The words “essential oils” bring up different emotions for different people. For some they are a magical miracle of nature that can cure anything from the common cold to a broken heart. For others, they are a form of snake oil that is purported to do the impossible and therefore is, in reality, useless.
However, these two extreme views shouldn’t deter you from finding out more and exploring the true benefits of these herbal concentrates.
If you already realize how whole foods can help your body, then it’s just one more step to understand that herbs are nature's healers. Some are more powerful than others, and, unfortunately, austentatious claims have given herbal remedies a bad rap, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater until you’ve had a chance to try these healing agents.
Are you planning on starting to use essential oils for yourself? Don’t know which one to start with? We got you covered.
For the uninitiated, essential oils are extremely strong oils — some of which have been around for centuries — that are harvested from plants to capture their tastes, scents, and overall beneficial properties. Just like other herbal supplements, essential oils offer many of the same benefits but in a more concentrated form and with different methods of application.
How To Choose Essential Oils
When choosing essential oils, make sure they are 100% pure. There is no standard grading system for essential oils, and there is no authority in the United States or anywhere else to oversee oils. Companies may refer to their products as "therapeutic grade" or "grade A," but they simply assign themselves these grades and are not monitored closely by any governing body.
Keep the following tips in mind to choose only high-quality oils:
- Reputation: Choose a brand with a reputation for making high quality products.
- Quality: True essential oils are the ones which the extraction process has changed the main ingredient the least. Choose an essential chemical-free oil which is extracted by distillation or mechanical cold pressing.
- Purity: Choose an oil that contains no additives or synthetic oils but only aromatic plant compounds. Pure oils usually list the botanical name of the plant (such as Lavandula officinalis) rather than the terms "essential lavender oil."
Another important factor to consider is what you want to achieve. Do you need to be calm? Do you want to stop your insomnia from happening again? Fret not. There are certain essential oils that could help you with that.
Here are the 6 essential oils you must have when you're a beginner.
With a combination of a mild floral and herbal fragrance, chamomile has the ability to ease your mind when this is diffused and inhaled by steam. While this oil is great for calming the mind, it is just as useful on the skin and has been found to treat conditions such as inflammation and eczema.
• Brightening mood and relieving depression
• Encouraging sleep and relaxation
• Fighting bacteria (acne and sores)
• Promoting youthful and glowing skin
• Soothing digestive problems
For safety: Any person allergic to daisies, marigolds and ragweed should avoid using this oil altogether.
Application: To help you calm down, add a few drops of chamomile in a cool mist humidifier and place it in the bedroom. Add a few drops to a bottle of water to make a pillow spray. Add a drop to your favorite herbal tea or apply it directly to the abdomen to soothe digestive problems. Do not use it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Known as a precious commodity from ancient times, Frankincense essential oil is extracted from the resin of a hardy tree. This oil is more expensive than many, and works well when blended with other oils to make it more effective for a variety of reasons. The aroma is woody and clean with a nice, spicy scent.
• Aiding with digestion
• Reducing stress
• Boosting immune system
• Healing skin
• Preventing signs of aging
• Killing germs and bacteria
• Reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain
• Promoting healthy sleep patterns
• Balancing hormones
• Improve mental clarity
For safety: Apart from the potential sensitivity of the skin, users can rest easily knowing that there are no major side effects from using frankincense.
Application: Diffuse frankincense into your humidifier to kill germs and improve your winter immune system. Before going to bed, apply directly to your skin to keep your skin healthy, to avoid wrinkles and to remove dark spots. Take a quick whiff of this oil after you eat a heavy meal to help with digestion, or before you go to sleep to help you relax and calm down.
Grapefruit is another oil of the famous citrus family. It has an enticing fragrance that is energizing. Blend with spicy oils such as cinnamon into a healthy, warm atmosphere.
• Aiding with appetite suppression and weight loss
• Disinfecting bathrooms and kitchens
• Fighting jet lag
• Giving energy boost
• Reducing inflammation
• Stimulating immune response
For safety: Avoid UV rays when applying this topically. That means do not let your skin be exposed to the sun.
Application: Diffuse grapefruit essential oil to help balance emotions and boost energy. Suppress sugar cravings and help yourself lose weight. Dilute in a carrier oil and apply topically to fight throat and respiratory infections. Add to a spray bottle filled with water and white vinegar for a germ-fighting counter spray or bathroom cleanser.
This must-have essential oil for beginners is effective for many different uses. The floral fragrance makes among the most sweet smelling essential oils enjoyed by many. Although this oil is known to be mild and soothing, a few people are allergic, so it's important to be mindful of it.
• Reducing inflammation
• Improving digestion
• Pain relief
• Skin issues
For safety: There are a few known side effects such as nausea, headaches, chills, and vomiting. It can also irritate hypersensitive skin.
Application: This incredibly popular oil has all sorts of major benefits. This subtle floral scent can help people to relax and sleep. In addition, breathing it in has been found to help reduce headaches while topically using the oil can help reduce itching and swelling.
We associate the smell of lemons with something fresh and clean. This citrus oil is packed with antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation, fight anemia, boost energy levels, and relieve nausea. Making a small 15ml bottle of essential oil takes about 50 lemons — and you can tell by just opening it.
• Aiding with digestion
• Air freshening
• Disinfecting kitchens and bathrooms
• Boosting immune system
• Increasing energy
• Uplifting the mood
• Promoting healthy circulation
• Healing the skin
For safety: You can use it to nourish your skin. But remember, it's incredibly photosensitive so you should only use it at night and wash it off in the morning. Do not let your skin get exposed to sunlight when you topically apply lemon on skin.
Application: Add a few drops of lemon to water and white vinegar solution. You can use it as disinfectant for kitchen counters and bathroom sinks. Add a drop to a glass of water and drink to boost your immune system. Of course, you should only ingest oils that are food grade and that you know are 100% pure.
One of the best smelling essential oils that almost everyone likes, Peppermint offers a wide range of health benefits as well as a boost to energy. The minty smell is reminiscent of candy canes and new and fresh summer days.
• Alleviating headaches
• Relieving digestive issues such as gas or heartburn
• Reduces feelings of stress and anxiety
• Kills germs (particularly in the mouth)
• Freshens air
• Cooling and refreshing
• Removes redness and irritating skin issues
• Helps with congestion
For safety: Peppermint essential oil should not be swallowed because it can cause heartburn, vomiting, swollen esophagus, and sores in the mouth. And if you're going to need to freshen your breath, just stick to mints.
Application: Use in a cool mist humidifier during winter to fight off colds. Also used to cleanse the air. Add a drop to a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash. Place a few drops with a carrier oil and massage into sore or tired muscles.
So there you have it. These are the 6 essential oils you must have when you’re just beginning to dive into the essential oils craze. Clearly we couldn’t have ALL of the essential oils here. But these oils right here are a great start for you to discover the wonders of essential oils.
Have other essential oils you’d love to share with us? We love to hear from you and comment down below!
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