Essential oils are increasingly being used by individuals who want to take control of their health and fitness. With all of the available information and the capacity to make educated decisions for a balanced, healthful lifestyle, more and more people are feeling empowered to give essential oils a try.
Although this trend toward becoming a more mindful consumer is admirable, the effort of staying educated with a flow of mixed information can be daunting. While it can be beneficial to stay up with the latest trends in fitness, health, and nutrition, there are also risks of receiving incorrect information or misinterpreting some of this advice.
Since the recent surge in popularity of essential oils over the last few years, knowledge on how to use them in our everyday lives has emerged from professionals, enthusiasts, and bloggers alike. Their availability to millions of people has both a good and a bad side. Although essential oils are liquid compounds that can be incredibly useful, they can also be hazardous if not handled appropriately.
If you’re interested in using essential oils, do your research and seek out reliable sources to lead you through your investigation of this time-tested source of healing. Here are a few major things you must consider.
Check the Quality of the Oil
You’ll find a variety of essential oils available on the market from different brands and made using different processes, which means not all of them are created equal. So, when shopping for essential oils, make sure the ones you are getting are 100% pure with no synthetic fragrance or adulterations included.
The easiest way to assess the quality of the oil you’re getting is to thoroughly read the label. Some companies sell oils that are essentially synthetic perfumes rather than authentic essential oils. Synthetic oils lack the medicinal characteristics of pure essential oils and may include dangerous compounds.
You should also make sure that the label includes the Latin or botanical name of the plant from which it was distilled. If it lacks this information, the oil used might be synthetic. You may conduct more research on the product’s website.
Furthermore, some brands sell pre-diluted oils that include other substances in addition to the essential oils themselves. This will have an impact on the oil’s quality and how you use it. If the oil has been pre-diluted, make certain that it is marketed as such. While this strategy eliminates part of the labour for consumers, it also raises the expense. You must be completely informed of the product you are purchasing and using.
Consider the Problem You Want to Address
What kind of issue are you looking to address? Do you have a physical ailment? Is it a chronic or acute condition? Perhaps there is no pain point and you want to induce a sense of being, such as calm. Perhaps you want to fragrance cleaning goods with essential oils. Figuring out the problem you want to address will make it much easier to narrow down your essential oil choices.
Because many individuals use certain oils for common conditions, it’s easy to slip into the aforementioned “there’s an oil for that” attitude. However, when it comes to aromatherapy, it’s also crucial to consider your unique scent preferences. Spikenard, for example, is popular among insomniacs due to its sedative effect. But there are individuals who can’t stand the fragrance and would rather sleep with lavender or vetiver.
Aromatherapy is a deeply personal technique; there is no one-size-fits-all approach to essential oil blends.
Consider the Oils’ Effects
Oils have unique qualities that we must take into account when shopping. Some are warming, while others are cooling, some resonate with us on an emotional level and others can affect certain sections of our bodies.
For example, eucalyptol which is a molecule found mostly in eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils, activates the skin’s cold-sensitive nerves causing a chilling sensation. The menthol content in peppermint essential oil is highly freshening and invigorating – so much so that many aromatherapists recommend working with hydrosol to prevent safety concerns (particularly in children).
There are also essential oils that warm up the body. These include oils rich in phenols and that contain compounds such as carvacrol, eugenol, and thymol. Use caution when using these oils, which include oregano, thyme, cinnamon leaf, and clove. Other warming oils include yarrow, sweet marjoram, ginger, basil, and black pepper.
Blend Different Essential Oils
While individual oils are powerful, blending the aromatic molecules of several essential oils allows them to work together and provide more benefits than the sum of their individual benefits.
From a holistic standpoint, you should blend 3-5 essential oils together. This blending strategy, at the very least, will allow you to have a core blend, enhancer, and harmonizer.
The effects of combining oils with comparable chemical components are amplified. Blending ho-wood, rosewood, and Spanish marjoram, for example, which both have a high proportion of linalool, monoterpene alcohol, would be a wonderful blend for sleep and profound relaxation.
Don’t Use Undiluted Essential Oils Onto the Skin
Essential oils are extremely potent, concentrated substances that must be diluted with a carrier oil, lotion, or water before being applied topically. Skin irritation, rashes, and other problems may occur if your oils are not adequately diluted.
Furthermore, improper essential oil usage might result in long-term intolerance to that oil. You can use a diffuser, oil warmer, inhaler, or diffuser bracelet instead of using your oil topically.
Don’t Ingest Essential Oils
Some essential oil companies and blogs have promoted the idea of directly ingesting essential oils on a regular basis.
Although a very little amount of some oils can be used in baking or cooking, as well as mouth rinses, these highly concentrated oils must be handled with extreme caution in these situations. Speak with your healthcare professional to learn more.
Don’t Use Too Much of It
Essential oils, even when diluted, can cause an unpleasant reaction if used excessively or regularly. This is true even if you are not allergic or extremely sensitive to them.
Store Your Essential Oils in a Cold Place
Aromatherapy experts suggest keeping essential oils in the refrigerator or in a cold place. That is because, the cooler the oils are kept, the longer they’ll last.
Some oils, such as Rose Otto, Fennel, and Aniseed, may harden at lower temperatures; however, just reheat them before using them by holding them in your palm for a few minutes or leaving them at room temperature.
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