There are countless essential oil singles and blends available on the market, each with a set of unique therapeutic benefits. Whether you prefer diffusing your essential oils, applying your favorite oils topically with a carrier oil, or some combination of inhalation and topical use, essential oils can make a huge difference in your daily life.
What are Essential Oils?
An essential oil is a highly concentrated plant extract that is captured through a process of distillation or mechanical pressing. Various parts of the plant are distilled or pressed when developing an essential oil; flowers, stems, bark, fruit, and leaves are all fair game.
The distillation or pressing process pulls only the pure oil essence from various plants, leaving the remaining water content for various uses including hydrosols. The purity of essential oils is the reason for such a powerful aroma; in order to create just one pound of lavender essential oil, it requires 220 pounds of lavender flowers!
Just as each plant contains a varying therapeutic application in holistic medicine, so does the essential oil produced by each plant. Some essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy as well as in conjunction with western medicine treatments to expedite specific results.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the medicinal or therapeutic use of essential oil aromas. Aromatherapy comes in the form of inhalation or topical application.
Before we delve into the key differences between inhalation and topical application, it is important to understand how aromatherapy works. The various scents emitted from essential oils stimulate the olfactory system (including your nose and brain); these scents move through the nasal passage and into the lungs and various parts of the body. When the scent molecules reach the brain, they primarily affect the limbic system. Your limbic system controls your emotions including stress and hormones and regulates your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.
One way to reap the benefits of aromatherapy is by the use of a diffuser. A diffuser uses ultrasonic or evaporative technology to disperse essential oil infused vapor into the air. The aromatherapy benefits will vary depending on the essential oil or combination of essential oils diffused into the room. See our essential oil breakdown, below, for more information on the benefits of each popular essential oil.
Choosing the right aroma diffuser is important. Although less common, evaporative diffusion is the healthiest and cleanest way to diffuse essential oils. Evaporative diffusion is favored over ultrasonic as it requires no mist or water. This allows for the aroma to be diffused into the air without transmitting any oil, bacteria, or mold particles.
In addition to clean humidity, Canopy has a evaporation diffusion feature allowing you to diffuse essential oils with ease. Simply drop a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the diffuser puck, and enjoy the pure aromatherapy benefits. The oils will naturally evaporate into the air around you, providing the cleanest form of aromatherapy. Enjoy all of Canopy’s exclusive aroma kits to unwind, focus, and optimize your home space.
Another way to revel in the benefits of essential oils is by topical application. When paired with a carrier oil of your choice, a few drops of essential oils can have a magnitude of benefits. Aromatherapy by topical application is a common tactic used by massage therapists; the calming scent of lavender essential oil can promote relaxation while the anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptus essential oil can relax muscles and ease joint pain.
What are the Health Benefits of Each Essential Oil?
With countless essential oils on the market, how do you know what essential oil will provide the desired benefits? Exploring essential oils for the first time can be overwhelming, so we’ll break this down for you.
Here are the top ten essential oils and their key physical and mental health benefits.
Bergamot essential oil is an oil in the citrus family. Bergamot is a popular essential oil used to reduce stress and increase positive sentiment. Diffuse a few drops of bergamot during the winter months to reduce depression, sadness, or grief.
Ever drank chamomile tea before going to bed to help lull you into sleep? Chamomile is a powerful essential oil with relaxation properties. Chamomile can reduce nervous tension, depression, and anxiety and is safe to use on children when properly diluted.
Eucalyptus is often used for its respiratory properties, improving cough and mitigating cold symptoms. Eucalyptus can also be used to reduce joint pain and improve muscle aches, which is why eucalyptus is commonly used in massage therapy.
Lavender essential oil is probably one of the most commonly used aromas for calming and relaxation. Lavender oil promotes a restful sleep, especially when diffused in the evening. One of the lesser known qualities of lavender essential oil is the antiseptic properties; when used topically, lavender can help to heal minor burns, scrapes, sunburns, and bruises.
The fresh scent of lemon essential oil can turn a lackluster day right around. Lemon essential oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which make it the perfect essential oil for disinfecting a space. You will often see lemon essential oil used in home, DIY cleaners or in naturally-scented home cleaners. Lemon can also be used in conjunction with other essential oils to reduce dark spots on the skin; the use of lemon essential oil can increase photosensitivity if not protected with sufficient sunscreen.
While peppermint aromas can make you reminiscent of winter, particularly sitting by the fireplace while sipping a peppermint hot cocoa, peppermint has a variety of health benefits. Peppermint can produce a “zing” of energy and is often used to promote focus, memory, and alertness. In addition, peppermint can ease tension headaches and reduce muscle aches or muscle pain.
Sandalwood is a rich ingredient used in many spiritual practices for grounding and balance. Sandalwood is thought to improve spiritual connection and is often used in chakra work.
Tea tree essential oil is a common ingredient found in natural or clean beauty acne products. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties found in this essential oil make it the perfect mild acne treatment. Tea tree can also be used to treat insect stings.
Ylang Ylang is a particularly effective essential oil for emotional well-being. This oil is thought to stimulate feelings of confidence and self-assurance and reduce sentiments of anxiety and depression. What can’t Ylang Ylnang do?
Pro Tip: You can also find blends or diffuse multiple oils together at once to reap the ample benefits.