Smell is by far one of our most important sensory functions. It can bring us to different states of mind as well as elicit emotional responses in a way that not many of our other senses can. Combine this with the aid of powerful plant allies and it’s easy to see why essential oils are becoming more and more looked at as a useful tool for the mind, body, and spirit. Although they have risen in popularity, there has been recorded use of essential oils for around 5,000 years, so there’s definitely something to this.
But before we jump in too deep, what exactly are essential oils? Very large amounts of plant matter go into making these concentrates, which aids to their effectiveness. For example, it takes around 242,000 rose petals to make just 5 ml of rose essential oil! Steam distillation, solvent extraction, CO2 extraction, maceration, enfleurage, cold press extraction, and water distillation are all different ways that these oils can be processed.
So now that we know what these oils are, how can they help us? One of the most important and unique ways that they can affect us is their ability to interact with both our internal and external cellular makeup. Because of their small molecular size and lipid solubility, they are able to pass through the blood brain barrier (which is the most secure membrane in the body) to directly influence our state of being. For example, have you ever placed lavender in a diffuser or on the skin with the help of a carrier oil and immediately felt more at peace? Below are a few ways to enjoy these herbal blends in a safe way.
A NOTE ON WORKING WITH ESSENTIAL OILS…
Due to their HIGHLY concentrated nature, they should be used with great respect and care. A few drops is all that will ever be needed when working with these allies. We never recommend applying them to the skin without a carrier oil, and especially to NEVER INGEST THEM INTERNALLY. Also, some oils may cause sensitivities and or be toxic to be used around young children and animal companions. Whenever you bring new oils into the home, double check the safety for all members of the home.
Whether you have a mist diffuser or a variety that releases the scent of the oils from a candles heat, filling the air with scent is one of the easiest ways to welcome the benefits of the plants into your routine. Diffusion is excellent to relax before bed, when cleaning the home, or to create ambiance in your space at any time.
Add them to cleaning supplies!
Need some energetic cleansing while you go about your chores? Try adding a few drops of sage, lemongrass or cedarwood into your cleaning supplies to move both energetic and physical debris. These oils would also be a great addition to any homemade cleaners as well. Lemon essential oil is one of our favorites to add to any DIY (do-it-yourself) blends for it’s crisp, clean scent.
Essential oils are very easily incorporated into either pre-made or DIY body care products through the use of a carrier oil or carrier substance. Commonly these botanicals are blended in with other butters and oils such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil, hemp seed oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, or aloe vera and applied topically to the skin and hair. Not only does this make you smell like flowers (’cause who doesn’t love that?) but traditionally, these oils have been mixed to potentially provide health benefits as well. Some oils like Tea Tree for example, will have antimicrobial properties, and other oils such as ginger may have an anti inflammatory effect on the skin. These blends can also be placed in roller balls or sprays as a personal fragrance.
Looking to invoke a particular deity? Performing a spell? Essential oils are an ideal way to take your magic to the next level. They are easily placed on altars, added to mojo bags, and act as an excellent way to supercharge candles by anointing them with a corresponding oil. They can also be diffused during a ritual for a smoke free substitute for traditional incense.
Although everything listed here is a great place to start with these oils, this only scratches the surface on all of the possibilities of use. The more you work with them, the more in tune you will inherently become with their potential. Let the plant communication begin!