Humans have used essential oils for thousands of years. In fact, in ancient Egypt they already used them, that is, we already discovered and used them for at least 4,000 years BC… And if you have come this far, it is because you want to know them well, right?
It is important to know exactly what they are, how they act, what properties they have, etc., before starting to use them. For example, they should not be confused with aromatic oils for cooking, although essential oils can also be used, very specifically, for cooking. Other more common uses are those directly related to the physical and mental health of people and animals, cosmetics and even for the home.
In Green Ecologist we help you to know What are essential oils and we talk to you in depth about them.
All aromatic vegetables contain essences and pure essential oils are the most powerful extract of essences. Thus, essential oils are extracted from aromatic trees and aromatic plants, both from their stems and roots, as well as from their leaves and flowers.
The smell that the different parts of an aromatic plant give off, especially the flowers and fruits, is the essence itself. It contains aromatic molecules, which are the ones that confer the odor itself, and other molecules that make up chemical substances with different properties and not just odorous ones. Thanks to this, pure essential oils contain a variety of properties that can help us if we know how to use them well. These same properties are those that protect the plant against attacks and, in this way, can protect itself against fungi, bacteria, viruses and other pests or even close a lesion on the stem or leaves faster.
As we have indicated, pure essential oils They are contained in vegetables and, thanks to their composition, they have a variety of properties that we can take advantage of. But how do these oils work? The truth is that they manage to function in our body thanks to the complex and powerful chemical composition they have, since they have a great diversity of molecules that confer different properties, since some are more effective against bacteria, against viruses, etc., and thanks to this composition and in adequate doses, we can benefit by improving the immune system, improving the circulation, etc.
They can act easily in our body because can easily penetrate our skin and thus enter the bloodstream and reach the different organs.
You've surely heard of the use of essential oils for aromatherapyBut what is aromatherapy? It can be defined as the use of these therapeutically, that is, to cure or alleviate conditions and health problems or to keep the body in balance. In fact, the essential oil obtained from vegetables is the concentrated essence and, therefore, it is a very active product and with a small amount it can achieve a great effect on the body. It is for this reason that you have to know what the uses of essential oils and how to use them well taking into account certain precautions and knowing the doses, for this reason it is necessary to use them under the indications of a specialist.
We can also indicate that more specifically, aromatherapy is considered as a branch of phytotherapy, that is, to the use of the different parts of the plants with therapeutic purpose. These can be used in different ways such as including them in food, infusions, teas, macerates, essential oils, etc.
Essential oils have an immense variety of properties and each of them has several. However, in general, all are antiseptic, although some much more than others, since their main function within plants is to protect them from external agents such as parasites, viruses and other diseases.
These are some of the main ones according to the properties of essential oils What are we looking for:
Next we will tell you how to use essential oils for our benefit, as there are different ways to do it. They can be used both externally and internally:
In general, these are the recommended doses, however, we must always consult with the specialist who monitors our health.
The extraction of essential oils is not easy, because you need specific machines and tools and know how to use them very well, in addition to the raw material in greater or lesser amounts depending on a variety of factors. For example, we may require an essential oil distiller and know well how it is used in order to obtain the essence of the desired plant or vegetable.
A) Yes, how the extraction of essential oils is carried out? Well, there are a variety of ways to do it, since depending on the raw material that is going to be used, one method or another is more effective. These are the different methods:
At this point, you may already wonder where you can buy essential oil. The truth is that it is very easy to buy essential oils, because you can buy them through physical and online stores such as pharmacies, parapharmacies, natural product stores, herbalists and herbalists, among others.
You will see that there are highly variable prices between the different types of oils and their brands. The reason, apart from the value of the brand itself, is that depending on the main component it costs more or less to obtain its essential oil, that is, there are some seeds from which a large amount of oils can be extracted with a small amount of seeds and others that the opposite happens, and in the same way it happens with the fruits, the petals, the leaves, and so on.
How can you tell if you are buying a quality essential oil? Well, there are different types of stamps to indicate that they are authentic and of good quality. When you go to buy one, make sure that the initials AEQ (chemotyped essential oil), BIO, HEBD (huile essentielle botaniquement et biochimiquement defines) or indications such as 100% pure essential oil and natural essential oil. Aspects such as the Latin name of the plant are also usually indicated on the packaging, as well as the name of the part of it from which it has been extracted.
This is another common doubt, since many products once opened require specific care to be well preserved. In the case of essential oils, in general, they are well preserved between 3 and 5 years if properly stored.
The best thing is to make sure that the jars are not open, that they are not in a very hot area and that they are not given direct light on a regular basis, which is why jars made of dark and non-transparent glass are often used. A good idea is store them in a cupboard at room temperature.
It is vital for health to know whether or not to use these products depending on the case. For this reason, we insist on consulting a professional before using them, but we also want to inform about the most basic cases, such as pregnancy, children or even animals.
During the first trimester of pregnancy it is totally contraindicated its use, as they are too powerful for such a delicate moment and with so many changes in the body. However, some of them can be used during the second and third trimesters, but always under the supervision and advice of the specialist. In the case of breastfeeding, the same happens, it is best not to use them at this time, but if it is done it should be towards the end of that period, when the child is somewhat more developed, and always under the prescription of a doctor or pharmacist specialized in aromatherapy.
About children can take essential oils but not of any kind or way. There are some who are prohibited for children under 6 yearsOthers even more powerful are prohibited for children under 3 months and the dose must always be adjusted according to age, something that the specialist doctor will have to indicate. The most frequent route of application of the doses in children is the skin.
Finally, many are the people who also choose to use them on their pets, in general to offer them a better quality of life and even to treat disorders or alleviate their symptoms.
As for us, these products can also be very beneficial for animals if they are used well. Again, the dosages should be indicated by someone who is specialized in aromatherapy and in this case, who has specialized even more in essential oils for animals. Of course, it will not be the same amount of the same product for a horse as for a dog or a rabbit, since neither their organism works exactly the same nor their size has anything to do with it.
The most common ways to apply them to animals are topically mixed with vegetable oils, gels, balms and ointments. You can also use water-based sprays for the environment, for example to spray on the areas where they sleep, or to spray on their body (avoiding the face). Hydrostats and essential oil waters are also often used, as well as in people.
As we have already mentioned, these products are very powerful and a small amount is enough to use them well. However, sometimes they are misused due to ignorance, for example using them in greater quantities, mixing some in an inappropriate way, applying them the wrong way or using them previously suffering from any condition or condition that contraindicates it.
Thus, like any natural element, as well as any synthetic or artificial, they can have both positive and negative effects on the body. These are some of the side effects of improper use of essential oils:
For this and more, we see that it is vital to be well informed and let a specialist indicate the best way of use in each case. Finally, don't miss this interesting summary video on this topic.
If you want to read more articles similar to What are essential oils, we recommend that you enter our category of natural remedies.Bibliography