Learning Essential Oils Basics

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Essential oils—you’ve heard just about everybody on your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds talking about it. Essential oils enthusiasts almost seem like a cult following; they’re constantly raving about the benefits of the oils and what they can do for your body. But what exactly are essential oils, and are they worth getting into? Let’s break down the basics of what every essential oils beginner should know about these so-called natural magic potions!

Essential oils are extracts from plants or some other source found in nature, that can be used for medicinal or otherwise therapeutic purposes. Essential oils are usually found in the seeds or leaves of the plant. They are typically obtained through either a distillation process (using steam), or by what is known as expression. Either way, the holistic medicine industry has relied on the power of essential oils to help relieve pain, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being. Oils also have a rich history of being used for religious and spiritual purposes, in practices dating back thousands of years.

Essential oils are usually used through aromatherapy, inhalation, topical applications, and even methods like bathing with water that has been infused with small amounts of the essential oil. Other applications include gargling, massages, hot or cold compresses, diffusers, or chest rubs. Be careful to stick to the recommended use of each, however; some essential oils are not meant to come in direct contact with your skin, and may cause irritation if used incorrectly. Never use an essential oil internally without first consulting a doctor or obtaining professional knowledge.

Alright. Now that you have an idea of what essential oils are and how to use them, let’s get into how exactly they can benefit you. There are a many types of essential oils, but the most commonly used include Frankincense, Lavender, Lemongrass, Helichrysum, and Ginger. Each of these have their own benefits and should be used accordingly. For example, Frankincense is known to strengthen the immune system, sooth inflamed skin, and regenerate cells. Lavender has a powerful calming effect, and can be used to treat wounds. Lemongrass can be used for cleaning purposes or to safely repel insects, while Helichrysum is known to heal bruises and swelling. Finally, ginger is an effective digestive, and is often used to treat nausea, pain, and inflammation.

Essential oils are made to last, so using small amounts is key. Some even dilute the oil so that its effects aren’t too strong. Always do your research on the correct usage of your essential oil before applying or using. Some tips we have for getting the most out of your experience incorporating oils into your life are:

  • Invest in a diffuser to make the oils last longer. Diffusers do exactly what they sound like; they distribute the oils evenly throughout the room so that you can enjoy them over time, or while you sleep.
  • Take an essential oils class. Classes on essential oils, especially for beginners, are both informational and fun. Not only will you learn a little about the history of some common essential oils, but you’ll have the chance to purchase them too.
  • Always buy from a trusted source. Never buy your essential oils from a retailer such as Amazon or Wal-Mart, because authenticity is not guaranteed. Be aware of fake or replica products on the market that could be harmful to your body, even when used correctly.
  • Again, always do your research! There are plenty of blogs, articles, and stories out there that offer helpful tips and new ideas for using essential oils. Always read the labels, and make sure you are using them correctly.

If you’d like any further resources on how you can use essential oils in your life, check out this helpful resource!

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