"When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when diet is correct, medicine is of no need." ~Ayurvedic Proverb
What exactly are Essential Oils?
Often referred to as mankind's first medicine, Essential Oils are aromatic volatile liquids distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes and seeds. The method of distillation is extremely important, as it is what makes essential oils extremely concentrated and far more potent than dried herbs. Often times, an entire plant or more is required to produce a single drop of distilled essential oil. These oils can be used singularly, such as in the case of Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, etc. A number of oils may also be blended together resulting in a stronger total effect than when used separately. A pocket reference guide to Essential Oils is highly recommended, the bible of essential oils.
What are Essential Oils Used for?
Essential oils have been used to provide immediate relief and/or cure a host of health conditions. They have been effective in killing bacteria, fungi and viruses. Their fragrances have been known to balance moods, lift spirits, create a romantic atmosphere or dispel negative feelings. They can stimulate nerves, help regenerate tissue and carry nutrients to the cells. This ability to work on both the mind and body is what sets essential oils apart from many other natural therapeutic agents. Essential oils can work through topical application, ingestion or inhalation.
Therapeutic grade essential oils should not be confused with perfume grade oils that are used for household aromatherapy such as those found at popular store chains. Perfume grade oils are usually mixed with synthetic oils and are under no circumstances to be ingested or rubbed onto the skin. The process of making Therapeutic Grade Oils (Grade A)adhere to higher standards to ensure that the oils are extracted from quality organic plants, thereby producing a high quality oil. There are no toxic additives found in this grade of oil.
As a daily user of therapeutic grade essential oils, there are a few that I cannot imagine living without, one in particular being:
Peppermint Oil (single oil) - I carry this in my purse daily for the occasional headache, indigestion, to lift my mood, sinus decongestant or for use as a pain reliever. It has far many more uses, but these uses alone make Peppermint Oil invaluable.