You heard your friends talking about them with excitement and praise, you walked into an amazing smelling room and noticed a diffuser in the corner puffing up vapor, or you noticed that they are in more and more products in every area of the store. Your interest is suddenly peaking into a new world of natural health, yet you don’t know where to begin. What am I talking about exactly? If you haven’t guessed the obvious answer, it is essential oils. When you are new to the essential oil game, it can kind of feel like information overload. We have decided to make your life a little easier by putting together an essential oil guide for beginners.
Essential Oils Have Been Around for a Long Time
Essential oils may have only recently become popular, but they have actually been around for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations from all over the world used essential oils to treat a variety of ailments as a complementary therapy.
They were used by kings, queens, and Egyptian pharaohs. They were steamed in Greek and Roman bathhouses. They have been found in ancient recipes for cooking. In Japan, they were used for healing Samurai’s wounds after battle.
The ancients were well aware of the diversity of benefits that essential oils offer.
For more on the history of essential oils, click here.
So… What Are Essential Oils?
Before we dive into why and how to use essential oils, beginners must firstly understand what they are.
Simply put, essential oils are compounds extracted from plants.
The process of extraction is either through steam/water distillation or cold pressing. Each oil contains a unique aromatic compound that gives the oil the various healing properties we all benefit from, among other uses.
Knowing how the essential oil is made is important for beginners because if the oil has been obtained through chemical processes rather than distillation or cold pressing, it is not considered a true essential oil.
Before you buy your first essential oil kit, do your research on the company to ensure that you are buying therapeutic grade oils that are high quality and safe to use.
Essential oils are highly concentrated. Just one 15 ml bottle of lavender essential oil contains three pounds of lavender flowers. One 5 ml bottle of rose essential oil contains 242,000 rose petals. One drop goes a very long way.
Why Use Essential Oils?
Because of how essential oils are extracted and how highly concentrated they are, they contain the most powerful chemicals plants synthesize.
There have been many different scientific studies performed on the healing properties of essential oils that show very promising results. More research is always being called for to look further into how effective alternative natural treatment methods may potentially help millions of people struggling with the many negative side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
The amazing thing about using essential oils as an alternative treatment option is that in these studies, many participants have reported positive results with zero negative side effects.
For example, a study conducted in 2015 showed that lavender essential oil can be used as an effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain reliever). During the test, the lavender was diluted and applied topically to the affected area. It provided pain relief comparable to the pharmaceutical prescription medication tramadol with zero negative side effects.
There are also many other amazing studies done on the healing properties of lavender that I put together in an article here.
These are only a few examples of the healing benefits of essential oils for beginners to start to understand why so many people are using them from ancient times until today.
Essential oils have many other uses, such as skin healing, hair growth and repair, inflammation, sleep disorders, headaches, respiratory problems, energy, weight loss, household cleaning, depression, anxiety, OCD, addiction, and so much more.
How to Use Essential Oils
There are many ways to use essential oils for beginners to try out. However, before deciding how to use essential oils, beginners should be mindful about what they are using the oil for.
For example, using essential oils for pain relief, skin healing, or hair growth, they can be applied topically. When doing this, it is important for beginners to understand that diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil is the first step.
Carrier oils are used because of how highly concentrated essential oils are. Typically one to two drops of essential oils are all that is needed when diluting.
Popular carrier oils to use are:
- jojoba oil
- coconut oil
- sweet almond oil
- carrot seed oil
- avocado oil
Essential oils can also be used in massage therapy to loosen up muscles and alleviate pain.
Yes – essential oils can make your home smell amazing. They can be used when you want to create an uplifting and energizing atmosphere or a calm, relaxing space. Using diffusers is one of the most popular ways that people are incorporating aromatherapy into their daily lives. You can also take aromatherapy on-the-go by wearing a lava rock diffuser bracelet.
What many essential oil beginners don’t know is that aromatherapy has many healing benefits. Through direct inhalation of essential oils, your limbic system in the brain is stimulated. The limbic system is the part of the brain that is associated with emotional processing and memory. It is also believed that the limbic system is responsible for controlling several unconscious physiological functions, and thus aromatherapy can have physical benefits on the body.
Hot Bath or Shower Steamer
A great way for beginners to feel comfortable using essential oils is by dropping a few drops of a chosen oil into a hot bath or in the corners of a steamy shower. It will elevate your typical bathing experience in new ways and provide healing for your mind and body at the same time.