How do they work?
The secret of essential oils' effectiveness lies in the speed at which they are absorbed through our skin. They can reach the blood stream in 20 minutes to half an hour maximum.
The essential oils fragrances are believed to activate nerve cells in the nasal cavity sending impulses to the limbic system, which is the area of the brain associated with emotions and memory.
Most essential oils are antiseptic and some are antibacterial. It's been proven that a few drops of essential oil before your daily skin routine actually doubles and sometimes triples its beneficial effects.
Which oil is right for me?
Essential Oils are normally diluted in carrier vegetable oils that support and diffuse them, making their perfume and effect less concentrated.
Are they safe? What about side effects?
The body generally tolerates essential oils well. It's important not to use pure oils directly onto the skin or in the bath water as they can irritate the skin. They are best diluted in your shower gel, bath product or vegetable oils like sweet almond oil, Jojoba oil or avocado oil, or in a cream or moisturiser base. You can even buy a neutral base cream especially to dilute your essential oils.
Some oils are more powerful than others and can cause temporary skin reactions amongst those are thyme, oregano, cinnamon and lemon grass oils. Others make your skin more sensitive to the sun and should not be used for twelve hours before sun exposure. These are bergamot essences as well as lemon, grapefruit and mandarin essences.
Do they affect people in the same way?
Each essential oil has a well-know biological effect but since it also affects the central nervous system, each person reacts according to his or her condition. The same essential oil can have a relaxing or tonifying effect depending on the body's requirement. A good example is lavender oil. In eighty percent of cases, it is soothing, but has a contrary, tonifying effect on some people. Generally the oil that attracts you most is the one that works best for you.
Why are they expensive?
Because they are highly concentrated, it normally takes a few hundred kilos and sometimes a few tons of flowers to obtain a litre of essential oil. For example, it takes a hundred kilos of lavender to make a litre of lavender oil and four million jasmine flowers to produce one kilogram of pure jasmine oil. The most potent one, rose oil is also the rarest and most expensive. Imagine four tonnes of petals, hand picked at sunrise and distilled to obtain a quality product. Pure Rose Oil can cost up to £50 or $100 for ten ml.
Sandalwood, jasmine, rose, patchouli, neroli, even the names sound fragrant...
Essential Oils enhance health, beauty and well being. They energise and detoxify. They represent an ideal alternative for looking after your body, your mind and your spirit. They are one of nature's most effective tools for stimulating and storing positive energy, providing us with great support in our quest for a balanced, healthy and harmonious life.
"Blood of plants", "Spirit of leaves", "Soul of flowers", since the beginning of time, man has used the beneficial essences of plants and flowers for medicinal as well as spiritual purposes. In alchemy, the essence of a flower is its Soul, its Life Force.
Today, Essential Oils have conquered the market. Countless shops around the world display rows of tiny bottles, filled with precious essences, serving hundreds of different purposes, whether for the hair, the skin, the body, or for stress relaxation and mood uplifting.
The recorded use of essential oils extends as far back as 5000 years. They are mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic texts with reference to their powerful properties in healing the body and the mind. The ancient Egyptians extracted them by infusion and used them for cosmetics, healing, food preservation and embalming, as well as for religious ceremonies and incense making. Every god and goddess in ancient Egypt was allotted an essence. Cleopatra is said to have bathed in rose petals.
The ancient Chinese also used essential oils for religious purposes and for healing, massage, and incense making. Incense burning was, and still is, an important part of the religious ceremonies in China.
In India, some temples were built out of sandalwood in an effort to join the gods and the worshippers in fragrant unity.
The ancient Greeks, who owe much of their knowledge to the Egyptians, also linked essences to the spirit. The Greeks considered scents a direct gift from the gods. They believed that the afterworld, or paradise they called Elysium, was a place where perfumed rivers flow.
By the late fifth century, Babylon was the principal market for the perfume trade. The Babylonians used cedar of Lebanon, cypress, pine, fir resin, myrtle, calamus and juniper extensively.
Avicenna (980-1037) the Persian alchemist, astronomer, philosopher, mathematician, physician and poet, who wrote the famous "Canon of Medicine", used essential oils extensively in his practice. He wrote around a hundred books, with one entirely devoted to roses.
However, none more than the hedonistic Romans, greatly inspired by the Egyptians and Greeks, praised essences and used them so widely for their fragrance, as well as for their cosmetic and healing properties. It was the Romans who were responsible for the spread and popularity of essential oils in Europe.
Perhaps the best way to appreciate and understand the potency of essential oils is to look into their frequency. Everything in the universe vibrates at a frequency. Living creatures, plants, objects, everything has a frequency, even disease.
In 1992, Bruce Tainio of Tainio Technology, an independent division of Eastern State University in Cheny, Washington, built the first frequency monitor in the world. Tainio's monitor determined that the average frequency of the healthy human body in the daytime is in the range of 62 to 72 Hz. When the frequency drops, the immune system is jeopardised. If it drops to 58 Hz, cold and flu symptoms start appearing, 55 Hz trigger diseases like Candida and at 52 Hz, it's Epstein Bar. Cancer is at 42 Hz and below.
