An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An oil is “essential” in the sense that it contains the “essence of” the plant’s fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived.
Essential Oils have been used for thousands of years in various cultures for medicinal and health purposes. Essential oil uses range from aromatherapy, household cleaning products, personal beauty care and natural medicine treatments. The particles in essential oils come from distilling or extracting the different parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. In ancient times, Jews and Egyptians made essential oils by soaking the plants in oil and then filtering the oil through a linen bag.
Essential oil benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These healing oils are rapidly growing in popularity because they act as natural medicine without any side effects. Here are a few ways you can use essential oils:
- All-purpose cleaner: Add three drops each of lemon oil and tea tree oil to a few ounces of warm water then spray countertops to naturally disinfect.
- Natural mosquito repellent: Combine one drop each of lemongrass oil, citronella oil and eucalyptus oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil to make natural bug spray and rub on exposed skin. Reapply as needed.
- Wonderful smelling home: Diffuse clove, rosemary and orange essential oils when guests come over, and they will talk about how amazing your house smells.
- Reduce anxiety: Diffuse lavender essential oil around your home to reduce feelings of stress and tension.
- Physician kit: Makeover your medicine cabinet and create a family physician kit with essential oils of lavender, lemon, peppermint, tea tree, oregano and frankincense.
- Body butter lotion: Mix coconut oil, shea butter, magnesium oil and essential oils for moisturizing body lotion.
- Detox bath: Mix lavender oil, Epsom salts and sea salt to a warm bath to cleanse and rejuvenate the body.
- Calm upset child: Help sooth and calm children by adding lavender or chamomile to their stuffed animals.
- Homemade deodorant: Combine coconut oil, beeswax and your favorite essential oils like cedarwood and clove oil for men and lavender and tea tree oil for women.
- Reduce cough or sinusitis: Eucalyptus oil is known for its powerful ability to fight coughs and open airways. Add a few drops into steaming hot water or diffuser. Inhale to help clear nasal passage.