The power of essential oils (EO’s) is real – have YOU made them part of your everyday life yet?
We’re going to lay out all of the basics so you can get on this one bandwagon that’s here for the long haul. And when you learn about the history of EO’s, you’ll know that they’re not even new. In fact, EO’s have been around for centuries!
Some essential oils come from seeds while many others are extracted from the leaves of the plant. Because EO’s are so highly concentrated, it takes a tremendous amount of plant to produce just one ounce of oil.
Due to this level of concentration, essential oils are incredibly powerful, so a little bit goes a long way!
Some “essential” terms you should know:
Essential oils are basically the natural aromatic compounds extracted from seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Diffusion is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the aromatic benefits of essential oils.
This refers to a lipid- or fat-based liquid used to dilute EO’s. Olive, coconut, almond, jojoba and argan oils are the most common ones.
The process of extracting essential oil from plant material.
Steam distillation is the most common distillation method that uses low-heat pressurized steam to circulate through plant parts and extract oils.
Cold press distillation uses a mechanical press to squeeze essential oils from plant parts, and is the most commonly used method for obtaining citrus oils – a classic ingredient in DIY household cleaning products. This is to preserve their aromatic bounty!
Historic Essential Oils
Despite being suddenly catapulted into popularity, essential oils are not a new thing.
The ancient Egyptians were among the first to use aromatic essential oils for daily life, and pure EO’s were prized and saved for priests and royals. Other ancient societies, such as those in China, Greece and Rome used EO’s for aromatherapy, illness, and personal hygiene.
Essential oils to support starter kit:
Are you a newbie to EO’s?
Here are 4 of the most popular ones to try first, and a few suggested uses. They make great staples in your medicine cabinet too!
TEA TREE OIL (Melaleuca): Soothing, cleansing & healing
- Soothes skin irritations
- Antibacterial and antifungal
How to use
- Combine 1–2 drops with your preferred facial cleanser (or moisturizer) for added cleansing properties
- Mix 1-2 drops with pure aloe vera gel and apply to skin after shaving
- Use diluted with water and/or vinegar as a surface cleaner – see recipe!
- Add a few drops to shampoo and massage into the scalp – use in your conditioner too
- Add a drop to toothpaste or swish with water for a quick and easy mouth rinse – but do not swallow or ingest
LAVENDER: Soothing & calming
- Reduces feelings of stress and anxiety
- Helps lower cortisol
- Helps promote a restf sleep
How to use
- Add a few drops to your pillow or bottoms of your feet for a restful night’s sleep – or use in a diffuser near your bed
- Apply topically to help heal pimples, skin inflammation and irritation – be sure to test a drop on your skin to test for sensitivity; dilution may be required
- Soak away stress! Add a few drops to a warm bath
- Diffuse in your bedroom before bed for a restful sleep
- Apply topically diluted with a carrier oil for sunburn relief
LEMON: Cleansing, revitalizing & uplifting
- Naturally detoxifies the body and balances pH levels
- Helps with healthy digestion
How to use
- Use in a diffuser to purify the air, creating an uplifting & refreshing aroma
- Add to a spray bottle full of water to clean tables, countertops, and other surfaces – recipe!
- Use to remove gum, glue, or any other sticky residues from surfaces
PEPPERMINT:Cooling & energizing
- Reduces gas and bloating
- Helps to boost mood and awaken senses naturally
How to use
- Apply a few drops directly to the skin of the back of your neck to cool off
- Diffuse for a refreshing aroma
- Feeling tense? Rub on head and neck for a soothing, calming sensation
- Add to shampoo or conditioner for a stimulating & invigorating scalp massage
- Use as a natural bug repellent
Other popular ones for beginners are essentials oils of frankincense, clove, eucalyptus, clary sage, sweet orange, grapefruit, and rosemary.
Applications, skin sensitivity & ingestion
Essential oils can be used topically, which means you can apply them directly on the skin, mix them with carrier oils or mix with other personal care products.
DILUTE — A category of essential oils that should be mixed with a carrier oil. The carrier oil will help transport the EO’s onto the skin.
NEAT — A category of essential oils that can be applied topically without dilution because of a chemistry that is considered mild.
INGESTION—While there may be indication for internal ingestion of certain EO’s for therapeutic purposes, it’s important to note that not all brands of essential oils are suitable for ingestion! Be sure to consult with a professional and do your own research before ingesting essential oils.
Essential oils are incredibly powerful and serve many purposes for the home, and in daily health routines. With some basic knowledge, and having a few high-quality oils on hand, you can DIY dozens of homemade products, and enjoy many therapeutic benefits.
Ditch the toxic cleaners that can disrupt your hormones and try this simple and effective cleaner instead!
Natural All-Purpose Household Cleaner
- ½ cup plain white vinegar
- 2 Tb baking soda
- 10-15 drops tea tree, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus &/or rosemary essential oil (or any combo of these) for their disinfectant properties
In a clean 12-ounce spray bottle (glass is best), mix the vinegar, essential oils and a splash of water before adding baking soda *important*.
Then fill to top of bottle with water, and gently shake to mix ingredients. Then spray area, wipe with a clean cloth, and allow it to dry. Dirty areas are now clean and disinfected!
About Leanne Weaver
Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics
Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer. She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.
She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics, a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.
She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier.
Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.