A basic introduction to essential oils

Essential oils have molecules that are very small and can therefore easily be absorbed through the pores of our skin. Because of this, they can be absorbed into our bloodstream where the oils assist in repairing damaged cells.

They contain potent healing properties for our skin, body and emotions.

The oils can be inhaled to provide relief from a cold or flu, as well as help to ease back pain by stimulating the tense muscles to relax. They also work exceptionally well to relieve anxiety and stress.

How are essential oils obtained?

It is the delicate but powerful essence extracted from raw materials such as fragrant flowers, leaves, roots, resin, bark, rind and wood that become essential oils. Some examples of this botanical matter is rose, cinnamon, ginger, frankincense, cedarwood, peppermint and orange.

This volatile liquid extraction is now called the essential oil and contains the fragrant essence of the botanical matter. Currently there are 3,000 known essential oils in the world, with approximately 150 used for commercial trading.

Healing powers

Essential oils have been studied scientifically in some cases and have been proven to assist in healing certain ailments in the body – like sinusitis. They have even been known to work on the skin and improve emotions. When you place a bottle of an essential oil under your nose, it releases its fragrant molecules into your nasal passage, which are then absorbed by your sensory olfactory system known normally as the smell sense.

This is an area which is found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose. These cells connect directly to the brain where the limbic system is located. The limbic system is called our emotional centre as it supports a variety of functions such as behaviour, emotion, motivation and long-term memory.

So how do the oils connect with our emotions then?

Some studies have shown that essential oils can trigger happy memories of your childhood, like eating oranges with your friends when orange oil is smelled, or when mommy baked cinnamon cookies when cinnamon oil is smelled.

Essential oils have shown tremendous success in treating skin conditions like acne and balancing oily skin. They have also shown amazing abilities to heal scars, soothe inflammation and work against the clock with their powerful anti-aging properties.

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