On our trend radar this month is, you guessed it, essential oils. And while it may be more of an age old holistic tradition than a trend, per se, we’ve definitely seen them highlighted in more mainstream channels of late and so we decided to see what they’re all about.
Well, for starters, we’ll state the obvious: they are oils. Even we knew that much before we started. What we didn’t know is just how much these oils could do. Much more potent than their dried herb counterparts, essential oils are a natural, heavily concentrated substance derived from a plant—like flowers, shrubs, trees, roots, seeds and bushes—and they more or less contain the natural smell and characteristics of that plant they come from. The resulting substance is home remedy that can be used for many everyday health problems and wellness needs. You’ll notice the vials they come in are typically small—but don’t be fooled. A little goes a long way and packs a powerful punch.
How you use your oils will depend on your personal needs, preferences, the type of oil, and what you’re trying to accomplish through its use—Is it for weight loss? Is it for pain relief? Is it for mood boosting? This may matter when choosing how you use it. That being said, there are three primary ways to use essential oils:
Amongst these three different options, people have gotten O-M-G creative with how to incorporate oils into their daily routines. Whether you use them alone or mix them with other oils, you’ll find plenty of recipes for application, including:
The list goes on. Trust us. If you have hours to kill, looking into essential oil uses and recipes is one of the more fun ways to do it—we may or may not have spent the better part of a day on Pinterest doing just that. Bottom line: we love that this trend can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways, depending on what tickles your fancy.
And because we love you, a quick safety note: before using any oil, it’s important to do your research and carefully follow directions for use. Do a patch test before you slather up your bod with a new moisturizing oil concoction, and make sure to check for any possible contraindications that could react with existing health issues (ex. high blood pressure, allergies, epilepsy).
As with anything you put in or on your body, you want to know how it’s made and where it comes from.
Essential oils can be made a few ways, including solvent extraction, cold pressing, maceration, and effleurage, but the most common method is steam distillation (and probably one of the best in terms of preserving quality).
No matter the method, it takes a lot of plant material to make even a small oil, which is why high-quality oils might seem a little pricey. That’s the thing, though—they’re high quality—which is, ya know, sort of important when it comes to your body, right?
Cheaper, lower-quality oils may be made from plants that were treated with pesticides or through an extraction process that uses chemicals. Make sure when buying that you look for therapeutic-grade essential oils without all that nasty GMO, pesticide, and chemical junk you don’t need in your life. After all, your bod deserves the best. And that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to break the bank. There are plenty of essential oil brands that offer quality for a fair price.
Like we said, there are plenty of essential oil brands out there, but in the interest of quality and cost, we turned to our friends at Eden’s Garden to help us foray into this new, exciting, and heavenly scented world. Their starter kit is a perfect way for beginners (just like us!) to get familiar with some of the most popular and useful oils out there.
Exactly what you’ll need may depend on how you plan to use your oils, but since we weren’t exactly sure we took their recommendation and went with this handy little kit. Not regretting it.
Like we said, we’re starting with the basics, and we found these guys to be at the top of everyone’s Essential Oils 101 list:
We were happy to see a few of these on this short list, as we were big fans of a couple of ’em already–and that’s before we knew about all the benefits they offered in oil form. Now, we’re even more excited about them. Because honestly, can you ever have enough lemon and lavender in your life? Don’t. Think. So.
There isn’t a blog post long enough to do each of these justice, but we want to make sure you burgeoning essential oil experts get at least a general understanding of the power behind these six starter oils. Let’s jump right in and find out what’s inside those adorable amber vials.
Once you master these six, know that the world of essential oils is so much bigger than you can probably imagine and there are plenty more where these came from. But there’s nothing wrong with easing into things at first.
One of the greatest things we discovered about essential oils is that the uses and information available is seemingly endless, depending on how deep you want to dive into your exploration of this ancient tradition. At the same time, though, it can also be slightly overwhelming. We’re hoping this introductory post on the trending topic gives you a solid starting point without feeling overwhelmed by all the amazing essential oil resources out there. Now, get ready to inhale or diffuse your way to a healthier self!