All the Essentials on Essential Oils

All the Essentials on Essential Oils

If you’ve been following along with us in our Summer of Wellness, you know we’re diving into the world of doTERRA essential oils.  But what are essential oils, how do they work and how can we integrate them into our daily lives?  First we need to dig deeper into the practice of aromatherapy and then hopefully we can answer some of the questions about individual oils and how to use them to better your health and wellness.  First, let’s define our terms:

Essential Oils – naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants.

Aromatherapy – The Collins English Dictionary defines aromatherapy as “the use of fragrant essential oils extracted from plants as a treatment in complementary medicine to relieve tension and treat certain minor ailments.”

That may sound a bit crunchy, but the actual practice of using the purest form of a plant medicinally dates back to the Egyptians.  Throughout the ages, they have been used topically on scrapes and burns, aromatically for respiratory relief and mood balance and some can be administered internally, by cooking them in dishes, adding them to beverages or taking them in fillable capsules.Individual Oils and Their Uses in Daily Life 

Lavender – is valued for its calming and relaxing qualities. Applied topically, Lavender is frequently used to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections as it soothes and nourishes the skin — treating acne and dry skin, and reducing the appearance of dark spots and scars caused by acne.  Add a few drops of Lavender to pillows, bedding, or the bottoms of your feet to relax and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.

Daily Uses: Must-have oil for your arsenal

  • Keep a bottle of Lavender on hand to soothe occasional skin irritations.
  • Freshen your linen closet, mattress, car, or the air by combining several drops of Lavender with water in a spray bottle.
  • Take internally to reduce anxious feelings.
  • Use in cooking to soften citrus flavors and add a flavorful twist to marinades, baked goods, and desserts.

Peppermint – The peppermint plant is frequently used in toothpaste and chewing gum for oral hygiene.  Peppermint also helps alleviate occasional stomach upset when taken internally.  When diffused, Peppermint can help unclog your sinuses and offer relief from a sore throat.  It also stimulates the brain and helps with mental fatigue, alertness and memory enhancement.

Daily Uses –

  • Use a drop of Peppermint with Lemon in water for a healthy, refreshing mouth rinse.
  • Take one to two drops in a Veggie Capsule to alleviate occasional stomach upset.
  • Add a drop to your favorite smoothie recipe for a refreshing twist.
  • Add 5 drops to a warm bath with Epsom salts and soak away your muscle pains.

Ginger – Ginger essential oil is derived from the fresh rhizome of the ginger plant—the subterranean stalk of a plant that shoots out the root system. A featured ingredient in many Asian dishes, Ginger has a hot, fragrant flavor when used as a kitchen spice. Internal use of Ginger is best known as a digestive aid and for helping to ease occasional indigestion and nausea. Ginger essential oil can also be applied topically, inhaled for a soothing aroma or added to beverages.  Ginger can also be used to by arthritis suffers to alleviate some of the inflammation associate with their condition.

Daily Uses –

  • During a long car ride, diffuse or place a drop of ginger in the palm of your hand and inhale.
  • Apply over lower abdomen for a soothing massage.
  • Diffuse to alleviate breathing issues, such as asthma and bronchitis
  • Use Ginger essential oil in your favorite sweet and savory dishes.

Lemon – is another must-have oil that has multiple benefits and uses. Lemon is a powerful cleansing agent that purifies the air and surfaces, and can be used as a non-toxic cleaner throughout the home. When added to water, Lemon provides a refreshing and healthy boost throughout the day.  Taken internally, Lemon provides cleansing and digestive benefits and supports healthy respiratory function.  When diffused, Lemon is very uplifting and energizing and has been shown to help improve mood.

Uses –

  • Add Lemon oil to a spray bottle of water to clean tables, countertops, and other surfaces. Lemon oil also makes a great furniture polish; simply add a few drops to olive oil to clean, protect, and shine wood finishes.
  • Use a cloth soaked in Lemon oil to preserve and protect your leather furniture and other leather surfaces or garments.
  • Lemon oil is a great remedy for the early stages of tarnish on silver and other metals.
  • Diffuse to create an uplifting environment.

Wild Orange – is a popular essential oil due to its energizing aroma and multiple health benefits.  High in monoterpenes, Wild Orange possesses stimulating and purifying qualities, making it ideal to support healthy immune system function.  It can be taken daily to cleanse the body or used on surfaces as a natural cleaner. Diffusing Wild Orange will energize and uplift the mind and body while purifying the air.

Daily Uses –

  • Use in an all-purpose spray to cleanse and purify surfaces.
  • Add a drop to your water every day for a burst of flavor and to promote overall health.
  • Diffuse to uplift mood and energy levels and to freshen the air.
  • For an energizing boost, dispense one to two drops in the palm of your hand along with equal parts Peppermint and Frankincense. Rub palms together and inhale deeply from palms, then rub on the back of neck.

