Aromatherapy has seen mainstream attention in the last ten years or so, but has been around for centuries. While you can purchase oils pretty much anywhere, there is currently no regulation in the essential oil industry, making it hard to know which oils are 100% pure. Choosing the highest quality oils on the market will allow you to feel confident in using them in an educated and responsible manner. Here are some key tips to keep in mind when considering adding essential oils and aromatherapy to your daily routine.
About Essential Oils
Essential oils are aromatic compounds found in the stems, leaves, flowers and roots of plants. They can be up to 70 times more powerful than herbs, and offer a wide variety of benefits. When it comes to oils, less is always more – for example, a single drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 28 bags of peppermint tea. There are different grades of essential oils. Synthetic grade oils can be found in perfumes; food grade oils include baking extracts like vanilla or lemon, and therapeutic grade oils can be used to help the body. When using essential oils, it is important to do your research – not all oils are made equal. Just like most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to quality.
Using Essential Oils
There are two key ways you can use essential oils – aromatically, and topically.
This includes diffusing essential oils, which is the healthiest way to purify the air you breathe on a regular basis. Diffusing essential oils is great to relieve stress, boost energy, regain mental clarity and improve mood.
Using oils topically is as simple as mixing essential oils to a carrier oil and rubbing on your skin, providing soothing properties to help you de-stress. The most important thing to remember when mixing oils is to dilute the essential oils with a carrier oil, such as vegetable or coconut. Diluting the essential oils aids in absorption, helping to carry the essential oil deeper into the skin, while also helping to avoid skin irritation and sensitivity. Here is a handy guide to help you dilute properly, based on who will be receiving essential oils topically:
- Babies: use 1 drop of essential oils with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil
- Children: use 1 drop of essential oil with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil
- Adults: use 3-6 drops of essential oil with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil
Essential Oils to Soothe
Lavender and/or Roman Chamomile to Relax: You can opt to diffuse these oils before bedtime, apply topically to your temples and wrists, or add a drop or spray on your pillow/blankets for a calming effect.
Lavender, Frankincense and Tea Tree Oil to Soothe: Combined together, these essential oils elicit a healthy skin response that can be helpful for skin irritations among adults, and diaper rashes for babies.
Tea Tree Oil and Lemon to Boost Immunity: A great combination to promote a healthy respiratory response, gentle for babies and children, and helpful for adults as well.
Essential oils can help you increase immunity, improve sleep, soothe discomfort, manage stress, administer self care, and detoxify your home. The possibilities really are endless – but the key is making sure you educate yourself and practice safe usage to truly reap all the incredible benefits that essential oils and aromatherapy has to offer.