Many of us already know what essential oils do, but what does lavender oil do? What about tea tree or peppermint? Here are five of my top essential oils, where they come from, and what they do.
Lavender essential oil is collected from steaming the bloom of the lavender plant, in fact, it takes 27 square feet of the lavender plant for every 15 mL. For centuries, lavender has been used for medicinal purposes, as well as recreational. Lavender oil is well known to have a very potent calming effect. However, when applied to the skin it can also reduce blemishes and help with skin irritation.
Not to be confused with the myrtle essential oil, myrrh is very commonly used in the cosmetic industry. Myrrh is derived from the arabic word meaning bitter. Nowadays, myrrh oil can be used aromatically for a calming, relaxing atmosphere. It can also be applied to the skin to moisturize, or cleanse. A very popular use for this oil is by utilizing it in various shampoos and body washes. It’s also ideal for breathing during yoga, or meditation.
Peppermint originally was only found in Europe, however now it’s widespread across North America. In fact, many of you may have peppermint plants in your own backyard. Peppermint is also a very popular flavoring, used in ice cream, various candies, chocolates, and even toothpaste. If you take the time to distill the peppermint leaves, you can create a potent essential oil. This oil has a very broad spectrum of uses. For example, aromatically, you can use peppermint oil to create a very crisp environment, ideal for promoting focus while doing work or assignments. When applied to the skin, the peppermint provides a strong cooling sensation, which helps to relax muscles and ease soreness.
Tea Tree Oil
Derived by distilling tea tree leaves, this essential oil is known primarily for it’s beauty and wellness advantages. Growing up, I always used tea tree oil to get paint off of my hands, or a stubborn adhesive left behind by a sticker or glue. However my mom always liked to use it in her homemade soaps, due to its cleansing properties. My sisters would both use it regularly as part of their skin care routine, since it helps promote healthy, clear looking skin. It can also be dispersed through the air to efficiently get rid any bad smells or aromas, and yes that includes in clothes. Bottom line, tea tree oil has a use for everyone. Not just beauty gurus or soap-makers.
Oranges have been used throughout history as a source of food – a very good one at that. More modernly, it has been used to flavor nearly everything from soda, to chocolate, to gummy candies. When you cold press the rinds of the orange, you get it’s corresponding essential oil. When dispersed into the air, orange oil is very dutiful about eliminating odors, it also creates a mood-lifting environment, and helps clear the mind.