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Winter Must-Have | Here's why we love Essential Oils

by Gabby Marcolefas |

When thinking of Essential Oils, the word "Aromatherapy" pops to mind first. Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant extracts to support health and well-being. These oils often assist with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being and can be used in various ways.


WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?

Essential Oils are compounds that have been extracted from various plants, thereby capturing the scent and often the flavour of the plant as well. Basically, the "essence" of the plant is captured through this process.


The process of extracting compounds from plants is known as distillation, where the oil of the plant is obtained using steam and/or water. Once the essence has been captured, it is combined with a carrier oil to create a product that is ready for use. Essential oils are never applied directly to the skin - they must always be diluted with a carrier oil first. 


There are also mechanical methods of extraction, one such method being cold pressing. This process involves pressing fruit or seeds with a modern steel press to extract the essence. What makes this method so appealing is that the essence is able to be captured from the plant while still retaining its nutritional value, making these oils safe and effective for usage on your skin.

 

FIVE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS

  • To relieve stress and anxiety - many studies have concluded that the smell of some essential oils can work alongside traditional therapy to treat anxiety and stress.

 

  • To relieve headaches and migraines - In the ’90s, two small studies found that dabbing a mixture of peppermint oil and ethanol on participants’ foreheads and temples relieved them of their headache pain. Recent studies have also observed reduced headache pain after applying peppermint and lavender oil to the skin.

 

  • To improve sleep quality and assist with insomnia - Studies have indicated that smelling lavender oil improves the sleep quality of women after childbirth, as well as patients with heart disease. Lavender oil is especially renowned throughout various studies for having positive effects on sleep habits.

 

  • To reduce inflammation and swelling - Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory effects which makes them perfect for treating swelling and some rashes, however, it is not recommended to use essential oils topically if you have overly-sensitive skin. Oils that have proven to provide such benefits include Oregano, Thyme, Caraway and Rosemary essential oils.

 

  • To provide antibiotic and antimicrobial effects - Test-tube studies have investigated essential oils, such as peppermint and tea tree oil, extensively for their antimicrobial effects, observing some positive results. Tea Tree oil has been used for centuries in effectively treating and preventing acne and breakouts.

 

HOW TO USE YOUR ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be used in many different ways; a few drops in your bath water, on your shower floor, on a burner or diffuser and even as a luxurious massage oil.


According to Helen West, a writer for Healthline.com, inhaling the aromas from essential oils can stimulate areas of your limbic system, which is a part of your brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviors, sense of smell, and long-term memory. Interestingly, the limbic system is heavily involved in forming memories. This can partly explain why familiar smells can trigger memories or emotions.

 

1. In your bathwater

Add 3 to 5 drops of your favourite essential oil to a full bath and soak. Refer to our Neutriherbs essential oil guide below for the best fit for your mood, or have some fun and combine one or two oils together to create your own unique mix. Do not mix your oils in a bath that has bubbles or any other products in it already - rather use a fresh tub of water for this.

 

2. On your shower floor

Dribble 1 to 2 drops of your essential oil on your shower floor and let its vapors fill the air. This will invoke a calming, fresh environment relieving you of any tension or stress from your day.

 

3. Burner / Diffuser

Add about 3 - 5 drops of your favourite essential oils to a burner dish or vaporizer for a subtle scent. Depending on the type of diffuser you have instructions may vary, however, most diffusers require you to mix the essential oils with a small amount of water for the fragrance to become steam which you can inhale.

 

4. In your favourite body lotion / moisturiser

Essential oils should never be applied directly to your skin. They must always be diluted with a carrier oil of some sort. Usually, 2 - 5 drops of essential oil to ±30ml of carrier oil is the recommended concentration. The most common carrier oils are sweet almond oil or olive oil. If you are using essential oils in your massage oil, add about 5 drops. 

 

5. Other Uses

  • Many people use essential oils to scent their homes or freshen up their laundry.
  • They can also be used as a natural scent in homemade cosmetics and natural skin care products.
  • Some people even use these oils as alternatives to man-made mosquito repellents. Not only is this a safe alternative to using chemicals on your skin, but it is also environmentally friendly - double plus! We recommend trying Citronella, Peppermint, Bergamot, Lemongrass and/or Eucalyptus Oil in this case as these scents help naturally repel mosquitoes.

 

Neutriherbs Aromatherapy Essential Oils - 6 Pack (10ml)

Our Essential Oils have been carefully selected and naturally crafted to bring you an aroma for every mood. Included in this pack are 6 individual 10ml oils for every occasion, making it the perfect starter kit for you or gift set for someone else. These blends are;

1. Stress Relief Blend

- Relieves stress and hypertension

- Improves mood.

- Ingredients: Sweet Orange, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender, Geranium and Bergamot Oils.

 

2. Relaxation Blend

- Releases any pent up tension, especially in the neck and back.

- Brings about a state of peace and quiet throughout the day.

- Ingredients: Citrus Aurantium, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lavender, Frankincense and Patchouli Oils.

 

3. Refreshing Blend

- Boosts your concentration and alertness.

- Lifts your mood.

- Invigorates your senses to transform your day.

- Ingredients: Peppermint, Lemongrass, Pine Needle, Basil, Citronella and Rosemary Oils.

 

4. Calming Blend

- Creates a calming atmosphere promoting relaxation.

- Lessens tension and stress.

- Calms your emotions.

- Ingredients: Chamomile, Sweet Orange, Pine Needle, Cinnamon, Lavender and Sandalwood Oils.

 

5. Romantic Blend

- Relaxes your nerves and eases any tension.

- Creates a romantic/sensual atmosphere.

- Ingredients: Cinnamon, Ylang Ylang, Basil, Pine Needle, Rose and Sweet-Scented Osmanthus Oils.

 

6. Good Night Blend

- Creates a calming, warm atmosphere.

- This blend will instantly make you feel at ease and centred.

- Ingredients: Citrus Reticulata, Eucalyptus, Chamomile, Lavender and Sage Clary Oils.


Aromatherapy Essential Oils - 6 Pack
Retail Price: R469.00

 

Let us know your thoughts and if you found this article helpful in the comments section below.

 

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