What are essential oils for?

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How to enjoy their benefits?

What is an essential oil?

Essential oils have been around for thousands of years. They were already used by the ancient Egyptians.

They are not strictly speaking oils.

The most commonly used method of extraction is distillation: water vapor passes through the plants and draws out the essential oil.

A minority of plant species contain an essential oil.

Aromatherapy is the use of the medicinal properties of essential oils to promote health and well-being.

Essential oil: how does it work?

Like the stones, the oils act mainly on the energetic body:

  • Harmonisation.
  • Regulation.
  • Repair.
  • Strengthening.

They also have physiological properties on various levels, and an effect on the spiritual body.

They are a perfect complement to a holistic approach.

Personally, they help me a lot to regulate my energy.

Necessary essential oils

The most commonly used essential oils are :

  • Tea tree.
  • Eucalyptus.
  • Lavender.
  • Peppermint.
  • Sage.
  • Orange.
  • Clove.
  • Petitgrain.
  • Neroli.
  • Ylang-ylang.
  • Ravintsara.
  • Basil.

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Benefits of essential oils

The essential oil is a plant extract, of which it preserves :

  • The medicinal properties.
  • The smell.
  • The flavor.

For health, volatile oils have shown interesting results for :

  • Anxiety and stress.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Stimulating the immune system.
  • Soothing.
  • Promoting digestion.
  • Insect bites.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Migraine.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Colds.
  • Eczema.
  • Fighting inflammation.

The properties of aromatherapy have not yet been proven by modern medicine.

How to use an essential oil?

Here are the main ways to enjoy the fragrance and benefits of essential oils, although there are others:

Inhale

This is the most common method.

One can use one’s intuition to select the oil, and the number of inhalations needed.

Inhaling has a direct effect on the energetic body.

Massage

Essential oils are chemical concentrates. They can be powerful for the skin.

It is advisable to dilute a few drops of essential oil in 100 ml of vegetable oil, such as sweet almond oil.

This is the principle of aromatherapy massage.

On the skin

In some particular cases, the aromatherapist puts 1 or 2 drops on the skin, without prior dilution.

They are often placed behind the ears or on the wrists.

Diffusion

There are several types of diffusers for spreading the scent of essential oils in the air.

In particular for :

  • Facilitating sleep.
  • Keeping insects away.
  • Purify and perfume a place.

Orally

Oral administration can be done :

  • On or under the tongue.
  • Dispersed in food.
  • In capsules.

The help of a trained therapist is necessary, as some oils are irritating and dangerous to health.

The amount should always be one or two drops maximum at a time.

Gargling

Some essences, such as clove essential oil, are commonly used for mouthwash.

They promote oral hygiene, provided they are diluted.

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Natural remedies

Many natural herbal remedies (as well as pharmaceutical and cosmetic products) contain a few drops of essential oils.

This can make herbalist-designed ointments, creams and balms more effective.

In the bathtub

A warm bath dilates the pores of the skin.

Infusing 1 or 2 drops in your bath is a good way to benefit from the plant’s benefits:

  • Relaxation.
  • Promoting sleep.
  • Releasing toxins.

Insect repellent

Certain mixtures of aromas are great for keeping insect invasions at bay.

  • Ants: tea tree, lavender, citronella, rosemary.
  • Mosquitoes: citronella, basil, lavender, peppermint.
  • Cockroaches: tea tree, lavender, lime, ravintsara, peppermint.
  • Bed bugs: tea tree, amyris, rosemary.

Healing plants and animals

If essential oils can benefit humans, the same applies to plants and animals.

For example, for deworming.

Some plants naturally keep insects away because they have developed their own chemicals to protect themselves.

Contraindications and precautions

The results obtained with essential oils are mixed, as the mechanism of their powerful energetic effect remains poorly understood.

Moreover, how do we know which fragrance to use, in what form, and when?

Intuition can help if it is reliable, otherwise it is better to trust a competent aromatherapist.

Quality

The quality of the plants and the extraction process can vary considerably.

It is strongly recommended to invest in organic essential oils, which is still the best guarantee of quality.

Precautions

An essential oil is a powerful chemical concentrate.

Side effects are unlikely to occur with inhalation and dilution (minimum 1:20), as long as we are reasonable.

On the other hand, direct application to the skin and especially ingestion are much more risky.

Be careful not to leave your collection of bottles within the reach of children.

The numerous bioactive compounds and the risks of interaction can cause serious side effects in some people:

  • Skin irritations.
  • Headaches.
  • Allergic reactions.

Contraindications

Due to the energetic action that is difficult to control, the use of ethereal oils is not recommended for:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Children.
  • Self-medication.

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Conclusion

What are essential oils used for?

Essential oils concentrate the essential chemical compounds of plants.

They have many therapeutic properties, as they act on the energetic and physical bodies.

They are useful as a complementary therapy, for example in conjunction with psycho-emotional therapy.

However, the high concentration of active ingredients requires certain precautions to be taken.

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