Introducing the 4 you need to know.
If Moon Juice, crystal healers, and witch culture has taught us anything in recent years, it’s that hippie-dippy shit is in. Not in an art-teacher-who-moonlights-as-a-drum-circle-regular type of way, but in the making-your-place-a-sanctuary and connecting-with-the-self way. There’s been a fashionable shift in self-care, and essential oils are proving to be part of it in a big way. With that in mind, we turned to two of the top purveyors, Saje Natural Wellness and Thursday Plantation, to explore the real benefits of the most common extracts and why they are more than just room fragrance.
First, What You Need to Look For
“If you’re new to essential oils, make sure you’re buying 100-percent pure oils. They should be packaged in dark amber glass bottles, which keep the oil’s properties intact. Most essential oils oxidize quickly, thus losing their medicinal components. Solvent properties of some oils like tea tree and eucalyptus can break down plastic packaging, which would leach the resin into the oil. It’s also important to buy from a reputable brand that is known to test their oils for purity to ensure they aren’t altered or standardized.” —Shannon O’Brien, Brand Director, Thursday Plantation Canada
The Essential Oils to Know
“Peppermint naturally contains menthol, which can help relieve cold symptoms like coughs and muscular aches and pains.” —Saje Natural Wellness
How to use: Dab on a little oil to soothe skin irritations, or place a few drops in a diffuser to relieve headaches and for a nice cool down.
“Thursday Plantation Lavender Oil is a pharmaceutical-grade oil that is used to relieve nervous tension and sleeplessness. It’s 100 percent pure and unaltered, and is particularly useful in times of heightened stress to help calm and balance emotions. Aside from its calming benefits, it is used traditionally to relieve insect bites and bee stings.” —SO
How to use: “Add to the bath for calming, to de-stress, and tension relief. Added to a diffuser, humidifier, vaporizer, or steamer in a bedroom can help calm, and plac[ing] a few drops onto a pillow can promote better sleep. And rubbing a few drops behind ears, on temples, and nape of the neck can help to relieve headaches.” —SO
“Eucalyptus oil can be used diluted in hot water for inhalation in order to temporarily relieve cold and flu symptoms. As a cleaning product, eucalyptus kills 99.9 percent of household germs and removes the need for the use of potentially harmful chemicals when cleaning floors, kitchen, and bathroom surfaces.” —SO
How to use: “A few drops in a humidifier, diffuser, vaporizer, or nebulizer will help clear sinuses, and in a bath or steamer it can relieve symptoms of cough, cold, and flu. Mix it with shea butter or coconut oil as a natural vapor rub.” —SO
“Tea tree helps to balance skin with its refreshing and cleansing properties. It’s beneficial for soothing irritated skin and encouraging deep breathing.”—Saje Natural Wellness
How to use: “On a cotton tip, dab on pimples as a natural spot treatment; tea tree oil targets the bacteria that causes acne. As a natural antiseptic, use it on minor cuts, wounds, abrasions, skin irritations, and it also helps relieve itch and irritation of insect bites.” —SO