What are essential oils?
Understanding essential oils can help you and motivate you to use them as a natural remedy. Essential oils are oils that are extracted from parts of flowers, plants, and trees. The oils come from the flower petals, bark, leaves, seeds, roots, and fruits.
Even a single drop of oil from these parts of a plant or tree can have drastic positive impacts on mental and physical health. The way they are extracted is usually by steaming the plant to separate the oil from water, which is a type of distillation process. They are highly concentrated and too strong for direct contact with your skin.
Essential Oils Benefits
People often ask what are essential oils used for? Essential oils are used as a natural or holistic remedy for various ailments. There is a long list of things they can help with. The oils are very therapeutic, while they are not meant to replace medical treatment, they can help complement and help with everything from migraines to skin conditions. Here is a short list of the many ways essential oils can help you:
- Chronic pain
- Menstrual irregularities
- Cups, scrapes, and burns
- Headaches and migraines
- Joint aches and pains
- Signs of aging and wrinkles
- Anxiety, stress, and depression
Essential Oils and Their Benefits
Wondering what are the different essential oils used for? Below is a list of essential oils and their uses.
- Anise Star – bronchitis, colds, coughs, flatulence, flu, muscle aches, rheumatism, depression
- Basil -bronchitis, colds, coughs, exhaustion, flatulence, flu, gout, insect bites, insect repellent, muscle aches, rheumatism and sinusitis. Fatigue, exhaustion, burnout, memory, and concentration
- Bergamot – acne, abscesses, anxiety, boils, cold sores, cystitis, halitosis, itching, loss of appetite, oily skin, psoriasis, anger, anxiety, confidence, depression, stress, fatigue, fear, peace, happiness, insecurity, and loneliness
- Bitter Orange – colds, constipation, dull skin, flatulence, flu, gums, mouth, slow digestion, anger, confidence, depression, fear, happiness, peace, and stress
- Cedarwood – acne, arthritis, bronchitis, coughs, cystitis, dandruff, dermatitis, insect repellent, stress, anxiety, fear and insecurity
- Cinnamon – constipation, exhaustion, flatulence, lice, low blood pressure, rheumatism, scabies, concentration, emotional and mental fatigue
- Citronella – excessive perspiration, fatigue, headache, insect repellent, oily skin, mind fog, tension
- Clove – arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, immune system, rheumatism, sprains, toothache, memory and concentration, fatigue, depression
- Emu – scaling rash, coughs, diabetic nerve pain, dry or wrinkled skin, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, insect bites, joint pain, shingles, sore muscles, wound healing
- Eucalyptus Globulous – arthritis, bronchitis, catarrh, cold sores, colds, coughing, fever, flu, poor circulation, sinusitis, concentration, memory
- Frankincense – anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, extreme coughing, scars and stretch marks Anxiety, depression, fatigue exhaustion and burnout, fear, grief, happiness and peace, insecurity, loneliness, panic and panic attacks and stress
- Geranium – acne, cellulite, dull skin, lice, menopause, oily skin, anxiety, depression, happiness, mood imbalance and stress
- Grapefruit – cellulite, dull skin, toxin build-up, water retention, confidence, fear depression, happiness and peace, and stress
- Jasmine – dry skin, labor pains, sensitive skin
Stress, depression, fear, fatigue exhaustion and burnout, confidence and anger
- Lavender – acne, allergies, anxiety, asthma, athlete’s foot, bruises, burns, chicken pox, colic, cuts, cystitis, depression, dermatitis, earache, flatulence, headache, hypertension, insect bites, insect repellent, itching, labour pains, migraine, oily skin, rheumatism, scabies, scars, sores, sprains, strains, stress, stretch marks, vertigo, whooping cough Anxiety, depression, irritability, panic attacks and stress
- Lemon – athlete’s foot, colds, corns, dull skin, flu, oily skin, spots, varicose veins, warts, fear, happiness and peace, memory and concentration
- Lemongrass – acne, athlete’s foot, digestion, excessive perspiration, flatulence, insect repellent, muscle aches, oily skin, scabies, stress, fatigue and mental confusion
- Myrrh – amenorrhea, athlete’s foot, bronchitis, chapped skin, gums, halitosis, itching, ringworm,
emotional imbalance, creativity
- Neroli – mature skin, oily skin, scars, stretch marks, anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, panic attacks, and stress
- Patchouli – acne, cellulite, chapped skin, dandruff, dermatitis, eczema, mature skin, oily skin, fatigue, frigidity exhaustion and stress
- Peppermint – asthma, colic, exhaustion, fever, flatulence, headache, nausea, scabies, sinusitis, vertigo, fatigue exhaustion, and burnout, memory, and concentration
- Rosemary – aching muscles, arthritis, dandruff, dull skin, exhaustion, gout, hair care, muscle cramping, neuralgia, poor circulation, rheumatism, fatigue, exhaustion, burnout, confidence, memory, and concentration
- Sandalwood – bronchitis, chapped and dry skin, laryngitis, oily skin, strep throat, urinary tract problems Anxiety, depression, exhaustion and burnout, fear, grief, irritability and stress
- Spearmint – asthma, exhaustion, flatulence, headache, nausea, scabies. Depression, mental fatigue
- Teatree – acne, fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis), lice, scabies, athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), and ringworm, burns, insect bites and stings, boils, vaginal infections, recurrent herpes labialis, toothache, infections of the mouth and nose, sore throat, and for ear infections
- Thyme – arthritis, bronchitis, candida, cuts, dermatitis, gastritis, laryngitis, concentration and memory
- Ylang Ylang – hypertension, menopause, and PMS symptoms, palpitations, anger, depression, frigidity, mood swings, PMS, stress
How do you use essential oils?
