What are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that are made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant, such as the flowers, bark, leaves, or fruit, to capture the natural aroma and compounds of the plant.
It takes an enormous amount of plant material to make essential oils. For example, it takes 115kg of lavender to make half a kg of lavender essential oil and about 3,000 lemons to make one kg of lemon essential oil.
How do essential oils work?
When you smell an essential oil, its constituents bind to receptor sites in your nose, which send signals through the olfactory nerve to the limbic system (the emotional center of the brain). The limbic system is directly connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, memory, breathing, hormone balance, and stress levels.
What are the benefits of essential oils?
While each type of essential oil has unique benefits, most people seek out essential oils for stress relief, anxiety reduction, mood enhancement, and energy production. Let’s explore each of these benefits:
Stress and anxiety reduction
I think we can all agree that life has been quite stressful and chaotic lately. Pile on a demanding work schedule, family obligations, and everyday worries and you have a recipe for burnout. Thankfully, essential oils offer a natural way to tame your stress. Several essential oils have been shown to help calm nerves and soothe anxiety, including ylang ylang, sweet orange, lavender, bergamot, and jasmine.
Have you ever noticed that the aroma of juicy citrus fruits like oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, and limes instantly brighten your mood? As it turns out, studies back up this common observation. A 2013 study found that aromatherapy with orange essential oil reduced the pulse rate and stress hormone levels in children undergoing a dental procedure. Similarly, a 2015 study reported that women who inhaled orange essential oil reported less anxiety during labor. Now, that’s impressive!
For those who struggle to start their day or have trouble getting through that afternoon slump, certain essential oils such as cardamom, orange, mandarin, lime, and peppermint may offer just the boost you’re looking for. These essential oils have been shown to have an uplifting and energising effect and are great for promoting focus and productivity.
How do you use essential oils?
There are a few ways you can reap the benefits of essential oils:
Diffuse the essential oil using a diffuser
Apply essential oils (that are appropriately diluted with a carrier oil) to your skin.
Burn essential oil-infused wax melts using a ceramic burner.
At RAWE, we offer handmade soy wax melts that are infused with pure, ethically-sourced essential oils. Simply place one RAWE wax melt (or a piece of one) on top of a dry ceramic burner, light your burner, and let your stresses and worries unravel and fade away.