Essential Oils FAQ

Essential Oils FAQ

What are Essential Oils?

An essential oil is a liquid that is generally distilled (most frequently by steam or water) from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant. While essential oils are in the plant, they are constantly changing their chemical composition, helping the plant to adapt to the ever-changing internal and external environment.
Essential oils contain the true essence of the plant it was derived from. They are highly concentrated and a little goes a long way. Because they are SO concentrated and only a tiny amount is needed in anything you do, they’ll last you a very long time. The only exception to this rule is citrus oils, which will see a reduction in potency after a year or two.

How do I choose Essential Oils?

The essential oil that you choose will depend on the purpose – do you want it to help elevate your mood or do you need something to sooth your muscles?
A good place to start is to get a book about therapeutic aromatherapy. There are many good books available and you will be able to find one that matches your needs.

Be sure to pay attention to cautions for each oil and application method.

*At the moment Modern Essentials is the book that I’m using.

How do Essential Oils work?

Essential oils enter the body primarily in three ways— inhaled, applied to the skin, or ingested.
Within each of these, there are many different kinds of application methods.
Once you have purchased an essential oil, the application method depends on the condition to be treated and the desired effect.

What you’ll find is as many different opinions on essential oils as you’ll find ways to use them. This is partially because of the differences between different oils (different brands or varieties come with different precautions and even properties), and partially because of a divide in philosophies and training. There are the uber-conservative users and the uber-liberal users, each with their own ideas of what’s safe and necessary, and as with most things, the truth is found more towards the middle.
It’s important to understand that each oil can NOT be used in the same way! Do your research carefully on each oil, use your judgement, and start small.

  • Aromatically

When essential oils are inhaled through the nose, they are quickly absorbed by the smell receptors, which have a direct link to the limbic system by way of the olfactory nerve. The limbic system is part of the brain that supports a variety of functions including smell, emotions, behavior, and memory. For this reason, essential oils have an especially powerful effect via aromatic application and can elicit powerful physiologic, mental, and emotional responses..

  • Topically

Essential oils are miniscule in molecular size. When essential oils are applied to the skin, their healing components are absorbed into the bloodstream by the pores and hair follicles. Once inside the bloodstream, they disperse to the specific organs and systems on which they work. Pulse points are the areas of the body where blood vessels are closest to the skin’s surface. Applying essential oils to these areas allows for quicker absorption and help them get to work faster. I suggest applying to the wrists, temples and back of the neck.
Essential oils do not accumulate in the body over time – they simply offer up their healing properties and then pass on through.

  • Internally

Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. When ingested, essential oils directly enter the bloodstream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. Essential oils are lipid soluble so they are readily transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. Then, like all things we consume, essential oils are metabolized by the liver and other organs and are then excreted.

Not all essential oils are created equal. Therefore, the ingestion of essential oils other than dōTERRA is NOT recommended and proper dosing according to labeling recommendations and other professional guidelines should be strictly followed to avoid toxicity.

How can I use essential oils aromatically?

Diffuser: Essential oils are placed in this device, most of the time with water (be sure to read the directions), and broken down into micro molecules then projected into the air to fill a room or work space. Some diffusers have a timer for convenience. Essential oils should never be directly burned as the chemical structure is dramatically changed with incineration.

Spray Bottle: Mix oils in a spray bottle with water and mist over furniture, carpet, or linens. Most essential oils are high in antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties: This makes them an excellent addition to your homemade cleaning preparations. Oils that are best for cleaning are: Lemon, grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and rosemary.

Cotton Ball: Apply the oil and place in the air vents of your vehicle.

Wool/Felt dryer Balls: Apply the oils to balls and put into dryer. The dryer balls shorten drying time, soften and fluff fabric, and reduce static.

How do I apply essential oils topically?

Although essential oils are readily absorbed, there are many ways to increase absorption. Using a light massage will increase the blood flow to the area of application, in turn improving distribution throughout the body. Use of a carrier oil can also increase absorption, especially in skin that is dry or flaky as it helps moisturize the skin and slow evaporation of the oil. Another effective method of topical application will be to add the oil to a lotion or moisturizer and then apply to skin.

It is recommended to dilute the oils especially on young or sensitive skin, it is advisable to use a carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil) to dilute more potent oils and when trying an oil for the first time. The recommended dilution ratio is typically one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil.

*Please note: Citrus oils have certain constituents that can make the skin more sensitive to UV light and can lead to discoloration of the skin or burning more easily from minor sun exposure.
Oils generally considered photosensitive are: orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, and bergamot.

How does internal application work?

Gargle: A Drop of essential oil is added to water. You mix, then gargle the solution and spit it out. This method works well with Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil) and the protective blend OnGuard.

Cooking: Remember that essential oils are much more potent than dried or fresh herbs and spices, so start with a very small amount. For more potent oils, it may be better to administer them by toothpicks (dip the end of a clean toothpick into the oil and then add to the food) rather than drops.

Drinking: Add essential oils to water, smoothies, milk, tea (honey as a carrier), or other drinks.

Veggie Capsule: Add 1-2 drops and top with olive oil/avocado oil etc.

 

**DISCLAIMER: None of the health topics presented have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They should not replace personal judgment nor medical treatment when indicated, nor are they intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease**

Heavenly Embrace Wellness 2310 Juniper Ave, Boulder, CO 80304 (720) 515-9034 liraz@heavenlyembrace.com
The Art of Massage & Bodywork