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If You Are Not Using Essential Oils I am Sure You Are Missing Out!

If You Are Not Using Essential Oils I am Sure You Are Missing Out!

You may have heard about essential oils and their myriad uses – think tea tree oil for acne or ylang-ylang essential oil for better sleep… But do you know how to use them and for what? And what are essential oils? Where do you get them from?

Essential Oils 101

Essential oils such as tea tree oil and rose oil occur naturally in Mother Nature’s free for all store. These oils are found in plants in parts like seeds, stems, flowers, roots and the bark and are extracted by various processes – remember that the yield of essential oils is pretty less, which is why these oils are expensive [1].

Essential oils are rich in many beneficial nutrients such vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and more and can be used directly on the skin (by diluting them with carrier oils such as coconut, olive or jojoba) or by inhalation (aromatherapy). Any and all essential oil has its own delicate, signature balance that has the power to benefit your health, skin as well as your home in various ways [2].

How To Apply Essential Oil On Skin

As good as essential oils are for the skin, you have to be careful in using them. They are very concentrated so you cannot apply them directly to the skin as that can cause skin damage. You have to dilute an essential oil with carrier oils like coconut, olive, rose hip, avocado or sweet almond oil in 2-3 drops of essential oil per 1tbsp of carrier oil ratio. [3]. Also, make sure that you are not allergic to any essential oils by doing a little patch test on the inside of your arm – wait for 24-48 hours and only then use that essential oil on your face (mixed with a carrier oil always). Essential oils are natural sure, but they are chemical in nature and can cause an allergy as well…

What Are The Uses Of Essential Oils

  • Topical Application: Since essential oils contain many different organic compounds; some of these ingredients, or a combination of ingredients, can be beneficial for the skin. For example, tea tree oil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation properties so is known to treat acne [4]. The best way to apply the essential oil to the skin is to mix it with your favorite carrier oils or your favorite lotion and apply this oil mix to the skin.
  • Inhalation And Application: Thinking of drawing a hot bath? A couple of drops of essential oil added to your bath will do wonders for your skin, and give you aromatherapy benefits since the hot steam will also help you inhale those fragrant vapors.
  • As Aromatherapy: The benefits of essential oil can be reaped without actual physical contact as well by using them as aromatherapy – in diffusers, in inhalers (like tea tree oil to help alleviate colds) and in aromatherapy lamps. If you need a quick aromatherapy fix, you can simply sniff the oil from the source, or else you can also drop a little of the essential oil on your handkerchief and sniff as you please.

Medicine In A Bottle: The Many Uses of Tea Tree Oil

Despite its name, tea tree essential oil has got nothing to do with the tea shrub from which tea leaves are extracted, rather the Tea Tree essential oil is distilled from the leaves and young stems of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, which is pretty toxic in itself if ingested. That said; tea tree oil can be used to cure and treat so much, that it is often dubbed, medicine in a bottle [5]

1. Cure Acne on the Skin

One of the most effective remedies for acne, tea tree oil’s intense anti-microbial action can kill all the bacteria that causes acne, and yet is gentle on the skin so doesn’t leave scars or cause dryness. A good way to treat that acne with tea tree oil is by mixing 2tbsp honey with 5 drops of the oil, and a pinch of turmeric. Wash all acne affected skin with this every day, and see the change in a week or so.

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2. Zap Dandruff and an Itchy or Flaky Scalp

The anti-microbial and emollient (moisture trapping) properties of tea tree oil make it an effective remedy for dandruff as well as an itchy or flaky scalp. You can use it to give yourself a head massage by mixing 5tbsp coconut oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil or simply add a few drops to your conditioner for added protection for the hair.

3. Clean Kitchens and Add Fragrance

Yet again the anti-microbial and anti-fungal action of tea tree oils keeps surfaces free of bacteria and molds – 2-3 drops of tea tree oil mixed with ½ cup each of water and vinegar will effectively clean and disinfect kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

4. Prevent Tooth Decay and Maintain Oral Hygiene

Need a toothpaste that kills off germs and soothes the gums? Then add just a drop of tea tree oil onto the toothpaste-coated toothbrush and brush your teeth with it to prevent tooth decay and treat any bleeding or sensitive gums as well.

