With their highly therapeutic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities, essential oils are an ancient remedy that have been used across different cultures and civilizations for centuries¹. By definition, essential oils are naturally occurring aromatic plant extracts found in seeds, bark, stems, roots and flowers². Although essential oils have been around for centuries, the knowledge and use of them has recently skyrocketed. Each oil (or combination of oils) has its own unique and powerful effect on your emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing. While there are a variety of ways you can enhance your everyday life with essential oils, the primary methods of use are inhalation, diffusion, and topical.
HOW TO EXPERIENCE THE BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Inhalation: One way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is by simply opening the bottle, placing a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball and inhaling the aroma. This allows the thousands of olfactory nerves in the nostrils to send messages to the brain. Depending on what oil is used, expert retailer Edens Garden explains that this highly concentrated message can have a positive impact on your mental and physical state¹.
Aromatic Diffusion: Another way to enjoy the aromatic benefits of essential oils is by diffusing them into the air. Although diffusion delivers a less concentrated aroma, it lasts for an extended period of time.
Topical Application: Essential oils are commonly found in massage oils, body lotions, facial mists and more. While all of these products are applied directly to the skin, it is important to note that essential oils alone are highly concentrated and must be diluted with a carrier like coconut oil, lotion or water before being applied directly to the skin³.
ESSENTIAL OILS AND THEIR ROLE IN YOUR DAY TO DAY LIFE
In terms of actually using essential oils on a day to day basis, we love The Herbal Academy’s holistic description of how to do so. Their approach to essential oil use begins by looking at daily life through three lenses: 1. nourishing vital energy or wellness, 2. protecting vital energy or wellness, and 3. restoring vital energy or wellness.
Nourishing Vital Energy: The act of nourishing vital energy includes regular, daily use of essential oils. When it comes to uplifting your spirit throughout the long workday, the Herbal Academy recommends diffusing sweet orange essential oil. For nighttime relaxation, they suggest using lavender oil. You can inhale the benefits of lavender by placing a few drops of the oil on a tissue and placing it next to your pillow. To soothe neck and shoulder tension, we recommend adding a few drops of peppermint oil to an ounce or more of unscented lotion. When applied, the peppermint oil creates a tingling sensation that invigorates your energy while the aroma will relax you. Last but not least, we love diffusing frankincense for a sense of grounding and balance at any time of the day.
Protecting Vital Energy: This refers to the means of protecting your body from a direct health threat like chemicals and germs. Thanks to their antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties, essential oils can be used as alternative to harsh chemical formulas for cleaning your house. Tea tree or lemon oil make great all natural surface cleaners that effectively ward off unwanted germs. You can create this green alternative to Lysol by filling a spray bottle with half white vinegar, half water and adding 20 drops of the oil of your preference.
Restoring Vital Energy: Last, but not least, restoring vital energy comes into play when there is an illness or injury. Eucalyptus oil is a well-known decongestant that can be inhaled, diffused or topically applied³. Its aroma will help ease the troubles of a stuffy nose. While you may already be familiar with the benefits of consuming ginger, ginger oil itself has a variety of topical healing properties including the ability to soothe muscle and joint pain. We recommend adding a drop or two of ginger oil to unscented lotion and applying it to the affected area. Ginger can also be applied topically to the abdomen to help settle the stomach.