WTF Are Essential Oils?

 

Frankincense is my second favourite F-word

 

If you haven’t at least heard of essential oils by now, you’ve been living under a rock!  There’s a lot of information out there and a lot of controversy too, and the problem lies in the lack of research.  So here’s what I know: Essential oils work for me…most of the time.  I would rather grab for an essential oil before taking a pharmaceutical, but I’m not going to claim that I’ve totally wiped out my medicine cabinet and replaced it with oils.  That’s just bullshit and anyone making this claim is a twat!

So WTF Are Essential Oils?  They’re naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They give plants their smell, protect them, and play a role in plant pollination. Essential oils have long been used in food, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.

But what the heck is a volatile aromatic compound? These compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature.  The compound found in each essential oil determines both the oil’s aroma and the benefits it offers.

Need it dumbed down more? Essential oils smell and have health benefits.

How Do I Use Essential Oils?  This is where it gets tricky.  First of all, not all oils claiming to be 100% pure are actually pure.  There’s no standard for essential oils and that means companies can pretty much say whatever they want.  So do your research before you buy that brand from the grocery store that’s way cheaper than the brand I’m offering.  Second, every oil is different.  Some are extremely potent and some not so much.  Some are only good for smelling and others can be used all kinds of ways.  Use your brain (you know that awesome thinking machine between your ears?) and do some research on the oils you’re using.

Aromatically

The sense of smell is a tool that can create physiologic, mental, and emotional responses. Essential oils are quickly absorbed by the smell receptors, which have a direct link to the limbic system by way of the olfactory nerve. The limbic system is part of the brain that supports a variety of functions including smell, emotions, behavior, and memory. For this reason, essential oils have a powerful effect when used aromatically.  Some essential oils are uplifting while others are more calming.

Diffusion is one of the simplest methods for using essential oils aromatically.  You can buy any diffuser and that’s totally fine.  However, I have heard horror stories of people buying cheap diffusers and they break quickly or smell like you’re diffusing piss.  NO THANKS!  You can also put a drop or two on a cotton ball and inhale or add a few drops to water in a spray bottle and use as an air freshener.

Topically

When you apply oils directly to your skin, you’d better damn well know your oils!  It can be a really effective way to treat minor skin irritations because essential oils easily penetrate the skin.

Using a carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil) is always best to avoid skin sensitivity.  There are tons of charts and guidelines you can find online to help with ratios, but again, take my advice and get to know each oil you’re using!  Also, make sure you use extra caution if you’re apply it to kids.  In the case of children, ALWAYS dilute it and don’t use any of the really potent oils like Oregano.

You may find some different opinions on this topic, but use common sense and listen to your body.

Internally

This is where you’re going to find the most controversy.  I’ve seen posts about how toxic essential oils are for the liver, how they will destroy your insides, and that our bodies can’t use them.  Well people…DO YOUR RESEARCH!  These same bloggers think that milk ‘does a body good’.  Did you ever stop to think that we’re the only species on the planet that drinks the milk from another species? Gross!  Anyways, I’m getting off topic….

When ingested, essential oils enter the blood stream through the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body.  Essential oils are lipid soluble so they are readily transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. Then, like all things we consume, essential oils are metabolized by the liver and other organs and are then excreted.

The composition of essential oils is highly complex. Each constituent possesses a unique set of biochemical properties that react with cells and organs in different ways. Although these mechanisms of action are not completely understood, the positive end results have been demonstrated. However, the body is only equipped to handle appropriate doses of essential oils.  Proper dosing according to labeling recommendations and other professional guidelines should be followed to avoid toxicity.

Where to start  Just click here and I’ll show you.  It takes a little explanation but a monkey could figure it out.

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