You see them everywhere. The internet is swelling with testimonies of people miraculously cured by them. Natural-lifestyle addicts clean their houses with them. And you ponder – what is it in them? Is it some hippie-talk, magic, or do essential oils really work?
I want to introduce a new series of blog posts about essential oils. What these oils are, why they are so special, and why are they being sold in such ridiculously small bottles?
Let’s start from the very beginning.
First, let’s have a look at plants. They’re nice (some of them), they’re healthy (some of them). They can cure stuff and that’s called herbal medicine. We can all agree on that, right?
Chemical compounds contained in their fragile, green bodies – stems, leaves and flowers – can react with our bodies, causing certain reactions. It only makes sense that for more versatile and more concentrated product, for the ESSENCE of the herb, we can extract it straight from the plant. Sometimes said essence is obtained through distillation, sometimes with mechanical means, like cold pressing. The effect is strongly smelling liquid for multiple uses. Essential oil – essence of the plant. Simple.
Now, how do they work?
These little bottles will work how we tell them to. It depends on the desired effect, really.
Science is a funny thing – and our brain even funnier. It turns out that we possess something called ‘limbic system’. If you’ve never heard about it before, don’t worry; you still have it.
This is simply a part of the brain, responsible for emotions, memories, motivations and learning. It can be easily stimulated by… certain smells. Yes, that’s why some aromas can awake memories. So if we take it from the opposite way, we can use smells to reach the areas WE want to stimulate. That’s right, make these little bottles work for you, and don’t spare them!
(Figuratively speaking, because they’re so concentrated, that they should be used sparingly. It’s like with make up – the less is more.)
Anyway, back to the essential oils. Molecules of goodness can enter our bodies not only through the nose. They can take the fast route through the bloodstream too and reach some major organs this way. Don’t worry, you don’t need to inject them. Mix a few drops with a carrier oil and massage to your skin – they will manage from there. Skin is after all the most absorbent part of our bodies. Yes, it’s a good time to rethink the ingredients of your favourite body cream now.
So… how to use this stuff?
There is a couple of ways. The most popular are aromatherapy, massage and bath. You can use an electric diffuser or a simple oil burner, and enjoy fresh smelling house and health betterment. It’s like “buy one get one free” offer.
After a stressful day it can also be nice to take a relaxing bath seasoned with 10-20 drops of lavender oil for calming down, or eucalyptus one, for treating cold. If you have a dermatological problem you can add a few drops of appropriate oil to your face cream or lotion. The possibilities are almost endless. There is one rule, though, which you have to follow no matter what: safety measures! Essential oils, as many other medicines, can have their contraindications. As before taking something from the pharmacy you carefully read the leaflet attached (or is it only me who does that?), try to find out as much as you can about the oil you are planning to use. Some might just not agree with your condition, some need taking extra special care while handling them.
Still, considering the benefits, essential oils are the best what nature could give us, a truly condensed medicine for body and mind.
Do you use essential oils on a daily basis? Got any tips or tricks to share with us? Let us know in the comments below 🙂