If you’ve used essential oils before, you know just how incredibly powerful they can be. If you haven’t, welcome! These amazing plant extracts have the potential to really change how you look at every facet of your life and give you the ability to be able to take control of your life in a way you never have before. Chiji has all of the information that you need to make the best use of essential oils, whether you are new to them or are just seeking to expand your knowledge. After all, knowledge is power!
Essential Oils 101
To begin, let’s go over a little background information about essential oils.
Essential oils are named that because they are a purified compound that contains the concentrated “essence” of a plant’s scent. Those compounds are then mixed with a carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba, or olive), which helps to allow the essential oil to be used directly, as most of them are too strong to be able to be used directly without a negative reaction.
In most cases, essential oils are used as a form of aromatherapy. With aromatherapy, a variety of scents are used either on the skin or vaporized into the air for inhalation. While research on aromatherapy is limited, the studies that have been performed have shown that it may be beneficial for those dealing with anxiety and depression, sleep problems, and pain.
There are more than 90 different essential oils out there, with more being developed and marketed regularly. Because of their popularity, make sure that you’re sourcing your oils from trustworthy companies. The manufacturing process can make or break a “pure” essential oil, and you should always know exactly what you’re putting on or in your body. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Essential Oils and Their Benefits
Each essential oil is slightly different and provides the user with unique benefits as well. One of the hardest parts of starting out with essential oils is that there is an enormous amount of them on the market. How are you supposed to know which one is used for what? It can get overwhelming and may even turn people away from being able to experience their benefits!
Here at Chiji, we want everyone to be able to access and understand essential oils, because we truly believe in their power. That’s why we wanted to create an essential oil primer with some of the most user-friendly options out there. Find one that you are drawn to or that can help with what you’re specifically trying to achieve, and experiment!
Ready? Let’s get started!
There really would be no list of the “essential” essential oils without including lavender. Lavender is one of the essential oils that is easiest to find, as well as being one that has been the subject of some of the most research.
To begin with, lavender just smells amazing. It’s that soothing nature that is the key to all of its amazing, potential benefits. It’s a smell that we’re used to, and familiar smells have a way of being able to relax us in a way that other, newer smells don’t. That’s likely why lavender is so directly connected with helping with stress relief, including feelings of anxiety and depression.
However, that’s not even close to where the awesome benefits of lavender essential oil stop. For instance, it has been studied and scientifically proven to at least partially combat the pain of acute migraines. Lavender essential oil is also the focus of research due to its potential anti-tumor benefits, as it may be able to affect tumor growth and cell death. And people even use it to help with hair growth, head lice, and wound healing (although none of those benefits have been scientifically researched and proven). It’s a pretty incredible, diverse essential oil!
Peppermint is another essential oil that is great for people who are just starting out, but also powerful enough to be able to be just as effective for experienced users. Peppermint is the same minty scent that you likely associate with the holiday season. However, peppermint essential oil can be used all year round!
Many people like to use peppermint essential oil to help clear up the airways when they are dealing with a virus like a cold or flu. While that hasn’t been proven, think about how you feel when you eat a mint or chew a particular minty piece of gum. It affects your sinuses, right? Those same benefits can be extended to helping relieve joint and muscle aches and pains, as well. The invigorating properties of peppermint can help with muscle spasms, tension, and headaches, and has even been studied and proven to help with certain types of pain (like migraine) as well as over-the-counter acetaminophen!
But, in addition to helping clear the airways, peppermint essential oil is just generally invigorating for when you need a quick pick-me-up. There are also people who use it to help settle upset stomachs, especially during the early stages of pregnancy. Experiment a little bit with what really works for you, and you may even find a use that we didn’t talk about!
Close your eyes for a second and imagine the smell of fresh lemons. That citrus smell will just pop right up into your head, right? Lemon is such a classic fragrance, and it usually conjures up visions of a clean, bright kitchen.
The brightness extends itself into the ways that it can impact the way that we feel, both physically and emotionally. One of those ways is its ability to impact the mood. Although the study has only been performed on one specific group of people (people who have recently gone through orthopedic surgery), it did show a reduction in their anxiety. It may be even more effective than lavender!
Also, much like peppermint oil, lemon essential oil can help reduce the symptoms of both nausea and vomiting, especially in early pregnancy. Anyone who has been pregnant before knows how rough the early months can be, so anything that can help manage that is a lifesaver. Try a drop or two in boiling water, then put your face over it and inhale. It helps without making you have to swallow anything!
In addition to all of those benefits, lemon essential oil may also be able to help clear the skin of two different bacteria that may cause wound infection - E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus. That makes it a great option for minor cuts and scrapes. Plus, it may have the ability to help dull the pain response! It’s another of the most diverse essential oils out there, which is why it’s an excellent one to start out with. If you really want to try out an essential oil that is accessible and has a whole range of benefits, give lemon essential oil a shot.
And finally, our list of essential oils that even beginners can effectively use is eucalyptus. While this one may seem a little bit far out compared to the more common scents that you’ve probably smelled before, eucalyptus is actually used a lot more than you think!
Eucalyptus is one of the scents that you may actually recognize from those over-the-counter chest rubs that help when you’re suffering from congestion. That’s likely because it has a lot of usefulness as a decongestant, helping to clear up the sinuses and give at least a little bit of relief when you’re not feeling at your best. Much like lemon essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil is best used when dropped into a bowl of boiling water and inhaled.
A unique benefit of using eucalyptus essential oil, especially in the summer, is that it offers a chemical-free, DEET-free alternative to help keep the mosquitos away. If you’re a person who gets regularly eaten up, try using a diluted eucalyptus essential oil. But keep in mind, you won’t want to put straight, undiluted oil directly on your skin.
Also, if you’re sensitive to the more harsh chemical cleaners but still value a clean home, try adding a few drops of the oil to a mix of white vinegar and water. You can use it to clean the same surfaces, and eucalyptus adds the extra benefit of being antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral. It’s a cleaning product that you can feel good about.
Essential oils have the potential to be incredibly powerful tools when used correctly. However, a lot of people don’t feel comfortable trying them because they aren’t quite sure where to start. We hope that we took a little of the guesswork out of it, so that you can learn what does and doesn’t work for you.
That’s why Chiji has our own selection of essential oils. We believe that they should be accessible for everyone, even if you’re a beginner. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what works best for you!