Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds that are found in the flowers, stems, roots, bark and seeds of plants. They are extracted in a variety of ways, and leave us with nothing but the very best - the essence - of the plants! These essences, or essential oils, can be used in a variety of ways to help humans find relief from physical and/or emotional pain and other ailments.
You might hear essential oils referred to as volatile, and this is because the organic molecules change state very quickly from liquid to gas, hence why you get hit with their aroma so strongly upon opening an essential oil bottle. This makes the perfect for use in aromatherapy, as the molecules move through the air swiftly to interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose
With over 3000 of these aromatic compounds discovered to date, you can find one for any usage you can dream up. Their qualities vary from species to species and even from plant to plant.
How to Use Essential Oils
There are three types of application: Aromatic, Topical and Internal.
As we know, smell is one of the strongest triggers or memory and emotion, so it makes sense that aromatherapy can be a powerful tool.
Our favourite way to enjoy the aromatic benefits of essential oils is in an ultrasonic diffuser, but there are other ways to enjoy the benefits without a diffuser too!
- Diffuser jewellery, such as lava rocks
- Apply your essential oil(s) of choice to a cotton ball and place on your desk or tuck it into your shirt.
- Use on wool dryer balls
- Use in household cleaners
- Put a few drops into the bath
Topical application is extremely effective, but should be treated with caution. Never apply essential oils to broken or damaged skin, around or in the eyes or the inner ears.
It is not advised to apply essential oils directly to the skin. To keep from developing a skin sensitivity, when using potent or new to you oils, we recommend using a carrier oil when applying essential oils. Jojoba
, and argan oils
all make great carriers oils. Many essential oils, but especially citrus oils, are photosensitive, meaning you should not wear apply them to the skin before being in direct sunlight.
Recommended dilution = 3 drops carrier oil to 1 drop essential oil.
Best areas on the body to apply essential oils to:
- Forehead & temples
- Soles of the feet
- Other topical methods
- Add to your favourite lotion or body oil before applying
- Make a hot or cold compress
- A few drops in a warm bath
Internal use references consuming essential oils for their alleged health benefits. None of the essential oils we carry are considered food grade - they are considered one step below, best suited for aromatherapy and topical use (our skin is our largest organ, of course!)
Our research has been inconclusive as to whether any essential oils should be taken internally, with people on both sides of the argument putting forth valid points. We encourage you to do your own thorough research before you decide.
Essential Oil Safety
There is a lot of information out there about essential oils and safety. We know it can be overwhelming, so we have compiled some simple rules, along with some of our favourite resources, to help you get started!
CHILDREN: Essential oils should NEVER be used on infants 6 months and under. For a list of oils that are safe for childredn 6+ months, please click here
. It will also provide some in-depth information and precautions.
PREGNANCY: Those who are pregnant are advised to not use essential oils at all in the first trimester. For the remaining months, a dilution of 6 drops of oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil is recommended. For more information, we defer to a favourite blog of ours, The Hippy Homemaker.
PETS: Essential oils should NEVER be used topically or internally by pets. Cats and dogs especially - their organs are unable to metabolize the enzymes in essential oils in the same way that humans can, and essential oil use can quickly become toxic and fatal for our furry friends. It is always best to err on the side of caution and keep diffusers away from spaces your pets like to spend time near. If you have any questions, we recommend contacting your veterinarian for more information.