Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably noticed everyone (even your high school best friends grandmother!) talking about essential oils. The shiny little bottles are plastered all over Instagram and Pinterest, and heck they’ve even made it to the check-out aisles at Walmart and Target. We’ve been telling you that they can help with everything from getting a good night's sleep to de-stressing after a long day at work. But, um, what exactly are they? Keep reading for our beginner's guide to essential oils.
What are essential oils?
Essential Oils are essences extracted from various plants and herbs during a distillation process that captures the plants scent. Depending on the plant the oil is distilled from dried seeds, peel or resin; for others it comes from the leaves, roots, bark or flowers. Essential oils have been used for hundreds of years by various cultures for everything from make-up, perfume and in the case of the ancient Egyptians - mummification. Today, essential oils are primarily used for aromatherapy, helping with pain-relief, acting as anti-inflammatories and in some cases decongestants.
Do they work?
We’re gonna be honest: essential oils are not going to cure your rash. Or that egg sized wart on your toe. Seriously, get that checked out by a doctor! Scientific studies have found little evidence that Essential oils actively cure somatic conditions. Instead, research has found that essential oils act more as a support and supplement to traditional medication. Instead of actively curing a condition, they help to relax, concentrate and re-energize you.
If you’re looking to reduce some stress and improve your overall well-being, here are some great beginner essential oils to try out:
• Lavender is used to feel calm when you're stressed or to help you drift peacefully off to sleep.
• Chamomile is said to help to lift the spirits, balance emotions, and increase feelings of well-being.
• Rosemary is thought to be a refresher for the mind, especially memory.
• Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that may help infections like athlete's foot.
• Thyme is said to relieve pain and work similarly to anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
• Sage is often used to bolster the body's immune system.
Expect to pay between $30 to 60 dollars for genuine essential oils. Why so much for such a small bottle? Well, as outlandish as it sounds, it takes nearly 2200 pounds of hand-picked orange blossom flowers to distill just 2 pounds of orange essential oil. Most other essential oils require a similar amount of labor.
So you’re kinda into this essential oils thing and have decided to purchase your first bottle. How exactly do you use it?
There are a lot of answers to that question, all of them surrounding one fact: depends on what you’re using the essential oil for. Keep reading our guide to essential oils to learn more about the best ways to use (and not use!) these oils.
If you’re looking for some relief from an ailment, use essential oils:
If you’re looking to relax:
Now that you’re equipped with your essential oils, and now how to use them. Here are a few quick notes we'd like to mention in our guide to essential oils:
Now that you've read our Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils, are you ready to get started on your own journey? Head over to the Route 40 store to shop now!