Oils in October

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The use of essential oils certainly comes down to personal preference...some people swear by the healing benefits, while others claim them to be a bunch of hocus pocus.

This month, we delve into the ways the use of oils can be incorporated into your daily life so you can make up your own mind....

Lets start with what the difference is between an aromatherapy oil and an essential oil.

An 'aromatherapy oil' is usually a 2% dilution of an essential oil in 98% almond or grape seed oil, while an 'essential oil' is the undiluted product that has been extracted from flowers, herbs, leaves, grasses, roots...and so on.

Why do people feel essential oils are important?
It has been said essential oils can trigger responses in the brain that send healing messages to the body. These oils can balance out hormone levels, assist with digestive disorders, and not to mention, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

What IS essential about essential oils?
An essential oil is "essential" in the sense that it contains the 'essence of' the plant's scent—the distinctive smell of the plant from which it is derived. While following label instructions, and through educating yourself on how essential oils work, will allow you to enjoy the many and varied benefits they provide.

As you starting learning how to effectively use essential oils, you will start to use them through one of the following methods: aromatic, topical, or internally. All of these methods are safe, when used correctly.

So lets explore each of these ways a little more;

Your ability to smell comes from specialised sensory cells, called olfactory sensory neurons, which are found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose. These cells connect directly to the brain and can arouse physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Some oils stimulate energising effects, while for others, a more calming effect. Diffusion is one of the simplest methods for using essential oils aromatically. Don't own a diffuser? No problem....you can achieve similar benefits by simply placing a few drops of the oil in the palm of your hand, then cupping your hands around your nose and inhale.

Because the oils are soluble, topical application is a very effective method for applying essential oils, as they easily enter the skin....once absorbed, they stay in the applied area. You can also lightly massage the oil into your skin as this will increase the blood flow and have a broader coverage across your body.

For those with sensitive skin and to avoid any nasty reactions, it is advised to use the oil with a carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil) as this helps in diluting the more potent oils.

Some of the beneficial areas to apply essential oils are;

Forehead and temples
Chest and abdomen
Arms, legs, bottom of feet

Essential oil can contribute to many health benefits, and not to mention...flavouring. When in their concentrated form, essential oils can be used as dietary supplements for more targeted and effective health benefits.... and when used correctly, can be extremely safe.

I'm not suggesting for a second you go all gun-ho and start putting the essential oils into your food willy-nilly....you need to follow the appropriate dosing recommendations, and not to mention the professional guidelines to avoid toxicity.

Some of the effective ways for Internal application are;

Use oils in recipes for cooking or baking to replace fresh or dried herbs and spices (please keep in mind, oils can be stronger than the herbs you would normally use...so less is more)
Add essential oils to water, smoothies, milk, tea, or other drinks
Take internally via a veggie capsule or add to a small amount of apple sauce or yoghurt

Not sure which essential oil to start with? Well, here is a list of the ten most popular oils and the benefits associated with them;

Peppermint: boost energy and help with digestion (and you didn't hear this from me, but if you pop a few drops into your oil burner or diffuser, it will help fix up that hang over)
Lavender: stress relief.
Sandalwood: calm nerves and assist with focus.
Bergamot: reduces stress and improve skin conditions like eczema.
Rose: improving mood and reduce anxiety.
Chamomile: improving mood and relaxation.
Ylang-Ylang: helps with headaches, nausea and skin conditions.
Tea Tree: helps fight infections and boost immunity.
Jasmine: helps with depression, childbirth and libido.
Lemon: aids digestion, mood, headaches

Okay, so now you know a few of the oils to start with, what are the other factors you need to consider when purchasing your essential oils?

Quality: True essential oils are the ones that have been changed the least by the extraction process. Choose a chemical-free essential oil that has been extracted through distillation or mechanical cold pressing.

Reputation: Purchase a brand with a reputation for producing high-quality products

So cast your mind back to 1988, the Catrol GTX television commercial with Sol and his gangster friends..'Oils Ain't Oils' (insert your inner gangster voice when you say it). There is a difference in oils available to you, but through research and educating yourself, you will be able to make a more informed decision on whether or not the use of oils is for you....and which ones you could benefit from.

Please Note: The opinions and information shared in this blog are based solely on personal use and interest only, and by no means, be considered as professional advice for treating ailments. Phoenix Wings Wellness recommend you consult your GP or healthcare professional if you are experiencing any health concerns. We would also like to note, that certain scents can be a trigger for people who have experienced trauma in their life.