The essentials of Essential oils.
In celebration of our new ranges of essential oils, Aromae and doTERRA landing in store, our resident natural therapies nerd Emilie Fincher has shared some of her favourite uses for essential oils!
If you’re of the opinion that essential oils are reserved for Grateful Dead loving, patchouli wafting, hessian wearing tree huggers- boy do I have some news for you!
While the exotic scent of patchouli is as timeless as the Dead’s ‘American Beauty’ (and I think hugging trees is a totally acceptable pastime), essential oils have long been harnessed for their therapeutic qualities. It’s only recently studies have begun to emerge applauding essentials oils for their efficacy. Jump on Google Scholar to check out the research.
“But Emilie!” I’m pretending you’re saying, “What can I use essential oils for!?”
Most commonly, essentials oils are used as a natural, chemical free alternative for perfumes, food flavorings (a controversial one), topical remedies, aromatherapy, skin care, cleaning formulas and relaxation.
Oils are powerful and highly concentrated plant extracts. They can be taken from the bark, leaves, rind, root, fruit, petals or the seeds of a plant. A few drops can go a very long way!
So, you’re intrigued and want to know how to start employing oils in your life? Here are some fun things to try!
I love putting a few drops of eucalyptus or tea tree (or both) in with my laundry! 5-10 drops into the fabric softener compartment means my clothes smell fresh and fantastic, but also any bacteria (I’m looking at you, sweaty gym clothes) doesn’t stand a chance!
Instead of chemical floor cleaners, I use white vinegar, tea tree and lavender oil in warm water to mop my floors! Antibacterial while making my house smell incredible? Yes please.
Sticker goo? Eucalyptus! If you’ve ever peeled a sticker off a surface only to leave dust attracting residue, you’ll know sticker goo. Apply some Eucalyptus oil to a cloth or rag to easily rub it away.
Adding a drop or two to your moisturizer or body oil can do wonders for skin! Remember always patch test and do not apply directly to your skin if you’re not sure. Patchouli is reputed to be great for anti-aging, and chamomile good for calming skin. The most common treatment essential oils are used for is pimples! A drop or two of tea tree on a cotton bud can be applied directly to a spot to help clear it up and lower risk of infection (for ecofriendly and biodegradable try the Go Bamboo Cottonbuds).
I am really attached to and so grateful for my diffuser. It’s always going, and I legit enjoy finding new blends to compliment whatever I’m doing (simple pleasures, right?). Try these and see how you feel!
Anti-stress- Chamomile, Bergamot, Frankincense
Focus- Rosemary, Vetiver, Lemon
Sleep- Lavender, Hops, Chamomile
PMS- Clary Sage, Rose Geranium, Ylang Ylang
Energy- Grapefruit, Lime, Sweet Orange
Grab yourself a roller or dropper bottle, pick your carrier oil and create your own perfume! You might like to create a pleasant-smelling blend, or you might like to use it as portable aromatherapy. Choose your own adventure. I’m loving lime and lemongrass at the moment! My alliteration blend.
Now before you go dousing yourself in the closest bottle of Lemongrass oil, please remember that these oils WORK! They are reputed to be 75% more powerful than the same herbs when they’re dried. Just because it’s a natural alternative, doesn’t mean there can’t be contraindications.
Like all new products, approach with caution. You may not be able to ingest them, you may get a reaction after rubbing it all over your face, you may need to dilute it and you absolutely need to keep it out of reach of children. Treat your oils with care, keep them out of the sun and in a cooler place. Check their contraindications before using them and always patch test! If you are using oils in the bath remember to put them in a carrier oil first!
I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface on oils. There’s so many wonderful resources in books and online for you to continue your journey of using essentials oils in your day to day life. This article is a great starting place, and if you want more info don’t hesitate to pop into FitHealth Nutrition and have a chat to one of our staff.