Essential oils contain powerful chemical components. Before modern day medicine plants and herbs were frequently used for healing physical and mental aliments. Lavender, Lemon and Clove were popular choices to use for their antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Rosemary, Juniper and Frankincense were regularly burned for purification and incense purposes. There is a considerable amount of scientific research supporting the ability of essential oils to deter a wide range of bacterial, fungal, viral and/or other disease-causing microorganisms through either diffusing oils or applying them topically with the use of a carrier oil.
Essential oils are still used in this way today, though western medicine is most definitely top of the medicine chain in most countries and cultures across the globe. Aromatherapy can be used to help manage symptoms associated with many physical health issues such as pain management, digestive issues, respiratory problems and nervous debility. Essential oils strive for balance whether they are being used for medicinal purposes or energetically. As Certified Aromatherapists we can not claim that an oil can cure or treat a specific medical condition per say, but rather recommend and advise.
How can essential oils help with physical issues and aliments?
It is the chemical components naturally occurring in the essential oil which can help manage certain symptoms accompanied with specific medical conditions. For example, the chemical component Oxide typically involves an oxygen bridge between two neighbouring carbon atoms. 1.8 Cineole is an Oxide and most commonly found at a reasonably high percentage in Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis). The therapeutic properties of an Oxide is decongestant, expectorant and mucolytic, therefore an essential oil high in the Oxide 1.8 Cineole would be recommended for cold, flu, congestion issues and/or respiratory problems. These chemicals components (Monoterpenes, Phenols, Oxides, Lactones and Courmins ect) are found naturally in the oil, which many people prefer to use over synthetic versions typically found in many pharmaceutical brands.
How about energetically?
Plants are energy, just like us. They are living, they have a energy field and they require many of the same things we do to survive and thrive, such as food and water.
Essential oils also work on an energetic level to rebalance us spiritually, mentally and emotionally. The energetic value, or vibration, of an essential oil is determined by the blueprint of the plant - its colour, height, chemical components and what it offers to Mother Nature. The energy of the plant offers a multitude of gifts to our psyche and healing is provided through the use of intention to realign the emotional and mental body. How an oil is harvested and distilled is very important in all cases, but especially when working with subtle aromatherapy. Plants which have been sprayed with pesticides or other toxic chemicals should not be used as these chemicals will alter and interfere with the energy of the plant - just like these chemicals do us! Mindful harvesting and distillation is favoured. My advice would be to do a little research on brands before buying their essential oils. In my opinion, if the oil/blend/product is cheap - it says a lot!
Depending on what outcome is being achieved will determine the dilution rate of the blend. Medicinal blends being used to treat physical aliments or household cleaning blends are generally blended to a 2 - 5%, sometime even as high as 10% for one off/acute situations. While blends that are being used for energetic purposes are blended to a much lower dilution rate of around 0.25 - 1%. This is because when working with the subtle energy of the plant a very small amount of the potent oil is required to achieve the desired effect.
Medicinal healing - higher dilution
Subtle energy healing- lower dilution
Do you use essential oils for medicinal purposes? Which essential oils are your favourite to use?