The benefits of essential oils
Essential oils, which are concentrated liquids extracted from a variety of plant sources, have been used since ancient times. Valued for their potent perfumes and flavours, they can be used in three different ways including inhaled (with a few drops for example, placed in a diffuser, used in a spray or added to hot water for a steam), applied (as a perfume) or ingested (as is the case with cooking, however this is less common as not all oils can be taken internally so do your research).
Example of Benefits and Uses:
Oils can offer a number of therapeutic health benefits varying on type of oil used some of these may include:
Lavender oil: assists in relieving nervous tension and anxiety. Place a few drops in a bath or the floor of the shower or even on your pillow before you go to bed.
Peppermint: can be ingested to freshen breath or aid digestion. Also has a cooling effect when applied to the skin and can enhance mental focus.
Eucalyptus: praised for its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic qualities, Eucalyptus is commonly used in cleaning products to kill germs and is effective in fighting off the common cold or flu. Place a few drops in a vaporiser, in some boiling water for steam inhalation or on a hanker chief and you’ll feel less congested in no time.
Tea tree: The benefits of tea tree oil have been extensively studied which is why it has become so widely adopted, used commonly to treat skin disorders such as acne and fungal infections.
Chamomile: Just like camomile tea, camomile oil is also very calming.
Ylang Ylang: due to its sweet smell, Ylang Ylang oil is often used for cosmetic purposes used as perfume or massaged into the hair when washing to enhance softness. Also believed to be helpful in reducing PMS symptoms when massaged into the lower back.
What to Look for When Buying Oils:
Price: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Good quality essential oils are reasonably expensive as to produce the product a large amount of plant material is required.
Name: A good oil will often list the plants Latin name on the label, along with instructions for use.
Material of the bottle: Real oils will be stored in a glass container as plastic generally reacts to ingredients. Ideally, the bottle will also be coloured a dark blue or amber, protecting the product from UV damage.
Purity: In some cases, manufactures can distil oils with other materials in an attempt to make more money. Thus, check for statements about purity and look for oils that are 100% pure.
Source: Be aware of how the oils have been cultivated and aim to buy oils that are ideally certified organic, otherwise unsprayed or wild crafted are also good options, reducing pesticide contamination in the environment and absorption in your body.
Perfect Potion Essential Oil Kit: The perfect basics pack. At $79.95 the kit lives up to its value, including eight pure essential oils which are not tested on animals and are certified organic.