From the soothing scent of lavender to the invigorating aroma of eucalyptus, essential oils have been used by humans for centuries.
These beautiful smelling oils come in a variety of formats and fragrances, and they’re sold by a myriad of different manufacturers. If you’re new to the idea of using essential oils in your home, there are plenty of ways you can incorporate them into your space. Whether you want to enjoy a new fragrance, or you simply enjoy meditating to calm the mind, read on to discover the many benefits of essential oils and how they can enhance your life and home.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are a concentrated liquid that contains specific chemical compounds found in a variety of different plants. These oils get their name from the fact that they contain the essence of the plant’s fragrance. The oils are created by extracting the plant essence using steam or distillation. Other methods to retrieve essential oils include cold pressing or solvent extraction, depending on the plant. Once the oils are removed, they can be used in a variety of products including soap, perfume, household cleaning products, and cosmetics. The oils may also be sold in small glass containers as the oil in its pure, concentrated form. Surprisingly, some essential oils can also be used to add flavor to a variety of food and drink products, and they’re also a popular choice to add strong fragrance to incense and candles. It’s important to note that essential oils and perfume are not the same. Most brand name perfume contains chemicals and other synthetic ingredients to create a scent, while essential oils are completely natural.
The Best Uses for Essential Oils
With so many different essential oils on the market today, the variety of useful applications is endless. From cooking to aromatherapy, here are a few helpful ways you can use essential oils in your home:
It’s important to note that not all essential oils can or should be ingested. Always check to be sure the oils you use are safe for human consumption. When you cook with these oils, make sure you dilute them properly since they’re highly concentrated and can be quite overpowering if you use too much. Try lavender essential oil in desserts like cupcakes or ice cream to create a mild flavor that adds a touch of romance to your favorite sweet treats. Peppermint oil is another excellent addition to desserts to give your favorites a refreshing twist and a lively flavor. Cinnamon oil is a great way to bring a spicy element to coffee or your favorite meals, and it’s also delicious when added to hot chocolate. When it comes to savory dishes, consider adding thyme oil to soup or stew for a rich layer of flavor.
Essential oils can provide a few therapeutic benefits for your pets, but you should never use them on cats or dogs that are eight weeks of age or younger. Additionally, these oils should never be administered internally, and it’s best to find products that contain the oil as part of the ingredients rather than giving your pet the actual oil itself. Look for products made specifically for cats or dogs that contain essential oils to relieve stress, calm itchy skin, and to repel fleas and ticks. If you’re not sure about giving these products to your pet, consult with your veterinarian first. Some essential oils are toxic to animals, so confirm that the item is safe before administering it to your furry friend.
Yoga and Meditation
If you’re looking for new ways to create a soothing space, consider using essential oils during your next yoga or meditation session. You can add a few drops of oil to distilled water and place it in an oil diffuser. The diffuser releases the fragrance into the air for a beautiful, calming scent. You’ll also find essential oils in products like scented candles so you can just light the candle and enjoy. Mix a few drops of oil into a spray bottle filled with water to create a homemade room fragrance spray. Some of the most popular essential oils for meditation include neroli, sandalwood, sage, ylang-ylang, cedarwood, and lavender. Check the label to confirm that your favorite candle or other product contains real essential oils to ensure you’re getting the most benefits.
Expiry Dates and Product Life
Since essential oils are a natural product, they have a definitive lifespan or shelf life. The expiration date of your oils can depend on what type you have since each one contains its own unique set of chemical compounds. In general, most essential oils should last approximately two years before they start to degrade. You should consider replacing your oils every three years just to ensure they remain potent and safe to use. Certain oils actually improve as they age, including vetiver, patchouli, and sandalwood. Check the label on your oil to see if it includes an expiration date to be sure.
Storing Your Essential Oils
A dark-colored glass bottle is the best way to keep essential oils fresh since it protects the contents from excess exposure to UV light. Keep your oils out of plastic bottles, since the oil can degrade the plastic and cause leaks. Ideally, essential oils should always be stored in a glass container. Place your oils in a dark, dry place at room temperature so you’re able to enjoy them for as long as possible. Keep the lid of the bottle tightly closed to prevent evaporation and oxidation. Never use oils near an open flame and keep them away from excess heat. Always store essential oils safely out of the reach of children. You can refrigerate your oils but note that certain oils may solidify if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. If they do, simply remove them from your fridge and let the oil sit at room temperature for about 12 hours before use.
Create a Cozy Home with Essential Oils
Now that you know a bit more about essential oils and their many benefits, you can use these fragrant oils to create a cozy, inviting home. One extremely important benefit of using these oils is that they’re completely natural and won’t release potentially harmful chemicals into the air. Replace your current store-bought air fresheners or candles with something made using essential oils for a natural, safe, and healthy way to enjoy beautiful fragrances at home.
Oil diffusers come in a variety of different formats, and the purpose is to diffuse the scent of the oil into the air in your home. You can buy these products from a variety of retailers or from many merchants that sell them online. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe use and to get the most effective benefits from your diffuser. Electric oil diffusers use heat and water to gently evaporate the concentrated oils into the air. These diffusers operate similarly to a humidifier. Reed diffusers give you an easy way to experience the cozy fragrance of essential oils in any room. These products contain a concentrated liquid fragrance, and they use natural reed sticks to “suck up” the liquid and then disseminate the scent into the air. Place your oil diffuser in a bedroom or meditation space to enjoy the relaxing effects.
A Soothing Bath or Shower
With so many scents to choose from, you can enjoy essential oils in your bath or shower for a relaxing moment. Add a few drops of your favorite oil to shampoo, body wash, or conditioner to give these products a fragrant boost. If you just want to breathe in the scent, simply place a few drops of the oil on the wall of your shower. Take deep breaths and inhale the scent as it releases into the air while you bathe. You can also try adding a few drops of diluted essential oils to a warm washcloth. It’s important to note that these oils should always be diluted with water or mixed with a carrier such as coconut oil before applying them directly to your skin.
Make a Beautifully Fragranced Linen Spray
Instead of using synthetic products, try making your own linen spray using essential oils instead. You can spray this product onto bed sheets, pillows, curtains, and clothing to give your linens a fragrant boost. It’s even a great way to refresh area rugs and carpets. Spray them inside smelly shoes or on dog beds to give anything in your home a beautiful scent that’s also safe and effective. To make the spray, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with eight ounces of water. Put the mixture into a glass spray bottle, then add about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake the bottle vigorously to mix everything together, then spray your linens to experience a soothing, cozy fragrance.
Whether you want to make your next yoga session better or simply enjoy a relaxing scent in your kitchen or living room, essential oils provide a healthy and effective way to create a cozy home. Try these tips to create your own tranquil oasis and experience the benefits of essential oils yourself.
Always store your oils out of direct sunlight and keep them in a glass container to enjoy them for a long time to come. With the right essential oils, you can make meditating, bathing, and relaxing at home a tranquil moment at any time of the day or night. From lavender and eucalyptus to cinnamon and peppermint, essential oils provide you with a healthy way to enhance your home and turn it into a relaxing, cozy space you’ll love.
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By Isabella Caprario.