Do you think there are scents that can help you simply relax after a stressful day? Scents that gift you with a feeling of inner peace and harmony and also infuse you with energy to keep giving your best at 100%? It would be great if you could experience such a scent repeatedly, even in everyday life, and enjoy it, even if only for a short time.
Why not give essential oils a try? They contain the concentrated life force of an entire plant. They directly impact the brain, positively influencing both physical and psychological processes in the human body. Essential oils are versatile in their applications. They're not only suitable for aroma lamps, but also for relaxing massage oils, hand soaps, hand lotions, and even dishwashing liquids.
But, what are essential oils exactly?
In its original meaning, the term "essential" signifies the heavenly, or the expanse of the sky. This poetic name directly hints at the characteristics of essential oils. Essential means ethereal – they quickly evaporate and figuratively rise to the sky. So, they're volatile substances, or more precisely, volatile oils. These oils are plant fragrances captured in liquid form. Such a liquid would instantly dissolve once the essential oil comes into contact with air. The oil evaporates, leaving behind the heavenly scent for a while before it too fades into the expanse. Unlike ordinary fatty oils, essential oils also leave no unsightly greasy stains, which is why they can also be found in dishwashing liquids or hand soaps, like the Coastal Breeze Hand Soap from Stonewall Kitchen Home Keeping.
So, how are these heavenly oils produced?
For this, we should first know that essential oils are extracted from various parts of plants, such as flowers, leaves, bark, roots, or resins. They are mainly produced in the leaves, flowers, and peels of plants and stored in their tissues. Essential oils shape a plant's scent and thus attract insects or repel parasites. So, it's the essential oil that we perceive when we smell a flower or a plant. Essential oils enable us humans, as well as other living beings, to recognize a plant by its fragrance. There are many methods to extract essential oils. The most commonly used one is steam distillation, which is preferred for plants like pine and lavender. But other methods like cold pressing are widespread as well. This method, for instance, is employed with oranges or bergamot.
But how do these methods actually work?
The basic principle of steam distillation is fairly easy to understand. Water is vaporized and then immediately cooled, or condensed. To extract our essential oil from the plant, steam is fed into a container from below, where it condenses on the plant parts. The essential oil melts out of the oil cells. This results in an oil-water mixture, which is then vaporized again by the incoming heat. Obtaining essential oils requires a lot of skill and know-how to determine the right pressure and temperature. The length of the entire process lets us appreciate that it's justified to call it a craftsmanship.
Cold pressing sounds much simpler in comparison, but it's still a complex process that requires careful attention. This method is somewhat gentler and is preferred for extracting citrus oils, like citrus peel oils. With cold pressing, for example, the peels of oranges, bergamot, grapefruits, and lemons are used. These "waste" from juice production are very heat-sensitive and are therefore mechanically squeezed. By breaking the outer layer of the fruit peel, the small oil cells burst, and the aromatic compound can be collected in a container.
Essential Oils and Their Effects
Essential oils work through their aroma, which is why they're also referred to as aromatic oils. They are commonly used in aromatherapy, a field that harnesses the properties of essential oils. In aromatherapy, essential oils are used in the form of full or partial baths, as compresses, for inhalation, or as massage oils to treat minor everyday ailments. These aromas can cause hormonal, nervous, and even psychological reactions in the body. The pharmaceutical industry also uses them – essential oils are incorporated into various medications to promote blood circulation, relieve spasms, have antimicrobial properties, or act as anti-inflammatory agents.
But what really helps after a stressful day? An essential oil for relaxation, like lavender, for example, due to its calming effects. Lavender oil isn't just relaxing but also balancing. It can even stabilize blood pressure and is therefore effective in cases of nervous restlessness.
Where can you find this miracle remedy for everyday life? How about trying our Hand Lotion from Stonewall Kitchen? The Lavender Mint variant would not only offer you a brief respite from the hectic routine but is also gentle on the skin and leaves your hands feeling soft. The wide range of different scents available at Stonewall Kitchen Home Keeping almost guarantees that you'll find the perfect scent for you.
For renewed motivation and vitality during tired and uninspired moments, the fresh scent of grapefruit can come to the rescue. For instance, if you don't feel like doing the dishes after dinner or lack the motivation to clean up after cooking, the Grapefruit Thyme variant could provide you with a fresh burst of energy. Instead of your regular dish soap that you're already anticipating with its smell, you'd be pleasantly surprised by a fruity and fresh fragrance. Thanks to the included essential oil, the scent is invigorating and additionally stimulates your skin's metabolism.
Have You Caught the Scent?
If you're looking for more scent options alongside our Stonewall Kitchen Home Keeping products, you can also find essential oils in some candles from Stonewall Home, Country Candle, and Kringle Candle.
- Aromatic Candles from Stonewall Home
- Aromatic Candles from Country Candle
- Aromatic Candles from Kringle Candle
Still want to try making your own essential oil?
You can create your very own aromatic oil in four simple steps, and you don't need much; you probably already have most of it at home.
What you'll need:
- Flowers / Leaves / Plant
- Ball Jar
- Neutral oil (Sunflower oil / Canola oil)
- A coffee filter or nut milk bag.
Step 1: Clean the flowers, leaves, or plant parts, remove any wilted portions if present. Then place them in a Ball Jar until it's well-filled.
Step 2: Pour approximately 200 ml of oil over the plants (ensure the plants are fully covered with oil) and seal the jar.
Step 3: Place the jar in a gentle simmering water bath and let it steep for about 60 minutes.
Step 4: Gently cool the mixture and let it rest for at least 2-3 days, before pouring it into a clean container through the filter or nut milk bag.
Note: Fresh plant parts in oil infusion can develop mold easily, so keep an eye on the mixture during the resting period.
American Heritage wishes you a wonderful, heavenly time!