These days, people think of essential oils primarily for their scent – and we don’t dispute the health benefits of aromatherapy at all! But there is more to essential oils than meets the nose. In fact, if an oil is called a fragrance or fragrant oil, it is probably not an essential oil at all and will not have the healing power of a true essential oil.
Most people don’t realize it, but essential oils are not really oils at all. They do not contain fatty acids. Instead, they are distilled or highly concentrated plants. The essence of the plant. An example of how concentrated these oils are is how many roses it takes to make one pound Bulgarian rose oil. Go ahead and guess – ten? 20? No, it takes 4,000 pounds of roses to make one pound of rose essence! Even the common lavender essential oil takes 100 pounds of plants to make a pound of essential oil.
Because they are so concentrated, they must be used with care. Most essential oils should not be used in their undiluted form directly on the skin. They must also be kept out of the reach of children, and should never be used during the first trimester of pregnancy without the advice of a healthcare practitioner. They should also never be taken internally.
Here at All About Smiles, our Wilmington dentists love essential oils both in the office and as something for patients to use at home. They allow patients to take some of their health care into their own hands to strengthen their bodily systems, protect against illness, lift their moods, and soothe their spirits. In other words, essential oils can help our patients heal – mind body and spirit, a principle that is at the center of our holistic dental practice. Ask us about which brands of essential oils we recommend for purity and effectiveness. We can also help you choose the perfect essential oils for your particular needs and symptoms.
Here are a few “essential” essential oils to get you started:
Tea Tree Oil – Great for skin and hair, it is safe to apply topically. It does have a strong scent but is very effective against dandruff, fungus, and blemishes.
Calendula – Made from the petals of the Marigold flower, calendula oil has amazing healing properties. Very gentle on the skin, it can be used as a topical anti inflammatory, antibacterial, and general skin soother for bumps and bruises. Many of our patients use a few drops in their baths to soothe psoriasis.
Lavender – Lavender does much of its healing through its beautiful scent. A few drops in your bath or diluted with water and sprayed on your pillow can ease tension, soothe frazzled nerves, and help you get a good night’s sleep. Lavender has even been shown to improve the success of dental implants by limiting the production of dangerous biofilms.
Peppermint – Feeling a little nauseated? Peppermint oil is a great anti nausea and digestive aid. It can also soothe coughs when applied to the chest, remove odors from shoes, and even help deter spiders! Plus it freshens our breath and can be added to coconut oil for oil pulling.
Clove – Clove essential oil is an obvious choice for a dental office to suggest because it can be used to promote good oral health. Run a little on your gums for temporary toothache relief and to help prevent gingivitis.
To learn more about the healing properties of essential oils, visit your wellness team at All About Smiles. We are here for more than just your teeth!
It all adds up to better health, smile, body, and spirit!