What is an essential oil?
Essential oils are natural oils created from extractions of flower, bark, leaf, fruit, seed or root of a plant or tree. Typically extracted through distillation, which separates the oil and water-based compounds. They are highly concentrated oils – compacting the healing compounds of a plant into single oil; for example, in order to create one 15ml bottle of rose extract, 65 pounds of rose petals are distilled.

Countries have used essential oils to treat various health conditions for over 5,000 years. Common uses include cold and flu symptoms, skin conditions, digestion issues, sore muscles and pain, but they are also widely used as a toll for relaxation.

Plants have been used for their healing and fragrant properties for centuries and essential oils are today widely used in all sorts of products, from skincare to sleep remedies.

Kay Tomlinson from Absolute Aroma

Emotional wellbeing
Essential oil contains exclusive compounds and chemicals that offer unique healing and therapeutic benefits. When we inhale these naturally occurring chemicals and compounds, they provide triggers to our brain, which can impact our emotions.

Essential oils have powerful healing properties, and can have a positive effect on the emotions. For example, some are calming (lavender), uplifting (bergamot and orange), can clear the mind (juniper and lemon), aid concentration (peppermint), lift the mood if feeling angry (chamomile or petitgrain) or depressed (rosemary).

Sarah Watson, director of Natural by Nature Oils

Use the correct essential oil
Essential oils can be used to support the entire spectrum of emotional states. If you’re feeling angry try jasmine, orange or patchouli; anxious try lavender, clary sage or rose; sad or depressed use grapefruit, lemon or sandalwood; or exhausted use basil, black pepper or peppermint.

Each one has unique properties, provoking a particular emotional response. Not only do they have the ability to affect out emotional responses, they can also affect the physical conditions of our bodies too.

Health benefits

“Essential oils are complex, powerful, natural substances with each oil having many different therapeutic properties”, explains Nicole Barton, consultant aromatherapist at Base Formula. This includes: antiseptic, antibacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anti-viral, decongestant, detoxifying, emollient, immune-stimulant and sedative. They are very ‘balancing’ in their effects, healing the whole person – not just physically, but also mentally and spiritually.

Essential oils can also help with physical health, when the body is in an imbalanced state, leading to illness. Therefore, using essential oils to naturally re-balance the mind, body and soul helps to improve general health and well-being, as well as the condition of your skin. Unlike synthetic drugs or skincare ingredients, the substances are completely natural, so you can treat a range of health issues or skin problems, without overloading your body with harmful chemicals.

Essential oils can be used as part of treatment for a number of health issues, the most common ones being stress, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, aches, pains and skin conditions, but they can also be used as a preventative method – another way to help our bodies stay healthy.

Lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree and chamomile can promote immune stimulation, whilst clove, eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, rosemary and bergamot have antibacterial and antiviral properties – which can help the body fight bacteria and viruses.

The respiratory system (nose, throat and lungs) are prone to infection; essential oils have excellent antiseptic properties and are effective treatments for respiratory problems, such as: Bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, cold and flu and other respiratory conditions can be improved with frankincense, pine, eucalyptus, camphor, peppermint and benzoin.

Skin saviours

Essential oils are also widely used in skincare and beauty products and more people are turning to them as part of their daily skincare routine.
Essential oils have good skin penetration, they can help rejuvenate the tissues and improve the elasticity of the skin, promoting the elimination of old cells and increasing the production of new cells. They are also useful for treating specific skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis (chamomiles).