From the beauty and wellness spaces to the simple pleasure of enjoying the scent, essential oils—touted for their mood-boosting abilities, soothing and healing properties and stimulating benefits—have been used for centuries, from ancient India and Persia to Rome and Greece.
But in today’s modern world, it can be hard to know what’s a quality essential oil, why it matters which scents do what, what to invest in and how to blend oils for success.
Whether you’ve long reaped the benefits or are just getting started on your essential oils journey, here are some simple tips and tricks to get you started—from what to look for when purchasing to the best oils to include in your self-care routine.
What Are Essential Oils?
Can’t wrap your head around the difference between an essential oil and any other fragrance? Pat Princi-Jones, aromatherapy expert and author of A Scented Life says essential oils are aromatic liquids sourced entirely from various plant parts such as leaves, flowers, fruit peels, berries and roots grown in nature.
“An essential oil contains as many as 100 natural compounds produced by the parent plant,” explains Princi-Jones, who is also the educator at In Essence. “This is what gives the oil its distinct aroma and unique therapeutic properties such as antiseptic, analgesic, sedative, decongestant and anti-inflammatory, to name a few.”
What Are the Benefits of Using Essential Oils?
While some people may have reservations about the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, there are many others that swear by their benefits—whether that’s using a humidifier with a few drops of eucalyptus oil or tea tree to ease a cold and sleep unblocked, enjoying a relaxing lavender oil bath before bed, boosting one’s mood with a little zesty lemon diffuser, or calming the nerves with a few drops of Sandalwood dabbed on your inner wrist.
“The properties present in essential oils produce a distinct psychological as well as physiological effect,” explains Princi-Jones. “They can enhance wellbeing and improve mood, promote relaxation, improve concentration and focus, work as antiseptics, relieve pain and inflammation, balance hormones, have a cleansing action, and even help enhance immunity with regular use.”
What Should I Look For When Buying Essential Oils?
The world of wellness is rife with inflated claims so it’s important to do your homework and check a company’s credentials before committing to purchasing any of their products.
Princi-Jones advises choosing a company that is Australian-owned and has a testing and bottling facility that is not self-regulated. “Always choose authentic oils from an established trusted brand that is recognised in the industry as an expert, and pioneer of aromatherapy practice in the country. Ask for a copy of the GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) reports on the oil you have just purchased. A reputable company will have this information on hand.”
When choosing an oil brand, ensure the oil is in a dark glass bottle with a dropper inset. The external packaging should be tamper-proof, with the benefits, application methods and dosage (cautions included) clearly displayed on the label. The label should have the botanical name of the oil. For example, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), chemotypes, the plant part, the country of origin (where applicable), the batch number, and the barcode. Most importantly, look for the expiry date as essential oils are volatile liquids affected by heat, light and oxygen.
What’s The Best Essential Oil To Use For Postpartum?
Try: In Essence Sleep Essential Oil
The postpartum stage of life is an essential time to create a comforting and safe space to heal, restore and of course, focus on your newborn. With just a few drops of carefully chosen oils, you can create a nurturing, germ-free haven and support postnatal blues at the same time.
The In Essence Sleep Essential Oil is a bedtime blend that prepares the body and mind for a restful night, which may reduce symptoms of sleeplessness by calming a busy mind and helping disrupted sleep patterns to bring peace and comfort.
Alternatively, the In Essence Sleep No Lavender Oil is also effective in relieving symptoms of fatigue and nervousness.
What’s The Best Essential Oil To Use For Menopause and Hormonal Swings?
Try: In Essence Balance Essential Oil
Menopause can be a time of emotional and physical readjustment, with exhaustion and irritability increasing with hormonal fluctuations. The In Essence Balance Essential Oil combines Jasmine and Rose, which are well-known for their emotional benefits, to target a range of menopausal-associated symptoms including mood swings, hot flushes, mild anxiety symptoms, fatigue, and sleeplessness.
What’s The Best Essential Oil To Use For Concentration?
Try: In Essence Australian Native Peppermint Pure Essential Oil
Whether you’re in need of a little afternoon pick me up or just need to knuckle down and focus, the In Essence Australian Native Peppermint Pure Essential Oil is the perfect thing to relax an overactive mind and aid concentration. Instead of reaching for that cup of coffee to see you through the day, just add a few drops to your diffuser to help you remain alert and clear-headed. The menthol content in Peppermint is both clearing and refreshing. It can improve cognitive function by activating the parasympathetic nervous system which helps restore the body to a state of calm.
Brought to you by In Essence. Always read the label and follow the directions for use.