We know essential oils (mostly!) smell amazing, and those wonderful smells can in turn make us feel good, but what are essential oils really and how do they work?
Here are a few quick need to knows, plus a couple novel facts about our favorite essential oils.
What is an essential oil?
The “essence” of a plant is its scent, flavor, and the benefits that those two things impart. The oils, which are distilled by steam, cold pressing, or water contain these essences in concentrate.
Important! How oils are extracted matter. Make sure you only buy oils distilled by these methods mentioned above. Chemical extraction can counteract the therapeutic benefits of oils.
Why do they work, and how should they be used?
All essential oils contain natural chemical constituents that impact the different systems and chemicals in our bodies.
1. Inhalation - When inhaling oils they directly impact our olfactory senses and our limbic system, the part of the brain commonly referred to as our, “emotional brain”. This part of the brain controls hormone balance (including stress hormones), heart rate, blood pressure, and memory. Odor molecules travel when inhaled, impacting our brain, lungs and respiratory system.
2. Topical - Our skin is semi-permeable and absorbs around 60% of what we apply to it. The natural chemical components of essential oils travel through our skin and into our bloodstream working their way to different organs and body systems. The absorption of chemical components through the skin is widely accepted in mainstream medicine - think nicotine patches!
3. Household - Oils can be used around the house for antibacterial, yet chemical free cleaning, laundering, and repelling insects and other creatures.
Our Faves - Little Known Uses!
Our favorite bergamot essential oil by Vitruvi.
Bergamot essential oil has a long history of being used as a natural antidepressant. It contains two components, limonene, and alpha-pinene, which improve hormonal secretions and circulation, reducing physical and mental exhaustion. The flavonoids of this citrusy oil also stimulate the production of the feel-good neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin.
Our favorite organic and non GMO lemon essential oil by Aetos!
Experimental Biology and Medicine published a study that showed inhaling lemon essential oil stimulates neurological activity that increases a breakdown of body fat.
A study in the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that lemon essential oil has the highest antimicrobial activity of any essential oil. Simply mix lemon oil with water to clean and deodorize your home.
Our favorite certified organic peppermint essential oil from Vitruvi
Rodents dislike the scent of peppermint so spraying this oil around your house can deter mice from making a home in your home.
Those are our fave facts about essential oils! See all of our essential oils here.
Questions? Comments? We’re always here to help at firstname.lastname@example.org!