Sunday, 28 February 2016

Essential Oils Introduction: Quick Tips for Easy Usage

I love essential oils, simply stated. They're multi-use tools whose purpose can vary from practical uses to more frivolous ones. Today, I'm going to briefly give a little run-down as to my personal uses for EOs.

EOs vs. Fragrance Oils

Unlike essential oils, fragrance oils are composed of chemicals and are not necessarily made from the actual materials they're scented as, thus voiding them of properties in the natural plant/material. These are therefore unsafe for applying to the skin and certainly never for consumption. They may also contain artificial colours. Essential oils are oils extracted from the natural plants and therefore can be applied topically in a safe manner, alongside a carrier oil*. Some essential oil enthusiasts will ingest them, too. Again, these uses are never advisable for a fragrance oil.

* carrier oils safely dilute the essential oils so they're not too strong. Consider that one drop of peppermint essential oil is more powerful than twenty cups of peppermint tea. By diluting the oil, you're safely receiving the benefits of the plant, while also conserving your product. While there are many different types of carrier oils, some common ones include Coconut oil, Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, and Apricot Kernel Oil.

EOs for Combating Colds

A few drops of essential oils can be used in baths for fragrance any time, but if you're combating a stuffy nose, cough, or chest congestion, there are a few that go the extra mile. I use a couple drops each of Tea Tree, Orange, Lavender, and Eucalyptus, and find that it makes a difference. Its always nice to be able to smell again - however briefly - when you're sick.
A second use for sore throats is to put a couple drops of Orange and Cinnamon with a carrier oil and rub it on your throat (the outside, of course). The heat from the cinnamon helps ease the pain.

While I've yet to try this one myself, I've heard you can combine Eucalyptus and Spearmint or Peppermint oils to make a knockoff of Vaporub for sinus congestion.

EOs for Pain

Peppermint is one of my favourite essential oils, for sure. One of the great uses for it is to apply it on sore muscles, alongside a carrier oil, for refreshing relief.
Another use for this wonderful oil is to smell it when combating a headache. It can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the temples, applied elsewhere on the body, or used in a diffuser (AKA humidifier, vaporizer).

EOs for Customizing 

Using my favourite scents, I make household products that make me a lot happier than the generic laundry detergent smell ever could. By making my own "designer" laundry detergent and dryer sheets, I have found a way to give my clothes a signature scent. There're plenty of recipes for this online, but I'll make a post about how I go about making these products in the future!
A second use is to make your own bath bombs or infuse epsom salts with your preferred scents. These bath goodies make nice gifts too.

In Conclusion...

These are only a few basic ways to use these magical oils, and there is so much more to learn about them. Some enthusiasts ditch their whole medicine cabinet for essential oils, that's how many trusted uses there are for 'em. I'm craving a relaxing bath now!

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