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Essential oils offer holistic health choice

By: Rebecca Herman
Freelance Writer

Since the beginning of civilization, cultures around the world have utilized plants for use in religious ceremonies and to heal the mind and body. As time went on some cultures discovered new medicines and saw advancements in medical technology so some no longer felt a need to use plants in their day-to-day life. In recent years though, many people have a desire to go back to a more simplistic lifestyle and are reaching back in time to the old traditions in an effort to take care of their body in a natural, healthy way.

The current trend in natural and holistic health is the use of essential oils. Essential oils are the liquids that are extracted, through distillation, from the plants’ leaves, stems, roots, flowers, seeds, and resins. The growth in popularity has created many companies that make and sell different varieties of essential oils. There are companies that work exclusively with organic oils, while others work with oils that are safe for consumption.

Essential oils have many uses and need to be treated differently, depending on the use. There are many benefits that can be gained from using essentials oils, some of these are air purification, immune defense, relaxation, pain relief, as well as having antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and many other “anti” properties. Since there seems to be an essential oil for every need, there are also many techniques in how to blend and use essential oils.

If using essential oils on the skin then it is necessary to dilute the oils with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil. This is important because certain oils can cause skin irritation if placed directly on skin.

Creating blends can be very helpful when trying to maximize the essential oil experience. There are different notes to consider, just like in a perfume. If all three notes are carefully combined then the user can effectively treat their whole body rather than one part. For example, if suffering from sleeplessness, one could combine Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Ylang-ylang, Neroli, Sandalwood, and Marjoram essential oils with any carrier oil, then massage onto the body 30 minutes before bed for a better night’s rest.
With all things, one should always consider who will be using the essential oils because depending on the age of the person, certain essential oils may not be safe. For instance, when using essential oils with infants and babies, parents should be cautious of which oils to use. There are only a few essential oils that are safe for infants, zero to two months old. As the child grows, then the list of safe oils also grows.

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