We’ve all heard of essential oils, and this article will give you a list of common uses for them. Before that though, to catch readers up to speed: essential oils are natural products of the plants they take their names from – concentrated oils which, in the simplest terms, distill the “essence” of the plant into a liquid.
The reason we’ve talked about the creation of essential oils is because understanding what they are makes understanding what to do with them intuitive – they are a concentrated form of the plant, and so you need much less essential oil to achieve the same benefits you would using the plant itself. Without further pause, let’s talk about some of the uses of essential oils.
Essential oils are often inhaled for their varied health benefits. Some essential oils are ‘burned’ with the intention of soothing the atmosphere – such as jasmine or lavender, and some are intended to have the opposite effect, such as cinnamon and/or cardamom. To use essential oils for this purpose, you don’t directly “burn” the oil – you put it into an essential oil diffuser like this one (which I like a lot), or mix it with a bit of carrier oil such as coconut oil and place it in a non-flammable dish above a candle. This will mean that the oils will evaporate into the atmosphere, leaving their scent in the room, working as an insect repellent, or just used to make a room smell unique and pleasant.
As a bath/shower enhancer
You can also use essential oils for baths. Many essential oils are good for the skin, or can be absorbed through the skin for maximum benefit. To do this, use your essential oil as you would a bubble-bath mixture; simply pour a few drops of the oil into your bathtub before you run the bath. When the water runs, your oil will mix with it.
Within creams, perfumes, as a chemical replacement
Just like carrier oils, you can buy organic or natural creams that work as a carrier-cream, if you like. These carrier creams facilitate the absorption of your essential oil when mixed. This makes for a health and beauty regime that you can decide for yourself; unlike buying store-bought chemical concoctions which contain chemicals whose origins you don’t know of.
As a massage oil
Another use for essential oils is as a massage oil. Again, with a carrier oil, you can use essential oils to relax your body and to enhance the effects of a massage. These massages, also called aromatherapy massages, are a great time to use essential oils because your body is being manipulated – and so your skin will absorb more, and your blood flow will be optimal as your body sends hormones to deal with the manipulation caused by the massage.
As a scrub
In the same way that you use a cream as we’ve talked about above, you can use essential oils in combination with gentle salts such as sea salt or epsom salt, jojoba beads, or sugar, and a carrier oil, to create a scrub to give your shower time a whole new feel. When you exfoliate using the salts, sugar, etc, dead skin cells are removed and cell turnover is enhanced, helping to prevent signs of aging and promote healthy skin without all the harmful chemicals in cosmetic ingredients and most commercial skin care products.
There are many ways in which essential oils can be effectively utilized to promote your health and well-being. In an aromatherapy massage session with a skilled healer, you can experience some of these benefits firsthand, along with expert guidance tailored to your individual needs and preferences.
James L Poole
I am a holistic health therapist: Emmett Technique practitioner, aromatherapist, nutritional therapist, and Reiki healer. This is my blog about natural healing.