Essential oils. We’ve all heard of them, but what are they and how can they aid in improving overall wellbeing? Here’s an inside look into what some call the “new antibiotics.” But first, let’s get contextual. The use of essential oils dates as far back as 4500 B.C. in ancient Egyptian society, where oils extracted from plants were often used in religious worship and to produce medicine, topical ointments, powders, and more. Fast forward to 2019 and they’re still around – natural and uniquely aromatic oils extracted from plants via distillation methods (steam/water/cold press). Keyword: aromatic.
Why do natural, plant-based essential oils matter?
Essential oils are recognized as healing powerhouses. As with any other substance, the chemical makeup of each essential oil determines their effects, including therapeutic benefits and safety for use on skin. For the chemistry fans out there, essential oils are mainly made up of molecules known as terpenes, which are unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants that determine the different effects and aromas of essential oils. A good example is limonene, a terpene found in citrus plants, whose therapeutic and medicinal benefits are far and wide, from treating heartburn to fighting cancer.
How does aromatherapy work?
Natural, pure-grade essential oils have amazing psychological and physical benefits when applied or inhaled. That’s just the power of something called aromatherapy, or in scientific terms, the stimulation of the olfactory system (smelling the good stuff). Your body’s olfactory system controls all organs that produce the sense of smell. According to author and aromatherapist, Roberta Wilson, “aromatherapy has many benefits, including the ability to boost the immune system, treat aches and pains, and restore internal balance.” When we inhale essential oils through the nose or mouth, the molecules interact with the olfactory system. The olfactory system works with the respiratory system, where the essential oil molecules attach to our lungs.
What’s the end goal? Affect the emotional brain. Odor molecules attach to receptors in the limbic system, aka “emotional brain,” which is directly connected to parts of the brain that determine heart rate, blood pressure, memory and stress levels. Think about how you feel when you smell something good. It changes or elevates your mood, right? As a natural skin care and essential oils brand for active lifestyles, we also take our training equipment very seriously, which means we like to keep them clean and sanitized for every use. For the committed yogis out there, our yoga mat spray to clean your mat of excess dirt and sweat. Are you the DIY type? Try this simple recipe for cleaning your equipment.
Why are essential oils the “new antibiotic” in town?
The centuries-old medicinal use of essential oils has placed these natural elixirs of wellness in a new category in the 21st century: the “new antibiotic.” Traditional antibiotics are powerful compounds that fight bacterial infections. It is known that the human body builds resistance each time antibiotics are taken. So what’s the alternative? Essential oils, on the other hand, can serve as a new method for combating bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Essential oils can be used as plant-based alternatives to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. A 2016 research study demonstrates the antimicrobial properties of essential oils against human pathogens as a result of antibiotic resistance.
For instance, researchers found that cinnamon, clove, pimento, thyme, oregano, and rosemary essential oils possessed strong antibacterial properties against bacteria that causes Salmonella and Pneumonia, with clove oil having particularly stronger antibacterial qualities. In a study conducted at James Cook University in Australia, scientists discovered that drug-resistant bacteria were found on the biofilms of medical devices, which leads to millions of infections per year. They used nanotechnology to create antibacterial coatings for the devices with plant molecules derived from tea tree oil, which was effective in keeping bad bacteria at bay.
ESSENTIAL OILS DIY
How to properly use essential oils topically
You’re probably wondering how you can begin adding essential oils into your daily wellness routine. But first, safety. It is believed that essential oils cannot be applied to the skin without being diluted with a carrier oil. *Gasp!* Carrier oils may be intimidating at first, but they’re just oils like avocado or coconut that “dilute the concentrated essential oils so they can be applied to the skin without side effects.” In other words, they help “carry” essential oils into the skin. The importance of diluting essential oils is becoming more mainstream, but diluting more or less than the required amount can be harmful to the skin. According to the founder of Way Of Will, Willie Tsang, “Essential oils are very potent. Undiluted essential oils are often too potent for the skin and would cause more damage than good. It is recommended to use no more than 2% of essential oils in dilution.”
Essential oils for better sleep
For aromatherapy beginners, we recommend diffusing essential oils for better sleep or calming nerves. What’s a diffuser, you might ask? Diffusers are devices used to distribute essential oils into the air. Diffusing is an easy way to breathe in essential oil molecules, thus influencing your “emotional brain.” You can go about starting this routine by investing in a diffuser (check out our ultrasonic diffuser) and creating your own aromatherapeutic blend.
Our personal favorite blend for soothing nerves and bringing balance to your personal space: 4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, 5 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil, and 5 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil. Chances are you’ll feel like you just walked into a spa. We love this blend because it yields a calming, woodsy scent. Lavender possesses calming and soothing properties that relieve headaches and tension; Cedarwood promotes overall balance; Frankincense is a resin with a woodsy scent that has excellent grounding benefits.
Repair damaged hair
If you struggle with hair damage, our blend of essential oils can work to condition and moisturize hair, leaving a pleasant scent behind. Our Hair Therapy Carrier Oil pairs well with Atlas Cedarwood, Lemon, Sweet Orange and Lavender essential oils for a natural and replenishing hair mask. For best results, you can leave the mask on your hair for 1-2 hours and later rinse off with warm water. The Lavender is a conditioning element that also encourages natural hair growth while Atlas Cedarwood fights dandruff. The addition of the citrusy Lemon and Sweet Orange will moisturize and stimulate your hair.
The easiest way to start
Is your mind blown yet? Call it beginner’s luck or not, but Way of Will creates essential oil-based products that can help you start living a holistic lifestyle. What’s that, you ask? Well, essential oil-based products are already diluted with other natural ingredients and safe to use on skin. Way Of Will teamed up with certified aromatherapists and chemists to design and formulate products that can maximize the benefits of essential oils. With essential oil-based products for almost every use – including various body lotions, body washes, perfume oils, massage oils, essential oil remedies and so much more – it’s a fantastic “gateway” or first step to experimenting firsthand with different aromas and their benefits.
Way Of Will Essential oils for active lifestyles
As a natural skin care and essential oils brand for active lifestyles, we also take our training equipment very seriously, which means we like to keep them clean and sanitized for every use. For the committed yogis out there, our yoga mat spray to clean your mat of excess dirt and sweat. Are you the DIY type? Try this simple recipe for cleaning your equipment. Essential oils are packed with wonderful benefits that can give you the boost you need in the morning to start your day, or help you snooze after a long day. Give it a try, and see what you think!