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A Glimpse at Essential Oils and Why You Should Add Them to Your Stress Relief Tool Kit.


Finding the right tools to add to your stress relief tool kit to help create moments of serenity when consistently on the go can be challenging. In the quest for peace and balance, nature often provides comfort in the most unexpected places, even when you can’t get outside in the form of essential oils.

 

Essential oils are derived from nature and have long been respected for their therapeutic aromatic and topical properties. They offer natural internal and external remedies for stress relief and other ailments. The earliest known use of essential oils dates back to the Egyptians in 4500 BC and thousands of years within the Chinese, Indian, and African cultures.

 

Essential Oils

From the calming scent of lavender to the uplifting citrus aromas, these potent extracts promise relaxation and rejuvenation.  Let’s take a glimpse at how essential oils are created and the power of six highly recommended oils for your toolkit to assist your journey to stress relief and tranquility.




WHAT EXACTLY ARE ESSENTIAL OILS, AND WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?


Essential oils are concentrated essences (chemical compounds) extracted from plants. The oils are extracted from various parts, such as the root, seeds, flower, peel, or bark. The most common methods of oil extraction are steam distillation and cold press.


  • The steam distillation process involves passing hot steam through the raw plant materials, which causes the essential oil to evaporate. The steam and oil vapor mixture is then condensed and collected as the oil floats on the water.

  • The cold press process is commonly used for lemon, orange, and grapefruit oils. It involves scraping or pricing the fruit peels before pressing and rinsing the oils away with water. The oils are then separated from the water for collection.


What can I use essential oils for in aromatherapy?


When used for aromatherapy, essential oils are incredibly therapeutic tools for reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.


Additional Benefits:      


  • Improved mood

  • Improved focus

  • Improved mental clarity

  • Improved job performance

  • Improved sleep

  • Reduced anxiety and pain

  • Reduced inflammation

  • Reduced nausea

  • Relieved headaches

 

How do essential oils work, and how can I use them?


Essential oils are great when used on their own while working, cleaning, and relaxing. They are also a great addition to our yoga or meditation practices.  The scents can be inhaled directly from the bottle, sprayed, or used in a reed diffuser, electric diffuser, mister, or humidifier.  The scents of the oils travel from the nostrils to the brain's limbic system (emotional control center) via the olfactory nerve, causing the brain to release our happy hormones, serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine.


How to options:


  • Inhaling: Put a few drops in your palms, cup your hands around your mouth and nose, and inhale deeply or dab on your wrists, neck, etc., as perfume.  *Always check the product packaging for warnings about direct skin contact and if dilution with a carrier oil is needed.

  • Incense: Commonly found in stick and cone form that, when burned, releases the aroma into the air. *Use based on individual instructions on the packaging.

  • Reed Diffuser: Place six to ten reeds in a glass bottle containing carrier oil, usually almond or safflower. Add selected essential oil, placing 6 to 10 drops for 200 ml or 15 to 20 drops for 500 ml. The oils will soak into the reed and diffuse into the air.

    • Similar Diffuser Option: Add 2–4 drops of the chosen essential oil to a cotton ball or tissue and place it in a bowl in areas where you want to disperse the aroma.

  • Spray bottle: Mix distilled water and oils in a spray bottle and spritz onto the body or in the air to disperse the oil.  *Always check the product packaging for warnings about direct skin contact.

  • Diffuser/Humidifier/ Mister: Use water to turn essential oils into mist droplets covering large spaces depending on tank size and output. * Always follow the specific instructions provided for adding water and essential oils to the take.  Make sure humidifies allow for essential oil use.    


 

 

Six must-have essential oils to add to your stress relief tool kit.


Lavender  (Lavandula): 

*Lavender is one of my all-time favorites!


Lavandula (commonly known as lavender) is a genus of 47 known species of perennial flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae.

English or True Lavender is the most common species used to create essential oils.

Lavender helps reduce anxiety levels and promotes sleep.

It also encourages calmness, opens up communication, expression, honesty, and self-awareness centers, and creates peace of mind.  


* Pairs great with Chamomile

Lavender
Lavender (Lavendula)

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla and Chamaemelum mobile)


Chamomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae. Two species, Matricaria chamomilla and Chamaemelum nobile, are commonly used for their incredible array of medicinal properties. They are often prepared as herbal infusions for beverages or as tea.  It can also be used for aromatherapy to help ease anxiety and promote sleep.   


*Avoid chamomile if you are allergic to asters, daisies, chrysanthemums, or ragweed; you may also be allergic to chamomile. Pregnant women should consult with their physician.


*Pairs great with Lavender

Chamomile Flowers
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla and Chamaemelum mobile)

Lemon (Citrus × limon):


Lemon oil is naturally derived from lemon peels and has many properties, including being a natural stimulant, calming, and sleep-inducing.

Lemon helps reduce anxiety and calm fears and insecurities while restoring energy, lifting mood, increasing alertness and focus, and helping to become more mentally present. 


Lemons
Lemon (Citrus × limon)

Orange (Citrus sinensis):


Orange oil is derived naturally from orange peels, has many amazing properties, and is a natural stimulant.

It helps reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.  It is also known to be uplifting and energizing, promoting happiness and positivity.


Oranges
Orange (Citrus sinensis)

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita):

 

Peppermint is a hybrid species of the mint family; it is a cross-pollination of watermint and spearmint.

Peppermint helps to ease and stay above emotions like heavy heartedness, feelings of despair, anguish, and sadness.  It is known to help provide a sense of emotional relief and strength in facing emotional pain.


Peppermint leaves
Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)

Frankincense (olibanum):


Frankincense, also known as olibanum, is an aromatic resin used in incense and perfumes and is also an essential oil. It is obtained from Boswellia trees within the family Burseraceae. The word is from Old French franc encens ('high-quality incense').

Along with its known medicinal use for wound healing, scars, wrinkles, and stretch marks, Frankincense encourages connection, spiritual openness, the feeling of being loved, and discernment when used for aromatherapy. It eases spiritual darkness, feelings of spiritual abandonment, and protection from negativity.


*Frankincense may also decrease anxiety levels in pregnant women, but please consult with your physician first.


Frankincense
Frankincense (olibanum)

Conclusion:


Essential oils are a great natural and effective tool for stress relief and overall well-being. By understanding how the above six and other essential oils are created and how to use them, you can mix oils to customize a scent and incorporate essential oils into your daily routine. This is perfect for your stress relief needs and will create moments of serenity for now or on the go. Add these six must-have essential oils to your stress relief toolkit to experience their powerful effects.


Note some safety precautions when using essential oils for aromatherapy, topical, or ingesting.

**Allergies of yourself and surrounding individuals' or pets' wellness should always be considered before using essential oils and aromatherapy in any form.

**Always check essential oils' quality and pureness, how they were sourced, and whether they were tested but not treated, preferably with food-grade oils.  

** Pregnant women or those already receiving medical treatment should consult with their physician.


Remember, the key to reducing stress and improving well-being is taking breaks, removing the negative, focusing on positive thoughts, decreasing stress hormones, and increasing our feel-good hormones. Remember, stress reduction and improving our well-being can be creative, fun, and relaxing!


Wishing you the best on your wellness journey!

  

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