What are essential oils?
Basically, essential oils are concentrated plant essences. Some are extracted by pressing (similar to how olive oil is made!). You can collect your own essential oils from the rinds of citrus fruits with a press. Most essential oils are extracted with steam, a more complicated process that more or less breaks down the plant material by cooking.
How much do essential oils cost?
The prices can vary widely. Certain oils are easier to obtain, and therefore will cost less. You should be able to buy basic oils like lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, orange, grapefruit, peppermint, lime, and cedarwood without putting a burden on your wallet. 10 milliliters of any of these should cost less than $5. And while 10 milliliters doesn’t sound like much, it will go a long way if you’re only using one or two drops of oil at a time!
Other essential oils can be more expensive, especially if they are more difficult to produce. The most expensive oils are Jasmine Absolute and Rose Absolute – you may see prices upward of $50 for 10 milliliters! A cheaper alternative would be to buy a mixture that is 10% Jasmine or Rose and 90% carrier oil.
What are fragrance oils? Are they the same as essential oils?
Fragrance oils are NOT the same thing as essential oils. Fragrance oils may be offered in a wider variety of scents than essential oils because the fragrances are artificially produced. They may smell identical to essential oils, but because they are chemically produced and not naturally produced, they will not have the same aromatherapy benefits. A quick way to tell if you’re looking at fragrance oils or essential oils: if you see scents like “apple pie” or “fresh linen”, you’re looking at fragrance oils. The label will usually tell you what kind of oil you’re dealing with.
How do I use essential oils?
There are lots of ways to use essential oils! Just use caution when dealing with undiluted essential oils. They are very concentrated and are too strong for direct use. Add a few DROPS of your essential oils to a few OUNCES of a carrier oil like jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, or grapeseed oil.
Skin absorption is an easy way to use your essential oil/carrier oil blends.
· Rub the oil over your skin
· Have someone else massage the oil in for you
· Add a few drops to your bath and soak
You can also inhale the diluted essential oils.
· Add a drop of oil to a bowl of hot water and breathe the steam
· Mix a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle and use as air/clothes freshener
There are lots of ways to use essential oils, and different oils have different properties. Stay tuned for a look at some of the most common (and most affordable) essential oils!