Essential oils are HOT HOT HOT right now. They are everywhere and everyone is using them. Before you continue using them or start using them, you'll want to know these five truths.
These truths are the foundation for essential oil use. They will provide you with what you need to know to be comfortable and confident in using this medicinal art.
As part of the curriculum for my masters in Oriental Medicinal, I participated in several essential oil classes. Each class was centered around the medicinal use of essential oils. We were taught to use them as individual oils and how to blend for more potency. During our clinical practice, we were encouraged to use essential oils for healing. I have found them to be extremely effective in practice and for personal use.
Essential oils offer a non-invasive, gentle, and natural way to overcome illness.
Truth #1: More Than Pretty Scents.
Yes, they can be used to sensualize, and cover up your post-exercise body odor, but they are also a potent delicacy. This delicacy contains their healing properties. Essential oils are the plant's essence. Their DNA. This essence comes from the plant's flower, peel, bark, root, and other parts of the plant.
To articulate their delicacy, let’s consider essential oils as equal to your own essence. This would be your sweat, blood, and bone marrow. Now imagine taking your friend's essence and slathering it all your skin. Their essence is now being absorbed by your skin. Do you know what is in your friend's blood, sweat or bone marrow?
Lucky for us, we do know the constituents of hundreds of essential oils. We know their functions, potency, uses and healing properties.
This leads us to the second truth...
Truth #2: A Little Goes a Long Way
We can also say, less is more. Essential oils are highly concentrated. This means that one drop of oil contains a high quantity of its essence. Often times, we need less than one drop.
For topical application, a simple swipe of the top of the bottle will give you all you need. A dim glistening of the oil on your finger is enough to accomplish your desired effect. If you'd like more, plug the top of the bottle with your finger and turn the bottle upside down for a second. Then return the bottle face-up. Check your finger for the glistening oil. That is all that you need.
*Please refrain from flipping the essential oil bottle upside down and shaking it. This method gives more than needed, and offers less volume control. You'll be wasting your precious oil.
Truth #3: Oil and Water Do Not Mix
Need I say more? In this instance, water molecules will only bind to other water molecules. It doesn’t matter how much you shake your water and oil mixture. They will not bind.
Essential oils are oils and bind best to other oils. Instead of water, use other oils to carry the essence. Two of my favorite carrier oils are Olive Oil and Almond Oil. Please know that not all olive oil, labeled, "olive oil" is real olive oil. Click here for a list of reputable olive oil brands.
Truth #4: They are Medicinal
Essential oils contain constituents. These are the chemical elements of the plant. To name a few, constituent is: antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal, analgesic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, nervine, sedative, hypotensive, anti-coagulant, and antispasmodic. To learn more about plant constituents, read my post, 8 Reasons Herbal Medicine is Right for You.
Essential oils can help to ease many signs and symptoms. A few examples are headaches, aching or spasming muscles, sore throat, nose and chest congestion, ear pain, menstrual pain, itchy dry skin, nausea, loss of appetite, and high blood pressure.
Truth #5: Essential Oils that are Safe for Children
There are specific oils that are safe for children. As I mentioned above, essential oils contain constituents. Some of which are not safe for children. For example, lavender has a high percentage of estrogen. This makes it unnecessary for pre-adolescent children especially males. Another example is Cinnamon bark. This oil is hot in Chinese Medicine. Therefore, it may irritate or burn the skin when applied to the skin.
Click here for a list of child safe essential oils compiled by Mommy Potamus.
Bonus Truth: My Best Recommendation
It is my best recommendation that you choose essential oils that are wildcrafted. Essential oils that have are wildcrafted are pure. This means that they have not been treated with chemicals or pesticides.
The opposite to wildcrafted plants are those that have been farmed. Plants that have been farmed, likely contain chemicals and/or pesticides. Unfortunately, current USDA essential oil regulations do not require companies to disclose this information. With that, buy your essential oils from small batch suppliers. These suppliers often have information about their harvesting and gathering practices on their website.
As always, I hope that you found this information educational, inspirational and motivational! Please let me know below if you have any questions or have an essential oil experience to share!
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.