Essential Oils: History, Qualities and Uses

Lavender oil

 

What are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils are extracted from plants and herbs and have been used since biblical times for the healing and wellbeing properties they are believed to possess. The term ‘essential oil’ comes from the original name ‘quintessential oil’. the Aristotelian idea of a fifth element and they are believed to be the ‘life force’ of the plant. 

Essential oils are a highly aromatic, complex mixture of molecules from within the plant. They are constantly changing their composition, helping the plant to adapt to the ever-changing internal and external environment.
In Aromatherapy we use Essential Oils to help both the body and mind. The complex structures of the oils can be absorbed through the skin or the airways and can have an infinite number of benefits.

How Are Essential Oils Used?

Essential Oils can be used individually or blended together to create specific recipes that support minor ailments or emotional states.
They can be used for a host of minor ailments such as colds and flu, arthritis, hormonal imbalance, skin conditions, body functions, digestion, respiratory conditions and many others.
They are also commonly used in Aromatherapy to fight stress and fatigue, anxiety and low mood as well as other emotional conditions.

Diffuser For Atomising Essential Oils

Difusers can be a great way to release molecules of essential oils into the atmosphere and where mixed with water vapour they can be inhaled safely.
Once you have filled your diffuser with water as directed, you can add as many drops of essential oils as you like. There are no restrictions on how much oil you can add but typically 6 drops gives a good strength.

Massage/Body Oil

No more than 2% total of pure essential oil should be used mixed into a carrier oil of your choice.  A massage takes between 10ml and 20ml of oil. 

Dilution @ 2%

5mls (tablespoon)

2 drops

10mls

4 drops

15mls

6 drops

20mls

8 drops

25mls

10 drops

30mls

12 drops

50mls

20 drops

 

Bath

Use 6 drops of essential oils in the bath once it has been fully run. Agitate the oil in the water before jumping in. To add a moisturising element you can dilute the 6 drops of oil into 10ml of base oil.

Inhalers/Aroma-Bracelets/Necklaces

As the essential oils do not come into direct contact with the skin, you can use as much oil as you like. Normally a few drops will suffice.

 

Car Freshening Diffuser

You can use as much oil as you like but we recommend around 6 drops for a strong aroma. Try using our Car Diffuser for best results.

 

Pillow Spray

You can either put a few drops directly onto your pillow but if preferred for a more subtle aroma mix with water.

 

Compresses

Compresses can be used for a variety of disorders such as muscular aches and pains, bruises, rheumatic and arthritic pain, headaches and sprains. They are a very effective way of relieving pain and reducing inflammation and swelling. You may apply compresses either hot or cold. Alternate hot and cold compresses are valuable for treating sprains. As a general rule, where there is fever, acute pain or hot swellings use a cold compress. When treating chronic (long-term) pain use a hot compress.

To make a compress, mix approximately six drops of essential oil into a small bowl of hot or cold water. Soak any piece of absorbent material such as a flannel, handkerchief, piece of sheeting or towelling in the solution ensuring that as much essential oil as possible is absorbed by your fabric. Squeeze out the compress so it does not drip everywhere and apply to the affected area. Wrap cling film around it or secure with a bandage. Leave for about two hours or even overnight. Where there is a fever replace with a new cold compress when necessary.

Footbaths

Add six drops of essential oil to a bowl of hand-hot water just before you immerse your feet and soak for them for fifteen minutes.

 

Room Spray

A room spray is an excellent way of purifying the atmosphere. 
Pour 250 ml of water into a plant spray and add 15–20 drops of essential oil. Shake the bottle well and spray the room.
You can even spray carpets and curtains. Do not spray on to polished surfaces. 
Sprays can also be used to relieve irritation and pain as in chicken-pox, shingles, burns and any infectious skin diseases. 

 

Radiator Fragrance

Two to six drops of essential oil can be placed into a ceramic container which fits on to a radiator by means of a magnet.
Alternatively, moisten a cotton-wool ball slightly with water, sprinkle the drops of essential oil on to the ball and place it on the radiator, or even lodge it by the pipe to avoid staining the paint surface. The heat from the radiator will evaporate the essential oil into the room.

Shower Gel/Shampoo/Conditioner

You can buy base products for these items. No more than 3% should be added to base products.

 

Dilution @ 3%

5mls (tablespoon)

3 drops

10mls

6 drops

15mls

9 drops

20mls

12 drops

25mls

15 drops

30mls

18 drops

50mls

30 drops

 

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