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Why Essential Oils Are So Popular + How to Use Them

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Alternative medicine enthusiasts have subscribed to the power of essential oils for years. But with their increasing availability (and claimed health benefits), they’re going mainstream. Essential oils are basically concentrated plant extracts. They're made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant (flowers, bark, leaves or fruit) to capture the compounds that produce fragrance. It can take several pounds of a plant to produce a single bottle of essential oil.

For example:

  • About 250 pounds of lavender flowers make 1 pound of lavender essential oil.

  • About 5,000 pounds of rose petals or lemon balm make 1 pound of rose or lemon balm essential oil

Because it takes so much of the plant to make an essential oil, it’s a powerful botanical medicine.

Essential oils can be used in aromatherapy, a kind of complementary medicine that uses smell to improve your health or applied topically to the skin. Studies have shown that essential oils may help:

  • Boost mood.

  • Improve job performance through reduced stress and increased attentiveness.

  • Improve sleep.

  • Kill bacteria, funguses and viruses.

  • Reduce anxiety and pain.

  • Reduce inflammation.

  • Reduce nausea.

  • Relieve headaches.

When inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain. Essential oils can also be absorbed by the skin, easily moving through muscle and tissue to support health at a cellular level.

There are three primary ways to use essential oils. First there’s aromatically, when you inhale the oil’s aroma either from the bottle or via steam or a diffuser. You can also apply them topically—just be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil like olive oil before application. With most oils you can dispense a few diluted drops on your skin. With others you’ll want to add them to your favorite lotion, cream or bath gel. Finally, you can even ingest small amounts of a few select essential oils to enjoy their flavors as well as their benefits.

However you use your oils, we recommend you always check the label on how to best apply them. Essential oils are highly concentrated natural extracts located in a plant’s seeds, leaves, bark, flowers, roots, stems, rinds and other parts. Distillers of essential oils use various methods to extract these oils that render them even more potent than they were in their respective plants. In such a concentrated form, it’s important to know how to use oils safely and what precautions to take.

Maze Apothecary is proud to feature Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils in our apothecary blends. Young Living's Seed to Seal® quality commitment means we're creating healthy homes for each of us, and a healthy world for all of us.

To shop Young Living Essential Oils click here.

To shop Maze Apothecary blends for Sleep, Anxiety, Wellness and more click here.


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