How Do Essential Oils Work and How Do I Use Them?

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Essential oils have always somewhat been a mystery to me. After talking to a many avid essential oil users, I was pointed to some very helpful information and here’s what I discovered:

Do essential oils work?

Yes—if you’re using them correctly. Essential oils offer a variety of uses and benefits; but to get the most out of them, you need to use them correctly. Each oil comes from a unique plant, which means unique constituents and properties, so they all have different uses.

I had a conversation about essential oils with Young Living rep, Victoria. Here was her thoughts on essential oils and how they work.

“Each oil / oil blend has its own purpose. You can even mix different oils to help certain things. I love using lavender to help calm down before bed. I mixed lavender and peppermint to help with headaches in a roller. In my rollers, I use fractionated coconut oil which is considered a carrier oil along with 20-30 drops of the essential oil. Peppermint is also good for upset stomachs along with head and neck tension. You can also blend oils together, too. [See the list Victoria gives at the bottom of this post!]

The ones NOT to get are ones that you can get in stores that come in packs that only cost $10-30 range. Those ones usually have artificial ingredients or are somehow “watered down”. And as much as we all want to save money, with oils, the oils with better values will be more expensive.”

Understanding how essential oils interact with your body is empowering!

Our body has many receptors. Without receptors, you wouldn’t have any sensory responses. Receptors are proteins in our bodies that specifically bind with various types of molecules to facilitate chemical communication. There are millions of receptors in the body, but we want to focus on the sensory and thermoreceptors, because they’re the receptors related to touch, taste, and smell.

When compounds in essential oils bind to receptors, they trigger specific effects in our bodies, depending on the oil’s constituents and how you’ve applied it—topically, aromatically, or internally.

Sense of smell

Of all the senses, essential oils affect your sense of smell the most. In true science-guy style, let’s dive a little deeper and find out if the nose really knows.

According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Informationthe sense of smell is one of the first senses humans developed. From the beginning, humans have used their olfactory sense—science’s fancy way of saying sense of smell—to identify food, potential mating partners, dangers, enemies, and more. For most living creatures, smell is a key way we interact with our environment.

So how many receptors are dedicated to the olfactory sense? We thought you’d never ask. You’ll find a whopping 100 million or more receptors packed into an area about 2.5 square centimeters! No wonder essential oils are crazy good at stirring certain emotions or specific memories—you have all those olfactory receptors just waiting to send signals to your brain!

All of this information was retrieved from Youngliving.com, but applies to various brands of essential oils. Like Victoria said, just beware about what companies you buy from. Do you research to avoid sketchy ingredients and make sure you are using quality oils!

Thanks for the info, Victoria! If anyone is interested in learning more about oils, wants to order, or has questions, feel free to reach out to Victoria directly!

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