Flower Power! 6 Essential Oils and their Uses

That’s a nice smell, right there.

At some point in our lives, the average urban-dwelling human being has passed by a flower shop, or a supermarket and took a good whiff of the scents that permeate the world around them, and it’s no surprise that human civilization has developed aromatherapy to induce such pleasantries to the senses.

Essential oils can be one of society’s underappreciated boons, as agents in therapeutic applications, alternative medicine and multipurpose cleaning solutions all across the world, they are like unsung heroes due to their ubiquity (seriously, the stuff is essentially everywhere, pun intended).

The basic essential oil is not truly an oil as it doesn’t contain any fatty/lipid molecular structure, meaning to say it does not behave like an oil. An essential oil is a concentrated distillation of essences, and is an unstable form of liquid that make it vaporise as quickly as the slight change in temperature. Some oils are much more difficult to process, making essential oils of that nature very expensive.

Essential oils have been historically used all across the world, with first recorded use being in Egypt, more than 6,000 years ago, and were known for their production of essential materials that would be used in incenses, perfumes and medicine. It was also known at the time that such essences were restricted to be only used by priests in largely sacred rites, with each type of oil dedicated to a specific deity. Pharaohs and rulers would have their own special blends to use just as well, for war, love, meditation, childbirth, and more.

That was not all. As time passed, essential oils were discovered to be far more useful than thought to be, and were used to calm the senses, heal emotions, ward disease and fight infections in many forms. In medieval Europe, knights warded off the bubonic plague by burning essences in affected areas, resulting in less deaths where the essences permeated. In traditional Indian medicine, Ayurvedic application of essences countered infections where typical antibiotics would have failed. It was believed that the medicinal properties of essences were because divine attribution.

Read on to find out what it could do for you!

Now that modern advancements in technology have come this far, essential oils have never been more accessible to the public than before, with a large variety widely available for many intended purposes. Take a look at the list below to see which you’d fancy using today!

Lavender

A scientist suffered from a severe burn on his hand during the early 1900’s, and had submerged his hand in a vat of lavender essential oil. He later then discovered that his hand did not suffer scarring or infections following the burn, and noted its healing properties. Lavender is a popular choice for relaxation, calming the nerves and reducing inflammation with topical use.

Peppermint

A popular ancient remedy, contains menthol and is a powerful anti-nausea ingredient. Peppermint is traditionally used to wake the senses while calming the nerves in aromatherapy, and aids in digestion. It also assists in healing muscle aches and cooling off the nerves.

Sandalwood

A traditional Asian favourite, sandalwood has been pressed and made into incense for prayers across many religions and cultures, and is known to have a powerful calming effect. In temples, sandalwood incense promotes mental clarity, which allows resident monks to pray and meditate more efficiently. As an essential oil, sandalwood is able to relieve inflammation, disinfect and promote accelerated healing when diluted and applied. It can also be gargled in diluted form to help with coughs and inflamed throats.

Lemon

Great for adventurers on the road, containing high concentrations of vitamins and ascorbic acid. Back in days of mariners and seafarers, lemon oil was carried on-board trips for fighting scurvy and vitamin deficiencies, being ingested at just ounces a day. Today, when used in diffusers, lemon oil aids in concentration and the relieving of spirits while working, and doubles as a cheap and effective disinfectant/antiseptic in many other applications such as treatment of ulcers. Must be diluted before use due to its potency.

Rosemary

It’s on your roast lamb and potatoes. It’s in a spice bottle. It’s named after Virgin Mary. It’s also a potent mental health helper when used in diffusers, similar in function to lavender. Rosemary aids in the reduction of stress and doubles as a memory assist.

Chamomile

Derived from a Greek word for ‘earth apple’, the chamomile has seen extensive use across history in Europe and Asia, both in topical applications and as tea. Chamomile essences are able to calm the nerves from insomnia, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders and treat inflammation, and has also been found to treat haemorrhoids when made into a cream. It also promotes accelerated skin healing such as eczema, psoriasis and chickenpox, making chamomile one of the most popular choices for herbal application.

Before applying any sort of essential oil on your body, do remember to consult a physician on what is best for you, as essential oils may cause adverse effects when improperly-handled.

Remember, we care, skincare!

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