The healing essence of plants
Most people are familiar with the delightful fragrances of commonly used essential oils; the warm comforting smell of lavender, or the sweet rose and the many perfumes containing flower essences.
Essential oils are defined as the concentrated, carefully-extracted volatile chemical constituents of plants and plant materials and as well as stimulating the senses, essential oils have many other properties. Many essential oils are antiseptic, anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti viral. This means they destroy bacteria, fungicides and viruses in effect sterilizing what ever they come into contact with.
However please do not self treat your self with any available essential oil, you may make matters worse. First do some research and or consult a practitioner familiar with essential oils.
Not all Oils Are Equal
It is more the essential oils derived from aromatic medicinal plants which been reported as exhibiting exceptionally good antimicrobial effects against bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi, and viruses.
Many commercially available essential oils are of very poor quality, the flowers/plants may have been harvested at the wrong time, or the processing may have been done badly. Some essential oils are so diluted to carrier oil as to be ineffective. Good quality oils will have verifiable descriptions as to their authenticity and potency.
Essential oils to avoid during pregnancy:
Some herbal oils stimulate the menstrual cycle and the following essential oils should be avoided by anyone trying to conceive or who is pregnant as these olis may prevent or cause abortion.
Anise, Bay, Basil, Camphor, Caraway, Carrot, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Comfrey, Cypress, Fennel, Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Mugwort, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Oregano, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sag, Sassafras, Tansy, Thuja, Thyme, Wintergreen, Wormwood, Yarrow and Oils to avoid in first trimester are Chamomile, Frankincense, Geranium, Melissa and Rose.
Using Essential Oils
Good quality essential oils have a great many uses including:
- Adding fragrance to rooms and freshening the air.
Simply applying a few drops of your favourite fragrance to a tissue and leaving it anywhere in a room will work not only to freshen, but to eliminate airborne pathogens. There are many vaporizers available with ready mixed essential oil blends and they may help to freshen rooms and oil burners/warmers had a spell of popularity, however heating oils destroys most therapeutic properties.
- Adding essential oils to a massage carrier oil.
Most massage therapists do this and fragrances and properties of essential oils can be made to suit different people. For a person massaging at home for relaxation and pleasure, massage blends can be purchased at most health stores.