Essential Oils: More than scent
Essential oils (EO’s) have been used in folk medicine for centuries. The earliest recorded mention of using essential oils dates back to the 1100’s in Spain. Since then, they have been used in aromatherapy treatments ranging from relaxing the mind, to inducing better sleep. Essential oils stimulate areas of the limbic system, which is a part of the brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviours, and long-term memory – partly why familiar scents can trigger memories or emotions.
Essential oils are also used in a variety of treatments around the house and for improved health. Here we explore some of the most interesting ones:
• Eucalyptus EO – sprinkled in bathtub to clear up sinuses or congestion
• Rosemary EO – said to bring back memory (see article in our Fall 2019 issue), and also to promote alertness, and the best EO for hair growth and skin-oil balancing
• Peppermint EO – rubbed on the temples for a headache, or on the stomach for tummy trouble. Also said to improve focus and concentration, and soothe aching feet when diluted in a warm foot bath with epsom salts
• Oregano EO – rubbed on the bottom of the feet* at the first signs of a cold or flu
• Melaleuca EO (Tea Tree) – Diluted into a spray to ward off ticks and fleas off animals; said to work well to keep bugs off outdoor plants
• Frankincense EO – Good anti-inflammatory when taken moderately
• Helichrysum EO – To enhance feelings of joy, wonderful against depression and to lift one’s spirits
• Geranium EO – Used topically for arthritis and rheumatism. Also said to stimulate the immune system; a great winter-season oil; added to face cream to promote tighter, firmer skin, and slough off dead skin cells for brighter skin
• Clove EO – Just a drop or two rubbed onto teeth and gums is said to numb the pain*
• Lavender EO – Used as a relaxant and to aid in better sleep; it also works well with water or vodka to use as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial spritzer for kitchen counters, yoga mats, sports shoes, etc.
• Cinnamon EO – Inhaled deeply to help curb food cravings
• Lemon EO – Great for cleaning and deodorizing the microwave, as well as for lightening the hair* before going in the sun by creating a spritzer
• Lemongrass EO – great for use as a mosquito repellent
• Marjoram EO – Warming effect that helps soothe sore muscles*
• Cypress EO – Helps kill bacteria; good for troubled skin* – sores, bruises, acne
- *Never use essential oils directly onto skin from the bottle; they should always be diluted with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, jojoba, or grapeseed oils. These three oils are the closest in structure to the skin’s natural oils.
- Never use essential oils if you’re pregnant, lactating, or on newborns/small children.
- Never use essential oils on animals. Some EO’s can have a toxic effect on animals, such as cinnamon, peppermint, pine, tea tree, wintergreen, and more. If in doubt, consult a registered aromatherapist before even using in a diffuser.
- If an EO will be applied on the skin or hair, never use more than 1% of the final amount, as it can be irritating.
- Use an opaque glass bottle whenever making a mixture that has an EO in it, as it will keep longer this way.•
DID YOU KNOW...?
You can make your own Fresh Breath Spray by using some essential oils! Check out our recipe on our website!!
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