About essential oils

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Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. Essential oils are known to have healing and calming properties when used in the right way. We’ve listed 10 things that you should know about essential oils!

1. Properties of Essential Oils – Did you know that most essential oils are known to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties?  Some of the essential oils that you can use at home are eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, tea tree, lavender and rosemary. These oils make excellent cleaning agents in your home. Add a drop to a bowl of water and clean surfaces and glass panes to disinfect the house. Plus, you will also love the fragrance that lingers long after the cleaning is done!

2. Never use the oils undiluted – Essential oils are very concentrated. Never use the oils undiluted especially on your skin. Combine the oils with carrier oils, water or other diluting measures. Applying it directly can causes reactions and rashes that are not good for your skin.

3. Fragrance oils and essential oils are NOT the same thing.  If you ever spot the word(s) “fragrance” or “fragrance oil” or even “perfume” on a bottle of essential oil, please be sure that it is a synthetic oil and not a natural one.

4. Store your essential oils in dark glass bottles – Essential oils can last for a really long time if they are stored correctly. Always use dark bottles to store the oils and keep it away from direct sunlight. Doing so helps to preserve the potency of the oils.

5. Scientific studies have shown that certain essential oils have energizing and calming properties. Yes, they do! Did you know that smelling rosemary essential oil helps memory recall and that inhaling the calming fragrance of lavender is an excellent way to relax after a rushed day? Most essential oils have healing properties and using them on a regular basis will help you heal.

6. Essential oils should not be used on babies – Children have much thinner, more delicate skin than adults and they are very sensitive to the oils because it is very strong. If you do have to use an essential oil in a recipe for kids, halve the amount that is mentioned in the recipe.

7. Do not take essential oils internally – Some essential oils may be used when diluted in the right way along with a tooth paste or as a mouth wash. But it is recommended that essential oils should  not be taken internally.

8. Pregnant or Nursing? There are oils that you must avoid. – It is advised that you completely skip using essential oils at least in the first trimester of your pregnancy. Chamomile, cinnamon, , clove, ginger, jasmine, lemon, nutmeg  and rosemary are some of the oils that you should be avoiding when you are nursing a baby or are pregnant.

9. Always test for sensitivities – Always do a patch test if you are new to essential oils. Combine one drop of essential oil with 1/2 tsp carrier oil (olive, jojoba, or sweet almond are the basic carrier oils). Rub this on the inside, upper portion of your arm or the insides of an elbow. Wait for at least a day to check for any rashes or sensitivity issues. If no itching, redness or rashes occur it indicates that the oil suits you.

10. Essential oils last really long! All that you need is one tiny drop of the essential oils for the fragrance to last really long. Because the essential oils are so concentrated, one bottle can last you a really long time.  The only exception to this rule are citrus oils that can reduce in the potency levels after 2 years.

Essential oils are a natural option for many uses. Right from acting as a disinfectant to energizing or calming you, the use of essential oils are many. However, it is important to also note that aromatherapy isn’t healthy for everyone. People with asthma should avoid essential oils and in case of other chronic illnesses, it is always advisable to check with your GP before using any oils.

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