To first answer your question, “where do I buy essential oils online?” I would first recommend YogaOutlet.com (huge selection of different brands) and BuddhaGroove.com (chakra specific Triloka selection) for your online essential oil needs.
But the quality of oils can vary and there are so many types of oils. It’s important to understand the context because I’m afraid most people don’t take the time to research. I feel essential oils are another fad catching on (much like the Himalayan salt lamps) that are popular for the wrong reason because the benefits are REAL.
So before I go into detail on my recommendations of essential oils online, I want to explain a little more about what these oils are and where they come from.
What we’ll be covering in this article:
- Their benefits
- How to use
- What are they made of?
- What is their history?
- Different oils, different effects
- Interesting factoids
- How to buy
- My recommendations
Stay with me here! I know it’s a lot of material, but it is worth knowing a little more before you buy. You may come to appreciate the oils far more! Knowledge will only serve to strengthen your love for essential oils.
The Benefits of Essential Oils
According to the National Center for Biochemical Information, aromatherapy (the practice of using essential oils) offers calming and soothing effects and is often used to help patients with cancer. Their quality of life is improved by aromatherapy through reducing the side-effects of chemotherapy including anxiety, stress, nausea and vomiting.
Specific essential oils exist for literally every ailment or pain and after reviewing almost 90 different oils, out of more than 3,000 known oils, I can accurately say that aromatherapy is far more extensive than most people know.
A few benefits of aromatherapy:
- Relaxes the body and soothes sore muscles
- Relieves headaches and improves functionality of the nervous system
- Depending on the type of oil, appetite can be induced or fatty acids can break down easier
- Digestion can be improved
- Symptoms of cold and flu can be relieved
- And there are so much more –
My mother became enthralled with essential oils around 5 years ago. I never really believed the “hype,” but I was always open to it. After experimenting on my own and with specific oils, I have found tremendous help through peppermint oils (I have intense jaw pain that causes headaches and migraines).
My wife is a dog enthusiast and after researching for ways to calm our two dogs when on a road trip, she found that lavender oil is best to help soothe their anxiety. The car smelled like intense “old-lady” perfume, but the dogs were very calm for the 8-hour trip! Which I’m convinced was because the lavender spell encapsulated the car the entire trip.
How to Use Essential Oils
The most popular way to use essential oils is through the air by diffusing them into a gaseous form. But there are other ways that aromatherapy has taken shape:
- Indirect inhalation
- Direct inhalation
- Aromatherapy massage
- Through the skin by combination (bath salts, lotions, essential oils, etc.)
- By mouth (but this is rare)
Interestingly enough, inhaling causes traces of the oil to enter the bloodstream and affect the body like a drug – directly through the bloodstream and indirectly through the central nervous system.
What are Essential Oils made of?
The materials used to make essential oils can be found from bark, stems, roots, seeds, flowers, and any other part natural oil can be found in plants. Oils are so organic that even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has classified some essential oils as GRAS (generally recognized as safe).
From these parts, the natural oils are then retrieved through distillation by water or steam, but keep in mind that it is a process. It takes 65 pounds of rose petals to produce one 15ml bottle of rose oil! And to produce a pound of lavender oil, 220 pounds of lavender flowers are needed!
But why essential oils? Well, the reason aromatherapy makes use of such oils is that of its small organic molecular makeup that can rapidly change to a gaseous state. Due to their volatile (a.k.a. quickly changing) characteristic, the aroma of essential oils spreads through the air quickly directly interacts with our nose’s olfactory sensors.
The general composition of essential oils varies greatly depending on the geographic origin, the method of distillation, the year the plants were grown, the current time of day/season, and even the weather.
What is their history?
Just like most the Eastern, holistic methods of healing, aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. The earliest evidence of healing practices utilizing plant-based materials was found in Lascaux, France – cave paintings proved plants as an important part of medicine carbon dated as far back as 18,000 B.C.E.!
Healing practicing involving plants have been found in many cultures including ancient China, India, and Egypt, but it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that essential oil extraction was first discovered. The term “aromatherapy” was first coined by the French chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé in 1910 by accident after burning his hand and using the nearest liquid to soothe the pain – it just so happens it was lavender essential oil! This led Gattefossé to discover the benefits of oils.
Western countries have really only taken a recent interest, starting in the 1980s and 1990s as an addition to CAM (complementary and alternative medicine. But as usual, the Western world is a bit behind in its discovery of holistic strategies. Glad we have found essential oils now!
Different Oils, Different Effects
There are many essential oils that specifically target certain ailments and you may be surprised how many benefits can be found when sifting through the long list of 3,000 oils! But to give you an idea, here are three powerful oils:
- Lavender – helps alleviate anxiety, panic attacks and depression while helping heal bruises and stretch marks
- Peppermint – helps with nausea, vertigo, headaches, and exhaustion (my wife and I use it to repel ants from entering the house – it works really well!)
- Frankincense – helps boost the immune system and alleviate the symptoms of asthma, coughing, and bronchitis
But just to make a point, I’m going to list a lot more specific benefits you can find from certain essential oils: anti-allergenic, anti-anxiety, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-poison, antiseptic, anti-stress, carminative, arthritis relief, detoxification, digestion boost, disinfectant, hormone balancing, lipolytic effects, and sedation (to name a few).
I hope to finish a grand list of the 89 most used oils and their benefits! Please stay tuned, it’s taking more hours to complete than I planned!
I wanted to share some interesting facts that aren’t shared too often online – hopefully, you find them interesting!
- Essential oils are not the same as perfume or fragrance oils.
