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What Are Essential Oils and How Are Essential Oils Used?

If you have ever enjoyed the scent of lavender, rose or jasmine, then you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils.

They are naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds which are found in seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, resin and other parts of plants.  Essential oils give their plants their distinctive smells and protect the plant.  Plants rely on these aromatic compounds to ward off pests, attract healthy herbivores and heal the plant from injury and infection.  Essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment and health care practices.

What is a volatile aromatic compound?  In simple terms, they are tiny organic molecules that serve a variety of protective, reproductive and regenerative purposes.  The physical and chemical properties of the aromatic compounds that compose essential oils allow them to move quickly through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose.   These send messages straight to the brain, and affect the emotions working on the limbic system, which also control major functions of the body. 

Because of their small molecular structure, essential oils can penetrate the skin more effectively than vegetable oils, which only lie on the surface.  Used over the centuries, essential oils have now become an established “alternative” natural therapy which can assist in the treatment of almost every type of ache and pain, as well as smoothing away the stress and strains of modern life.

In aromatherapy treatment, the essential oils are able to enhance both your physical and emotional wellbeing at the same time. It’s easy to see why extracting these compounds and bringing them into our lives can benefit us in a similar way they do the plant.  Unfortunately, not all essential oils are the same and it is so important that you are selective in the essential oils you use.  Most brands will contain synthetic compounds or are heavily diluted with other liquids.  

When you are choosing the essential oils that you are diffusing, therefore breathing in, or applying to your skin it is essential to know that they are 100% pure and of the highest standard.  I use Doterra essential oils because of their purity (you can get a third party tested report on every single bottle of oil) and I know what lengths that Doterra as a company goes to to ensure their oils are safe, effective of the highest quality.  

How do I use essential oils in my home? Here are just a few:

I use the protective compounds of various essential oils to make simple cleaners to clean my home – all parts of the home, kitchen, bathroom, high chairs, tables

This was one of the quickest and easiest ways that I made a change in my home. I knew the cleaners I was using everyday weren’t the best option for myself or my family. I wanted a better, safer option and I found it! I know what I am using, what is on my skin and what I am breathing in when I am cleaning now – simple wipe down cleans or more thorough deep cleans!

I apply essential oils topically to my skin and those in my family. 

It is important to note that essential oils applied topically must be diluted with a carrier oil.  The essential oil penetrates the skin, into the blood layer of the skin which carries the essential oil into action. We apply diluted essential oils to our skin to support our general health and wellbeing, we use them proactively and we use them when at times of need

I diffuse essential oils to support myself and my family

I love diffusing essential oils – this is such an economical way for everyone in the home to benefit. I can help change the mood of the home by diffusing essential oils – perfect for those mornings where everyone is a little sluggish and tired or at night when everyone is hyped up and need help calming down ready for bed

I also diffuse essential oils to support us physically. As an example, if anyone is ‘stuffed up’, has a cough or snoring, I find diffusing a blend of oils will help with respiratory functions helping to create clear airways 

I make DIY body care products

I love that I can easily make products that are effective and economical for the family to use. Yes it has taken time to make the changes but slowly but surely we have converted nearly all of our products to simple, natural alternatives. If it isn’t something I can make quickly and easily, then I know what ingredients to look out for when I am purchasing products.

Research, education, a willingness to learn and persistence is the key.

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