The properties of essential oils are determined by the specific qualities of the essential oil being used. They range from energising, uplifting and renewing to sedating, calming and relaxing. Some oils have analgesic, antiseptic and decongestant properties. Just a few drops are capable of reducing stress levels, treating respiratory problems and balancing hormones.
When it comes to rest and relaxation choose essential oils that have warming and grounding qualities. Essential oils such as Sandalwood, Frankincense and Mandarin, will provide a sense of peace and calm. Frankincense will not only relax but also draws us into the present moment because it deepens the breath. When seeking to alleviate cold and flu symptoms, choose oils which have decongestant and expectorant properties such as Eucalyptus, Cedarwood and Lemon. In addition, all essential oils are antibacterial to varying degrees. That makes them very valuable as antiseptics because they are able to kill germs yet without harming tissue like many synthetic antibiotics.
In order to gain their healing benefits, essential oils can either be inhaled or massage onto the skin. Once inhaled, the particles of an essential oil travel straight to the brain and are capable of influencing mood and emotions within seconds. Once massaged onto the skin, essential oils are easily absorbed through the sweat glands and hair follicles before entering the bloodstream.
From the moment the essential oil vapour is released into the air and makes contact with the sensory nerves in our nasal cavity, olfactory information is conveyed directly to the brain and to the limbic system where pleasure, memory and emotion are recorded. Simple inhalation of Lavender can help prepare us for sleep.
Essential oil molecules are so minute in structure that when massaged onto the skin, they are able to pass through the stratum corneum; the outer layer of the epidermis. Once they enter the bloodstream essential oils target specific areas of the body with their healing benefits. Peppermint can stimulate the digestive system into action in a matter of seconds.