Essential oils are much more than just pleasant scents to enjoy during a bath or a massage; they have real healing properties and have a significant effect on you emotional, mental and physical health.
Essential oils are very concentrated plant components and are extremely potent. It takes many kinds of plant matter to make just a small amount of essential oils, hence why certain oils can be very expensive.
When buying essential oils, make sure that it is from a reputable company and that the oil states that it is a pure, therapeutic grade, medicinal oil. Most essential oils should be diluted with carrier oil, like jojoba or coconut oil, before applied to the skin. Some oils, like lavender and frankincense, are safe to use undiluted. Typically you would use 3-5 drops of essential oils per teaspoon of carrier oil.
The smell of the essential oil creates a powerful connection with the “smell-centre” in our brain that then communicates the healing properties to the rest of the body. Oils like clove, tea tree and lavender are anti-microbial oils and putting them in a diffuser in your home or office will reduce your risk of contracting germs.
Using diluted tea tree oil on cuts, rashes, pimples or skin infections will speed up healing. A few drops of lavender oil on the feet at night will encourage calm and peaceful sleep. For those with inflammatory conditions or chronic pain, 10 drops of frankincense oil in a hot bath will help to reduce inflammation and lift mood.
One can use certain oils internally but you need to check with a certified Aromatherapist before doing this as it can be dangerous. Remember that one drop of oil can equal 25-50 cups of tea of that plant.
Essential oils are wonderful to add to toothpaste, homemade lotions and soaps. You can even gargle with a drop of peppermint oil for fresh breathe.
Essential oils should never be used on children internally or undiluted on the skin. Always consult a professional before using these oils with children and if you are pregnant or nursing. These oils exert powerful effects on the body that may affect hormones and gut flora. There is also evidence that these oils can cross the placenta and have effects on the fetus. This is not to say they are all dangerous or that negative effects will occur, but it is important to be very safe.