Do you love the way the scent of fresh orange peel brightens your day? Or how the scent of lavender instantly calms your nerves? When you breathe in these familiar scents, you’re experiencing the soul‑soothing power of essential oils.
But essential oils are more than nice scents. They’re powerful plant extracts that can be used daily for a variety of benefits—from cosmetic, cleaning and dietary purposes to spiritual and religious uses.
Since ancient times—and as near as we can tell, from the beginning of recorded history—people have taken advantage of extracts and essences from the plant kingdom.
Egyptians are generally credited with being the first culture to use aromatic extracts for beauty, cooking, and spiritual and physical well-being. But it is believed that essential oil-like extracts were also being used in China and India at nearly the same time. You can also find references to Ayurvedic uses of essential oils in India much earlier. Essential oils and herbs specifically mentioned in the Bible include cedarwood, frankincense, fir, cinnamon, myrrh, myrtle and spikenard.
What these historical references show is that while essential oils may be gaining popularity, they are certainly nothing “new.” We’re simply learning more about how and why these oils are so powerful, and getting better at harvesting and distilling that power.
Today’s oils are extracted through careful steam distillation, resin tapping and cold pressing, a process that creates the purest essential oils—something far more powerful than the botanicals from which they come.
Diffusers Make Oils Easy
People utilize their essential oils in many ways. The most common practices include aromatic diffusion, topical application and dietary consumption. Of course, you can simply open a bottle and inhale. But for longer-lasting benefit, it’s easy to set up an oil diffuser in your home or office.
Oil diffusers are available in a variety of price ranges and décor styles. With a diffuser, the water and oils in the tank get broken down into micro-particles, and then distributed throughout the room in a fine mist. The two most common types use either atomization or ultrasonic waves. Once in the air, the oil particles hang there for hours, affecting the air and providing other benefits.
You can stick to one type of oil in the diffuser or try one of the many blends that Young Living offers. Some diffusers feature timers that release at a certain interval, such as every 15 minutes, which helps conserve the oils as well as create a consistent level of effectiveness.
Applying Topically & Internally
Oils can also be applied directly to the skin, but almost all need to be diluted first. You do this by mixing them with a ‘carrier oil,’ which is an oil made from a vegetable such as coconut, almond, olive or grapeseed. Young Living’s V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex is specifically designed for this purpose. Carrier oils ensure that essential oils applied topically are comfortable to the skin. Dilution with a carrier oil does not reduce the effectiveness of the essential oil. In fact, it prevents waste due to excessive application.
Another way you can use oils is by taking them internally. Take a multivitamin that includes essential oils or make one of your own by adding a few drops to an empty capsule. Or, add one or two drops of oil to a glass of water or milk. Just be careful going the direct route of putting them on your tongue and swallowing, as many oils are very strong and can cause a reaction.
Oils Are Powerful
Speaking of safety, it’s important to remember that essential oils are natural, but they’re also potent. You need to take the time to read labels and educate yourself about their proper use and safety.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should always consult their doctor or midwife before taking any kind of essential oil. And while oils are generally considered “safe” for babies, children and animals, it is prudent to exercise extra caution when using essential oils on them.
Oils have been around for many years, and for good reason. The uses for essential oils are vast and diverse. From physical and mental wellness to cleaning and cosmetics, essential oils really do allow us to harness the power of nature.