Guest Blog: What Are Essential Oils?
So exactly what are essential oils and why is everyone talking about them? Well, I’ll tell you.
I used to think of essential oils as something that would evoke the woodstock generation, but there is so much more to discuss than your love or hate of the smell of patchouli.
An essential oil is an aromatic, volatile liquid that is found within many plants, bushes, trees, roots and seeds. It’s the blood of the plant, and it protects them from disease and climate change.
They help detoxify cells and oxygenate the body, much like what you are trying to accomplish when you think about doing a cleanse. Basically, EO’s support your body to do what it’s supposed to, and they promote healthy skin, strong immune systems and stress reduction.
EO’s have been around for thousands of years, but they were introduced into modern medicine shortly after WW1 when they were used for their antibacterial and wound healing properties. After all, there was no CVS around the corner, so they had to use what was available to them.
But just like kale and quinoa have been marketed as new superfoods even though they’ve been around for forever, ancient EO’s are finding their much deserved 15 minutes of fame lately, too.
How are Essential Oils Made?
Some essential oils are distilled from plants, others resin tapped from trees, and citrus oils are cold pressed like the fresh juices we drink today.
How Are Essential Oils Used?
When I bought my first EO’s, I really had no idea what to do with them. They smelled nice when I opened the bottles, but after that, no clue! Basically, they can be used in 3 ways:
- EO’s can be diffused directly into the air by using a cold water diffuser, and not only do you get the medicinal benefits, but they add moisture to your dry living space and are much safer than candles.
- EO’s can be applied topically, or used “neat” directly onto the skin. One or two drops of these powerful oils on the soles of your feet is all you need.
- EO’s can be consumed internally. A drop of lemon in your water is a great way to stay hydrated and boost your immune system.
Essential Oils for Stress
It’s safe to say we’ve become a completely stressed out society juggling careers, commutes, family, eating right, exercising, the list goes on. Extra stress hormones can wear out the body leaving us feeling depleted and weak.
But good news: there are EO’s that help reduce stress, induce calmness, and promote relaxation.
Lavender, Roman chamomile and cedarwood each have distinct stress reducing properties.
A few drops in your evening bath or a few drops on the soles of your feet will promote a restful sleep. Diffusing a combination of these oils is also a great way to encourage a peaceful night’s rest. There are even EO’s for snoring!
Essential Oils for Immunity
Stress can also cause our immune systems to fail. There are EO’s that can be combined together to create awesome immune boosters.
Oregano, which is antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and analgesic, can be combined with lemon and frankincense for an immune boosting trifecta!
Combine them with a base of coconut oil for a rub, or apply directly on the soles of feet, wrists and back of neck. And don’t forget to diffuse!
Essential Oils for Allergies
Whether it’s pollen in the spring, mold and dust in the winter, or a random summertime cold, it’s no fun to suffer from allergies, asthma, colds, and coughs.
There are many species of Eucalyptus that are expectorant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. Peppermint is an EO all star when it comes to congestion by relieving pain and respiratory issues when inhaled from cupped palms over your nose, diffused into the air, or applied topically on chest, temples or neck in a base of coconut oil.
Homemade vapor rubs with no chemicals? Yep!
Essential Oils for Healing
Have you ever woken up the day after a bootcamp class and not been able to feel your quads? Holy sore muscles!
Having the support of EO’s is a great (and smart) way to encourage physical strength and tissue repair. Peppermint, Idaho balsam fir, wintergreen, and copaiba each have specific analgesic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
They can be layered together with coconut, almond or jojoba oil for a natural healing balm.
Ronni Pitiger, NLC is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Lifestyle Consultant, and Young Living Essential Oils Consultant.. Ronni works closely with her clients to help them create happy, healthy lives in a way that is fun, flexible and free of denial. By working with Ronni, she can help you discover food and lifestyle choices that best support you. Making gradual, lifelong changes enables Ronni’s clients to reach their health goals. Ronni also has a passion for Essential Oils and will offer a consultation on their many uses and benefits.