What are essential oils?

Essential oils have been around for many years and are used in aromatherapy which is known as an alternative therapy. They are essentially compounds that are extracted from plants and this essence captures the scent or flavour of that plant. These oils are extracted through a process of distillation using either steam or water or alternatively may be extracted using a mechanical process like cold pressing. These pure oils are then added to a carrier oil to make them suitable for use. You can find essential oils from a variety of places, but you are best to look for a reputable stockist like https://www.quinessence.com/ who are knowledgeable about their products and are able to give you advice on the essential oils that you are looking for. Any essential oil products that are created using chemical processes and not considered across the industry to be true or pure essential oils.

Image Credit

Essential oils are traditionally used either to be inhaled through an oil diffuser or similar item or they can be rubbed onto the skin – if this is the case, they are usually diluted into another carrier oil or perhaps an unperfumed body lotion. They are being added to more and more toiletry and cosmetic items as they are preferred to synthetically made fragrances.

The main way in which essential oils work through absorption either through the skin or by being inhaled is that they stimulate the limbic system within our brains. This is the area that has an important role to play in our emotions, behaviours as well our sense of smell and long-term memories. As the limbic system is important both with our sense of smell and the creation of long-term memories it is one of the reasons why a smell can conjure up a number of different memories and the emotions that are linked to these. In some areas of the country aromatherapy oils are used in maternity wards to help with producing a calming nature for the mother during childbirth.

Image Credit

There are thought to be at least 90 different types of essential oils but some of the most popular ones include:

  • Lavender – used for its calming qualities
  • Peppermint – helps with digestion and also to help boost energy
  • Bergamot – also helps to reduce stress
  • Sandalwood – helps concentration and stress relief
  • Chamomile – improves general mood
  • Rose –
  • Ylang-Ylang
  • Tea Tree –help to fight infections
  • Lemon
  • Jasmine – helps in childbirth and can also help with depression style symptoms