blood pressure or epilepsy. I’d be happy to help you find this information if there is something specific you are concerned about. In general, essential oils are the perfect natural solutions to have on hand for whatever life throws at you because of their effectiveness and safety.
Where Can I Buy Essential Oils?
As I’ve mentioned above, it is very important to choose therapeutic grade essential oils. This means there are no additives or filling agents, just pure oils. Many health food stores sell essential oils and you can also find them online. Please be sure that whatever oils you are purchasing are therapeutic grade so they do not have filler chemicals added. Reading the labels is very important. If the oil says it is only for aromatic use then it is not therapeutic grade and not safe to use for the health benefits, even aromatically.
I hope that this introduction was helpful to you and that you’ll decide to take the plunge and try out essential oils today. If you are wanting to live a more natural life and detoxify your home then essential oils will absolutely help you reach those goals.
Disclaimer: Any information on this blog is purely educational and not meant to take the place of medical advice from a licensed professional.