Home Apothecary?

Lavender and oils

Dear friends-

Although the use of aromatic plants and infusions have been used in cosmetics and medicines for many thousands of years, Essential Oils as known today, have only been in existence for about a thousand years when the process of distillation was discovered.

Steam distillation is accomplished when the plant material is put on top of water that is heated to create steam which then distills the oil out of the plant. The distilled essential oil is NOT water soluble, so it floats on top of the water. Another way of creating an essential oil is through the process of Expression. This process is used for citrus fruit where the rind (epicarp) is put in a tumbler that bursts the rind so the oil can be released. An essential oil is a product obtained from a natural, raw material of plant origin. The Essential Oils on the market today are natural substances that have been concentrated with modern day processes.

There are three common ways that Essential Oils are used: Inhalation, topical, and ingestion. Each has its place with both benefits and risks.

* Inhalation, the lowest risk, is when you simply smell the oil from the bottle or diffuse it, using a commercial diffuser. There is an immediate reaction in the brain to the smell that can help one to manage moods and feelings, and perhaps also calm respiratory issues. This method of using essential oils poses little risk to the consumer.

* Topical application can be used for general skin care, acute skin care issues like bug bites, or chronic skin conditions like acne or eczema. But a word of caution, skin reactions to topical applications could indicate an allergy, so essential oils for topical applications should be tested on a small area to determine if there will be an allergic reaction. Also, essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil and never used in their concentrated form. If there is a reaction, the oil should be washed off with soap and water or make an oatmeal paste and put in a gauze or tea towel and then cover the affected area. Do not continue to use that oil.

* Ingestion of essential oils is the highest risk of putting active ingredients into the body, mainly because one doesn’t usually see any adverse reactions until the symptoms are severe. Unless one is highly skilled in the use of essential oils, using already prepared products might be the best way when wanting to ingest Essential Oils.

Because plants and humans are both carbon-based, Essential Oils are quite compatible to the human body, making them a favorable, natural component to have in your “home apothecary” which can be a good thing especially for those times that running to the drugstore for a bug bite, bee sting, skin outbreak, is not convenient. There are many thoughts on what oils to include in your home apothecary and everyone will have an opinion so I will share the five oils that I consider a must for my apothecary.

Peppermint: The smell elevates my mood, it relieves any skin itching that I have, and when ingested, it calms my stomach.

Lavender: The smell calms me, especially when I diffuse it, and it also helps relieve any skin issues I might have.

Tea Tree: Known for its cleansing properties, tea tree oil is a powerful ally against environmental threats and is perfect for homemade cleaning solutions. It’s also a hero for skin blemishes, thanks to its purifying qualities.

Lemon Oil: Like bottled sunshine, it is perfect for uplifting spirits, either by directly smelling from the bottle or diffusing it. Also, it has properties that can remove gum, sticky residue, greasy messes, and even clean silver.

Frankincense: Often referred to as the “King of Oils,” it is revered for its health benefits of grounding aroma and promoting feelings of peace and overall wellness.

The more I learn about Essential Oils, the more I want to learn how to incorporate them more fully into my everyday life. I love the idea of having many resources to draw upon in my quest for a healthier life.

Stop by the office to see how we can assist you in purchasing the oils you want for your very own “home apothecary.”


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