Essential oils smell good and can have great benefits, but it’s important to use them carefully! Here are a few things to pay attention to before buying them.
What are essential oils?
Many plants form essential oils to attract insects for pollination. They can also defend themselves against pests and diseases. The plant uses its oil glands for defense against predators and then stores the resulting oils in the tissue of its plant parts. That’s why you find the oils in leaves, seeds, and flowers, as well as the roots or bark of some plants.
Chemically speaking, essential oils are many different mixtures of substances with different properties. One commonality is that they are fat-soluble and do not contain any fats themselves. In addition, essential oils are hardly water-soluble. Therefore, they are usually obtained by steam distillation.
Effect of essential oils
You can use essential oils in many different ways. The naturopathy and orthodox medicine use them for treatments. Practitioners will apply them topically or via aromatherapy. You can also find them in many cosmetics and perfumes.
Do essential oils work?
We use scented oils like lemon for virtually every household remedy. If you have an infection like a cold, you will almost certainly also be using eucalyptus or menthol frequently. You can use various forms of the oils to alleviate your symptoms. Bath additives or ointments and creams for rubbing with high-quality oils are available in almost every medicine chest. We use them preventively as soon as the first signs of an infection appear. You can also use essential oils for sleeping, hair care, massages, wraps or inhalations.
Most teas used to treat pain also rely on the fragrant oils. Chamomile tea, for example, is a popular household remedy for inflammation. It is so efficient and so gentle on the body that you can also use it for mouth injuries. The same applies to the pure use of Chamomilla oil. You can use this for gargling as well as for application on the skin.
Aromatherapy with essential oils
Essential oils are particularly important in aromatherapy. This is an alternative method for the treatment of diseases and complaints. The best known is the treatment with a fragrance lamp or diffuser.
For this treatment, you simply put a few drops of the scented oil into a bowl with water. Afterward, you heat this mixture with a candle, so that the oil can unleash its effect. An essential oil diffuser also achieves the same effect. Alternative practitioners attribute special properties to the different scents: Lavender is used for calming and should help with sleep problems. The scents of lemons or oranges, on the other hand, lighten the mood.
Essential oils as fragrant additives
Many cosmetic products and perfumes contain essential oils. The boundaries between aromatherapy and normal room fragrances are fluid, and the effects on our body are different. Try out different oils and applications. So you will find the right feel-good oil for you.
Buying essential oils
Essential oils are available in stores and online, but not all products are the same. When buying them, you should pay attention to a few small things.
There are four types of essential oils:
- Pure oil: Essential oils with this name are the highest quality oils. They are obtained directly from the plant and are sold without chemical additives. Brands like Young Living, doTerra, and Rocky Mountain Oils are all pure oils.
- Natural oil: This name reveals that the feel-good oil also contains no synthetic additives. However, this is a mixture of several natural oils.
- Nature-identical oil: This is a replica from the laboratory. Above all, it replicates an odor that is as natural as possible. Most connoisseurs doubt its effectiveness.
- Artificial or synthetic oil: These types do not occur naturally, but are also produced in Petri dishes. Here, too, the focus is on the smell, not on the application in case of complaints. Therefore, they are often sold as fragrance or perfume oils.
What do you think?
Do you want to have a good essential oil that appeals to your senses? Then pay attention to the botanical name of the plant as well as the manufacturing process on the label. For direct skin contact or for internal use of the essential oils, pay attention to organic products.
Which oils do you use at home? Share your experiences in the FamilyApp!