Being a human is a taxing duty. There are some days when our bodies become weak, and minds decide that today is not their day. The overstimulation of the world around us takes over, and your body begins to wilt, left with the task of preservation. Self-care can be a difficult thing to manage, and finding unique ways to do so is even worse. Calming products marketed to the most desperate individuals may drain your wallet and your sanity, but there is a new era of caring rituals centered around essential oils.

Sydney, essential oils expert at The Next Millennium, a store downtown supplying a plethora of plant derived oils shared her opinions on why essential oils are becoming increasingly popular, “Since beginning of time, all of our health processes were based on the earth. Human beings grew up on plant medicine. The only cures they knew were through the Earth. Plant medicine came first humans grew up being cured through the earth. Since natural therapy is making a big comeback today, so are these oils.” In our world, today, we commonly relate health to what is happening to our external body, but as research continues to be conducted, we start to see a correlation between emotional and physical health. Our holistic health (mind, body, and spirit) is being brought to the forefront of our consciousness, and with that nature’s gifts are gaining popularity.

Essential oils are concentrated portions of plants turned into a liquid by the process of distillation (separating components from a material through a heating and cooling process). Each individual plant benefits a different element of your health. Some focus more on mental health, while others zero in on the physical side of things. Essential oils are a cheap and easy way to start living a healthier life. Whole Foods Market is commonly associated with natural remedies, A staff member in the Health and Wellness department shared with me her experience with essential oils. She said, “People want to find more natural, or plant derived alternatives to perscription options. The pendulum has swung to more natural remedies and, for me the oils have improved my overall well-being, and the cleanliness of my house in a more natural way then I could have gotten from seeing a doctor, or buying Clorox. ”

The most common practice of essential oils comes in the form of aromatherapy in which you inhale the vapors with a diffuser. Another method is simply massaging the oil into distinct areas of the skin. This allows the oil to effectively enter into the bloodstream, allowing the healing to ensue. Craze is here to give you a beginner’s guide to four basic essential oils, and the reasons they are essential for you to have in your life.

Chamomile is like the mom of essential oils; it is older and wiser than all the rest. Chamomile became popular for its usage in tea, but the essential oil has even greater effects. Chamomile acts as a natural sedative and is used as a method of calming yourself. Don’t stress: relaxation is only a whiff away. By the process of inhalation, the oil is sniffed in through the nose, then becomes dispersed through the rest of the body to soothe what needs to be soothed. Dr. Axe, the essential oil guru of the internet shares that chamomile is proven to be a natural way to battle anxiety and depression. The spring can be a tough time for those who have seasonal allergies, but let the sneezing subside with chamomile’s antimicrobial and antioxidant elements. It can relieve mucus, congestion, irritations, and swelling.

The most beneficial to teenagers is tea tree oil. This powerful antiseptic treats all wounds, but specifically a home remedy for acne. Its naturalness makes it less stressful on the face and clears up breakouts overnight. You can make your very own face wash by mixing five drops of tea tree essential oil with two teaspoons of raw honey together. Rub this concoction on your face, allow it to sit for a minute, then rinse it off. Repeat this process once a day for a week, and your skin will look clean and clear. The oil’s ability to kill off bad bacteria comes into play in a number of other areas. It works perfectly as a natural toothpaste and mouthwash by mixing tea tree oil and baking soda together.

According to Essential Oil Haven, the most popular and widely sold essential oil is lavender. Aside from its sweet smell, lavender oil has the ability to protect our bodies against neurological damage. It has been known to solve migraines, reduce stress, and limit anxiety symptoms. To relieve stress and improve sleep, place a diffuser by your bed and diffuse the oils while you sleep, or while you relax in the evening. Sydney said, “Lavender has really helped me relieve my stress and induced sleep. That’s why I wash my clothes with lavender oil, and people put it on their bedsheets.” To improve your quality of sleep, diffuse lavender oil in your bedroom before or during sleep. Or try rubbing 3–5 drops directly on your neck, chest and temples. If you want to be even more relaxed, take a healing bath by adding 15 drops of lavender oil and 1 cup of Epsom salts to the bathtub, and relax the body.

Next is eucalyptus. Native to Australia, this plant provides energy and sedative properties to many koala bears. Today, eucalyptus oil acts as a cleanser to wash out toxins that evolve into sicknesses. Looking for a new remedy to boost your hair’s health? Eucalyptus mixed with coconut oil moisturizes your hair and aids in cleaning up dandruff. Nontoxic Reboot, a holistic blog reported that the cure to soothing a fever is to fill a spray bottle up with carrier oil, and then add 15 drops of eucalyptus oil, and spritz over the feverish area to make it subside.

It’s not easy to begin making lifestyle changes. It takes research, trial and error, and finding what works for you. Essential oils give you a natural way of becoming a better version of yourself in mind, body, and spirit. So, find which oil works for you and allow yourself to be healed.

story and graphic by daisy friedman


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