Aromatherapy oils and essential oil therapy have been around for centuries as an important component in overall health. Potent plant oils have many diverse benefits for both emotional and physical health. These healing plants provide a plenitude of benefits that can be derived from the soft flowing leaves of the plant to the strong roots and stems. The most potent properties are the plant’s flowers, root, and bark oils that carry the concentrated healing elixirs found within each botanical lifeform. A single drop of essential oil can equal multiple teaspoons of a dried herb. For instance, one drop of peppermint oil equals 25 cups of dried peppermint. Each essential oil carries its own chemical makeup and, as the volume of research continues to grow, more benefits are being discovered within the individual fingerprints of each oil compound. There are many different methods of extracting the proprietary oils of each plant or herb, including:
- The distillation process: this includes extracting the oils through a gentle steaming process.
- The expression process: this entails pressing the oils out of the flesh, roots, and stems.
- The solvent extraction process: when a plant or flower is too delicate to perform steam extraction or pressing, this process is performed by using superficial carbon dioxide to extract the plant or herb oils.
These potent oil extracts also carry very pleasurable fragrances that can induce immediate calming effects on our brain’s chemistry. However, to reap the many benefits of essential oils, you need to be sure that you are using only 100 percent pure essential oils. There are no regulations on this industry and knowing where your oils are sourced and how they are extracted is very important. When searching for quality oils, be sure to take note of words like “natural” and “pure.” There are no quality standards that companies have to follow in order to label their products in this manner. So much of what you find at the drugstore is not therapeutic-grade and may contain contaminants that are counterproductive to your search for health and well-being. Here are some questions to ask when searching for quality oils:
- Is it grown without chemical pesticides?
- Is it grown in its natural habitat?
- Are the plants harvested at the height of ripeness?
- Are extractions performed when the plant is at its peak property production?
- Does the manufacturer stand behind the internal use of their oils?
- Are the oils being third-party tested to ensure their quality and purity?
Once you have found a quality, purely sourced oil, the next step is learning how the oil is used and for which body ailments it assists in healing. There are many resources that can help you identify the right oil to use for your particular inquiry. It is very important to follow the prescriptive guidelines of each oil, as very few can be taken internally and they each have their own special healing qualities.
One of our favorite essential oils here at Radiance Day Spa is lavender. It has a calming effect on the nervous system, antifungal and antiseptic properties, and aids in sleep and relaxation. Whichever oil you choose, have fun exploring the many essential oil choices for your overall health and well-being. Enjoy this Lavender Compress recipe from one of our cleanly sourced, organic product partners, Naturopathica.