I’ve become a major fan of essential oils over the past five years. Now that they’re more popular, they’re easier to find, which makes me happy. What I love most is how versatile the oils are. From aromatherapy to treating acne, I’ve found there’s an essential oil for nearly everything.
The good thing is that it’s easy to learn how to use them. I admit to being intimidated at first, but once I knew the basics, oils became my initial solution instead of traditional methods for any ailments.
A Little Background
Essential oils are extracted from plants and are often used for holistic healing. The oils are quite potent; it only takes a little to make an impact. That alone makes them a winner in my mind.
For thousands of years, people have used various oils for different reasons, including:
- Skin problems (acne, eczema, rashes, etc.)
- Relaxing the mind and body
- Soothing aching muscles
- Easing pain
- Reducing the signs of aging
- Easing cold and flu symptoms
- Providing balance to hormones
I could list many more, but you get the idea. If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard of essential oils being used mostly for aromatherapy in a spa or as a topical skin treatment. I’ve personally used them for many of the issues on the above list.
Using Essential Oils
There are four main ways to use essential oils: aromatherapy, ingestion, topically, and adding to personal care products. It’s important to be careful when ingesting or applying oils to your body. For instance, I have highly sensitive skin and if I don’t dilute the tea tree oil, my skin dries out and itches. Be sure to do your research to determine if an essential oil is safe for ingestion—many are not!
I always dilute my oils by using a carrier oil (coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or almond oil), regular beauty product (lotions, body wash), or water. Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best for you.
The amount of oil I use depends on what I’m using it with. I add around 10 drops to a bath to ease aching joints, but I only add five drops in my body lotion.
It’s important to read the labels of any essential oil and follow dilution directions. I look for blending and dilution recipes before using the oils myself. I prefer to use a little less than recommended at first to ensure the oil meshes with my body chemistry.
My first foray into using oils was aromatherapy for stress relief. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the scent wasn’t just relieving stress. Since using aromatherapy regularly, I’ve noticed I feel more energetic and get sick less often.
I prefer to dilute my chosen oil in a diffuser. All it takes is 2-3 drops to ease my mind, relax my body, and make me forget about a long day. You can always add more if you need to.
My favorite oils for aromatherapy are lavender for stress relief, peppermint for boosting focus, and wild orange for improving mood. When my sinuses act up, eucalyptus is my go-to solution to help me breathe better.
Improving Health With Essential Oils
Although essential oils are great as the backdrop to a spa treatment, they’ve improved my overall health in more ways than I thought possible.
Some of the best oils for better health include:
- Ginger: eases joint pain and nausea, improves digestion
- Lemon: cleanses the body, improves urinary health
- Oregano: shortens recovery time from a cold
- Tea tree oil: improves immunity, helps heal skin issues
- Frankincense: decreases inflammation, boosts immunity, supports brain health
- Clove: provides powerful antioxidants
- Eucalyptus: aids in respiratory health
- Cypress: improves circulation, aids in healing broken bones
- Myrrh: improves hormonal balance, reduces infections
This is just a short list, but I’ve used all of these and noticed major differences in my health. I’ve always had a hormonal imbalance and myrrh has helped even me out when nothing else has worked.
What started out simple—using lavender essential oil for stress relief—has turned into a passion for treating health and beauty concerns naturally with a mixture of oils, and I haven’t looked back since. Try one and see where it takes you. You’ll probably be as pleasantly surprised as I was.