Wondering how to use essential oils? There are many options for using essential oils. A common way is through aromatherapy, where you get the benefits from having the scent in the air, such as with a diffuser or by placing it in your bathtub. You can ingest oils if they are diluted properly, which is often done when you make rose water or have it in your tea. Then you can use it topically on your skin when you want to get rid of acne, treat a bug or insect bite, or get a natural glow on your skin.
With essential oils, you have the option of using just one for its main benefit, such as lavender to relieve stress, chamomile for insomnia, or Frankincense for allergy symptoms. You can also make blends to have a different scent and help with more ailments at one time.
Ways to Use Essential Oils
After you have learned about the essential oils you want to use for different ailments and conditions, you will then need to decide exactly how to use the oil. The following information provides some of the more common ways to use these oils.
Apply to Your Skin
You can apply the essential oils directly to your skin. When you use this method, it is often to help with a physical ailment, such as rubbing oil on your joints that are swollen and tender from arthritis or treating a bug or insect bite. When you put them on your skin, it is very important that you mix the oil with a carrier oil. This helps to dilute the oil and prevents skin irritation from the pure essential oils. Whether treating a burn or scrape or applying them to your skin for better moisture and glowing skin, you need to remember to dilute them.
With aromatherapy, the essential oils are inhaled and will help you heal in a variety of ways. There are blends that can work for different ailments at one time. Some things that aromatherapy helps with include inflammation, pain relief, arthritis, pregnancy pains, migraines, stress and anxiety, insomnia, and depression. A good way to use them for aromatherapy is by using a diffuser. You drop the oils into the diffuser and it puts the scent out into the room.
Make Body Products
Don’t forget about using essential oils for body or beauty products. The oils will further help to clear your skin, offer more hydration, or even help with healing wounds and slowing the signs of aging. Decide on what you want the body product for, then look up what each of the oils can help with. This will give you a good idea of blends to use for that skin or beauty issue.
Use in the Bath
The first way you can use essential oils is in the bathtub. This is great because you get the benefit of them both with aromatherapy by inhaling the scents, and by having them come into contact with your skin. You are able to use them without any fancy equipment, diffusers, or by using carrier oils to dilute them. With the bath, you just need a few drops of whatever essential oils you want to use, whether it is just one or several of them. Lavender and chamomile are great for the bath when you want to relax and de-stress, plus they help you sleep better.
How to Use Carrier Oils
When you look up different essential oils to help with things like headaches and body pain, you probably see that if you are using the oils to be applied directly on your skin, you need to mix it with a carrier oil. But what is that exactly? Here is information on carrier oils and why they are important to add to essential oils.
What is the purpose of carrier oils?
What many people don’t realize when they start using essential oils is that for the most part, oils shouldn’t be applied directly to your skin. These are pure extracts from leaves and plants, which can be a little too strong for your skin. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, you could have a bad reaction to them. Not only that, you need to neutralize the strong scent as well so they don’t become overpowering. Adding carrier oils helps to dilute the essential oils to help with both of these problems. Plus, the oils provide a little lubrication and moisture for your skin, so they help in that way as well.
What are some examples of carrier oils?
