The Benefits and Uses of Essential Oils
At Source Vitál Apothecary, we look to nature as the inspiration for our skin care, body care and aromatherapy solutions. We begin with three main elements: marine seaweeds, 100% pure essential oils and whole plant botanicals. While seaweed is the heart of our holistic philosophy, essential oils are the soul.
Seaweeds and whole plant botanicals are important elements of our formulations in that they work to supplement nutrition deficiencies and protect our skin from the effects of environmental damage, bad diet, stress and the visible signs of aging. Essential oils go deeper. Not only do they offer powerful benefits to the appearance of our skin, body and hair, they also promote the relaxation and emotional support needed to reinforce the body’s own regenerative forces.
Aromatherapy is the art and science of using essential oils for therapeutic uses. For hundreds and even thousands of years, essential oils have been used in traditional remedies, religious ceremonies and enjoyed for their aromas. Aromatherapy, through the use of essential oils, is where we are able to truly connect the body with the mind and spirit. This is the primary pursuit of any holistic wellness program.
What are Essential Oils?
Basically, essential oils are the concentrated liquid or oil that is typically obtained by distilling the seeds, leaves, branches, wood, bark, berries, flower, sap, needles and peels from plant botanicals. The oil that is produced by the distillation process contains plant hormones that control the plant’s functions very similarly to how our own hormones control our bodily functions.
Due to this similarity between plants and people, our bodies are able to recognize and assimilate essential oils for therapeutic use - they increase the body’s ability to receive the nutrients needed to maintain optimum health.
Each essential oil has a unique and specific chemical structure, which allows for creativity in application and blending. Due to this individuality in composition, some essential oils may be more efficient for respiratory situations, circulatory stimulation, mental clarity, relaxation, skin care and the list goes on and on.
Properties of Essential Oils
The primary properties of essential oils include:
Hydrating/Remineralizing – In order for the body to hold hydration, especially through the water we drink, it requires minerals. Botanical essential oils contain the nutrient composition of the original plant, thus bringing minerals into the body.
Oxygenating – Essential oils are a concentrated form of plant material which includes chlorophyll. When introduced into the human body, chlorophyll has been shown to increase the oxygen levels in the body, thereby bringing more oxygen to the tissues to keep them healthy and efficiently functioning.
Detoxifying – Using essential oils to cleanse, exfoliate and massage promotes a feeling of detoxification for the body. The increase in hydration and oxygen from essential oils allows the body to more easily rid itself of unwanted elements.
Immune Support –As the largest organ in the body, the skin is our first line of immune defense. By helping to cleanse and protect essential oils work to fortify the skin and support the immune system.
With the use of essential oils, we increase our ability to bring more hydration, more oxygen and more nutrients into the body and give the cells the fuel needed to function at their optimal level. Essential oils also contain other properties which are very important in today’s environment. The use of these oils helps the body create the healthy, ageless person we want to be.
How to use Essential Oils
Pure essential oils can be taken into the body in two ways – through the skin or by inhalation. Whether through deep breathing, or applied to the skin with botanical carrier oils, the pleasing aroma of essential oils provide endless benefits for the mind and body.
The molecular structure of essential oils is small enough to enter the skin through hair follicles and pores, which then allows them to make their way into the blood stream. Most essential oils are too strong to apply directly to the skin, with the exception of Lavender and Tea Tree oils. Typically, we take in essential oils through creams, lotions, elixirs, or mixed with a nutritive carrier oil like sunflower seed oil.
Inhalation is perhaps the easiest way to experience essential oils. When essential oils are dispersed in the air, we breathe them in, transporting the properties of the oil through the olfactory system to specific structures in the brain for analysis. The aromas of the oils are translated by the brain to tell the body to relax, calm or even excite. Aroma also has a direct effect on memories and emotions. Smelling specific oils can remind you of past experiences. To enjoy essential oils this way, you may simply breathe in the scent straight from the bottle, add a few drops to a cotton ball or more effectively, use an aromatherapy diffuser. A diffuser allows you to enjoy environmental scenting while breathing in the beneficial properties of the oil.
At Source Vitál Apothecary, we offer single essential oils and essential oil blends that encourage a healthy mind, body and spirit. All of our aromatherapy products are 100% pure, undiluted, and never contain any fillers or synthetics. With 117 single essential oils, we have one of the widest varieties of essential oils available on the market.
More and more people are starting to integrate essential oils into their daily lives. Having trouble sleeping, want a natural way to clean household surfaces, clear the air after an illness? These are just a few ways that people are looking to essential oils to give them a natural way to deal with common issues. There is a host of DIY essential oil books and online resources to that go in depth about the properties of specific oils and offer blends to care for particular situations. Click here for some easy DIY blends to invigorate, make sore muscles feel better and to use for respiratory symptoms.
It is important to always take the proper precautions when handling essential oils. They can be extremely powerful. Always read any warning labels before using an oil. Also, make sure to use 100% pure and natural oils, free from any chemicals, pesticides, parabens, synthetic perfumes or fillers.
Here are some standard guidelines for working with essential oils to keep you and your family safe:
- Avoid direct contact with the eyes.
- Do not apply essential oils direct to skin. Dilute in unscented cream/lotion/oil.
- For external use only. Do not ingest oils.
- If you are pregnant, epileptic, have cancer, have liver issues, or any other serious illness, consult a medical professional prior to using essential oils.
- Always keep essential oils out of reach of children.
- Keep oils tightly closed and in room temperature or cooler location.
Additional Safety Information
For more information about essential oils including safety information here are some helpful resources:
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