We all want to feel our best. Most of us take a multifaceted approach to making that a reality. We work out, drink enough water, get ample sleep each night, and eat healthy. But what if we could be doing more? And what if one of the most practical additions to our daily lives was also one of the easiest?
Enter essential oils. Prized throughout the world for their therapeutic properties, essential oils help support optimal health.
If you’ve ever wondered about essential oils for wellness, or how to weave them into your daily life, here’s what you need to know.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are pure compounds extracted from plants. To capture the flavor, scent, and medicinal properties of a plant, manufacturers obtain essential oils through a distillation or pressing process. Typically, essential oils are cold-pressed, although some manufacturers process them with steam or water.
Once the manufacturer has extracted the essential chemicals from a plant, they may blend the extracts with a carrier oil. A carrier oil is an oil like coconut, jojoba, or sweet almond oil, which helps deliver the plant’s nutrients to the skin, without interfering with the oil’s properties. This process creates a shelf-stable and skin-safe product that’s ready for use.
At Sage & Cedar, our oils are un-diluted until we add them to lotion, bath salts, or into a carrier oil, which dilutes them just enough to make them skin-safe.
An important note on buying essential oils: Not all essential oils are created equal. In fact, the quality of essential oils varies widely. Today, essential oils come from around the world, and it’s hard to assess the quality of the oil without knowing what to look for.
If you’re going to purchase essential oils, buy from quality brands with a reputation for producing reliable products. Here are a few additional guidelines for determining the quality of essential oils, from the University of Minnesota.
How do People Use Essential Oils for Wellness?
Essential oils have a variety of uses, although they’re most common in aromatherapy. While essential oils should not be ingested, inhaling them and applying them topically has well-documented benefits. Some oils are antiseptic and antibacterial, for example, while others function as antidepressants.
Inhaling aromatic essential oils, for example, stimulates the limbic system. The limbic system is the part of the brain that controls emotions, sense of smell, long-term memory, and behavior. Applying oils topically, meanwhile, can treat headaches and skin conditions, among other things.
5 Essential Oils to Try
If you’re new to essential oils, it can be tough to know where to start. We recommend building your collection with these five oils:
Lavender is a fantastic starter oil. It helps with a variety of conditions, including acne, allergies, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Apply it topically to soothe insect bites or rub some on the temples to lift your mood.
Rosemary is a potent oil that’s also a key ingredient in many beauty products, and for a good reason. It works to resolve issues like dry skin and dandruff. It also promotes healthy circulation, strengthens hair and promotes a vibrant shine, and alleviates stress and anxiety.
Peppermint is a powerful, invigorating essential oil with a variety of medicinal uses. In aromatherapy, people use peppermint as a decongestant and to treat conditions like asthma. Applied topically, it’s a powerful treatment for headaches (if you’re pregnant or nursing, it’s a great alternative to OTC meds like Tylenol).
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil, like peppermint, is a potent oil that can irritate the skin if misused. It’s a particularly effective treatment for skin conditions like acne, cold sores, and dandruff. It also treats respiratory ailments and fungal, bacterial, or viral infections.
Used in aromatherapy to elevate mood and alleviate stress, bergamot oil has properties similar to grapefruit essential oil. It is antiseptic, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving).
What About Blends?
Essential oil blends are a great way to enjoy the benefits of complementary essential oils, without the guesswork of blending them yourself. Today, there are dozens of essential oil blends on the market, most of which treat issues like insomnia, stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
If you’re interested in trying some wellness blends, check out our Essential Wellness Blend Roll-Ons.
We produce eight high-quality essential oil blends with jojoba oil, each of which offers a specific benefit and serves as an easy on-ramp for anyone interested in exploring the benefits of essential oils.