There’s far more to a scent than meets the nose, a fact you likely recognize when considering the powerful memories and emotions certain aromas can evoke within you.
Enter mankind’s first medicine: aromatherapy. Essential oils are highly-concentrated volatile liquids distilled from a variety of plants and their parts, and carry the true essence (and associated healing properties) of the original plant from which they were extracted. Ancient cultures have been harnessing the powerful influence of essential oils for centuries to enhance the wellbeing of the mind, body, and spirit.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Smell is considered the most primitive of the senses, and is closely linked with memory and mood. While other sensory input (like sight and sound) is delivered straight to the thalamus, aromas first take a fascinating detour to the brain centers that rule emotion. There are endless ways to use essential oils to boost your emotional state and heal a number of ailments, from nausea to congestion.
However, before we share a few of our favorite ways to use aromatherapy, it’s important to note that all essential oils are not created equally. At Hudson Healing Arts, we only use Young Living, which is considered the gold standard for essential oils. The reason it’s such a big deal? In the USA, essential oils actually aren’t regulated by the FDA. Rather, they’re the purview of the Cosmetic Act, which states that a make-up of just 5% pure oil is considered to be ‘pure.’
So while you might get a pleasant scent from other brands, the product often is in a base of carrier oil and lacking the healing properties that would make it true “medicine.” Other brands also use higher heat and greater pressure to quicken the distillation process, which can burn off the delicate plant oils. The result? An oil that costs less but often doesn’t have the full healing potential of the plant.
With Young Living oils, you receive 100% pure, highly-concentrated, therapeutic-grade oils (a step beyond food quality standards).
Now, onto the fun part! Here’s how to harness the power of aromatherapy in your own life…
Most people associate the sweet fragrance of lavender with relaxation, but it’s actually an adaptogen, which is a fancy way of saying that it seeks to restore balance in the nervous system and adapts to what your body needs in the moment. This means lavender will help you relax if you’re wound up or anxious, but it will balance your mood if you’re feeling sluggish. How’s that for versatility?
This invigorating oil is perfect for when you need an energy boost! It’s also a wonderful support for nausea, inflammation, headaches, and congestion. Note: A little goes a long way, so use sparingly and keep away from very young children. It’s also important to keep away from the eyes!
It’s no secret that the fresh, zesty scent of lemon is uplifting...but did you know it also has antibacterial properties, helping to reduce the growth of unwanted bacteria? In fact, hospitals in France used to be cleaned with essential oils such as lemon and rosemary - can you imagine how wonderful that must have smelled?
Purify your water with a drop or two of Lemon Vitality oil (especially helpful for when you’re eating out or travelling and don’t know the source of the water!).
Legend has it that a combination of cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, and lemon protected four robbers from catching the plague in 15th-century France while looting infected sufferers. Once the robbers spilled the secret of their saving grace to the King, they were freed--and today we call this deliciously rich, spicy combination “Thieves”!
Beyond these four versatile oils, Hudson Healing Arts practitioner Beth O’Boyle also recommends Young Living oil blends. A few favorites:
Valor: This woodsy, fortifying mix was given to Roman soldiers before they went to battle--today, it has a very grounding effect and gets the energetic system in balance.
Peace & Calming: A sweet, gentle blend that creates a relaxing environment; it helps to soothe restless children and is a great aid for sleep problems.
Purification: Because this refreshing mix contains citronella and lemongrass, it’s great for repelling insects; it also helps to cleanse the air of any unpleasant odors.
Aroma Siez: A miracle-worker for helping to soothe aches and pains and for stimulating circulation with a sweet, minty scent. If used topically, dilute with a natural oil (V-6 is a good option or any oil you’d use on your skin, such as jojoba or grapeseed.).
These suggestions are most effective when using high-quality oils. We do not recommend ingesting any brand of essential oils other than Young Living Vitality oils - verified to be safe for consumption. These suggestions are not intended to offer or to replace medical advice. Please consult your physician if you have any health challenges or are taking medication.
Young Living’s website, www.youngliving.com, has excellent suggestions and tips for using essential oils safely.
Remember, essential oils are highly concentrated, so it’s important to start slow and be careful-- always follow the directions on the bottle. If you’re new to the world of essential oils, we recommend diluting any oil before using it on your skin. We like V-6 oil for its nice ‘slip’ and absorbability, but any oil used on the skin such as jojoba or grapeseed oil is fine.
We truly hope this article has opened your mind to the various ways aromatherapy can enrich your well-being...now we want hear from you! So, what’s your favorite way to use essential oils? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have questions about using essential oils, you may contact Beth O’Boyle--she would be happy to help you in your aromatherapy journey! If you’re interested in ordering Young Living Oils, feel free to use our referral number: 220708. Beth can be reached at (201)653-7700 ext.1 or Beth@HudsonHealingArts.com!
We’re offering a 20% discount on Raindrop Therapy treatments through October 31, 2018. Click on the link below to pay through our website and use the code ‘essential20’ or mention this blog post when booking your session.
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.