Essential Oils 101

You may have noticed the words essential oils in so many marketed products these days. Essential oils are being advertised on makeup, hair care, lotions and so many other products. So what are essential oils and why are they important? How can a person distinguish between essential and other oils? And what are their benefits?

First, in defining what essential oils are its important to know that these oils are not new just because they are being promoted in many basic household items. Essential oils have been useful to societies for thousands of years! However, recent research has shown that the usage of these oils may have many benefits; this is why you may see essential oils being featured on products.

There are two different ways to create oils and thus, two types of oils. Regular fragrance oils are created synthetically. Essential oils are always derived from plants naturally. Oils from natural plants must be extracted through either a distilling or expressing process. Water or cold-press is used in the extraction process to remove oil from any part of the plant (i.e. leaves, stems, flower, peel, bark, wood, roots, seeds, resin).

So why should we care if our oils are essential or not? The answer is in the creation process of the oil. Because of the way essential oils are developed, they are highly concentrated and pure.

Furthermore, a regular fragrance oil has the purest portion of the oil watered down, making it less effective. You will know a product is not just regular fragrance oil if it specifically states on the packaging or in the contents the words essential in describing the oil.

One of the great uses of essential oils is in the home. Some essential oils will actually repel pest. Other essential oils will naturally freshen living spaces. You can maintain your home without hash chemicals in using essential oils.

Aside from household uses, essential oils may help improve body function. Certain types of essential oils can bring healing to parts of the body. People with allergies should consult a physician before topical use.

Finally, one of the most common uses of essential oils is in stress management. Certain kinds of essential oils can relax the mind. These essential oils can help to release mental tension because of their calming sent.

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