There’s some buzz happening in the wellness world with essential oils. Have you seen it yet? Who am I kidding — of course you have, they’re popping up everywhere.
Even chain stores like Target are hopping on the essential oil train. Yup, another excuse to go to Target… you’re welcome.
Shopping addictions aside, if you’ve never dabbled with essential oils before, you’re probably wondering, “What’s all the fuss about? What makes them so special?”
Shortly put (and I’ll explain why throughout this article) — the buzz about these oils is how they’ve impacted millions of people throughout history with their healing properties.
Have you ever noticed that the smell of lavender helps you to relax and settle down before you go to bed?
Or how the smell of a juicy orange on a hot summer day instantly makes you feel hydrated?
Or how the smells of peppermint or eucalyptus are able to clear your congestion and stuffy nose like it’s nobody's business?
There’s something here that modern-day science is only just beginning to understand — and it’s how we can derive natural ways of healing right from Mother Nature herself.
So let’s get to the juice — or the essence — of where these potent oils come from and how they can offer you healing.
What are essential oils?
In layman's terms, essential oils are a concentrated liquid from a plant or flower. This liquid contains something called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — which is what we perceive as the plant's fragrance or aroma.
To clarify — we’re not talking about the man-made VOCs that you’d find in paint or manufacturing products.
Quite the opposite.
The VOCs that you find in essential oils are completely natural and organic to the plant or flower in which it came from.
Let’s not forget, the ability to create this compound is not just for human benefit (or any nose that comes upon it) — the fragrance of all plants serve specific purposes to their survival in their natural environments.6
And, if a specific species of plant is able to provide healing for itself, who’s to say this plant superpower can’t be extended to humans?
Scientists have confirmed that essential oils are known to hold anticancer, antiviral, antimicrobial properties.5 The more you look into these oils, the more you realize how late science is to the essential oil party. The use of plant medicine in this way dates back a lot farther than you may realize.
Where did essential oils come from?
Essential oils are dated being used as far back as 3000 BCE in the throws of ancient Egypt.2
They were used in a myriad of ways: sacred rituals for burial, religious endeavors, food preparations, and beauty treatments — to name a few.2
As time went on, and the planet was explored and colonized, this knowledge of plant power spread far and wide. Egypt, Greece, France, Iran, China, all exploring, studying, and using this medicine in different ways.3
Eventually, it made its way overseas and recently has become a topic of interest in the western eyes of the world.
With how “up and coming” essential oils seem to be in our western world, it makes you wonder: has the way we use essential oils changed compared to how our ancestors used them?
How do I use essential oils?
Dating back in time, essential oils have been used in a variety of ways:
Being inhaled and used aromatically.
Being diluted in a carrier oil and placed directly on the skin.
Some have even been ingested in their most raw form.
As they were discovered, different parts of the globe adopted their own “best practices” for bringing these natural medicines into their health and wellness regimen.
Here are the three most popular, widely-used methods for bringing essential oils into your life.
The German School of Thought: using essential oils aromatically
AKA inhaling them through your nose or directly breathing in from your mouth. The thought process behind this is that you don’t have to wait as long to feel the benefits of the oil, since breathing them in directly eliminates the barrier of the skin or stomach.
You can inhale essential oils by:
Using an essential oil diffuser
Inhaling directly from the bottle
Creating your own air fresheners or room sprays
Here at Sacred Moon Healing, we focus mainly on using essential oils aromatically (there’s always a diffuser going before class) and topically on the hands to bring a more intense scent under our noses.
Even if you don’t have an essential oil diffuser, or the DIY-gene to want to make your own version of one, you’re still able to reap these benefits by a simple sniff from the bottle.
The English School of Thought: topical or trans-dermal use of essential oils
Along with the German method for using essential oils, the English method uses the power of inhalation and diluting the oils in a carrier oil, then applying directly to the skin. This method is shown to increase the amount of absorption from the carrier oils, helping the skin to soak in healing properties of the essential oils without irritating the skin.
Popular types of carrier oils are*7:
Fractionated coconut oil
Sweet almond oil
*It’s advised that before you commit to a specific carrier oil, test a small patch on the back of your hand first to ensure it won't irritate your skin.
The French School of Thought: ingesting the oils directly
This method for using essential oils combines the other two schools of thought with an added twist: topically applying the oils with no carrier (unless absolutely necessary) and ingesting the oils directly either in a capsule or a tea.
There is no one correct way to use essential oils, and you may find that you opt to try different methods depending on your current circumstances. You’re the only one that will really know what will be best for you.
Okay, now you know the ways you can use essential oils. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of how they’ll make your life better.
What are essential oils beneficial for?
Thanks to recent studies, it's no secret that our sense of smell has the ability to affect our emotions.4 That means that with the help of essential oils, we’re able to make a direct impact on our mood… for the better.
Going back to the German school of thought, being able to inhale essential oils that hold calming, relaxing benefits can actually induce a response within the body to adapt to that level of relaxation.1
Essential oils have been known to provide relief from different areas of suffering. Here are a few common reasons people use them, and which oils will help you the most with whatever healing you're seeking.
To wrap up…
In the end, you’ll never really know which essential oils will benefit your lifestyle until you try them out yourself in different ways. If you’re ready to explore more about this natural healing method, stop by the studio or you can always send us an email!
With a selection of the purest oils, we’re here for you to test out what works for you and what doesn’t — and by helping you test out the different waters of essential oils, you’re able to make a confident, informed decision that’ll enhance your healing!