Distilling the leaves, stems, flowers, roots or bark of plants produces essential oils. Essential oils have been used in many cultures for centuries to aid in both health and beauty. There are dozens of oils available that may be used to treat anything from aging skin to bad breath to coughs and colds. It is believed that the oil will move throughout the body by way of the circulatory and lymphatic systems once it has been absorbed through the skin or inhaled. This encourages the growth of new cells and a quicker elimination of old cells resulting in delays of the aging process and strengthening the body’s various systems. By incorporating essential oils into your life you will quickly notice benefits to your mood, energy level, and overall well-being.
Base oils are used to dilute essential oils before you apply them to your skin.
Some common base oils are:
Almond Oil – light and odourless, contains vitamins A B1, B2 and B6
Grapeseed Oil – light and odourless, contains vitamin E
Hazelnut Oil – has a nutty smell, contains vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E
Sunflower Oil – a light oil that is easy to find, contains vitamins A, B, D, E
Three simple ways to start adding essential oils into your daily routine are by adding them to your bath water, using them in a massage or doing a steam inhalation.
Simply mix 3 tsp of base oil with 12 drops of essential oil. Start your bath and right before you hop in add your oil mixture, give the water a swirl, then get in. The warm water helps you relax and also opens your pores to allow the essential oils to penetrate your skin
*Be sure any oil you add to your bath is completely non-irritant
Here are some suggested essential oil recipes to ad to your bath:
Sleepy time bath: when you need to get a good night sleep, mix 5 drops neroli, 4 drops lavender, and 3 drops chamomile
Warming bath: great after a cold winter day, mix 3 drops orange, 3 drops cedarwood, 3 drops eucalyptus, and 3 drops juniper
Stress-buster bath: After a long stressful day relax in this bath with 3 drops rosewood, 3 drops frankincense, 4 drops mandarin, and 2 drops clary sage
This is one of the most popular ways to use essential oils. Warm approximately 2 tsp of base oil and add 6 drops total of essential oils. You may pick one essential oil or a combination of 2 or 3 to suit your mood.
Here are some suggestions:
Sensual massage for her: 2 drops jasmine, 2 drops rose, and 2 drops sandalwood
Sensual massage for him: 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops sandalwood, and 2 drops patchouli
PMS massage: 2 drops marjoram, 2 drops rose and 2 drops geranium (massage this over your tummy to relieve the symptoms of PMS)
Boil some water, place in a large bowl and add 6 drops of essential oil. Next lean over the bowl and drape a towel over your head to hold in the steam and breath in the vapours.
Here are the combinations you might find helpful:
Wake up inhalation: 2 drops orange, 2 drops bergamot and 2 drops lemon
Cough and cold inhalation: 2 drops eucalyptus, 2 drops tea tree, and 2 drops peppermint
Facial inhalation: 2 drops rosewood, 2 drops neroli and 2 drops palmarosa
*The book Essential Oils by Susan Curtis was used as part of the research for this article.