Healthy Outlook – DECEMBER – Gifts of Essential Oils
Gifts that show you care!
I don’t know about you, but I love to give a well thought out gift. I’m going to cover some great gift ideas in this newsletter while highlighting essential oils.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree and just one drop can have powerful health benefits. Essential oils are typically created through the process of distillation that separates the oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming.
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that have a strong aroma. By concentrating the oils of these plants, you are literally extracting some of the most powerful compounds of a plant into a single oil. For instance, to get one pound of lavender essential oil, it takes 150 pounds of lavender flowers. So essentially, you can receive 150 times the beneficial properties from lavender essential oils than you would from using straight lavender.
At Old Town Market, we have private label essential oils that are formulated for us by Mitch Coven, a clinical medical herbalist whose company is registered with the FDA. Most of the herbs used are certified organic. His extraction process uses fresh herbs collected at the peak of potency and processed within hours of harvest.
How to use Essential Oils
There are four main ways to use essential oils:
topical, inhalation, internal and personal care.
Topical Use – Some essential oils can be placed directly on the skin, but some cannot and should be mixed with a carrier oil. Some of the best carrier oils include coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and pomegranate seed oil. Simply take 3-5 drops of the essential oil and put directly onto skin or mix 3-5 drops of essential oil with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and massage into skin. Other ways to use topically include baths salts, compresses, and salves.
Internal Use – Certain oils can be used internally and others cannot. Certain essential oils suitable for adults are not healthy for children. In-depth questions about internal dosage should be directed to a nutritionist or physician. The following essential oils should never be taken internally: anise, basil, fennel, hyssop, pine cypress, arborvitae, birch, cedarwood, eucalyptus, white fir, and wintergreen. You can add 1-3 drops of certain oils to water, almond milk, coconut milk, or coconut oil or honey before consuming.
Inhalation with a Diffuser – Putting 15 drops of an essential oil in a diffuser or in warm water is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to use essential oils.
Personal Care –Some common recipes with essential oils include homemade toothpaste, deodorant, body lotion.
What do the different oils do?
I will list a few here with their benefits and give you some recipes that might make some nice holiday gifts. There is no way in this space to list them all but there are a lot of books and resources online to help with your questions.
LAVENDER – Well known for its soothing, calming properties lavender is also known for promoting natural healing for burns, cuts, stings and other wounds.
- Relaxes body and reduces stress
- Promotes natural healing of wounds and burns
- Supports healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Promotes restful sleep
- Promotes healthy skin and appearance
- Supports hormone balance
- Supports healthy blood sugar levels
Rub on the back of your neck in the evening to relax and support healthy blood pressure levels. Put a few drops on your pillow to improve sleep. Add to Epsom salts and add to a bath to detox and restore your body after a challenging day. Put on as a fragrance and replace chemical perfumes.
PEPPERMINT – Pleasantly suitable for an abundance of oral and topical uses. Research has found peppermint can support healthy digestion and relieve occasional gas and bloating.
- Improves focus, energy, and concentration
- Supports digestion
- Reduces muscle soreness
- Fights bad breath
- Improves breathing
- Supports seasonal immunity
Mix with coconut oil and rub topically on sore muscles. Diffuse in the air to improve focus and energy. Put 1 drop in water to freshen breath and support healthy digestion.
LEMON – Lemon is best known for its ability to support the body’s natural detoxification and is widely used to stimulate lymph drainage, to rejuvenate energy, purify skin, and act as an insect repellant.
- Promotes cleansing of lymphatic system
- Supports healthy weight management
- Promotes energy levels
- Supports healthy immune system response
- Improves mood and reduces stress
Put 1-2 drops in water to freshen breath. Rub on hands in place of hand sanitizer for antimicrobial benefits. Mix with baking soda as a natural teeth whitener.
FRANKINCENSE – In ancient times Frankincense was valued above gold because of its use to support health and wellness in a wide range of individuals and circumstances. Shouldn’t we still value our health and wellness over gold?
- Supports healthy inflammation response and immune system function
- Promotes total body skin health
- Spiritual awareness
Apply topically to areas of joint discomfort. Take internally diffuse or use topically for cellular health and longevity. Use after a trauma to re-center and calm yourself. Apply topically on age spots, scars and stretch marks to aid in skin regeneration. Take internally to support healthy inflammation response.
MELALEUCA (Tea Tree) – Tea Tree is well known for its ability to promote natural healing of a variety of wounds. It has powerful antiseptic properties and has been documented to kill many germs on contact.
- Supports healthy gums
- Supports healthy skin and reduces blemishes
- Promotes a healthy scalp
Add 5 drops to shampoo to improve scalp health. Diffuse in the air to purify. Gargle with water to support seasonal immunity. Put directly on bug, mosquito or spider bite to aid in natural healing. Mix 2 teaspoons of water in a spray bottle for an all-purpose cleaner.