All About Essential Oil

A few years ago, I started a relationship with essential oils. It began innocently enough. I began using the diffuser that my sister had given me a few birthdays ago. I watched a few podcasts about the benefits of essential oils and picked up a bottle of lavender essential oil from a local farm. I even found a couple of bottles of tea tree oil in my cupboard. I had not realized when I bought them years and years ago that tea tree was even considered an essential oil!

And suddenly, my interest in essential oils became a major obsession. Nearly overnight I owned two more diffusers and began stockpiling various oils. I began experimenting with adding different oils to my diffuser to help me sleep and mixed oils in bottles to try on my skin. I would just sit in bed at night with my rapidly increasing oil collection and sniff away. My husband started to think I was losing it.

I blended chamomile oil with my hair products to add shine and softness, rubbed lavender onto my daughter’s feet before she went to sleep. I had my kids smelling bergamot before flights to calm anxiety and sniffing peppermint before school. I noticed my sleep began to improve. My daughter even noticed her sleep improve and began asking me to rub oils into her feet every night. My skin was glowing, my hair felt healthier. As a household we seemed immune from colds and flus.

The more I immersed myself into the world of essential oils the more I realized that I was late getting on this train. It seemed like everyone was talking about the benefits of essential oils. It seemed like more and more people were sick and tired of being sick and tired and had started to turn to the past to find more natural, holistic ways to heal.

What exactly are essential oils? Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts derived from plants, flowers, trees and fruit. What a novel concept! To use natural botanicals that have survived for millions of years in the wild amidst a multitude of pests and predators. Essential oils protect our skin and body in much the same way that they protect the plant against bacterial infection and toxins.

Aromatic plants, essences and oils have been used for thousands of years, with the earliest usages being traced back to 3000-2500 B.C. Egyptians are often given credit as the first users of essential oils although it is also believed that such remedies were being used in China and India close to the same time or earlier. The Egyptians were known to take beauty very seriously. It is said that Cleopatra’s beauty was attributed to her extensive use of essential oils. Ancient Egyptians were also using essential oils for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Society has long since looked away from healing the body with things found in nature to things created in the laboratory.

Many of the specific uses of essential oils and essential oil blends in our world today are a direct result of biblical references. In the Bible the three wise men brought gifts of frankincense and myrrh. It is written that fourteenth century distillers and perfumers survived the plague and other diseases because of the antimicrobial properties from the plant molecules found in essential oils.

There is no better time than the present to decide to start using essential oils. They support the immune system, assist in first-aid treatments and clean the air due to anti-bacterial properties. They boost beauty by delivering nutrients and stimulating cells. They can help calm the mind by reducing anxiety, stress and issues with sleep.

Be sure to source your essential oils from reputable distributers. As they are growing in popularity many oils are popping up on the shelves of big box and drug stores.  Buyer beware! You want to ensure they are 100% pure, organic, authentic and responsibly sourced.

Also, when applying oils topically, be sure to use a carrier or base oil to dilute them when applying to large areas of your skin. A carrier oil are the substances that pure essential oils are diluted into. Common carrier oils include jojoba, rose hip, sweet almond, fractionated coconut oil, avocado, macadamia nut among many others. You can use essential oils “neat”, which means undiluted, but only use on small areas or to spot treat. Do a patch test before applying to larger areas of your skin in case of allergy and keep in mind that a couple of drops go a long way. Aim for a one to five percent dilution. A one percent blend is 7 to 10 drops of essential oil per ounce (two tablespoons) of carrier. A five percent blend would be 30 drops per ounce of carrier.

Some of my favourite essential oils are: rose (sleep, mood elevation), ylang-ylang (mix with lavender to promote peaceful sleep), frankincense (good for pretty much everything), sandalwood (reduces inflammation, improves mental clarity), clary sage (promotes restful sleep, decrease stress) and lavender (3s – sleep, skin, stress).

I recently made the decision to create my own line of essential oils. As ingredient quality is top on my list, I selected a local Canadian company, Fern & Petal to produce my blends. A small, family-run business, Fern & Petal sources only the purest, all-natural oils from around the world. Each bottle is hand-bottled locally in Vancouver BC, Canada to ensure top-notch quality control.

Midsummers Sage is a blend of three of my favourite essential oils, clary sage, ylang-ylang and frankincense. Each one of these oils has incredible benefits for both the skin and our mood and they pair exceptionally well together.

Much like summer solstice is a time for new beginnings, Midsummers Sage brings the fresh, fragrant scent of summer to both freshen up your room and refresh your skin. I can't wait for you to try it!

Click HERE to learn more about this incredible blend and to purchase your own!


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