I have been getting heavily into essential oils recently, by accident really...
For years I have been using essential oils for my hair without much thought, such as tea tree oil in my DIY deep hair conditioner, but it never went further than that. This year a friend of mine introduced me to the world of aromatherapy via her diffuser and it became a game changer for me. Soon I bought my own diffuser and I was experiencing with different oils and blends.
An essential oil is the natural oil extracted from plants, flowers, leaves, seeds, wood, fruits or roots. Once the oil has been removed by distillation or extraction a potent concentrated oil is produced. You might ask what is the point of using an essential oil. Well research has shown that essential oils have powerful properties that have an effect on not only the body, but also on a person’s mood.
The oil works by inhaling the fragrant aroma and this has an immediate effect on parts of the brain that regulates emotion, memory and motivation. Another way for essential oils to enter the body is via the skin allowing for rejuvenation of cells. These are just a few of the way essential oils can benefit the mind and body, the effects essential oils have are numerous.
Everyone needs harmony in their life and for me essential oils are one of the ways I can help to achieve some balance. I start by selecting the essential oil depending on the quality of my skin or how my mood is that day. This is because different oils have different benefits working on energising, restoring or relaxing.
Once I have chosen my oil there are a few ways to administer it. The main way I use essential oils is with a diffuser I add three drops of a particular oil to the diffuser base that contains water and within a few minutes the room is filled with beautiful smells that can instantly uplift my mood. If you don’t have a diffuser you can use a bowl of steaming water with a towel placed over your head to inhale the vapours for approximately five minutes. This technique is great to use if you are suffering from a cold.
Another way I incorporate essential oils into my weekly self-care routine is in the shower. This is one of the most enjoyable ways. I create a little sanctuary in my bathroom by applying four drops of oil into my shower gel and then I let the shower water run into the gel and soon the room is all steamed up with the most amazing scents. I usually don’t want to leave the bathroom as I feel so relaxed and soothed.
Before you go crazy with different essential oils remember that despite being a natural substance the oils are potent and can actually cause adverse effects if used incorrectly. Firstly never use essential oils directly on the skin as they can cause a reaction. They must be blended with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or avocado. Essential oils can be used on the whole family, for example if you want to treat someone to a little cheeky massage. However caution should be taken when using on children, for very young children under two years of age they should not be used.
The bottle should be used within one year of opening as essential oils do have an expiration date. If unused the bottle needs to be disposed of, this should never be down the sink as it could be toxic to aquatic organisms.
My favourite brand for essential oils is Neal’s Yard Remedies. They might be slightly pricier than other companies but you know you are purchasing a quality product as they try to obtain their oils from organic farming. This makes it not only better for you but also the environment. The company states that the essential oils from Neal’s Yard Remedies are unadulterated, which means the oil is 100% pure and they have detailed instructions on how to use the oils.
There are many companies that advertise their oils as being pure but sometimes this is not the case. Research conducted by Consumers Advocate organisation tested eleven essential oil brands in a laboratory setting and the results showed some of the oils contained synthetic substances, such as in Lavender and peppermint. So you may be spending your money but not actually receiving a pure product as advertised. The article is an interesting read as it also contains useful information on essential oils for a newbie like myself. There is loads of information in the article on the benefits, safety, as well as the risks.
Essential oils can be so satisfying as long as they are used correctly and safely. As I continue on my journey with using essential oils I will be sure to keep you guys updated on how I am using them to help with my mood and body. For more information on essential oils conducted by Consumers advocate click the link below.
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