Essential Living

Essential Living

Natural forms of healing have become prevalent in modern society as people look towards plants, meditation, massage, and yoga to mend their bodies and better their health. One way to begin ridding your home and body of harsh chemicals is with the use of essential oils. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in the realm of cosmetics, and for their spiritual and wellness capabilities.

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?

Essential oils are natural oils obtained by a distillation process from plants. The distillation process is often done by steaming, cold-pressing, or resin taping. Oils can be extracted from flowers, leaves, roots, or bark depending on the plant or tree.

HOW ARE ESSENTIAL OILS USED?

The oils may be used in a diffuser as aromatherapy. Most diffusers are electronic devices in which the user fills the well with water and adds a few drops of an essential oil of their choice. When the diffuser is turned on, it creates vapor by breaking the essential oil down into micro molecules and then releases them into the air. This diffusion method purifies the air and allows you to breathe in the unique properties of the plant, such as its antibacterial or antiseptic properties. Aromatherapy also holds claims in helping with depression, focus, and creating a sense of calm. Certain oils are even known to rid the air of harmful bacteria and to aid with allergens.

Most oils can be applied topically by rubbing a few drops into the skin. However, some suggest dilution before applying. Essential oils can be diluted by mixing with a carrier oil such as olive oil, grape seed oil, or coconut oil. Different varieties of essential oils serve different purposes; it is encouraged to do some research and find one which specifically fits your needs. For example, peppermint oil is excellent for digestion, headaches, and aids in respiratory health. Lavender oil can relieve itching and skin irritation while also calming and relaxing the user.

Oils may also be ingested. Lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, and many other fruit-based oils are a great way to add flavor to your drinking water for a healthy jumpstart to your digestion system. Herb-based oils such as oregano, sage, basil, and thyme add an extra kick to foods. There are also many blends available that, when ingested, may aid with battling illness, allergies, and even help kick smoking cravings. Other ideas include adding oils to smoothies, soups, or salad dressings.

Another fantastic way to incorporate essential oils into your daily life is by using them as cleaning products. Lemon oil is wonderful for removing tacky substances from everyday objects and can be diluted and sprayed onto surfaces, then wiped clean to remove dirt. A very popular and effective line of products is called Thieves from Young Living Essential Oils. This signature blend has been used for centuries and is not only available as a concentrated cleaning agent, but also as toothpaste, mints, cleansing soap, mouthwash, and more. What other product can clean your house, dishes, clothing, and teeth without chemicals, and heal your body?

With endless uses and health benefits, now is a better time than ever to begin incorporating essential oils into your daily life. There are many diluted knock-offs on the market which use additives in their oils, so be sure to do your research and only purchase essential oils that are 100% pure therapeutic grade form. The oils mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg. Once you find a company or distributor who you trust, the sky is the limit as far as singles and blends.

 

Katerina graduated from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. Prior to FLL she designed for a printing company, ad agency, and as a freelancer. She has been the creative director for Fine Living Lancaster since its launch in 2007. Katerina lives in downtown Lancaster and fills her free time with hiking, kayaking, jujitsu, and spending time with her friends and family.