- Fragrance oils are artificially created whereas essential oils are a product of nature and distillation
- Most oils are sold in dark or amber glass container to help absorb light and protect the oil’s natural state
- There are two organizations that provide natural educational standards of aromatherapy:
- The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA)
- The Alliance of International Aromatherapists
- According to Leah Morgan of HealingScents.net, each Zodiac sign resonates with specific essential oils – for example:
- Libras should use geranium oil
- Taurus’ should use rose oil
- Some essential oils are used for more than aromatherapy, such as all-purpose cleaner, mold elimination, homemade sunscreen, natural mosquito repellent, air detoxification, and more!
- If you’re curious about cleaning with essential oils, I stumbled on an amazing article by myessentialreviews.com that goes into detail (gonna try it myself here soon!): “How to CLEAN with Essential Oils“
How to Buy
Plan not only to buy specific oils, but also strategize how you’ll use them – either by direct application or indirect inhalation (the most common). Try starting with a few (two or three) different oils and save up for a diffuser.
- Consider what ailment you’d like to relieve
- Research what type of oil helps this ailment
- Find a dealer of said oil
- Make sure they state the origin of the plants
- Buy a 4 oz. or 8 oz. bottle before going big with a 15 oz. bottle (make sure you like it before investing!)
Consider which type of essential oil is best: one type of oil at a time (usually called “pure”) or a blend of oils (multiple oils mixed together). There’s a benefit to blends since they can offer an array of benefits in a single oil, but single oil can pinpoint specific ailments more accurately than blends.
Also consider the types of oil based on the types of plant, because the rarer the plant, the more expensive the essential oil will be. Remember, It takes 65 pounds of rose petals to produce one 15ml bottle of rose oil! Buying 65 pounds of roses would be hundreds of dollars, so it’s pretty spectacular 15ml of rose oil costs less than $25.
Aromatherapy can be a bit daunting to try yourself, but just remember it’s all about what you want. Write down what you want from aromatherapy (i.e. what ailments do you want to alleviate?) and then buy small amounts of said oil to test its effectiveness.
My wife and I love our diffuser and use it almost every night, but it is a bit small and the lighting is very bright (too bright for my taste). So don’t think the diffuser isn’t important because although aromatherapy is the end goal, the diffuser is what you have to look at!
I’ve found some really amazing options for diffusers that add to a room’s aesthetic but don’t distract with noise:
The ultrasonic technology quietly produces ultra-fine aromatherapy mist by high-frequency vibrations! The natural looking design also has a built-in LED light that changes colors (blue, green, and red). It runs for up to 4 to 6 hours before automatically shutting off, but even so, with no heat produced by the LED bulb the safety speaks for itself. And yes, it is BPA-free 😉
The bamboo cover and base add a nice natural aesthetic to any room and with it’s ultra-silent, ultra-fine mist you may not even notice it if it weren’t for the color-changing LED light (blue, green, red). The two setting for timing is very handy and this diffuser can run for 7 to 14 hours before automatically shutting off! Definitely my choice – I love the bamboo and natural cylindrical look!
Here are a few oils I’d recommend trying first:
This is a blend of two powerful scents with amazing benefits. Personally, I love lavender but it can be overpowering. With the mix of tea tree, the blend of scents is very nice. Here are the known benefits from these oils:
- Lavender Oil – antidepressant, cytophylactic, helps reduce office related stress
- Tea Tree Oil – antiviral, immune system stimulant, balsamic, anti-fungal
Every time my wife and I go for a couple’s massage, I always choose eucalyptus. Its scent isn’t too powerful and the benefits speak for themselves:
- Eucalyptus Oil – nervous system boost, hypoglycemic, prophylactic, immune system boost
If you’re really excited by this new holistic healing, there are a few oil bundles that I’ve come across that I’ve really liked.
This set comes with all the most common types of essential oils: lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemongrass, orange, and peppermint. Just so that you know what these oils can help you with:
- Lemons grass – antipyretic, deodorant, tonic
- Orange – antidepressant, choleretic, hypotensive
- Peppermint – antipruritic, cordial, neurological, helps relieve headaches and migraines
And for those who are really excited and want to try the entire aromatherapy experience in one purchase, then I’d be honored to show you some amazing bundles to try!
Funny enough, you may actually save by going with the full kit because the diffuser and the 8 different essential oils are less than $35! The oils in the kit include eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree. The origin of each oil is disclosed and the method of oil creation is distillation.
- Rosemary – analgesic, cytophylactic, restorative, memory enhancer
With whatever you choose, make sure you look into the details. I’m always one to trust the niche online stores which I welcome you to search yourself!
Aromatherapy has a lot more potential than most understand, just like the Himalayan pink salt lamps I posted about yesterday. Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years and with technology advanced so quickly, it’s exciting to know aromatherapy will be evolving to help our quality of life. Diffusers will only improve in time and plant oil distillation will only increase in purification.
If you have arthritis or TMJ issues like myself, consider experimenting with essential oils to help alleviate the pain and discomfort. Eastern holistic healing strategies are only now beginning to catch on in the Western world and for good reason. It’s strange to think it took so many hundreds of years for the “New World” to expand upon CAM (complementary and alternative medicine).
I’m excited to hear from the community though! How long have you been using aromatherapy and essential oils? Or if you’re new to the idea, do you believe there’s potential in aromatherapy?
Let me know what you think in the comments below! I’ll read and reply to each person who takes the time to share with me.
As always, thanks for reading!
|Essential Oil Haven|
|Oils and Plants|