What are Essential Oils and how do we use them safely? As seen in My Swiss Story on November 16, 2020.
I am sure someone you know has mentioned essential oils to you. Or when you’ve brought up your latest ailment or health concern, someone exclaimed “Hey you know there’s an oil for that!” Before rolling your eyes in disbelief, you should know that essential oils have provided powerful, natural solutions for centuries and can provide safe, effective and affordable wellness options today.
So what are Essential Oils?
When most people think of essential oils, they think of the simply the nice smell or fragrance. But aromatherapy (the use of essential oils) is not limited to just pleasant scents that help you relax or give you a natural boost of energy. There is quite a bit of science and research behind the benefits of these plant based wonders. If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose or the peel of a lemon, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils.
While essential oils give plants their distinctive smells, they also protect them from predators and even play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices. Today essential oils are used for numerous therapeutic and wellness alternatives and for good reason.
- Are naturally occurring aromatic compounds found in the seed, bark, stems, roots, flowers & other parts of the plants.
- Are highly concentrated (50 – 70 times more powerful than herbs) for example, 1 drop of pure peppermint oil = 28 cups of peppermint tea.
- Contain hundreds of different compounds, providing complex & versatile ability to combat threats without building up resistance.
- Have the ability to pass through the cell membrane to address threats on the inside as well as the outside of the body.
- Contain compounds that depending on the specific oil can be antiviral, antibacterial, pain relieving, anti-inflammatory and/or decongestant.
My Stumble into Essential Oils
As a scientist, I was a bit skeptical when first introduced to essential oils. However, frustrated by the medical field and motivated by my desire to reduce toxins for my family, I decided to give essential oils a try at the urging of a trusted friend.
This event literally changed my life – for the better. I saw an immediate positive impact in not only my health, but that of my family as well. We just weren’t getting sick nearly as often, and I was starting to see a light at the end of the brain fog and exhaustion tunnel that I thought was just part of being a mom. It was also very empowering to know that I could turn to natural and effective options to care for my family at any time of the day or night. Not only were they effective, but they were less expensive than most store bought treatments, with less side effects.
Here is just a small sample of how I use essential oils on a regular basis:
- Immune Support, Immune Support, Immune Support!
- Digestive Discomfort
- Aches & Pain Relief
- Congested / Stuffy Nose / Snoring
- Seasonal allergies
- Calming emotions
- Restful Sleep
- Skin care
- Bug Bite Prevention & Relief
- Hormonal Support
- Energy boost
- Mental Focus & Clarity
- Cleaning Products
- And so so much more
Don’t get me wrong, as a Health Coach you should know that you can’t oil your way out of a bad diet or lack of exercise. But essential oils, when used safely and effectively, can play a role in boosting and supporting your health and wellbeing. They help fill in the gaps where maybe your diet and lifestyle aren’t always 100% perfect.
Top Two Ways to Use Essential Oils
- Aromatically. This includes any application method that helps you experience the aroma or scent of the oil. You can use essential oils aromatically by:
- Diffusing in an essential oil diffuser
- Applying a drop to your hands and inhaling
- Wearing as a personal fragrance or on a piece of jewelry or clothing
2. Topically. Essential oils are easily absorbed into the skin for localized benefits, making topical (on the skin) application a great way to experience the benefits of essential oils. Some ways to use essential oils on your skin are:
- Soothing Massage
- Apply to targeted area and rub in
- Add a few drops to a warm bath
- Add oil to a lotion or moisturizer and then apply to skin
Essential Oil Safety
Their use does require basic knowledge on how they can be safely incorporated —this is because essential oils are powerful and potent, and should not be used carelessly. The quality of essential oils on the market varies greatly, from pure essential oils to those diluted with less expensive and sometimes harmful ingredients. You want to make sure if you are using essential oils, that they’ve been thoroughly tested and contain no artificial ingredients or added fillers. Cheaper is not always better. When doing my research I came across only one essential oil brand that I trust to use with my family.
Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind if you are just starting out:
- Avoid applying oils to sensitive areas like the nose, ears, eyes, or broken skin.
- Always read labels and package instructions before using an essential oil for the first time.
- Use dilution to minimize skin sensitivity.
- Be aware of oils with sun sensitivity warnings.
- Practice safe storage—keep oils out of reach of children.
- If you have specific health concerns, talk to a healthcare professional before trying essential oils.
- Only use Certified Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
- Seek professional guidance on how to use them safely and effectively
Being a full time mom is not always easy and I often feel the stress of motherhood and entrepreneurship. I use essential oils almost every day to “diffuse” stressful situations, help alleviate any owies or tummy aches, and make sure we are taking proactive steps for our healthcare as best as we can. I know that the use and benefits of essential oils are endless, but can also be a bit overwhelming at first. If you are interested in learning more about how to incorporate essential oils into your life, feel free to reach out to me.