The study of frequencies raises crucial questions regarding the frequency of substances we ingest or abson a daily basis. Many pollutants lower our body frequency. Processed or canned foods have a frequency of zero. Fresh produce has up to 15 Hz, dried herbs from 12 to 22 Hz, and fresh herbs from 20 to 27 Hz.
Essential oils start at a frequency of 52 Hz and can go up as high as 320 Hz, as in the Turkish rose oil. Clinical research shows that essential oils have the highest frequency of any natural substance known to man. They create a condition where bacteria, virus, fungus and disease simply cannot survive.
The Main Essential Oils and Their Healing Properties
Angelica root: Dull skin, gout, psoriasis, toxin build-up, water retention Exhaustion, nervousness and stress
Anise: Bronchitis, colds, coughs, flatulence, flu, muscle aches, rheumatism Depression
Basil: Bronchitis, colds, coughs, exhaustion, flatulence, flu, gout, insect bites, insect repellent, muscle aches, rheumatism and sinusitis. Fatigue, exhaustion, burnout, memory and concentration
Bay: Dandruff, hair care, neuralgia, oily skin, poor circulation, sprains and strains. Emotional exhaustion and fatigue
Bay laurel: Amenorrhea, colds, flu, loss of appetite, tonsillitis. Confidence, mental confusion
Benzoin: Arthritis, bronchitis, chapped skin, coughing, laryngitis Insecurity
Bergamot: Acne, abscesses, anxiety, boils, cold sores, cystitis, halitosis, itching, loss of appetite, oily skin, psoriasis Anger, anxiety, confidence, depression, stress, fatigue, fear, peace, happiness, insecurity and loneliness.
Bois de rose (Rosewood): Acne, colds, dry skin, dull skin, fever, flu, frigidity, headache, oily skin, scars, sensitive skin, stress, stretch marks Depression, emotional imbalance
Cajeput: Asthma, bronchitis, coughs, muscle aches, oily skin, rheumatism, sinusitis, sore throat and spots. Fatigue, mental confusion
Cardamom: Appetite loss of, colic, halitosis. Fatigue, stress, shame, guilt
Carrot seed: Eczema, gout, mature skin, toxin build-up, water retention Anxiety, confusion, exhaustion, mood swings and stress
Cedarwood: Atlas Acne, arthritis, bronchitis, coughing, cystitis, dandruff and dermatitis. Anxiety, fear, insecurity and stress.
Cedarwood: Acne, arthritis, bronchitis, coughs, cystitis, dandruff, dermatitis, insect repellent, stress Anxiety, fear and insecurity
German chamomile: Abscesses, allergies, arthritis, boils, colic, cuts, cystitis, dermatitis, dysmenorrhea, earache, flatulence, hair, headache, inflamed skin, insect bites, insomnia, nausea, neuralgia, rheumatism, sores, sprains, strains, wounds. Anger, anxiety, depression, fear, irritability, loneliness, PMS and stress.
Roman Chamomile: Abscesses, allergies, arthritis, boils, colic, cuts, cystitis, dermatitis, dysmenorrhea, earache, flatulence, hair, headache, inflamed skin, insect bites, nausea, neuralgia, PMS, rheumatism, sores, sprains, strains, wounds. Anger, anxiety, depression, fear, irritability, loneliness, insomnia and stress.
Cinnamon: Constipation, exhaustion, flatulence, lice, low blood pressure, rheumatism, scabies. Concentration, emotional and mental fatigue
Citronella: Excessive perspiration, fatigue, headache, insect repellent, oily skin Mind fog, tension
Clary sage: Amenorrhea, asthma, coughing, gas, labour pains, sore throat. Anxiety, fatigue, exhaustion, fear, loneliness and stress
Clove: bud Arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, immune system, rheumatism, sprains, toothache Memory and concentration, fatigue, depression
Coriander: Aches, arthritis, colic, gout, indigestion, nausea, rheumatism Fatigue, irritation
Cypress: Excessive perspiration, haemorrhoids, oily skin, rheumatism, varicose veins. Confidence, grief, memory and concentration
Elemi: Bronchitis, catarrh, extreme coughing, mature skin, scars, stress, wounds. Agitation, grief
Eucalyptus: Globulous Arthritis, bronchitis, catarrh, cold sores, colds, coughing, fever, flu, poor circulation, sinusitis. Concentration, memory
Fennel: Bruises, cellulite, flatulence, gums, halitosis, mouth, nausea, obesity, toxin build-up, water retention Fatigue, emotional imbalance
Frankincense: Anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, extreme coughing, scars and stretch marks Anxiety, depression, fatigue exhaustion and burnout, fear, grief, happiness and peace, insecurity, loneliness, panic and panic attacks and stress
Galbanum: Immune system abscesses, acne, boils, bronchitis, cuts, lice, mature skin, muscle aches, poor circulation, rheumatism, scars, sores, stretch marks, wounds Emotional rigidity, mood swings, nervousness and stress
Geranium: Acne, cellulite, dull skin, lice, menopause, oily skin. Anxiety, depression, happiness, mood imbalance and stress
