Wellness in Doses

Wellness in Doses - Your Essential Guide to Body Oils

Co-authored by Ella Mariano

We love our essential oils! The wonderful scents, pleasing aesthetics. essential oils can change a bad day to a good day just by their smell. But the power of essential oils go so much deeper. Here are some facts that you may not have known about some of your favorite essential oils.

Lavender essential oil has an earthy floral scent to it. It has shown results in treating anxiety, fungal infections, hair loss, and wounds. It is also known to help with sleep by relaxing muscles and calming the heart rate, which promotes a deeper and more consistent sleep. This oil is one of the most popular essential oil due to its many health benefits. The use of Lavender can be dated back to over 2,000 years.

Orange essential oil has a fresh, sweet, citrus smell to it. It can be used to help with depression, anxiety, stress, pain relief, and skin conditions such as acne.

Rose essential oil has a sweet, fruity, violet, clove smell to it. It boasts a complex array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Rose essential oil has excellent emollient properties for moisturizing dry skin; it also offers antiseptic and astringent properties to treat acne, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that help treat redness and inflammation. Rose essential oils are widely used all over the world for its health benefits.

Lemon essential oil has a fresh, clean, citrus smell to it. It has many benefits including helping with anxiety and depression, improves skin, treats acne, and it can even help make you feel energized too.

Lily essential oil has a sweet aroma to it. It is rich in Vitamins A, C, E, anti-oxidants and minerals, an ideal natural moisturizer for body, skin and hair. It soothes skin disorders like acne, rashes, eczema, wrinkles, psoriasis, dermatitis, sores, burns, insect bites, and stretch marks.

Rosemary essential oil has a citrus-like, herbaceous scent. It helps repels certain bugs, stimulates hair growth, reduces pain, soothes inflammation, and strengthens the immune system.

Jasmine essential oil has a sweet, rich fragrance to it. It has a pleasing and uplifting effect on the mind and it actively fights depression. Its scent is believed to help your brain release hormones, including serotonin which helps to improve one’s mood as well as gives an energy boost. Jasmine also has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

Peppermint essential oil has a fresh, minty smell to it. It can help with so many things including headaches, muscle pain, nausea, common colds and digestive issues.

Chamomile essential oil has a fresh, sweet, fruity, herbaceous smell to it. It can help with anxiety, promotes sleep, wound healing including ulcers and sores, eases skin conditions like eczema or rashes, and it also helps with anti-inflammation and pain relief, for example back pain.   

Ylang Ylang essential oil has a heavy, sweet, fruity floral smell to it. It makes a very effective skin cleanser due to its potent anti-bacterial properties. This mega oil is also used as an anti-aging oil as its antioxidant properties combat free radicals that contribute to premature aging. It also acts as a healing powerhouse, boosting the regenerative process of the epidermis.

Neroli essential oil has a sweet, citrus, honeyed floral smell to it. It is known to rejuvenate skin. When applied to skin, it provides an intense moisturizer which boosts the skins regenerating process. Neroli also helps to combat acne, helps with stress, and sleep.

Grapefruit essential oil has a fresh, sweet, citrus smell to it. It can help with treating acne, depression, anxiety, lower blood pressure, and it reduces stress.

Gardenia essential oil has a sweet, floral smell to it. It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. It is an effective remedy for treating inflammatory disorders like arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and intestinal inflammation. Geniposide and genipin are two special chemicals in gardenia that promise anti-inflammatory actions.

Eucalyptus essential oil has a minty, woody, citrus smell to it. It has many benefits like how it can helps keep away bugs, sooth cold sores, control blood sugars, and disinfect wounds.

Cinnamon essential oil has a spicy, sweet smell to it. It can reduce stress, relieve pain, fight off infections, and it repels insects.

Lemongrass  essential oil has a sweet, citrus smell to it. It has anti-fungal properties and anti-bacterial properties, relieves nausea, helps prevent gastric ulcers, and it can help reduce cholesterol.

Sandalwood  essential oil has a deep, woody smell to it. It can help with anxiety, fever, high blood presser, indigestion, and sore throats.



How essential oils are made. 

Essential oils are extremely concentrated and when used with incorrect ratios, can do a lot of harm to skin. To give you an example on how concentrated essential oils are, it takes 10,000 pounds of rose petals to produce  one pound of rose essential oil, 1500 lemons to make one pound of distilled lemon essential oil, 250 pounds of lavender to make 1 pound of lavender oil and so on. There are also oils that are absolutes, which means they are even more refined and concentrated. Always make sure to read cautionary statements on oils you plan to use. Many oils such as citrus oils are photosensitive and should not be used if you plan to go out in sunlight.

There are four types of methods that can be used to make essential oils:

Stem distillation

Stem distillation is the process where essential oils are extracted from delicate plant materials. During the process it is very important that the temperature and pressure of the water is controlled because if they are not  controlled then they might  burn and then they would be ruined. First the plant materials are put over water which is heated by some heat source, then the steam goes through the plant material and then the steam, heavy with essential oils, goes into a condensing coil. The condensing coil is warm on the inside and surrounded by a cold water bath on the outside causing the steam to condense into floral water and essential oils. Since water and oil do not mix, they separate, the water then sinks to the bottom and the oil rises to the top. The water is drained and then the oil is collected and sent to be decanted and filtered.

Cold pressing

Cold pressing is specifically used for citric essential oils and fatty oils. Cold pressing is where you place a very heavy weight on top of a container full of plant materials. It then presses all of the natural oils out of the plant material.

Resin tapping

During resin tapping they cut a slit into the tree which allows the internal resin to seep out and be collected. Then the resin is steamed to still which gives rise to the essential oils.

Absolute oil extraction

Absolute oil extraction is the hardest out of the four because it requires a solvent. A solvent helps dissolve another substance. With some essential oils the plant material is too delicate to use in a regular steam distillation. (It would not survive.) With absolute oil extraction they add a solvent to the plant material. The solvent helps pull the essential oil out of the plant material. In order to separate the solvent from the oil a second extraction uses steam to remove the solvent from the oil. The oil is then sent to the laboratory to test for purity.

And that is how they make essential oils.

Frequently asked question

1. Is it safe to ingest essential oils? It depends on the essential oil; if it does not say it is safe to consume on the bottle, then I would assume it is not safe to take internally.

2. Can I put products with essential oils in them directly on my skin? Yes you can, but with some essential oils it might burn a little if your skin is sensitive.Please refer to the application suggestions on the product you are using.

3. What is a good essential oil to use to repel bugs? Peppermint can repel ants, fleas, lice, and moths. Lemongrass can repel mosquitoes, fleas, fruit fly's, and moths. Orange can repel most insects.

4. What kind of bottles should my product that uses essential oils be in? You should store them in a dark bottle in a cool place out of direct sunlight. The oils are sensitive to sunlight and degrade quickly in sunlight. If stored in a clear bottle they should be kept out of sunlight though we do not recommend storing them in clear bottles.

Using Essential Oils

There are so many DIY recipes for skin products using essential oils. Some do not follow safe ratios which can create a product that is not safe for skin. You will see many that use more than one type of essential oil and will have double the oil for a small amount of product. Many times the correct ratio is only 1-2 percent of the total weight of the product. If you are going for scent over essential oil benefits, you may want to consider scented oils as the scent with essential oils may not meet the fragrance strength you may be aiming for.

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