The use of essential oils dates back to ancient times. Our ancestors used these wonderful essences for perfumes and cosmetics, medicinal purposes, incense, religious ceremonies and rituals, and culinary purposes. Essential oils are derived from plants primarily through steam distillation and some through methods of solvent extraction. They are highly concentrated, therefore, small amounts of the oils are sufficient for use in various applications. For this reason it is recommended that the oils not be used directly on the skin. Instead blend them with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil or any of the other vegetables oils available utilizing a ratio of 1-3% essential oil.
Lavender and tea tree oil are two oils that be used neat or directly on the skin. It is recommended that a skin test be done prior to using these oils neat by placing one or two drops on the skin and waiting 24 hours for any possible reactions that may occur jojoba oil.
Therapeutic oils are those that are pure meaning they are not diluted with a carrier oil such as a vegetable oil and are taken from the first pressing of the twigs, bark, leaves, stems, or flowers. Almost all essential oils have bactericidal properties such as being antiseptic, antimicrobial, diuretic, antidepressant, antispasmodic and more.
As those who have used essential oils in the past know, sometimes you may purchase an oil and find that at some point in the future that same oil that you purchase in the future may have a different scent or effect or even a different price. A number of factors, including the skill of the distiller, growing region, climate, and variations in cultivation and harvesting will influence the quality and character of the finished oil. Environmental factors are sometimes conditions growers have no control over. Distilling essential oils is more closely related to producing a fine wine than to making a standardized fragrance: both are dependent upon the interplay between humans and nature.
I have used essential oils for many years due to their healing capabilities and generally because they nourish my body, mind and soul. I utilize them in place of chemical drugs for healing due to the numerous side effects and toxins that result from drug usage, as a natural insect repellent, for cleaning my home naturally, for cleansing and purifying the air, for wounds and injuries, for relaxation and meditation, for massage, in the bath for detoxification, sore muscles, illness, and scent. Of course, please consult your medical practitioner before using essential oils in place of any prescribed drugs you may be taking.