Essential oils (EO) are the third part of an effective, healthy body lotion. Although optional, I think after reading today’s post about the benefits of EO, you’ll want some special ones added to your lotions, too.
EO have been in use for
hundreds thousands of years! We know this because Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese writings clearly show the importance of their use in those times. Fun Fact…essential oils were even found in King Tut’s tomb!
EO are still very much in use today, although much more so in some cultures than in others. The use of EO in America is not nearly as prevalent as in other parts of the world. Why is this? Does this mean that they do not work? Let’s backtrack a bit and do a brief introduction of EO [What are they? Why do we (or should we) use them? Are they safe?].
What Are They?
EO come from plants. More specifically, EO are extremely powerful liquids that are distilled from plants (could be from leaves, bark, flowers, seeds, fruit, roots, etc.). These EO are so powerful that very, very, VERY small amounts are typically needed for effects to be seen. Although a select few EO must be harvested using gentle chemical means, the vast majority should be obtained through as little human manipulation as possible.
Throughout the years EO have been
shown proven to help improve and even cure a plethora of ailments. Granted, much of these data come from anecdotal evidence. Why would that be? Well, let’s think about our current system of health care.
(…Jess steps onto her soapbox for a moment…)
Do you go to the doctor to prevent getting sick? Some of us do, but most of us do not. When do we go to the doctor? After we are already sick! Then what happens? Well, of course we must need a drug to fix us up. Drugs are
big HUGE business in our society. Lots of people and companies (the doctor, the drug companies, those investing in stocks, etc.) all benefit from us getting sick. So, why in the world would they want us to know about and utilize something that could keep us from getting sick (or even treat us naturally after we are already sick)? They don’t. The same goes with food, but I digress.
(Jess now stepping off of soapbox). 😉
Need some solid, research-based evidence? There actually is a little bit out there. Here’s what I found through a quick Google search…
Tea Tree EO hard at work for MRSA…
A randomized, controlled trial of [EO] tea tree topical preparations versus a standard topical regimen for the clearance of MRSA colonization. Journal of Hospital Infec, 56, (4), 283-6. A randomized, controlled study of 224 patients found tea tree to be more effective at clearing MRSA from the skin of 114 hospital patients than mupirocin (Bactroban). Tea tree oil may be considered in regimens for eradication of methicillin-resistant Staaphylococcus in hospitals.1
And another supporting MRSA treatment…
Essential oils like rosewood oil and thyme oil could be a cheap and effective alternative to antibiotics to fight drug-resistant superbugs, a new study has claimed.2
A promising example for Type 2 Diabetics…
Anti-diabetic effects of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) essential oil on glucose- and lipid-regulating enzymes in type 2 diabetic mice.3
You have likely seen EO in your local health store. Some are cheaper than others…why is that? Well, you need to do your homework to ensure that you are receiving true, 100% pure, (usually) cold-pressed EO. For example, If you see a 1 oz. bottle of Bulgarian Rose EO for anything less than $500…walk away. Of course, not all EO are this expensive, but this is another instance of where doing your homework comes into play. It takes over 600 lbs (POUNDS!) of rose petals to make 1 oz of oil. Wow…that’s about 60 entire roses in just ONE drop of oil.
Are They Safe?
When used properly, YES! Now, before doing a Google search so you can rush out and purchase the EO you would need for a certain ailment, you first need to know a few basics.
- As mentioned previously, EO are very powerful. While there are some EO that can be applied directly to the skin, the majority of EO need to be utilized through a carrier oil (see yesterday’s post for examples).
- Some EO are not safe for pregnant women &/or children, those with high blood pressure, those with epilepsy, and so on. Luckily, there are MANY excellent resources available on the web for these matters. My rule of thumb…I always check at least three resources for any one question about EO. Here is a good place to start.
- EO need to be properly stored. They should be kept away from children AND pets (although some can be very helpful for animals for flea and tick control). They should be kept in a dark, cool place…preferably covered and sealed tightly.
My original plan with today’s post was to share some of my favorite EO with you, but I realized that a more detailed introduction into EO was likely needed for many. I know that I am still learning a lot each and everyday about EO!
So, what this means for you (awesome readers), is that I will have forthcoming posts about some of my favorite EO. Since this week’s skincare series is now complete, please know that there will be plenty of skincare posts that you can look forward to in the future! 🙂
I Had A Blast This Week!
I received multiple emails, Facebook messages, and comments on my blog posts. I can’t thank you enough. I love sharing with all of you AND learning from you, too!
If you are enjoying what goes on at Scratch Mommy, please share my blog and Facebook page with similar-minded friends and family. The more the merrier, I say. It is great creating community with others who share similar values. You are all the best! Until next time…
Jess, aka Scratch Mommy