People have loved essential oils for over a millennia. Crushing the herbs and getting their beautifully-scented oils wasn’t done just to create a lovely scent for their bodies or homes. Essential oils were used for treating various health issues as well. For instance, people used lavender essential oil to fall asleep quicker. Some herbs like basil were known to help keep annoying insects out of the house.
Today, aromatherapy is available for everyone, so you can create a pleasant and lovely atmosphere at home. This could be a lovely way to relax after a busy day, relieve a headache, unblock your nose, or simply enjoy the soothing scent of your favourite herbs and flowers. The market offers many essential oils, but which ones are the best? What makes an essential oil organic and how to know if it’s the best choice for you? Here are several things you should know before buying.
How Essential Oils Work
Essential oils work via the olfactory senses. The smell is connected to the limbic system, an area in your brain that deals with memories and emotions. This is why aromas have the power to take you back to certain parts of your life and relieve the same feeling. Essential oils are plant extracts, made by steaming or pressing different parts of a plant to seize the compounds that give fragrance.
So when you use the essential oil directly onto your skin (mixed with another oil such as coconut or almond oil) or dropped into a diffuser, the aroma slowly enters the limbic system, and the pleasant scent helps your brain relax. And when your brain relaxes, your body will follow; a slowed brain gives information to the entire body that is time to relax and fall asleep.
How to Choose My Organic Essential Oil
Whenever you read ‘organic’, know that it refers to the formal standard of quality when it comes to herbs, fruits, vegetables, beauty or any other product. When it comes to organic essential oils, it means that the company that produced the oil was dedicated to organic standards and uses top quality and pure oils that were derived naturally from the herb. This organic essential oil wasn’t produced artificially; the herbs were naturally grown and the oil was derived with the use of natural methods.
What you’ll choose depends on the purpose (relaxation, sleep, treating blocked nose). Lavender, chamomile and basil have a calming effect, especially on people with anxiety. Peppermint or bergamot essential oils are stimulative and can help with depression. But, this is individual. You have to research the scents and see what works for you.
Difference Between Organic and Non-Organic Essential Oils
Read the box and instructions of the essential oil. An organic essential oil comes from plants that were grown on soil that doesn’t contain pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. The manufacturer takes extra care during the distillation process and the organic distillation takes a high level of sanitation and documentation. When the oil is extracted, the plants go back to the field to compost and help the other plants as a fertilizer.
This way the used herb adds to the soil’s health (this way the new plants will grow naturally and without any harmful additives). A non-organic essential oil won’t go through any of these processes. In fact, you may come across cheap versions in plastic bottles. Avoid them since an essential oil won’t last in any other material but glass.
Organic Essential Oils Benefits
Besides giving off a pleasant smell, essential oils have a range of other uses. You can use them as natural mosquito repellents. Some scents like basil smell ‘terrible’ for these annoying insects. If you are trying to avoid the special sprays or creams (that contain harsh ingredients) then a basil essential oil can add a fresh and relaxing scent to your room and it will also keep mosquitos out.
You can even essential oils as a natural sunscreen. For this, you’ll have to mix a few ingredients such as lavender essential oil, shea butter, zinc oxide, helichrysum oil, and coconut oil. Put the mix in a box and apply it onto your skin when going out. This is a toxic-free sunscreen that will keep your skin protected from harmful rays.
If you suffer from migraines, start using peppermint essential oil. You can use it in your diffuser so the room can get a fresh peppermint scent, but you can also use coconut oil and drop a few drops of the peppermint essential oil. Rub this mix onto your temple, neck and even chest.
You can even treat skin burns with essential oils. Lavender essential oil and aloe vera can soothe and heal the burns if you apply this mix onto the injured skin on time. However, be sure to seek medical help if you have severe burns.