Top Best Essential Oils: What Are They And How Are They Used?
What Are Essential Oils?
These special oils are extracts from flowers, leaves, plant stems, twigs, citrus peel, bark, wood pulp, tree resin, fruits and seeds.
- Flowers – Rose oil is made from the petals of roses. As you can imagine it takes a lot of rose petals to make just a small amount of rose essential oil. The highest quality rose oil comes from Bulgaria.
- Leaves – The finest peppermint oil is made just from the leaves of the peppermint plant not the stems. You can smell the difference, peppermint oil that is made from both the leaves and the stems has a harsh herbaceous smell. The finest peppermint essential oil comes from the state of Washington in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Its aroma is sweet and clean.
- Peel – The best lemon oil is cold pressed from the peel of lemons not the fruit. The finest lemon oil and orange oil in the world comes from Italy.
- Bark – The finest cinnamon oil comes from the inner bark of the cassia tree.
- Wood – Sandalwood essential oil is made from the pulp of the Sandalwood tree. Some of the highest quality sandalwood oil comes from the islands of Hawaii.
- Seeds – Coriander essential oil is made from the seeds of the coriander plant.
- Twigs & Foliage – Cypress oil comes from cypress trees.
Processing of Oils
These botanical extracts are gathered using a steam distillation method, pressure, a CO2 process or in some cases through chemical extraction. The finest therapeutic oils are steam distilled or pressure extracted.
When a quality oil is extracted it must be done at the right temperature, the correct pressure using plants that are harvested at just the right time and are grown in areas where they are indigenous to the region.
One of the reasons these plant oils have therapeutic qualities is due to the complex chemical make up of the oil. In order for that oil to be effective it must be harvested and processed in such a way that its complex chemical composition is not compromised.
These oils are some times referred to as the life blood of the plant. Many plants have the ability to fight off disease and infestation. They pass these protective qualities on when their “life blood” is carefully extracted by experienced growers, distillers and processors.
How to Use These Oils?
These powerful plant extracts can be used or applied in several beneficial ways.
- Topically – Not all oils can be applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil. If you have sensitive skin use a carrier oil like coconut oil when applying essential oils to the skin.
- Aromatically – You can use a glass spray bottle or a commercially available diffuser. Simply add a few drops of your favorite oil to four ounces of distilled or spring water. Spray to clean the air and leave a light, refreshing fragrance.
- Internally – Use essential oils internally only if there is a supplement label on the bottle. Some essential oils should not be taken internally.
Essential oils are extracts, in highly concentrated form, which can be made from virtually any plant variety. These oils are used for many purposes, but are particularly prized for their medicinal properties. Used for homeopathic treatment and aromatherapy, stong extracts of aromatic plants have long been a therapeutic ingredient in a variety of concoctions, created to soothe both the body and the spirit. Common uses for essential oils are as ingredients in cosmetics, cleansers and perfumes.
Although there are, at least hundreds, and probably thousands of essential oils available, the five oils showcased in this article could be called the most essential of all essential oils. These are five of the most popular oils, commonly used in everything from shampoos to over-the-counter health aides. Although you may find some disagreement among the most popular and frequently used oils, there’s no debate that the five mentioned below are among the best sellers and most widely utilized.
Lavender oil is probably the most frequently used essential oil and the most widely available. Lavender is a popular and easy to grow plant, that is cultivated in commercial and home gardens, worldwide. Lavender oil is inexpensive and valued for its pleasant, clean and calming aroma.
Lavender oil is one of the few essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin and is often used in this manner for antibacterial and antiseptic applications. Lavender oil is stimulative, and can aide in the healing process, by increasing blood flow to injured areas, where it also provides mild analgesic effects.
Lavender’s pain easing properties make it particularly effective for burns and insect stings. Lavender oil can be used for massage and aromatherapy, where it has the ability to ease tension and anxiety, in addition to improving circulatory and respiratory issues. It is sometimes used in cooking and can function as a digestive tonic. The scent of lavender is popular in air fresheners, candles, bathing preperations and skin lubricants.
Eucalyptus essential oil comes from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, grown worldwide in regions experiencing plentiful rainfall. The strong odor of eucalyptus makes it ideal for aromatherapeutic use, where it clears respiratory passages, improves circulation and invigotates the mind and body.
Strongly antiseptic properties, make eucalyptus oil ideal for repelling insects and rapidly cleansing the air. As an anti-inflammatory, eucalyptus can be used to ease sore muscles, strains and sprains, or the pain of arthiritis. Other medicinal uses for eucalyptus are to relieve itch, swelling and infection.
Lemon oil is extracted from the natural oils in the skin of the lemon fruit. The revitalizing scent of lemon oil makes it particularly desired as a freshening agent in many household products. Soaps, cleansers, detergents and polishing products are often scented with lemon oil. Many cosmetics and preparations for use on the skin, nails and hair also use lemon oil.
Lemon oil is widely thought to be an antidepressant, and is often combined with other flavors in cough, sore throat and cold remedies. Lemon oil increases a sense of well-being, and posesses antihistimine, antiseptic and antiviral properties.
