What is an essential oil?
Essential oils have been around for centuries and have been indicative to everything from spiritual use to wellness practices. Essential oils are essentially (no pun intended) concentrated fragrance from naturally occurring plants that have the ability to enhance mood, alleviate stress, eliminate toxins, and so much more. A podcast I listen to, The Lifestylist with Luke Storey, discusses this in detail in a recent episode featuring Nadine Artemis, author of Renegade Beauty and founder of Living Libations. You can find Episode #106 of the podcast, here. The section specifically on what essential oils are and their benefits can be found between minutes 29:45 to 41:25.
What companies can I trust to get high-quality oils from?
Below I will dive into specific uses and a few of my favorite recipes, but first I want to explain a bit about quality when it comes to essential oils. Not all essential oils are created equal. Have you ever given into temptation and purchased the essential oil on sale at Tj Maxx or some other store and noticed the smell was not very strong/long-lasting or chemical-smelling? This is what happens when the company is not of high-quality. The difference in quality, is a result of where the company sources the plants, the extraction process, and purity or concentration of distillation. I encourage you to do your own research to find which companies align with your values. If you have similar guidelines to me, for the products you consume, here are the brands which I have researched, used, and tried personally:
Other brands that I have heard are of good quality, but have not personally tried include:
The main difference between the six companies mentioned above is size. Similarly to how I purchase produce, I find it typically better to go with local/smaller companies that have proven track records in caring for their products and manufacturing processes.
Young Living and doTerra pretty much dominate the essential oil market, however there are many other companies out there–both big and small, that may be considered of higher quality. I could do an entirely separate post (and may at some point…stay tuned) on where and how each company source their plants, the distillation process being used, price-point, and organic/purity certifications, but I will keep this to a minimum as I’m trying to focus on the scents and the capabilities they have at this time. If you are interested in discovering more about where each source and their process, you can find detailed descriptions on each of the respective companies through their links above. If you would like me to assist in helping interpret, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email, on Instagram or Facebook, or in the comments below!
Which essential oil scents should you be using?
Whether you are new to oils, or have been using for some time, here are the 5 I recommend having in stock to harness your inner and outer beauty:
- Tea Tree
Each scent has specific properties that can be used alone or combined to create an experience that is unlike any other. Keep reading to find out how I use oils daily in my wellness practice.
My favorite ways to use oils…
Diffusion, inhalation, topical application via carrier oil, and cleaning are just a few of the ways essential oils are consumed. Here are my absolute fave ways to maximize the benefits by these healing oils:
Close your eyes and imagine the lush purple blooms of a lavender field and how it makes you feel. Are you relaxed? Lavender is one of my must-have essential oils due to its calming and relaxing properties. It can be used to encourage sleep, helps eliminate restlessness, and eases tension.
- Diffuse alone, or with other sleep-enhancing oils such as ylang ylang, sandalwood, or vetiver, for a restful night.
- Add a few drops to pillow cases before bed. (test small area first to ensure staining is not an issue)
- Combine Epsom salt and 10-15 drops into a warm bath for the ultimate self-care ritual. I like to add Eucalyptus as well.
- Use with carrier oil on burned skin for a soothing and healing effect.
Have you ever peeled a lemon, or any other citrus for that matter, and energized or even lighter? Lemon offers an invigorating scent that has excellent cleaning and purifying properties. It promotes positivity, aids in digestion, and supports healthy respiratory function.
- For a homemade, non-toxic dusting/cleaning spray, combine 1 cup distilled water + 1/4 cup vinegar + 2 tsp olive oil + 10-15 drops lemon essential oil in a glass bottle.
- Add 2 drops of lemon oil to 1 tsp baking soda to create a paste. Leave on blackhead-prone area for up to 20 minutes. Rinse to reveal tighter pores.
- Inhale for an afternoon pick-me-up. Check out this company MONQ that offer portable essential oil diffusers.
- Allow 5-6 drops to fall onto your yoga mat during your am session to create a mood-boost for the day ahead.
You know how sucking on one of those peppermint candies or an Altoid seems to clear your sinuses? Peppermint is perfect for cold and flu season in assisting with clear breathing. Peppermint can also help alleviate upset stomachs and repels bugs naturally.
- Mix 3-4 drops with carrier oil and rub on stomach to eliminate digestion/upset stomach issues.
- Make your own muscle rub with this recipe.
- Diffuse during cold and flu or allergy season to clear sinus passageways and breathe easy.
- Inhale to curb appetite and energize.
Eucalyptus is actually a tall evergreen tree. The sense of nature and clarity is invoked by this essential oil and can be incredibly relaxing and mind-clearing.
- For a homemade body exfoliate, combine 1-2 cups coarse sugar or salt with enough coconut or jojoba oil to create a scrub-like texture and add 10-15 drops of eucalyptus, lavender, and any other calming oils for the ultimate spa-like experience.
- Add a few drops to bath or shower floor and inhale deeply to clear sinuses.
- Mix 4-5 drops in toothpaste tube to assist in fighting bacteria and improve gum health.
- Diffuse to reduce fever and/or headaches.
Also known as melaleuca, tea tree oil has natural antiseptic properties and can be used to treat wounds, among several other things.
- Add 3-4 drops to your shampoo for an invigorating lather that helps treat dry scalp and even lice.
- Rub onto nail bed twice daily to diminish fungus.
- Create your own yoga mat, gym bag, workout accessory cleaner. I use this recipe and combine in spray bottle that stays in my gym bag.
- Soak q-tip or cotton pad with ,melaleuca and gently dab directly onto acne. Leave on for a few hours and watch redness and inflammation diminish.
There are literally thousands of ways to use essential oils and gain wellness benefits from their healing properties. Just do a simple Pinterest search for “Essential Oil Recipes” and you are sure to find a cure for nearly anything. Remembering the above notes about quality and sourcing will help you gain access to high-quality oils that will be beneficial in maximizing health and over well-being.
What other essential oils do you like or want to know more about?
Please comment below…