Essential oils are a complex mixture of natural occurring chemicals that have a multi-faceted role with in the plant. They are tiny volatile droplets found in the glands, glandular hairs, sacs or veins of leaves, stems, fruits, bark, roots, seeds and flowers of plants. They contain the essence or fragrant part of the plant.
These oils can benefit the body, mind and soul physically, emotionally, energetically, cellularly and spiritually. Essential oils enter the bloodstream through inhalation or penetration of the skin then circulate throughout the body until they are eliminated through perspiration and normal bodily functions.
Five essential oils for everyday wellness are Eucalyptus, Lavender, Orange, Peppermint and Tea Tree.
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus) essential oil is steam distilled from fresh or partially dried leaves. Depending on the species its color can range from colorless to pale yellow to brown. Eucalyptus has a refreshing and camphorous scent and best known as a decongestant for colds. Eucalyptus essential oil is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.
Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is steam distilled from flowering tops or stems. It is colorless or a pale yellow and has a sweet, floral, herbaceous refreshing aroma. Lavender has a calming effect on the nervous system and is a first choice for insomnia due to stress and anxiety. It also has many beneficial attributes for skins issues. Lavender essential oil is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.
Orange (citrus sinensis) is cold pressed from the ripe outer peel of the fruit. The oil is a yellow-orange to a dark orange color liquid with a sweet, fresh citrus aroma. It’s considered to have a mildly sedative and antidepressant effect, along with beneficial attributes for soothing dry or acne prone skin. Orange essential oil is non-toxic, non-irritating, but phototoxic.
Peppermint (mentha piperita) essential oil is obtained by steam distillation and is a pale-yellow or pale-olive color with a fresh, strong grassy-mint aroma. Peppermint is one of the most effective essential oils for the digestive system. It is beneficial in relieving headaches and sinus congestion. Peppermint essential oil is non-toxic, non-irritating but maybe sensitizing.
Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil is water or steam distilled from a small tree and is a pale-yellowish to almost clear color liquid with a warm, spicy odor. Tea tree is recommended for bronchitis, coughs and sinusitis. It is also used in the treatment of acne, athletes’ feet, bug bites and wounds. Tea Tree essential oil is non-toxic, non-irritant, maybe sensitizing to some individuals.
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This information is for educational purposes only. Do Not Use Internally. Keep Out of Reach of Children.
Reference: Battaglia, S. (2003). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Brisbane: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy