What are essential oils good for?A simple look at the often unseen, practical side of Essential Oils
A lot of people always ask us what are essential oils good for?
Essential oils are the jewels in nature’s treasure chest. Used throughout the history of humankind, they are nature’s precious plant compounds.
These pure, richly scented oils are extracted from plants through a variety of processes; the most common method being steam distillation.
They can benefit you in the same way they benefit the plant or tree they come from. They can serve to both protect and promote your health and wellbeing.
Many people believe that pure essential oils are used only in aromatherapy, which is perceived to be a specialist field, in which you have to know the chemical properties of every scent.
However essential oils are much more than that, in how they can be used, and what they can be good for. Really they can be used every day in many simple ways in your home.
For instance, you can make your own cleaning sprays with essential oils. It is important to remember that most pure essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Because of this, they can be very effectively used in cleaning and disinfecting the home.
The recipe for making a disinfectant can be simple as dissolving 20 – 30 drops of your selected essential oil in 5 ml methylated spirits (this helps to dissolve the oil) mixed with 2 litres of distilled water.
You can also easily make your own homemade beauty products with essential oils, such as facial cleansing oils and bath salts. They can even be used in pet care, gardening and cooking. In pet care, for example, you can make a pleasant smelling flea spray for your dog which can also be sprayed on its bedding. Simply mix 4- 6 drops Tea Tree or Lavender oil in 1 cup water and pour into a spray bottle. Keep sprayer handy and regularly spritz your dog, taking care to avoid the eyes. Note however, that pure essential oil are not suitable for use on cats.
In gardening, rather than use many harmful chemical-based pesticides, pure essential oils can be used as a form of preventative medicine. Wisely used in sprays, they can help protect your plants in the garden from disease.
Most people don’t realise too that essential oils can be used in cooking. In fact, cooking with pure essential oils is yet another way of being creative in the kitchen. However, as they are extremely potent, they must always be used sparingly. Usually 2 – 3 drops of any particular oil is sufficient for flavouring. Always check with your supplier that the essential oil is 100% pure.
There are basically 5 different types essential oil used in cooking: Tangy such as Lemon and Sweet Orange, Spicy such as
Nutmeg and Ginger, Floral such as Lavender and Geranium, Herbaceous such as Rosemary, and lastly Mint such as Peppermint.
By using your imagination, you can also incorporate pure essential oils in making beautiful aromatic gifts, such as a scented necklace or a decorative spice rope. (see below)
The wonderful thing is that by using them daily, you can ultimately learn to be more self -sufficient, feel more in control of your life, and in tune with the natural environment. This also means you can spend less, reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging by making your own natural products at home and in turn help conserve the environment.
Essential oils are also excellent for using in home first aid. Used correctly, they can stimulate the immune system. This in turn encourages the body to heal itself. However, always treat pure essential oils with caution as they are very potent, and in home first aid, they should always be applied externally with the appropriate dosage. For instance, everyone has heard of using Eucalyptus
essential oil in steam inhalations as a decongestant.
Psychologically too, essential oils can be great stress busters, and certain ones are known to positively enhance mood. For example, citrus oils such as Sweet Orange, as well as being refreshing and clean-smelling, are generally known to uplift the spirits. This can be done as simply as using them in a burner.
Another example is Lavender pure essential oil which is famous for its soothing and sleep-enhancing properties. Simply sprinkle a few drops on your pillow to help get a better sleep.
Combined with a suitable carrier oil such as Sweet Almond, many essential oils can be used in therapeutic and sensual massage blends. Some pure essential oils such as Jasmine, are known to have aphrodisiac qualities.
Overall, as you well know, scent is very basic to our existence. By finding out all the ways essential oils can be used and what they are good for; you can truly acknowledge their value as Mother Nature’s gift to humankind.