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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Essential Oils - What they Are and How to Use Them

Ok, so you've heard about essential oils I'm assuming.  They can be used for a multitude of different things including bath products, beauty products, cleaning supplies, massage oils, diffuses and many more.

According to The Essential Oil University this is how they define essential oils.

Essential oils are the volatile, aromatic oils obtained by steam or hydrodistillation of botanicals. Most essential oils are primarily composed of terpenes and their oxygenated derivatives. Different parts of the plants can be used to obtain essential oils, including the flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, stems, bark, wood, etc.

Certain cold-pressed oils, such as the oils from various citrus peels, are also considered to be essential oils but these are not to be confused with cold-pressed fixed or carrier oils such as olive, grapeseed, coconut etc. which are non-volatile oils composed mainly of fatty acid triglycerides. Other aromatic, plant-derived oils, which technically aren’t essential oils because they are solvent extracted, include Absolutes(hexane followed by ethanol extraction), CO2’s (liquid carbon dioxide used as the solvent) and Phytols or Florosols (fluoro-hydrocarbon solvent).



Now essential oils aren't even really oils.  They don't contain the fatty acids that constitute what we call an oil.


Many oils are high in antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties.  This makes them perfect for adding to your homemade natural cleaning supplies.

The Best Oils for cleaning are: Lemon, grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and rosemary.  My favorites are eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender.

Essential oils can greatly improve your mood as well.  Look into what each of them do to achieve your desired result.

As I get older I'm finding myself becoming more "crunchy."  For those of you who don't know what that means, in a nutshell it means that I'm trying to make my life more natural and sustainable.  I'm cooking from scratch whenever possible, cutting out most all processed foods in my diet and my son's diet, making my own cleaning products, etc.


I've started with laundry detergent and fabric softener.  If your interested to see how I made my detergent check out my post on it HERE.

Anyway, back to the oils.  I use them for my cleaning products, in old potpourri that I want to revive, bath salts, lotions and the list is endless.

You don't need a lot with the oils.  A little goes a long way.  With some preparations you only need a few drops.  My fabric softener called for 30-40 drops of oil.  That's really not a lot.  A little .5 oz bottle will last a LONG time.

For a quick reference of oils, definitions and uses click HERE.

I found this great post from Crunchy Betty, "21 Things You Should Know About using Essential Oils"

I could just tell you what she said and plagiarize of just link you to her article like I just did.

Possibilities are endless when it comes to essential oils.  All you have to do is to start experimenting!