August 7, 2021
Using essential oils can be a daunting prospect; with so many to choose from and so many different ways to use them, it’s hard to know where to start. Yet when we successfully incorporate essential oils into our lives, they can have amazing therapeutic benefits. We’ve compiled an essential oils guide to help you know when and how to use them, as well as which essential oils to choose. If you have questions, you can always stop by your local Co-op store and speak to one of our knowledgeable Natural Choice Advisors.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are a highly concentrated form of natural extracts that are distilled or cold-pressed from plants. The leaves, stems and flowers of many plants are used to provide a wide range of different essential oils.
Why Do We Use Essential Oils?
All over the world, people use essential oils for a multitude of different things. From mood enhancement and relaxation to massage and even treating wounds, there’s an essential oil for every need. The anti-fungal, anti-viral and antibacterial properties of many oils make them an important part of any good medicine cabinet and some essential oils can also help us to sleep better, ease digestion, soothe muscle pain and treat skin problems.
Best Ways to Use Essential oils
There are three main ways in which we use essential oils: inhalation, applying to the skin or ingestion. Since ingestion is only recommended under medical supervision, and with specific oils formulated to be taken internally (ask an advisor or your physician if you’re unsure), we’ll focus on the best ways to use essential oils via inhalation and skin application.
Essential Oil For Pressure Points
When applying essential oils to the skin, it’s important to add it to a carrier oil first as undiluted essential oils can be harsh or even cause reactions. Once you’ve done that, reap the therapeutic benefits of essential oils by applying them to different points on your body.
When added to the feet, soothing oils such as ylang ylang or bergamot can have fantastic aromatherapy benefits while a drop of peppermint oil on the forehead can help to ease a headache.
Try an Essential Oil Diffuser
An amazing way to feel the benefits of the natural aromas of an essential oil is by using an oil diffuser. These are super easy to use and can be found in Co-op’s Natural Choice section. You’ll add a few drops of water and your chosen oil to the diffuser, then the device will create a steam that is lightly dispersed throughout the room. Try adding a few drops of lavender oil to your diffuser and placing it in your bedroom to help you ease into sleep. During the holidays, you can add some cinnamon oil to create a cozy homey feel in any room.
Another great way to inhale essential oils is by using a steam bath, which is fantastic for when you have a cold and need to unblock your sinuses. To make one, simply fill a bowl with hot water, add a few drops of an essential oil such as eucalyptus or peppermint, which are great for easing congestion, place your head over the bowl and cover your head with a towel, then inhale the steam.
Different Oils and Their Benefits
Now let’s look at some of the most common essential oils and how they are most often used:
Lavender oil has a sedative effect and is also useful in relieving stress
Peppermint oil can aid with digestion, nausea and headaches
Tea Tree oil is used to fight infections and treat acne
Licorice oil is anti-inflammatory, making it great for digestive issues
Lemon oil is a mood-booster that can help treat cold symptoms and is good for adding into homemade cleaning products.
With so many different types and each with its own unique use, exploring the world of essential oils can bring innumerable benefits to our home life and our health. If you have questions about essential oils and how to get started using them, visit your local Co-op store and speak to one of our Natural Choice Advisors today.
Please Note: Health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health advice. This general information is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Any information, advice, or suggestions given by Calgary Co-op staff is not a replacement for medical advice from your Doctor, Dentist, or professional Practitioner. Consult with your healthcare professional with any questions you may have.
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