Essential oils are somewhat of a big topic in the health sphere these days. And since we’re all about debunking buzz words, we thought it would be fitting to extract some deeper meaning from these pretty smelling goods to figure out exactly how and why they serve to be a beneficial addition to our wellbeing regime.
For some, the only exposure to essential oils would come from the memory of trips to Nanna’s house, where the pungent aroma of lavender soaps and rose scented bathroom supplies was always present. However, beyond their pleasant smell, these magical drops of natural perfume actually boast an incredible list of healing properties. If used properly, fine quality, cold pressed essential oils can be harnessed to assist in the healing of many ailments.
The use of oil based compounds for aromatic and health care purposes is relatively fresh for our society, with new ways of using them frequently cropping up. But upon investigating ancient tribal cultures and their rituals, we see that roots and plants have been burned and used to make poultices, salves and oil based remedies for many centuries. The only difference being the commercial ones we are exposed to now are super concentrated, and, like anything labelled super food or health trend, we can often end up jumping in a bit too deep too fast.
Even though these are natural, ignorantly slathering them on willy nilly like a normal perfume or product can actually prove harmful. Due to the complex science behind the extraction and dilution of the scents, these heady and potent gifts from the earth work best under the rule of less is definitely more. One drop will do.
What actually happens to our physiology when we are exposed to aromatic oils?
A technical way of looking at the effects of essential oils is through the understanding of volatile organic compounds, and the process of evaporation. For example, when we stop to smell the roses on our walk around the neighbourhood, the aromatic particles in the air that are emitted from the rose are actually evaporating, or becoming volatile. This is what creates scent. Once these tiny particles hit your nose, a trigger is released which from there actually changes your brain chemistry. Take this process and ramp it up by concentrating it down a whole lot and thats what you’ve got inside that little brown bottle of oil – both a garden and instant mood booster all at your finger tips.
The preference and purpose for the oils you choose is entirely up to you. Have some fun with it, delve deeper into researching the specific properties of each individual one, take a deep breath and let your entire body reap the fragrant benefits.
A few of our favourites are:
Jasmine – Said to help relieve anxiety, stress and depression, increase alertness, and regulate reproductive cycles and reduce PMS in women.
Ylang Ylang – This oil is powerful by scent and by nature! It can help heal wounds and infections with its antiseptic properties, reducing inflammation, serve as an aphrodisiac and mood enhancer, and is even said to be hypotensive, which means it can assist in the lowering of blood pressure.
Vetiver – This soothing and calming scent is beneficial for cooling inflammation in the body, aiding insomnia by promoting healthy sleep, is antibacterial, has a high antioxidant count which can boost immunity, and the earthy scent it carries can also help to clear the mind and steady the nervous system.