One of the best things I’ve added to my health regime is essential oils (EO). I just love flowers and plants, and it has been fascinating to learn more about how these oils can be used in a variety of ways to promote health as well as manage symptoms. I have enjoyed using them so much, that I became certified as an essential oil coach several years ago.
My intent is to provide you with some basic information about EO’s and not recommend any specific therapy for an individual. While EOs are usually safe if used as recommended, some EOs may interfere with medications, or are not recommended during pregnancy or for infants. Dilution of EOs is also important and there are different recommendations for children and adults.
Here are some ways that EOs may provide health benefits:
- Peaceful and Calming-A number of EOs help
to promote rest and relaxation by:
- Reducing Stress (lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang, clary sage, cassia, vetiver)
- Reducing Anxiety/Depression (lemon balm, bergamot, ylang ylang, lavender, roman chamomile)
- Addressing hyperactivity (vetiver, cedarwood, lavender, rosemary)
- Promoting Sleep (chamomile, lavender, ylang ylang)
- Provide Balance
- Assist with Managing Blood Sugar (Cinnamon)
- Balancing (lemon balm, lemongrass)
- Food cravings (grapefruit)
- Manage Symptoms
- Pain such as headaches, muscle aches, arthritis (peppermint, wintergreen, eucalyptus, birch)
- Teething (clove, peppermint, lavender, chamomile applied externally on jawline)
- Fever (orange & peppermint)
- Allergies (eucalyptus, peppermint, ginger, lemon, helichrysum)
- Constipation (Peppermint, fennel, ginger, marjoram)
- Congestion/Cough (eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon orange)
- Stomachache, nausea (peppermint, chamomile, ginger, basil, lavender)
- Itching and bug bites (chamomile, lavender, holy basil
- Burns (lavender, tea tree, manuka, peppermint, frankincense)
- Anti-aging/Promote Beauty
- Anti-aging skin, balance skin tones (frankincense, lavender, geranium, ylang ylang, sandalwood)
- Reduce blemishes/acne (tea tree, holy basil, manuka, juniper berry, lavender)
- Reduce varicose veins (cypress, thyme, fir needle, geranium)
- Memory (rosemary, frankincense, bergamot, lemon)
- Enhance Immune system
- Anti-viral/anti-bacterial (oregano, thyme, helichrysum, cedarwood)
- Anti-fungal (patchouli, helichrysum, lemongrass, clove, oregano)
- Support immunity (Thieves, orange, lemon, orange)
- Anti-inflammatory (myrrh, helichrysum, manuka, frankincense, turmeric, patchouli)
- Warts (tea tree, oregano, lemongrass, thyme)
- Environmental support
- Insect bite prevention and management (peppermint, patchouli, lemongrass)
- Household cleaning (Thieves, lemon, orange)
- Hand hygiene (Thieves, tea tree)
Contrary to what you might think, EOs are not oily. EOs are made from plants using various techniques. The idea is to extract the therapeutic compounds from the plant that provide the health benefit. They are potent and care should be taken to understand the proper way to use the EO and precautions that should be taken. It is not recommended to apply EOs to open wounds or mucous membranes, and some, like lemon or orange, if applied to the skin and then exposed to the sun, can result in significant burns.
My favorite go to EOs are Frankincense, Lavender, Peace & Calming (a blend of ylang ylang, tangerine, patchouli. orange, & blue tansy), Peppermint, Orange, Lemon, & geranium. I have many more EOs and often combine them in my diffuser, in combinations that may be seasonal, personal experiments, online recipes, or just plain favorites. I also have roller bottles, where I have an EO or combination of EOs in a dilution of fractionated coconut oil (stays liquid). I take them on the go to address headaches, prevent bug bites, or use them as part of my night-time or beauty regime. You can even add EOs to your favorite night cream or face lotion… but take care to not get it near your eyes! I’ve made shampoo, body lotion, bath salts with EOs.
While some experts do not recommend EOs in cooking, others do, and some produce food grade EOs. In fact, EOs are likely the secret ingredient to some of those flavored seltzer waters. If you add a drop or two to your water, beware that it will not mix and you will need to add a dispersant such as Himalayan salt with the EO before adding water, or mix with aloe vera juice prior to adding water. I have used EOs in different recipes such as rosemary, oregano, cinnamon or a citrus EO. To help integrate the EO into the recipe, it takes another oil, such as coconut, butter, avocado to blend well into the recipe. The same holds true if you add an essential oil to a liquid drink such as coffee or water. One of my favorite recipes is roasted organic carrots mixed with ghee, orange juice, and brown sugar with a drop or two of cinnamon, thyme, and orange essential oils.
Where can you get EOs? It’s important to buy good quality EOs to get a verified EO without any additives or substitutes. Be sure to investigate the purity of the essential oil produced by the manufacturer and if they are third party tested. The term therapeutic grade may be just a fancy marketing word.
Here are some expert resources for EOs:
Promote your inner peace and creativity by trying some EOs!