Have you wanted to start using essential oils but don’t know where to start? In this intro guide to essential oils, we’re sharing what makes these oils “essential”, how to use them safely and everything you need to know about these powerful oils.
The wellness world can be overwhelming. Trust me, even as someone who is 100% immersed in it, I feel this sentiment too. I created this series to help you navigate the ever expanding and increasingly confusing wellness world. To get the FREE all-encompassing Wellness Handbook, click here.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years, but only recently have they become mainstream. Before there was conventional medicine and medications, we used various plants to treat illnesses. They continue to be used today so help us heal physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Plants are insanely powerful. More than we give them credit for. Essential oils are just plant molecules that were created in nature. They are nature’s life force. They capture the powerful healing qualities of the plants and have remarkable therapeutic properties.
So what makes essential oils so “essential”? All essential oils come from the oils of the whole plant matter (roots, stems, fruits, flowers etc…). They are considered essential because these oils are what give the plants their distinct flavor and odor. Through distillation they contain the entire “essence” of the plant. This essence is what leads to its transformative benefits.
What do Essential Oils do?
Each essential oil has its own properties and ‘power’ if you will. They help with a wide range of ‘issues’ from physical pain, stress, helping with sleep – the list is endless! Here are a few of my favorites and what they help with:
- Lavender: calming, reduces anxiety, helps with sleep
- Peppermint: energizing, relieves muscle pain and itchiness
- Eucalyptus: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, relieves coughing and respiratory issues
- Tea Tree: anti-bacterial, fungal and viral, great for improving skin conditions like acne
- Lemon: boosts your immune system and helps relieve respiratory issues
- Bergamot: soothes nerves and anxiety and can help with stress-related ailments such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and depression
- Sandalwood: helps with clarity and calmness and it is also a natural aphrodisiac and memory-booster
In addition to helping care for our bodies, essential oils are also used as household cleaners to disinfect our homes. Another important piece to note is that quality GREATLY matters when it comes to essential oils. Be sure to buy 100% pure essential oils and not ones that are cut with fragrance or other, cheaper oils, with the exception of roll-ons or body products that use a carrier oil.
How do you use Essential Oils?
There are three main ways you can use essential oils:
- Topically – Note: Most oils need to be diluted in a carrier oil before applying directly onto your skin. Jojoba oil, coconut oil and almond oil all make great carrier oils. With the exception of a few essential oils, be sure to always dilute.
- Breathing them in – Either take a whiff right from the container or drop a little on your hands (diluted in carrier oil), rub your hands together and take a few deep inhales. Note: be sure to dilute if applying to skin.
- Diffusing – I love using a diffuser in my home because a) it smells amazing and b) I’m getting the benefits of essential oils without putting in any effort.
*Note: some oils can be ingested but it is not recommended without professional advice. Please do not ingest at home without professional guidance.
A little goes a long way when it comes to essential oils. More is not always better so be sure to start on the low side and build up. Contact a certified aromatherapist (not just someone who sells essential oils) to get expert tips
Are you an essential oil lover? What’s your favorite?!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health professional. All opinions expressed are my own. Please consult a health professional before making any changes to your lifestyle.
JOIN THE THM NEWSLETTER
Join 20,000+ members of the THM Community to get access to exclusive recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and behind-the-scenes news from our team!