Picture this…after a long day of work, you enter your home, and the first thing you notice is an energizing smell. You slip off your shoes and follow the aroma…you instantly feel more relaxed and happy.
Aromatherapy or essential oil therapy is a practice of using natural plant scents to enhance your well-being, provide health benefits and to promote balance and harmony of your mind and body!
As a person who is totally committed to healthy living, I feel that aromatherapy is a natural and beneficial way to safely improve our health and a sense of well-being. There are many ways essential oils can be used on daily basis. Using aromatherapy is simple, effective and affordable. Once you start using those deliciously fragrant substances, you will find it rewarding in many ways. And the best part of it – it is safe for you and your family!
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are very concentrated and highly aromatic oily mixtures extracted from plants. They are made from variety of plants parts including: flowers, seeds, roots, barks, and leaves by sophisticated extraction process. They are 100% natural and provide a wide variety of benefits. Essential Oils were used for centuries, and now are getting more attention, especially from enthusiasts of healthy and natural living.
How Essential Oils are Made?
Production of essential oils is pretty sophisticated. After fresh plant materials are collected, they are carefully checked for their quality. Depending on the type of the plant, the appropriate extraction method is chosen. There are several ways of extraction those fragrant plant molecules from the plants:
- Distillation: hot steam is used to extract essential oils.
- Expression: plants are squeezed to release the oils.
- Extraction: plants are soaked in a solvents to release aromatic matter and then distilled in a slow and low temperature process to achieve the absolute (the highest quality essential oil).
How to Use Essential Oils?
There are many simple and easy ways essential oils can be used. I am sure you will find your favorite method once you start experimenting with them. Here are just few ideas how to incorporate essential oils into your life:
1. Use essential oils to enhance your beauty
- Foot Massage
- Face Masks
- Skin Treatments
- Hair Treatments
2. Use essential oils to improve your well being and health
- Yoga / Meditation Enhancer
- Air Refreshers
- Scenting Linen
- Direct Application
- Insect Repellent
- Hygiene at Home
4. Use essential oils in your office
- You can simply infuse paper, envelopes or even ink (if you use traditional pen) to make long lasting impression on your customers.
- For mood busting effects, use one drop of essential oil on a tissue and leave it on your desk. We tested this in the office here – it works like a charm!
Purchasing Essential Oils
The quality of essential oils can be impacted by the plant source and manufacturing process. If you are investing in essential oils, select a reputable supplier with knowledge and transparency related to the origin of the source and purity.
- Buy in small quantities because the average shelf life of essential oils is approximately two years.
- Purchase the very best you can afford – opt for organic if possible.
- Choose pure natural essential oils – stay away from oils labeled “nature identical” or “scented” oil- they are synthetically produced and will provide you with the comparable fragrance to natural oils, but will not give you therapeutic properties.
One of my favorite places to buy and explore essential oils is a canadian company called New Directions Aromatic. They not only provide fantastic (and very high quality) selection, but also give you a chance to buy a “sample” size, which makes a world of difference especially when you are starting your journey with aromatherapy.
How to Store Essential Oils?
Essential Oils are a volatile substances sensitive to light and heat, so it is essential to store them properly. The ideal way will be to store them in amber glass bottles with airtight lids to avoid evaporation.
Normally when you buy essential oils, they come in a proper bottles or containers. It is important to keep it this way once you start to produce your own mixtures and you will need your own containers to store it. Do not use plastic bottles – the essential oils will interact with the plastic impacting the quality of natural oils.
Ensure your bottles are clearly labeled and stored in a cool and dark place. It is incredibly important to store these away from children.
Are Essential Oils Safe?
Essential oils can positively impact your health and are safe for you and your family; however, those powerful and natural substances must be treated with caution. When used incorrectly, they can have a negative impact or be hazardous. With just few exemptions, Lavender and Tea Tree, natural oils should never be applied directly to the skin. Always keep in mind that they are very concentrated and powerful, and only small amounts should be used. I suggest to get familiar with safety information related to essential oils before you start using them.
Certain medical conditions may require medical permission before using essential oils. Keep this in mind, especially if you are pregnant, diabetic, epileptic, have cancer or having medical treatments.
Join me and learn more about essential oils and aromatherapy. I promise it will be fun journey!
>>> Stay tuned for my next article (you will love it!): Essential Oils 101: A Starter Kit Tutorial
Do you have any questions I can answer for you? Post them below, I will be happy to answer them all.