Ginger: Aching muscles, arthritis, nausea, poor circulation fatigue exhaustion and burnout
Grapefruit: Cellulite, dull skin, toxin build-up, water retention. Confidence, fear depression, happiness and peace, and stress
Helichrysum: Abscesses, acne, boils, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, irritated skin, wounds Grief, loneliness, panic and panic attacks, shock
Hyssop: Bruises, coughing, sore throat, respiratory system Concentration, nervousness
Jasmine: Dry skin, labour pains, sensitive skin. Stress, depression, fear, fatigue exhaustion and burnout, confidence and anger
Juniper berry: Cellulite, gout, haemorrhoids, obesity, rheumatism, toxin build-up, urinary system Agitation, negative energy
Lavender: Acne, allergies, anxiety, asthma, athlete's foot, bruises, burns, chicken pox, colic, cuts, cystitis, depression, dermatitis, earache, flatulence, headache, hypertension, insect bites, insect repellent, itching, labour pains, migraine, oily skin, rheumatism, scabies, scars, sores, sprains, strains, stress, stretch marks, vertigo, whooping cough Anxiety, depression, irritability, panic attacks and stress
Lemon: Athlete's foot, colds, corns, dull skin, flu, oily skin, spots, varicose veins, warts Fear happiness and peace, memory and concentration
Lemongrass: Acne, athlete's foot, digestion, excessive perspiration, flatulence, insect repellent, muscle aches, oily skin, scabies, stress Fatigue and mental confusion
Linden blossom: Headache, migraine, Acne, dull skin, oily skin, scars, spots, wrinkles. Insomnia, stress, tension
Marjoram: Aching muscles, arthritis, cramps, migraine, neuralgia, rheumatism, spasm, sprains Mood swings, PMS symptoms, stress
Melissa: Flu, indigestion, herpes, nausea, shingles and cold sores Agitation, anxiety, dementia, nervous tension
Myrrh: Amenorrhea, athlete's foot, bronchitis, chapped skin, gums, halitosis, itching, ringworm Emotional imbalance, creativity
Myrtle: Acne, asthma, coughs, haemorrhoids, irritated skin Addiction and self destructive behaviour, depression
Neroli: Mature skin, oily skin, scars, stretch marks Anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, panic attacks and stress
Niaouli: Acne, bronchitis, colds, coughs, dull skin, oily skin, sore throat, whooping cough Concentration and mental fog
Nutmeg: Arthritis, constipation, muscle aches, nausea, neuralgia, poor circulation, rheumatism and slow digestion. Mental fatigue
Bitter orange: Colds, constipation, dull skin, flatulence, flu, gums, mouth, slow digestion, Anger, confidence, depression, fear, happiness, peace and stress
Oregano: Coughs, digestion, respiration Insecurity
Parsley: Congestion, digestion, diuretic, immune system, kidney infections and stones Frigidity
Patchouli: Acne, cellulite, chapped skin, dandruff, dermatitis, eczema, mature skin, oily skin. Fatigue, frigidity exhaustion and stress
Black pepper: Aching muscles, arthritis, detox, constipation, muscle cramps, poor circulation, sluggish digestion. Anxiety, fatigue, concentration
Peppermint: Asthma, colic, exhaustion, fever, flatulence, headache, nausea, scabies, sinusitis, vertigo fatigue exhaustion and burnout, memory and concentration
Petitgrain: Rapid heartbeat, insomnia Anxiety, panic
Pine: Colds, congestion, cough, flu, lungs sinusitis Depression, fatigue, nervous exhaustion
Rose: Eczema, mature skin Anger, anxiety, , frigidity, depression grief, menopause, happiness and peace, loneliness, panic and panic attacks and stress
Rosemary: Aching muscles, arthritis, dandruff, dull skin, exhaustion, gout, hair care, muscle cramping, neuralgia, poor circulation= and rheumatism. fatigue exhaustion and burnout, confidence, memory and concentration
Sandalwood: Bronchitis, chapped and dry skin, laryngitis, oily skin, strep throat, urinary tract problems Anxiety, depression, exhaustion and burnout, fear, grief, irritability and stress
Spearmint: Asthma, exhaustion, flatulence, headache, nausea, scabies. Depression, mental fatigue
Thyme: Arthritis, bronchitis, candida, cuts, dermatitis, gastritis, laryngitis Concentration and memory
Vetiver: Acne, arthritis, muscular aches, oily skin, rheumatism Anger, anxiety, exhaustion, insomnia, fear, grief, insecurity and stress
Violet leaf: Bronchitis, insomnia, liver congestion, sluggish circulation, problem skin Fear, nostalgia, obsession, shyness
Yarrow: Acne, arthritis, inflammation, hair care, hypertension, insomnia Insomnia, stress and tension
Ylang Ylang: Hypertension, menopause and PMS symptoms, palpitations Anger, depression, frigidity, mood swings, PMS, stress
Disclaimer: The benefits cited above are for information only. Please consult a qualified aromatherapist or holistic health practitioner before using essential oils.