everything old is new again – health enhancing essential oils

November 22, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ in other words

by Gina Rideout

Ever wonder how the scent of an orange can fill a room, or how we can catch the smell of fragrant flowers like roses and lavender throughout the house? Why do citrus smells make us feel happy and refreshed? These gorgeous aromas and their effects are due to the power of essential oils.

Essential oils are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants and give plants their distinctive smells. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices. In other words, they are not the latest new trend!  Essential oils have been used for thousands of years – 350 litres of essential oils were discovered when King Tut’s tomb was opened. Along with gold, frankincense and myrrh were the original Christmas gifts – the value of the latter two were just as valuable, if not more so, than the gold as they were used for medicinal purposes for the infant Jesus and mother Mary.

Most modern medicines originated from plants, for instance, Aspirin from Wintergreen, until the pharmaceutical industry discovered how to make them synthetically.

Essential oils are becoming more and more popular in recent years due to the fact that many people are seeking natural alternatives to support health and wellness. The applications for essential oils include support for colds/flu, improved immunity, head tension, hormone balancing, emotional health, respiratory health, and sleep disturbances, just to name a few examples. They are suitable for all ages, children, adults and seniors.

If you are already using essential oils or are interested in how they can support the health of your family there are a few things to be aware of:rose petals

1.      Be aware of synthetic substitutes. Essential oils vary greatly in price based on where the oil is sourced and how difficult it is to extract the oils from the plant. For example, expect to pay almost $1000 for a 15 ml bottle of high quality rose oil. If you notice all the oils in a store are priced about the same and/or they are very cheap, then it is likely they are not 100% pure essential oil. There is also the chance that the oil is synthetically made in a lab, and not an essential oil at all.

2.      Purity matters. Know your source because the labelling can be misleading.   Although an oil may be labelled 100% pure, it may carry fillers and not be 100% pure essential oil.  This is the fine print – if they are pure, fillers like coconut oil and almond oil can compose a significant portion of the vial, and that will affect any therapeutic benefits you may be seeking.  Learn more about the company you are purchasing from and familiarize yourself with their standards. You should only use Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential oils from a company with high standards of testing for purity, including third-party testing.

3.      Potency. It’s best to use oils that are sourced where the plants grow indigenously. The composition of the plant will vary greatly based on location, climate and environment which is why it’s best to use oils from locations where plants have grown traditionally for many years.

4.      Sustainability. Ensure sustainable practices are used. It is satisfying to know when you use an oil for you and your family it is also supporting the people who so carefully grew and harvested it for your benefit.


Gina Rideout, photo by Shannon

Gina Rideout, photo by Shannon


Gina Rideout has a Masters degree in both Human Development and Applied Social Psychology, and is a Certified Health Coach practicing in the St. John’s area.  She has a passion for plant-based living and essential oils. Contact her if you’d like more information on how essential oils can help you and your family, or for free Health Coaching consults. 

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