Updated: Nov 16, 2019
You’ve probably heard of essential oils. You may have experienced your yoga instructor using them at the end of class to get you into that sweet savasana bliss. Maybe you have a roll-on bottle of lavender stashed for times you need a little relaxation moment or some citrus oil you use in a diffuser to make your house smell nice. How much do you actually know about essential oils though, other than that they smell pretty freaking good? For instance, what exactly are they? We asked Holistic Nutritionist and Essential Oil/Plant Medicine Educator and Distributor, Angela Notarangelo, this and so much more.
What are Essentials Oils?
Essential oils are the“lifeblood”/ immune system of a plant because the oil protects the plant from disease, provides nutrients and helps to repel insects. Pure therapeutic grade oils are nature's volatile aromatic compounds generated in plants, shrubs, tree roots and bushes. The power/potency of each oil lies in its constituents and their synergy. Every essential oil is unique as they are composed of 200-500 bio constituents which makes them so unique.
Why do they work?
The fragrance of an EO [Essential Oil] can directly affect your emotional state via the limbic system. When an oil is inhaled the airborne molecules travel up the nostrils to the olfactory epithelium or the center of olfactory sensation. From the olfactory epithelium, olfactory receptor cells trigger and send an impulse to the olfactory bulb. Each olfactory receptor sends a specific impulse to a particular microregion. From there the olfactory bulb transmits impulses to the brain, the amygdala (memories are stored) and the limbic system (LS controls HR,BP, breath, memory, stress and hormones). Because the fragrance reaches the limbic system, these therapeutic oils can have profound physiological and psychological effects.
In layman's terms, the smell makes the brain happy and relaxed which is needed for optimal function of the human mind and body.
Are some better than others?
Yes, you want to find therapeutic grade oils and do your research about the farming practices, I work with Young Living which is the world leader in EO, I have been to their farm and they have stringent distillation practices which means they use 3rd party testing to verify that the quality is 100% pure. The FDA doesn’t regulate EO so we have to do our homework before we inhale or apply any oils to our body.
How do I use them?
The 3 ways are via a diffuser, topically (with a carrier oil such as coconut oil) and internally (with proper instruction and education).
What are your top 10 essential oil recommendations and their benefits?
Thieves (YL blend)- Strong immune system protector
Valor (YL blend)- Great for high stress and before public speaking
Lemon- Great for uplifting and I ingest this one for a healthy body
Peppermint- Keeps me alert and when I ingest this one it keeps my stomach relaxed
Digize (YL blend)- Helps me immensely with any stomach discomfort
Peace and Calming (YL blend)- One of my favorite oils to diffuse before bed and the smell is amazing
Oregano- The smell is very strong and it’s a hot oil, but used properly it helps keep your immune system strong during high stress times
Orange- This is a great one for diffusing while working, instantly lifts my mood
Citrus Fresh- A blend of all the citrus oils and the smell is invigorating and I use it with my cleaning spray, laundry, disposal etc. Keeps my house smelling so fresh.
What is your personal favorite and why?
I can’t pick one, okay fine. Lemon oil. I keep it in my purse and I add it to my water when I am out or sanitize my hands with it and it smells soooo fresh.