Lemon essential oil is used as a flavoring in desserts. It is also a popular additive to home remedies for detoxification of the digestive tract and skin.
Tea Tree Oil
Oil extracted from the various parts of the Melaleuca plant or Tea Tree is a popular cosmetic ingredient, and is used in a multitude of cosmetic preparations, including shampoos, antiseptics, insect repellents and acne preparations.
Care should be taken when using tea tree oil, as it is a strong stimulant and can be absorbed into the skin. Tea tree oil stimulates circulation and is effective against fungus and bacterial growth. Its stimulative and antiseptic properties make it ideal for cleansing and first aide use. Gum disease and athlete’s foot can also be treated with tea tree oil.
Peppermint oil is stimulating and energizing. Used in sports medicine, peppermint oil creates a sensation of cooling or warming, that is also ideal for clearing a head or chest cold. Ointments to stimulate circulation often incorporate peppermint oil, which also decreases inflammation.
Peppermint oil is well-known as a digestive tonic to soothe an upset stomach, whether it is caused by over indulgence, disease or motion sickness. Cough drops and breath fresheners use peppermint oil for its freshening, expectorant and antiseptic properties.
Peppermint oil has a popular flavoring, and is widely used in the manufacture of candy, confections and baked goods.
When choosing essential oils to use for home remedies and household purposes, these five oils are low cost and have many benefits. They have low toxicity and can be easily incorporated into many useful products for everyday use. It’s no wonder that these five versatile essential oils make the top of the list, for popularity and utility.
Different Ways To Use Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil has been used as an herbal therapy since time immemorial. The purple colored, fragrant floral plant has been used by health experts in the production of perfumes, cosmetics, antiseptics, deodorants and pesticides.
Since ancient times, lavenderoil has been a proven source of bringing about relief when a person is feeling panicky and nervous. It is also known to ease any distress or pressures that might be weighing on people’s minds.
The list of its naturally induced advantages does not end here, as lavender essential oil is known to contain therapeutic characteristics in it, which has landed it among one of the most recommended herbal modes of treatment. In recent times, the floral herb has generated a new found interest among researchers because of its minimum side-effects, as compared to pharmaceutical medicines.
Using Lavender Oil For Relaxation:
- Studies have shown that the light fragrance of lavender oil contains natural soothing agents, which help relieve and relax individuals of the stressful condition they might be in. It is increasingly being used as a cure for sleep disorders, panic attacks, depressive state of mind and distress. In a recently conducted research, scientists have found out that the fragrance of lavender oil is very beneficial for aromatherapy, especially among patients who have trouble sleeping. Lavender essential oil is found to add to the time people enjoy a deep sleep. However, these effects were shown to be more vivid in women than men.
- Moreover, studies show that lavender decreases the extent to which a person is perturbed by a depressive state of mind, particularly when it is consumed simultaneously with depression pills. The essential oils extracted from lavender have a relaxing impact on the nerves, making it an ideal method of helping the nerves feel calm, and consequently, relieving the mind of different kinds of stresses. It has also been found extremely effective against severe headaches and migraines, easing the pain without requiring the patients to consume heavy-duty pain killers.
- The use of lavender oil has remained among the most recommended therapeutic methods for the treatment of any kind of mental distress. Aromatherapy with lavender oil is known to reduce stress levels, tension in the nerves, weariness and jitters. Additionally, it helps the mind become active and enhances the brain function. Experts also suggest patients to use lavender essential oil if they show symptoms of being epileptic, becoming epileptic, having panicky episodes, reaching PMS (premenstrual syndrome), showing signs of nervousness (like dizziness, shivers or shock), and having a delusional state of mind.
Learning To Use Lavender Oil:
Lavender oil has been used in a number of products used for aromatherapy. These range from medications to cosmetic items like shampoo, creams, lotions and soaps. It can be used for relaxation in the following ways:
- When taking a bath: Adding around 10 drops of lavender oil to the bathtub when taking a warm bath is a good way of ensuring effective aromatherapy, as it relaxes the muscles and the mind. This method works ideally when the body is immersed in water for at least half an hour. A similar method of treatment is recommended for foot problems such as athlete’s food, in which around 6 to 8 drops of lavender oil are added to the container with warm water. Soaking feet in this water for around half an hour is known to help them recover from tenderness.
- When applying as a moisturizer: Any regular, unscented lotion can be converted into a lavender oil lotion very easily. The only thing to do is to add 10 to 20 drops of lavender oil to the lotion and mix it gently with a small ice cream stick. The resultant lotion is an incredible moisturizer for hands and feet.
- When mixed with other essential oils: For best results in aromatherapy, experts suggest adding two drops of lavender oil for every ounce of a gently fragrant, virgin oil such as olive or almond oil.
Health Benefits Of Lavender Oil:
Out of the numerous health benefits of lavender, some are given below:
- Studies are underway to prove lavender’s healing properties against breast cancer. The research has, so far, been showing good results in mice.
- Helps against insect sting and sunburns when combined with aloe vera
- Helps fight insomnia and depression
- It is an effective antiseptic agent
- Treats skin problems like eczema, acne, fungal infections and injuries