Tuesday, January 19

First Basic Collection of Essential Oils

What essential oils should someone start with? When making this list I took a number of factors into account--price, range of scent, emotional or energetic influence, and physical and household uses. I'll briefly cover the uses of these oils, but as they are so multipurpose, you will find a great deal more information with further research. Because essential oils are often a part of the immune system of the plants they come from, they tend to share a number of qualities, though some are more effective than others; for instance, nearly all are antimicrobial. With these four (to seven) oils, you will be able to influence your emotional state in every basic way; soothing and balancing, uplifting and focusing, elevating and grounding, or cleansing and clarifying. The oils can be combined to in order to combine these influences. With time you will probably desire a greater diversity of scents and influences, but these are the most essential and useful of the affordable essential oils.

Lavender is the first oil to buy. It is a workhorse, known as a medicine chest all on its own. The scent is both floral and herbal. Its energetic influence is one of healing balance. It is famous as a scent that brings calm and sleep, but its tonifying influence will energize and nourish someone who is exhausted, burnt out, or unsettled. This peaceful influence also helps to remedy physical complaints that are related to tension or exhaustion. It is a strong disinfectant and anti-inflammatory, and pesticidal as well. Be careful not to use an excessive amount of lavender when you're seeking its soothing qualities, because in heavy doses it is overstimulating. Its influences are nurturing, soothing, and supportive.

Although lavender fragrance is lovely, it can be hard to find lavender essential oils that smell good--many I've gotten have an excessively thin, woody scent, or else a sort of dirty musty quality. I prefer lavender oil from Gaia Garden Herbals. I order one of the bigger bottles, and refill a 5ml bottle.

It is difficult for me to narrow down the choices of citrus oils. Generally speaking, these are the "uppers" of the essential oil world. They are not only stimulating, but they are profoundly uplifting, and excellent for treatment of depression or low energy. The particular influence of different fruits varies quite a bit. Their household and health uses aren't extensive aside from this energetic influence. They can also stimulate appetite, settle nausea, and of course are disinfectant to varying degrees. Be careful with citrus oils on the skin, particularly bergamot; be sure to check safety precautions before you use them in this way. Buy one or more of the following:

    Orange evokes general happiness and comfort. The most quintessential citrus, with the most quintessential influence.

    Lemon calls forth focused energy. It is excellent when you need to work, and compliments other clear woody and herbal oils well.

    Bergamot is a gentle citrus scent, excellent for difficult depression, grief, and similar states. It is very comforting and mild, evoking healing love. It complements other scents very well, and in particular is a great pair with lavender.

    Grapefruit is probably my favorite; it brings forth happiness, much like orange, but its pungency helps to stimulate and focus energy, much like lemon. It has a very joyful, active influence.

Cedar is both the cheapest and most versatile woody scent. It is spiritually elevating, yet grounding and homey. It is an excellent bug repellant, and a lovely scent to have on your clothes. Energetically cedar evokes strength and depth.

Tea tree oil is a famous medicinal and household cleansing oil, due to its impressive disinfectant qualities. Note that it is most effective when diluted. However its herbal scent also has a desirable energetic influence; it provides a sense of clarity and understanding, excellent for clearing the air during difficult times. And of course it is helpful to diffuse tea tree oil whenever you have concern over mold or viruses in the air, so it's an excellent oil for wintertime.

Where to buy? Aside from lavender, I would recommend either Mountain Rose Herbs or Nature's Gift. Both have very informative websites. My favorite basic diffuser is the aromastone. I prefer it over diffusers that use tea lights. Any other simple electric diffuser will do as well, although I think the aromastone is probably the best design. To clean it, simply pour a bit of rubbing alcohol onto it, and wipe it clean with a cloth.

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