How do essential oils work? They are great alternatives and can be used for holistic medicine, aromatherapy, personal care and as household cleaning products.
Essential oils are affordable concentrated extractions from different plants including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots and peels.
If you are looking for a medical holistic approach to help with a cold or to boost your immune system,
look into oregano, ginger, lemon, eucalyptus, frankincense or peppermint (Mentha piperita). As for aromatherapy, lavender, chamomile, orange and rose works great for sleeping, relaxing and relieving stress. Tea tree, grapeseed, rosemary, grapefruit, patchouli and rosehip oils are just some essentials for personal body care. If you want to incorporate oils into your cleaning routine, then invest in lime, clove, citrus, cinnamon, lemongrass or grapefruit.
“I’m excited people are using essential oils,” Clark’s Nutrition Assistant Manager Tracey Hawkins says. “They have great benefits. I wish more people were open minded and willing to learn and understand alternative healing.”
Hawkins uses essential oils every day. “I use them on a lava rock necklace I wear, I apply them directly to my skin, and I make a shampoo and face wash with essential oils. I do consider them an excellent alternative to medications. I think everyone should use lavender for calming/sleep, peppermint for tension and natural breath spray, and geranium for dry skin and hair,” Hawkins says.
A lot of the oils like lavender, tea tree and peppermint have multiple uses. Mixing oils is sometimes recommended too.
Like anything you put on or around your body, make sure to do research and do a quick little test patch so you do not hurt yourself or others around you. There are some provisions a person should take before diving into the essential oil lifestyle.
“A major precaution is diluting certain essential oils,” Hawkins explains, “Not all oils can be applied directly to the skin. Many have to be diluted with a carrier oil (coconut, almond, jojoba). Also some people can be sensitive to certain essential oils. If a rash, headache, or irritated feeling occurs after application then the essential oil should not be used. If someone prefers to read about a topic, than a book is great. If an individual needs to see and feel what they are learning about, than they should visit their local health store for learning.”
If you are ingesting your oils, read the label and make sure the kind you bought are edible. One drop of an essential oil can be very potent and actually harm you by drying your skin out or burning it. Not all oils need to be diluted, but it also helps them from evaporating too fast, making it last longer and absorb into your skin.
If you are a pet parent, some oils can be harmful to your fur baby because of their heightened sense of smell. Just to name a few, avoid citrus, peppermint, tea tree, cinnamon and clove. Have a talk with a veterinarian and keep your oils out of your pet’s reach.