by Ruchika Behal
A couple of years ago, when I hadn’t “officially” begun using essential oils-- I used to think essential oils were for eliminating odors or aroma therapy kind of things…just a replacement for air-fresheners, candles, room sprays etc.
Now that I have been using a range of Essential oils regularly, I know different and truly value the power behind what I now call nature’s medicine. The reason I say “officially” because I got introduced and started using oils or rather one oil Minyak Kayu Putih- as panacea for just about everything over a decade ago when I lived in Indonesia. Minyak Kayu Putih resembles camphor oil and comes from Cajeput Tress. It is a variety of the Tea Tree (Melaleuca).
It is now hard for me to imagine, how did I function and raise my little humans with access to only one essential oil, because now I use them for everything from, colds, sinus issues, stomach aches, anxiety, mood management, sleep/waking up issues, cleaning and disinfecting etc.
If you are wondering what are Essential Oils – they are really not oils (fatty acids) , they aromatic compounds found in plants (leaves, bark, flowers, seeds), they are the plants defense mechanism and they protect the plant against disease, viruses, bacteria, fungi and predators. Essential Oils have the capacity to do the same for us. Historically, humans have used essential oils to get rid of viruses, fungi, and bacteria. They are very concentrated and it can take an entire plant (or more) to produce a single drop of oil.
The five uses for essential oils in my life apart from just for pleasant aroma:
1. Sleep- One of the best uses of essential oils is their ability to help me unwind at the end of a hard day. Cedar wood and Vetiver in a diffuser or on my pulse points are my favorite oils for calming before bedtime. I have found them to be very helpful in regulating sleep patterns when I have had to travel across time zones.
2. Mind and Memory- Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities – meaning that they are soothing when you’re stressed. I particularly like to use “ Balance” which is a blend of ”( blend of Spruce Needle/Leaf, Ho Wood, Frankincense Resin, Blue Tansy Flower, and Blue Chamomile Flower). It promotes feeling of tranquility; it is a great one to help me feel collected when the energies are all over. Essential oils also help with leveling out the mood; and really help with focus. I like to use Rosemary oil when I want to feel efficient and value productivity. Read this interesting study on Pub med to learn how oils affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12690999
3. Immunity- Quality essential oils which have a chemical footprint compatible with the human body have the unique ability to help the immune system bring itself into balance. Systematic application of essential oils can strengthen the immune system, eliminate pathogens, reduce stress and bring the body into homeostasis enabling the body to function more optimally. Melaleuca, and Onguard ( which is a doTerra proprietary blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark/Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary essential oils) has never let me down when it comes to stimulating the immune response and fight virus/bacteria.
4. Burns- I do like to believe I am not careless in the Kitchen, but still end up with oil splatters or a hot water burns. The burns not only hurt but can leave the skin scarred. Lavender oil is my go to; it almost instantly reduces pain and cools down the burning sensation. The floral calming aroma improves response to pain too!
5. Skin care- Essential oils are some of the most powerful known antioxidants and provide great anti-aging benefits. They are small enough to penetrate every tissue in the skin. Frankincense and Sandalwood are part of my night time skin care regimen. I also use Immortelle which is a blend of (Frankincense Resin, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Lavender Flower, Myrrh Resin, Helichrysum Flower, and Rose Flower essential oil). These oils restore and tone my skin.
What I love about Essential oils is that it has given me safe, effective, natural solutions for my family and my health. The most important thing to me is the versatility of the oils which makes them fairly inexpensive to use. One bottle or pure oil goes a long way and can be used for many different ailments. For example, lavender oil helps with relaxation, sleep, bug bites, eczema and burns. Want to learn more about and how to use them as a natural solution, schedule your Oil consult here, or if you are local to Houston join us for an in-person Essential Oil 101 Workshop!