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THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ESSENTIAL OILS

guide to essential oils

What if we told you that botanical extracts are nature’s magical essences? Essential oils extracted from various plant materials such as leaves, flowers, and herbs have been used for about 6,000 years and can enhance one’s health and mood with regular use. There are various methods to incorporate essential oils and can be used to heal fungal and bacterial infections or stimulate and balance the body and mind.

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils are natural, concentrated extracts from plants that are beneficial in nature. They are hydrophobic and volatile in nature, thus requiring great care while using them. The oils capture the aroma and flavour of the plant or its "essence." Each essential oil has a distinct aroma due to its unique aromatic components. 

There are various methods through which essential oils are extracted. Distillation (through steam and/or water) or mechanical processes, such as cold pressing, is used to produce essential oils for many medicinal and recreational uses.

BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils are widely used in traditional and folk medicine all over the world. Many physical and emotional health conditions can be treated using essential oils. These oils contain therapeutic elements including antioxidants, terpenes, and esters, which may assist to promote wellness on a molecular level.

  • Several essential oils contain antioxidant properties that protect cells from free radical damage, which can lead to serious illnesses such as cancer.
  • Essential oils have been found to assist people to cope with stress. When inhaled, it makes us feel upbeat and positive.
  • When massaged with particular essential oils, you get a lot of relief from tension and anxiety.
  • The soothing scent of essential oils is known to improve sleep quality. Scientists discovered that spraying the essential oil on towels around their pillows extended their sleep time considerably, allowing them to sleep better.
  • Haircare can be supplemented with essential oils, that treat greasy and dry hair. It aids in the improvement of blood flow to the various areas of the scalp and deeply conditions hair.
  • Useful for several skincare concerns due to their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, soothing, therapeutic, and calming properties.

DIFFERENT WAYS OF USING ESSENTIAL OILS

We've discussed what essential oils are and the numerous advantages they provide, but what are the best ways to incorporate essential oils into daily life? There are 5 methods to make the most of these effective and powerful oils, whether you want to combat fatigue, reduce tension, enhance attention or simply use them in skincare.

1. INHALATION

One of the safest ways to use essential oils is to inhale them. These volatile molecules are inhaled through a drop of oil on a piece of cloth, jewellery, or an aromatherapy diffuser. Essential oils are known to influence the neurological system and limbic part of the brain and hormones, brain chemicals, and metabolism when inhaled.

2. TOPICAL

Essential oils are occasionally applied directly to the skin to alleviate discomfort in a specific body part, for example, to relieve backache, aching muscles, or sinus pain, and some are used for the treatment of acne or fungal infections due to antifungal properties. However, many essential oils can irritate the skin and should be used diluted in a carrier oil rather than directly applied to the skin.

3. MASSAGE

Essential oils can be incorporated in massages, which help ease muscle tension and get the blood circulation going. Starting with your feet and working your way up to other parts of your body, especially where there are painful muscles or poor circulation, is a good location to start massaging. Essential oils are recommended to be diluted in a carrier oil before use in massages too.

4. DIFFUSION

One of the most common ways to use essential oils is by diffusion. Diffusing oils early in the morning is a terrific way to start your day on the right note. Then, during the day, use stimulating oils for work or study, or uplifting oils for a burst of energy. Finally, use calming and sedating oils before going to bed. You can use an aromatherapy diffuser for an effective essential oil diffusion.

5. BATH

On many levels, soaking in a warm bath is therapeutic. Sore muscles and joints can be relieved by taking a hot bath. The addition of essential oils to your bath can be the cherry on top. The warmth of the water aids in the absorption of essential oils while also inhaling their smell. The fact that a bath causes you to pause and relax for a moment also aids your body in maximizing the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.

ESSENTIAL OIL PROFILES

AROMATHERAPY 

Essential Oil

Fragrance Notes

Usage

Rose Geranium

Floral, Sweet

Relieves anxiety, cooling

Lavender 

Floral, Light

Soothes skin irritation, induces sleep

Clary Sage

Woody, Herbal

Promotes healthy hair, reduces skin inflammation.

Grapefruit

Fruity, Sweet

Protects skin from environmental hazards, reduces blemishes

Chamomile

Sweet, Floral

Soothes inflamed skin, adds shine and softness to hair

Peppermint

Minty, Fresh

Helps treat hair fall and pimples

Orange

Sweet, Fruity, Fresh

Supports immune system, helps in skin glow

Myrrh

Herbaceous, Woody

Cleanses skin, boosts complexion

Ylang Ylang

Floral, Sweet

Soothes dry skin, promotes healthy skin and scalp

Vetiver

Sweet, Woody

Helps in skin cell regeneration and remove dead skin cells


ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS FOR VARIOUS AILMENTS

The Art Connect offers premium essential oil blends that targets specific issues like anti-pigmentation, hairfall, pain relief, and more. Or you can create your own custom blends using the essential oils mentioned below for great results. For aromatherapy blends, use a diffuser and for direct application on the body, dilute it with a carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil) or gels (aloe vera gel, cactus gel) for best results.

  1. For focus and memory:- vetiver + lavender + eucalyptus
  2. For cheering up:- orange + clove bud + ylang ylang
  3. For stress relief:- peppermint + rosemary + lemon
  4. For immune boost:- clove bud + oregano + eucalyptus + cinnamon + tea tree
  5. For reducing anxiousness and panic:- clary sage + vetiver + lavender
  6. For nourishing hair mask:- peppermint + tea tree + lavender 
  7. For soothing face mask:- lavender + tea tree 
  8. For anti-acne face oil:- cedarwood + rosemary + grapefruit 

PRECAUTIONS AND SAFETY MEASURES

In general, essential oils should be treated similarly to drugs, supplements, or hazardous items. This necessitates caution and care when purchasing, storing, using, and handling them. Below are a few practices that are helpful in the safe handling of essential oils.

  • Ensure that essential oils are kept out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Always dilute the essential oil, and after using them, always wash your hands.
  • Essential oils are highly flammable, therefore, keep away from flames.
  • During pregnancy, the use of essential oils is generally avoided and restricted.
  • Diffuse essential oils in a well-ventilated area and always store them in a cool and dry place. Never ingest essential oil.
  • Before going into a sun tanning booth or the sun, do not use or encourage using photosensitizing essential oils.
  • Always read the labels and know the safety data of each essential oil.
  • If you're using essential oils for a long time, be sure you're doing it under the supervision of a certified health expert.
  • Apply a tiny amount of vegetable oil or cream to the area affected if an essential oil causes skin irritation, and then stop using the essential oil or product that provoked the irritation.
  • If essential oil droplets enter into the eye (or eyes), a cotton towel or similar should be soaked in fatty oil like olive or sesame and gently wiped over the closed lid. Alternatively, flush the eyes with cool water right away.

With their many uses, essential oils are a necessary inclusion to your daily regimen. As a formulator, many different combinations of essential oils can be used for specific health issues. Any essential oil should be diluted with carrier oils and proper care should be taken during application. Essential oils are a great choice to combat the stress of modern life and relax both mind and body.

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