Healthy Giving

 

 

 

Essential oils, a gift fit for a King

 BY: LESLIE RESCHLY, BSN,RN

 

Two of the first recorded gifts of great value given by the wise men were the essential oils frankincense and myrrh. Both of these were highly valued in ancient civilizations for their health and beauty benefits. In the spirit of the season, I decided to investigate essential oils as I first became interested in their use during yoga practice and currently use Lavender daily!

Essential oils are those derived from plants including their leaves, flowers, stem, root or bark. These differ from fragrance oils, which are often artificially created with manmade chemicals.

Myrrh in fact is a dried resin extract from a tree found in North Africa and the Middle East which is known to prevent signs of aging, soothe cracked or chapped skin, assist with embalming, contribute to perfume and use for dental infections, sores and wounds. Frankincense is also ancient oil extracted from a specific tree bark found in Oman, Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia. As oil, it was used for skin health, prayer and meditation as well as anointing oil known for mental peace and relaxation. So highly valued, this oil was often reserved for sultans!

 

As I began to research essential oils and their use, I found more information then I can share.   The benefits and uses for each particular type of oil from Bergamot to Eucalyptus and Geranium oils are so diverse that it requires you to research what body system you want to nurture or support. Selecting the purpose for your oils will help you decide what you need. For example, Peppermint can be used to alleviate upset stomach or promote oral health, which is why toothpaste is often peppermint flavored. Lavender is used for calming and relaxation and for muscle tension. Ylang-Ylang is often used in hair and scalp products and Eucalyptus for sinus headaches.

 

Please choose carefully and consider the following:

 

1.Pure essential oil is direct from a natural source.

This may or may not be organic. Make sure your essential oil has no additives or synthetic ingredients.

 

2.”You get what you pay for”

Pure Essential oils are expensive. The label should show that the oil is 100% pure and give the plant botanical and common name.

 

3. It is very important to purchase the best quality for the lowest price.

You should determine where the oil came from and how it is created. Oils come from around the world. Investigate and read reviews and do research. The FDA does not regulate these substances. They are not a replacement for medical treatment so be sure to check with your health care provider if you are using these as a supplement to medical care.

 

4. Essential oils alone should not be applied directly to skin.

This can cause serious irritation and burns to your skin. Most pure oils need to be mixed with jojoba, almond oil and Shea butter. Others can be added in small amounts to bath water for soaking.

 

5. Make sure to follow recommendations for storage and purpose.

Most oils should be stored in dark amber or blue bottles. Be cautious of clear glass or plastic bottles.   Some oils are not meant for ingestion. Some are purely for aromatherapy or inhalation. A drop of Lavender Oil dropped on a cotton ball and inhaled gives me instant relaxation!

 

6. Seek an expert in the use of essential oils before you invest a lot of money.

There are several popular essential oil companies. DoTerra and Young Living both operate on a pyramid business system with sellers across the states. Aura Cacia is available at Natural or Health food stores. Tidal Creek in Wilmington sells this brand including one of my favorites “Chill Pill” which is a combination of Lavender and Roman Chamomile. Other sources include private entrepreneurs.

 

One of Southport’s “experts”  in the area of Essential oils, for use on skin is Candy Padgett, owner of SignaScents located at 1102 N. Howe Street. Candy combines essential oils in several of her products. One of her best sellers is “Skin Redeemer” which is a combination of 7 essential oils infused in jojoba. This combination product is for use on skin that is chapped or dry, Athlete’s foot as well as acne and cuticles. Please note that this is infused in jojoba so safe to use directly on the skin. She blends oils in a variety of organic products from deodorant to lotions to animal care products. In addition, she is a wealth of knowledge related to essential oils and skin care. Stop by for an essential oil gift for every one on your list.          You can even purchase “Holy Hearts” soap which contains Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils!

 

As you look for unique and healthy gifts for your loved ones, be a Wise Man and consider the gift of essential oils! Have a Blessed and Healthy Holiday Season!

 

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