December 15, 2020 4 min read

Aromatherapy essential oils are the extremely condensed essences of aromatic plants. The oils are found in various parts of the plant such as the flowers, twigs, leaves and bark, or in the skin of fruits. For example, in roses it is found in the flowers, in basil it is in the leaves, in sandalwood in the wood, and so on.

The best essential oils have several uses but the most popular these days is aromatherapy. Each of the organic essential oils used in aromatherapy can be used either alone or in tandem to create a preferred effect. Before using pure essential oils as part of an aromatherapy treatment, it is important to understand the effect that the oil(s) have, and how aromatherapy works.

Aromatherapy is the craft of using these oils to stimulate healing of the body and the mind. The techniques used to extract the oils are time consuming, expensive and require a high degree of knowledge. Organic essential oils can be obtained using a mixture of methods, although some are not normally used today. Currently, the most popular method for extraction is steam distillation. To extract the essential oil, the plant material is placed into a still (very similar to a pressure cooker) where pressurized steam passes across the plant material. The heat from the steam causes drops of oil in the plant to rupture and the oil then evaporates. The essential oil vapor and the steam then pass out the top of the still into a water-cooled pipe where the vapours are condensed back to liquids. At this point, the essential oil separates from the water and floats to the top. This is a process best left to professionals.

Did you realize that it takes in excess of 220 pounds of rose petals to produce only 4 or 5 teaspoonfuls of oil? Did you know that it takes more than 8 million jasmine flowers to produce just 2 pounds of jasmine essential oil? Due to the large quantity of plant material required, pure essential oils are expensive but they are also highly effective. Only a few drops at a time are required to achieve desired effects. Diffuse these oils in electric or tea light oil burners.

How Essential Oils Work.

Essential oils have an immediate impact on our sense of smell, also known as "olfaction". When essential oils are inhaled, olfactory receptor cells are stimulated and the impulse is transmitted to the emotional centre of the brain, or "limbic system". The limbic system is connected to areas of the brain linked to memory, breathing, and blood circulation, as well as the endocrine glands which regulate hormone levels in the body. The properties of the oil along with the fragrance and its effects determine stimulation of these systems.

When essential oils are used in massage oils, they are not only inhaled, but absorbed through the skin as well. They penetrate the tissues and find their way into the bloodstream where they are transported to the organs and systems of the body. Since essential oils have differing rates of absorption, generally between 20 minutes and 2 hours, it is not recommended to bathe or shower directly following a massage to ensure maximum absorption and effectiveness.

Different essential oils product different effects on the nervous system such as energizing, calming, soothing, headache reliever, balancing, insomnia, etc. Let's look specifically at the essential oils for anxiety and essential oils for sleep.

  • Amber essential oil is known for producing harmony, balance and providing a calming effect on the body.
  • Basil essential oil is soothing.
  • Basil Holy essential oil is best known for anti-stress.
  • Bergamot essential oil balances the mind and increases a sense of wellbeing.
  • Chamomile Blue essential oil is relaxing and soothing.
  • Clary Sage essential oil is famous for its ability to calm and relax the mind and muscles.
  • Jasmine essential oil is relaxing and provides restful sleep.
  • Lavender (French) essential oil is a must for relaxing and calming.
  • Lime essential oil clears the mind and eliminates emotional confusion.
  • Mandarin Red essential oil is best for relieving stress, tension, insomnia and anxiety.
  • Myrrh essential oil can be attributed to calming nerves and fostering tranquillity.
  • Palmarosa essential oil is acclaimed as a stress reliever. It also clears the mind and calms the senses.
  • Rosemary essential oil calms apprehension while stimulating the spirit.
  • Rosewood essential oil may help relieve tiredness, nervousness and stress.
  • Tangerine essential oil can help relieve stress and tension due to the soothing action on the nervous system.
  • Thyme essential oil calms the nervous system and reduces anxiety and stress.
  • While no one will make definitive medicinal claims regarding essential oils, aromatherapy has been practiced for centuries with results that demand notice.
  • Many essential oils can be used in an aroma oil burner, blended with carrier oils, blended with bath and body products, or in a warm bath.
  • Since the essentials are a pure oil warnings should always be heeded.
  • The next time your busy schedule has found you with stress that you would like to relieve try nature's remedy - essential oils.

With the right knowledge and precautions, you can safely use essential oils.

Take classes, pick up some books that discuss each oil and its properties, and spend time researching the benefits and contraindications of the plants involved.

You will soon be enjoying the sweet smell of successful aromatherapy. So if you’re looking for essential oils in the UK then, check this out!