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by Lindsay Adams

As we round the corner‭, ‬acknowledging that it’s been over a year since the world shut down due to COVID-19‭, ‬one of the many things the past 12+‭ ‬months have given us is a deeper look into our own health and the health of our loved ones‭. ‬In our attempts to avoid the virus‭, ‬we’ve taken a hard look into our habits‭, ‬lifestyle‭, ‬health history‭, ‬and the things we do each day to contribute to‭, ‬or compromise‭, ‬our overall wellness‭. ‬We’ve spent countless hours assessing our risk of getting sick‭, ‬and in the midst of that‭, ‬it’s likely we’ve learned a thing or two‭.‬

It’s probably safe to say that most of us have picked up at least one or two good health habits as a result of the past year and have chosen to add those to what’s sometimes referred to as our‭ ‬“wellness toolbox‭.‬”‭ ‬We all know that managing our health encompasses many areas‭, ‬our physical‭, ‬emotional‭, ‬and spiritual health being the biggies‭. ‬And these are like plates that we try to keep spinning in the air simultaneously‭, ‬desperately hoping to achieve‭ ‬“balance‭.‬”‭ ‬Never have we been more willing to take a bigger picture look at all the things that contribute to our overall state of being‭, ‬and never have we been more willing to try new things‭.‬

Enter essential oils‭. ‬For some‭, ‬these are not new at all‭, ‬and in fact‭, ‬they may be part of your wellness arsenal even as we speak‭. ‬The truth is that plants have always been part of our healing‭, ‬and many modern pharmaceuticals still contain essential elements from plants‭. ‬It seems as if essential oils have gained popularity in recent years and can be found in the most common places‭ ‬‭(‬i.e‭., ‬Walgreens and your local grocery store‭, ‬to name a couple‭), ‬but what exactly are essential oils‭, ‬and could they have a place in your toolbox‭?‬

Simply put‭, ‬essential oils represent nature in its most concentrated form‭. ‬Essential oils are volatile substances‭ (‬ones that quickly evaporate‭) ‬contained in and extracted from the bark‭, ‬roots‭, ‬flowers‭, ‬leaves‭, ‬fruit‭, ‬nuts‭, ‬or resins of plants or trees‭. ‬A single drop contains a complex network of molecules that deliver a myriad of effects to the body‭. ‬They have been used medicinally‭ ‬for thousands of years‭. ‬Although they are not currently regulated by the FDA‭, ‬there are thousands of peer-reviewed articles published worldwide that discuss their efficacy‭.‬

The long and short of their true power is not in facilitating one-time therapeutic effects‭ (‬as we’ve come to know and expect of more traditional medicine‭), ‬but in addressing physiological disharmony and helping your body achieve the inner balance it needs to do the healing it was designed to do‭. ‬So‭, ‬you can see that incorporating essential oils into your lifestyle may also require a bit of a mindset shift around how to best support our health‭. ‬One of the best things about essential oils is that we can use them in several different ways‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬aromatically‭, ‬topically‭, ‬and in some cases‭ (‬and with great safety‭)‬‭ ‬internally as well‭.‬

Getting started with essential oils can be as simple as diffusing a few of your favorite aromas in your home‭. ‬A diffuser is a device that allows the essential oil to mix with water and be dispersed as a tiny mist throughout the air‭. ‬Diffusing oils not only‭ ‬purifies the air but can create a unique environment to support your emotional wellness‭.‬

For example‭, ‬have you ever stepped foot into a health spa where you were greeted by a gentle waft of lavender or eucalyptus‭? ‬You‭ ‬immediately take a deep inhale and exhale‭, ‬your shoulders relax‭, ‬and you can feel the stress start to melt away‭. ‬Or‭, ‬have you walked into the kitchen of a friend as her cinnamon-infused pumpkin bread was coming out of the oven‭, ‬and you felt a warm‭, ‬cozy stillness that just made you want to settle in‭? ‬I could go on and on‮…‬‭ ‬the aroma of fresh-cut flowers‭, ‬oranges‭, ‬or a whiff of pure‭ ‬peppermint that wakes you up‮…‬‭ ‬all of which are made up of essential oils‭.‬

And their powerful nature isn’t limited to supporting the health of our bodies‭. ‬Essential oils are powerful cleaning agents as well‭. ‬As a matter of fact‭, ‬a few simple ingredients like baking soda‭, ‬white vinegar‭, ‬and distilled water paired with your favorite essential oils like lemon‭, ‬pine or peppermint‭, ‬can be used to clean and sanitize your home without harmful and toxic chemicals‭; ‬many of which have been linked to chronic disease and hormone disruptions‭.‬

The long and short of it is that essential oils are the perfect complement to your wellness routine if you are looking for a holistic approach to your health‭. ‬We are all wise to the fact that we need to get serious about the root causes of some of the inflictions that we are all suffering from‭. ‬No longer can we seek out a quick-fix for our common issues like minor pain‭, ‬stress‭, ‬sleep‭, ‬immunity‭, ‬etc‭. ‬We need to find ways to help our bodies function optimally and vibrantly‭. ‬We need to know ourselves well enough to create our protocols that include the things that heal us‭, ‬bring us joy and peace‭, ‬and help us be the best we can for ourselves‭, ‬our loved ones‭, ‬and our world‭.‬

A return to nature and the gifts we have already received from Mother Earth may be just the place to start‭.‬

‭(‬For more information about essential oils‭, ‬consider these resources‭: ‬The Complete Book of Essential Oils‭ ‬&‭ ‬Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood‭, ‬or The Healing Power of Essential Oils by Eric Zielinsky‭)‬

Lindsay Adams is a wife and mother of three grown children who is‭ ‬“encouraging women to live a well‭ ‬&‭ ‬happy life at each new stage‭.‬”‭ ‬You can find her‭, ‬as well as additional information on essential oils‭, ‬at‭ ‬getoiling.com/LindsayAdams