Nature provides us with a big variety of essential oils from plants essences. They are able to solve so many problems and give us so much joy using them. Essential oils are not only fragrant, but they also have pharmacy properties. It can bring delights to every aspect of our lives.
People since the beginning of time, have using a number of plants to heal. In this era, we are more blessed because we can use the essential oils that are distilled from the wonderful plants that can heal. Never before, has the collection of essential oils so readily available to the humankind.
Essential oils – An Overview
Where do essential oils come from?
From various parts of plants like trees, herbs, grasses, shrubs, fruits, roots or flowers, we extract the concentration which is called essential oils.
- Geranium essential oils come from the leaves and stalks of the plant.
- Bay essential oil comes from their leaves.
- Ginger oil comes from the rhizomes.
- Rose essential oil comes from the petals.
- Vetiver essential oils come from the root.
There are a lot of species that we can extract essential oils from. However, in one species, we also have to choose the specific type that can give us oil.
For example, Eucalyptus trees essential oil is one of the most used oils in the world. There are hundreds of species that can be categorized as eucalyptus trees, but not all of them can give out essential oils.
Essential oils making and using is a science that is ever-growing. There are new plants being extracted, which attribute to our fragrant library.
Techniques to extract essential oils
There are many means to extract the oil from the plants, which largely depend on the plant species itself.
The most common technique is called Steam Distillation. Other than this, people also use expression, maceration, solvent extraction or CO2 extraction to make essential oils from its original plants.
Essential oils as medicine
Every type of essential oils has different medicinal properties. A lot of researches from over the years have confirmed the usability of certain essential oils. The most popular ones are used throughout history, from traditional folk medicine to modern medical applications.
Nowadays, we use essential oils for a multitude of properties:
- Antifungal: can treat fungal infections in your skin, hair or nails.
- Antiviral: can treat viral infections, for example, flu viruses.
- Antibacterial: kill or reduce the harm of bacterias
- Antiseptic: can slow down or stop the growth of micro-organism
- Anti-inflammatory: can reduce swelling or other forms of inflammation
- Antirheumatic: can slow down diseases associating with rheumatoid arthritis
- Antispasmodic: can suppress muscle spasm
- Antitoxic: can neutralize some specific toxins
- Antidepressant: can treat the depressive disorder or associated conditions.
- Nervine: can act therapeutically on nerves
- Sedative: can induce sedation by decrease excitement or irritability
- Carminative: can prevent gas formation in the gastrointestinal tract
- Circulatory: aids the organs and vessels in the flow of blood, helps deliver hormones, nutrients, blood, etc.
- Diuretic: can increase the production of urine
- and much more
Chemical components of essential oils
As much as they are different, essential oils have the same complexity. For example, in any essential oil, we can find up to 100 chemical components. The majority components include alcohols, ketones, esters, terpenes, aldehydes, and phenols. What makes essential oils varied is its smaller trace of compounds. Up to this day, science hasn’t found out all the tiny compounds existing in each oil that make it so different from each other.
Essential oils also have positive-negative and polarity electrical properties.
Why essential oils cost as much as they do?
No essential oils are the same. They differ from the growing process to the properties that they bear. The price of different oils, therefore, may be miles apart from each other.
For example, let’s look into jasmine oils. To make this, the farmers must grow the highest quality jasmine flowers, and pick the flowers from its first opening day, before the sun rises too high. To make 1 pound of jasmine oils, we need up to 4 million hand-picked jasmine blossoms.
On the other hand, is the case for the sandalwood tree. We need to wait for the sandalwood trees to past its thirty years of age before taking the wood in for distillation.
The cost of each essential oil reflects the hardship through which they come on to the market. The difficulty of making jasmine essential oil justifies for its high price. In fact, it is one of the most expensive oils in the market right now.
The same can be said about rose essential oils because, for 1 pound of this oil, we need up to around 4500 pounds of rose heads. In the case of lavender oil, which is a fairly affordable option, it only takes about 150 pounds of flower head to produce 1 pound of essential oil.
The versatility of essential oils
Essential oils have a lot of use, and they are also very convenient. The most common essential used right now is lavender oil for its cost-effectiveness and its wonderful varied use. We can use this essential oil to treat minor burns so that there won’t be blister, patch or scar.
The same bottle can be used for headache or relaxing purposes. That’s not the end, because lavender oil can be used effectively for mosquito bites and drive away moths. People even dabble a piece of cloth in lavender oil and put it in the closet to drive away insects.
Housewives dote on this type of oil because it can be diluted in water to wash household applications and make our house smell better when used as an air freshener. Can you think of anything that is more versatile? We can not.
