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Essential oils can be used in different ways:
- inhale directly from the bottle from one to three minutes
- apply to your hands and cup your hands over your nose
- diffuse with a cool mist diffuser, to purify the air
- add to a carrier oil and massage onto the skin
- apply neat (undiluted) to the reflex points on feet and ears
- add to Epsom salts or sea salt and use in your bath
- as toxin-free cleaning agents around the house
- add to dishwasher or washing machine
…and other creative ways, too!
I like to use essential oils to adjust my mood. Just one or two drops of essential oil can put me in the frame of mind I need to get a job done…or to stop working at the end of the day. For example:
- Orange oil always makes me smile and feel positive when I inhale it from the bottle
- Black Spruce oil on my back or abdomen makes me feel strong, like I can accomplish anything
- Peppermint oil perks me up and energizes me when I apply it to my temples
- Frankincense oil is a wonderful aid for meditation that I put on my heart and top of my head
- Lavender oil eases an overactive mind, helping me to relax when I rub it on my neck
- Rosemary oil, diffused while I’m learning something new puts me in a focused mood
- Lemon oil rubbed on the bottom of my feet puts a joyful spring in my step
- Cinnamon oil on my wrists calms my unhealthy snacking urges
…to name just a few ways I use essential oils every day.
Therapeutic-grade essential oils are above perfume-grade and food-grade oils. They have been studied for the assistance they can give in times of occasional pain, or occasional irregular bodily functions.
On www.pubmed.org, you can find thousands of studies involving the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. This is modern science catching up with what our ancient ancestors already knew: essential oils have complex organic chemistry that positively affects our own chemistry. They can help with supporting us in times of unusual strain, improve our memories, uplift our spirits and help us maintain our good health.
Doing your due diligence is crucial before buying essential oils. The range from purity to toxicity is vast. Because the essential oil industry is unregulated, a label may legally say “contains essential oil of X” if as little as 2 per cent of the bottle contains that oil.
The rest can be a combination of fillers, synthetic oil, solvents, chemical fragrances – anything, really. For this reason, knowing who is growing the crops and how they distill the oil is important.
Are you using essential oils?
They are hugely popular again – for many good reasons. Being the aromatic liquids in plants, essential oils provide beautiful, natural fragrances. But that’s only one tiny benefit.
Essential oils can contain up to hundreds of helpful constituents, depending on their origin.
Essential oils come from tree leaves, roots, stems, barks, blossoms and fruits as well as from seeds, nuts and herbs. Some oils are distilled from the resin of certain trees, like myrrh and frankincense.
Each plant must be grown, harvested and have its oil distilled in a careful, specific way. Producing essential oils is a science and a labour of love, if done right.
Most essential oils are steam-distilled; the exception being citrus oils – they are cold-pressed from the skins of oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, limes and lemons. If you’ve ever bent the peel of a citrus fruit, you’ve probably seen the essential oil squirt out of the pores of the peel, and you smelled the fragrance.
If you’ve crushed a peppermint leaf or a sprig of rosemary between your fingers, you were left with its essential oil fragrance.
For decades your mother likely had rolls of plastic wrap in one of her kitchen drawers. She’d pull it out whenever it was time to wrap up leftovers or cover a dish she needed to set inside the refrigerator. It’s quite possible that you, now that you’re an adult who does at least some of the cooking, are using some of the same kind of wrap.
But did you know that the best food preservatives actually may be all-natural essential oils? It’s true.
Recent reseach published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that an edible film that is coated with essential oils of clove and oregano actually protected the freshness of bread for a longer period than conventional plastic wrap in combination with calcium propionate, a food preservative.