Over the years working in the health industry I’ve accumulated a lot of beautiful essential oils. Some I’ve purchased and some I’ve been fortunate to get by default from working in a great health food store! (Yes – the ‘ylang ylang’ says TESTER but I swear I didn’t steal it!) Having essential oils in your home is not only scent-sational, but they serve a multitude of other purposes.
If this is your first time being introduced to essential oils, don’t worry – they aren’t scary! You just need to know which ones do what, and which brands are best. I’m not being paid by anyone to recommend stuff so everything I suggest is from personal preference and experience of use.
What to look for:
– dark tinted (or UV protectant) glass bottle – most oils in their unrefined states can start degrading when exposed to sunlight. When oils start to break down they can become rancid and start oxidizing, which can be potentially harmful for your body. Exposing oils to plastic is another danger as well. Oils are very absorbent, and without going into too much detail let’s just say you don’t want the ingredients in plastics going onto your skin or into your body!
– organic where possible – essential oils are extractions from beautiful aromatic plants. The quality of the plant determines the quality of your oil!
– look for the botanical and latin name of the plant – this should be listed on the bottle, along with method of extraction and perhaps where the plant was harvested. For example – Lavender = “Lavandula angustifolia”, France, cold-pressed. Something like that 🙂
– http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/howtobuyessentialoils.asp is a resource for more info!
My favourite uses:
*disclaimer – some oils need to be diluted first (just means mix with another oil like jojoba or olive or something) before you can use them. When in doubt, dilute! Any use beyond these anecdotal recommendations please consult an aromatherapist….or just call the company, most are happy to help you on your way to loving essential oils!
Lavender – can be safely used undiluted on your skin. Great for sunburns, pimples, sleep or de-stressing (few drops on your pillow case or pulse points), any cleaning needs (few drops in vinegar or water for an easy counter-top cleaner). Lavender is always my go-to essential oil because it’s so versatile!
Tea Tree oil – can be safely used undiluted on your skin. Super antimicrobial so great for warts, lice (add 10 drops to shampoo), cleaning solutions (mix a few drops with lemon oil in vinegar for a homemade antibacterial spray!)
Lemon – lemon oil comes from the peels of lemons. As long as you get a FOOD GRADE lemon oil you can add it to your water in the morning! Lemon oil contains ‘limonene’ which stimulates your liver to produce bile, which means better detox and better digestion! Lemon is also anti-bacterial so use for anything cleaning-related.
Eucalyptus – there are 2 types – Eucalyptus radiata and Eucalyptus globulus – both good for sore muscle baths or dispelling a cold (using a diffuser or adding some drops to boiling water and inhaling – you’ve never felt the inside of your nostrils till this moment!)
Ones I recommend:
– Aromaforce, Awaken My Senses (organic and made in Toronto!), Aura Cacia…..basically any company that is small and ALL they do is make essential oils 🙂 I heard that Young Living is also good but I’ve never tried it. Apparently it’s only sold online and to professional aromatherapists. But remember – just because something says it’s “professional grade” doesn’t always mean its the best! 🙂