What's all this hype about essential oils?
Let's start by answering the most common question I get asked, what the heck are essential oils anyway and why the hype? Essential oils come from plant bark, seeds, leaves, stems, and various other parts of the plants. They are created using a steam distillation process. There are varying degrees of quality when it comes to essential oils hence the varying prices you will find when you shop around. High quality, therapeutic grade essential oils are like fine wine in that the soil, fertilizer, region, climate, etc. all affect the quality of the plant and thus the essential oil that is produced.
When you look at using essential oils in natural body products, natural face products or in holistic health care in general, you must understand the absolute necessity in obtaining the highest therapeutic-grade essential oils possible.
Some essential oils such as Hawaiian Sandalwood cost around $80USD per bottle if you are buying therapeutic grade of a very high quality. And it makes sense to me now because while visiting Hawaii in 2015 our tour guide told us that Hawaiian Sandalwood trees are becoming extinct. In order to yield a small bottle of oil it may require several hundred pounds, or even several thousand pounds of plant material to extract one pound of pure essential oil. Now I understand why this precious oil is sold at a premium. I purchase and use this precious liquid gold in my new all natural face product, Youthful Kisses Daytime Face Cream, for its amazing properties of reducing acne and how it calms and harmonizes the mind. Compare this now to a bottle of therapeutic grade lemon essential oil which only costs approximately $15USD and has so many other uses such as in my Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub where it is used to brighten the skin and reduce scarring and sun damage, and in my all Natural Hand Sanitizing mist where it serves as an anti-fungal, anti-viral and refreshing tonic to help kill nasty hand germs without harmful alcohol.
I have also experimented with diffusing therapeutic grade lavender oil in a daycare setting at sleep time in order to help calm the children and help them rest peacefully. You can also try to use it at home if children have trouble settling or are feeling stressed. Check out our Spa Kisses Room Mist which makes it really easy to enjoy the calming benefits of rosemary, lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus in every room of your home!
Essential oils are very personal and each person will have their own unique preferences for the scent that appeals to them. As such we have created an essential oil Scent Selector Quiz that helps you decide what appeals to your body and mind.
Some final words to the wise on the use of essential oils:
- Be cautious where you buy from because there are a lot of different brands on the market now. Don't cheap out and make sure they are therapeutic grade and use a rigorous and safe growing and distillation process, otherwise you will miss out on all the therapeutic health properties of the oil.
- Make sure you are using it properly. Therapeutic grade oils can be applied NEAT or diluted (depending on the oil so do your homework!) and know whether you can take it internally (only therapeutic grade) or not. For example, I put lemon or grapefruit oil in my water to flavour it and get the health properties instead of lemon slices because oils won't damage your teeth enamel.
I hope this helps to dispel some of the mystery surrounding essential oils and launches you on a quest to explore more around these wonderful, all natural gifts from the earth. As I write this blog post, I am diffusing lemongrass oil in my kitchen and feel quite energetic, focused and fresh!
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