5. Protect Nails from Fungi Infection

Tea tree oil has amazing anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties so it’s a great tool to treat those unsightly nail fungi infections. All you have to do is apply undiluted oil to the infected nail on an everyday basis and watch those nails get healthy again in a month or so.

6. Steam Colds Away

Tea tree oil can effectively reduce any congestion as well as a stuffy nose: just add a few drops of tea tree oil to boiling water or a steamer and inhale in the vapors for 5-10 minutes. Doing this should alleviate a sore throat feel better, and clear up any sinus or chest congestion too [6].

10 Awesome Essential Oils

Think of any plant with beneficial properties, and you have an essential oil that can be extracted from it. The flower, the bark, the fruit, the leaf, the root – whichever part of a plant is aromatic, an essential oil can be extracted from it and each oil as myriad uses [7]. Here are ten often used essential oils.

1. Rose Essential Oil

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    The smell of a rose is intoxicating to say the least – and in a concentrated essential oil, it works all that more, as studies show, in relaxing and calming the emotional response in humans. [8]

    2. Clove Oil

      Other than reducing dental pain or infection, clove oil can reduce inflammation, nausea and is also a great breath freshener [9].

      3. Lavender Essential Oil

        Lavender essential oil has even proven effective in reducing the stress and is anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial so it goes a long way in promoting healing of skin conditions. [10]

        4. Bergamot Essential Oil

          From reducing the heart rate to soothing the nervous system, studies show that Bergamot essential oil works quickly to calm the human mind and can also be used for pain relief, soothing a chest congestion and treating digestive problems. [11]

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          5. Lemon Essential Oil

            Who doesn’t find the fresh lemony scent of lemon and other citrus fruits invigorating? With its anti-microbial properties, lemon essential oil can be used in diffusers as an air freshener and a few drops of it mixed with water can also be used as a household cleanser. Topical application of lemon essential oil (mixed with a carrier oil) can relieve pain and is an anti-fungal remedy as well. [12]

            6. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

              Can’t sleep? A few drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil on the pillow will promote better sleep and its use can also treat depression as well as anxiety and reduce stress as well. [13]

              7. Rosemary Essential Oil

                Mixed with body oil, rosemary oil can detoxify the skin and improve scalp health as well as eliminate dandruff. In aromatherapy, it can help boost the immune system and ward off seasonal cold and flu. [14]

                8. Chamomile Essential Oil

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                  Period problems? Sipping chamomile tea can alleviate mood swings in PMS due to inhalation of its aromas as is a great relaxer and gives you a breather in high-stress situations. [15]

                  9. Peppermint Essential Oil

                    According to many aromatherapy experts, peppermint oil can improve digestion, relieve nausea and eliminate gas or bloating. Plus it also has anti-microbial properties so works great for the skin in the summer heat and as a cleansing agent as well [16]

                    10. Vetiver Essential Oil

                      Have an important meet and need to calm those nerves now? Try taking a big sniff of vetiver essential oil, which can also increase concentration levels and soothe any nervousness or anxiety. [17]

                      Remember if you are allergic to a particular plant product, you will be allergic to the essential oil derived from it too. Never ingest essential oils for they could be toxic, and always source them from certified organic sellers – cheaper is more often than not, not better! And store your essential oils in a cool, dry place like you would medicine – sunlight can alter their properties and they are oil, ergo flammable…

                      Featured photo credit: Style Craze via cdn2.stylecraze.com

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Sheba Leung

                      Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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                      Last Updated on December 13, 2018

                      12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                      12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                      Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

                      A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

                      1. Eat Before Heading Out

                      First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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                      2. Select The Treats

                      Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

                      3. Avoid Skipping Meals

                      Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

                      4. Drink With Moderation

                      It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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                      5. Be Active

                      You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

                      6. Get Out Of The House

                      Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

                      7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

                      Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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                      8. Set Realistic Goals

                      You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

                      9. Enjoy Yourself

                      Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

                      10. Drink A Lot Of Water

                      This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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                      11. Eat Less And More Often

                      Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

                      12. Prioritize Your Workouts

                      Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

                      So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

                      Happy Holidays everyone!

                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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