Essential oils, or the battle of nature vs. synthetics
The modern world sees the alarming spread of synthetic chemicals into our life. They present so available on the shelf of markets and magically wipe away any inconvenience in our life. We can find the synthetic chemical in household cleaning products. We can find them in health and beauty products for our hair, face, and body. We can find them in the production of food and beverages. There’s no way one can live in the modern world yet abstinent from the presence of synthetic chemicals.
However, you can modify and tweak some aspects of life with the natural use of essential oils.
For example, some woman has chosen to make their body, hair and face products entirely from essential oils and natural compounds. The simplest method that you can introduce this natural wonderfulness in your life is by making them into perfumes and air fresheners.
Other than that, some common applications of essential oils into daily life include:
- Encourage plant growth
- Protect decorate plants from insects.
- Alleviate problems in our body
- Use for family well-being
How to use essential oils for medicinal purposes
To use essential oils for therapeutic purposes, there is a big range of methods. We can apply it on the skin (external application), smell (inhalation), drink (oral ingestion), or use it as supplements. Because essential oils molecules have a small size, so they can be absorbed quickly and easily.
When used for applying on the skin, essential oils can be used directly by itself. We can also dilute it in other carrier oils, or use in compresses, gels, baths or lotions. Hand baths and foot baths are okay, too.
For smell or inhalation process, we will have to rely on the help of room sprays, diffusers, vaporizing devices. More simply, we can sniff the oil directly from a tissue or from the bottle.
People don’t drink or eat substances with essential oils commonly, but they are fairly typical in supplements forms. Unless you are advised by a qualified health-care practitioner, don’t try to take in essential oils by yourself, because it may pose some problems, even lethal, for you.
Even if you only use one type of essential oil, how you use it affect greatly to how much it absorbs into your body. Other factors such as your age, diet, genetics, and size also determine the effectiveness. If a person has conditions in the liver, heart, kidneys, or metabolic disorder, then the absorption rate will be affected also.
Therefore, only after you’ve successfully grasped the condition of your body, how much would you want the essential oils to take effects, and how strong are the essential oils, that you should monitor it to your own case.
Using essential oils for daily discomfort
It’s easy to use essential oils in your daily life. This video helps us with tips, tricks and simple recipes with these wonderful natural gifts.
As with all things, essential oils have their own set of risks. However, if we use them with knowledge and respect, then it should pose no problem. Essential oils are the highest-grade of beauty. They are sweet and lovely, but they are also potent.
Below are some essential oils recipes for some common problems that we meet every day. They are easy to make and only require you to buy some common, affordable types of oils.
Headache is a common symptom, that comes from the various cause. Paragraph belows will guide you through the most common types of headaches and how we can treat them with essential oil blends.
Headache without a casue
Mix 3 drops of lavender together with 1 drop of peppermint, in equal part with a carrier oil. Dab on the mixture and massage around your temples as well as the base of the skull. Drag the finger along the hairline.
Other essential oils that can substitute in this mixture: chamomile, rose otto, rosemary.
Tension or Nervous Headache
This comes when we feel too stressed out. Combine 3 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 drop of chamomile oils. Mix with equal parts of carrier oil. Massage over the upper abdomen, the base of the skull and along the hariline.
Mix 3 drops of Cardamom oil, with 2 drops of Peppermint oil. Dilute the mixture in 1 teaspon of carrier oil. We can substitue these oils with lavender, geranum, basil, or spearmint essential oils. Dab on the finger and rub over the upper abdomen.
Use one drop of the following oils: lavender, chamomile, lemon or ginger. Drop it in a paper bag, and inhale in the bag slowly, deeply from your nose.
Flu is a common condition that can be caused by a multitude of viruses. Infected with the flu, a person will become feverish, tired, cold, aching and exhausted. This treatment aims to raise your immunity, and combat the virus at the same time.
Note: If your flu makes you cold and shivery, take a warm bath with these blends.
Make a mixture of 5 drops of tea tree oil, 2 drops of lavender oil, 2 drops of thyme oil.
Mix them in 1 tbsp of carrier oil, then massage all over the body before bed.
You can also diffuse the essential oils in the home using a diffuser with a blend of 2 drops of cinnamon leaf, 2 drops of clove oil, 5 drops of eucalyptus and 5 drops of oregano.
First of all, remove the stinger. Then dilute lavender essential oils diluted with a carrier oil onto the site. We can subsittue lavender with chamomile essential oil.
Lower back pain
For this condition, we can mix 4 drops of rosemary, 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 2 drops of thyme oils on a hot compress, and put that to the place that hurt. When the compress cools down, replace it with another heated one. Do this whenever you feel hurt, or at least 3 times a day.
Essential oils love you
Essential oils are indeed the gifts from nature for the people who know how to appreciate them. They are affordable, healthy and wholesome options to trade your daily substances with.
Have you used any essential oils lately? Share with us.