What is an essential oil?
If you have ever literally stopped to smell the roses, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They are usually extracted through steam distillation, however, there are several other methods used.
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How do I use essential oils?
Essential oils, when diffused, can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Diffusing essential oils can also cleanse and purify the air. Smelling the oil right out of the bottle can have positive effects as well.
Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and many can be safely applied topically when used in conjunction with a carrier oil, such as Coconut Oil.
Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions.
Oils that enhance chiropractic care
Topically applied, these oils are great to use for muscle spasms: marjoram, clary sage, peppermint, ylang ylang. Examples of anti-inflammatory essential oils are blue cypress, blue tansy, cinnamon, copaiba, patchouli, helichrysum (also good for bruising and swelling). Methyl salicylate is the main constituent in therapeutic wintergreen essential oil and is helpful with arthritis, rheumatism, muscle or nerve pain (read safety information below).
Muscle Injury Blend
10 drops German Chamomile
8 drops Lavender
6 drops Marjoram
2 drops Peppermint
3 drops Copaiba
Mix in a carrier oil and massage directly on the affected area.
There are many uses for all the different essential oils, from household cleaning to bug repellant. Many oils are great to just keep near you to help relax you in tense situations. Just smelling lavender, peppermint, or lemon oil is uplifting and calming.
Safety of essential oils
Use caution when using essential oils. Never put essential oils in eyes, ears, genital region. If this occurs, my recommendation is to use a copious amount of coconut or olive oil on the affected area. Never try to rinse an essential oil out with water, this will just spread the oil as oil and water do not mix.
Before you start: Always test an essential oil before using it. Every body is unique, so apply a drop on a small area of skin, wait 3-5 minutes to see if there is a reaction. If not, proceed.
People with epilepsy, who are pregnant or who are allergic to aspirin should avoid wintergreen.
If you have questions about essential oils or other health concerns, feel free to make an appointment at our office. We also offer free wellness workshops, which cover topics such as supplements, label reading, and food sensitivities.
Have questions about a nagging health issue? Call our office and make an appointment at 417.781.6300.