Unlocking the secrets of essential oils.
Essential Oils have been used for centuries and are deeply rooted in all cultures, since their origin in what we believe to be Egypt around 2000BC. The Egyptians invented the art of distilling to produce perfume, medicines and spiritual enhancements (and are to thank for the creation of alcohol!). It’s no secret that authentic essential oils (from the plant itself rather than synthetically produced) bring a range of benefits to the body, mind and spirit. Even Cleopatra’s breathtaking beauty was attributed to her use of extensive beauty treatments that included essential oils as well as clay and salt from the Dead Sea.
Today, essential oils are used widely in beauty products, treatments, aromatherapy and medicines. We use them to calm our nervous system, to invigorate sluggish spirits, to treat ailments and to ultimately bring healing. Most of us know the names and aroma of essential oils, but do we know just how many benefits they can bring us?
Essential Oils, when used correctly, bring balance to the mind and body. We use a range of essential oils in our soap, each selected for the benefits they bring to you. Let’s take a look at some of the incredible benefits they hold.
This essential oil is distilled from the wood of the Atlantic Cedar or Cedar of Lebanon. With a slightly sweet, woody smell, Cedarwood is renowned for its balancing and toning properties. It can soothe in the treatment of nervous tension, anxiety, depression and tiredness. It acts as an astringent for oily skin and hair and helps to ease itchy and irritated skin including acne, dandruff and athlete’s foot.
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The Eucalyptus tree is indigenous to Australia. The essential oil, distilled from the leaves and young twigs, is most beneficial as an antiseptic. It can refresh the mind, concentration and relieve tiredness. A famous decongestant, inhaling the aroma can ease breathing and bring a warming effect. For the skin, it is one of the few essential oils that can be dabbed on the skin directly to help with infections, ulcers, bites, stings, lice and fungal infections.
Image by Ise Murphy
Originating in South Africa, Geranium is steam-distilled from the leaves and green stem. With a coveted rosy scent, Geranium is best known for its cooling and balancing properties. Benefits include bringing calm to restless and anxious minds and is perfect to use before bed. Providing balance for all skin types, it moistens dry, irritated skin, and its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties help to ease acne.
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An ancient oil, distilled from the resin of the Boswellia tree found in North and East Africa. Frankincense is famous for it’s uplifting, anti-inflammatory, astringent and toning properties. It rejuvenates the nervous system, offering both a calming and uplifting effect, easing stress and anxiety. A powerhouse in anti-ageing products, it improves skin tone, wrinkles and helps to reduce scar tissue. Its antiseptic and astringent properties help to heal wounds. As if Frankincense offered enough; it also soothes mucous membranes and its aroma can help relieve coughs and other breathing ailments.
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One of the most famous essential oils, Lavender is an aromatic shrub originating from the Mediterranean, which is distilled from the flowering buds of the plant. The aroma has a potent floral and sweet smell and boasts a range of balancing and calming properties for the mind and body. The nervous system benefits greatly from Lavender as it’s used to treat depression, insomnia, stress, anxiety and can lower blood pressure. It can help ease digestive problems stemming from stress including indigestion and nausea. It is multitalented in benefitting the skin and can be used to treat wounds, burns, bites, dermatitis, eczema, acne and scarring.
Image by Ise Murphy
Another native to Australia, Tea Tree is known for its antiseptic, toning and stimulating properties. Distilled from the leaves and twigs of the Melaleuca tree, it has a strong, spicy and fresh aroma. Using Tea Tree in steam inhalations can help treat sinus infections, colds and flu. It is particularly beneficial for the skin, treating acne, wounds, cuts and burns. Shampoos with Tea Tree can help with clearing dandruff and fighting head lice. A powerful antiseptic, it is one of the few essential oils that may be applied directly to the skin.
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All our essential oils are from Bomar Aromatherapy in neighbouring Wicklow. To learn more about the properties and benefits of essential oils, Neal’s Yard Remedies have a comprehensive book, which was a key source for this blog post.
Essential Oils are powerful and must be used carefully. Most oils cannot be used directly on the skin and must be diluted in carrier oil before being used on the skin. We are not health practitioners. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult a qualified health practitioner.