Welcome to the wonderful world of essential oils! In this guide, we're going to explore the fundamentals of these amazing gifts from nature, and lend you a hand in making sense of the occasionally bewildering world of oils and aromatherapy. So grab a cup of tea, get comfy, and let's embark on this fragrant journey together!
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the concentrated, volatile aromatic compounds extracted from various parts of plants, such as flowers, leaves, fruits, and bark. These oils capture the plant's essence, offering a wide range of therapeutic benefits. So, if you've ever crushed a rosemary leaf between your fingers and inhaled the delightful aroma, you've experienced essential oils in action! Learn more about essential oils here.
How are essential oils different to man-made fragrance oils?
While essential oils are derived from nature, fragrance oils are synthetic, lab-created concoctions that mimic natural scents. Fragrance oils may smell lovely, but they don't possess the therapeutic properties of essential oils. Think of it as the difference between a real, juicy orange and an orange-flavored candy – both may taste sweet, but only the former packs the nutritional punch. Find out more about the differences between essential oils and fragrance oils.
How does aromatherapy work?
Aromatherapy is all about harnessing the power of essential oils to boost your physical and emotional well-being, making you feel pretty fantastic in the process. When you take a whiff of an essential oil, the aroma molecules journey through your sense of smell and make their way to your brain, influencing how you feel, your emotions, and even your memories. It's like your nose is a direct hotline to your brain! Each essential oil offers unique properties, which can help with issues such as stress, sleep, and mood enhancement.
How to choose essential oils?
With a plethora of essential oils out there, it's totally normal to feel a bit lost. To kick things off, think about your goals – are you seeking assistance with catching some Z's, coping with stress, or lifting your spirits? Then, explore essential oils known to assist with those specific needs. Experiment with various scents to find the ones you enjoy most. And always choose high-quality, pure essential oils from reputable sources like Tender Essence.
How do I use essential oils?
There are several ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils, and we've got you covered with some fantastic options:
Using an essential oil diffuser is a popular and effective way to spread the delightful aroma throughout your living or workspace. Simply add a few drops of your chosen oil to the diffuser, and let it work its magic! To find the perfect diffuser for your needs, check out our collection of oil diffusers and burners.
Applying essential oils directly to your skin is another way to experience their therapeutic effects. However, it's crucial to dilute the oil with a carrier oil before application to avoid irritation. Always perform a patch test on a small area of skin first to ensure no adverse reactions occur.
Inhaling essential oils directly from the bottle is a quick and easy way to enjoy their benefits. Alternatively, add a few drops to a tissue or cotton ball and take a whiff whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Recommended dosages for adults and children for aromatherapy
When using essential oils, less is often more. For adults, a general guideline is to use a 2-3% dilution for topical application (approximately 12-18 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil). For children, a 1% dilution (6 drops per ounce of carrier oil) or less is recommended. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils on children, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Which oils can be dangerous?
Are you wondering which oils might be harmful? Here's a quick and engaging guide to help you understand which oils you should be cautious with, especially if you have certain conditions. Keep in mind that there's not a lot of scientific research backing up these claims, but they're widely accepted in traditional practices.
If you're pregnant, it's best to avoid these oils: basil, cinnamon, clary sage, cypress, fennel, jasmine, juniper, marjoram, myrrh, oregano, pennyroyal, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme.
For breastfeeding mothers, watch out for mint, parsley, sage, and jasmine. Research has shown that jasmine can actually reduce milk production.
If you have high blood pressure, be cautious with cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, rose, rosemary, sage, and thyme. On the other hand, if you have low blood pressure, clary sage, garlic, lavender, lemon, marjoram, and ylang-ylang might be problematic.
For those with epilepsy, fennel, hyssop, rosemary, sage, and wormwood are the oils to steer clear of.
When operating machinery or driving, be careful with clary sage and vetiver. And if you're drinking alcohol, clary sage can be an issue as well.
Some oils should never be used in therapy, including almond (bitter), boldo leaf, calamus, camphor (brown and yellow), horseradish, jaborandi leaf, mugwort, mustard, rue, sassafras, savin, southernwood, tansy, thuja (cedarleaf), thuja plicata, wintergreen, wormseed, and wormwood.
Why you should never ingest essential oils?
While essential oils are natural and may smell delightful, ingesting them can be dangerous. As they are highly concentrated, swallowing essential oils can lead to severe health issues, such as poisoning or organ damage. Instead, enjoy the benefits of essential oils through safe methods like diffusion, inhalation, or diluted topical application.
Now that you're armed with the basics, it's time to embark on your own essential oil adventure! Be sure to explore the wonderful world of wellbeing, stress relief, minty scents, and mood improvement with Tender Essence. And if you're in need of a good night's rest, don't miss our 7 best essential oils for better sleep. Happy oiling!