Mother Nature has given us so many gifts. But we are often caught up in our every day life and we forget to appreciate what is in front of us. One of these gifts are essential oils.
Hello! My name is Yana – founder and owner of ShaNaMetics. Welcome to my 7th blog post.
I discovered essential oils during a restorative yoga session 5 years ago. I had a very bad cold that day. I tried different medications, but nothing helped. So, I went for 2 hour restorative yoga session with essential oils, hoping that this activity will help me sleep. After the class was finished, I realised that my cold was gone. I could not believe it. I was able to breathe again. I shared my experience with my yoga teacher and she was please to hear about my experience. I started reading and researching about essential oils, I bought my first oil (it was frankincense). I even started studying Business diploma for essential oils and I am currently studying Aromatherapy. I also have a small collection of essential oils. When I decided to become cosmetics formulator, I included essential oils in almost every formulation.
But what are essential oils?
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in various cultures for medicinal and health purposes. Because of their antidepressant, stimulating, detoxifying, antibacterial, antiviral and calming properties, they are recently gaining popularity as a natural, safe and cost-effective therapy for a number of health concerns. The oils are obtained from the petals, flowering tops, leaves, roots, bark, and wood of various plants, shrubs, and trees. The methods used to extract them are steam distillation (this is the most used method) enfleurage, expression, cold pressing, chemical distillation, and percolation. Oils have been recorded as being used as far back as the Egyptians. Tests on the bandages of Mummies show the use of cinnamon, nutmeg, frankincense, and clove in the embalming process. There are paintings on the walls of caves in Lascaux, France, depicting the use of oils that date back to 3000 years B.C.
I talk about the history of essential oils in my blog post New Year better you.
How do oils work?
By entering the system via the skin through massage and through the lining of the lungs through inhalation or vaporization. The oils are then absorbed into the bloodstream and once in the system the medicinal properties of the oils can start to do their work. Each essential oil has its own scent and affect. Some uplift, some soothe, some are refreshing and some are medicinal. The scent of the oils affects the limbic system in the brain via the olfactory tract. Scent affects the autonomic nervous system and our hormonal system. These systems govern heart rate, anger, fear, stress and memory. Smell is evocative and this is the power of the oils as each has a different scent which can evoke a reaction in us. People often comment that certain oils smell 'clean' or refreshing.
Certain scents can remind us of a place or happy moment from our lives. For example, lemongrass reminds me of my holiday to Thailand.
Essential oils are highly concentrated meaning you need a lot of material to produce a small bottle of oil. For example, over 2,000 kg of rose petals are used to distill 0.5 kg of rose essential oil.
Essential oils are very powerful and need to be treated with care and respect.
It is important that the oils are diluted in carrier oil before they are applied. If they were to be used undiluted they would cause a reaction. The solution would be too strong, for even the toughest type of skin, causing a burning or stinging sensation.
Essential Oils should be kept away from heat and direct sunlight. Essential Oils can be impacted by oxygen, light, heat and moisture. I keep my oils in an essential oils case in a room temperature, away from direct sun light.
If you decide to purchase essential oils, my advice is don’t rush. There are so many suppliers nowadays. But not all suppliers and retailers offer good quality essential oils. I never buy products from random places. When I started working with essential oils, I had certain requirements. For example, I wanted to work with companies based in the UK. When I found UK based company, I phoned them up to ask about their products and values and then I placed an order.
I use different oils for different circumstances. For cold or runny nose – Frankincense, for better sleep – Patchouli, black pepper for achy muscles and so on.
Some of ShaNaMetics products contain essential oils: lavender in ShaNaMetics make up remover and day cream, rose oil in night cream and hand balm and rose geranium in face wash.
I have noticed that essential oils with citrus scent are very favourable. I often diffuse orange and grapefruit. These two essential oils have pleasant and uplifting aroma.
Oils with flowery scent are calming and relaxing. Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Geranium, Jasmine can be added to your bath.
When I started using essential oils, I followed directions on how much oil to add into my diffuser or bath but over time I realised that following my own instinct works better for me.
I use my essential oil diffuser daily. Salt bath with essential oils is my favourite way to relax at the end of the week.
I have recommended their amazing benefits to family and friends. All of my family members have diffusers. I trust the power of essential oils and I continue to use essential oils on daily bases.
Everything I have talked about so far is based on my knowledge and experience. Follow your instincts and do what’s best for you.
I encourage you to have a look at my website and treat yourself with a beautiful skin care product.
Lots of Love,