A guide to using essential oils

If you haven’t heard about essential oils lately, you must be living in a closet. People are diffusing them in their homes, rolling them on their skin and using them as cleaning products.  But what exactly are essential oils and why the recent interest in them?

Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants. For thousands of years, many cultures have used these healing plant oils for a variety of health conditions and to improve physical, mental and emotional health. Today they are used for relaxation, beauty care, home cleaning and, most often, as natural medicine.

The market for oils has exploded in recent years with companies devoted to the oils business such as Young Living, doTERRA and Rocky Mountain Oils. Oils have even become a side hustle business for many mothers who now are oil distributors.

“Essential oil benefits range from dietary support, emotional wellness, pain management, hormone balance, focus and concentration issues, cosmetic and skin purposes, sleep, physical and spiritual wellness,” says Jenny Barbahen, a Young Living distributor. “There is an oil or oil combo for everything you can think of.”

Some of the most common essential oils like lavender, frankincense, lemon, peppermint and tea tree oil can help fight cold and flu symptoms, soothe sore muscles and improve digestion.

Oils might feel overwhelming at first, so Barbahen encourages anyone who is interested in oils to pick area in their life they want to see improvement in and focus on how essential oils can help.

“Introducing oils slowly is key because some oils can cause a detox type impact,” says Barbahen. “Using high quality oils that are aromatherapy grade is important and once you start an oil regime you need to stick with it for ten days sometimes to see a positive impact.”

An easy place to start with oils is by diffusing and topical application. Diffusers gradually evaporate an oil and water mix and the water vapor carries through the air in your house. With topical application, you can apply the oils directly to your skin or use a carrier oil roller.

If you are looking for relaxation, try a combination of lavender, frankincense and orange. To relieve sinus pressure, mix eucalyptus and peppermint. To clear your mind, combine lemon and rosemary. The combinations are endless once you get started.

Another popular use for essential oils is as cleaning products, such as Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner. 

“Thieves is an all-purpose multi-surface cleaner that comes concentrated and you can dilute to fit your cleaning needs,” says Barbahen. “It’s my favorite product because it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals and is safe for me to use around my children.”

Essential oils can even replace beauty products for a more natural option. 

“To create my essential oil face toner, I use a blend of oils (lavender, lemon, frankincense, tea tree, elemi and manuka) in a spray bottle with witch hazel and apply twice daily,” says Barbahen. “It’s the only thing I apply to my face and it’s been awesome with combating wrinkles, age spots and breakouts.”

So dip your toes into the essential oils water to see what all the rage is about and how they can improve certain areas in your own life.

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