The Fifth Element
The term “essential oil” comes from the Aristotelian idea of “quintessence” - the fifth element after fire, air, earth and water; the spirit or life force of a plant. This traditional view of the delicate, powerfully aromatic oils extracted from the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants has been further supplemented by our scientific understanding of the compounds which form them. We now know that essential oils play vital roles in protecting a plant in the wild, in encouraging pollination, and give some plants their intrinsic antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties as well as their beautiful and complex scents.
In addition to the vital life force and aromatic qualities that essential oils give a plant, they also have long been used for their effects on the body and mind. Essential oils can provide many therapeutic benefits; from supporting the body to maintain optimal health and fight off coughs and colds, to soothing the soul during times of stress and anxiety, the benefits are wonderful and varied.
There are a few very important considerations with the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, to ensure that you’re enjoying the benefits of these beautiful compounds effectively and safely:
Quality; please, please don’t buy essential oils from Kmart. Ever. They’re super cheap for a reason; they’re adulterated with goodness-knows-what and those nasty chemicals are going to be doing massive harm to your health. Invest in quality essential oils and they’ll love you right on back.
Quantity; when starting with essential oils, less is more. In fact, seasoned essential oil users will tell you the same thing - these beauties are potent, powerful and perfectly effective in small doses. One drop, or even less, is enough for them to work their magic. Go easy, and don’t waste them… remember, too, essential oils are not an infinite resource!
Safety; do your research, and use MANY sources. Hot tip - Pinterest is a fabulous place for cake decorating tutorials and interior design swoon sessions, but is well known for being full of irresponsible and even dangerous information about essential oil use. My personal favourite place for essential oil safety info is The Tisserand Institute; Robert Tisserand is considered a leading authority on essential oil use and safety and the institute is passionate about safe aromatherapeutic practice.
Have fun; I know, I know, this comes after a bunch of warnings - but, with a few simple considerations about your use of essential oils, you’ll be able to engage in aromatherapeutic practices in a safe manner and you will be able to have so much fun! Using these beautiful gifts from nature as a way to powerfully effect change in your mind, body and soul is so easy and accessible, and the shift it can cause… well, it’s honestly life-changing.
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Please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com at any time if you have any questions regarding essential oil use and safety - we love hearing from you!