What is all the stir surrounding essentials oils? Do they have any true or lasting benefit?
If you think about essentials oils and where they came from, they’ve been around since the Garden of Eden and used throughout history in many ways. According to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, priests and alchemists were using essential oils thousands of years ago to heal the sick. Throughout the Bible, there are many references to oils from the giving of Myrrh to Baby Jesus upon his birth to the anointing of oil ceremonially throughout scripture. In fact, the Bible refers to the use of anointing oils over 150 times, and the Hebrew form of “messiah” and the Greek form of Christ literally mean “anointed.” Oils are the oldest form of medicine and cosmetic known to man and were considered more valuable than gold to the ancients.
Essential oils are the subtle, aromatic and volatile liquids extracted from the flowers, seeds, leaves, stems, bark and roots of herbs, bushes, shrubs and trees through distillation. They have begun to make a comeback in recent years because of their ability to heal the human body. They are also used aromatically in many therapies such as facials and massage. But what are their uses cosmetically?
Oils are not only hydrating for dry skin, but can also be used to minimize wrinkles, increase elasticity, reduce acne and correct some scars and stretch marks. For example, tea tree oil is perfect for acne because of its antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.
Another example would be Rose Hip Seed oil. Because RHSO provides vitamin C and vitamin A, you receive a powerful antioxidant and natural exfoliant. Vitamins C and A also stimulate collagen, reduce scarring and improve tone and texture. RHSO is also useful in reducing the redness caused by rosacea.
Before beginning to incorporate essential oils into your daily regimen, it’s a good idea to find a lengthy, detailed chart of the many oils and their uses. Not all essential oils are equal in efficacy, purity and therapeutic value. It is mandatory that you do a bit of research to ascertain where to purchase your oils.
Some of the things to look for when shopping for essential oils:
1) Purity – Make sure the oils your purchase are 100% Certified Organic and not highly processed. Processing (over heating the oils) can take away from their value and ability to work. Oils that are 100% organic will have to come from plants that were never sprayed with chemicals of any kind, such as pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. If they are not 100% organic and chemicals have been used on the plants, the oils will contain those chemicals and will then be absorbed into your body when you use them.
2) Therapeutic Grade – There is no governmental agency or generally accepted organization who “grades” or “certifies” essential oils as “therapeutic grade,” “medicinal grade,” or “aromatherapy grade” in the U.S. There is no formally approved grading standard used consistently throughout the essential oil industry. But it would stand to reason that if oils are of poor quality or have been distilled from poor crops and/or have been handled improperly, are old or adulterated oils that have chemicals or other oils added to them, they will lack the therapeutic benefit of good quality oils. Make sure the oils your purchase are sold in dark colored glass bottles and never in plastic. Know your source and read reviews before you buy.
3) Farming and Harvesting – Buy your oils from vendors whose growing fields have never been treated with chemicals of any kind and whose growers are knowledgeable about essential oils.
Because the oil is the healing essence of the plant and God created all growing things, I like to think of essential oils as God’s healing medicine.