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    What Are Essential Oils? Everything You Need to Know

    Posted by: Kelsea Bell - Gr8 Health Naturopath

    What Are Essential Oils? Everything You Need to Know

    Essential oils may be thought of as an alternative health trend, however a growing body of research suggests that they can assist with numerous health conditions. From insomnia to migraines, giving your health a boost may be as easy as taking a deep inhale.

    What are essential oils?

    Essential oils are organic compounds that have come from natural plant. They are usually extracted through the process of distillation, often using steam or cold-pressed. As a result of this process, these oils contain a variety of natural constituents, which what gives them that amazing aroma and health benefits.

    How can essential oils be used?

    Essential oils can be used in a number of ways:


    Diffusing essential oils is one of the most popular methods of using them. Diffusers are designed to disperse a super fine mist to gently fill the air with the aromatic properties of essential oils. You will have your room filled with the healing benefits of the essential oil of your choice within minutes.


    If you don’t have a diffuser, you can simply inhale the aroma of essential oils directly from the bottle or rub a drop of oil between your palms and breathe. This is a simple and straightforward method for oils to be quickly absorbed into your system and become effective almost immediately.

    Apply to the skin

    Essential oils are fat soluble, which means they are immediately absorbed by the skin. A popular way to enjoy your essential oils is to simply apply them to your skin for absorption. It is important to note, that essential oils should never be directly applied to the skin. They must always be mixed and diluted with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or apricot kernel oil.


    As essential oils are incredibly volatile and potent, it is not recommended to ingest essential oils. Some of the reasons for this is because they have the potential to affect our gut flora and cause damage to sensitive mucosa membranes. If you do wish to ingest essential oils, it is always recommended to consult with your healthcare practitioner before directly ingesting any essential oil.

    Household cleaner

    Reduce the exposure to toxins in your home by making your own natural disinfecting cleaner. Tea tree and lemon essential oils are tough on bacteria, viruses, and mould—plus, they smell amazing. Make your own cleaner by mixing ½ cup white vinegar, 3 cups water, 10 drops of tea tree oil and 10 drops of lemon oil.

    Essential oil benefits

    For centuries, people have used essential oils for their many benefits. Today, essential oils are gaining popularity as a natural, safe, and cost-effective therapy for a number of health ailments. Research has uncovered many benefits that essential oils can provide including boosting mood, improving sleep, relieving headaches, and killing bacteria.

    See below for the top 6 benefits backed by science.

    Fight Infections

    Numerous essential oils have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties that help to fight infections. This is because the chemical substances contained in the oils have the potential to fight foreign pathogens that can threaten your health. Some of the best essential oils for fighting pathogens and boosting your immunity include oregano, eucalyptus, frankincense, myrrh, lemon, and peppermint.

    Research has found oregano oil contains compounds that possess anti-microbial activity and can inhibit the synthesis and growth of several types of bacteria. Cinnamon has also been found to be one of the strongest oils for use in battling mould growing in food when compared to other essential oils.

    Boost Energy

    Good news! Some essential oils have been proven to increase energy levels and even improve athletic performance. This is because some oils have stimulating effects and can increase the oxygen to your brain, leaving you feeling refreshed, focused, and energized.

    A study found peppermint oil increased brain oxygen concentration, improved exercise performance and reduced exhaustion in healthy male athletes who consumed peppermint oil with water for 10 days. Rosemary has been used in traditional medicine as a stimulant, and it has been considered as one of the most effective herbs for treating physical and mental fatigue.

    Some other great essential oils for energy include grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass, and eucalyptus. Shop our range of oils.

    Reduce Stress & Anxiety

    Relieving stress and anxiety may be one of the most well-known benefits of essential oils. These essential oils typically have sedative properties that induce a calm, peaceful, uplifting, and relaxed feeling. Some of the best essential oils for stress and anxiety include lavender, ylang ylang, frankincense, bergamot, clary sage and orange.

    Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils available. In a 2013 study, aromatherapy using a 3% lavender oil spray on clothing was shown to reduce workplace stress. A 2012 study found that participants who inhaled sweet orange essential oil didn’t have an increase in anxiety or tension during an anxiety-inducing situation.

    Promote restful sleep

    There is a variety of essential oils that have sedative properties, which can be beneficial for people who have trouble falling asleep or getting through the night. Lavender oil is known to be an effective sleep aid because of its ability to leave you feeling relaxed and calm. Some other oils that can be used to promote a restful slumber include Roman chamomile, ylang ylang, bergamot and vetiver. Shop our range of oils.

    Reduce aches & pains

    Aromatherapists often formulate blends of essential oils for addressing muscular pain, spasms, and tension in the body. Research has also confirmed the positive effects that essential oils can have in reducing pain. There are many oils that may be applied topically or used aromatically to reduce aches and pains. This includes peppermint, lemongrass, eucalyptus, chamomile, rosemary, frankincense, turmeric, and ginger.  Shop our range of oils.

    Relieve headaches & migraines

    Essential oils can act as natural headache and migraine relievers as they can provide pain relief, improve circulation, and reduce stress, which can a key cause of headaches and migraines. Peppermint oil is one of the most used essential oils to treat headaches and migraine attacks. It contains menthol, which can help relax muscles and ease pain. Aside from peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, and chamomile. Shop our range of oils.

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