Rosemary – is an aromatic, evergreen shrub whose leaves are frequently used to flavor foods. Along with its culinary applications, Rosemary has many benefits – it supports healthy digestion and internal organ function. Rosemary’s herbaceous and energizing scent is frequently used in aromatherapy. Taken internally, it helps to reduce nervous tension and occasional fatigue.

Daily Uses –

  • Diffuse while studying to maintain concentration.
  • Take internally to help reduce nervous tension and occasional fatigue.
  • Add 1–2 drops of Rosemary essential oil to meats and favorite entrées for flavoring and to support healthy digestion.

Cedarwood – Known for its rich hue and woody scent, Cedarwood essential oil’s grounding aroma evokes feelings of wellness and vitality. When applied topically, Cedarwood has clarifying properties. Additionally, Cedarwood is frequently used as a bug deterrent.

Daily Uses –

  • After a difficult day, diffuse to create a relaxing environment.
  • During your facial routine, add one to two drops to your facial toner or moisturizer to promote clear, healthy looking skin.
  • Place a drop on a cotton ball and place in closet to keep moths at bay.

Lemongrass – A tall, perennial plant, Lemongrass has a subtle citrus flavor and is used in Asian cuisine in soups, teas, and curries as well as with fish, poultry, beef, and seafood. In addition to its unique flavor, Lemongrass essential oil promotes healthy digestion and acts as an overall tonic to the body’s systems when ingested. It’s also purifying and toning to the skin, and is frequently used in skin care products for these benefits. Lemongrass is an ideal oil to use in massage therapy. Lemongrass has a pungent, herbaceous aroma that can heighten awareness and promote a positive outlook.

Daily Uses –

  • Combine equal parts Fractionated Coconut Oil and Lemongrass oil for a massage after a hard workout.
  • Use to flavor entrées and meat dishes while promoting healthy digestion.
  • Dilute oil, then rub or spritz on skin before going outside as Lemongrass essential oil naturally repels insects.

Clove – has been used for years in dental preparations, candy, and gum for its flavor and ability to cleanse the mouth. Its main chemical component, eugenol, makes it a very stimulating and energizing essential oil that can be used as a warming massage oil. Clove contains powerful antioxidant properties and supports cardiovascular health when taken internally.

Daily Uses –

  • Add one drop to toothpaste to clean teeth and gums.
  • Place one drop in two ounces of water and gargle for a soothing effect.
  • Take in veggie capsules to support cardiovascular health.

Oregano – is one of the most potent and powerful essential oils and has been used for centuries in traditional practices. The primary chemical components of Oregano is carvacrol, a phenol that possesses antioxidant properties when ingested. Due to its high phenol content, caution should be taken when inhaling or diffusing Oregano; only one to two drops is needed. Additionally, Oregano should be diluted with a carrier oil when applied to the skin. One drop taken internally each day can help maintain healthy immune function; Oregano can be taken more frequently as needed to further support the immune system.

Daily Uses –

  • Take one drop in a veggie cap or one drop of liquid daily, under the tongue, to maintain healthy immune function.  It can also help mitigate the side-effects of medications.
  • Put 10 drops in a 16-ounce spray bottle with water for a surface cleaner.
  • Oregano oil is anti-bacterial and can be used on cuts and scrapes, as long as it is diluted in a carrier oil.

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus trees are tall, evergreen trees that grow up to 50 feet in height and are sometimes referred to as Gum Trees. The main chemical components of Eucalyptus radiata are eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol, making it an ideal oil to promote feelings of clear breathing and open airways and for creating a soothing massage experience. Eucalyptus has purifying properties that can be beneficial for the skin and for cleansing surfaces and the air. Studies have shown that Eucalyptus is effective in helping lessen tension.

Daily Uses –

  • Combine with Lemon and Peppermint in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom.
  • Add one drop to moisturizer and apply to skin for revitalizing benefits.
  • Diffuse with Peppermint to promote open sinuses.

Frankincense – Renowned as one of the most prized and precious essential oils, Frankincense has extraordinary health benefits.  It’s soothing and beautifying properties are used to rejuvenate skin and help reduce the appearance of imperfections when applied topically. As the king of oils, Frankincense is known to support healthy cellular function when used internally. When inhaled or diffused, Frankincense promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness.

Daily Uses –

  • Rub Frankincense on your hands after a long day of gardening for a warming and soothing effect.
  • Apply topically to help reduce the appearance of skin imperfections.
  • Can be applied to the bottoms of feet to promote feelings of relaxation and to balance mood.
  • Take one to two drops in a veggie capsule to support healthy cellular function.

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