I was introduced to Essential Oils (EO) about 5 years ago but at that time, I couldn’t understand how EO could affect our body, mind and emotion. It sounded too fantastical to be true plus the price and postage (from Australia) was quite prohibitive. But now, as there are EO sold in Malaysia and books available in abundance, I decided to educate myself on how to make EO a part of my daily life.
What are Essential Oils?
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in their Vocabulary of Natural Materials (ISO/D1S9235.2) defines an essential oil as a product made by distillation with either water or steam or by mechanical processing of citrus rinds or by dry distillation of natural materials.
So, EO are the essence of plants or parts of plants (seeds, flowers, fruit, stems, bark, roots and leaves) that are extracted by various methods. Pure essential oils are EO that have not been adulterated, altered or blended with other synthetics. Most EO in the market are not pure, especially those that are used as fragrance, as they are usually mixed with synthetics.
What is the difference between pure EO and other EO?
According to Valerie Ann Worwood in her book, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (1991) at page 2, pure essential oils have the ability to operate effectively not only on the cellular, physical level, but in the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and aesthetic areas of our lives. She further adds that unlike ordinary medicine which are usually taken orally, essential oils can be applied to the skin – in massage oils or by osmosis in the bath – or by inhalation in a variety of methods.
In my opinion, pure essential oils are simply magical. A mere whiff of their scent can make a difference to our well-being and emotions. And the fact that EO are so tiny that they can flow into our bloodstream through our skin or through inhalation is amazing.
In Emotional Healing With Essential Oils by Daniel MacDonald (2012) at page 17, he states that essential oils support healing in 5 stages. They strengthen us during each stage and prepare us for the next level of healing. The 5 stages are :
- EO assist in healing the physical body
- EO assist in healing the heart
- EO assist in healing the releasing limiting beliefs
- EO increase spiritual awareness and connection
- EO inspire fulfilment of our life’s purpose
Although EO are great for healing, they must be used with caution, especially when using essential oils for children and babies. Some oils may not be safe for children or for use during pregnancy such as Basil, Rosemary, Lemongrass, etc. Do read the instructions on the bottle, or check with the manufacturer to determine the safe uses of the oils. Essential oils can be much more potent than herbs, so a little goes a long way. Diluting the EO with carrier oil (such as Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, etc) is always safer. Babies and children have highly sensitive skin and require less oil.
Pregnant or nursing mothers are advised to consult a licensed health care professional before applying essential oils.
In Emotional Healing With Essential Oils by Daniel MacDonald (2012) at page 20, the author categorises the quality of essential oils as follows:
- Aromatic Essential Oils – widely available and sold for their scent and aromatic properties. These essential oils are not therapeutic grade, have no therapeutic value whatsoever and should not be used topically or internally, as they are not for medicinal use. These oils are usually synthetic and therefore harmful to the body.
- Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils – these are therapeutic grade oils for topical and aromatic use. These quality essential oils that can be used for healing. However, great care should be taken when purchasing these oils, as they are often diluted with synthetic chemicals or other additives.
- Independently Tested Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils – independently tested therapeutic grade oils. These oils are tested at independent laboratories with tests such as gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to verify their purity and composition. Oils that meet rigorous testing and are considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be considered for topical and internal use. Never use any essential oil internally that is not “generally recognized as safe” for dietary consumption by the FDA. Also consult with a health care professional. Only the highest quality essential oils should be used for physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
Unfortunately, the aromatic EO are the most widely sold and used.
My Favourite EO Store in Malaysia
As I am rather new to EO, I have a lot to learn and discover. At the moment, my EO collection only comprises of Lavender and Lemon, while my carrier oils are Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (RM28) and Virgin Olive Oil (purchased last year). In time, I mean to expand my collection, as I expand my knowledge on them.
I purchased my EO and Coconut Oil (RM28/100ml) from Claire Organics, where I also got excellent recommendations and recipes. I decided to start my collection with Lavender (RM20/10ml) and Lemon (RM16/10ml) because I wanted to use them as massage oil to ease body aches and also for relaxation/concentration. Plus, they really are among the ‘power EO’, having multiple uses.
Lavender Essential Oils is usually applied to reduce minor burns, cuts, itch/rash, insect stings, eczema, dermatitis and proven to have positive effect on mood. Lemon can be used to reduce acne, to uplift mood and also in cooking. As for the EV Coconut Oil – I chose it because I believe it to be a miracle oil that is filled with goodness.
When I first tried out the coconut oil, I though there were something wrong with the dropper – I forgot that coconut oil’s consistency changes according to the temperature – it solidifies as the temperature lowers. But the bottle is very sturdy – I accidentally dropped it onto the floor from about 2 feet high and it survived unscathed! 😀 I was informed that Claire Organics uses high quality amber glass to protect the carrier oil and EO. Hopefully, Claire Organics will put up their individual EO info soon.
Here are some of the recipes for using Claire Organics’ Therapeutic EO, which was graciously shared by Louise, founder/owner of Claire Organics:
- Add about 15 drops to 4 oz. water and spray on linens or in the air as an air freshener
- Add a few drops to your bath water – for a relaxing bath
- Add a few drops to warm water and soak feet – to relief tired feet and water retention
- Place about 10 drops in a diffuser / oil burner – for air purifying
- Dilute in a carrier oil and use as a massage oil or rub on your wrists and back of your neck, or apply as skincare
Now, Hubby and I only use my own special and loving blend for our massage routines, and also for our kids’ minor sprains and rashes. Our favourite massage blend is a mixture of 3 drops of Lemon EO, 5 drops of Lavender EO and 2 tablespoon of Coconut Oil or Olive Oil.
So, if you would like to learn more about EO, just send a friendly message to Claire Organics at their FB page, and you will certainly not be disappointed! 😀
– Essential Oils in Daily Life