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The FUNdamentals of Essential Oils
The History of Essential Oils
Essential oils have been used for many centuries for a variety of functions such as medicinal and healing rather than just for scent.
Essential Oils were used by the ancient Egyptians for scent, ritualistic and ceremonial use within their temples and pyramids. They were also used to cure a great many diseases.
The Romans used fumigating and diffusing of oils in their temples, political buildings, and in their hot tubs.
The Arabians are known for developing a refined distillation process for essential oils.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are liquids that are generally distilled from parts of the plants or herbs. Most essential oils are clear, while some can be yellow in color. Essential oils are highly concentrated and go a long way when diluted with a carrier oil.
A carrier oil is an oil that serves as a base oil with a little of the essential oil combined with it. Some of the more common carrier oils include sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, or avocado oil.
Uses of Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used in an assortment of ways. Some of the more common ones include:
Facial Oil Blends
Magickal Uses of Essential Oils
It is our belief that each plant and herb has its own magickal properties. Each essential oil has different properties and will be used with those magickal properties in mind. We use essential oils to:
- Consecrate our candles before using for rituals and magickal workings
- Used in blessings to anoint people
- Anoint our altars with
- Used in the bath to cleanse, relax, increase psychic ability, etc...
- Candle Magick
Know Your Essential Oils
Before using your essential oils you do need to check all the precautions on the label. Some oils are said to be skin irritants, cannot be inhaled, should not be used if pregnant or nursing, if you have seizure disorders, have high blood pressure, etc... Many sources claim that essential oils should never be ingested. There are also other people that believe that there are no dangers if using a pure essential oil that has been properly diluted with a carrier oil.
Choosing Your Essential Oils Wisely
You really want to use a pure essential oil instead of a synthetic blend. The first thing that you will need to do is to find a reputable company.
Something to consider when checking the validity of a company is to check their pricing. If a lot of their oils tend to be the same price chances are that they are not the real deal. You will want to see various prices for different oils.
You will also want to see what kind of feedback that they are receiving from their customers. A reliable company should have a lot of positive feedback.
You should also look to see if they list the sources for their oils and if they test the oils that they buy for purity.
Another good way to determine the validity of the company is if they perform or offer chromatography testing. This is when a trained chemist is able to decipher if the sample is indeed genuine.
You will also want to look for companies that sell the therapeutic grade essential oils. Very little will be needed and will therefor will last longer. You also have a decrease in the risk of toxicity. These therapeutic oils should be bought and stored in dark or colored glass jars or bottles. This is because the light and air will destroy them.
If you would like an easy way to test your essential oils at home you can put a drop of an essential oil on a piece of heavy construction paper. Let it sit for for about 5 minutes. Most oils will not leave an oily ring on the paper (with the exception of myrrh or patchouli). If you do see an oily ring appear your essential oil has likely been diluted with a vegetable oil or something similar.
Making Your Essential Oil
Many people are growing their own plants and herbs and in turn making their own essential oils. This is a very easy process that ensures the purity of your essential oil and knowing exactly what has been put into it.
To make your own essential oil:
- Select your flowers, plants, or herbs
- Place 1/2 cup tightly packed flowers, plants, or herbs into a plastic storage bag
- Use a wooden mallet to tap them gently to release their oils
- Place your herbs into a glass jar
- Pour 1/2 cup of warm carrier oil over the herbs in the glass jar
- Shake the jar and let sit in a safe place in the sun for 5 to 6 days
- Strain the flowers, herbs, or plants out with a clean piece of cheesecloth
- Store your essential oil in a dark glass jar and ensure that the lid is tightly sealed
I have spent some time lately creating an e-book for my fellow Wiccans, Witch's, and Pagans.
It has all of the common tools that we use along with history, lore, where to buy, how to make (if possible), and correspondences.
I have created this because I know how convenient it is to have all of the information available and easily accessible. I even find myself using this all the time simply for the correspondences.
This book contains information on your altar, Book of Shadows, candles, essential oils, herbs, incense, pentagram/pentacle, mortar & pestle, athame, boline, wand, cauldron, chalice, besom, offering dish, bell, bowls of salt & water, statues, clothing & jewelry, and the lighter & matches.