Essential Oils are extracted from plants the essence of which is the scent and flavour. These oils are obtained either through the process of distillation or cold pressing.
Since essential oils are highly concentrated, they have to be diluted by mixing with substances like carrier oils or water before use.
The earliest records of essential oils are from India, Persia, and Egypt. These were traded among the oriental countries and transported as far as Greece and Rome.
It is speculated that these extracts were prepared by placing flowers, roots, or leaves in fatty oils.
Egyptians used essential oils as early as 4500 B.C.E. Historical records show that only priests and kings were allowed to use them.
These were used for numerous purposes like anti-microbial medicine, calming the mind, and embalming the dead.
Essential Oils for Ayurvedic Aromatherapy
Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine, has used essential oils in healing mixtures. There are more than 700 medicinal herbs listed in the Vedic literature.
With the invention of the process of distillation by Arabs, the knowledge of extracting essential oils spread to European countries.
These became a specialty in European pharmacies and by the year 1500, oils like rose, sage, cinnamon and myrrh, among many others had been introduced in the market.
Aromatherapy is one of the most popular ways to use essential oils. It involves inhaling these oils to improve health. These stimulate the central nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety.
Essential oils can be applied directly to the skin after diluting them with carrier oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, or aloe vera gel.
There are many health benefits of essential oils:
- Studies have shown 43% of people use alternative therapies to reduce stress and anxiety. Aromatherapy has proven to be effective in relieving stress.
- Essential oils are known to reduce pain during headaches with many traditional remedies using them for a long time.
- Smelling essential oils, particularly lavender oil, has proven to be effective in curing insomnia and improving sleep quality.
- Some essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties and can help in reducing inflammation.
- Essential oils have anti-microbial properties and can be used as disinfectants.
Common Essential Oils and their uses
Kayasiddhi, which aims at treating people holistically, lists these common essential oils and their uses:
Ylang Ylang: It is one of the most common ingredients in cosmetic and perfume production. Its oil helps to reduce stress and is great for skin and hair treatments.
Hibiscus: It is used in cosmetic products like creams and hair oils. The flower is rich in anti-oxidants and its oil is useful in repairing skin and reducing fine lines.
Helichrysum: It is also used in the cosmetic industry. The oil is effective in reducing inflammation and spasms, healing wounds, and reducing stress.
Frankincense: It is used in religious ceremonies for its properties of purifying the air and calming essence. It is used in preparing medicines for treating skin diseases, respiratory illness and arthritis. It is also used in insect repellants.
Myrrh: It is used in the purification rituals and traditional medicines to reduce inflammation, treat hair fall, eczema and wounds.
Carrot Seed: It is rich in Vitamin A and Carotene which keep skin healthy. It is used in many Ayurvedic oils to treat hair fall, dandruff and bring luster to the hair.
Basil: It is called the ‘queen of herbs’. Its oil has high anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties. It can treat nausea, motion sickness, indigestion, constipation, respiratory problems, and diabetes. Basil oil is also a good source of Vitamin A, C & K, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, and Calcium.
Citriodora Eucalyptus: It calms the mind and helps it to focus. Its oil is used in Ayurvedic treatment for asthma, cold, cough, arthritis, hypertension, shingles, migraine pain, rheumatism, wounds, inflammation, bacterial and fungal infections. It also acts as an insect repellant.
Kayasiddhi has a range of 21 essential oils which are 100% pure, natural, organic, chemical free and eco-friendly for the everyday well-being.