Everyone has heard of essential oils but what exactly are they and how do you use them?
Essential oils are the aromatic compounds extracted from plant material. They can be extracted from the flowers, roots, seeds, leaves or fruits of a plant and are highly concentrated. Aromatherapy is the use of these aromatic compounds to help instil a sense of personal and emotional well being. By inhaling the naturally extracted aromatic distillations, you can achieve balance and harmony for a healthy mind, body and soul.
Essential oils can be extracted from plant material in different ways. Depending on the part of the plant that is used, they may be extracted through steam distillation, cold pressing or solvent extraction. The majority of essential oils are extracted through steam distillation, where the plant matter is exposed to high pressure and hot steam, resulting in the liquid form of the oil.
Therapeutic benefits of essential oils
Essential oils have different properties and aromas and can also have different effects on you when you inhale the aromas. From uplifting, calming and relaxing, to energising, stimulating and reviving, there’s an essential oil to help you create the perfect mood.
Aromatherapy at home
Use a diffuser – A diffuser is a device that uses water vapour to disperse the essentials oils in to the room. It is an easy way to experience the benefits of essential oils, just make sure you follow the manufacturers guidelines on how much essential oils to use.
Dry inhalation – this is where you add a few drops to a tissue or some cotton wool and leave it nearby so you can smell the aromatic scents.
Steaming – This is where you add a 2 – 5 drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale to the steamed vapour to help ease congestion, perfect during cold and flu season. Just be careful as the steam will be hot.
Massage – Massage is an excellent way to deliver the benefits of aromatherapy, helping to relive tension, combat stress and help to unwind. To use essential oils in massage, you must dilute them in a carrier oil, (the ratio that we suggest is 20 drops of essential oils every 100ml of carrier oil).
In the bath – To create a luxurious spa experience at home, you can add a couple of drops to a carrier oil of your choice and add some to your bath. The room will smell incredible and your skin will feel silky soft.