By the end of this blog post, we may all very well become self-proclaimed aromachologists. Essentially, this is my how-to guide on everything essential oils! Here, you will find a few Natasha Fierce approved oils as well as the different usages and applications. Take a deep breath and relax your mind. Your meditation education begins now!
Essential oils are traditionally made from extracting and distilling oils from plants (mainly herbs, flowers and bark). By compounding and concentrating the liquid, the strength of the oil increases and produces a fragrant aroma that can be used therapeutically. These oils can be ingested, bathed in, used topically on skin, diffused aromatically, made into incense or perfumes and so much more.
Along with making everything smell like it is straight from heaven, essential oils are believed to carry their own healing properties as well. This is probably the reason that many world religions and cultures use different types of oils and plants in rituals, prayers and meditations. Aboriginal peoples often bundle herbs into sticks and, “smudge” (burn) as a means of cleansing and purification. Many Asian cultures will use incense with prayer. Christians use anointing oils and holy waters. Shamans use Amazonian plants (Shamanic Plants) to place themselves in a trance. Studies have shown that certain plants have medicinal values. Hence one of the most controversial topics of today – cannabis and it’s pain reducing, anti anxiety properties through vaporization or smoke inhalation.
On a more basic level, oils are used in massage therapy as well as at spas to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere. At home, we use potpourri, reed diffusers or candles. We all have our favourite methods of use or favourite plant or fragrance but, each has its own application and benefits.
So, what’s what and how do you know which of these goodies are best for you? Well, as long as you keep in mind that when plants are turned into essential oils, the value of them becomes concentrated. A little goes a long way. Never interchange oils for doctor prescribed medications or therapies and always consult your practitioner in case of any interactions especially when choosing to ingest any oils.
For example, grapefruit contains a compound known as furanocoumarin which blocks certain enzymes that are known to break down many medicines prescribed. Other types of oils may be dangerous for breastfeeding or pregnant women. Some oils are also known to endanger household pets. It’s important to make sure the door to the room you are diffusing in is open so that a pet may leave the room if the oil is too strong. Always wash your hands after using the oils and before touching your pet. Some oils are just as beneficial to animals as they are to humans. If in question, talk to your veterinarian.
Once you’ve figured out what’s safe to use you might start with some of the popular and common oils. Here are a few Natasha Fierce approved oils and what they are known for:
1. Tea Tree Oil – Made from the melaleuca alternifolia plant, tea tree oil is known to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. It has a clean scent and is definitely one of the favourites among essential oils. Tea tree oil is definitely Natasha Fierce approved. My favourite application of tea tree oil would be topical usage on skin – often in shampoo or in soaps or cleansers. It is also useful to diffuse tea tree oil to help breathe when you have chest congestion.
2. Mint Oil – Often made of peppermint or spearmint, mint oil boasts a menthol aroma used best as an anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-septic or as an astringent. Mint is often used as a digestive aid or for the relief of headaches, reducing stress or fatigue or also to cure bad breath. Mint oil is often ingested through teas or in foods. It is also popular to diffuse mint oils or use them topically through a roller ball as a form of aromatherapy.
3. Eucalyptus Oil – Medicinally used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-septic, anti-bacterial, decongestant, deodorant, disinfectant, analgesic and as a stimulant. Eucalyptus oil is light and fresh with a hint of citrus in smell. In its most popular form, eucalyptus is helpful in aiding respiratory ailments and fatigue and stress. Creating an inhalable vapour is my preferred method of use. It can also be used topically on burns, cuts, insect bites or other wounds.
4. Lavender Oil – Lavender is an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and antidepressant. Lavender is one of the most common of the floral scents and is calming and relaxing. In its most popular form, lavender can be diffused into vapour, in soaps or cleansers or even in candles. A couple drops of lavender on your wrists, clothing or bedding or as a mist or perfume can also help you fight insomnia, stress or congestion all the while smelling as sweet as a bouquet of flowers.
5. Frankincense Oil – An old woody oil so ancient in its values that even the bible promotes its use. Frankincense, also known as olibanum, smells earthy and warm, sweet and spicy all in one. Don’t mistake the gentle smell; the properties of frankincense are strong and powerful in combatting pain, congestion, anxiety, stress and fatigue. If diffused, this beautiful golden oil also keep insects away. Frankincense is an anti-septic, astringent, digestive, diuretic, disinfectant and a sedative. I love putting Frankincense in bathwater, on my skin, in the air.. OK EVERYWHERE!
6. Lemon & Orange Oils – These two sweet and citrusy oils pack more of a punch than you would expect. You often see lemon and orange scented cleaning products and flavoured teas in the cold/flu aisle and that is no coincidence. Citrusy oils fight back as an anti-histamine, anti-bacterial, anti-septic and anti-viral. The smells are bright and uplifting. The oils are packed with vitamins and so, you’ll also find carminative and anti-depressant features in these oils. Due to how versatile these oils are, they are commonly used via ingesting them, diffusing them, bathing in them (bath bombs, oil drops or soap) and creating fragrances with them. Once again, you can use lemon or orange oil EVERYWHERE!
7. Vanilla Oil – Chocolate or vanilla? It’s a great debate for which I cannot choose a side. What I can say is that vanilla isn’t just a pretty dessert or a pleasing floral smell; vanilla is bold and powerful and another must have in my essential oil collection. The mighty vanilla oil known for its anti-depressant, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. Used commonly in foods and in perfumes, this oil comes guilt free even if it’s in a dessert form.
8. Oil of Oregano – Oregano might be one of your pantry must-haves for the delicious fresh herb taste it gives to all those Italian dishes. For me, it’s a must have in my essential oil collection. A couple drops under the tongue when you have a cold, or a couple drops in the ear when you have an infection – you can count on oil of oregano to beat out your ailment and leave you feeling better than you did before. Oil of oregano contains anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-septic properties. Oh – and it tastes good too! Say bye to bugs and bothers with this versatile Natasha Fierce approved ESSENTIAL oil.
Whether you choose to use oils in cooking, through a reed or diffuser, on your skin or in your bath you can be assured that these natural, organic, delicious and fragrant oils are as fierce as I am! Go forth, explore your options and remember to check that you have the edible grade oil before you put it in your mouth! I’ll be sure to keep you posted on products that appeal to both your senses and your pocket-book! Make sure to subscribe for updates!