Essential Oils

Author: Alyce Cimino  

Essential oils are highly concentrated non-water soluble phytochemicals that are distilled from different parts of plants. So concentrated that about 4 tons of fresh roses make approximately 1kg of rose oil! Essential oils can be distilled from leaves, roots, flowers and other parts of plants and are very potent because of their concentration of phytochemicals.

There are many ways to use essential oils however often the safest options are to use a diffuser or oil burner. Some people prefer to dilute the essential oils in water for cleaning or added to carrier oil for topical use.

One of the benefits of enjoying Essential Oils is that when you pick high quality oil, they are free from manufactured chemicals. This means they can help invigorate the home without the chemical load of some products! A drop of lavender in the washing machine or dryer, a little lemon or orange to help clean the floor and peppermint to keep bugs away.

Everyone has their favourites and they all have unique properties, so let’s have a closer look!

Lavender

Possibly the most well-known essential oil, this potent oil has many uses. Traditionally lavender is known for its relaxing properties making it a wonderful addition to the afternoon diffuser to help unwind after a long day or placing a couple drops into the washing machine with your sheets to help promote sleep. Lavender is also known to help repel bugs, making it perfect for a lazy Australian afternoon. 

Lemon grass 

Lemon grass has a delicious fresh and uplifting fragrance. In an oil burner, lemon grass can help to refresh a room and bring a little bit of zing into the day, helping to eliminate mental fatigue (perhaps the perfect oil for 3.30 on a Friday afternoon in the office) and it has been known to help to overcome the feeling of nervousness. Lemon grass also naturally helps to repel insects and is commonly used in massage oils due to its calming and soothing properties. 

 

 

Rose geranium

Rose geranium has a delicate flower scent that people find have a calming and restorative response on the nervous system. This is another wonderful essential oil that is great added into the laundry or into a diffuser to help unwind in the afternoons.

Peppermint 

Peppermint essential oils can have a cooling property on the body and is often used in body washes, such as Dr Bronner’s castile soap to help cool the skin. Peppermint also is known for its role on the respiratory system and helping to clear the airways during times of illness such as the common cold. A couple drops into the diffuser or into a steam bath can help to relieve those blocked noses that are common over the cooler months.

*some essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy, breastfeeding and around infants. Always speak to your health care professional before starting a new health routine. Always use a carrier oil when applying to the skin. If using a diffuser, use caution around people with known respiratory conditions. Speak to a qualified aromatherapist to know which essential oils suit your health needs the best. 

 

Written by Alyce Cimino

Alyce Cimino (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified Naturopath with a passion for nutrition, food as medicine and helping others achieve their health goals towards a happy and healthy lifestyle. Alyce believes health begins with delicious whole foods and in her spare time you can find her in the kitchen creating something deliciously healthy or at the beach enjoying the sunshine and ocean.

Alyce has a love for herbal teas, but all teas are better with a little raw cheesecake on the side.


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