Want to incorporate essential oils into your next massage?
Just let your therapist know.
At VMW this is a fee add on!
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are very complex and often extremely beneficial aromatic compounds found in the seeds, leaves, petals, roots and other parts of plants. Not only do they provide plants and flowers with their own distinct smell, but they also sometimes protect the plant and aid in pollination.
The two most commonly used methods for extracting essential oils is through steam distillation and expression. During distillation, steam breaks through the plant material, extracting the oils. Once the steam is cooled, both the water and the oils return to liquid form and since water and oil don’t mix, the oils are easily separated.
Expression is mostly used for citrus oils and the plant is cold pressed to release the oils within.
Using Essential Oils
If you’re just starting to immerse yourself in the world of essential oils, the best way to start using them is aromatically. Our sense of smell is a powerful thing. In fact, research shows that memories are triggered more by smell than by visuals or sounds.
Start simple! Buy one or two oils that you like and you can use them in a variety of ways. Put around 10 drops in a small spray bottle with water and use as a room refresher. Put a few drops on wool dryer balls to help freshen your clean laundry. One of the best ways to disperse the scent of oils is in a diffuser which can be bought online or at many retail stores. Even just opening a bottle of lavender and taking a whiff can bring a sudden feeling of calmness and serenity.
Many people use essential oils in their daily skin and hair care routine. While some oils are generally safe to apply directly to the skin, such as lavender and tea tree oil, it’s always recommended that you test the oil on a small area first to make sure there are no adverse reactions.
Just like with aromatherapy, there are endless ways of implementing oils for healthy skin, hair and nails. Tea tree is a very effective antibacterial and a tiny dab works wonders on a pesky pimple or an itching bug bite. Rubbing lavender on the temples or the back of the neck can calm a nagging headache.
You can also mix a couple of drops of essential oil into a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil to cover a bigger area and lengthen the life span of your EO bottle.
Can I Ingest Essential Oils?
A rising fad amongst essential oil users is mixing oils in water to drink or even putting drops into empty pill capsules. There are several issues that arise when it comes to ingesting essential oils to keep in mind.
Essential oils are highly concentrated volatile compounds. Usually, hundreds of pounds of plant material is used to make very little oil. For instance, it takes 50 roses to make a single drop of rose essential oil. One drop of peppermint oil is the equivalent of around 25 cups of peppermint tea. No one would honestly drink that many cups of any herbal tea because the odds of it making you feel ill are pretty high–the same goes for drinking several drops of oil.
Another issue is that water and oil don’t mix. For instance, it doesn’t matter how hard you mix lemon oil into a glass of water, the oil will always separate and float on the top. This highly concentrated substance can damage the inside of your mouth or even the lining of your digestive tract. Repeated exposure will only exacerbate the problem and may even make you more sensitive to foods that share the same chemical components.
There are trained professionals that can and do administer oils internally and are usually used in cases of parasites, bacterial or viral infections or when antibiotic resistant infections are not easily controlled.
Relaxing Bath Soak
One Cup of Epsom Salts
1/2 Cup of Baking Soda
10 drops Lavender Oil
10 drops Bergamot Oil
(Always feel free to experiment! Peppermint and Eucalyptus are uplifting and great for the sinuses. Rosemary and Lemon are great for clearing the mind)
Holiday Diffuser Blends
3 Drops Cinnamon
2 Drops Sweet Orange
1 Drop of Clove
3 Drops Frankincense
3 Drops Orange
2 Drops Peppermint
(Always be sure to use cool water in your diffuser–hot water will damage the oils. Also clean your diffuser after every use to keep it from getting clogged)
All Purpose Cleaner
1/2 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
1 1/2 Cups Water
10 Drops Lemon
10 Drops Tea Tree
Mix in spray bottle. Spray on surfaces and wipe clean. Can not be used on some, unsealed marble countertops