A Beginner’s Handbook to Essential Oils

If you’re looking to create a calm, safe space in your home to dedicate to your self-care rituals, essential oils are a wonderful addition. But not only do they help create a soothing atmosphere, they are also linked to a profound number of mental and physical health benefits and are an incredible way to naturally heal your body.

However, diving into the world of essential oils can be a little overwhelming at first! There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each with a unique scent and associated health benefits. Not to mention, you can combine oils as well – so the possibilities are endless!

In this journal entry, we touch on just the tip of the iceberg for those new to essential oils and delve into what they are, how they work, and a few of our favourites that you can begin with.

Note: If you are pregnant, check with your GP before using any essential oils.

What are essential oils and how do they work?

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. The incredible amount of plant that is required to extract the oils makes these a potent botanical medicine. For instance, approximately 113kg of lavender creates 500g of lavender oil!

Essential oils can be used in aromatherapy, a practice that has been around for centuries. The scent molecules travel up through the olfactory nerves under the roof of the nasal cavity and straight to the brain, particularly the amygdala – the emotional centre of the brain. 

Aside from using a diffusor and inhaling the scented vapour, essential oils can also be absorbed by the skin. However, some types are more suitable than others and a patch test is always recommended to avoid aggravations.

The therapeutic benefits 

As we mentioned above, essential oils hold the potential to provide incredible mental and physical benefits. Some of these include:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Boost mood
  • Kill bacteria, fungi and viruses
  • Reduce nausea
  • Relieve headaches 
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce pain

Now that you have an understanding of the amazing natural healing properties of essential oils, we’ve handpicked some of our favourites to help get you started!

Essential oils for physical healing

Peppermint oil

To reduce nausea and aid digestion.

How to use: Apply a few drops to your neck in the morning to energise your mind and body.

Additional benefits: Soothes skin irritations, improves mental clarity and awakens the body.

Sandalwood oil

To reduce inflammation.

How to use: Rub a few drops into aching muscles at the end of the day. 

Additional benefits: Relieves muscle aches, clears nasal congestion and relieves coughs.

Eucalyptus oil

To relieve cold and flu symptoms.

How to use: Add a few drops to your vaporiser and inhale the warm steam.

Additional benefits: Relieves respiratory problems and improves migraine symptoms.

Essential oils to boost mental wellness

Lavender oil

To relieve stress.

How to use: Add a few drops to your bath or pillow.

Additional benefits: Helps clear congestion, helps sleep, reduces symptoms of depression, and promotes healthy skin.

Orange oil

To reduce anxiety.

How to use: Add a few drops to your diffuser, or even use it as a natural cleaning agent around the home. If applied to the skin, be sure to use a carrier oil (such as jojoba or coconut oil).

Additional benefits: Kills bacteria and reduces pain. 

Lemongrass oil

To relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

How to use: Add several drops to your diffuser. If applied to the skin, be sure to use a carrier oil.

Additional benefits: Reduces blood sugar, heals wounds and kills bacteria.

This is merely an introduction to the wonderful and intricate world of essential oils – there are so many more with an abundance of natural healing properties. 

If this is something that intrigues and excites you, stay tuned for the next addition to our Eden Boutique range of wellness essentials.