Not all oils can be used as carrier oils, but many of them are great to use. Some that are commonly used include coconut oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, and hazelnut oil, hemp seed oil, and sunflower oil. Typically any oils from nuts or seeds are going to be acceptable. You should not use other forms of oil or grease in your kitchen, such as vegetable oil or vegetable shortening, butter, or margarine. You also do not want to use any type of mineral oil for application on the skin with essential oils.
Why do carrier oils help with dilution?
In many cases, essential oils are diluted with water, such as if you add them to a diffuser and get steam from the oil and water into the air, or you add them to your tea or a bathtub for aromatherapy. However, when they go on your skin, water doesn’t work well. Essential oils evaporate into your skin very quickly, going deep into the layers of skin where it causes irritation. The same problems exists with plain water. However, oil sits on your skin for longer, so you can rub it onto the top surface of your skin with the essential oils and it protects your delicate skin while also neutralizing the scent.
Tips For Storing Essential Oils
When you start collecting essential oils for beauty, skin care, or natural health, you will need to find a good place to put them. When you have just one or two, it is easy to put them on the counter or in a medicine cabinet, but you should know the proper way to store them so that they can last as long as possible.
Keep the Oils in Their Original Bottles
The bottles that your essential oils come in are not just there for decoration or convenience; these bottles are made specifically for holding essential oils. These oils need to be placed in a glass since it helps reduce UV light that can cause damage to the essential oils. You will most likely get your oils in these dark bottles, so try to keep them in there. If you are making blends, pour the finished blend into another dark-colored glass bottle. You can usually get them at just about any store that sells essential oils or DIY products, from crafts stores to big box stores. Also, try health food stores or look online.
Place the Bottles in a Cool, Dry Place
Once you have them in the right bottle, ensure they are never left out in the sun. If your kitchen or bathroom has a window and the sun can get in, you need to put the bottles in a cupboard where it is dark, cool, and dry. Don’t put them near the edge of the shelves in whatever cupboard you store them so you don’t accidentally knock them down when opening up the cupboard or medicine cabinet door. They can be a danger for children to ingest, so try to choose a cabinet up high or one that is locked where nobody can get to them.
Store Your Carrier Oils in the Fridge
For your carrier oils, they are similar to other oil that you have for cooking. They need to be kept at room temperature, preferably in a cabinet and not left out on the counter. This is going to help prevent them from spoiling. However, if it gets hot inside your home, the pantry or cupboard is not enough to protect them. In this case, it is better to start them in the refrigerator. If you open a carrier oil bottle and it smells sour, then it has gone bad and needs to be replaced.
How and Why to Use a Diffuser
There are many different ways to use essential oils, depending on the purpose of using them. If you are going to try aromatherapy, one excellent way to do it is by using a diffuser. Here is some helpful information on diffusers and how they are used.
Types of Essential Oil Diffusers
You should first know that there are actually a few different types of diffusers to be used with essential oils. The newer types of diffusers are cool air nebulizer diffusers, but these are definitely not the only ones available. Here is a rundown of the three most common types of essential oil diffusers:
Electric Heat – You might also find an electric diffuser that is a little smaller and has a slightly simpler system than the nebulizer diffuser. With the electric heat diffusers, they have a chamber with absorbent pads on the inside. The oils are placed on the pads and heat after plugging it in will help the oils get into the air. These are really easy to use and do work good on the stronger oils, like ylang-ylang and sandalwood.
Candle – There are also candle diffusers, which look similar to a tart warmer. There is a glass container that holds a small candle on the bottom and you place the oils on the tray on the top. The heat works similar to the electric heat diffuser to release the scent of the oils.
Cool Air Nebulizer – With this type of diffuser, there is a high amount of cold air pressure that helps to vaporize the essential oils. There is a glass bulb inside that works like a condenser, so that the oils and their benefits can be released into the air supply. This is only done in small quantities, so it provides some cool air and the scent of the oils, but it doesn’t damage anyone’s lungs. While cool air nebulizers are quality diffusers that work well for a wide range of benefits, they can’t handle the stronger essential oils like sandalwood.
Tips For Using the Diffuser
Make sure you read the instructions manual for the type of diffuser you are using. These instructions are going to be for a nebulizer essential oil s diffuser. For this type of diffuser, you will first need to assemble it, then plug it in. You will need to put about 15-20 total drops into the chamber, but this is total for all oils. If you are using more than one type of oil, only put about 5 drops of each one.