I’ll be the first to admit; I’m a bit of an essential oil junkie. Nothing beats walking through the door after a long day to be met with my favourite aroma. The scent transports me to a magical place, and I can feel the stress of the day melt away, this is just one of the may power of essential oils. But, there is more to these little bottles of sunshine. This month we take a peek behind the curtain and look at the enchanting world of essential oils, including their origin, benefits, and more!
For thousands and thousands of years, man has used aromatic plants, essences, and oils for ceremonies, rituals, beauty care, culinary uses, and spiritual and physical wellbeing. Some of the earliest evidence of essential oils dates back to 3000-2500 B.C., but they may be even older. According to Essential Oils Academy, as early as 2000 B.C., the ancient Egyptians used essential oils for just about every aspect of their daily lives. But, the ancient Egyptians don’t get all the credit. It is believed essential oil-like extracts were also used in China, Greece, Rome and India around the same time.
Unfortunately, during the Middle Ages, essential oils weren’t so influential. The Catholic Church denounced aromatics as immoral, leaving behind a trail of outcasts and individuals burned at stake due to herbs and essential oils being labelled as “witchcraft.” Thankfully, by the early 1800s, essential oils made its way back into the spotlight, England, Germany, and France were referencing and prescribing oils for various illnesses.
Today, essential oils are widespread and continue to grow as an industry, proving their mind, body, and spirit effectiveness.
The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) describes aromatherapy as “uses natural plant extracts, such as essential oils, hydrosols, and carrier oils, in various ways to heal the body, mind and spirit. It is the promotion and harmonization of emotional, physical and spiritual health through the application of these extracts.”
The benefits of using essential oils are amazing. They have been shown to reduce:
- Pain (headache, body pain)
- Menstrual & Menopausal problems
- Hair loss
- Fatigue & Insomnia
The positive effects of aromatherapy can be reached through inhalation or topical application. Inhalation means inhaling the aroma of the oils by using a diffuser, spray, or adding droplets to a bath or pillow. Topical applications are absorbed through the skin (ex. massage oil, skincare products, etc.).
Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin. They must be diluted with a carrier oil (sweet almond oil or olive oil). Ingesting or swallowing essential oils (unless specified as food-grade) is not suggested as it can damage the liver or kidneys. As always, consult your healthcare provider if you have questions.
The Top 10 Most Popular Oils
There is a vast selection of essential oils on the market, and each one has specific healing properties. We’ve tracked down the top 10 most popular oils used today and given a quick overview of what each oil can do:
- Lavender – Helps with anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, depression, insomnia, eczema, nausea, menstrual cramps.
- Peppermint – Can assist with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, digestive issues, itchy skin, muscle pain, headache.
- Eucalyptus – Helps with cold/sinus relief, pain relief, natural bug repellent, cold sores, freshens breath.
- Frankincense – Can improve arthritis, digestive health, reduce asthma, oral health.
- Tea Tree – Has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties, analgesic.
- Rosemary – Promotes brain function (may improve), hair growth, pain relief, stress relief, increase circulation, reduces joint inflammation.
- Patchouli – Helps with acne, dry/cracked skin, colds, headaches, upset stomach, depression, anxiety, promotes relaxation, appetite control, oily hair, dandruff.
- Grapefruit – Can assist with weight loss, balance mood, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, reduce stress, lowers blood pressure, and acne.
- Sweet Orange – Improves digestion, constipation, dry skin, acne, mood, eliminates toxins.
- Clary Sage – Reduces stress, anxiety, menstrual cramps, menopause symptoms, also has anti-bacterial and anti-depressant properties.
Each Nutters Everyday Naturals location has a fantastic selection of essential oils and accessories. Be sure to stop in and stock up, or chat with any of our Associates if you have questions. Good Vibes!