Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils

Lifestyle

Hello, my lovely Plante Lifers! Did you celebrate the Taurus Full Moon yesterday? If you remember last week’s blog, one element of a full moon ritual is to engage your sense of smell by using essential oils — but don’t limit the use of these amazing oils to just spicing up your rituals! These potent […]

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Hello, my lovely Plante Lifers!

Did you celebrate the Taurus Full Moon yesterday? If you remember last week’s blog, one element of a full moon ritual is to engage your sense of smell by using essential oils — but don’t limit the use of these amazing oils to just spicing up your rituals!

These potent plant extracts can improve your physical, mental and emotional health. Our sense of smell is extremely powerful for manifesting, as it’s often tied to our memory and emotions. If you consistently utilize certain smells now, when forming new habits, they can trigger you to work harder, stress less and sleep better in the future.

Some essential oils are even beginning to appear in mainstream medical treatments — and there are literally hundreds to choose from.  So to help your wade through all your options, I’ve put together my favorite essential oils that I think are… well, essential!

Read on for The Plante Life rundown on what you need to know to start using essential oils in your daily routine.

First, let me start by saying that when you purchase essential oils, you want to look for organic oils without toxins. Just know that there is no official grading standard used consistently in the essential oil industry, so terms like “Therapeutic Grade” can be misleading.

Here is a guide on what to look for when finding essential oils online or from a local vendor.

Now, let’s dive in!

Anti Anxiety and Stress

America has been on red alert lately. Not officially, but with our fast-paced, high-tech, demanding work culture, social media overload and politically charged decade, people are STRESSED out! In fact, “approximately 6.8 million adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and women are twice as likely to be affected as men”. When you’re feeling stretched to the max, be sure to keep some lavender on hand.

Lavender is the go-to natural stress and anxiety reliever. It’s shown to be as effective as prescription benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, and Ativan) without the potential for addiction or sedation. Which makes it great to have on hand at work, when taking a nap is just not an option. You can consume it in capsules, brew it as a tea, or add a few drops to your bath once you’re back home.

Other essential oils for relaxation and relief include: cedarwood, lemon, bergamot, orange, valerian, rose, clary sage, frankincense, marjoram, ylang-ylang, lemon, geranium, sandalwood, chamomile, and vetiver.

Skin Savers

You may have seen tea tree oil on the ingredient list for a few of your beauty products. It’s because it’s one of the top antibacterial essential oils. The chemical makeup of this Australian beauty is complex and powerful, so it’s often used in treatments for bacterial, fungal and viral infections. It’s too volatile to consume, even though it’s a nice natural breath freshener; so think of it like mouthwash; you don’t drink it.

And, this oil is great for acne, skin irritations, eczema and psoriasis. Studies have shown that using tea tree oil in your skin care regimen can improve mild to moderate acne by. Check out this DIY recipe by Dr. Axe.

In a small bowl, mix 12 drops of 100% pure tea tree essential oil and 2 tablespoons of 100% pure aloe vera gel (another great skin healer!).  Then add in 2 tablespoons of our favorite, coconut oil. Use the unrefined kind. Blend it all together.

With clean hands, rub a small amount onto clean skin before bed.  Rinse with warm water in the morning. You can store the extra in a lidded container in a cool, dark spot.

You can also use tea tree oil to combat dandruff, dry scalp and seborrheic dermatitis. Look for a tea tree oil shampoo made with organic ingredients or you can mix a few drops with some coconut oil to make a quick hair mask.

Other essential oils with skin care benefits include: lavender, carrot seed, rose, oregano, bergamot, rosemary, frankincense, geranium, ylang-ylang, and patchouli.

Boosting Immunity

I often talk about the benefits of lemon to your immune system. I think starting the day with a hot water with lemon is better for your bod and your soul than a cup of caffeine. The other essential oils I’ve focused on today – lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus – also score an A+ in this category, but my personal favorite is oregano oil.

This spicy herb was used to treat wounds, bites and respiratory problems in ancient Greece. It’s rich in antioxidants, antibacterial, and found to be one of the most effective of the common aromatic plants. And if you’re prone to yeast infections or issues with candida, oregano oil was recently found to be more effective in killing yeast overgrowth in the body than any other essential oil tested.

Obviously, you can consume oregano as a spice in your cooking (I particularly love oregano oil salad dressing, which unsurprisingly also contains avocado oil), but if you prefer your health-boosting benefits straight up, the simplest is to add a few drops to a glass of water and gargle it before you swallow.

Other essential oils that boost your immune system include thyme, orange, and cinnamon.

Pick Me Up!

Eucalyptus is pretty well known for two things: what adorable koalas munch on and lozenges. On the latter point, eucalyptus has been used to treat “throat infections, catarrh, coughs, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis associated with respiratory system”. As a powerhouse body healer, this evergreen plant is also a great energy booster (both to you and on a global scale!). According to a 2010 study, “its ability to support a favorable immune response means that it can profoundly affect energy levels in the body”.

To reap the invigorating rewards of eucalyptus, add a few drops to your diffuser or go old-school and hang some leafy branches on your shower head. The steam from your morning shower will create your own inexpensive spa! And it’s safe to rub on your temples, feet or joints to reduce inflammation. Peppermint also wakes you up and stimulates tired muscles.

Other essential oils for an energy boost include lemon, orange, grapefruit, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, spearmint, black pepper, and jasmine.

Sound Sleeping

Now that we’ve woken you up, we’re going to help put you to sleep 😉 Chamomile tea has long been a remedy for a busy mind in a tired body. This daisy-like herb contains a large amount of the antioxidant apigenin, which “binds to specific receptors in your brain that may decrease anxiety and initiate sleep”.

Bergamot is a popular ingredient in expensive perfumes, but it’s also key component in Earl Grey tea. This citrusy essential oil is a major mood lifter, so it’s helpful if you are struggling with depression or anxiety. In traditional Chinese Medicine, bergamot is used “to help with the flow of vital energy so the digestive system can work properly”, so your body can unwind and calm down after a long day at work. Combine it with the ultra-relaxing cedarwood oil to create a powerful and pleasant sleep inducer. In a 10-mL glass roller bottle, add 10 drops each along with any other favorite scents and then fill to the top with a carrier oil like Jojoba Oil (which is odorless).

Other essential oils for a good night’s rest include lavender, vanilla, geranium, jasmine, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, neroli, marjoram, clary sage, frankincense, and rose.

Do you already dabble in essential oils? What are your favorites scents? Let me know your go-to combinations in the comments below!

LOVE + essential healing!

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A Real Food Devotee + Self Care Connoisseur + Jedi Mindset Master dedicated to helping you elevate your health, your life—and your career.

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