vrijdag 3 juni 2016

What's the deal with Essential Oils?

Here is my story that I wrote for the Guangzhou Women's International Club

The term “essential oil” is a contraction of the original “quintessential oil.”
Quint means five, just like in music where a fifth is also called a quint to name the distance between for example C and G.
Aristotle stated that matter is composed of four elements: fire, air, earth, and water. The fifth element, or quintessence, is spirit or life force.

Through distillation and evaporation the spirit is removed from the plant and captured in a fragrant essential oil (let’s go with EO from now on). Language nowadays shows us that “spirits” are distilled alcoholic beverages from plant derivatives (eau de vie, anyone?).
Science has advanced greatly since Aristotle’s days so we now know that EO consist of a complicated mixture of beneficial chemicals.

Why do I say “beneficial” chemicals? Well, there are chemicals out there that heal our body but unfortunately also chemicals that harm our body (toxins). In this next paragraph my friend talks about her experience with allergens and chemicals:

"I am a 38 year old woman that has lived in Guangzhou for many years. My whole life I have never been allergic to anything that I know of. Last year I became aware that I was allergic to dust mites that are found especially during the wet season of this city especially in our beds. Next I recently had a scare when my throat closed after accidentally inhaling industrial strength glue. Most recently I have had an itchiness on my skin and tingly nose sensation whenever exposed to harsh cleaning products at my school. I found out the main chemical component used on the floors and surfaces has an extremely toxic odour. This got me researching the dangers of cleaners and detergents that we use in our everyday lives. I found out that the inside of an average home has more toxic pollution than a polluted city. That scientists know that these cleaning products etc... are causing a lot of the ailments and bigger health issues we have nowadays. EO have been around for centuries and these poisonous products we use have only been around a short time. I am sure that restaurants, hotels, hospitals use them to assure a high standard of sanitation.Then I thought that I have control over my  own environment and can protect my child, husband and dogs from any unnatural cleaning agents in our home. That is the start of my relationship with EO."

EO can be used in a myriad of ways:

EO are very powerful disinfectants. Lemon oil can be used to clean your whole house. It has no toxins and it smells delicious. You can put a drop on a cloth to wipe down surfaces or dilute it with water to spray it in your bathroom. Adding some EO on a cotton ball and putting it in your vacuum cleaner makes your house smell lovely.

EO are great for cooking as they make your food healing instead of “just” healthy. I really love it!
Oregano, cinnamon, peppermint….. the list go on. Because the oils are so concentrated you get much more benefits from them compared to normal spices (healthy to healing!). The oil blend Slim and Sassy promotes a healthy metabolism, making it easier to loose a few unwanted pounds.

Beauty Care
This is a big one too as we are living in a country where most moisturizers are laced with toxic whiteners.
Skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs a great deal of what we put on it.
Lavender is a calming oil that will take care of small spots. I’ve used on my C-section scar and it healed up beautifully (strange thing to say about a scar perhaps but it’s true!). Frankincense has many benefits for skin as well. 

Emotional Support
Diffusing oils in your home is very beneficial as they clean the air and take care of contaminants in the process. There are so many recipes out there that you can try! I like to use bergamot with orange and peppermint. During flu season I diffused an oil blend called “On Guard” every day.
At the end of a though day (or whenever you feel like it) you can take a nurturing bath. Since the EO are easily absorbed by the skin a bath is a great way to reap the benefits. My favorite so far is bath salts with lavender and Ylang Ylang. Relax mode: on!

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with some practical uses in the next Gazette :)

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